UK Muslims face worst job discrimination

Elham Asaad Buaras

Comprehensive research into figures by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has found Muslims are facing the worst employment discrimination of any group in the UK Labour market.

Using data from the ONS’ Labour Force Survey of more than 500,000 people the research published in the Social Science Journal study found that Muslims in the UK had the lowest chance of employment. Race made little difference to the figures.

The report found Muslims were the most disadvantaged in terms of employment prospects out of 14 ethno-religious groupings in the UK and that the “penalties” for being Muslim deteriorated when applying for professional jobs.

Researchers Dr Nabil Khattab and Professor Ron Johnston found Muslim men were up to 76 per cent less likely to have a job of any kind compared to white, male British Christians of the same age and with the same qualifications. And Muslim women were up to 65 per cent less likely to be employed than white Christian counterparts.

Dr Khattab, of Bristol University, said the situation was “likely to stem from placing Muslims collectively at the lowest stratum within the country’s racial or ethno-cultural system due to growing Islamophobia and hostility against them.

“They are perceived as disloyal and as a threat rather than just as a disadvantaged minority,” he added. “Within this climate, many employers will be discouraged from employing qualified Muslims, especially if there are others from their own groups or others from less threatening groups who can fill these jobs.”

For women, Muslim Pakistanis and a “Muslim other” group were 65 percent less likely to have a job, with Muslim Indians 55 percent, Muslim Bangladeshis 51 percent and white Muslims 43 percent less likely. For men, the “Muslim other” group was 76 percent less likely to be in work, followed by Muslim Bangladeshis (66%), white Muslims (64%), Muslim Pakistanis (59%) and Muslim Indians (37%).

White British men and women of no religion were, respectively, 20 and 25 percent less likely to have a job than Christians. Black Christians with Caribbean origins were 54 percent and 48 per cent less likely.

The only ethno-religious group with better work prospects than white British Christians were British Jews, with women and men 29 and 15 percent more likely to be employed.

Of those in work, the researchers found only 23 percent and 27 percent of Muslim Bangladeshis and Muslim Pakistanis, respectively, had a salaried job. White British Jews had the highest rates, with 64 percent in salaried jobs, followed by Hindu Indians and white Christian Irish on 53 and 51 percent respectively. White British Christians, white British of no religion and black Christian Africans were all above 40 percent.

Dr Khattab added: “The main components of this discrimination are skin colour and culture or religion. But colour is dynamic, which means white colour can be valued in one case, but devalued when associated with Muslims. Equally, having a dark skin colour – Hindu Indians, for example – is not always associated with any significant penalty.”

The latest research is supported by other investigations into Muslim discrimination in the market place.

A 2004 research by the BBC found that the white job candidates – John Andrews and Jenny Hughes – were successful in getting interviews 23 percent of the time while for Muslim applicants with the names Fatima Khan and Nasser Hanif, the success rate was just 9 percent.

In France, a Christian citizen is two-and-a-half times more likely to get called for a job interview than an equally qualified Muslim candidate, according to a 2010 research by political science professor David Laitin.

Laitin used the faux resumes to apply for 300 advertised job openings, making Khadija and Aurélie compete for one set of positions and Marie and Aurélie compete for another. For every 38 call backs received by Khadija, Marie got 100 call backs – two-and-a-half times more than Khadija.

UKIP member mistakes Westminster Cathedral for mosque

Elham Buaras

UKIP became the butt of online jokes after a member running one of its regional twitter accounts mistook Westminster Cathedral for a mosque earlier last month.

The embarrassing twitter exchange between the BBC and the UKIP member prompted the party to announce that its member is no longer on twitter.

A Tweet by UKIP’s South Thanet Branch was ridiculed online

UKIP’s South Thanet Branch replied to a tweet from the BBC’s Daily Politics show on November 25, deriding the shows location the tweet read; “Perfect place to hold a vote in front of a mosque in London. The BBC’s random means selective.”

In reply BBC reporter Giles Dilnot tweeted: “You are SO wrong you might be embarrassed by that.”

However, UKIP South Thanet demanded the location of the building, at which Dilnot pointed out it was being held in the most famous Cathedral Britain, Westminster Cathedral.

The mistake has prompted a flurry of activity on twitter, with the #NotAMosque and #ThingsThatAreNotMosques trending nationwide to point out other things that are not mosques, including Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, a turnip, the Teletubbies, a Moose and a Mosquito.

UKIP’s South Thanet Branch Chair Martyn Heale said: “The twitter account was run by a long-standing member of the branch but someone else is now running it. That member is no longer on twitter. It may have caused a bit of offence to somebody somewhere but people make mistakes and the person responsible will probably apologise.”

Irresponsible comments on grooming is fuelling Islamophobia

Elham Asaad Buaras

A coalition of Muslim organisations, activists and professionals from Rochdale and the surrounding area come together on November 19 to raise awareness about the rise of Islamophobia following the town’s grooming scandal.

In a press conference which included members of Manchester Muslim Forum, Project Madinah, Rochdale Association of Private Hire Drivers and Rochdale Islamic Society, the coalition said the community is facing “unprecedented and unacceptable” rise in racism and Islamophobia in Rochdale following the conviction and subsequent report into the ‘Rochdale sex trafficking gang’.

In 2012, eight Britons of Pakistani descent and one Afghan were found guilty of exploiting girls, who were all white, in sexual activities in Rochdale and Derby in return for drugs and alcohol. The gang lured girls with gifts, alcohol and drugs before passing them around to have sex ‘with several men a day, several times a week’ in flats, houses, cars, taxis and kebab shops.


Inflammatory comments by politicians and the media on child grooming has led to the rise in Islamophobic attacks such as the one on father-of-five Javad Iqbal, say Rochale’s Muslim community

The group say disproportionate focus on the ethnicity and religion of non-white sex offenders has led to the stigmatisation of the Muslim community and is fuelling Islamophobia.

The Rochdale coalition referred to the double standards apparent in the media coverage of grooming with ethnicity and religion being identified as causal factors in the case of Asian Muslim criminals but not in regard to white offenders such as Jimmy Savile, Stuart Hall and former Rochdale MP Cyril Smith.

Many Asian drivers say they have been “found guilty by association” and Rochdale Association of Private Hire Drivers (RAPHD) and Rochdale Islamic Society say there have been cases of drivers being harassed by the public.

RAPHD point to an incident on October 26 when a taxi driver was left scarred for life following an unprovoked stabbing. Father-of-five Javad Iqbal needed six stitches after the Islamophobic attack. He was assaulted after dropping off a punter in the town just before 2am. The 48-year old from Deeplish, Rochdale, had to go to hospital and his Toyota Avensis was damaged during the incident. It was the second stabbing of an Asian Muslim taxi driver in the borough in October.

Rochdale Muslim Community Press Conference on Islamophobia

And earlier this year the boss of a minicab company was forced to reverse a policy to offer white drivers on request following a protest by Asian Muslim drivers who complained they were ‘treated like paedophiles’.

In a joint statement the group said it not only held far-right groups but local and national politicians as well the media responsible for normalising Islamophobia and racism in the aftermath of report.

They cited a Parliamentary debate on child sexual exploitation when Conservative MP for Keighley, Kris Hopkins, made reference to “gangs of Muslim men” involved in “raping white kids” and suggested that “sexist behaviour by Muslim men towards women” was to blame.

“Irresponsible comments from senior local and national politicians are aiding the negative portrayal of the Muslim community. Time and time again some politicians and the media have equated issues such as grooming and the Muslim community as one and the same. It is only natural that this type of misinformation has meant that casual Islamophobia towards Muslims has now become an expectable norm,” said the group.

The group pointed to statements by the Crown Prosecution Service’s lead on child sexual abuse, Nazir Afzal, assertion that the ethnicity of the perpetrators varies depending on location.

Afzal, who decided to bring the case to trial, pointed to the fact that “the vast majority of offenders are British white male,” he said, setting the number at somewhere between 80 and 90%. “We have come across cases all over the country and the ethnicity of the perpetrators varies depending on where you are…It is not the abusers’ race that defines them. It is their attitude to women that defines them.”

He also noted the amount of media attention devoted to child sex abuse cases is inconsistent. “A few weeks after the Rochdale case, we dealt with a case of 10 white men in North Yorkshire who had been abusing young girls, and they were all convicted and they got long sentences. It didn’t get the level of coverage,” he said.

Afzal said that gender, not race, was the key issue: “There is no community where women and girls are not vulnerable to sexual attack and that’s a fact.”

Rochadale’s Muslim community also strongly refuted suggestion found in the report, and reiterated by Home Secretary, Theresa May, on September 2, that a culture of ‘political correctness’ had contributed to the authorities’ decision to turn a blind eye to the abuse.

Local businessman and activist Kasim Javed told The Muslim News,“This unsubstantiated conclusion implies that grooming is a hidden problem within the Muslim community than it is in the wider society and is exactly the type of discourse that is reinforcing the stigmatisation we are challenging.”

He added; “Political correctness didn’t stop irresponsible speech by the politicians or media, why would it impede law enforcement? This is a mundane excuse to deflect criticism away from local authorities and throw it back on to the Muslim community as though we are to blame for the inaction of authorities in addressing the social ills of Britain. ‘Political correctness’ hasn’t deterred any hate speech against Muslims up to now.”

MP calls for the cleansing Netherlands of Islam


Freedom Party MP, Machiel de Graaf, asked all mosques in the Netherlands to be shut down

Elham Asaad Buaras

A member of Dutch anti-immigration Party has called for the Netherlands to be “clean” of Islam, during a Parliament debate on integration.

Freedom Party MP, Machiel de Graaf, asked all mosques in the country to be shut down. “We want to clean Netherlands of Islam,” he said.

De Graaf also accused the Muslim communities of wiping out Dutch society by giving more birth. His remarks drew harsh criticism from members of social democratic parties attending the debate.

While Labour Party Deputy, Roos Vermeij, urged the right-winger to retract his words, Democrats 66 Deputy, Sten van Weijenberg, stressed his statements were dangerous.

De Graaf’s party, which is led by right-wing politician Geert Wilders, has been a vocal critic of Muslims and immigrants living in the country, but his words mark the first time that the request for the complete closure of mosques has been expressed.

The debate also came as Turkey warned Dutch authorities about aggressive and racist policies toward the Turkish community living there.

Earlier this month, two lawmakers of Turkish descent from the Labour Party were expelled after refusing to support their party’s critical remarks about a number of Turkish organisations that were accused of being “too focused on promoting Turkish and Islamic identity.”

Former UKIP leader criticised for linking Qur’an to Rigby murder


Former UKIP leader, Lord Malcolm Pearson Muslims to “address the violence” in the Qur’an

Elham Asaad Buaras

Former UKIP leader, Lord Malcolm Pearson, is to be reported to the Speaker of the House of Lords by a Muslim MP after he called on Muslims to “address the violence” in the Qur’an following the publication of the report on the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby.

UKIP defended Pearson who led the anti-immigration party from 2009 to 2010 but Labour MP Khalid Mahmood said Pearson’s remarks showed that UKIP is a “party of Islamophobes”.

Speaking about the findings of the report by the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee on November 25, Pearson argued that the Prime Minister’s insistence that Rigby’s murder was a betrayal of Islam was wrong.

The Tory defector told peers: “Rigby’s murderers quoted 22 verses of the Qur’an to justify their atrocity Therefore, is the Prime Minister accurate or helpful when he describes it as a betrayal of Islam?” Since the vast majority of Muslims are our peace-loving friends, should we not encourage them to address the violence in the Qur’an – and indeed in the life and the example of Muhammad?”

Birmingham Perry Barr MP Mahmood said Pearson’s speech lifts the: “veil of Farage when he tries to say he believes in all the communities and would work together with people as a serious party. This is not a serious party. This is a party, in this instance, of Islamophobes and people who just generally can’t understand and tolerate the different heritages and cultures that we have in the UK.

“Virtually everybody has condemned – and I, again, for the record condemn – the atrocious attack on Lee Rigby. Obviously he hasn’t read the Qur’an. Islam is about submission to the Almighty. It is not about war against anybody else.”

Mahmood vowed to make a complaint formally to the Lords Speaker. While Labour MP for Bolton South East, Yasmin Qureshi, said: “These are lies. Trying to say this comes from some text in the Qur’an or there is some justification in the religion – it isn’t there. To suggest that Muslims should be apologising and somehow having to take responsibility for the actions of a handful of people is absolutely diabolical. This is nonsensical rubbish.”

A UKIP spokesman defended Pearson insisting he was: “Calling on Islamic scholars to treat the Qur’an as Christian scholars treat the Bible – to use it as a subject for debate and discourse around the core message. He is talking about how Islamic scholars are constrained by the comprehension that the Qur’an is the perfect word of God unencumbered by human frailty, unlike the Bible. In contrast the apostles are human and like all human beings are prone to error.”

This is not the first time Pearson made controversial comments about Islam, last year he said he feared “the dark side is moving strongly within Islam.”

He spoke of a growing Muslim communities re set against integration and “thousands of home-grown potential terrorists; we see Sharia law running de facto in our land; and we see a birth rate several times higher than ours, to which our democracy is already exposed.”

Rightwing media attack Affleck for defending Islam

Elham Asaad Buaras

America’s right-wing slammed Hollywood A-lister Ben Affleck for his defence of Islam on a US talk show. Affleck accused TV host Bill Maher of and “racist” depictions of the religion during a televised debate.

Appearing on HBO talk show Real Time with Bill Maher, the Oscar-winning actor and director Affleck reacted furiously to claims by Maher that Islam manifested as “the only religion that acts like the mafia” and which would “f@#king kill you if you say the wrong thing, draw the wrong picture or write the wrong book”.

Atheist author and philosopher Sam Harris also angered Affleck after suggesting: “We have been sold this meme of Islamophobia, where criticism of the religion gets conflated with bigotry towards Muslims as people. It’s intellectually ridiculous.”

Continued…

Maher backed up the author, telling Affleck that he was wrong to state that fundamentalist beliefs were only held by “a few bad apples”.

Affleck responded: “Hold on – are you the person who officially understands the codified doctrine of Islam? It’s gross and racist. It’s like saying, ‘Oh, you shifty Jew!’ Your argument is, ‘You know, black people, they shoot each other.’”

He added: “How about more than a billion people who aren’t fanatical, who don’t punch women, who just want to go to school, have some sandwiches, pray five times a day, and don’t do any of the things you’re saying of all Muslims. It’s stereotyping.”

The actor’s comments won him praise on Twitter, but conservative US radio and TV outlets have since made Affleck a target.

Rich Lowry, Editor of the conservative National Review magazine, laid into the actor for an alleged refusal to accept “frank truths about the Muslim world” in an article published on October 7.

“He kept on insisting it is just a few bad apples who think this way,” wrote Lowry. “At one point, he tried to wave Maher and Harris off with a condemnation of the Iraq war, positing an implicit moral equivalence between an overly idealistic war of liberation and the stoning of apostates.”

On Fox News, guest Dr Zuhdi Jasser of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy referred to the actor as “Imam Ben Affleck”.

On the Fox & Friends show on October 7 Jasser said Affleck was “defending the theocrats, the status quo.”

While America’s Newsroom contributor David Webb accused Affleck of living in a “unicorn-like world” and suggested Islam was “an intolerable religion”.
Meanwhile, presenter Greg Gutfield of the Fox show The Five described Affleck as a “Caliphate crusader”.

On October 6 regular Fox guest Laura Ingraham asked what it might take for liberals such as Affleck to “wake up” to Isis atrocities in Iraq and Syria.

Four men jailed for throwing a pig’s head into mosque


Andrew Warner, Travis Crabtree, Thomas Ashton and Steven White

Elham Asaad Buaras

Four men were jailed on November 17 for throwing a pig’s head into Blackpool Central Mosque just two days after the murder of soldier Lee Rigby.

Preston Crown Court was told Thomas Ashton, 21, Andrew Warner, 31, Travis Crabtree, 25, and Steven White, 28, dumped a carrier bag containing the pig’s head in the car park of Blackpool Central Mosque in Lancashire. Ashton was given ten months prison, Warner seven months, Crabtree 14 months and White was given eight months.

The men were imprisoned despite a plea of clemency from the Mosque’s Imam who called on the judge in the case not to jail the four men who
admitted religiously aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress.

Ashfaq Patel said: “I don’t think they should be put behind bars.”

Clare Thomas, prosecuting, said a volunteer discovered the pig’s head in a bag outside the mosque, after receiving a Facebook message that an unpleasant package had been sent there. She said: “Parents and children had started to arrive at the mosque. Some of them saw the head and felt offended and angry.”

Investigating police found taunting messages on White’s Facebook, which read: “They will be fuming.”

Judge Knowles said: “People are and must be free to worship as they please and without this kind of foul attack on them and that which they hold sacred. Public order must be preserved. What you four did must be denounced”.

Barrister for the four men denied their clients were racists, saying it was ‘a prank that went horribly wrong.’

Welsh councillor denies using Islamophobic word

Elham Asaad Buaras

A councillor in Wales has denied his use of the term “muzzy” on his Facebook was an Islamophobic slur. Mike Harris, an independent Torfaen councilor, posted “Once a Muzzy!” alongside an article on Hamas reportedly executing informers.

Anti-racism campaigners Hope Not Hate posted his remark on their blog on August 26.
The post provoked more than 70 angry comments on the group’s Facebook page.
One reader branded his comments “unbelievable” and “unacceptable”, while another accused him of being “racist”.

The Muslim Council of Wales, called on Harris and all “councillors to refrain from using such inflammatory and divisive language in the future.”

Continued…

Cllr Mike Harris used the term “muzzy” in a post on Facebook – but he denies the comment was an anti-Muslim slur

Harris has denies that his post was intended as a racist slur but that he was using the word in its proper meaning as set out in the dictionary, “Unable to think clearly; confused”.

While referring to the picture accompanying the article, which shows the executioners carrying guns, he said: “They are executing people so they must be confused and not able to think clearly or muzzy as it says in the dictionary.”

A council spokesman confirmed that the council has been contacted by members of the public regarding the post and have referred the public to the Public Service Ombudsman.

He explained that individual councillors are responsible for their postings on social media and are subject to a Code of Conduct, some aspects of which apply to a councillor even when he/she is not acting on council business.

He added: “Complaints that a councillor may have breached the Code should be made to the Ombudsman and the Ombudsman will decide whether or not to investigate.”

The Ombudsman confirmed that it has not received a complaint on the issue.

In 2012, the public services ombudsman’s office received complaints after Harris wrote on Facebook that he would rush an act through Parliament to “reclassify all immigrants as being illegal immigrants.”

The public services ombudsman concluded there was no evidence of a breach of the code of conduct.

McDonald’s manager arrested after launching racist tirade at Somali customers

Elham Asaad Buaras

A West African McDonald’s manager was arrested over a racist tirade against Somali customers. The victims say he told them: “All you fu@#ing Somalians are the same.” Yasin Farah, 27, and his friends went to the restaurant in south east London, for breakfast at 5.30am on November 2. He said the manager of the restaurant, who is understood to be black and had a West African accent, quickly turned on him and four friends.

Continued…


Yasin Farah, Abdi Mahamud and Mohamoud Duhod were subjected to racist tirade by a West African McDonald’s manager

Farah, of Penge, said the manager jumped on the till and straight away was aggressive with the group.

“He was saying to my friend: ‘Can you not read, can you not see? What do you want for your breakfast?’ I didn’t understand why he was asking if he could read, so I jumped in and starting saying ‘just let him order his breakfast’.

“Then he started telling us to get the ‘fu@k out of the restaurant. You are a low life, get out of the restaurant, all you fu@#ing Somalians are all the same.’”

Farah said: “Then all of a sudden he says I am a low-life. ‘You are a low-life, get out of the restaurant, all you fu@#ing Somalians are all the same.’”

“A lot of his colleagues were coming in, trying to calm him down. The customers were shocked, his response was completely out of proportion. His actions, his mannerisms, the way he was saying the things he said, made me want to take action. I called the police. At the end of the day he’s the manager, you cannot set that kind of example. No one is allowed to speak to anyone like that in today’s society.”

A McDonald’s spokeswoman said: “We are aware of the incident and are working with the individual and restaurant team to ensure this never happens again. All are aware of the severity of this and are following internal HR processes.”

A police spokesman said: “A 41-year-old man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of a racially aggravated offence under section four of the Public Order Act. He was subsequently issued with a police caution.”

Muslim woman broke arm in Islamophobic attack

Muslim woman broke arm in Islamophobic attackMuslim woman was left with a broken arm in an unprovoked Islamophobic assault in Melbourne last month

Elham Asaad Buaras

A middle aged Muslim woman was left with a broken arm in an unprovoked Islamophobic assault in Melbourne last month. The latest incident is one of many Islamophobic attacks sweeping Australia following anti-terror raids involving more than 800 police officers.

The 48-year-old woman, who was wearing a hijab [headscarf] had been shopping at Lalor shopping Plaza when she was attacked. The woman’s daughter, Abrar Ahmed, saw the incident unfold from her car.

“A man approached my mum and said, ‘You Muslims, go back to where you came from’,” Ahmed said.

“As my mum turned around to see who was yelling at her in such a disgusting way, she saw this really big guy. He pushed her on the ground. She landed in the middle of the road. When she fell on the ground she broke her arm. She heard her bone crack.”

Ahmed said Islamophobic attacks on Muslim women are on the rise in Australia. “A lot of other Muslim women, they have been going through worse assaults, they are being attacked in very different ways and they don’t have the courage to speak out.”

Federal member for Melbourne, Adam Bandt, said the current political climate is contributing to an increase of attacks on Muslim women.

“It can divide our community and some people end up on the receiving end of abuse. In this case, Muslim Australians – and especially women – tell me they are being harassed and assaulted,” he said.

Brunswick police Acting Senior Sergeant Ben Davies said police take all reports of Islamophobic attacks seriously. “I think sometimes people have a fear of reporting or think there is no point in reporting, so we are engaging with the community to encourage them.”

The Australian Muslim Women’s Association (AMWA) say the Government’s “draconian” policies is helping fester division.

“The Prime Minister’s constant reassurance that he is not targeting the Muslim community and that we need to work as part of team are completely opposite to his statements that divide the community between those who are on ‘the team’ and those who ‘the community’ needs to take responsibility for,” said AMWA’s Silma Ihram.

She told The Muslim News Tony Abbott is “conducting his own ‘shock and awe’ with a massive media presence when he sent in 800 heavily armed police to knock down the doors of 12 homes in two states, which only resulted in 2 arrests.”

She added; “This was a clear message to the Muslim community that any sign of disagreement or threat would result in serious measures. His latest anti-terror laws include draconian provisions against the press with 10 years jail for reporting any aspect of special operations, the right not only to gather meta data in mass surveillance, but to edit it (why?!?) with 73 passports already cancelled.”

AMWA say numerous community requests to the Government for dialogue about foreign policies and engagement with Australian Muslims “and numerous other requests are generally ignored.

Young Muslim men are feeling increasingly disillusioned and unhappy.
Even senior and conservative members of the Muslim community, including myself have been expressing frustration at the actions of the Government, their lack of response and their incredibly paternalistic short term, knee jerk reaction to these events.”

Muslims cemetery plans rejected

Aishah Ali

Plans for a 4,000 plot Muslim cemetery in Catherine-de-Barnes, in Solihull, was rejected by Solihull Council on November 5. But a separate application for a 7,000 plot Muslim cemetery adjacent to this site still has to be determined.

Justin Smith, representing the applicants, Cemetery Development Services, told Solihull Council’s planning committee there was a significant demand from the Muslim community within five to ten miles of Solihull.

The plan received 2,125 letters of support, plus a near-400 name petition.
There were 380 objections.

Solihull Ratepayers Secretary Trevor Eames said there was already adequate burial provision for local Muslims. Councillors unanimously rejected planning permission for the 4,000 plot cemetery.

The proposed plans for 11-acre site in Catherine-de-Barnes village, near Solihull, Birmingham, were resubmitted after withdrawing in March 2014. The developers, Cemetery Development Services, have proposed plans for two neighbouring cemeteries.

The 4,000 burial spaces would accommodate Muslim only plots, in compliance with Islamic tradition, and a further request for an extra 7,000 spaces, would become an adjacent multi-faith cemetery if approved. The site would also include around 90 car parking spaces.

The Muslim community of Birmingham have said they are in desperate need for more burial spaces. Funeral Director, ZUQ Funeral Services, Mohammed Khalil, explained the urgent need for the plot. “The local Muslim population is growing rapidly, but the cemetery Muslims use is mostly Handsworth which is nearly full,” he said.

“Birmingham Council are making some provision but we still need more in the vicinity of the population. Don’t forget, the people who came here in the 1950s and 1960s are now old and dying fast.

“Before, they used to send people back home to their families in Pakistan and Bangladesh. But apparently now all their families are here and they have no-one back home. They are saying ‘this is our country now. We are living here and dying here so we should be buried here,” he added.

But leader of Solihull Council, Councillor Bob Sleigh (Con. Bickenhill), said the needs of local people could be met at the borough’s current plots. “There is no need for this extra site in Solihull. We have identified our population need and made provision for that,” he said.

“This is an extremely large proposal. Obviously people are concerned about the scale of the development and its threat to greenbelt land around Catherine-de-Barnes,” he added.

Both applications will be seen by the planning committee next month.

Over 1000 people sign petition to launch police investigation into Hopkins tweets

Elham Asaad Buaras

Police confirmed that they have received complaints and are currently trawling the tweets of former Apprentice contestant Katie Hopkins, although no investigation has been launched. A website calling for the arrest of The Sun columnist and TV airtimefiller has been created following a string of Islamophobic posts on her Twitter account.

Katie Hopkins

The site called Arrest Katie Hopkins has complained to the police, the Home Secretary and the Director of Public Prosecutions, where all petitions are sent. So far more than 1000 people have signed it.

Continued…

 

It is not the first time Katie Hopkins took to twitter to ridicule Muslims

On November 10, Hopkins posted a series of anti-Palestinian messages on her account after reports of the stabbings in Tel Aviv apparently carried out by an Arab man on two Israelis, including one that labelled Palestinians “filthy rodents”.

“Palestinians busy knifing Israelis. 2 stage solution my arse. Filthy rodents burrowing beneath Israel. Time to restart the bombing campaign,” she wrote though it isn’t clear if the former reality star posted the comments herself or was hacked – although the offensive tweets remain on her account.

The website goes on to claim that her Twitter activity has gone from being merely “offensive”, which may have received protection from the Director of Public Prosecutions’ interim guidelines, to “hurtful and indeed racist” – and argue those guidelines no longer apply.

The site claims the police have so far not acted, so they want to take charge. An ‘arrest her now’ tab sits at the top of the site.

In a statement to The Muslim News the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign said: “We find it shocking that this kind of racism can be propagated by people in this country, and that human life seems to have so little value to those who call for the deaths of Palestinians. Any decent person should oppose racism in all its forms, including racism directed at Palestinians.”

It is not the first time Hopkins has offended Muslims. On July 27 the Sun newspaper was urged to sack Hopkins after she branded Prophet Muhammad an imaginary paedophile.

Reacting to a report on Rotherham Council’s handling of the sexual abuse of children by men of Pakistani descent The Sun columnist and TV airtime filler posted, “If you follow a religion where your imaginary prophet is a paedophile, I suspect you think it is ok to rape young white girls too. Bastards”.

Her outburst has been re-tweeted 575 times and favored 622 times. Her supporters quickly closed ranks online with many calling her “brave” while another tweeted, “Couldn’t have said it better myself #ReligionOfPeace.”

However, some called Hopkins out on irrationality, “since 95% of all pedo cases are by white guys, I guess you must be following the white god pedo yourself?”

They also maintained that Hopkins would not make similar claims of “Christianity in light of child sex abuse scandals in Catholic institutions or of white British people following the widely publicised scandals involving Jimmy Savile, Stuart Hall, Rolf Harris and a host of other famous faces. Indeed, the vast majority of men on the sex offenders register are white men – would Katie Hopkins tweet comments blaming Britons, or ‘white culture’ of Christianity for their actions?”

MEND told The Muslim News as the most widely read newspaper in the UK, The Sun “should not allow the views of bigots to grace its pages. It would not allow individuals who aired racial slurs or anti-Semitic remarks. ”

The Sun distanced itself from Hopkins remarks insisting its Editor David Dinsmore said the newspaper is “not responsible for the Twitter postings of our contributors, nor does it agree with everything they say. Katie’s opinions on Twitter, some of which can be questionable on a number of subjects, are her own.

Earlier this summer she made a series of Islamophobic tweets about Ramadan.

On June 29 the former reality TV tweeted: “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?”

 

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].”

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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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