News in Short

News in Short

Overview of recent news stories. 


Afghans deported - France deported 10 Afghans on a charter flight. (EN)

New halal restaurant - the fast food Quick branch in the Villeurbanne suburb of Lyon has switched to a completely halal menu, and has seen turnover increase by 30%. (FR)

Burqa ban - France will probably ban the burqa only in public buildings, as a general ban will not survive legal challenges  (EN)

Mini Mali - Collinée is a village of fewer than 1000 inhabitants. Thirty years ago, the local abattoir had a severe staff shortage. A dozen Malians came here to work and were later joined by their wives and children. Today, one inhabitant in ten is Malian. (EN)


Proposal to ban all religious symbols - The Open Vld, PS, MR and Ecolo parties wanted a complete separation of Church and State.  This would have included a complete ban on headscarves in public service, as well as religious symbols such as crosses at the entrance to cemeteries.  The proposal was rejected by the Belgian Senate. (NL, NL h/t PI)

Call to prayer foreign - Former Flemish minister Marino Keulen objects to having the muezzin call to prayer in Beringen.  He says that Church bells have been used for centuries as clocks, and to announce deaths and marriages.  The sound of church bells is therefore a cultural inheritance.  The call of the muezzin, he says, is in Arabic, and is foreign to this area. (NL)


Choir leaves Christmas event - The New Creation gospel choir canceled its appearance in a Christmas lighting ceremony in Heerenveen.  Two women from the Turkish mosque lit a candle and spoke about what the Light meant to them.  When the choir could not speak about their religious convictions, they left.  They later explained on their site that they did not leave because there were Muslims there, but because the organizers did not let them express themselves (NL)

Psychological problems - According to a new study, first generation immigrants in vocational education have less psychological problems than their ethnic Dutch schoolmates.  But by the second generation, they lose that advantage. (NL, h/t Allochtonen Weblog)

Child abuse in Koran class - The health department in the Hague turned to the police and prosecution to investigate possible child abuse in Koran classes in several mosques.  In April the municipal council decided to investigate the issue.  So many reports of possible child abuse were received that the GGD says it's a pattern.  Half of the suspected cases are from the El Islam mosque.  The mosque administration agrees that child abuse is unacceptable and promised to be open and cooperative on the issue.  (NL, h/t NRP)


Guantanamo detainees - Switzerland is willing to accept one detainee from Guantanamo  (EN)

The Escalade festivities - Pastor Philippe Reymond of Geneva decided to use the Escalade festivities to show his support for Muslims.  Youth from the different religious communities joined in the ceremony. (FR)


Metro attack convictions - 11 men, mostly Pakistanis, were convicted of plotting to attack the Barcelona metro. (EN)

Mosque controversy - The controversy around the mosque construction in Jerónimos, Seville continues.  The Muslim community organized a protest against racism and xenophobia.  (ES, video included)


Immigrations to solve substance abuse - Thorvald Stoltenberg, head of the Norwegian Red Cross, says that two things are needed to solve substance abuse: money and people.  "I think we should stop speaking about immigration as a problem and rather see it as part of the solution to the problem," he said. (NO)

Police to come to Friday prayer - Muslims in Stavanger feel hurt and discriminated by the way the police handled the taxi-rapist issue.  The Muslim community invited the police to the mosque to talk about their police work.  The Muslims also intend to teach newly arrived asylum seekers about Norwegian social codes and what is expected of newcomers. (NO)


Mosque gets new owner - The biggest mosque in Scandinavia, the grand mosque in Rosengård, Malmö, was bought by the Libyan organization World Islamic Call Society. The World Islamic Call Society gave the money for building the mosque in the 1980s, and has now taken over ownership, in order to do PR for Muammar Gaddafi. (SR)

United Kingdom

Radio agony aunt murdered - Police are investigating whether a murdered Asian radio agony aunt could have been bludgeoned to death by a listener angered by her on-air involvement in family feuds. (EN)

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