News in Short

News in Short

Various news stories from the past couple of weeks.


Learning about Islam - According to the Flemish minister of education Pascal Smet, elementary school students should learn about other cultures and religions, such as Islam. By the end of 6th grade they should be able to: illustrate that social and cultural groups have different values and norms, illustrate that immigration and the refugee problem have played a role in the development of our multicultural society, and realize that racism is often based on ignorance and fear of the stranger. (NL)

Losing citizenship - About seven New Belgians might lose their citizenship for 'severe shortcomings in their duties as Belgians'. Thse include Mohamed Reha and Abdelkader Belliraj, both of whom were arrested in Morocco on terrorism charges. Earlier this year Tunesian-Belgian Tarek Maaroufi was the first Belgian since WWII to lose his citizenship, after being convicted in Brussels on three counts of terrorism. The justice ministry intends to clarify the law by the end of the year. (NL, NL)

Animal rights - the Gaia animal rights organization published pictures it took in 11 halal slaughterhouses in Flanders and Wallonia. Animals can be slaughtered without anesthetization if the meat must comply to religious norms, but Gaia claims that slaughtering without anesthetization is a common practice and the meat is sold in regular shops without any label that it's halal slaughter. The organization wants the law to ban ritual slaughter and asks the Muslim community to accept anesthetization, as is done in New Zealand and the UK. (NL)


Muslim bus - Minister of integartion Eberhard van der Laan is not happy with the 'Muslim women bus' service, but he will not ban it. Whoever has trouble with it, can turn to the Equal Treatment Commission. (NL)

Jewish Geert supporters - the Jewish-Moroccan Network thinks it's time to act against Jewish supporters of Geert Wilders, who , they say, drives a wedge between Jews and Muslims. According to Mohamed Rabbae, the Moroccans in the organization are concerned and would like to prevent an escalation in this. "The Moroccan members think it's incomprehensible that there's support for Wilders on the other side." On the Jewish side Hadassa Hirschfeld says that it's 'absolutely despicable' if Jews support Wilders' party. "I think that everybody should fight against the ideas of the PVV about Muslims. And it's exactly Jews who know what it means to be stigmatized." (NL)

Paying for a doctor - Minister of health Klink says that patients who say in advance that they only want a female doctor will be given one. But in case of an emergency situation, the patient will pay any extra costs if they want a different doctor. (NL)


Bomb threat - A notice posted on the TV2 website threatened the Hellerud secondary school in Oslo for cooperating with the US. The threat, signed 'Mohammed', came from a computer in one of Oslo's schools. The school was not closed down, and no bombs exploded. (NO)

A joke - A joke which appears in Norwegian newspaper VG: "How is a soda bottle similar to a Muslim? Answer: Both are empty from the neck and up. Accordig to editor Jan-Erik Lauré, the joke, which was sent in by a reader, was printed by mistake. Ismail Salad Elmi of the Trondheim city council says that "there is freedom of speech in Norway, and there should be room for such jokes." (NO). (See also: Norway: Discriminating crossword puzzles)


Miss France - Juliette Boubaaya (19), the current Miss Picardie, and a practicing Muslim will compete in the Miss France 2010 competition. Her grandfather is an Algerian Harki, her grandmother's Polynesian, her father's a Muslim and her mother's an atheist. (FR)


Abducted at asylum center - A Chechen woman was abducted from a bus station next to the Sandholm asylum center, when three-four Chechen men forced her into a car. (DA)

United Kingdom

Charity denounces Anwar Al-Awlaki - JIMAS has decided to completely remove any and all promotion of Anwar Al-Awlaki through his talks and CDs that were available through us. Furthermore, we urge all Muslim organisations and groups to do the same. We cannot be morally responsible for the evil that is advocated by anyone. (EN)


Recognizing the Moors - Muslim associations applaud an initiative coming up for a vote in the Spanish parliament to recognize the injustice done to the Moors who were expelled from Spain 400 years ago. The initiative will urge the government to take the actions needed to establish and strengthen the economic, social and cultural ties to the descendants of the Moors in the Maghreb and sub-Saharan Africa. Such an initiative will (ES)


Saudis to save mosque - A Muslim organization has turned to Saudi Arabia for help in financing a mosque in Umeå. The county government gave building permission four years ago,but the local Muslims did not manage to collect the money needed, and the authorities threatened to scrap the project. (SE)

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