(informational film on the Ramadan check)
Via De Telegraaf and Standaard (Dutch):
Jihadist Abu Suleiman al-Nasser wrote on the Shumukh al-Islam forum that Muslims should go to Europe posing as tourists in order to murder Europeans. Al-Nasser wrote on the site that Muslims should buy a sharp knife when they're in Europe. "You could murder more than a hundred people. Walk about and choose your victims." He wrote that Geert Wilders is an ideal victim. "He looks like a fat calf."
Meanwhile, the American intelligence website SITE reports that Jihadists are calling for attacks on Belgium and Belgians in retaliation for the recently enacted burqa-ban. According to one Jihadist: "If you have the freedom to make such decisions, then you must also accept our freedom to take action. I call our Muslim brothers in Belgium to do what they can: bomb them, destroy them, torture and murder them."
I think she's right. Muslims are challenging the homogeneous understanding of the nation. But that doesn't mean that Europeans have to accept the challenge.
Via Hurriyet Daily News:
Muslims in Europe have “challenged the homogeneous understanding of the nation” and are “shaking the relationship between state and religion,” Riva Kastoryano, a research director at the prominent Center of International Studies and Research in Paris, told the Hürriyet Daily News in a recent interview in Istanbul, where she comes every summer to visit her family.
Via nu.nl (Dutch):
According to a Maurice de Hond poll, 52% of the Dutch think Wilders doesn't need to moderate his tone, following the attacks in Norway. 44% think Wilders should speak more moderately. This opinion is shared by 78% of Labour voters and just 3% of PVV voters.
Via the Local:
Top Muslim leaders in Germany are calling on the federal government to take immediate action to stamp out growing anti-Islamic sentiment in the wake of the Norway massacre.
The chairman of the Turkish Community in Germany, Kenan Kolat, called on Tuesday for Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich, to convene a “prevention conference on the theme of Islamophobia.”
There needed to be a show of strength against right-wing extremism and xenophobia, he said. Kolat added that a ban on the far-right National Democratic Party was also needed, though this would not solve the problem in itself.
Following the recent terror attack in Norway, there's been a few different responses from the right-wing side, both politicians and pundits. Though the left-wing/media reaction to them all is the same ('you're supporting terrorism'), I think there's a big difference between them:
Via the Independent:
A new law compelling immigrants to be able to speak English to join their spouses living in the UK is "blatantly racially discriminatory", a court has heard.
Manjit Gill QC, representing Rashida Chapti, 54, a British citizen, and her husband Vali Chapti, 57, who wants to join her in the UK, told the High Court sitting in Birmingham that the law deliberately aims to keep out Arabs and those of Asian origin.
Via the Weekly Standard:
On July 21, the most respected Kosovo daily, Koha Ditore (Daily Times), reported that two lawyers, a writer, and an ordinary citizen of Pristina, capital of the territory, had commenced civil legal measures against Shefqet Krasniqi, imam of the city’s Grand Mosque, for his hateful remarks about Mother Teresa, made in a sermon two years ago.
The most interesting aspect of the controversy, however, was the identity of the four plaintiffs seeking legal redress against the Muslim cleric
After a week-long trip to the United States, ten members of France’s ANELD, an advocacy group representing elected local officials from ethnic and religious minorities, have returned home with a message: it’s time for France to compile statistics on its ethnically diverse population.
Via the Local:
A subsidiary of a German insurance company under fire for a controversial company sex party has now been accused of denying auto insurance to foreigners.
DAS, which is owned by the Ergo company – dogged by allegations employees at its Hamburg-Mannheimer unit held an orgy for top salesmen in Budapest several years ago – is said to have discriminated against Russians, Poles and Italians.
But Turks were particularly shunned, according to this week's edition of Der Spiegel magazine.
“Turks were especially unwelcome as customers,” a former insurance agent told Der Spiegel.
Via Fyens Stiftstidende (Danish):
The Danish opposition parties (Social Liberals and Social Democrats) want to set aside 15 million kroner for public health campaigns in Arabic.
"We need to use the language that people understand. It doesn't help that we do it whole in Danish when immigrants today make up 7.5% of the population," says Lone Dybkjær (Social Liberals). The party wants to find out the specific challenges facing non-Danish speakers and have targeted campaigns for them. "For example, it's not so relevant to run alcohol campaigns for the Turkish-speaking citizens. When it comes to fighting obesity, for example, it will be relevant to expand the campaigns also to include the three most spoken foreign languages," Lone Dybkjær told Danish paper Information.
Via VG (Norwegian):
According to Geir Lippestad, Breivik's lawyer, Breivik went to Utøya to warn the Labour Party that Judgement Day will come if the party won't change its policies. He wanted to hit the Labour party and its recruitment as hard as possible. According to him, Labour party people were 'Maxists'.
When I saw the news about the bombing in Oslo, there was no doubt in my mind this was Islamic terrorism. Norway doesn't lack stories about foiled attempts at such terrorism. But when reports started coming in of shooting in a Labour Party youth summer camp, I began to have doubts.. Norwegian PM Jens Stoltenberg is the leader of the Labour Party and this was looking more like an attack against the Labour Party then against Norway.
Oslo police confirm a bomb attack against the government HQ in central Oslo killed several people this afternoon, at 3:20pm. It's unclear how many victims there are. Video taken minutes after the attack.
Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet reports the attack was aimed at the Energy Ministry, and that a car-bomb went off between the ministry and the PM's office. The Norwegian PM is reported safe.
Update: Reports of a second blast turned out to be untrue. They were apparently caused by shattering windows.
Via the World Bulletin:
Hidden racists have become more vocal in Finland and racism has turned more public, says Refugee Woman of the Year Saido Mohamed, Finnish public broadcaster YLE reported.
"It's really confusing, the way multiculturalism has advanced in society, but at the same time racism is more widespread," Mohamed says.
Via the Daily Telegraph:
A British man and a woman have been captured by forces in Afghanistan as they prepared to link up with terrorists in order to launch attacks in the UK, sources have disclosed.
Via Asian Image:
A London based women’s charity has launched a campaign to raises awareness of forced marriages.
JAN Trust deals with issues concerning minority communities and migrants and has launched ‘Mujboor’ which means ‘forced’ in Urdu.
The Council of Europe, the oldest European institution which specialises in human rights, today (20 July) strongly criticised recent French and Belgian legislation targeting the burqa, a veil that covers entirely women's faces.
Penalising women who wear the burqa does not liberate them, Thomas Hammarberg, the Council of Europe's commissioner for human rights, said today in a written statement.
Instead, Hammarberg insists that the way the dress of a small number of women has been portrayed as a major problem requiring urgent discussion and legislation is "a sad capitulation to the prejudices of xenophobes".
The True Finns’ youth organisation says that marriage is an institution between one man and one woman only, in response to the Greens’ youth wing (ViNO) backing free choice in the gender and number of spouses. True Finns Youth consider this stand to be an instance of Islamisation.
Via Muslim Aid:
International British charity Muslim Aid has launched a national Ramadan Charity campaign with the support of Asda superstores across London, Birmingham and Manchester. The campaign will see Muslim Aid volunteers give their time to help customers at Asda stores pack their shopping at till points and in return raise money and awareness to tackle global poverty.
The campaign, launched on July 19 at Asda’s Hounslow store in London, will raise funds for projects that aim to provide food security and long-term sustainable solutions to disadvantaged communities across the world
Angry Muslims reportedly drove controversial author Thilo Sarrazin from a Turkish restaurant in Berlin. Though his bestselling book claims Muslims are dumbing down German society, their accusations of racism have left the former central bank board member shocked and indignant.
"Get lost!" and "Nazis out!" were among the epithets lobbed at controversial author Thilo Sarrazin during a recent trip to Berlin's Kreuzberg district, according to newspaper reports on Monday. The city's former finance senator had taken a trip to the area with broadcaster ZDF to film a TV special ahead of the one-year anniversary of the publication of his controversial book, "Deutschland schafft sich ab" ("Germany Does Itself In").
Russia's Muslim Chechnya region is planning to ban the sale of non-alcoholic energy drinks such as Red Bull to under 18s, saying they are un-Islamic and dangerous, health officials said on Monday.
The ban would be the latest restriction from authorities in Chechnya, where shops can only sell alcohol during a small morning time frame, eateries are shut during the Ramadan fasting month and women must wear headscarves in state buildings.
At a glance, the Muslim-Jewish picnic at the peace fountain in Yitzhak Rabin Garden, in this city's Bercy Park, looks like a reunion of old friends.
Middle-aged men and women sit on blankets and laugh together, snacking on carrots and Middle Eastern pastries. A circle of women dances wildly to the tunes of a guitarist and tambourine player.
A major terror attack has been prevented in the Moscow Region and four suspects have been detained, Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) head Aleksandr Bortnikov told president Medvedev.
According to Bortnikov, a group of four people from the North Caucasus “were planning a terror attack in public places and objects of transport infrastructure.” An explosive discovered during the operation had a potential force equivalent to 10 kilograms of TNT, together with guns, schemes and maps. Bortnikov says the suspects have confessed to planning the crime. Medvedev has ordered that the matter be fully investigated.
Via AD (Dutch):
Geert Wilders' statements on Islam contribute to the graffiti and threats against mosques, Farid Azarkan, head of the SMN Moroccan-Dutch association, told the ANP news bureau.
Azarkan: You see what it does to people when their ideas are represented in politics. They feel strengthened by what the PVV says. That manifests itself in calling on the streets to tag mosques with the exact slogans that come out of Wilders' mouth.'
Via Le Vif/L’Express (with help from the Philosemitism blog):
A Belgian-Moroccan group (Union of Belgian-Moroccan Associations, CABM) published a letter condemning the "Welcome to Palestine" campaign, whose Belgian delegation included 5 minors, including at least three Belgian-Moroccan girls (aged 14, 15, and 17).
One of the authors of the letter and president of CABM, Hassan El Bouharrouti, told Le Vif/L’Express that his daughter (17) was dragged into this adventure by her mother, though he had warned the police, the border police and the Israeli embassy. He accused the organizers of cultivating hate and antisemitism, when there are still battles to fight in Belgium against racism and social exclusion.
Though no Muslim actually complained.
Via the Daily Mail:
A mother was ordered not to breastfeed her baby in public because she was in a ‘multicultural building’.
Emma Mitchell, 32, was about to feed 19-week-old son Aaron when a receptionist at a town hall warned her to stop.
Belgium will enforce a burqa ban from July 23 with a fine and possible jail time for women who wear it, joining France as the second EU nation to forbid full veils, Belgian media said Thursday.
The new law was published Wednesday in the kingdom's official journal after deputies approved it unanimously in parliament in April.
Via Kristeligt Dagblad (Danish):
A new research project by Phd student Nadia Jeldtoft debunks the myth that all Muslims are very devoted to religion. The project, from the Center for European Islamic Thought at Copenhagen University, was published recently in the Ethnic and Racial Studies journal.
Earlier this year, a study in Nørrebro showed that just 17 out of 100 Muslims interviewed saw religion as important for their sense of self. The trend is confirmed by studies from Germany and Sweden.
Via the Scotsman:
OVER-ZEALOUS airport security threatens to exacerbate the terror threat by pushing those flirting with radical Islam over the edge, an MSP has warned.
Humza Yousaf, who organised a meeting last night between members of ethnic minorities and police and Scottish Government figures, warned there was growing resentment over how Glasgow Airport's border control was operating.
He has also launched a petition calling on Home Secretary Theresa May to review Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2006, which governs searches of people at UK borders.
Terror attacks, political manoeuvering by rightwing parties and oversimplification in the media explain why Muslims in Switzerland are perceived as a threat.
The National Research Programme 58 study into religious pluralism says immigrants from predominantly Muslim countries have been singled out even though this group has no reason to be suspected as fundamentalist.
Via Telegraaf (Dutch):
Earlier this year, jeweler Jos Kamerbeek of Nijmegen became partially paralyzed when he fought off a burglar and fell together with the immigrant attacker six meters down into a pit. Before that he was shot in the chest by another immigrant burglar. After a series of attacks, he decided to refuse young immigrants access to his store.
Via the Prague Monitor:
Retired politician Milos Zeman, Czech prime minister in 1998-2002, faces a criminal complaint over the statements on Islam he made in June at an international conference on Europe.
"The enemy is the anti-civilisation spreading from North Africa to Indonesia. Two billion people live in it and it is financed partly from oil sales and partly from drug sales," Czech news servers quoted Zeman as saying about Islam at the recent conference.
Europe's rights court on Friday rejected two cases brought by Muslims against Switzerland's constitutional ban on the construction of new minarets.
The Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights said it would not consider the cases because the plaintiffs "cannot claim to be 'victims' of a violation" of the European Convention on Human Rights, which the court enforces.
This is not the first time Gaddafi is threatening Europe. Last week he threatened that European civilians will become legitimate targets.
Via ANSAmed (h/t Tundra Tabloids):
A large hangar on the outskirts of Paris could be turned into a place of worship for Muslims, with the city's police keen to stop members of the community from praying on the streets. Police authorities have already identified a former barracks that could hold the large number of worshippers who meet every Friday in Rue Myrha and Rue Polonceau, in the multi-ethnic Goutte d'Or area in the north of the city. Prayers take place in the middle of the road because the nearby mosques are too small to deal with the numbers.
Today's Libération newspaper says that the police have found a huge hangar that could be turned into a makeshift mosque: a disused barracks near Porte des Poissonniers, between the road heading north out of Paris and the Périphérique, the city's famous ring road. Yesterday, the Imam of the small mosque on Rue Myrha, Hamza Salah, visited the proposed new site. Moussa Diakité, the Imam of the mosque on Rue Polonceau, visited the hangar a few days ago.
Via Asian Image:
Areas with higher Asian populations have higher levels of coronary heart disease.
A new campaign, launched today by MSD and HEART UK at the cholesterol charity’s annual conference, highlights a wide geographical variation in the risk of dying from coronary heart disease (CHD) across England, particularly in London and The Midlands – areas known for their large South Asian population.
Via Hurriyet Daily News (h/t Turkish Digest):
Dutch television station LVB Networks will produce a TV program about Turkish-Dutch people against the backdrop of touristy Bodrum, historic Edirne and other scenic regions in Turkey.
The TV program “Tante in Turkije,” or “My Aunt in Turkey,” will be shot in different parts of Turkey with Turkish- Dutch people living in or visiting Turkey. The program was formerly shot in Morocco with the same program format and won a culture prize in 2007.
Via TdG (French):
The Basel-City canton is considering opening an old-age home for Muslims. Philippe Waibel, head of health services in the canton wrote in the Basler-Zeitung that the canton needs to see what services will be needed in the future, and that multicultural services don't just start with old-age homes.
Pink Paper headlined this article 'British Muslims more proud of gay rights than secular peers, poll claims", but according to the poll breakdown (via Liberal Conspiracy), if you also take into account those who 'tended to agree' with the statement: Muslims are just a bit more proud than Christians, and those with no religion are most proud.
Liberal Conspiracy also points out that the poll was based on an extremely small sample.
What she actually said was that she won't protest against Muslims, since the same people who oppress women's sexuality by killing them for wearing pants might decide to kill her too. Which, I suppose, makes her Islamophobic.
Via Dagbladet (Norwegian):
Last month, on Ascension Thursday, Natalie Mandeau (23) and Dan DeVero (22), two German F*ck for Forest activists, entered the Oslo Cathedral naked as a protest against the Church's oppression of nature and sexuality. Mandeua also pretended to have sex.
Asked why she entered a church of all places, Natalie said: I feel most close to Christianity. It's the religion which dominates where I come from, and it's Christianity which oppressed people in Europe for centuries."
Muslims demonstrate the highest rating of commitment to moral norms if compared to followers of other religions.
Thus, the number of Islam believers with low, middle and high moral status is 17%, 41%, 42% correspondingly. In Orthodoxy - 30%, 39%, 31%, among believers of other religions 46%, 23%, 31%, among atheists - 32%, 43%, 25%.
Such a conclusion was made by authors of the Russian Sociological Research Twenty years of reforms through Russians' eyes held by the Sociological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences in all country's territorial and economical districts, in Moscow and St.Petersburg among 1750 respondents aged 18 and older.
Via HLN (Dutch):
Manifestations of extreme Islam are now being observed not only in the big cities, but also in small towns and municipalities, according to the Belgian security service report of 2009 which was published today.
Among other issues the report also deals with religious extremism. In 2009 the security service followed the activities of diverse extreme Muslim entities: individuals, mosques, centers, groups and organization who continuously and systematically spread extremist ideas. According to the report, the most radical elements preach hatred towards anybody who doesn't agree with their point of view.
These extreme Muslim entities are geographically spread out more than ever before. The phenomena was observed more and more often in small towns and municipalities, and the security service now considers Islamic extremism less and less as a pure big city phenomenon.
RNW has an interesting article about Jewish Moroccans in the Netherlands. Usually when the media talks about "Moroccans" in Europe they focus on the Muslim majority and ignore the Jewish minority. It's most striking when it comes to France, since the majority of French Jews today immigrated to France from North Africa, but the media never refers to them as such.
In any case, trying to be politically correct this article does exactly the opposite. It talks about two groups: "Jewish Moroccans" and "Dutch Moroccans", as in the following sentence: "Jacob al-Malagh, a 47-year-old Jewish Moroccan mechanic, comes into contact with Dutch Moroccans on a daily basis."
Am I the only one who thinks that sentence is ridiculous?
Via the Local:
The parents of the 23-year-old man previously convicted of the murder of 20-year–old Abbas Rezai, are guilty of the crime, according to Göta Court of Appeal, sentencing them both to ten years in prison.
Rezai was found dead in an apartment in Högsby in southern Sweden in November 2005.
Police revealed at the time that he had been scalded with hot oil, hit with a variety of objects, and repeatedly stabbed in the back and chest, with the majority of the wounds sustained after his death.
He was also almost entirely scalped and one of his fingers had been partially chopped off.
The man was allegedly killed because of his relationship with the family’s 16-year-old daughter.
As many as 1,000 immigrant women have been the victims of violent honour crimes in Finland. Although the issue has been discussed in recent years, co-operation between officials and communities is limited.
“My father restricted my life and decided things on my behalf. Dating was one of the things he could not tolerate. Even being with friends earned a stern “no”. And if we were in the company of men, I wasn’t allowed to speak to them. It was so sick but it killed me inside so much I thought I was living an alien life.”
This harrowing account given to YLE by a young woman is quite usual among victims of violent honour crimes.
Via the Guardian:
Iran's minister of cultural and Islamic guidance has attacked an upcoming BBC2 documentary series on the life of the founder of Islam, the prophet Muhammad, saying the "enemy" was attempting to "ruin Muslims' sanctity".
The three-part series, The Life of Muhammad, presented by Rageh Omaar, a Somali-born British Middle East correspondent for Al Jazeera English, is scheduled to be broadcast on BBC2 in mid-July and has been drawing increasing criticism from senior figures in Iran.
Speaking to Iran's semi-official Fars news agency, he said: "The BBC's decision to make a documentary on the life of [the] prophet Muhammad seems dubious and if our suspicions are proved to be correct, we will certainly take serious action."