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Brief Islamophobia

Man charged over mosque attack following CCTV appeal
A 20-year-old man has been charged in connection to a racially aggravated attack on a mosque in Warrington town centre. Nathan Hancox, was arrested on Au gust 28, and has been bailed. A17-year-old will also appear in court. He is due to appear at Hal ton Magistrates Court on November 10, charged with racially aggravated criminal damage. CCTV images of sus pects were released af ter the mosque on Arpley Street was van da lised in July, with a win dow smashed.

Race hate crime up in South Wales
South Wales has seen a 20% in hate crime compared to last year with the majority of crime being of a racially biased nature. In the afte math of Drummer Lee Rigby’s murder last year, race hate crime in South Wales more than doubled com pared to the same period the previous year. The Welsh Got under took a hate crime consultation in 2013 be fore publishing a Frame work for Action earlier this year.

Vandals target Muslim graves in Chadderton Cemetery
Islamophobic vandals carried out a sickening at tack on Muslim graves in Chadderton cemetery, Oldham. The assail ants up rooted head stones, trampled on flowers and kicked over memorials in what police branded a ‘heinous and sense less’ crime. The raid took place at the site, on Middle ton Road, be tween 8.30pm on August 15, and 7.30pm the following day. Ten graves – all in the Muslim section of the cemetery – were dam aged by vandals. Abdul Chaudhary Wahad from Al-Madina Mosque, who visits the cemetery with his children daily since his wife died nearly two years ago, told The Muslim News he was “very angry” and “very up set” when he saw the his wife’s and other dam aged graves. He added that this should not hap pen to any grave, Muslim or non-Muslim. The cemetery was built in 2011 and has 200 Muslim graves. It is being treated by the police as a racially-motivated attack and not as Islamophobic attack.

Attack on mosque was a joke

Gehan Bashumailah

Ellesmere Port mosque in Chester was subjected to a hateful attack by intoxicated perpetrator, Martin Peter Sallis. His controversial behaviour is said to be influenced and learnt through “school exercises” and “recent TV shows”. Meanwhile, Cheshire West and Chester Council’s planning committee approved plans for the mosque on September 3.

On August 8, Chester magistrate’s court issued a restraining order to stay away from the centre for a year. He is sentenced with 12 month supervision with drug rehabilitation and a three month curfew. In addition Sallis was ordered to pay court expenses of £85 – £145.

The 42 year-old, from Great Sutton, hung an England flag and children’s bunting on the scaffolding of the building which contained the drawn swastikas and KKK symbols.

Sallis continued vandalising the building with offensive and threatening messages such as “burn down the mosque with youse in it” which he later dismissed to be a “bit of a laugh” when he was drunk.

Prosecutor Anouska Youd recounted that one piece of the bunting contained the slogans “Abu Hamza burn in hell” and “burn in hell forever”. “There was also a swastika drawn on it with an SS added” she said and initials “APINF” and “KKK”.

The reasoning behind his racial crime was because he wanted to “fit in” with the ideologies of the local community whom he claims share unified Islamophoic ideals for the Islamic cultural centre located in King Street, Ellesmere Port.

Sallis, who is an alcoholic and former drug addict, is not new to disorderly conduct as he holds 15 previous convictions. However, he has pleaded guilty to racially or religious harassment. Stephen Ferns defendant of Sallis states “he is shocked by how bad what he had written has been” and that “he does not consider himself to have any deep rooted racial views”.

French Minister to sue over fake Arabic memo

Najat Vallaud-Belkacem has found herself the target of
Islamophobic attacks from the far right for her religion and Moroccan roots.

Elham Asaad Buaras

France’s newly appointed Education Minister announced on September 8 that she will be taking legal action over identity fraud after a fake letter advising French towns to offer a weekly Arabic language class in primary schools circulated on the Internet in her name.

Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, a rising star in French politics who is the first woman to hold the office of education minister, has found herself the target of Islamophobic attacks from the far right for her Moroccan roots.

Vallaud-Belkacem’s appointment as France’s first woman education minister in a reshuffle was taken by many right wingers as a “provocation”. This was the word used by the far-right magazine, Minute, on its front cover. While Valeurs Actuelles carried less flattering photo of Vallaud-Belkacem with the front-page headline “L’Ayatollah”.

The memo, complete with fake letterhead and a forged signature, said an official from the ministry would be contacting town halls shortly “to offer a voluntary hour per week to discover the Arabic language”.

“I strongly advise you to give the green light to this activity, which aims at breaking down the linguistic barriers that our children could encounter in the near future,” the document said.

The letter circulated widely on social networks in France, especially on Twitter.

“The education ministry files sue every time there is a case of identity fraud,” said a spokesman for Vallaud-Belkacem.

The apparent forgers made a series of errors, notably with the name of the ministry itself, which they called simply the “Ministry for National Education” instead of its full title, the “Ministry for National Education, Higher Education and Research”.

In addition, it does not fall within the ministry’s purview to offer extracurricular activities, which are organised on a local level, the ministry said.

Pig’s head dumped outside Athens’ Islamic centre

(Photo: The Muslim Association of Greece)

Elham Asaad Buaras

A pig’s head was dumped outside an Islamic studies centre in Athens, in a predawn Islamophobic attack on October 17. Vandals spray-painted a crucifix on the door, splashed blue paint on the walls and an anti-Muslim slogan on the pavement outside the Arab-Hellenic Centre, which also functions as a Muslim prayer centre, in the district of Moshato.

Photographs of the defaced building were posted on the Muslim Association of Greece (MAG) facebook.

No arrests have been made.

Greece has experienced an increasing Islamophobic and anti-Semitic violence, in concurrence with the political ascent of Neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn.

A state prosecutor demanded all the party’s MPs face trial for offences including allegedly running a criminal organisation.

Prosecutor Isidoros Dogiakos demanded that 70 party members – including leader Nikolaos Michaloliakos should appear before a criminal court on a series of charges including the murders of an anti-fascist rapper and Pakistani immigrant.

The extreme-right party won 18 seats in the 300-strong Greek Parliament after national elections in June 2012, its ascent precipitated by Greece’s economic crisis and growing unemployment.

Last year its support peaked at 15%, making it the third-most popular party in Greece.

It came third in the latest local and European elections on an anti-bailout anti-EU ticket and performed strongly at local elections in May.

In April Greece was told to toughen its measures to combat a surge in massive racial violence by Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights.

The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights published a report in which Nils Muižnieks said that he was “seriously concerned” by the increase in hate crimes targeting immigrants in Greece.

“Democracy in Greece is seriously threatened by the upsurge of hate crime and a weak state response. Sustained and concerted action, notably by the police and the courts, is necessary to protect the rule of law and human rights in the country,” said Muižnieks.

The Commissioner noted that there is only one appointed prosecutor to monitor hate crimes in greater Athens as well as police officers tasked to deal with the problem have only been trained for two days.

The Commissioner also expressed deep concern by “persistent reports of ill-treatment, including torture, committed by law enforcement officials notably against migrants and Roma.”

The report describes Golden Dawn as a “neo-Nazi and violent political party” that should be secluded under legally binding international human rights conventions signed by Greece.

US Football League admits mistake in penalizing Abdullah for religious celebration

Elham Asaad Buaras

American NFL player Husain Abdullah should not have been penalised when he dropped to his knees in prayer after an interception the National Football League (NFL) ruled on September 30.http://www.muslimnews.co.uk/wp-admin/post-new.php?post_type=newspaper

Husain Abdullah scored for the Kansas City Chiefs as they defeated the New England Patriots 41-14.

The league’s rule book prohibits players from celebrating while on the ground, but spokesman Michael Signora conceded that “the officiating mechanic in this situation is not to flag a player who goes to the ground as part of religious expression, and as a result, there should have been no penalty on the play.”

NFL admits mistake in penalizing Abdullah for religious celebration

Angry fans took to twitter to show what they say was an double standards in the Abdullah’s punishment pointing to the fact former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow was never punished for his his prayer

The flag thrown in the fourth quarter led to criticism, fans took to social media to point out that there were plenty of Christian players who marked their touchdowns with signs of deference or religious tributes.

Many are wondering how it was different from players such as former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow dropping to one knee in Christian prayer.

Abdullah is a devout Muslim who took a year off from football to make a pilgrimage to Makkah. He said after the game that he knew before he even reached the end zone he would drop to his knees in thankful prayer after intercepting Tom Brady.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, asked the NFL take steps in response to the penalty.

“To prevent the appearance of a double standard, we urge league officials to clarify the policy on prayer and recognize that the official made a mistake in this case,” CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper said.

The NFL Referee Association backed the match officials insisting the referee was correct in flagging Abdullah, not because of the prayer, but because of the slide that preceded it.

“Both the officials and the player involved in the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty were not confused as to why a flag was thrown. The player was flagged, correctly, for the slide on his knees in the end zone, not for going to the ground in a prayerful gesture,” said recently retired Referee and former NFLRA President, Scott Green. “On field officials are aware of the prayer provision and respect the right of players of all faiths to express themselves.”

Muslim banned from working in nuclear facility in France

Aishah Ali

Lawyers for an engineer, who has been banned access to nuclear sites in France, have called the decision ‘pure Islamophobia.’ But authorities claimed it was for security reasons.

The 29 year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was employed by a firm subcontracted by the energy company EDF. He worked as a project manager and as part of the role he was allowed access nuclear installations from 2012 to 2013. However, in March 2014 he was refused permission to work at Nogent-sur-Seine nuclear power station in Eastern France. Authorities said he had failed a vetting process and was not allowed entry.

Officials alleged he had links with a terror group and that he was in contact with an imam involved in recruiting people to fight in Iraq. These claims were rejected by the suspect, and his lawyer Sefen Guez said, “There is no proof of these supposed links.” Later in June the ban was overturned by an appeals court. Yet back to work a month later and the man was refused access again.

The court in the North-eastern town of Chalons-en-Champagne had revealed that the management could prevent those “undergoing a process of political and religious radicalisation” from accessing sensitive sites.

Sefen Guez said: “This country respects the rule of law and my client, a qualified man with no criminal record who practises his religion in a normal way, like many other French Muslims, would quite naturally like to know the reasons for this ban.”

He added that “considering the current atmosphere in France, his religious leanings cannot be ruled out” as a reason behind the ban. But officials from the police chief’s office said: “It goes without saying that the ban was not based on criteria such as religion or race. Our judgement is based on security issues.”

The court in the North-eastern town of Chalons-en-Champagne upheld the ban saying the management could prevent those “undergoing a process of political and religious radicalisation” from accessing sensitive sites.

The man now awaits the outcome as the second appeal case is pending a decision at the end of the month.

Former BBC presenter makes anti-Pakistani Facebook rants

Gehan Bashumailah

Former BBC Radio Bristol presenter, Sam Mason, launched a racist tirade last month about the sex abuse scandal in Rotherham on her Facebook page. In one of her posts, she wrote “Dirty dirty filthy p*ki Rotherham bastards.”

The post further stated “Some p*ki woman is blaming the government for not looking after the p*ki community! Wtf is that all about? Jesus Christ.

“Now, anyone I offended by booking my daughter a taxi can you please f#ck off.” (sic)

Her last remark, about booking her daughter a taxi relates to her sacking from the BBC in 2008 after she was recorded asking a cab company to send a ‘non-Asian’ taxi driver to pick up her daughter.

The recording was leaked to The Sun. Mason was said to have told the taxi operator, “A guy with a turban is going to freak her out. She’s not used to Asians.”

Among her series of Facebook posts, Mason also posted a link to a video entitled “The Horrific Muslim of Britain – Luton 2012” alongside the comment “If in any doubt, watch this. Rotherham is just the tip of the ice berg. How many of these are in Syria fighting for IS? Don’t let the b*****ds back. F**k PC.”

Defending her posts, she stated “F**k their human rights, they’re not human.”

Moreover, another post stated: “Being British isn’t about what colour or religion you are. It’s how you treat your neighbour. How you respect one another, how you integrate, respect and embrace each other’s cultures.

“It’s NOT about hard line radical retarded extremists who try to infiltrate our schools and prey on our children. It’s not about sending your wife out looking like Darth fekin Vader and trying to change our country into the s**t forsaken desert you came from. So please do us all a favour, come here and be BRITISH and if thats too much for you, please do f**k off.” (sic)

In another article, the Bristol Post observes Mason’s attempt to defend her comments by stating that she was referring to “radical Jihads and the home-grown idiots who go out to fight for IS” and not “the Muslim community we love and embrace.”

Mason stated, “May I make one thing clear – I love the Muslim community and have many Muslim friends, who have called me today with their wise words and support.

“It’s not about colour or religion. It’s about right and wrong. I don’t feel I have to apologise to the Muslim community, as my ‘rant’ was about the radicals and most certainly not about the Muslim community we love and embrace.”

EDL protests in wake of Rotherham sex abuse scandal

Elham Asaad Buaras

The Rotherham branch of the English Defence League (EDL) staged a protest outside Rotherham police station on August 27 following the release of the report on child sexual exploitation in the town.

EDL previously held a protest in the area in May against the “ideology of Islam”.

Similarly, Britain First reports that its supporters “stormed” the Rotherham council building, describing it as “the first installment [sic] of a new campaign” in Rotherham “against the council, the police and social services”.

The group’s far right supporters held a protest outside as well as inside the building. Pictures on their website show the group’s members holding a banner with the words “Justice for victims of Muslim grooming” written on it.

The ‘new’ campaign, however, appears to be an extension of an existing campaign, Operation Fightback, where the far right group’s supporters visit mosques and distribute inflammatory, anti-Muslim literature on “Muslim grooming gangs”.

The International Business Times said Britain First has seized upon excerpts from the report as if to justify their ‘mosque invasions’ while failing to acknowledge the report’s observation on “Good work…done by officers in developing a protocol on child protection issues in the mosques in 2008. Each mosque appointed a designated person responsible for child protection, and training was provided for imams and others. The current chair of the Rotherham Council of Mosques had made strenuous efforts to widen representation on his Council to include women and demonstrated a strong personal commitment to dealing with child protection and [child sexual exploitation].”

Islamophobia Brief

Muslim quits UKIP after online racism

A senior member of Leicester’s UKIP branch has quit claiming he had suffered online racial abuse at the hands of another party supporter. Ismail Patel complained to UKIP bosses about messages he had received on Facebook after making a comment about the crisis in Gaza.

The 26-year-old said party officials did not take action against the alleged offender so he decided to leave and join George Galloway’s Respect party. UKIP has said it was unable to substantiate his complaint with the evidence he initially provided – two screen shots – and had asked him for further information that would prove a UKIP member was responsible.

Police investigating graffiti at Vaughan mosque

York Regional Police are investigating after hateful graffiti was found at a mosque in Vaughan on July 20 . The messages were found spray-painted on the sidewalk outside the Jaffari Islamic Centre on Bathurst Street near Rutherford Road att around 7 p.m. police said.

One of the messages read “Arab go home,” while another referred to the conflict in Gaza. Police say they are now investigating the incident as a hate crime and are going through surveillance footage to try and gather more information. “We don’t know what time this actually occurred,” said Const. Laura Nicolle.

Islamism is the Nazism of our time, says Swedish politician

Sweden Democrats’ leader Jimmie Åkesson, has said “Islamism is the Nazism and Communism of our time,” as he launch the party’s push towards the general election in September.

Furthermore Åkesson said that he demanded that all aid to organizations and associations related to “Islamism” should be stopped, and directed his ire to the handful of Swedish citizens reported to be fighting in Iraq and Syria.

Britain First founder quits over mosque invasions

[How Britain First triumphantly announced its mosque invasions earlier this year]

 

Elham Asaad Buaras

The founder of Britain First, James Dowson, has resigned from the far-right group over its “provocative and counterproductive” mosque invasions.

Dowson, a former BNP member, announced his departure on July 27.

While Britain First blamed “media pressure” and family issues for the decision and said he would be missed “enormously” in a saccharine post. Dowson publicly shamed the group’s tactics as “unacceptable and unchristian”.

The 49-year-old said: “Most of the Muslims in this country are fine.

“They are worried about extremists the same as us. So going into their mosques and stirring them up and provoking them is political madness and a bit rude.”

Britain First posts triumphant videos of the so-called “invasions” on its website and Facebook page, where its paramilitary-style arm is seen confronting imams and worshipers.

The “invasion” of East London Mosque in May which is how Britain First described the incident on their Facebook page – ended after a local Community Support Officer had noticed three middle aged men and woman had parked illegally outside the mosque in Whitechapel Road, the four had run a red light as they fled.

In Bradford, the groups staged the protests outside 10 mosques, handing out bibles and urging worshipers to renounce Islam, as well as visiting the Keighley home of the Mayor Khadim Hussain.
The group also organises “Christian patrols” in ethnically diverse areas and has been known to hand out Bibles to Muslims.

The invasions are run by another Britain First leader, Paul Golding, who came in from criticism from his former ally.

Dowson said: “No matter how many times I told him [Golding] I did not want decent Muslims intimidated, he just continued doing it.

“I have come to the conclusion that no matter how hard I tried, you cannot escape from the fact that the group is being overrun with racists and extremists.

“I think he is fooling himself and lots of people that Britain First is a Christian group. Sadly, it has just become a violent front for people abusing the Bible.”

Muslim leaders have called for greater protection of places of worship following the mosque “invasions” in England and Scotland.

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) said Britain First had “violated a place of worship” and had “left many members of the community angered and disappointed with the inability of the Government and the authorities to curtail this type of thuggish behaviour.”

In a statement to The Muslim News the Muslim Council of Britain urged “the authorities and the Government to urgently reassure our communities that action will be taken to safeguard our places of worship as, up until this time, there has not been any form of public condemnation of this extreme behaviour which threatens the peace in our communities.”

Police officers to appear in court over assault on severely autistic Muslim man

Family of autistic man allegedly beaten by Beds officers doubt impartiality of probe[

[Severely autistic Faruk Ali, 33, was helping refuse collectors outside his home in Luton when according to witnesses two officers assaulted him]

Elham Asaad Buaras

Two Bedfordshire Police officers are to appear in court in connection with an alleged unprovoked assault on a severely autistic man.

Faruk Ali, 33, who also has learning difficulties, was helping refuse collectors outside his home in Whitby Road, Luton, on February 20 when, according to his family and witnesses, two officers assaulted him.

Christopher Thomas, 33, will face a charge of racially aggravated assault against Ali. Christopher Pitts, 39, and Thomas both face charges of perverting the course of justice and misconduct in public office.

They are due to appear at Aylesbury Magistrates’ Court on September 1.

His sister Husna Begum has described how she was woken by banging noises and the sound of him screaming ‘no’ on the morning of February 20 this year. She said she jumped out of bed and saw a man dragging him across the floor and punching him. The alleged attack was also witnessed by neighbours.

Leicestershire Police carried out the investigation for the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Prosecutor John Locke said: “It is alleged that Mr Faruk Ali…was assaulted on 20 February 2014 by PC Thomas and that this assault was racially aggravated. It is also alleged that PC Thomas and PC Pitts have perverted the course of public justice and committed misconduct in public office.

“I carefully reviewed all the evidence provided to me by Leicestershire Police and was satisfied in accordance with the code for Crown Prosecutors that there was sufficient evidence and that it was in the public interest to charge these two officers with these offences.”

Astonishingly his family says the attack in February was the second time that Ali was left “bruised and battered” after an encounter with the police.

According to the family, Faruk, who has the mental capacity of a 5 year-old, was first ill-treated by police in 2011.

Ali’s brother Kodor told The Muslim News only media interest in the latest incident has prevented the alleged assault from being “brushed under the carpet” like the 2011 incident.

NHS therapist denies bullying Muslim colleague


Victoria Wasteney, NHS worker taken to disciplinary over giving a Muslim colleague a Bible

Huda Abbas

A NHS employee has denied allegations she bullied her fellow Muslim colleague on her religious beliefs in June last year.

In February this year, an internal disciplinary found head of occupational therapy at the East London NHS, Victoria Wasteney, guilty of three charges of misconduct.

The occupational therapist was questioned about an incident where she gave her Muslim colleague a book about a Muslim woman who converts to Christianity.

She was found guilty of harassment when she had prayed with her and when she invited the woman to her church.

The complaints led to Wasteney being suspended on full pay for nine months. She had to accept a final written warning at work which will remain on her records for 12 months, and disciplinary actions were taken to prevent Wasteney from discussing faith at work.

Wasteney did not accept the repercussions and is taking legal actions against the NHS. She believed that the NHS was demonstrating a pro-Muslim bias due to political correctness. She emphasised that she made friends with the Muslim and had innocent conversations with her about faith. She stated that she took caution when discussing her Christian faith with her to ensure that she did not appear to be preaching.

Wasteney, from Essex, accused the company of stifling ordinary conversations about religious beliefs.
She was asked about her motives behind giving the woman the book. “It certainly wasn’t an attempt to convert her to Christianity, a friend had recommended it to me…I hadn’t read it. I still haven’t,” she said.

When the woman went on sick leave, Wasteney recommended a book about a Muslim converting that they had discussed at work.

Regarding the incident where they prayed together, the 37-year old claimed that her Muslim colleague came into her office in tears over health problems; Wasteney says she told her to draw on her faith, before they prayed together. “I said to her that she had strong faith and she should draw on that faith,” said Wasteney. “I said ‘Pray!’ She told me she could not pray, so I replied ‘Maybe I can pray for you?’ And she said ‘OK’.

Wasteney claims she invited the colleague to a number of church events after she showed an interest in the work they do against human trafficking.

Representing Wasteney Christian Legal Centre, Chief Executive Andrea Williams said the case demonstrated that “the NHS is increasingly dominated by a suffocating liberal agenda that chooses to bend over backwards to accommodate certain beliefs but punishes the Christian”.
A spokesman for East London NHS Foundation Trust refused to comment.

Katie Hopkins shares her unwanted opinion again on Ramadan

Jennifer G Andrade

Katie Hopkins offends Muslims with a series of Islamophobic tweets about Ramadan. Although she is known for her controversy Hopkins appears to have gone too far with her latest Twitter rant.

The 39-year-old former reality TV star, columnist and apprentice wannabe, tweeted on the first day of Ramadan on June 29, “Ramadan typically brings a spike in violence in the Middle East. I get grumpy when I don’t eat – but I don’t blow things up. Religion of peace?”

But she didn’t stop there, the mother of three then went to compare Ramadan to the trendy 5:2 diet saying: “if we take 5:2 as a basic idea, what is the ratio of Ramadan? 18:6? ”

Needless to say, Twitter users were quick to react, “Katie Hopkins. Islam is no Religion on Peace you say? I’m tempted to insult you, but falter because it’s Ramadan. You mentioned peace?”
Another added: “Oh dear how could I’ve not expected Katie Hopkins to make a ridiculous comment on Ramadan.”

Hopkins then went on attacking Islam, by posting a picture of a cake, captioning the picture with “Here we are my friends enjoying Ramadan. Another juicy cake for you.”

It wasn’t long before Hopkins was hit with more insults “You should start fasting as well!!!!! It will help you reduce the double chin.”

Another comment said: “Sometimes your opinions are on point but can you please just let people have their own beliefs without being unnecessarily rude.”

The TV personality seems rather amused by all the hatred she was attracting, “Angry people, please crack on with your diets and stop asking Allah to forgive me. I am beyond redemption.” She tweeted on June 30.

Hopkins then thanked her ‘fans’ for all their support, “Thank You for all your terribly kind support today-as ever. Sometimes it takes a woman to man up and tell it how it is.”

But there was no sign of an apology from Hopkins. In fact, she continued to insult Muslims.
A day later on July 1 asking her followers, “I am told there is a special place for me in hell. Can I just check – does it have free wifi?”

It’s not the first time Hopkins spouted bigoted opinions. In May she was forced to deny she was a racist when she dubbed “travellers” and “gypsies”, as “ferrel humans[sic]” (yes, she misspelt feral) that “we have no duty to”.

She also went on to lambast schools for introducing cultural assemblies to educate children about the traveller lifestyle and threw in a few source less figures about taxpayers’ money and how much of it we’re probably not haemorrhaging over their existence.

While many aimed abuse at Hopkins yet again, one Twitter user had a more effective approach, writing: “Muslims should continue to focus on our prayers. Ramadan is our time to perfect our faith. Let’s not get distracted. Pray for Katie Hopkins.”

Tory candidate removed from party after sharing BNP anti-mosque poster on Facebook


Tory candidate Roger Hogg lost his party membership earlier this month, after re-posting an anti-Islam image by the BNP on his Facebook page

Gehan Bashumailah

Former Maidstone Conservative Council candidate Roger Hogg lost his party membership earlier this month, after re-posting an image by the BNP on his Facebook page. The post featured a picture of a mosque with a red line through it captioned ‘No more mosques. SHARE and LIKE if you agree’.

The message accompanying the image read: ‘Do we have enough Mosques in our country now? How can it be legal to not allow women to enter the front door of the Mosque? Is there any other building in the country that could even think of getting away with such anti-women bigotry and discrimination? These are very real, logical questions, please do contribute. ’

The post provoked an immediate protest from local Liberal Democrats who asked Chair of Maidstone and the Weald Conservatives, John Wilson, to remove Hogg as a candidate and review his membership of the party. But Hogg insists he is “entirely innocent! I did not post this. My Facebook has been hacked!”

He said, “I told John Wilson I didn’t know anything about it. I am not a racist. I’m a kind, generous, helping person.”

He said he immediately removed the offensive page from his account and had since contacted both Facebook and the police to report the hacking.

Wilson however, voiced his disappointment and confirmed that the Maidstone & The Weald Conservative Association has suspended Hogg.

In the removed post, Hogg declared that he would never stand for election again and that, “All party’s are w*****s. ”

He signed off by saying, “…looks like Maidstone High Street is going to UKIP.”

Denmark may enact French niqab ban


Founder of the Danish People’s Party Merete Kjærsgaard may push for niqab ban in Denmark

Jennifer G Andrade

A burqa or niqab ban may find its way from France to Denmark following an important judicial decision at the European Court of Human Rights on July 1.

The European Court of Human Rights ruled in favour of France’s prohibition of face veils. Now, several legal experts have told the Danish daily Berlingsker that a similar ban could be enacted not only in Denmark but also in Norway and Austria.

Sten Schaumburg-Müller, Law Professor at Aarhus University agreed that the French example can be adopted by Denmark. “It’s obvious that a ban specifically targeting burqas would be hopeless but a ban similar to France’s prohibiting the covering of the face in public could be established here.”
Head of think-tank Justitia, Jacob Mchangama, also believes the French law could be recycled on Danish ground.

“The defining element in the French legislation is that it is targeted at specific religions, but instead the motivation is to ensure social cohesion and interaction between citizens,” he said.
The anti-immigration Danish People’s Party (DPP) said they want to see a similar ban in place.
DPP,Founder, Pia Merete Kjærsgaard, said a face-covering ban should be introduced.

“I think it’s obvious. It simply doesn’t work that women go around completely covered and that people cannot see their facial expressions or see who is standing in front of them,” said Kjærsgaard.
“[A ban] would send the signal that we do not accept parallel societies and isolation. We see [the burqa] as a rejection of Danish society. It is a sign that one wishes to distance themselves from the rest of society,” said DPP MP Martin Henriksen.

If Kjærsgaard takes the proposed ban to parliament, it will be the third time the DF has proposed a burqa ban, as two similar laws were considered in 2004 and 2009, none of these were passed.

However, although the DPP and the Social Democrats have welcomed the idea of the ban the Liberal Party, which is the senior partner in Denmark’s coalition Government, rejects the idea of legislating about citizens clothing, provided they are not employed in a public function.

Liberal Party, MP, Peter Christensen, said, “It’s going too far if we start legislating on what sort of clothes people can and cannot wear. The burqa and covered faces should not be allowed if you work with people in the public sector, but that is where we draw the line.”

Besides France only two other European countries – Belgium and the Netherlands – have passed bans targeting Muslim face veils.

Four-in-ten Americans say Islam encourages violence

Four-in-ten Americans say the Islam is more likely to encourage violence
Elham Asaad Buaras

Roughly four-in-ten Americans say Islam is more likely than other faiths to encourage violence among its believers, according to Pew Research Center Study poll released on June 26.

Beyond Red vs Blue: The Political Typology concluded some difference towards Islam based on the participants political and social values.

Pollsters found that 78% of Solid Liberals (defined as liberal across-the-board), along with 65% of the Next Generation Left (under 40s, liberal on social issues), reject the idea that Islam is more violent than other religions.

By contrast, about 72% Steadfast Conservatives (older, white, socially and politically conservative) say Islam is more likely than other religions to encourage violence.

Opinion is less one-sided among other typology groups. 56% of Business Conservatives (pro Wall Street and pro-immigration) say Islam is more likely than other religions to encourage violence. Hard-Pressed Skeptics (financial pressed and pessimistic) are divided 44% say Islam does encourage violence more, 41% say it does not.

And while more among both the Young Outsiders (conservative views on government not on social issues) and the Faith and Family Left (racially diverse and religious) say Islam is no more likely to encourage violence than other religions, 36% in both of these groups say it is.

A year on, female French victims of Islamophobic attacks await justice

A year on French women await justice

[No arrests have been made on a series of Islamophobic assaults on French Muslim women last year including the case of 17 year old Rabia who was repeatedly punched in the face]

Sara Asaria

After two brutal beatings of young French Muslim women in the summer of 2013, one leading to the victim’s miscarriage, French police officials remain complacent to cite Islamophobia as a motive behind these hate crimes. No arrests have been made in relation to the attacks that occurred in the space of two weeks, in Argenteuil, near Paris.

Leila O, a 21-year-old, then four-month pregnant, was confronted by two men on June 13 2013 and described being beaten, her hijab being forcibly removed and her hair being cut by the attackers. Two days later, she suffered a miscarriage, though the police refused to confirm that this was in any way linked to the attack.

Two weeks earlier on May 20, 2013, 17-year-old Rabia was physically and verbally abused by two men, who knocked her to the ground and called her a “dirty Arab” and a “dirty Muslim”. She was left with bruises on the mouth, face and elbows.

The attacks, which took place in Argenteuil, were followed by citizen protests and letters of support from current Prime Minister, Manuel Valls. However, no arrests have been made and many are angered by the Government’s reluctance to address these and similar increasing instances of Islamophobia against women.

Project Manager of the Islamophobia Monitoring and Action Network, Elsa Ray, told The Muslim News that the French police forces continue to demonstrate apathy in addressing the growing trend of Islamophobia attacks on women: “The police investigation has not been moving forward. The investigation is poor compared to the seriousness of the attacks and the consequences on the victims. The perpetrators were well described by the victims, yet the police have not found them yet.”

The police have been further criticised for the lack of support shown towards the victims, allegedly suspecting them of falsifying their statements and exaggerating the extent of their injuries. French law does not recognise Islamophobia as a crime in its own right. However, a 2014 study by the Collectif Contre L’Islamaphobie en France (CCIF) found that reports of acts of Islamophobia continue to rise in France, with women being the primary victims.

9/11 memorial museum board member honoured by anti-Islam hate group

[ACT! announced Debra Burlingame will be honoured at its national conference dinner gala]

Elham Asaad Buaras

News that an anti-Islam hate group the Congress For Truth (ACT!) for America is to honour 9/11 Memorial Museum Board Member has cemented accusations that the museum is taking an extreme right-wing turn.

On June 24 ACT! announced Debra Burlingame, 46, will be honoured on September 11 at its national conference dinner gala.

Burlingame, sister of Charles Burlingame, the pilot of the plane that crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11, has made a series of anti-Islam comments in the past and many questioned her growing influence on direction of the Memorial Museum.

ACT! praised Burlingame’s work as “co-founder of 9/11 Families for a Safe & Strong America, a group of 9/11 victims’ relatives who called the Ground Zero Mosque, ‘a gross insult to the memory of those who were killed on that terrible day.’”

The association between Burlingame and ACT! escalates what many critics have called the museum’s increasing right-wing affiliation.

Just weeks before the museum’s opening, tensions arose over the inclusion of an Islamophobic video in the exhibit which directly linked Islam with the terrorists who brought down the World Trade Center.
Among those to protest is Talat Hamdani whose son Mohammad Salman Hamdani was killed as he entered the World Trade Centre in an attempt to help the trapped victims.

Writing in The Daily Beast Dean Obeidallah, an American comedian of Italian and Palestinian descent, said his research on Burlingame “garnered Burlingame troubling results to say the least.”

“In 2010, she issued a press release denouncing President Obama’s support of the ‘Ground Zero Mosque’. That place of worship, she claimed, would spread Sharia law across the United States, leading to the ‘subjugation of all free people, including secular Muslims who come to this country fleeing that medieval ideology, which destroys lives and crushes the human spirit.’”

He added: “Burlingame also recently wrote a letter attacking the Liam Neeson film Non-Stop because the hijacker in the film is a military combat veteran and ‘worse, the flight’s quiet hero who comes to the aid of the protagonist, thereby saving the day, is a Muslim doctor.’ These are just a small sample of the type of statements Burlingame has made.”

ACT! for America was founded by anti-Muslim speaker Brigitte Gabriel who claims an American Muslim “cannot be a loyal citizen” and that Islam is the “real enemy.”

She once told the Australian Jewish News: “Every practising Muslim is a radical Muslim.”
She also claimed that “Islamo-fascism is a politically-correct word … it’s the vehicle for Islam … Islam is the problem.”

The New York Times stated: “[Gabriel] presents a portrait of Islam so thoroughly bent on destruction and domination that it is unrecognizable to those who study or practise the religion.”

UKIP candidate in Islamophobic tweet row

TWEET
Sara Asaria

A former youth member of UKIP has been condemned both by his party and the public following a stream of Islamophobic and sexist tweets.

James Elgar, 19, published a series of controversial tweets, including ‘#ThingsAsianBoysDo groom and rape underage white girls, stab and rob innocent old white people, bomb innocent white people #EctEctEct [sic]” and ‘There is [sic] no women in the CBB final? That’s because they are all in the kitchen where they belong…”.

In April 2013, he published the following tweet in response to the Boston bombings: “So there are Muslims cheering and celebrating the Boston Bombings today…really, really sums them up. #scum”.
Defending his son, Mark Elgar told journalists, “He is the least sexist and racist person you could ever meet…Last night he came home at 10.30pm with a curry.”

A spokesperson from UKIP publically shamed the candidate: “These sorts of comments and images are utterly deplorable. Mr Elgar would appear to be a young man who still has plenty of growing up to do. Our inquiries reveal that his UKIP membership in fact lapsed on January 1, 2014 and we shall not accept any renewal application from him.”

Despite the criticism, Elgar was still permitted to run as the UKIP candidate for his constituency, Egham Hytheward, though failed to secure a seat in the May 21st local elections.

Northern Ireland’s First Minister finally apologises for Islamophobic comment

Northern Ireland’s First Minister Peter Robinson (centre) has finally made a public apology to the Muslim community at the Islamic Center in Belfast

 

Elham Asaad Buaras

Northern Ireland’s First Minister Peter Robinson has made a public apology over controversial remarks about Islam a week after he made them.

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader sparked a storm of criticism after publicly backing the evangelical protestant preacher, Pastor James McConnell, who on May 18 attacked Islam as a “doctrine spawned in hell” and said he did not trust Muslims.

McConnell branded Islam a heathen doctrine; “People say there are good Muslims in Britain – that may be so – but I don’t trust them,” said the pastor. “Islam is heathen, Islam is satanic, Islam is a doctrine spawned in hell.”

On May 25, Robinson said he too would not trust Muslims for spiritual guidance but would trust them to “go down the shops”.

The DUP leader finally made a public apology a week later, on June 3. Speaking to the media after a meeting with members of Belfast Islamic Centre, he said: “I apologise if anything I said has caused them hurt and I can see that in many cases it has.

“I apologised to them face to face, personally, man to man the way it should be done. The very last thing that I would have ever in my mind would be to cause anyone hurt or distress or to insult them and I make that publicly clear as well in the clearest possible terms.”

“I cannot spend the rest of my life apologising but what I can do is spend the rest of my life building the united community that I believe we want in Northern Ireland.”

A spokesman for the centre Dr Raied Al-Wazzan said: “We accepted the apology in private and for us that was a sincere apology and we accepted it.”

However, Dr Al-Wazzan told The Muslim News that some member of Northern Ireland’s Muslim community were initially “not happy with accepting the apology in private at first meeting with First Minister on May 29, but they changed their mind after he apologised in public and also publicly supported building a new Islamic Cultural centre in Belfast.”

Critics say Robinson had dragged his feet in apologising he initially went on to say his original remarks had been “misinterpreted and given a meaning that was never intended”.

He also rationalised that claiming not to trust a section of society was not a hate crime, equating his comments to people “who say they don’t trust politicians.”

A DUP spokesman told The Muslim News, “Robinson outlined his views and made it clear that there was never any intention on his part to offend or cause distress to anyone.”

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence event is to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to society. Over 850 people from diverse background, Muslim and non-Muslim, attended the gala dinner.


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