Sikh pensioner assaulted for looking like a Muslim

Elham Asaad Buaras

An 82-year-old Sikh man who was brutally assaulted outside a Gurudwara in 2013 is still awaiting justice with a third delay in sentencing of the accused who reportedly mistook him to be a Muslim.

Piara Singh was attacked outside his home in Fresno, California.His lungs and head were badly damaged and he was left bleeding in front of Gurudawara. Members of Sikh community say that they are still waiting for closure in the case due to third delay in sentencing.

His attacker, Gilbert Garcia Jr, 31, was initially charged with attempted murder but admitted elder abuse and hate crime in February of this year. Community Advocate Ike Grewal said, “Sikhs have been attacked all over the US after 9/11 and this is not acceptable because we have been mistaken as radicals when we are not,” Grewal said.

Singh’s nephew, Charanjit Sihota said that police told him that they found Garcia hiding behind a tree in a neighbour’s garden and that, as he was under arrest he shouted that he hated “those people” and wanted to bomb their places of worship.

Heroic Samaritan assaulted for defending Muslim women

Nadine Osman

A heroic Australian traveler was assaulted after defending three Muslim women who were subject to a vile Islamophobic verbal assault on a packed Melbourne train, Australia.

36 year-old Jason Cias was commuting home on the train on May 15, when he witnessed two men targeting the women who were wearing headscarves.

The train had pulled out of Melbourne Central station about 3.15pm when the unprovoked abuse began after one of the younger women sat next to the tradesmen.

One of them made reference to her headscarf, saying, “You shouldn’t be wearing that shit in Australia’,” Cias said.

Cias said the woman tried to put the men in their place, asking them what their problem was, and it sparked a heated exchange.

He said the older of the women appeared to try to calm the situation in Arabic, which was met with yet another barb from the men.

“The comment was, ‘You shouldn’t be speaking that shit in Australia’,” Cias said.

The women got off the train at North Melbourne and it was when one of the men called after them “I’ll f—ing smash ya” that Cias stepped in.

“I said to the guy, ‘Mate, they’re women’. The implication there was you don’t threaten people, particularly women,” he said.

Cias said he was told to mind his own business before one of the men stood over him and punched him to his left cheek.

“Even though the guy stood up and was acting aggressively, I didn’t expect to get punched. After that I walked towards him and grabbed his collar and held him at arm’s length and told him I would be laying charges,” he said.

The men moved to another carriage when another commuter intervened and separated them. Cias got off the train at Kensington with two witnesses, including Katie Parker, 28, who captured part of the assault on video and rang police.

“It was awful to witness that sort of violence in the middle of the day… Jason just said one sentence calmly and the attacker was really aggressive at the drop of a hat for no logical reason,” Parker said.

Cias, who suffered bruising and swelling but no long-term injuries, said he would change only one thing about what he did.

“I would have liked to have said something earlier. That’s probably my only thing…but I certainly wouldn’t change what I did, I don’t agree with that behaviour,” he said.

“Whether it’s Islamic women or whoever, it’s just not right they can abuse people like that. No one should be doing that to anyone regardless of race or gender or religious creed.”

German police officer force-feeds Muslim with rotten pork

Nadine Osman

German prosecutors are investigating a police officer who allegedly abused two refugees, strangling an Afghan man and forcing a Moroccan to eat rotten pork off the floor.

The police officer has been accused of bragging about the brutal assaults in text messages and photos he sent via instant messaging service WhatsApp to his colleagues in the western city of Hanover.

Human rights group Pro Asyl condemned the alleged incidents, first reported by public broadcaster NDR, for their “appalling level of racism and inhumanity” and demanded a probe into how many “accomplices in police uniform” knew of the violence.

Prosecutors are investigating the officer, who has been suspended, on charges of physical assault and illegal weapons possession and have searched his home and work place.

In the first alleged case, in March last year, the officer had bragged in a text message about beating, strangling and sticking his fingers up the nose of a 29-year-old Afghan man whose feet were cuffed after he was detained for not carrying ID papers.

The officer later bragged about the assault over WhatsApp and sent several photos and messages to his colleagues saying: “It was funny…squealed like a pig… It was a present from Allah.”

In the second case, months later, the officer allegedly targeted a 19-year-old Moroccan man, who had been detained for travelling on a train without a ticket, carrying a small amount of marijuana.

NDR reported that the policeman bragged about how he assaulted and then humiliated the man by forcing him to eat minced rotten pork off the floor.

A photo allegedly sent by the officer shows a handcuffed man lying on the floor, wincing in pain, and apparently restrained by at least two officers.

The officer has been suspended over physical assault and possession of illegal weapons as investigation continues.

Supreme Court rules against Abercrombie in hijab case

Nadine Osman

On June 1, the US Supreme Court ruled against Abercrombie & Fitch, 8-1, deciding that the retailer’s failure to accommodate a job applicant who wore a hijab violated her civil rights.

Abercrombie declined to hire Samantha Elauf in 2008 because her hijab violated the company’s “look policy,” which at the time prohibited employees from wearing head coverings. Elauf was never informed of the “look policy.” Elauf filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

The EEOC filed suit against Abercrombie, prompting the retailer to deny its policy was discriminatory because its ban prohibited all types of headgear and therefore was not based on religion.

Abercrombie has since changed its “look policy” to allow for headgear, including hijabs.

Abercrombie also argued that it was up to Elauf to request accommodation. Under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, employers must provide “reasonable accommodation without undue hardship.” The question before the court was whether the employer bore responsibility to provide that accommodation even when the prospective employee – did not ask for one. The high court ruled that it did, reversing a decision from the Tenth Circuit.

This was not the first time Abercrombie stood accused of discriminating against Muslims in its hiring practices. In September 2013 the retailer agreed to $71,000 in settlements after the EEOC filed two religious discrimination lawsuits. One of those lawsuits concerned a Muslim teenager fired from her stockroom job after she refused to remove her hijab. The other involved an 18-year-old job applicant allegedly denied an “impact associate” position after her interviewer asked about her hijab.

The Elauf case was a significant win for religious advocacy groups. In December, the Council on American-Islamic Relations filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court, recommending that it overturn the Tenth Circuit’s ruling on the grounds that “it places unreasonable burdens on individual job candidates and employees who outwardly display their religion through dress and grooming practices.”

A court ruling in favor of Abercrombie would have also had implications for pregnancy and disability requests, since it would have freed employers from the obligation to accommodate pregnant or disabled workers unless asked explicitly asked to do so.

Misconceptions about Muslims ‘rife’ in UK

Hamed Chapman

Many young people have negative attitudes towards immigration, believing that Muslims are “taking over” the country and foreign-born workers are “stealing jobs”, according to a new study.

The research, conducted by Show Racism The Red Card, suggests that misconceptions about migration and other cultures are rife, fuelled by distorted views about the numbers of immigrants living in the UK.

It found that more than a third (35%) of the almost 6,000 pupils questioned believed that “Muslims are taking over England” and that more than one in four (28%) that jobs being taken by foreign workers might stop them reaching their goals.

The research, part of a two-year programme of work by the charity designed to combat the influence of far-right groups on young people, surveyed 10 to 16-year-olds in 60 schools across England who took part in anti-racism workshops between April 2012 and April 2014.

It found that youngsters overestimated the number of foreign-born people living in the UK, suggesting that around 47% were born overseas. In reality, 2011 census data indicates that the actual figure is around 13%, the charity said.

Of the 3,362 youngsters who answered the survey between April and November 2012, nearly half (49%) had agreed that migration to the UK is out of control or not being managed properly.

And of the 2,638 who were polled between November 2012 and April last year, even more (60%) believed it was true that “asylum seekers and immigrants are stealing our jobs”.

The study did find that when asked how they would describe what it means to be British to someone from another country, many of the answers young people gave were positive, highlighting areas such as the NHS, the education system, freedom of thought and even the weather.

It also reveals that many youngsters have concerns about the future, with 35% of all of those surveyed saying they do not think they will achieve their potential at school, and 40% saying they do not believe they will have enough, or earn enough money in the future.

Over two in five (43%) think that there is a lack of work opportunities, the study found, while “jobs” was the most used phrase by young people when asked about the negative aspects of living in a multicultural country.

“This data provides an evidence base which supports our experience in recent years working with young people throughout the UK; the presence of fears and misconceptions about issues of immigration, Islamophobia and ‘Britishness’,” said Chief Executive Ged Grebby of Show Racism The Red Card.

“Through Show Racism The Red Card’s work in schools we have found that there is a large amount of negativity when young people are asked questions about ‘immigration’ or ‘Muslims’. This survey shows that this is fuelled by a totally distorted view of the number of immigrants and Muslims in the UK.”

“It is only once we acknowledge the existence of these attitudes and identify the influences at work that we can deliver the right kind of educational interventions to help build the capacity to resist racist ideas and attitudes among young people.”


Muslim mother assaulted during school run

Elham Asaad Buaras

Police are investigating after a group of women allegedly ripped off a Muslim mother’s hijab during an Islamophobic attack as she went to collect her children from school in Croydon.

The young mum was allegedly set upon by three women “for wearing a headscarf” as she walked towards private Islamic primary school Al-Khair in south London.

She was going to collect her two young children on June 4 when a number of women started “shouting and hurling abuse”.

They allegedly asked if she was hot in the headscarf – before yanking it off and punching her.

The mother, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “They pulled my headscarf off and started punching and kicking me.

“One was dragging my head down while the others were hitting me. They were being so racist and using derogatory terms.”

She said she was left with whiplash and chunks of hair missing, but suffered no significant physical harm and the London Ambulance Service was not called.

The alleged attack in Derby Road, close to the school, only stopped when another parent jumped in, according to police.

Officers were called to the scene at about 3pm. Two women, aged 18 and 35, were arrested on suspicion of assault and a racially aggravated public order offence.

They were taken to a police station before being bailed to return at a later date. Officers continue to investigate, Scotland Yard said.

Quizzed by The Muslim News on why the women were arrested under racially aggravated offence and not religiously aggravated, a Metropolitan Police spokesman said, “This is the initial charge” adding it could be changed should they be charged later.

We don’t hire Muslims, Mumbai-based company tells candidate

Elham Asaad Buaras
Zeshan Ali Khan, posted a screenshot of an email he received the previous day from Hare Krishna Exports Ltd, on his Facebook page

A Mumbai-based diamond company is being investigated for discrimination after it explicitly informed a Muslim MBA graduate that his job application is being rejected on the grounds of his faith.

The storm erupted on May 20 after Zeshan Ali Khan, posted a screenshot of an email he received the previous day from Hare Krishna Exports Ltd, on his Facebook page.
The email simply read; “Thanks for your application. We regret to inform you that we hire only non-Muslim candidates” .

We don’t hire MuslimsThe viral reaction to Khan’s facebook page prompted, the company to issue a statement regretting “any hurt caused” by the incident as well as a denied it discriminates against Muslim candidates.

Savji Dholakia, founder and chair of HKE, contended that the “erroneous email” was “a mistake” committed by a junior trainee, Dipika Tike, who joined the “firm’s HR team only two months ago” and was not aware of the company’s culture. “She did not realise the gravity of her blunder,” said Dholakia. “There is no official policy or rule in the company that prevents people of a particular caste or religion from getting employment. We had no intention of appearing biased or hurting sentiments,” he said.

The company’s apology to Khan was accompanied by a job offer, an offer Khan says he rejected due to the company’s inadequate explanation which he says merely demoted the incident to “ a clerical error” by newly employed junior trainee.

In an interview with The Muslim News the 22 year old said journalists had since uncovered that contrary to company’s claim Tike “was working with the firm for the last 4 years and holds a senior post”.

According to the screenshot of Tike’s LinkdIn profile which has since disappeared, Tike worked with the Gammon group as an HR executive and Manager-HR and admin with Muez-Hest India Ltd.

Tike came to HKE with 4 years of experience and joined the firm with as ‘Human Resources Generalist’. Her job description at the firm was “recruitment, employee engagement, MIS, etc.” The page did not mention HR trainee under any field of expertise.

“I have been informed that the company is just trying to make the poor lady a scapegoat by pressurizing her to take the blame on herself. Also I have been told that she approached the Bombay High Court for anticipatory bail.”

Khan said he initially laughed when he read the email, “I thought it might be some stupid joke but when I discovered that my friends who applied with me were called for an interview the next day, I was shocked and disgusted. I realized that this is unacceptable.”

“My friends final round of interview was taken by the aforesaid trainee which proves she was a senior manager however my friends refused to accept their offer letter and as solidarity decided to walk out. ”

Khan case of religious discrimination has been taken by India’s National Commission for Minorities.

School governors urge parents to reconsider mosque visit after ‘guns and violence’ fears

Elham Asaad Buaras

Parents who withdraw their children from a RE trip to a mosque over fears they would witness “guns and violence” have been asked to reconsider the decision by governors from Lostwithiel School.

The governors correspondence – ahead of the trip due on May 7 – comes as Muslims in Cornwall revealed they are becoming targets of Islamophobic abuse due to concerns over the ISIS.

According to media reports 10 parents refused permission for their children to take part in the trip. The visit trip, which is part of the curriculum, will include Exeter Cathedral, followed by a tour of the mosque, where pupils will “observe a congregational prayer and be able to ask questions.”

One parent told the school they had “grave concerns” about the safety of children due to news coverage of ISIS.

Education Secretary of the Cornwall Islamic Community Centre, Mostofa Abdul Rahman, said that local Muslims had noticed a change in attitudes towards their faith in recent months.

Mosques in Cornwall have been defaced with graffiti and community members have become concerned about the amount of misinformation about Islam circulating among local people.

“There are definitely some changes. The police come to the mosque quite often and ask people if they’ve suffered because of this,” said Mr Rahman. “From what people hear in the news, that’s what they’re expecting [Muslims] to think. This will bring their children into thinking that way too. There will be a big problem later on.”

Rahman welcomed teachers’ efforts to help pupils understand the religion.

“The parents have to really learn a bit more about Islam themselves, from the right sources, before they make a decision. I have been trying all my life to clear this nonsense up.”

In a statement Chair of the governors at Lostwithiel school, Kat Smith, said: “The visit to the mosque will provide an insight for pupils into the nature of British Islam, help them understand how Islam is presented in the media and that groups like Isis are not a true reflection of the Islam followed by the vast majority of Muslims in Britain

French mayor illegally counts Muslim children

Nadine Osman

A Mayor in France has been accused of racism and acting illegally on May 5 after using the names of school children in his southern French town to decide how many were Muslim.

Under France’s strict secularism laws, the Government does not keep statistics on people’s religion or ethnicity.

Robert Menard: French mayor questioned by police over claims files were kept on Muslim school children

However, Mayor of Béziers, Robert Ménard, said his administration had used lists of pupils’ names to decide how many were Muslim, and claimed the figure came to 64.6 percent.

“Sorry to say this, but the town hall has, class by class, the names of the children,” said Menard, a 62-year-old former journalist who was elected in 2014 representing the Arise Republic movement, has always been backed by the far-right National Front.

“I know I don’t have the right to do it. Sorry to say it, but the first names tell us their religion. To say otherwise is to deny the evidence”.He added that there were schools where the “majority of mothers don’t speak French”.

His comments brought condemnation from the Socialist Government, with Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, tweeting “shame on the mayor”. “The Republic does not make any distinction between its children,” Valls said before adding that the scandal shows “the reality of the far-right”.

President François Hollande said the list was “against all the values of the Republic”.

Education Minister, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, said she had called for a judicial investigation, saying Menard’s statements were “profoundly anti-Republican”.

Head of Collectif Contre l’Islamophobie en France, Abdallah Zekri, said he was “scandalised and sickened by these comments”. “Moreover, you can be called Mohammed without being a practising Muslim,” he added.

However, the town hall of Béziers denied that there was any list of children’s names or that any effort had been made to identify which were Muslim. “The town hall of Béziers does not have, and has never had, files on its children,” it said in a statement. Police raided the town hall to gather evidence.

Danish school fined for forcing Muslim student to taste pork

Nadine Osman

A Danish court has ordered a culinary school to pay around $6,000 in damages to a Muslim student after she was required to taste pork as part of her studies.

The 24-year-old student, who is of Libyan descent, attended the Holstebro Culinary School, named after the town where it’s located.

The student was told she must taste the food she cooks and as she refused, she was asked to only taste, but not to swallow the pork dishes.

The woman recorded the conversation with school officials and later presented the tape as evidence in court.

It appeared that the student was informed that pork and wine would be in the recipes, but she was only informed that trying prepared dishes was compulsory after the course began.

The woman insisted that she was being discriminated against on religious grounds and filed a complaint against the school to the Equal Treatment Board.

The board upheld her claim and ordered the school to pay the student $75,000 in moral damages.

The culinary school challenged the verdict in the Danish High Court, saying that the woman hadn’t graduated as she missed classes too often.

The High Court upheld the lower court’s decision, but ordered the school to pay a smaller sum in compensation.

French girl kicked out of class due to long skirt

Elham Asaad Buaras

A 15-year-old Muslim girl was banned from her class twice in the French town of Charleville-Mezieres for wearing a skirt that was too long and therefore supposedly a conspicuous display of religion.

France’s state secularism has led to very strict laws prohibiting students from wearing overtly religious symbols in institutions of education. The law came into effect on September 2 2004.

The student, identified as Sarah, already apparently removed her headscarf before entering the school, in accordance with French law. But her long skirt was deemed a “provocation,” and potential act of protest.

“The girl was not excluded, she was asked to come back with a neutral outfit,” said a school official. The news sparked an outcry on social media, with commentators remarking on the hypocrisy and bigotry lurking beneath Sarah’s treatment.

On Twitter, the hashtag #JePorteMaJuppeCommeJeVeux [I wear my skirt as I like] trended.

Public reaction to the news that a school was banned from her class France for wearing a skirt that was too long

Critics of France’s secularist laws in schools say they often thinly conceal a widespread bias against Muslims and immigrants in French society. Studies have revealed how Muslims face systematic discrimination on the basis of their race, creed and culture.

Sarah said her skirt was “nothing special, it’s very simple, there’s nothing conspicuous. There is no religious sign whatsoever.”

Anti-Islamophobia group Collectif Contre l’Islamophobie en France (CCIF) say they are “appalled” by the incident. The group says last year its legal department has “dealt with almost a hundred” of similar cases.

CCIF spokeswoman, Elsa Ray, told The Muslim News, “Muslims girls are being bullied at school by the teachers or the head of the school because they wear long skirts or blouse and as they are Muslims and – for most of them – wear the hijab outside the school, the school considers their clothes as ‘Islamic’ and ‘ostentatious’.”

“The hysteria on this matter shows how much France does not understand the concept of laïcité, and worse, use it as a weapon to exclude and harass Muslims.”

She added Muslim girls, “already make a great effort to remove their headscarf before entering school, now they want to forbid them to wear whatever they want to wear because they are Muslims. How far France will go? ”

Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch said France is “carrying secularism too far.”

Planned terror attacks on Muslims in Germany

Elham Asaad Buaras

German police have arrested three men and a woman suspected of setting up a new right-wing extremist group, the Old School Society, with the aim of carrying out bomb attacks on mosques, Salafist Muslims and shelters for asylum-seekers.

Andreas H, 56, Markus W, 39, Denise Vanessa, 22, and Olaf Germanauthorities, 47, were held on terrorism charges.

The four are also accused of having procured explosives during raids on homes in Saxony and four other states.

“Investigations show the group’s goal was to carry out attacks in Germany in small groups against notable Salafists, mosques and asylum-seekers’ shelters,” announced the public prosecutors’ office on May 6.

“To this end, from what we know so far the four people detained obtained explosives for possible terrorist attacks by the group,” said prosecutors, adding that it was not yet clear whether they “already had specific targets or dates in mind”.

German Interior Minister, Thomas de Maiziere, said the Old School Society appeared to be a newly-formed group.

“We are very glad that it hopefully has been nipped in the bud – everything else will be shown by the investigation,” de Maiziere said.

Right-wing extremists have been a renewed focus for German intelligence agencies after it came to light that eo-Nazi group National Socialist Underground, allegedly killed eight Turks, a Greek and a policewoman between 2000 and 2007.

It is also believed to be behind two bombings and 15 bank robberies.

Two members committed suicide after a bank robbery and a third suspect, Beate Zschaepe, is now on trial.

Figures released by the interior ministry exposed a high increase of 22.9 per cent in violent crimes by right-wing extremists in 2014 to 1,029 – including 175 attacks on refugee homes, three times the number in 2013.

“Increasingly, asylum seekers and refugee homes are being targeted. This development is worrisome and must be stopped,” de Maiziere said in presenting the report

UKIP candidates caught spouting anti-Muslim hate at rally

Elham Asaad Buaras

Magnus Nielsen and Anne Marie-Waters speaking at a rally in Westminster organised by MARIAS

Two of UKIP’s London candidates have been caught on film spouting Islamophobic hate at a far-right rally on April 11.

The Mirror newspaper released the footage showing Magnus Nielsen and Anne Marie-Waters speaking at a rally in Westminster organised by Mothers Against Radical Islam And Sharia (MARIAS) .

Nielsen, who was standing in Hampstead and Kilburn, tells the audience Britain is “at war with Islam”.

Waters, who hopes to become MP for Lewisham East, was also filmed telling an undercover reporter “a lot of people need to be deported” and “many mosques need to be closed down”.

The revelations come just hours after UKIP policy chief Suzanne Evans claimed the party “was not anti-¬immigration” at its manifesto launch.

UKIP bans its members from being formally involved with far right wing organisations and has claimed it is not a party of racists.

MARIAS leader Toni Bugle recorded a video message to online followers days before, which said: “I don’t care what you are, I don’t care if you’re Britain First, I don’t care if you’re English Defence League, I don’t even care if you’re National Front.”

Nielsen said: “This country has been at war with Islam since Islam was created 1,300 years ago.

“In fact, Islam has been the enemy of every democratic and free society ever since. And it’s gaining strength.

“And it’s not just a question of burning people or cutting their heads off, it’s an insidious movement to infiltrate all the organs of government.”

In further footage, Nielsen told The Mirror reporter of his plans should he overturn Labour’s majority of just 42.

He said: “I’d use the position, one of the primary things I’d do, I’d fight this situation, let the Muslims know they have to fight all the way along the line.”

Waters pointed towards Downing Street as she told the crowd: “Use your vote wisely on the 7th of May and tell them, remind that lot over there your vote is still bigger than the Muslim vote.”

She told the undercover reporter should she be elected MP she would work to ensure, “immigration from Islamic countries has to stop entirely, that is just the way it is. A lot of people need to be deported. Many mosques need to be closed down. It really has to get tough”.

UKIP has yet to respond.

Maher accused of Islamophobia for comparing Zayn Malik to terrorist

Elham Asaad Buaras

American political satirist, Bill Maher, has been criticised for Islamophobically comparing the former band member Zayn Malik to the Boston marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

During his Real Time show the comedian was discussing the 22 year-old’s exit from the One Direction when he likened him to Tsarnaev.

During a skit in his show, Maher said: “I think after everything we’ve been through, I at least deserve the common respect of being told face to face [that you’d quit One Direction].

“Just tell me two things Zayn. Which one of the band were you?

“And where were you during the Boston marathon?”

At which point, the screen split to show images of Malik and Tsarnaev side by side, while Maher suggested they looked similar.

This is not the first time Malik has been the victim of Islamophobia. In 2012, rightwing American writer Debbie Schlussel accused him of “boyband jihad” when he tweeted Eid Mubarak to his fans. She claimed that the only reason why he was chosen to join One Direction was because “Islam sells in Britain.” And earlier last month she celebrated his departure from One Direction by announcing the band is “now jihad-free”.

That same year, internet trolls and racially abusive messages led him to temporarily disable his Twitter account. In 2013, American rapper Rucka Rucka Ali released the track Zayn Did 9/11, with art that superimposed Malik’s silhouette over an image of the burning Twin Towers, and lyrics that blamed him for the September 11 attacks.

And last year Malik faced a torrent of abuse and death threats for tweeting #FreePalestine.

Fans showed their support for Malik on Twitter using the #RespectForZayn hashtag, with many believing Maher was mocking his faith.

Some fans turned the table on Maher showing tweeting physical similarity between the US talk show host and right wing Norwegian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik who killed 77 people on July 2011.

This is not the first time Maher has been criticised for his comments about Muslims. In 2014, students at University of California, Berkeley, objected to the comedian giving a speech at the university’s December commencement ceremony after he likened Islam to the Mafia on his show.

Malik’s fans set up a petition calling for Maher to apologise, which reads: “This is not about making Bill Maher a scapegoat and before you disregard this thinking 1D fans are angry because of Zayn Malik, think again. This is about how islamophobia, racism and discrimination of ANY kind is wrong, shouldn’t be ignored and must end.”

It continues: “This is completely unacceptable. Racism should not become normalised especially on national television. Bill Maher and whoever wrote the script, need to be severely disciplined and at least apologise to show that this type of behaviour is never oK.

Millions watch his TV show meaning he has an influence on many people, the fact that people in the audience laughed is proof of his negative influence.”

Council on American-Islamic Relations spokesman, Ibrahim Hooper, said Maher’s joke was out of line.

“It shows that he’s really not missing an opportunity to engage in his Islamophobic themes,” Hooper says. “He serves to legitimise Islamophobia in the left which is one of the unfortunate byproducts of his intolerance of Islam and Muslims.”

Maher responded the following week in his show by branding those offended idiots.

“Two weeks ago I did a New Rule on our Internet Overtime segment about someone named Zayn Malik, who I’’d never heard of until that day,” he said. “Well, the P.C. police as usual read way more into that joke than was actually there.”

From there, Maher introduced the segment titled ”Explaining Jokes to Idiots.” During it, he did a play-by-play of the joke in question.

Muslim woman verbally abused on Sydney train defended

Elham Asaad Buaras

An Australian woman received worldwide praise after stepping in to aid a fellow passenger who was being Islamophobically abused.

Stacey Eden said she has been overwhelmed by the positive response to her video of the verbal attack on one of Sydney’s trains on her Facebook.

Unable to contain her anger at the middle-aged woman who had launched a vile verbal assault, the 23-year-old launched her own assault by defending the Muslim woman while filming the encounter on her mobile phone.

She then uploaded the incident on social media on April 15 evening.

It has since attracted almost 80,000 views and praise, including the couple she defended.

In one post on Eden’s Facebook page the victim’s husband thanks Eden adding: “I generally believe that you and many other Australians do respect all religions.”

To which Eden replied: “Hafeez Ahmed Bhatti thank you so much for contacting me.

“I wish I said more to you and your wife yesterday, but as I said when you got off the train, I’m very sorry you had to experience this. Please don’t let one woman’s ignorance change your opinions on Australia or the people who live here.

“I really hope your wife is OK, it must have been very confrontational and upsetting for you and her both. I wish nothing but the best for you both and your child.”

“So I sat there for a good 10 minutes before I started recording this while I listened to this woman bad mouth Muslims and call the lady sitting opposite me an ISIS supporter because she wore a scarf, then she told me to go join ISIS because I was sticking up for her,” Ms Eden from Mascot wrote on Facebook.

She then lists the recent attacks by the ISIS and made reference to the Martin Place siege in an attempt to justify her verbal assault.

But Eden steps in telling her that the killings have nothing to do with her or her husband.

“That is not her doing it,” she says in the video. “That is a minority of people. Not a majority of people OK?

“What’s that got to do with this poor lady? What’s that got to do with her?”

Eden also defended the Muslim woman’s dress “She wears it because she wants to be modest with her body not because of people like you who are going to sit there and disrespect her,” Eden says in the video.

Pregnant Muslim woman hospitalised after assault in Toulouse

Elham Asaad Buaras

A heavily pregnant French Muslim woman has been hospitalised in Toulouse after being assaulted in an Islamophobic act in the early hours of March 24. The attack was one of three assaults on hijab wearing women in less than three weeks in France.

29-year-old Kedidja, who was wearing a hijab was hit several times by two men and thrown to the ground as she dropped her two children off at school.

Her husband Munir, 33, says they grabbed her hair and pulled at her headscarf while yelling “none of that here” at the nine-months-pregnant woman.

Her unborn baby is believed to be unharmed, but her husband revealed that she has been left severely traumatized.

He added: “My wife had just put our two daughters to school, one in kindergarten and one in elementary school. Upon leaving, she met two young men. One of them grabbed her hair, pulled on her veil and insulted her.”

“After the final few blows and some more insults – including death threats – the two men ran away, leaving her extremely shocked.”

The assailant’s friend reportedly stopped the attack from continuing before the pair shouted racist abuse and threatened to kill her.

Munir said the men took offence to his wife’s hijab even though she was dressed conventionally in tracksuit bottoms and a jacket.

The couples’ MP Christophe Borgel condemn the “cowardly” attack which he said was “without a doubt” a hate crime. “I was shocked to learn of this attack. This French woman of Muslim faith was attacked because she was wearing the traditional headscarf.”

“France does not tolerate any kind of racist attack, France will not tolerate any kind of aggression based on the religion of one of its citizens.

There was a similarly violent incident in June 2013 when a pregnant Muslim woman was assaulted in the suburbs of Paris by two alleged “skinheads” for wearing a face-veil. The woman tragically suffered a miscarriage but it remained unclear if she lost her baby directly because of the attack.

French authorities have been concerned by a rise in Islamophobia since the horrific terror attacks in Paris in January.

France’s anti-Islamophobia group Collectif Contre l’Islamophobie en France (CCIF) has documented a record 116 Islamophobic attacks in the space of just three weeks (January 7 – 20) following the terrorist attacks. To put things into perspective it had recorded 110 similar acts in the whole of 2014.

CCIF Spokeswoman, Elsa Ray, told The Muslim News the attack on Kedidja was not an isolated incident.

“A woman in Saint-Etienne was assaulted by another woman who actually violently grabbed the arm of the victim’s 11 months old baby girl and a mother violently assaulted by a man near the school (also a student’s parent) who actually snatched her hijab to the point where she had to pick it up from the ground.”

These three women are not isolated cases but definitely a manifestation of the raise of physical Islamophobic violence in France, which the CCIF said the recent attacks on Muslim women was a manifestation of the raise of physical Islamophobic violence in France which they have warned about for the past 2 years.

Pigs’ heads dumped on Islamic centre

Elham Asaad Buaras

Four pigs heads were been dumped on the doorstep of a new community centre in Hermitage Road, Solihull, Birmingham, which protesters claim is being used as an unauthorised mosque.

West Midlands Police say windows were smashed at Solihull Community Hub the previous day.

Officers were called to the former ambulance station at 9.30pm on Sunday April 12 by a trustee who discovered the heads.

West Midlands Police say CCTV cameras caught the culprit in the act.

He is seen leaving the animals’ heads on the doorstep before driving off in a light-coloured saloon.

A carrier bag, believed to have been used in the crime, has been seized and is currently being examined by forensic experts, along with other evidence taken from the scene.

A number of witnesses have also spoken to local officers.

A 1,000 people signed an on-line petition calling for The Hub to be closed following allegations it is being used, without permission, as a mosque.

Solihull Council confirmed it is investigating whether the terms of the planning consent had been broken.

The details emerged as the anti Islam EDL revealed it was planning a demonstration in Solihull town centre on April 18 over proposals for a Muslim cemetery at nearby Catherine-de-Barnes.

Proposals for the scheme were submitted to Solihull Council last month after the scheme was turned down twice last year.

Chief Superintendent Alex Murray said, “We’ve secured good quality CCTV of the culprits and my detectives are making good progress with the investigation. The forensic evidence we have is also very strong and we expect a result from that in the coming days.”

Supreme Court shows sympathy to woman denied job due to hijab

Support: Elauf is pictured with her mother Majda Elauf, left, and P. David Lopez, General Counsel of the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, as they leave the Supreme Court in Washington

Elham Asaad Buaras

A majority of US Supreme Court justices have shown sympathy for a Muslim woman who was denied a job at Abercrombie & Fitch because she wore a head scarf.

On February 24, the nine justices heard an appeal brought by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of Samantha Elauf.

Elauf, who was denied a job at an Abercrombie Kids store in Oklahoma in 2008 when she was 17, attended the Supreme Court in Washington for the hearing with her mother.

It appeared the court’s four liberal justices were likely to vote in Elauf’s favor, while at least one of the court’s conservatives, Justice Samuel Alito, seems set to follow suit.

The legal issue is whether Elauf was required to ask the company to accommodate her religious practice.

Abercrombie & Fitch said she did not ask them to change their policy and so they cannot be sued under the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The company said it has previously granted religious accommodations when they have requested.

Elauf was wearing a hijab, at her job interview but did not specifically say that, as a Muslim, she wanted the company to give her a religious accommodation.

But her interviewer assumed she was wearing it for religious reasons. She was impressed by Elauf but when she consulted a manager, they did not give her the job.

The company denied Elauf the job on the grounds that wearing the scarf violated its image for staff.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the civil rights law requires certain people to be treated differently to other applicants if they have a religious requirement.

“They don’t have to accommodate a baseball cap. They do have to accommodate a yarmulke,” Ginsburg said, in a reference to the cap worn by some Jewish men.

Justice Samuel Alito said employers like Abercrombie could easily find out if prospective employees need a religious accommodation by simply asking if they are able to abide by work rules.

He noted that Abercrombie had assumed Elauf would wear the head scarf every day simply because she wore it at the interview. “Maybe she just had a bad hair day,” Alito said.

Other conservative justices were more skeptical about the Government’s arguments.

Chief Justice John Roberts speculated that putting the burden on the employee to assess whether a religious accommodation is needed “may promote stereotypes to a far greater degree” by requiring interviewers to inquire about applicants’ religious beliefs.

A ruling is due by the end of June.

Mo Farah endures Plastic Brit dig by team-mate

Mo Farah claims it was during the celebrations for their first and second 10,000m wins in the European Champion ships in Zurich last year that Andy Vernon made a dig about being the true European champion

Nadine Osman

Despite winning Olympic, World and European titles for Britain, Somali born Mo Farah has had to endure the “plastic Brit” charge from the Daily Mail, twitter trolls and far-right groups. But last month Farah revealed that even a GB team-mate has questioned his nationality.

The revelation came after Andy Vernon irritated Farah by suggesting the field for his two-mile race at the Birmingham Indoor Grand Prix was a “joke”. Farah responded by breaking the two-mile indoor world record.

Farah claimed that tensions festered since last year’s European Championships in Zurich, following a comment Vernon made when the pair were celebrating after finishing first and second respectively in the 10,000m.

“We were sitting down together with a number of staff and athletes,” said Farah. “One comment he made, which I didn’t really like, was to say that he should have won the gold. I was like: ‘What, the gold should have been given to you?’ And I was like: ‘Because he was the only European guy?’

“You can’t say something like that. I was just kind of biting my tongue at the time.”

The conversation quickly escalated as the two middle-distance runners aired their views on Twitter

But Vernon accused Farah of playing the racism card adding that Farah had made an “outrageous misrepresentation of the chat” they had – and that he was sorry for any offence caused.

“What I did say was complete tongue-in-cheek,” said Vernon. “I said: ‘I’m European champion.’ That was it. I don’t discard him as British – it’s complete lies. His management team have been very snide at making me out to be a bad guy. He laughed at the time. If he did take it out of context, it wasn’t meant that way and I apologise.”

“I’ve known Mo for 12 years. We weren’t best of friends but we were pals. I was delighted when we finished first and second in the 10,000m and I celebrated with him. There’s nothing more I would like right now than a two-way press conference when we can discuss what happened because what he said is not what I said. He has played the cheap shot. He has played the card. I don’t know what I can do.”

Vernon also claimed that Farah’s tweets had been sent by a third party, adding: “I don’t think he is that kind of person. His Twitter account is managed by someone else.”

Meanwhile Farah has admitted that his tweets, during which he branded his rival “an embarrassment” who had not won anything “decent”, should not have been sent. “I do apologise,” he said. “I shouldn’t have reacted that way. We do have some history in the past, me and Andy. In terms of making it public, that was never the right thing to do. My frustration just got the better of me.

“But with an athlete like him, one I’ve been on the podium with, it was difficult to bite my tongue,” he said. “I couldn’t do it. Andy has a history of disrespecting athletes. You know me and Andy, we’re not best friends, we’ll never be best friends. That’s just how it is. I just have to concentrate on my running and do what I have to do.”

It is not the first time Vernon has been embroiled in a twitter row with a British athlete. Last summer he apologised to Lynsey Sharp, who called him “Andy Vermin” after he claimed she kept going on about winning 800m silver in the Commonwealth Games.

Judge criticised for hijab removal demand

Nadine Osman

A Canadian judge has been criticised by both the Prime Minister and the Premier of Québec after demanding a witness remove her hijab (headscarf), before giving her testimony.

The judge told Rania El-Alloul that appearing in a Montreal, Quebec, courtroom on February 24 she would not hear her case until she removed her hijab.

In an audio recording obtained of the proceedings, Judge Eliana Marengo was heard telling El-Alloul that the courtroom is a secular place, and that she was not suitably dressed.

“Hats and sunglasses for example, are not allowed. And I don’t see why scarves on the head would be either,” Marengo says in the recording.

El-Alloul, who moved to Canada from Kuwait 13 years ago, said the incident made her “feel afraid” and that she was not being treated as “a human being”.

A spokesman for the Prime Minister’s Office said that “if someone is not covering their face, we believe they should be allowed to testify.” Earlier this month Prime Minister Stephen Harper upset Muslim Canadians saying the niqab is “rooted in a culture that is anti-woman”.

Premier Philippe Couillard said religious clothing should be removed only if it creates a problem for communication or security. “I’m a little bit disturbed by this event, I must say.”

The mother of three said: “When I came the first day when I made landing in Canada, I was wearing my hijab.

“When I swore by God to be a good Canadian citizen I was wearing my hijab, and the judge, I shook hands with him the same day I became Canadian. I was really very happy. But what happened in court made me feel afraid. I felt that I’m not Canadian anymore.

“When she insisted I should remove my hijab, really I felt like she was talking with me as … not a human being. I don’t want this thing to happen to any other lady. This is not the work of a judge. She doesn’t deserve to be a judge.”

El-Alloul was in court to apply to get her car back after it was seized by Quebec’s automobile insurance board.

A spokeswoman for Elizabeth Corte, the chief judge of Quebec Court, said the court has no plan to intervene to clarify the rules relating to religious symbols in courtrooms. “In the regulation for Quebec Court, there is nothing that talks of wearing religious symbols. It talks of decorum and of being suitably dressed. There are no other guidelines,” Annie-Claude Bergeron said.

Support has been pouring in for El-Alloul, including a crowd funding campaign that raised more than $50,000 to help her buy a car after a judge refused to hear her case to retrieve her seized vehicle.

El-Alloul expressed her gratitude for the campaign but declined the gift by what she called a “generous and warm hearted campaign”.

“The awareness raised by this campaign has brought us people from all over, who have offered support to carry this issue forward. As a result, I believe that these funds can be put to better use helping those whose rights have been forfeited and stories left untold,” she said.

Campaign co-funder, Nouman Ahmad, said he was “dismayed” when he heard media reports that El-Alloul was told that her case against the province’s auto insurance board would not be heard unless she removed her headscarf.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

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.

Latest Tweets

The Muslim News

The Muslim News
Read more