19 January 2018

Canada: "Islamophobia Day"? Are You Kidding?

The Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, is being asked by the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM, formerly known as CAIR CAN) to designate January 29 as a "National Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia." If he does, it is an indicator that the Islamists in Canada have succeeded in their program of political expansion and influence to the point of now being able publicly to manipulate the Prime Minister's Office. In fact, in Canada, "Islamophobia" comes in only fourth behind crimes against Blacks, Gays and Jews. Hate crimes against Muslims have dropped, even as the overall number of hate crimes increase, according to the last Statistics Canada reporting. [Gatestone Institute] Read more

18 January 2018

Study: Muslim Migrants Have Medieval Attitudes Towards Jews, Gays, Women, and ‘Infidels’

An academic survey of asylum seekers in Graz, Austria, has found increasing religiosity and deeply worrying attitudes towards Jews, gay people, women, and ‘infidels’.

The study was carried out by Ednan Aslan, Professor of Islamic Religious Education at the University of Vienna, on behalf of local authorities responsible for integration, the Kurier reports.

“We wanted to know, who lives with us?” explained Kurt Hohensinner, a city councillor for the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP), which currently governs alongside the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ).

Professor Aslan interviewed a sample of 288 of the approximately 4,000 predominantly Afghan asylum seekers in state care in Graz, and discovered that some 54.5 per cent believe Jewish people do not care about anyone but themselves, with 44.2 per cent saying that Judaism is actively harmful to the world.

“For certain refugees anti-Semitism is a matter of course, which has given the refugee movement a new dimension,” Professor Aslan observed. [Breitbart London] Read more

16 January 2018

Petition against East Ham school’s hijab ban for under 8s gets 8,000 signatures in two days

There has been a strong backlash against the school’s bold stance on the issue.

In a Sunday Times article this weekend, the school’s headteacher Neena Lall told the newspaper the changes had been made to help integrate children into British society.

“Freedom of expression is a must regardless of age,” it says on the petition’s webpage, which was started by Hafsah Dabiri.

“The hijab represents a choice and to remove it is the very oppression which actors claim to prevent,” it adds.

“It’s not a request or a plea, it’s a demand.”

The school’s policy is against the UN Convention on Human Rights, it adds.

In the interview she said that a few years ago she asked the children to put their hands up if they thought they were British. “Very few” said they did. [The Newham Recorder] Read more

Luton Islamic school's pupils 'have to ask for loo roll'

Inspectors found children at an independent school having to ask for toilet paper, and washing their cutlery in toilet sinks.

The Olive Tree Primary School in Luton is an Islamic day school that caters for nearly 80 pupils aged between five and 11 years old.

The education watchdog Ofsted found a number of standards were not met.

The school has been approached for comment on the findings but has yet to respond.

In their report, inspectors told how "inappropriate books" which "did not promote British values" had been found during a previous inspection.

Despite school leaders stating the titles had been removed, the books, which include some by a banned author with "extreme views about punishment by death", were still on the shelves when inspectors re-visited the establishment in November. [BBC] Read more

A phony Islamophobia panic is ruining Canadian politics

.... As the Toronto Sun’s Anthony Furey observed, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has a long track record of erring on the side of radical Islam, a pattern seemingly born from a larger tendency to frame Muslims as creatures without agency and deserving reverence for all claims of persecution, no matter how dubious or ambiguous.

This, in turn, animates many of the man’s marquee political promises, from a generous intake of Syrian refugees to eliminating judgmental language from the Canadian citizenship guide to ending bombing raids against the Islamic State, all of which have, at their core, an implied need to redeem the Islam-skeptical character of Canadian society.

Phony or exaggerated charges of Islamophobia, in other words, are not merely victimless non-crimes. They inflate the resolve of a certain flavor of progressive whose political agenda aims to sacrifice much of traditional liberalism in the name of a bigotry course correction, as well as the denialist ignorance of the reactionary right, like those who peddled conspiracy theories about last year’s mosque shooting in Quebec City. The end result is a society whose politics have been agitated to polarize around the Muslim issue in a deeply inaccurate, unserious way. [The Washington Post] Read more

Why is Britain keeping quiet about Pakistan’s assault on free speech?

In recent times Pakistani social media activists of a liberal, secular persuasion have been abducted by agents of the state, tortured then released after a few weeks. Invariably they then give up the blogging business: they stop criticising the country’s military establishment, or the militant religious groups long backed by the army as proxy warriors.

Last month saw another abduction of a peace activist in Lahore. A Marxist professor was found dead in Karachi yesterday.

Pakistani journalist who criticised military tells of attempted abduction

And last week, Taha Siddiqui, an outspoken journalist, narrowly escaped the most brazen kidnap attempt yet. He was roughed up, in broad daylight, by several armed men who had stopped the taxi he was travelling in on a busy Islamabad road. It is beyond any reasonable doubt that his attackers were military personnel. The army had already made clear its annoyance with his outspoken journalism.

[TOP RATED COMMENT 301 votes] Because if we spoke out about it you'd probably call us out for some sort of Islamophobia or colonial overtones.

[2ND 225] And what would happen if the UK Government did criticise the Pakistani Government? There would be accusations of Islamophobia and cultural insensitivity, some 'loner with mental health and drug issues' will either blow himself up or plough into a bus stop and then we'll get the usual cycle of self blame and hand wringing.

Because there are so many Pakistanis living in Britain the UK Government has to put up and shut up when it comes to issues regarding Pakistan. If there was not such a large number of Pakistanis here then the fight against the Taleban would have gone over the Afghan border into Pakistan, the nation that has supplied and supported the Taleban over the years.

The fact Bin Laden was found in Pakistan would indicate it is a haven for Islamists. If we were serious about defeating the likes of Al Quaeda and ISIS then Pakistan would have been dealt with properly. What has happened is that the Government are now too scared of reprisals on British soil to take action. Not good.

[3RD 181] I think frankly we're all bored of trying to have a grown up dialogue with Pakistan.

It seems pretty clear to me that Pakistan seeks to rip off anyone who expresses an interest in helping her, by deliberately perpetuating whatever problem help has been offered with, in order to keep the 'help' rolling in.

Let Pakistan do what she wants. If Pakistan is absolutely not capable of standing up without having her hand held, ask India or China for help, we've already given plenty. [Guardian Cif] Read more

15 January 2018

Head of unregistered private school banned from teaching over safeguarding concerns

.... Ofsted also found evidence that the curriculum taught at the school was too narrow. Religious education “dealt only with Islam to the exclusion of any other religions”. A number of statutory subjects, including humanities, were not taught.

Leaflets entitled “Islam and Terrorism?”, the author of which was banned from the UK due to his extremist views, were also found on the school site.

Hussain, who also served as a teacher at Kingsbury School and College until he was suspended in November 2015, claimed that Bordesley was not officially a school and was therefore not subject to safeguarding rules.

But this claim was dismissed by the NCTL, which found evidence that there were more than five pupils in attendance, that the school provided at least 18 hours of teaching per week and that it was the sole place of education for its pupils. [Schools Week] Read more

Toronto police say hijab-cutting attack reported by girl didn’t happen

An attack on an 11-year-old girl wearing a hijab – a case that garnered international attention, eliciting responses from the Toronto mayor, the Premier of Ontario and even the Prime Minister – did not happen, Toronto police now say.

Upon her arrival at school in an east-end neighbourhood of Toronto last Friday, the girl told her principal that a man had come up behind her while she was walking with her younger brother and that he had yanked down the hood of her winter coat and used scissors to slice through her light blue hijab. The girl's mother was called. Police were called. A press conference was held and the story quickly blew up on social media.

But on Monday, after a "detailed investigation," Toronto Police said they have determined that the alleged assault – one that was being investigated as a hate crime – simply "did not happen."

Spokesperson Mark Pugash declined to offer any further details about what led investigators to conclude the story was false, but stressed that "it is not a conclusion we came to lightly."

At the press conference at her school on the day of the alleged attack, the Grade 6 student walked reporters through the incident in vivid detail. She said she was scared and confused – and that the man had smiled at her before running away. Her mother, through tears, said that this wasn't the Canada she is proud to call home. [Globe & Mail] Read more

Reported hijab attack on 11-year-old girl 'did not happen,' Toronto police say

An 11-year-old girl's report last week that a man tried to cut off her hijab as she walked to school didn't occur, Toronto police said Monday.

"After a detailed investigation, police have determined that the events described in the original news release did not happen," police said.

"The investigation is concluded."

The girl reported Friday that a man attempted twice to cut off her hijab as she walked to school with her younger brother. Police said last week that the alleged attack was being investigated as a possible hate crime.

CBC News is not naming the 11-year-old out of a concern for her interests.

The girl, along with her mother and representatives from the Toronto District School Board, spoke to reporters inside her school Friday after she had talked to police.

Her story captured national attention, and drew public condemnation from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Toronto Mayor John Tory. [CBC/Radio-Canada] Read more

Schools urged to help tackle Islamophobia

Young Muslims in Wales say they have been frequently stared at in public, called "terrorists" at school and been told by strangers to take off headscarves.

It comes as schools have been urged to raise awareness of Islamophobia.

The Children's Commissioner for Wales Sally Holland is focusing on the harm caused by religious hate crime.

Muslim pupils have shared their experiences to help shape resources for the classroom.

The most recent UK Government statistics showed a 29% rise in hate crimes in England and Wales.

.... Ms Holland said: "I've spoken to young Muslims from across Wales who've told me that they're often scared in their communities, that they've directly experienced abuse at school, and that they're tired of the way Islam is often portrayed by the media, and the effect this has on the views of their non-Muslim peers." [BBC] Read more

14 January 2018

Austria's Muslims fear being cast as threat to security

.... Verbal and physical abuse of Muslims in Austria has risen, according to Dokustelle, an organisation that documents cases of Islamophobia and anti-Muslim racism. Between 2015 and 2016 - the most recent year that statistics are available - Islamophobic attacks increased by 62 percent to 253 incidents.

In a recent example marking the start of the new year, Asel Tamga, "the first Viennese baby" born in 2018, made international headlines after she was subject to a wave of Islamophobic and racist comments.

.... Meanwhile, educated Austrian Muslim women fear that a ban on the veil, or hijab, might ensue after Austria's newly-appointed Education Minister Heinz Fassman recently told a local paper that "teachers should not wear a headscarf".

"This will also affect other sectors and have a negative impact on the employment situation which is precarious for visible Muslim women already," said Dudu Kucukgol, a PhD student and researcher on sexism, racism and Islamophobia. [Al Jazeera English] Read more

St Stephen’s in Newham bans hijabs for girls under 8

The country’s best state primary school has called on the government to take a firm stand on hijabs and fasting among young Muslim children in classrooms, rather than leave schools to create their own rules.

St Stephen’s primary school in Upton Park, Newham, east London, which topped the Sunday Times Parent Power school league tables last year, has banned girls under eight years old from wearing the Islamic headscarf in school.

It has also told parents that children are not allowed to fast during the school day in the month of Ramadan, when many pupils may have to sit summer exams.

Arif Qawi, chairman of governors at St Stephen’s, said the Department for Education should “step up and take it out of our hands”. The school had to deal with a “backlash” from parents, especially after it outlawed fasting, a ritual that lasts about 18 hours a day in the summer, on school premises. [The Times (£)] Read more

Baha’i Man Sentenced to Public Execution in Yemen. His Crime? Practicing His Faith

In December 2013, Hamed Kamal Muhammad bin Haydara disappeared into the maze that is Yemen’s National Security Bureau (NSB). Over the course of four years, he was tortured and denied a fair trial. His wife and daughters were not allowed to visit, nor did he get to meet legal counsel. Finally, on January 2, 2018, Haydara, was sentenced to public execution by the specialised criminal court in Yemen’s capital Sana’a. He wasn’t even present in court.

One of around 2,000 Baha’is in Yemen, he was picked up for something one would take for granted in a secular country: practicing his faith.

The Baha’i faith, founded in Iran in the 1800s, essentially believes in the oneness of humanity and the unity of all religions. Incidentally, the Lotus Temple, a landmark in New Delhi, is a Baha’i house of worship.

Though no date has been given so far for when the execution will take place, the verdict also asks that all Baha’i spiritual assemblies, the governing bodies for Baha’is, be disbanded.

In Yemen, an Islamic society, the constitution does not recognise any other religion barring Judaism. This is why the trumped up charges against Haydara are, in most part, for “insulting Islam”, “apostasy” and urging Muslims to “embrace the Baha’i religion”. [The Wire] Read more

Saudi female football fan: 'We wanted to enter stadiums and we did'

A woman who helped to organise Saudi Arabia's first football match allowing female spectators has told the BBC it was a "great and surreal" experience.

Football fan Sarah Alkashgari, 18, made history after she not only attended but worked at Friday's match in Jeddah.

Unaccompanied adult women were allowed to enter the stadium to watch Al-Ahli play Al-Batin.

The move is part of an easing of strict rules on gender separation in the kingdom.

Ms Alkashgari, a student at King Abdulaziz university, was responsible for greeting guests and showing them to their seats.

"It was about women finally achieving one of their demands. We wanted to enter the stadiums and we did," she explained. [BBC] Read more

11 January 2018

Greece's Muslim minority hails change to limit power of sharia law

Members of Greece’s Muslim minority have hailed new legislation that will enable citizens to sidestep sharia law in family disputes, but says the measure fails to go far enough in Europe’s only country where Islamic jurists still hold sway.

In a move described as a “historic step” by the prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, the leftist-led government announced on Tuesday that members of Greece’s 120,000-strong Muslim community would be able to seek recourse in Greek courts in divorce, child custody and inheritance matters rather than take their case to Islamic jurists – a century-old legacy of legislation drafted with the collapse of the Ottoman empire.

Human rights groups have long said the laws discriminate against women.

But while welcomed, Muslim MPs said the new law had not “fully abolished” sharia courts in the sole EU member state where they had been compulsory. [The Guardian] Read more

Survey: Underlying Sympathy for Radical Islamic Extremism in German Schools

A survey of schools in the German region of Lower Saxony has shown that close to 10 per cent of Muslim students have direct sympathies for radical Islamic groups like Islamic State and some even support acts of terrorism.

One in three of the Muslim students who responded to the survey said that they would be willing to fight and die for Islam.

Twenty-seven per cent said they agreed with the statement: “The Islamic laws of Sharia, according to which, for example, adultery or homosexuality are severely punished, are much better than the German laws,” Die Welt reports.

Eight per cent said they agreed with the creation of an Islamic empire or caliphate in the Middle East through the use of force. A further 3.8 per cent said they agreed that sometimes it was justified for Muslims to engage in acts of terrorism to further their goals.

A fifth of the Muslim students agreed that Muslims are oppressed all over the world and they have to defend themselves by force, and 18.6 per cent said that it was the duty of Muslims to spread Islam and “fight unbelievers”. [Breitbart London] Read more

09 January 2018

Greece limits Sharia law after European Court challenge

Lawmakers in Greece voted Tuesday to limit the powers of Islamic courts operating in a border region that is home to a 100,000-strong Muslim minority, scrapping procedures dating back more than 90 years.

The proposed law passed easily, with backing from parliament's largest political parties. It eliminates rules that referred many civil cases involving members of the Muslim community to Sharia law courts. Greek courts now will have priority in all cases.

The changes — considered long overdue by many Greek legal experts — follow a complaint a Muslim woman who lives in the northeastern Greek city of Komotini made to the Council of Europe's Court of Human Rights over an inheritance dispute. [Associated Press] Read more

French town's decision to ban pork-free school meals branded 'anti-Muslim'

A French far right mayor's decision to scrap substitute meals for students who do not eat pork has been branded “anti-Muslim”.

Julien Sanchez, the Front National mayor of Beaucaire, ditched his predecessor’s scheme on the first day of the new school term.

The move means around 150 mainly Muslim pupils have lost their “substitution meals”.

Marlene Schiappa, France’s minister for sexual equality, told BFM TV the move was a “typical example of someone brandishing secularism as an anti-Muslim political weapon, or anti-Jewish for that matter”.

Mr Sanchez insisted the introduction of pork-free meals was “anti-Republican” and a “provocation” because it introduced “religion into school”.

“We are not a four-star restaurant,” he added on Twitter. [The Independent] Read more

Iranian and Saudi Youth Try to Bury 1979

.... But today Iran and Saudi Arabia have something new in common: A majority of their populations are under age 30, young people connected through social networks and smartphones. And a growing number of them are fed up with being told how to live their lives by old, corrupt or suffocating clerics — and they want to bury 1979 and everything it brought.

.... On recent trips to Saudi Arabia I heard youth express their own version of this: I want the clerics out of my face. I want to live my life without interference and realize my full potential — a sentiment particularly voiced by Saudi women.

Youth also said: I want to be able to go to concerts, drive my car, start a business, mix with the other sex or see a movie. And I want to celebrate my national Saudi culture, cuisine and art — not just Islam. [The New York Times] Read more

08 January 2018

Hungary’s PM: We don’t see these people as refugees, we see them as Muslim invaders

In an interview with German newspaper Bild, Hungary’s prime minister Viktor Orban called the migrant crisis an invasion.

He said: “We do not consider these people to be Muslim refugees, we regard them as Muslim invaders.”

“One has to cross four countries to arrive from Syria in Hungary”, Orban said. “Those people do not run for their lives but seek a better life. The refugees should have requested admission in advance, but instead they had breached the border illegally.”

According to Orban what Europe has seen was not a wave of refugees, but an invasion. He mentioned that he never understood how in a country like Germany the chaos and the illegal crossing of borders could be celebrated as something good.

The Hungarian prime minister rejected the idea that his country should accept people from Muslim-majority countries. “We believe that a large number of Muslims inevitably leads to parallel societies, because Christian and Muslim society will never unite,” he said. [Voice of Europe] Read more

MP Preet Gill condemns plans to ask Muslim schoolgirls why they wear headscarves

A Birmingham MP has demanded school inspectors Ofsted scrap plans to ask schoolgirls why they wear the Hijab.

Edgbaston MP Preet Gill wrote to Education Secretary Justine Greening to say the proposal had “caused outrage among many of my constituents”.

It follows the announcement that inspectors will question Muslim primary school pupils with headscarves such as a hijab to ask why they wear it.

Ofsted and the Department for Education have required schools to teach and reflect British values since the “Trojan horse” affair in Birmingham in 2014, when an inquiry found there was a “co-ordinated, deliberate and sustained” campaign to introduce “an intolerant and aggressive Islamic ethos into a few schools” in the city.

Amanda Spielman, the head of Ofsted and chief inspector of schools, said in November that encouraging primary school children to wear the hijab “could be interpreted as sexualisation of young girls”. [Birmingham Mail] Read more

Human rights activists in Britain have been subjected to intimidation by Islamists for convincing Ofsted to interview British primary school girls

Human rights activists are fearing harassment for convincing the Office for Standard Education (Ofsted) to interview British primary school girls. The reaction speaks volumes about how deep-rooted Islamist influence has already become in society at large. Ofsted chief Amanda Spielman expressed concerns after listening to activists’ claims that making little girls wear hijab ‘could be interpreted as sexualisation’.

On 17 November, Spielman held a meeting with a group of activists campaigning against the obligatory hijab in British primary schools. Islamists responded by coming together to request the names of women who met the Ofsted chief over the issue.

Those activists who participated at the meeting, however, now fear that radicals were only looking for their names to shame and harass them at their community levels. This could prove especially intimidating for activists who come from Muslim backgrounds, as they would be easy prey for extremist relatives and community members.

Yasmin Rehman, a well-known human rights activist, wrote in her article, ‘A lesson in silencing dissent’, that the controversy over veiling in schools has led to a situation in which many influential Muslim hardliners, such as Afzal Khan, MEND, and local councils of mosques in Manchester, Stockport, Bolton, Oldham, and Rochdale are trying to silence the campaigners for speaking out. She expressed concerns that the women would be alienated and accused of ‘stirring up anti-Muslim hatred’. [Conatus News] Read more

Three-quarters of Swiss back a burka ban

A nationwide ban on face-coverings – a de facto burka ban – would currently get the thumbs-up from 76% of Swiss voters, according to a poll in the SonntagsZeitung and Le Matin Dimanche. Around half also support the idea of Islam becoming an official Swiss religion.

Six out of ten respondents said they would definitely back the ban on face-coverings, put forward by the rightwing Swiss People’s Party. Some 16.5% said they were leaning towards a ban, 7% were leaning against it, 13% were definitely against it and 3% said they had yet to decide.

Almost 70% of respondents also wanted to see headscarves banned from schools.

But while the Swiss appear to be against burkas and niqabs, that is not the case for Islam as a religion: 48% backed official recognition of Islam as a state religion, like Christianity. This idea has been proposed by the leftwing Social Democratic Party, on condition that the Islamic communities adhere to a moderate form of Islam and organise themselves transparently. [swissinfo.ch] Read more

07 January 2018

President steps in over Islamophobic abuse of Austria's New Year Baby

Austria’s president was forced to intervene yesterday after the first child to be born in the country in 2018 was subjected to a torrent of racist online abuse when it emerged the new-born's parents were Muslim.

President Alexander Van der Bellen, a 73-year-old liberal green politician, pointedly issued his congratulations to the girl, who was named Asel after being born in the early hours of New Year’s Day in Vienna.

“Welcome, Dear Asel!”, Mr Van der Bellen said in a Facebook post, before reminding those who left racist messages that “all men are born free and equal in dignity and rights”, and speaking out against “hatred and agitation”.

Asel Tamga was named "the first Viennese baby" of the year and her photo appeared in many local media outlets, with her mother wearing a hijab head-covering. [The Telegraph] Read more

06 January 2018

Islamic dress code should be accommodated in schools

A Muslim campaign group says school uniforms should accommodate Islamic dress codes by allowing girls to wear full-length skirts, long-sleeved shirts and headscarves.

The Irish Muslim Board has also called for school uniforms which have crucifix symbols or images of saints to be made optional in the interests of creating greater inclusivity.

The recommendations are contained in the board’s submission to a Department of Education consultation process over school admission policies.

The group, chaired by Dr Ali Selim, was formed in 2016 to encourage Muslims to become more politically active.

While there are two Muslim primary schools in Dublin, the community does not have a secondary school.

In its submission, the group says Muslim children can feel alienated at school, particularly in activities that revolve around Christmas such as nativity plays and carol services. [The Irish Times] Read more