Via Telegraaf (Dutch):
There were 117 incidents of anti-Muslim attacks on mosques in the Netherlands in the years 2005-2010. There were 43 cases of graffiti and 37 cases of vandalism.
Researcher Ineke van der Valk studied Islamophobic violence for the Euro-Mediterranean Migration and Development Center (EMCEMO). Her findings will be published in January in the book "Islamophobia and Discrimination".
Via the Local:
Many of Sweden's municipalities fail to place newly arrived immigrants in Swedish language classes within the time frames stipulated by law, a new investigation has found.
“It's regrettable that municipalities don't prioritize the possibility for new arrivals to start their education as soon as possible,” Erica Sahlin, a project leader with the Swedish Schools Inspectorate (Skolinspektionen), said in a statement.
Update to this story.
German police said Thursday that a Syrian medical student was the main suspect in the murder of a 26-year-old Israeli in the university town of Goettingen, but ruled out a political motive.
The suspect, 24, fled the country shortly after the woman was suffocated on December 18 in her room at a student residence, police said.
Via B92 (h/t Jihad Watch):
The Islamic Community in Bosnia-Herzegovina has called on Muslims in that country to boycott the upcoming New Year celebrations.
By taking part, said the organization, they would "violate Allah's boundaries, and do something their master hates and despises".
The Islamic Community statement on Wednesday quoted from a book by Almir Dumica, entitled, "Pearls of the Sunnah in the Mosaic of Time":
"On that night, turn off the lights early and let everyone see you're boycotting everything happening on that night. Do not fear anyone's objections. Don't you have a right to choose? Do not say, 'how can I do that, I will change nothing, most people do it... I will be declared a black sheep'."
Via the Local:
Many Somalis in Sweden feel dismissed when visiting a doctor in Sweden, according to a new study, which shows that many end up looking abroad for medical treatment as a result.
The findings come from a new doctoral dissertation by Kristian Svenberg with the Sahlgrenska Academy at Gothenburg University.
Svenberg's research, which is based on the experience of Somali refugees in Sweden, found that people from other cultures sometimes find there is an unnecessarily authoritarian approach toward them by Swedish healthcare personnel.
Many Somalians, in particular, feel they are not taken seriously when they seek help for health problems.
Via Tundra Tabloids (via HS):
Martinlaakso swimming pool will begin swimming periods for immigrants early next year. In practice, after normal business hours are held, the hall’s large windows will be covered with curtains. The arrangements are related to an immigrant directed campaign of Sports For Everyone – in Vantaa’s integration exercise project.
- The Hall was fitted with curtains this autumn. The project is within the framework of our central task to remove all kinds of obstacles. There have been obstacles to immigrants, because the swimming pools are open places, immigrants have not been able possible to participate in swimming activities, says Project Manager Marja Auroma.
33 Somali asylum seekers are staging a protest in front of a detention centre in Ter Apel, a village in a remote part of the northeast of the Netherlands. Full clip here.
Belgian police on Wednesday detained 15 members of a radical Islamic group after they harassed passers-by in the city of Antwerp and shouted anti-Western slogans, police said.
The Sharia4Belgium militants distributed leaflets glorifying Islam and criticizing the Western way of life in a central street of the northern port city, Belga news agency quoted a police spokeswoman as saying.
Leuven University has decided to allow students to move the date of their exam if this conflicts with a holiday in their religion. The university has now drawn up a list of holidays that qualify.
The holidays all occur in the calendars of the Christian, Jewish and Moslem faiths. They include the Orthodox Church's Easter, the Jewish New Year and Greater Eid.
Via Atlantico (French, h/t Observatoire de l' islamisation):
French weekly VSD reports that French citizens who want to get married to foreign women from North Africa find themselves in a bizarre situation. According to French law, the latter need to provide a document from their embassy that they're free to marry. But the embassies only provide this document if the French spouse converts to Islam. This mean that, by proxy, the French authorities are imposing Muslim conversion on French citizens.
Dutch mosques are beginning to phase out Arabic-only sermons. Research at Utrecht University has shown that Surinamese Muslims are leading in this respect.
Researcher Nico Landman told the ANP agency that such a development is logical, seeing that Dutch is the language that the Surinamese commonly speak in the Netherlands. There are approximately 20 Surinamese mosques in the Netherlands.
on Thursday (AFP, Martin Bureau)
An asylum seeker cannot be transferred to an EU state where he or she “risks having to endure degrading or inhumane treatment,” reports Die Tageszeitung.
The European Court of Justice has set a precedent by ruling in favour of six refugees from Afghanistan, Iran and Algeria who entered the EU via Greece, and thereafter filed for asylum in the UK and Ireland. In line with the Dublin II regulation which stipulates that asylum applications must be processed by the first European state in which a refugee arrives, the six had been returned to Greece, where the conditions for refugees are catastrophic.
According to an Israeli news source, German police have an Arab suspect in custody. The victim's mother is Jewish, and police suspect this was the reason for the murder.
Via YNET News:
A 26-year-old Israeli Arab woman was found dead Wednesday in her apartment near the University of Göttingen, Germany.
According to the local German media, the cause of death has yet to be determined. Authorities have launched an investigation into the circumstances of the woman's death.
Stories of asylum seekers being turned away from full asylum shelters amid freezing temperatures have sparked upset.
Both humanitarian organisations and politicians have sharply criticised the moves at asylum centres in the Swiss cantons of Basel City, Ticino and Vaud in recent weeks in which people were forced to seek shelter in private homes, train stations or under the care of the Salvation Army.
While temporary solutions have been found in some cases, the situation has once again magnified the underlying issue of a nationwide shortage of accommodation for asylum seekers.
Parliamentarians have called on the government to take action. Meanwhile the Swiss Refugee Council told swissinfo.ch the government should do more to encourage Switzerland’s 26 cantons to do their bit.
Via the Islington Tribune:
Leaders of the Muslim community have said they have “not been listened to” by Town Hall licensing chiefs in a row over a new off-licence in Finsbury Park.
The licensing committee granted permission for Finsbury Supermarket, in Seven Sisters Road, to sell alcohol last Thursday despite a petition by 750 people opposing the bid.
The shop is next door to Muslim Welfare House bookshop and near Finsbury Park Central Mosque.
Via the Daily Mail:
A Muslim man who punched a nurse for trying to remove his wife's burqa during childbirth has been jailed in France.
Nassim Mimoune, 24, had already been expelled from the delivery room for branding the midwife a 'rapist' as she carried out an intimate examination of his wife.
Then through a window he spotted the nurse taking off his wife's burqa as she prepared to give birth.
Via Världen Idag (Swedish, h/t JIHAD I MALMÖ):
A small group of Jews marched in Malmö last Saturday against antisemitism. The Jews walked the kilometer from the synagogue to Malmö's Triangle square wearing kippahs and Stars of Davids.
Fredrik Sieradzki, spokesperson for the Jewish community, said it was not a demonstration as such, but that they walked with Jewish symbols to show that they don't accept the antisemitic trends in Malmö. This was the first time that the Jewish community decided to show that they don't accept the current situation. The walk was the idea of a community member, and information about it was spread by word of mouth, which might explain why just 14 people joined.
Via the Daily Telegraph:
A baby born to a Muslim couple having an affair had to be adopted to save it from being murdered by its mother’s family in a so-called honour killing, senior judges have ruled.
The unmarried woman was said to have told the married father of her child that it had died to keep him away, and wore loose clothes and visited a hospital far from her home so relatives would not learn she was pregnant.
Intercultural relationships improve communication skills, according to new research. Continuous compromise is required on decisions about where to live, how to bring up children, religious beliefs, traditions, gender roles, holidays and friends.
Carine Cools defended her doctoral thesis ”Relational Dialectics in Intercultural Couples‘ Relationships” at Jyväskylä University on Monday. Cools, a senior research associate at the university, emphasised that nothing can be taken for granted in intercultural relationships. Even basic issues are subject to ongoing negotiation.
Via the Local:
The Swedish government has launched a new website to combat the proliferation of inaccurate and racist myths about minorities and immigrants in Sweden.
The new site, regeringen.se/tolerans, attempts to debunk a number of “common internet myths about immigrants and minorities”.
“One always needs to engage in debates about xenophobia and prejudice,” writes Ullenhag, who also warns of the dangers of “the silence of forces for good”.
Among the myths addressed on the website are claims that Sweden will soon be a Muslim country, that Swedes are on their way to becoming a minority in their own country, and that Swedish children are no longer allowed to eat pork in school.
Attitudes towards foreigners have toughened in recent years, according to Georg Kreis, chairman of the Federal Commission against Racism.
As he prepares to step down after 16 years in the job, he tells swissinfo.ch that part of the reason is the neoliberal climate with its emphasis on competition and where every person is encouraged to be out for themselves.
Via Jyllands-Posten (Danish):
Schools are increasingly changing Christmas tradition in order to take into account a growing number of bilingual children.
At the Klostervænget school in Copenhagen, the school administration changed a few verses in the 'A Child is Born in Bethlehem' hymn sung by the children because they thought it would be preaching too much to the bilingual children.
Auxerre president Gerard Bourgoin called for an investigation on Saturday after his player Kamel Chafni claimed he had been racially abused by an assistant referee.
Chafni, a Morocco international, was sent off following an altercation with the official, Johann Perruax, in the 55th minute of Auxerre's 1-0 loss at Brest in the French top flight.
"There was a serious incident and the player has sworn on his honour," Bourgoin told reporters afterwards.
"It appears that the official told him: 'Sod off, Arab.' If that's the case, it's very serious.
Via the Tundra Tabloids:
The State Police (SUPO) was involved in a dispute during the autumn in a school in Tampere concerning a controversy which arose between the teacher and the parents of children over the Islamic religious education that they were receiving.
The situation came to a head when according to Muslim representatives the teacher was not teaching their religion properly nor cared about the values of the Koran.
Via Famagusta Gazette (h/t Turkish Digest):
THE religious affairs directorate in the Turkish controlled sector of Cyprus has claimed that deliberate interference caused popular Greek-Cypriot radio programmes to broadcast from mosque rooftops instead of the Islamic call to prayer.
Due to interference in radio frequencies which link the mosques PA systems, Greek pop hits could be heard yesterday blasting through the air.
Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik said on Friday Bosnia was falling apart, blaming the inability for the country to form a government on majority Muslim "arrogance" and what he considers their attempts to subjugate the other two ethnic groups, Serbs and Croats.
“Bosnia is in the phase of disintegration and no one can help it,” Dodik said in an interview with Belgrade daily Blic. “Political arrogance of Bosnian Muslims towards Serbs and Croats is so evident that no one serious believes in Bosnia’s survival,” Dodik said.
Almost a year and a half since last parliamentary elections, the country still doesn’t have federal government and no solution was in sight despite the pressure from the international community.
Up to three-quarters of immigrants in Finland with a higher education are without jobs. A new doctoral dissertation indicates that language barriers, the general poor situation in the job market and discrimination are all among the problems faced by well-educated immigrants.
In many cases, degrees held by immigrants are not directly comparable to Finnish degrees.
Via the Local:
There are not enough places in Sweden for young Muslims to find a partner, according to the Gothenburg Mosque, which has started a net dating site for ”halal” dating.
”The mosque is not just a place for prayer, it is also a social place and the mosque is here for dealing with problems in society. One of these is that it is hard to find a partner,” Abu Mahmoud, the man behind the dating site, told Sveriges Radio (SR).
The service isn't new per se, as young Muslim Stockholmers in need of a partner could previously browse a folder, located in the entrance to the mosque on Södermalm, in the south of the city.
A couple of days ago I posted about a school in the Norwegian city of Drammen that decided to drop Christmas from its Christmas celebration. This started off a major debate, with commentators blaming Humanists and Muslims for this step. However, according to the school principal, this had nothing to do with Muslims or students of a foreign cultural background.
Via Drammens Tidende (Norwegian):
Principal Tove Fredriksen says this measure was taken to protect students from Norwegian religious minorities who do not celebrate Christmas. Despite the impression people got, it was not done out of consideration of Muslim students.
"The decision to have a neutral Christmas celebration without Christmas hats and other traditional items and elements was made with the best of intentions."
"The goal was to be able to include everybody and specifically in this case, also students from Norwegian religious minorities. Since this involves children, I don't want to go further into which minorities these were," says Fredriksen.
Via TNT Magazine:
Religious groups in Scotland are mounting a campaign to block the Scottish government's proposals to introduce same-sex marriage.
Scottish Muslims have also threatened a withdrawal of support for the Scottish National Party (SNP) should the definition of marriage be redefined to include gay couples.
Via Nettavisen (h/t Jan Simonsen, Norwegian)
Norwegian news-site Nettavisen wanted to write about the increase in crime and domestic violence on Christmas, but according to Stein Erik Olsen, domestic violence coordinator for the Oslo police, both are myths.
"70% of these cases are of families of non-Norwegian background. The cultures we speak of drink little alcohol and don't celebrate Christmas," Stein Erik Olsen told Nettavisen. "What we've seen in Stovner (borough) is that the number of cases goes down during Ramadan."
Via the Guardian (by Turkish journalist Mustafa Akyol):
It is far better to propose Islam than impose it, for if there is no liberty there can be no genuine religiosity
Last week, during a book tour in London, I spoke to a large group of British Muslims on Islam and liberty. A few of the questions that I received from the audience indicated why discussion on this topic is much needed. "If the state gives the people the freedom to do what they want, then they will follow their temptations," said one Pakistani gentleman. "That's why the Saudi religious police, which you oppose, is a very good system."
In return, I asked him why he relies on state policing, and not individual responsibility, to uphold the morals of Islam. "Isn't is better to propose Islam rather than impose it," I added, "since state dictates can lead not to sincere piety but hypocrisy?"
Via View and News from Norway:
A professor at the University of Bergen says she’s not surprised by a new study showing that 26 percent of workers in Norway with immigrant background are over-qualified for the jobs they have. She suspects discrimination is behind the figures.
“There seems to be a pattern that immigrants more often than ethnic Norwegian employees find themselves in jobs for which they are over-qualified,” Professor Gro Mjeldheim Sandal told newspaper Aftenposten over the weekend. This occurs despite a low unemployment rate in Norway and efforts to recruit so-called “global talent” to Norway, to offset a shortage of, for example, qualified engineers and medical personnel.
This story got less attention yesterday than the Liege attack. This attack was anti-immigrant, but the victims are apparently Muslim, and a Senegalese imam will participate in today's memorial ceremony.
Via the Guardian:
A lone gunman with extreme rightwing sympathies has gone on a shooting spree in Florence, killing two Senegalese street vendors and wounding three others before killing himself.
Gianluca Casseri, 50, an accountant, first shot dead two vendors and wounded a third with a .357 Magnum at the crowded Piazza Dalmazia street market on the outskirts of the city on Tuesday morning.
He then fled in a car after threatening to shoot a stall holder who attempted to stop him, reappearing later in the day at the central San Lorenzo market where he fired at two African vendors, wounding both.
Police officers found Casseri back in his car in the car park of the market, where they fired warning shots before he reportedly shot himself dead.
Via HLN (Dutch):
Muslim theologian Abdelkader Dahmichi intends to open the first Muslim retirement home. The private home will be open for everyone and could be open in 2014, possibly in Molenbeek, according to a report in La Capitale.
Dahmichi is concerned about the situation of elderly Muslims. "Currently there's no specific home for them with is adapted to their religion," says the professor, who works at the Islamic Center of Belgium.
"This project is not a call to place our elderly en masse in a nursing home. It should offer a solution for emergency cases, when the children can't care for their parents any more."
Earlier today Nordine Amrani, a 32-year old Moroccan, committed an attack in the center of Liege. Amrani threw grenades at a bus-stop, and then started firing with a revolver.
Belgian police have ruled out links to terrorists (ie, Jihadism). Isn't it Islamophobic to equate terrorism with Muslims? This was certainly a terror attack. Belgian newspapers are speculating that Amrani wanted revenge against the justice system. But bottom line - he didn't attack the justice system. He didn't attack policemen or judges or lawyers. He attacked Belgian civilians. A group of teenagers standing at a bus-stop. The casualties include an elderly lady and a baby.
From Amrani's point of view, he was taking revenge against Belgians. Though it seems that one of the casualties of his attack, Medhi Nathan Belhadj (15), is also Moroccan. Belhadj wasn't killed for being Moroccan, he was killed for standing with other Belgians in a Belgian bus-stop.
Via the Prague Daily Monitor:
The Jewish Federations' Community, the Prague Jewish Community and the Jewish Museum yesterday protested against what they called fomenting of intolerance in the Czech Republic in reaction to a speech Czech Muslim Lukas Vetrovec has given in the mosque in Brno.
An audio with the speech has appeared on the Internet.
Via the Local:
The Swiss Movement against Islamisation (MOSC) has said it will appeal a Fribourg district court decision blocking it from setting up a stand in the western town.
In October 2009, a few weeks before Switzerland's controversial vote on the banning of minarets, MOSCI asked the city of Fribourg for permission to erect a stand. The group said it wanted to present its ideas and ask citizens to vote against the Islamic spires.
After conferring with cantonal police and the prefecture of Gruyère, Fribrourg decided not to grant permission. The town said it wanted to avoid incidents like those in Lausanne several weeks earlier when clashes broke out around a similar stand.
Attacker Nordine Amrani is 32, and has Belgian citizenship. In 2008 he was sent to jail, after police found dozens of weapons and weapon parts by him, including a rocket launcher and AK-47. The police had also found 2,8000 marijuana plants in his house. Police say there's no link between the attack and terrorist groups or the court case which was in progress in the Liege court. According to a Sudppresse journalist, police conducted a search of his house today, and he was supposed to appear in court.
Amrani was killed during the attack, apparently by suicide. He killed three other people, including two teenagers, and wounded 75.
Based on his name, he's apparently Moroccan.
Thessaloniki mayor Yiannis Boutaris said that his city launched initiatives to build a mosque. Nearly 5,000 Muslims are living in Thessaloniki. (photo).
Via the Independent:
A man has been arrested after a message was posted on Facebook threatening to bomb a mosque.
Officers from West Midlands Police detained the 25-year-old after a warrant was executed at an address in Rugeley, Staffordshire, at 5.15am today.
Police said the threat was made against Birmingham Central Mosque, in the Highgate area of the city, which was later searched for explosives.
Ahmed Hassan was nine when he arrived in Finland as a refugee from Somalia. In Finland, he grew up in a Swedish-speaking environment. Today he is on a mission for other foreigners to learn Swedish, Finland’s other official language.
In an interview with YLE’s Swedish-language radio news this week, Hassan, 27, says Finnish-Swedish culture is a part of his life. He is an active member of the Swedish People’s Party and works with helping foreigners integrate into Finland.
Brussels: Center for Equal Opportunities lecturer expressed antisemitic views during lecture on multiculturalism
Via Joods Actueel (Dutch):
Members of the Centre for Equal Opportunities and Opposition of Racism (CGKR) expressed racist views during a 'multicultural communications' course for high-level police officials. The course was given by two female lecturers.
David Vroome (43), a police commissioner for the federal police, attended the course with twenty colleagues. He told Jewish news-site Joods Actueel that a Turkish lecturer made several questionable comments about gays, and then came down on the Jewish community.
A couple of stories which popped up recently.
The first is about an unnamed European Muslim cleric who warned that women shouldn't handle certain fruits and vegetables. The story itself is not outlandish - I remember reading something about a Saudi cleric saying something similar a few years ago - but this story specifically sounds weird.
Via Avisen (Danish):
In many immigrant families, parents object to their children being sent to special-ed schools.
"We use many resources to convince them that their children can't take part in regular classes. It's a crack in the family's pride, and often the parents decide in advance to change schools - typically to an ethnic private school," Sabah El Tawil, a teacher at Rådmandsgade School (Copenhagen), told Jyllands-Posten.
They feasted in the verdant back country of picture-postcard Provence, the delight of tourists and the pride of France.
But it was no ordinary country idyll. The extreme right Bloc Identitaire, or Identity Bloc, was lashing out at Islam while dining on pork roast and local wine — off limits to practicing Muslims.
The group, an emerging force on France's far-right scene, likens Muslim immigrants to invaders threatening the identity of the French heartland and menacing European civilization. The movement — with a wild pig as its logo — is gaining traction through its blend of Islam-bashing and romanticizing of French rural culture.
Via Expressen (Swedish):
A woman from Finspång was supposed to go to a chef's course as part of a labour market program last year. During training, the employment service required her to taste pork. She claimed she couldn't take the course for religious reasons, but got no response.
"They wanted to force me to taste pork and then spit it out out. But I refused, I couldn't take the course. I was really depressed," she says.
Via the Local:
The day before a massive right wing demonstration is set to take place in Sweden and two days before the anniversary of the Stockholm suicide bombing, the Swedish government on Friday presented their new plan to combat extremism.
”It is very important that we take this problem seriously. Every individual who ends up in violent extremism is one too many,” minster for democracy, Birgitta Ohlsson told news agency TT after a press conference on Friday.
A French bill to allow non-EU foreigners to vote in local elections passed its first hurdle Friday when it was adopted by the upper-house Senate after a tumultuous debate.
But the approval -- by a Senate dominated by left-wing parties -- remains mainly symbolic, as the bill stands no chance of passing in the lower house, the National Assembly, which remains under conservative control.
Some 300 supporters and opponents of the bill, separated by police, rallied near the Senate building to voice their opinions on the divisive issue of France's immigrant population.
Via VG (Norwegian)
Norwegians have become more positive about immigration after the July 22 attack.
An annual study by Statistics Norway shows that the attitudes of Norwegian changed from July 4 to August 13.
Before the attack, 73% said that most immigrants make a useful contribution to the workforce. After the attack: 85% agreed with the statement.
Migrants are unfairly blamed for unemployment and social problems in tough economic times, the International Organisation for Migration said Tuesday.
Describing migration as "one of the most misunderstood issues of our time," the body called in a new report for a shift in attitudes, saying negative views of migration arise in particular during economic recession and spikes in joblessness, it said.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin again expressed hope that bringing the Belt of the Mother of God to Russia would positively influence demographic situation in the country.
He also said that Orthodox clerics told him that representatives of other religions, including Muslims, came to venerate the Belt.
"Priests asked them why. They answered: "God knows, what if it helps," Putin told.
Via the Daily Mail:
Church leaders have hit out at a branch of McDonald's which is to open on Christmas Day.
A Muslim branch manager has been drafted in by the fast food outlet to cover for the usual boss who is taking the day off and staff have volunteered to work that day for seven hours.
Via the Local:
A group of allotment owners in northern Germany have been told to turn over a new leaf after they set a limit on how many people with foreign roots should be allowed to join their garden community.
The mayor of Norderstedt, near Hamburg, demanded the group drop their “migrant quota” which sets a 12.6 percent limit on what share of the allotment spaces known as Schrebergärten be granted to people of foreign heritage.
Of the 12.6 percent of allotments set aside, 25 percent would be granted to those with Turkish or Arabic backgrounds, a further 25 percent given to those with eastern European roots and the other 50 percent for miscellaneous “others.”
Yet many experts say the anti-Muslim groups have a greater potential to grow than traditional far-right extremists, who are struggling to boost their numbers.
That realization has led some political fringe groups, like the British National Party and Belgium's Vlaams Belang, to shift from blanket opposition to immigration to a focus on Islam.
Via GvA (Dutch):
"Islam is discriminated in Belgium. It's never recognized in a true multicultural fashion," writes researcher Jonathan Debeer (Policy Research Centre on Equal Opportunities, Antwerp University) in a recently published book. His study also shows that Muslims reject the Muslim Executive.
Via euronews' Q&A. Victor from France asked as follows: "I’d like to know if the countries of the European Union should put more effort into countering radical Islam in Europe."
In response Pasquale Ferrara of the European University Institute admonishes him for linking radical Islam to Islamic terrorism (pot, kettle, black?). Did I miss something? Why is this such a difficult question to answer?
Sarkozy made the remarks while delivering a speech on Europe and the eurozone debt crisis in the southern French port city of Toulon, the same city where he spoke in 2008 about the global financial crisis and the need to "re-found global capitalism."
"A Europe that applies the principle of free movement internally and does not control its external borders cannot last. The Schengen must be rethought," Sarkozy said in the speech.
"We can not stand unlimited social immigrants," he said, stressing that "Europe needs more political responsibility."
Unfair competition caused by "social dumping and tax dumping between member states" could not continue, Sarkozy added, demanding immigrants to share the value of France for integration.
Via Defence Greece (h/t Jan Simonsens blogg):
Until now Greece does not seem to have a particular issue of Islamic fundamentalism. Nevertheless, as aptly described in a 2009 U.S. State Department report on terrorism, “Greece is increasingly an E.U. entry point for illegal immigrants coming from the Middle East and South Asia, and there was concern that it could be used as a transit route for terrorists travelling to Europe and the United States. The number of illegal immigrants entering Greece, especially through the Aegean Sea, increased dramatically in 2008 and 2009, with more than 100,000 illegal immigrants, nearly half of whom originated from North Africa, the Middle East and South Asia, arrested each year.”
Presently in Greece, there seems to be activity within radical Islamic elements as well as gradual projection of Islamic political entities through the use of Greek nationals.
Via Volkskrant, Elsevier (Dutch):
MPs Ahmed Marcouch and Kadija Arib (PvdA/Labour) are asking the government to deny imam Mohammed al-Maghraoui of Morocco a visa to the Netherlands. Al-Maghraoui was invited to a conference in the Hague by the As Soennah mosque. In honor of its new construction the mosque is organizing a 5-day Arabic conference on "the Muslim between steadfastness and temptation".
Via Hounslow Chronicle (h/t The LibertyPhile)
A GROUP of Muslim women claim that Hounslow Council is not doing enough for their exercise needs.
They say that due to religious constraints they can not exercise when there is a man about, even if he is the instructor.
Via Het Belang van Limburg (Dutch)
Flemish Turks and Moroccans have poor Dutch, according to a new book by professor Johan Ackaert (Hasselt University) about the integration of immigrants. 25% of Flemish Turks and 20% of Moroccans either don't or barely understand written Dutch. Half the Turks and a third of the Moroccans only speak Dutch now and then. 15% of the Turks and 10% of the Moroccans never do.
Via De Standaard (Dutch):
Mohammed G. (58) has been teaching in the Royal Athenum Verdi in Verviers since 2004. In 2010 an inspector reported 'bizarre behavior' by the teacher, and informed the school that the teacher preached radical points of view in his lessons.
The school investigated, resulting in a disastrous report by two inspectors. One student said that Mohammed had told her that her mother would burn in hell because her mother was Catholic. Another that the teacher reproached her, a Muslim girl, for walking hand-in-hand with a boy.
Newly arrived Tunisian asylum seekers have been dubbed criminals in recent press reports and described as “the worst we have had to deal with” by asylum centre staff.
But has this group of Tunisians really earned a reputation as troublemakers and if so, what is going wrong?
Via the Local:
One of France's most well-known singers and actresses, Marie Laforêt, will today appear in a Paris courtroom to defend herself against charges that a job advertisement she placed discriminated against Muslims.
72-year-old Laforêt, who first found fame as an actress in the 1960s, placed an ad on an internet site looking for someone to carry out some work on her terrace in 2009, reported daily newspaper Le Parisien on Thursday.
She specified in the ad that "people with allergies or orthodox Muslims" should not apply "due to a small chihuahua."
More than 2,800 so-called honour attacks -- punishments for bringing shame on the family -- were recorded by Britain's police last year, according to figures released on Saturday.
At least 2,823 incidents of "honour-based" violence took place, with the highest number recorded in London, the Iranian and Kurdish Women's Rights Organisation (IKWRO) found.
Via the BBC:
Members of the Muslim community have taken part a counter-terrorism exercise in Worcester - the first in the city.
West Mercia Police said it was designed to help Muslim people and the authorities understand decisions made around terrorism operations.
The force said it had acted because the main threat comes from people acting in the name of Islam.
Via the Times of Malta:
Italy and Austria plan to step up the fight against undocumented migrants and crime along their shared border, their interior ministers said after a meeting in Rome today. "Both ministers agreed on the need to intensify cooperation on cross-border operations and joint investigations in the fight against crime and illegal trafficking, including the exchange of information and data," a statement said. Italian Interior Minister Anna Maria Cancellieri and her Austrian counterpart Johanna Mikl-Leitner stressed their desire to "continue to work within the European Union to elaborate migration policies," it said.
Tens of thousands of undocumented migrants and refugees have arrived in Italy so far this year -- mainly Tunisians and African workers from Libya, but also Afghans, Egyptians, Pakistanis and Sri Lankans.
Via the Copenhagen Post:
Denmark’s first immigrant MP is leaving politics to work for the Washington, DC-based think tankHudson Institute.
The Konservative politician Naser Khader used his Facebook page on Sunday to announce that he was quitting Danish politics.
“I’ll be travelling around the Arab world conducting research on freedom of expression and the growth of democracy. It will also have to do with the consequences of the Arab Spring,” Khader wrote, adding that he would continue to live in Denmark, while commuting to Washington and the Middle East.
As he presented his party’s campaign platform ahead of next year’s presidential and legislative elections, French Interior Minister Claude Gueant laid down the gauntlet to the far right by hardening the government’s position on immigration.
“It’s easier for immigrants to integrate if there are less of them,” Gueant told Europe 1 radio. “It’s obvious that we need to better manage the flow of immigrants. For immigration to work, we need to be welcoming fewer immigrants each year.”
The MAS museum in Antwerp is currently looking for volunteer 'trackers' to collect objects, photos, letters and stories telling the history of the Moroccan community in the city. The museum intends to display the finds by the end of next year.