You can watch the show trailer here (English subtitles, viewer discretion advised)
Update: Based on a commentator tip, it looks like this is the Frontline Club, not a mosque.
Update 2: According to the journalist, he interviewed Assange in a Muslim hub/area of London, not in an Islamic center. I misread the article.
Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, was interviewed by Israeli TV about a month ago. The clip is mostly in English, but can be a bit difficult to view on the site.
What I found interesting was the location of the interview: an Islamic center in London, where Assange showed up with his bodyguards. It would be interesting to know what's the connection between Assange and this mosque.
On January 16,  Joseph Wood, Deputy Assistant to the Vice President for National Security Affairs, met with Philippe Errera, strategic affairs adviser to FM Kouchner, and Francois Richier, strategic affairs adviser to President Sarkozy. Errera and Richier provided their views on NATO, ESDP, Russia, the Iran NIE, and President Sarkozy's own guiding principles.
Finally, Richier noted that "relations with Islam" and climate change were two immediate priorities of President Sarkozy's that would nevertheless remain on the French agenda.
(Mortality for non-Western immigrants by age group.
The black line is the Danish mortality rate for that group)
Via Eurasia Review:
A European form of Islam needs to develop before a meaningful interfaith dialogue can take place on the continent, the new leader of Germany's 24 million Protestants has said.
Via Reuters (h/t FaithWorld)
Militants waging an Islamist insurgency in Russia's mainly Muslim North Caucasus region have proposed using either Arabic or a Turkic language as a lingua franca for their affairs.
A decade after Moscow drove separatists from power in Chechnya in the second of two wars, rebels stage near-daily attacks in the North Caucasus, and many want to carve out a separate state from Russia and impose Islamic sharia law.
I've mentioned in the past that comments by Turkey's current leaders show they have neo-Ottoman aspirations. The US ambassador to Turkey agrees.
A couple and their only son were murdered in the town of Wemmel two weeks ago, in a 'home-jacking'. The only survivor was the Turkish girlfriend of the son, who described the perpetrators as 'light-skinned Africans'. This was translated by the English language media as 'North Africans'.
There were various rumors about this being a murder ordered or carried out by the Turkish family of the girlfriend, who were not happy with her relationship.
Now that the suspects have been apprehended (NL, NL), it's clear that's not the case. One suspect, a 25 year old Belgian Congolese, was arrested the next day in Luxembourg. Two others were arrested this past week in France: Christian L. (28, Belgian citizen) and Milton R. (30, Congolese citizen). All are of sub-Saharan origin, and are most probably Christians.
A man in Austria was fined for yodeling while mowing the grass. The man was singing Friday afternoon, and bothered his Muslim neighbors who were listening to the muezzin just then.
The police was called in and brought the 63 year old pensioner to the court in Graz. "The complaint boiled down to the fact that my yodeling resembled their muezzin. But it wasn't my intention at all to imitate him," the perplexed man told Austrian newspaper Krone Zeitung Saturday.
The court didn't believe the man and fined him 800 euro. The relations with him Muslim neighbors hadn't gotten better.
Source: Trouw (Dutch), via NRP
Update: Fixed typos.
The Daily Mail asks why nobody dares mention the word 'Asian' but 'Asians' is itself a euphemism for (Pakistani) Muslims, a word the Daily Mail tries to avoid. The reason the media is afraid to use 'Asian' is because people by now read right through it.
Germany is on high alert after last week's terror warnings. On Thursday a conservative politician sent a strong message to the Muslim community, urging scrutiny for "possible fanatics" attending mosques. Germany's Muslim organization, however, argues that politicians' rhetoric is divisive.
German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière has urged level-headedness in the midst of escalating terror warnings. Despite his call, politicians across the board are airing their views on how to prevent attacks. In the latest development, a politician from the Christian Social Union, the Bavarian sister party to Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democrtic Union, has told Muslims to stay alert, arguing that members of the country's 2,500 mosque congregations should increase their vigilance.
"Mosque communities are called on to be especially watchful and keep an eye out for possible fanatics in their ranks, in the light of the current situation," Stefan Müller, a spokesman on integration issues for the two parties in the federal parliament, told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung in an interview published on Thursday.
Via the Telegraph:
Up to 40 European terrorist recruits are currently training in Pakistan's lawless tribal areas close to the border with Afghanistan, according to an intelligence official in Islamabad.
US citizens were also thought to have linked up with insurgent groups in the region, an official with the Inter Services Intelligence agency told The Daily Telegraph on condition of anonymity.
Via the Guardian:
A 15-year-old girl has been arrested on suspicion of inciting religious hatred after allegedly burning an English-language version of the Qur'an – and then posting video footage of the act on Facebook.
The teenager, from the Sandwell district of Birmingham, was filmed on her school premises burning the book. Police have confirmed the incident was reported to the school and the video has since been removed from the social networking site.
A 14-year-old boy was arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of making threats on Facebook. Both teenagers have been released on police bail.
People in the Netherlands are far too pessimistic about the integration of immigrants. The overriding picture is that Dutch integration policies have failed, but in fact there are a multitude of positive developments, according to Sadik Harchaoui of Forum, the Institute for Multicultural Affairs (IMV).
Muslims and their mosques face a higher level of threats and intimidation in UK suburbs and market towns than in big cities, according to a report.
Case studies reveal examples such as a Muslim woman who was punched and called a "terrorist" in front of her petrified daughter. The report said such attacks often go unreported, and in this case the woman was too scared to inform the police.
She also played down the incident to reduce her child's distress and avoided explaining why she was singled out for wearing a burka and being a Muslim woman.
The new study, Islamophobia and Anti-Muslim Hate Crime: UK Case Studies, reveals this kind of unprovoked incident is a largely hidden.
A government official in industrial northern Italian city of Turin has asked the local school board to stop fully-veiled women from picking up their children at school because it makes it difficult to identify them as the students' true parents.
The request by Maurizio Marrone - a member of prime minister Silvio Berlusconi's conservative People of Liberty party - was prompted after Marrone and other mothers had seen some women dressed in full burqas picking up their children from an elementary school in Turin's Barriera di Milano working class neighbourhood.
Via Copenhagen Post:
New indications that groups plan to send terrorists to Denmark
Domestic intelligence agency PET has asked the police to be extra vigilant after receiving new “indications” of planned attacks by foreign terrorist groups.
“In light of the terror threats against Denmark and the rest of Europe, PET has asked the police to be on the alert until the end of December,” Jakob Scharf, director of PET, said.
Besides a few short articles in the local press without any real details, this story comes only through the blogs.
The Swedish press reports (SE, SE) that On Monday evening a man was attacked in his apartment in central Norrköping, in eastern Sweden. According to the victim, two hooded perpetrators rang his doorbell and when he opened the door, they beat him on the head with a wine bottle. The man got treatment in hospital.
Alternate headline: 'Local Labour leader quits after proposing to flood the Netherlands with immigrants'. Spiegelenberg was actually saying that the solution to the population drain is to open the borders and bring in immigrants with a high natural increase.
The man charged with heading the Labour party’s provincial election campaign in Gelderland has stood down after allegedly making racist comments about Moroccans and Turks.
In a discussion about the population drain in rural areas, Rob Spiegelenberg reportedly said that if the Dutch borders are opened, ‘then we’ll get all those Turks and Moroccans again and we know that they breed like crazy’.
Via Copenhagen Post:
Figures show a worrying trend for poverty amongst the elderly
Out of the capital’s 561 pensioners who live in “serious poverty”, 482 have an immigrant background, according to new figures from the City Council.
While only 1.1 percent of ethnic Danish pensioners live in poverty, the figure for their immigrant counterparts is a full 27.4 percent, according to new ECLM figures, based on the OECD's poverty line definition of 50 percent of the country's median income.
(image via Gudmundson, who also links to the film)
Yesterday police arrested a suspected Jihadist cell in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. Later in the day Belgian police arrested another cell in Brussels.
Hours later, Belgian officials announced the detention of some 15 people in Brussels in connection with a separate probe into a group suspected of recruiting would-be "jihadists" willing to do battle in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Via the Telegraph:
Awais Arshad, whose brother Umar, absconded from a control order, said police should have acted more quickly to stop him leaving the country.
He accused the police of “gross negligence" in failing to stop his brother and added: "How could he still be allowed to leave the country I do not know.”
Spain: Majority think it's better to have different religions, as long as it doesn't 'bother the Spanish'
Via Spanish News:
31% of the Spanish population agree that immigrants that find themselves unemployed for a long time should be expelled from the country, while 65% have expressed that they do not agree, according to a survey conducted by the Bertelsmann Foundation, presented on Monday.
Via Deutsche Welle:
Austria's far-right Freedom Party has become the country's second-most popular party. The party, which campaigns on an anti-immigrant platform, even ranks first among voters under 30, a new poll found.
The same situation existed just over a decade ago when former leader Joerg Haider took the party into a coalition government. Before his death in a car accident, Haider campaigned on an anti-immigrant platform. And party leader Strache is tapping into the same rich vein of voters, according to political commentator Herbert Lackner.
"If the government threw out all the people that came into Austria over the past 10 or 20 years, if they would throw them all out but one, the Freedom Party would still campaign against this one single person," Lackner told Deutsche Welle. "And a 100,000 people would still believe that there are too many foreigners."
One of the most surprising results from the latest survey is the Freedom Party's popularity among young Austrians. It's the number one choice for people under 30. Strache appeals most strongly to young males, as did his predecessor Haider.
Via Eurasia Review:
"The announcement was a bombshell," said Elvis Naci, imam of Tirana's Tabakeve mosque, adding that the council of the Muslim Community had yet to discuss the proposal and express an official position.
Speaking before the Eid celebration, Tirana Mayor Edi Rama said the municipality had a work plan ready to construct the new mosque behind the National Opera.
A Muslim leader in Italy has deplored the 'cataloguing' by police in recent weeks of Muslims attending mosque in the northern city of Treviso and surrounding areas. Treviso is a stronghold of the anti-immigrant Northern League party.
"The incidents reported of what amounts to the mass catalogues of Muslims in the province of Treviso are of unpredecented in gravity," the spokesman for Italy's largest Muslim umbrella group UCOII, Hamza Piccardo, told Adnkronos International (AKI).
Piccardo, a Muslim convert said he had only learned of the situation on Friday when a Muslim told him police stopped him outside a mosque in Montebello in the province of Treviso and asked to see his documents.
The police also photographed all the Muslims attending Friday prayers at the Montebello mosque, Piccardo said.
Via Surrey Comet:
Masked men threw bottles of beer and urinated on a mosque following a march against Muslim extremism.
Bacon was also left on cars near Kingston Mosque during the attack by a group of 10-15 youths on Sunday.
Via the Local (h/t LibertyPhile):
A doctor at Örebro University Hospital in central Sweden was attacked and kicked recently by the relatives of a critical ill woman who had just given birth, because they objected to him being a male.
"He was attacked by the husband and received a kick to the groin," said René Bangshöj at the hospital to the local Nerikes Allehanda (NA) daily.
The incident occurred on November 6th when the doctor entered the delivery room at the maternity ward at the hospital responding to a call from the woman's attendant midwife. She had recently given birth and was bleeding heavily.
The woman's husband screamed at the doctor that he should leave the room at once, but he refused and approached the patient to examine her. At this point he was attacked by the man.
Via ArabNews (h/t EuropeNews):
Several institutions from Saudi Arabia, Austria, other Arab countries and Europe have teamed together to organize a high-profile “Arab-European Young Leaders Forum.”
The first-of-its-kind event, involving young Arab and European leaders and professionals, is to be held to promote responsible leadership, mutual understanding and friendship.
The government wants to introduce stricter sentences for people who force people to marry a person against their will.
Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten wants to raise the maximum sentence from nine months to two years. People usually enter into a forced marriage as the result of strong psychological pressure or under threat of violence.
The Somali community in the Schalkwijk neighborhood of Haarlem wants a ban on qat. A concerned Somali says that more than 75% of Somalis in the Netherlands are addicted to qat.
Via Deutsche Welle:
Children of immigrants are to be granted the right to stay in Germany if they fulfil certain criteria, regardless of their parents' status, according to proposals by Germany's federal and regional interior ministers.
German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere and his counterparts from the country’s 16 federal states agreed on proposals Friday that would make it easier for children of immigrants to stay in Germany permanently.
Under the plans, children aged 15 years and older, who have successfully attended school in Germany for at least six years and who speak good German, should be granted the right to stay in the country, even if their parents are not.
Muslims in Germany are facing increasingly suspicious treatment following this week's warning that Islamist terrorists were planning attacks, the Central Council of Muslims warned on Saturday.
'For years we have been hearing vague terrorist warnings which spread horror and fear,' the Council's head, Aiman Mazyek, told German Press Agency dpa.
'Muslims are doubly scared - because they could become victims of such an attack, and since general suspicions are formed in this way,' Mazyek added.
A 40 year old man from the Antwerp suburb of Sint Niklaas caused a traffic jam Thursday afternoon when he refused to follow the orders of a traffic cop because she was female.
Around 95,000 sheep and about 4,000 cows were slaughtered this year in the Netherlands (NL) in honor of Eid ul-Adha. In general the rules for slaughtering and transporting the animals were observed, reports the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority.
About 14.5 per cent of the people in Russia are Muslim. As the country's Muslim community celebrates Kurban Bairam, St. Petersburg researcher Aleksandr Sotnichenko describes what the foundations were upon which Russia’s peculiar culture grew up on.
Being a Christian, he shows where the Western model of inter-faith interaction may take Russia and what will result from calls for ethnic and religious purity.
Aleksandr Sotnichenko is a historian, a political analyst and an expert on religion. He is an analyst at the St. Petersburg Center for Middle East Studies and professor at the International Affairs Department of St. Petersburg University.
The problem with such conferences is that the answer is already obvious.
A two day conference devoted to Muslims in Europe is being held in Warsaw, organized by the European Islamic Institute at Warsaw University.
A key element of the “Muslims in Europe- a wealth of diversity or a source of conflict?” conference aims to show that Islam should not be identified with terrorism.
“Terrorism can be found in many places and perpetrated by those from all religions. It is vital that we refrain from identifying it exclusively with Islam,” said Anna Parzymies from the Islamic Centre in Warsaw.
An an overwhelming majority of Kosovo Albanians - 81 percent - favour unification with neighbouring Albania, according to an international survey published on Thursday.
A total of 48.8 per cent of Albanians in Kosovo and 41.8 in Macedonia believe unification could take place soon.
In Albania, support for unification has fallen to 62.8 pe cent from 68 percent last year.
The survey findings came less than three years after Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority declared independence from Serbia.
Update: More information at the Jih@d blog, which first broke the story. Also, this might be the first Swedish suicide bomber, but Swedish Jihadists have already been killed in action in Iraq and Somalia.
A Swedish citizen committed a suicide attack in Iraq, according to a forum used by al-Qaeda. The Swedish Foreign Office is investigating the report. It's unclear when and where the attack took place. If the report is true, this will apparently be the first Swedish suicide-bomber.
The man, of Tunisian background, lived in Sweden and was married to a Swedish woman.
Source: Aftenposten (Norwegian)
Sociologist Jan Hertogen estimates that Belgium has 623,780 Muslims (NL), or 5.8% of the population. This is much higher than the official figure of 400,000, but slightly less than Hertogen's estimate for 2008 (NL): 628,751.
Hertogen's projects are used by the American Pew Forum, which specialize in religious demographics. The Muslim community is Belgium is very urban. Muslims make up 22% of the residents of Brussels (compared with 25.5% in 2008). In Antwerp there are 81,933 Muslims, in Liège 28,341 and in Charleroi 25,962.
* Belgium: 30% foreign population in ten years
* Belgium: The debate over statistics
An experimental liberal mosque in the Netherlands that held prayers in Dutch instead of Arabic, has closed its doors due to financial problems.
The Polder Mosque in Amsterdam was an attempt to provide a model for young Dutch-born Muslims and converts to learn about Islam and practice it in a secular European nation. The project drew widespread positive attention, a counterpoint to the anti-Islam sentiment that dominates Dutch political debate.
Chairwoman Yassmine el Ksaihi, 24, said Wednesday the mosque will reorganize and attempt to reopen in a smaller, more affordable location next year.
MPs have called for clearer food labelling after the East Yorkshire representative discovered that halal meat was sold in the House of Commons' canteens without them knowing.
The Commons catering service is currently looking for new food suppliers who can tell them how the meat they sell is killed after admitting it had "unknowingly received" poultry slaughtered in accordance with Islamic law.
MPs are now calling for the Government to introduce legislation to make sure halal meat is properly labelled by restaurants, food wholesalers and supermarkets.
In other news, Germany raised its terror-alert level after getting concrete intelligence of planned attacks.
Via the Local:
Lower Saxony’s Interior Minister Uwe Schünemann on Wednesday said more police were needed in predominately Muslim districts in Germany and Islamists should be banned from using mobile phones and computers to combat terrorism.
“A mobile and computer ban for Islamist agitators would hinder their communication,” Schünemann told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung
Speaking ahead of a meeting of German state interior ministers in Hamburg this week, Schünemann also said known Islamists should be forbidden from visiting radical Mosques and problem areas.
Via Daily Mail:
More than 100 furious passengers staged a mutiny aboard a Ryanair flight last night by refusing to get off a plane that was re-routed to Belgium.
The jet carrying mainly French travellers from Fez in Morocco was supposed to have landed at Beauvais airport near Paris on Tuesday night.
Two major initiatives have been launched to help the Albanian-speaking community integrate in Switzerland and improve mutual understanding.
Via Copenhagen Post:
A new study by the Rockwool Foundation indicates that immigrants with an education from a school in Denmark are more likely to be successful in the workforce here than those educated abroad.
The study reveals that immigrants educated in Denmark earn approximately the same as native Danes across all levels of education.
“It is quite obvious that if immigrants – regardless of background – get a Danish education, they will be able to succeed at the same level as educated Danes,” said Torben Tranæs of the Rockwool Foundation.
A man (62) turned himself in for the murder of his daughter (21) in Katrineholm, Sweden yesterday, in what police think was an honor murder.
The father was covered with blood when he walked into the police station.
Copenhagen Airport is cooperating with the Islamic Faith Society in order to help the many pilgrims on their way to Mecca.
Muslims are now celebrating Eid ul-Adha. 1300-1500 pilgrims leave Copenhagen Airport every year, depending on the quota Saudi-Arabia gives Danish Muslims. It doesn't sound like much in such a big airport, but until a few years it caused chaos, comparable to Christmas traffic, when many relatives came with the pilgrims to the airport and came to pick them up afterward.
Via Daily Telegraph:
A rap video put together by Somalis living in London raised as much as £150,000 to contribute towards the ransom of Paul and Rachel Chandler.
The couple were released on Sunday after 388 days in captivity after being kidnapped by pirates in Somalia. It is thought their captors were paid around £620,000 for their release.
The London-based community of Somalis were moved to create a music video urging the pirates to release the pair who were taken from their boat as they sailed round the world.
The song was recorded by the Somali news station, Universal TV, and has been broadcast more than 10 times on the channel in the last two months.
After the song was first aired in September the TV station was deluged with calls from Somali Londoners offering donations towards the ransom pot.
A Belgian judge's ruling has appeared to confirm the notion that the country is a land of milk and honey for immigrants.
The Brussels first instance tribunal has ordered Fedasil, the federal agency in charge of asylum, to pay a 30-year-old Congolese asylum seeker €15,500 (€500 per day) for not providing him with counsel and accommodation.
Putting an end to trouble caused by unruly Dutch-Moroccan children and teenagers will take at least another generation, said the mayor of the town of Gouda on Wednesday.
What Skaarup forgets is that the Dutch integration movie has two versions, a regular version showing topless women and gays kissing, and an edited version for countries where such things are against the law.
Via Copenhagen Post (h/t Tundra Tabloids):
Right-wing politician would follow Dutch model to highlight country’s open-mindedness
Can’t bear bare breasts? Then Denmark might not be the place for you, according to Peter Skaarup, foreign policy spokesman of the Danish People’s party.
According to Skaarup, a documentary film about Denmark, which forms part of the immigration test for foreigners, lacks breasts. He claims that showing topless women in the film will help promote Danish open-mindedness and may even prevent extremists from coming to the country.
“A similar documentary in Holland shows bare breasts, and I think we should follow their example, Skaarup told Berlingske Tidende newspaper.
Via Life in Italy:
Pope Benedict XVI called on Islamic countries to reciprocate the religious freedom Muslims usually enjoy in predominantly Christian countries in a document published Thursday.
Several Islamic states in the Middle East have laws limiting or prohibiting Christian minorities from openly practising their faith.
In the document, the pontiff stressed that the Catholic Church has ''esteem'' for Muslims, while stating that inter-faith dialogue will be fruitless unless it is based on ''the ability of all to freely practise their religion in private and in public''.
A leader of Italy's Islamic community has launched an appeal to Muslims living in the northern city of Milan, urging them to vote in primaries on Sunday to elect the country's main centre-left opposition Democratic Party's leader.
The party is currently led by Pierluigi Bersani, and the primaries are an opportunity to gauge current grassroots support for his stewardship. Snap elections are looming in Italy since prime minister Silvio Berlusconi's key former ally, parliament speaker Gianfranco Fini, formed a new party this month and threatened to withdraw his support from the government.
Milan has 208,021 immigrants making up 16 percent of its population - more than double the national average of 6.5 percent, according to a September report by the Milan city council. Many of the immigrants are Muslims arriving from northern Africa.
Abdullah Paolo Gonzaga, who heads the Islamic Relief charity, has issued a call to Muslims in Italy on the Islam-Online.it website, telling them to take part in the Democratic Party primaries to elect the party leader and top regional officials.
An Israeli student at the University of Genoa in Italy was harassed and threatened by Palestinian students last Tuesday, only to be ignored by the police.
Assaf, a 26-year-old Israeli architecture student, was eating at the cafeteria when Ibrahim Haji, a student from Gaza, came and began taunting him.
"He came towards me, punched me and said 'why are you looking at me?' I told him I wasn't looking at him, and asked him to let me eat in peace," Assaf said. "A minute later he was back, swinging a fork, and called me in front of everyone to come outside while cursing Israel and declaring his intention to kill.
Via Deutsche Welle:
Former central banker Thilo Sarrazin, who caused a storm in Germany in August with a controversial book on immigrant integration, has toned down the rhetoric in his treatise.
German weekly newspaper Welt am Sonntag reported Sunday that a key line in Sarrazin's book, titled "Germany is doing away with itself," has been removed from the 14th edition.
The sentence claimed that migrants from the Middle East were a "genetic minus" for Germany.
Also, the modifier "in the long term" was added to the sentence, "In demographic terms, the enormous fertility of Muslim immigrants poses a threat to the equilibrium of culture and civilization in an ageing Europe."
The changes slightly soften some of the statements that had especially upset spokesmen for the Islamic community.
Next week, Muslims from all over the world gather in Mecca for the annual pilgrimage called the Hajj. Some 4000 Swedes are expected to travel there this year, to take part in the rituals. According to the Swedish Muslim council the number of travel agencies that arrange the trips from Sweden have increased significantly over the past few years.
Minister of Migration and European Affairs Astrid Thors proposes that preschool education be made compulsory for immigrant children. This would help their integration into Finnish society as well as giving them a better chance in accessing post-comprehensive school education, she argues.
Speaking at a seminar on the significance of language to societal integration on Thursday, the Minister stressed the importance of early learning to children's school careers and integration.
German Der Spiegel recently interviewed Dutch politician Geert Wilders. The headlines focused on his comments that Merkel is afraid of his popularity, or that the Koran is worse than Mein Kampf, though in Wilders' case, saying he doesn't want to ban Islam and doesn't intend to deport Muslims seem more headline-worthy.
Spiegel now published the entire article in English.
A ceremony at the Grand Mosque in Paris has been held to honour the memory of Muslims who fought for France in the First World War.
Defence Minister Herve Morin and Veterans Affairs Minister Hubert Falco took part in the ceremony, one of several official events marking the 92nd anniversary of the end of the First World War.
Via the Local:
The Gothenburg police are facing more criticism following revelations that they locked eight men in a mosque when responding to a terror threat on October 30th.
The eight men were reportedly locked in a mosque located at the Römosse school in Gothenburg’s Gårdsten neighbourhood where they were forced to wait for three hours without being given any information, the Göteborgs-Posten (GP) newspaper reports.
We have to nail down the definition of the problem. There is no general failure to integrate. In the U.K., for example, we are not talking about Chinese or Indians. We are not talking about blacks and Asians. This is a particular problem. It is about the failure of one part of the Muslim community to resolve and create an identity that is both British and Muslim. And I stress part of it. Most Muslims are as much at ease with their citizenship in the U.K. as I am. I dare say that is true in other European nations too.
This might be a crime like any other, but I think the sister's response is quite strange. It could happen to anybody (her sister doesn't dress Muslim), but it would have been worse for them (they're Muslim), and her brother could have ended up in jail.
Why bring religion into this?
On a mission to New York and Washington from July 20 to 23, more than a dozen rabbis and imams from Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Switzerland and the United Kingdom took part in a program organized by Schneier to introduce his Muslim-Jewish interfaith program to Europe. The program "twins" imams and rabbis, with the goal of promoting cooperation.
On Thursday, as the conference wound down, participants signed a declaration to bring the program to Europe by seeking "to identify areas in which our communities can work together and create cooperate projects."
A woman wearing a burka has been banned from a performance by Moroccan comic Anuar in Boekelo, even though the theatre had promoted the event as free to burka-wearers, local tv stations RTV Oost reports.
Two weeks ago the theatre said the first 10 burka-wearers could see the show for free, but cancelled the idea following protests from Anuar.
Via Malta Indepdent:
Malta’s Ambassador in Tunisia, Vicki Ann Cremona, implicitly expressed agreement with September’s French decision to ban the burka, the Muslim veil which covers women’s faces fully, when she addressed an international forum on ‘Islam, Modernity and Europe’.
The forum was organised by the Tunisian news weekly Réalités, with Dr Cremona taking part in a round-table discussion on the subject ‘Is a European Islam possible?’
She told the discussion, according to the Department of Information, that “participation in European society (also) means accepting not only the laws, but the habits and customs of the country in which one has chosen to live. Perceptions of Islam in Europe are not always very clear and are at times the result of wrong or hurried judgements.”
Other panellists included, among others, Souheib Bencheikh, former Grand Mufti of Marseilles and researcher in religious sciences; Hele Beji, university professor and writer; Mgr Maroun Lahham, Bishop of Tunis; Férid Memmiche, Tunisian intellectual; Isabelle Schaffer, lecturer at Humboldt University, Berlin; Antoine Thomas, Ambassador of Belgium to Tunisia; and Najib Zerouali Ouarith, Ambassador of Morocco to Tunisia.
Via Iceland Review:
The restaurant Veröldin okkar (“Our World”), known as mother’s kitchen, opened in Akranes in west Iceland last month and has proven popular among locals.
The restaurant’s purpose is to provide employment for and break the social isolation of immigrant women and at the same time offer guests a selection of multinational dishes, Morgunbladid reports.
“It was my idea; I’m a genius,” laughed the project’s initiator Amal Tamimi. “There are many unemployed women here and it is a known fact that those who are unemployed are at a greater risk of becoming socially isolated, which can lead to various problems, such as anxiety, depression and social phobia.”
An aggressive mob of 100 young men, insults and flying stones. Eleven patrol cars, which dispersed the crowd in the parking lot of the Mega Simarik disco only by massive use of pepper spray. Three police officers were injured, one seriously. Three were arrested. This was the balance of last Saturday night on the Lessingstraße. Michael Keck of the Neu-Ulm police says that this is a new level of violence and that the situation on the Lessingstraße is no longer sustainable.
The mental health of Turks in the Netherlands is worse than that of ethnic Dutch and also of Turks in Turkey. The mental condition of Turkish women is even worse than that of men. The biggest reason for this is that Turks don't feel they belong in the Netherlands and continue to regard themselves as migrants: on their way to returning to the fatherland.
That is the conclusion of researcher Murat Can in his thesis 'Welkom thuis! De beleving van migrant zijn' (Welcome home! The experience of being a migrant), which he'll present this month at the University of Tilburg.
Can says that substantial measures are needed in order to decrease the undesirable and, he says, even potentially dangerous, distance between Dutch and Turks.
Source: AD (Dutch)
Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten's offices in Denmark were not the only target for one of the world's most wanted terrorists, Ilyas Kashmiri.
In 2009 he checked the possibility of attacking other targets in Copenhagen, according to a confidential Indian report of the interrogation of American-Pakistani terrorist David Headley, obtained by Jyllands-Posten (DA, DA).
The Green League is calling for immigrants, especially those with refugee backgrounds, to learn Finnish or Swedish—or risk reductions in income support subsidies. The party says it is particularly alarmed by the poor language skills among stay-at-home immigrant mothers.
Meanwhile, in Naples, Italy, police arrested 16 terror suspects.
Five people believed to have trained as Islamist militants in Pakistan's troubled Afghan border region have been arrested in and around Paris.
Some of those arrested were picked up in the suburb of Roissy, where France's largest airport is located, security sources said on condition of anonymity.
Some of the suspects are apparently linked to death threats made a few weeks ago against the rector of the Grand Mosque of Paris, Dalil Boubakeur, France's RTL radio reports.
The Imam of the Islamic Society of Finland Khodr Khaled Chehab died in Beirut last week.
Besides being an Imam, Chehab was also an economist and teacher of Arabic.
Soon after his arrival in Finland Chehab joined the Finnish Islamic Community and began to work on building a moderate Islam in the country.
The Imam led the founding project of a mosque and also gave his support to the establishing of other mosques in various parts of the country.
I mentioned this yesterday, but since the Iranian Press TV site insists on reporting that a bomb was found by a Dutch mosque, I thought it deserved a clarification. Last week police were called in to deal with a suspicious package (NL) which looked like a bomb. It had wires coming out of it connected to a window. But it had no explosives, and therefore police did not say that it was a "homemade bomb". Police are investigating the case, and are going to be more watchful around the mosque area.
Pia Kjærsgaard of the DPP said that the new rules will prevent uneducated, veiled women (DA) from Pakistan, Somalia etc from coming to Denmark.
Via Copenhagen Post:
Government and support party agree on tightening immigration policy
The immigration policy is to become ”modernised,” with special attention to the 24 year rule.
The rule, which states that immigrants must be at least 24 years old to get their spouse into the country, is now being supplemented by a points system. The aim is to make it easier for qualified people to come into the country and harder for those who fail to meet the requirements.
It’s been a year since the Swiss voted in a referendum to ban the construction of minarets on mosques. The result, in a country which only had four mosques with minarets and no major problems with Islamic militancy, stunned the establishment. It also shocked the Muslim community—believed to be about 400,000 strong—which had considered itself well-integrated compared to neighbouring France and Germany. On Saturday, mosques around the country opened their doors to visitors in what is becoming an annual event. WRS’s Vincent Landon paid a visit to test the mood.audio report
The Koran is worse than Mein Kampf when it comes to inciting hatred and violence, PVV leader Geert Wilders claimed in an interview with the influential German weekly Der Spiegel.
Wilders said that the Koran has more anti-Jewish passages than Adolf Hitler's book. The Islamic holy book also didn't give any room for other opinions, and Islam follows the same principles as fascism and communism.
The new justice minister, Simonetta Sommaruga, wants to see integration measures for immigrants made mandatory.
In an interview with the SonntagsZeitung newspaper, the recently-elected cabinet minister from the centre-left Social Democratic Party said the approval or extension of residency permits should be closely linked to the efforts immigrants make to integrate themselves.
“Compulsory schooling must be respected. Children should attend all courses and exceptions made on religious or other grounds, for example in swimming classes, should no longer be possible,” Sommaruga told the SonntagsZeitung.
Via Austrian Times:
Migrant children in Austria are disadvantaged by traditional intelligence tests that often fail to reveal their real capabilities, according to an expert.
Letizia Gauck from Swiss capability diagnosis centre "Baff" said today (Fri) at the Salzburg Congress of the Austrian Centre for Talent Promotion and Research (özbf) that cultural differences in the evaluation of intelligence and capabilities were the reason for the situation.
She noted that language problems, little experience of testing, poverty and the inadequate appreciation of kids’ culture of origin often led to mistaken evaluation of their abilities.
The area around the Turkish mosque in Almelo was closed off Wednesday after a suspicious package was discovered next to the women's entrance. The police was alerted and called in the bomb disposal unit. After investigating the package they concluded that the package, which seemed to contain a detonator, did not contain any explosives.
The Dutch Minister of Safety and Justice, Ivo Opstelten, wants to deal harshly with the violence against mosques and other prayer-houses, he said in an emergency debate in congress on the issue. The debate was called after various incidents, including the shooting at the Ayasofia mosque in Dordrecht in October, where a bullet entered building, and two men narrowly escaped being killed. A couple of weeks earlier there was an arson attempt at a mosque in Groningen.
80% of the residents of the Vollsmose 'ghetto' (Odense) see Danish news on TV, according to research conducted by Mediehuset Vollsmose last year.
"We were pleasantly surprised. It was so remarkable that I can still remember it today," Mediehuset's manager, Benthe Vestergård, says of the results.
'Delfts Blauw Meets Hijab' is a new documentary about Dutch women who converted to Islam. The documentary was made by Janina Pigaht from Utrecht. Subtitled clips are available at the movie YouTube page.
A Phd research by Christophe Leys of the psychological faculty at ULB found that Belgians treat Moroccans in court differently than Belgians.
Leys researched whether suspects are judged differently based on the emotions they display in court. He had 160 people of various backgrounds study a case of aggravated theft. The facts were the same, but in one case the theft was committed by somebody with a Belgian name, and in another it was committed by somebody with a Moroccan name. He checked what sentence the test-sample gave, and whether there was a difference whether the suspect admitted his guilt or got upset.
Swedish police arrested a 38 year old man Saturday on suspicion of being the anti-immigrant shooter in Malmø. He's suspected of 15 shootings directed at immigrants in the city (out of 50-60 shootings overall in Malmø recently). One 20 year old woman was killed and eight people injured in the shootings. The woman was the only non-immigrant victim, but she was with an immigrant man at the time, and he was seriously injured.
Source: Berlingske Tidende (Danish)
Update: The police held a press conference (SE), where they said that the man, who owns two licensed guns, denies the charges. They did not want to comment on most questions.
Iran finances mosques and sends imams to Norway. Here they preach hatred against the West. The aim is to prepare Norwegian Muslim ideological to carry out terror attacks, if they'll be ordered to do so one day, a source told Norwegian broadcaster NRK.
The Austrian Institute for Youth Culture Research recently polled 400 youth (16-19 years old) in Vienna on politics, antisemitism, sexuality and ring-wing radicalism. In addition they polled 80 Turkish and Arab youth.
Via VRT (h/t Tundra Tabloids):
Some 8,000 women have been circumcised in Belgium or are in danger of becoming a victim of this practice. The figure is an estimate by researchers at the Tropical Medicine Institute in Antwerp.
The largest number of victims live in Brussels and Antwerp.
Researchers have identified 1,190 girls under five years of age who are at risk as well as 1,690 girls in the 15 to 20 age category who are in danger of undergoing the practice during a holiday in their mother's country of origin.
An estimated 5,000 women are believed to have actually undergone female circumcision in Belgium. [ed: Two years ago, the estimate was around 2700]
Via The Local:
Gothenburg police have accepted responsibility for wrongly suspecting and arresting a man in connection with a terrorist bomb scare in the city over the weekend.
A 39-year-old man has described how he was violently apprehended by heavily armed police in front of his wife and four children. Police have said that they have not yet begun an investigation into what exactly went wrong.
They also emphasised that they, and not public prosecutors, made a mistake, said Erik Nord, head of the county police system.more here
There were 306 hate crimes in 2009 - 175 of which had an extremist motive, and the rest a possible extremist motive. Racially motivated crimes made up 73 of the 175, and most (65) were committed by Danes against non-Danes. The rest were crimes committed by non-Danes against Danes, or non-Danes against each other. The 'possibly extremist' group was not broken down by category.
In 2009 police received more complaints about religious hate crimes. But hate crimes are still very much a gray area, researchers say.
Chancellor Angela Merkel defended Wednesday recent comments that multiculturalism had failed, saying that diversity had made Germany stronger but that immigrants must be better integrated.
"What I mean to say is that for years, for decades, the approach was that integration was not something that needed to be addressed, that people would live side-by-side and that it would sort itself out by itself," Merkel said.
"This turned out to be false. What in fact is needed is a political effort and an effort by society as a whole to make integration happen ... Diversity in society is something that has always made our country stronger."
Speaking after hosting a one-day "integration summit", Merkel said that immigrants and their descendants had to speak German in order to play a role in society and live up to German "values."
"This is something that I see as being the opposite of what I meant by multiculturalism," the conservative Merkel, 56, told reporters.
Wenham's wife, Sandra, is the manger of the Alnor Muslim community and mosque, and Wenham sits on the board. The community is the most active in Tromsø.
Via The Local:
Germany’s top Muslim group called on Thursday for an immigrant quota in public services such as the police and the bureaucracy.
Central Council of Muslims chairman Aiman Mazyek told Thursday’s edition of the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung that people with foreign names and immigration backgrounds were often passed over for public service jobs despite having the same or even better qualifications than native German candidates.
Hortefeux said France was facing three terror threats (FR): The Basque ETA, followed by the radical-left and radical Islam.
French police have arrested two people on suspicion of links to terrorist groups, Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux said on Thursday.
"These are serious counts. They are being questioned at this moment," Hortefeux told France 2 television, adding:
"They were arrested for (suspicion of) links to a criminal enterprise with a view to preparing a terrorist act."
He said 85 arrests of a similar kind had been made since the start of the year and that 27 of those were still behind bars.
Sait İke (30), a key member of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) was arrested in Sweden a couple of weeks ago. İke is the organization's European human trafficking and fundraising coordinator.
Via Today's Zaman (h/t Gudmundson):
Explaining the charges against İke, Belgian federal prosecutor’s office spokeswoman Lieve Pellens said Kurdish youngsters were being forced to participate in the PKK’s terrorist activities after being trained at various camps in Western Europe. “We have evidence that the training is being conducted at certain military camps in Belgium, Greece, Germany, Italy, Sweden and France, as well as in Iraq,” she said at the time.
* Denmark: European children fighting for PKK, claims former ROJ TV chief
* Belgium: Police suspect PKK ran training camps
The Police College of Finland published it's 2009 hate crimes report today (PDF, FI with EN summary). More than 1,000 hate crimes (EN) were reported to the police in 2009, 17% more than in 2008. Hate crimes were most often directed at men, and were most often assault. Hate crimes against women were usually insults. 85% of the reported hate crimes were racially motivated, and most of those were in the Helsinki region.
The Finnish police breaks down the offender/victim statistics by citizenship and country of birth, but that doesn't really give enough information.
58% of the victims were Finnish citizens, with Somalis (7%, Russians (5%) and Iraqis (5%) next in line. 22% of the Finnish citizens were born abroad, others include Finnish Roma and 2nd generation immigrants. However, the report doesn't give further info on that. 47% of the victims were born in Finland, 11% in Somalia and 6% in Iraq.
The report points out that Somalis are majorly overrepresented in the victim statistics. I think they're also slightly overrepresented in the offender statistics. 80% of the offenders were Finnish citizens, followed by Somalis (3%), Estonians (2%), Russians (2%) and Iraqis (2%). 75% of the offenders were born in Finland, 4% in Somalia and 2% each in Iraq, Estonia, the Soviet Union, Turkey and 'unknown'.
83 of the hate crimes were religion-related (compared to 53 in 2008). About half (44) targeted Christians (compared with 15 in 2008), while 14 targeted Muslims (compared with 17 in 2008).