Denmark: DPP says Muslims are racist for sending children to private schools

Denmark: DPP says Muslims are racist for sending children to private schools

Via Fyens Stiftstidende (Danish):

Alex Ahrendtsen, education spokesperson for the Danish People's Party (DPP), said Muslim parents who send their children to private schools are 'little racists'

Ahrendtsen was speaking to TV 2 NEWS, which reported that immigrant children go to private schools more than ethnic Danish children (14% of Danes vs. 15% of immigrant children)

Sweden: Six charged over 'honor' beating

Sweden: Six charged over 'honor' beating

Six men in Hallsberg, central Sweden, were charged with beating a 19-year-old with metal rods at a gym. Police believe the attack is an honor crime. (more in English here)

The story turns out to be quite complicated, and I think the English language news report misses the main point. Via GP (Swedish):

The 19- year-old was attacked because he allegedly abused the daughter of one of the men a few weeks earlier. The man supposedly kidnapped the daughter in his car. The incident was reported to the police, but the investigation was closed.

Prosecutor Karl-Erik Antonsson says that the men did not accept the results of the police investigation and tried protecting the girl's honor. They believe there is only one way to atone for such a thing.

Netherlands: Immigration minister wants to get rid of 'allochtoon'

Netherlands: Immigration minister wants to get rid of 'allochtoon'

Via DutchNews:
The word allochtoon, literally meaning non-native, should no longer be applied to people born in the Netherlands, immigration minister Gerd Leers told a meeting on Monday night, according to the Telegraaf.

'I want people born in the Netherlands to be called Dutch, plain and simple, not non-native,' Leers told the readers of women's magazine Libelle.

(source)

Wales: Kind mosque families raise £500 to help twins' parents

Wales: Kind mosque families raise £500 to help twins' parents

LinkMEMBERS of a Swansea mosque have raised £500 in just 48 hours to help a couple who say they are struggling to visit their premature twins in hospital. Families at the Swansea University site said they were inspired to help after reading about the story in the Evening Post. (source)

Morocco: Sex for a European husband

Morocco: Sex for a European husband

Via nieuwsblad (Dutch):

Poor Moroccan girls are willing to do everything in order to get a European husband.

Said, a 21 year old tourist in Tangier says there's no talk of love, he says of the flirting in the streets of Tangier between locals and European-born youth. "In Morocco marriage has become big business. Singles no longer look for a beloved, but for somebody who will inject capital into their lives. Poverty is consuming this country, it makes its residents unemotional materialists. There is no future here for the Arab Romeo and Juliet."

Finland: More asylum seekers returning home by choice

Finland: More asylum seekers returning home by choice

Via YLE:
About one tenth of asylum seekers in Finland return to their home countries voluntarily. In the past couple of years, the greatest number of asylum seekers heading home have been Iraqis. The Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) is setting up a permanent system to facilitate such moves, known as Assisted Voluntary Return.

(source)

Netherlands: Police don't intend to enforce burqa ban

Netherlands: Police don't intend to enforce burqa ban

Via RNW:
Once the burqa ban passed by the Dutch conservative coalition on Friday is approved by parliament, police will be obliged to enforce it, Security and Justice Minister Yvo Opstelten stresses.

“The minister expects police to enforce the ban in accordance with the law”, Mr Opstelten’s spokesperson emphasised. The statement comes in response to criticism voiced by the National Police Union and the central works council of the national police force that is currently being set up.

The chair of the police works council, Frank Giltay, had said there is no need for a burqa ban, which, he added, is unlikely to have any practical benefits. Burqas, he underlined, do not pose a threat to public security. He criticised the ban as a “symbolic policy”.

(source)

Hague: Muslim party denies dog ban proposal

Hague: Muslim party denies dog ban proposal

Via AD (Dutch):

Hasan Küçük, fraction head of the Islam Democrats in the Hague, denies the party wants to ban dog ownership in the city. He says his words were taken out of context.

During a debate last week about the municipal policy regarding animals, Küçük said that he thinks it's pitiful that dogs are sometimes shut in an apartment for 23 hours a day.

Küçük says that the party is not proposing to ban ownership of dogs. Küçük was not available for comment over the weekend.

Sicily: Mayor signs deal with Qatar to build mosque

Sicily: Mayor signs deal with Qatar to build mosque

Via ANSAmed:
A major mosque becoming a place of worship for all Muslims in Sicily could be built in Salemi. The proposal has been made by the mayor of the city, Vittorio Sgarbi, to the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad Ben Kaliffa Al Thani.

The mayor this morning formally agreed to make an area of the Rabato district in the centre of the town available for construction. The project would see the fulfilment of a scheme pushed through by Sgarbi himself as early as 2009. "Financing for the construction of the mosque is guaranteed by a bilateral agreement between the town of Salemi and Qatar," Sgarbi said.

(source)

Denmark: Danish People's Party wants full stop to Muslim immigration

Denmark: Danish People's Party wants full stop to Muslim immigration

Via JP (Danish):

The Danish People's Party (DPP) wants to put a stop to immigration from Muslim countries, according to a new press release by the party. The party says Muslims don't integrate and cause big problems with shariah zones, parallel societies and social control.

The announcement followed the release of marriage figures for immigrant groups. According to the new figures, just 20% of non-Western 2nd generation immigrants marry Danes. Among Pakistanis and Turks the figures are less than 10%.

Germany: Urban slang should be recognized as dialect, says expert

Germany: Urban slang should be recognized as dialect, says expert

Via the Local:
The street slang spoken by young people in Germany’s big cities is so defined that one language expert is arguing for it to be recognised as a dialect.

(...)

“Kiezdeutsch”, which differs from city to city, is most common in multicultural areas, where different languages are mixed, said Wiese.

Young people of Turkish or Arabic origin seem to dominate the wannabe-dialect, she said.

Dalia Hibish, a 15-year-old from Berlin, has been working on a language project with Wiese.

She said she spoke mostly Arabic yet the majority of her neighbours are English-speaking and is taught in German - but in the school yard she speaks “Kiezdeutsch” – which for her is a mix of all these language.

(source)

Europe: a Christian continent?

Europe: a Christian continent?

Via Today's Zaman:
I think the biggest challenge for the future of Europe is to develop ways and forms of coexistence among the culturally and religiously diverse populations living on the continent. Instead of declaring multiculturalism dead, Europeans have to reinvent it.

For a start, they should stop imagining Europe as a historically and culturally Christian continent. Such an endeavor will open up cultural space to accommodate a non-Christian social presence in Europe.

(source)

Hague: Muslim party wants dog ban

Hague: Muslim party wants dog ban

Update: The party denies it made such a proposal

via Spitsnieuws (Dutch):

Hasan Küçük, Hague councilor for the Islam Democrats, says dogs should be banned as pets in the city, reports De Telegraaf. The Muslim party says that the animals belong in nature, not inside the house. Küçük says that keeping dogs is animal abuse and should therefore be criminalized.

He responded sharply during a council debate last Thursday, when the Party for Animals suggested more consideration for dogs.

Paul ter Linden (PVV councillor) responded saying that pets are the norm in the Netherlands, and whoever disagrees should move to another country.

Netherlands: Dutch plan ban on Muslim face veils next year

Netherlands: Dutch plan ban on Muslim face veils next year

Via Reuters:
The Dutch minority government plans to ban Muslim face veils such as burqas and other forms of clothing that cover the face from next year.

The ban would make the Netherlands, where 1 million out of 17 million people are Muslim, the second European Union country to ban the burqa after France, and would apply to face-covering veils if they were worn in public.

France: Three sentenced for Paris bomb plot

France: Three sentenced for Paris bomb plot

Via AFP:
A French court on Thursday sentenced three men to between two and six years in prison for plotting to carry out a car bomb attack on a public building near the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Rany Arnaud, Nadir Badache and Adrien Guihal were arrested in December 2008 after they allegedly planned to set off a car bomb outside the offices of a national police investigation body in the centre of Paris.

Arnaud, a convert to Islam and the ringleader of the group, was targeted by police after posting calls on an Islamic fundamentalist website for France to be attacked because of its participation in the war in Afghanistan.

(source)

Odense: Burglary campaign against ethnic Danes

Odense: Burglary campaign against ethnic Danes

Via JihadWatch (Translated from B.T., Danish):
(...)

A burglary campaign against ethnic Danes has spread in the troubled district in the recent months.

- There is a kind of racism out there, where we find that more and more Danes are chased out of the area. It happens as a result of a big increase in burglaries. There have been approximately 150 burglaries the last four months. What is striking is that nine out of ten burglaries are now directed against ethnic Danes, a cop at Funen Police headquarters explains. The cop does not want us to publish his name for fear of losing his job. His name is known by the editors. The officer believes that someone is trying to cleanse the area from the remaining Danes.

(source)

London: Muhammad cartoon row leads to resignation

London: Muhammad cartoon row leads to resignation

Via the BBC (h/t Talk Islam):
The president of a London university atheist society has resigned over a row about an image of the Prophet Muhammad.

The society at University College London (UCL) published an image on its Facebook page showing "Jesus and Mo" having a drink at a bar.

The atheist group was asked by the UCL union to remove it, but refused and started a petition defending its freedom of expression.

A student Muslim group began a counter-petition asking for its removal.

(source)

Are Europe's Muslims America's problem?

Are Europe's Muslims America's problem?

Via Al-Jazeera:
"Soft power" programmes in the US that reach out to European Muslims have drawn ire from EU governments.

(...)

For several years now, the State Department has been quietly trying to introduce its ideas around race, multiculturalism and affirmative action into European policy and activist circles, aiming to alter the discourse on Islam in Europe - and in some cases, actively trying to help "integrate" European Muslims. The WikiLeaks cables that probably stirred the most anger in European capitals were those where US diplomats castigated allies - France, Britain, Holland - for mistreating their Muslim minorities, and not doing enough to battle domestic extremism.

(source)

Sweden: Website touts ruse to turn in illegal immigrants

Sweden: Website touts ruse to turn in illegal immigrants

Via the Local:
An anti-immigrant website has urged readers to infiltrate a group focused on helping undocumented immigrants in Sweden in order to turn them over to police.

The campaign by the Sweden Democrat-linked website Avpixlat (literally, "unpixelated", but also a Swedish colloquialism meaning to "reveal" or "unmask"), comes in response to a call for help in finding housing for a family of undocumented immigrants published on Facebook last week by asylum advocacy group Asylgruppen Lund.

(source)

France: OIC condemns genocide bill

France: OIC condemns genocide bill

Via Expatica:
The world's largest Muslim body criticised on Tuesday a bill passed by the French Senate making denial of the Armenian genocide a crime, according to an official statement.

(...)

"We reject this law and consider it to be inconsistent with historical facts," said the statement from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation adding that it reflects a "double standard in the treatment of major historical issues."

The OIC further accused the French Senate of passing the bill for "political and electoral" gain and said the law violates the "principles of freedom of expression."

(source)

Rome: Turkish parent launches campaign against racism

Rome: Turkish parent launches campaign against racism

Via Today's Zaman:
A Turkish parent residing in Italy has launched a campaign following an incident where a schoolteacher in Rome made his students write down a paragraph denigrating Turkish women, according to a report published on the front page of the Sabah daily on Sunday.

Yasemin Taşkın, who works as a Rome-based reporter for Turkey's Sabah daily, launched an anti-racism campaign after her daughter was forced to write a passage claiming that Turkish people believe women only exist to get married and have babies.

(source)

UK: Muslim airline pilot 'sacked because of religion'

UK: Muslim airline pilot 'sacked because of religion'

Via Asian Image:
A Muslim airline pilot who was sacked after links were discovered to two suspected terrorists told an employment tribunal today that an "air of suspicion" had been created around him because of his race and religion.

The British man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was suspended by the major airline after he was arrested by the Metropolitan Police in October 2007 who were investigating two suspects.

(source)

NYT: How to Integrate Europe's Muslims

NYT: How to Integrate Europe's Muslims

Via the New York Times:
(...)

European countries could use a period of benign neglect of the Islam issue — but only after they finish incorporating religion into the national fabric. For too long, they have instead masked an absence of coherent integration policy under the cloak of “multiculturalism.” The state outsourced the hard work of integration to foreign diplomats and Islamist institutions — for example, some students in Germany read Saudi-supplied textbooks in Saudi-run institutions.

This neglect of integration helped an unregulated “underground Islam” to take hold in storefronts, basements and courtyards. It reflected wishful thinking about how long guest workers would stay and perpetuated a myth of eventual departure and repatriation.

(source)

Netherlands: Law to ban burkas highly criticised by government advisors

Netherlands: Law to ban burkas highly criticised by government advisors
Link
Via DutchNews:
Draft legislation aimed at banning burkas in the Netherlands has been heavily criticised by the government’s most important advisory body and needs significant amendments, news agency ANP reports, citing regional newspapers.

(source)

France: Radical group Forsane Alizza disbanded

France: Radical group Forsane Alizza disbanded

Via KUNA:
An extremist Islamist group known as "Knights of Pride (Forsane Alizza)" has been disbanded by order of the Interior Ministry for inciting racial hatred, security sources confirmed Monday.

The Muslim group, which has bases in Paris and in the central French city of Limoges, and other cities, denies the accusations.

(source)

EU: Al Qaida planned to take hostages, marginalize Muslim communities

EU: Al Qaida planned to take hostages, marginalize Muslim communities

Via the Local:
Documents seized in May linked to al Qaida leaders indicate that the terrorist organisation was aiming to take hostages in Germany and other Western countries as part of a "war of attrition," according to a newspaper report.

(...)

One of the strategy papers said al Qaida was planning a combination of smaller and larger attacks in order to "drive the enemy to desperation." According to other documents, the terrorist group was planning to take hostages and then kill them. They also described plans to use poisons and disguises.

Al Qaida reportedly expected that spreading fear among the population and the implementation of more repressive tactics by authorities would result in the marginalisation of Muslim communities, which would in turn bring in more recruits for the Jihad.

(source)

Denmark: Muslims against 'Ministry of Attitudes to Life'

Denmark: Muslims against 'Ministry of Attitudes to Life'


Via Politiken:
The Socialist People’s Party Group Chairwoman Pernille Vigsø Bagge has said she would like to see the Ministry of Ecclesiastical Affairs change its name to the Ministry of Attitudes to Life, but the proposal has not immediately won much support among politicians. (source)

Switzerland: Radical Muslim group to launch TV station

Switzerland: Radical Muslim group to launch TV station

Via the Local:
The Islamic Central Council of Switzerland (ICCS) has announced plans to set up an internet TV channel, while it is also in talks with various companies to provide its members with a Swiss-Muslim discount card.

The new TV studios, due to become operational this summer, will play host to a political show, a weekly series on a range of topics seen from a Muslim perspective, and a sermon series, newspaper SonntagsZeitung reports. Sermons are to be given mainly in German, but also in Arabic, Bosnian and Albanian. German subtitles will also be available.

(source)

Norway: Two Iranian converts attacked, called 'kuffar'

Norway: Two Iranian converts attacked, called 'kuffar'

Via Världen idag (Swedish):

Two Iranians who converted from Islam to Christianity were stabbed by masked me in Haugesund last week. The attacker shouted 'Kuffar' (Arabic for non-believer) during the attack.

The attack happened Tuesday evening, when both Christian Iranians were out walking in Haugesund. They were suddenly attacked by three masked men armed with knives, who shouted 'kuffar' while they stabbed the two.

Surrey: girl attacked for wearing headscarf

Surrey: girl attacked for wearing headscarf

Via the BBC (h/t Islamophobia Watch):
A race attack in Surrey on an 11-year-old girl will be the focus of community talks in Sunbury-on-Thames.

The girl was attacked by older white girls who kicked her, pushed her to the ground and drew on her face.

Surrey Police said it seemed the girl had been targeted on 11 January because she was wearing a headscarf.

(source)

Netherlands: Prison sentence for horse-meat halal fraud

Netherlands: Prison sentence for horse-meat halal fraud

Via BN/DeStem (Dutch):

A 61 year old from Breda was sentenced to a year in jail (three months suspended) for halal meat fraud. The man and his accomplices sold horse meat from South America as Dutch halal-slaughtered meat.

In 2007 and 2008 the man bought horse meat and packed it like beef. He then bought certificates which said the meat was halal-slaughtered. The certificates were then forged to change the weight of the meat. The meat was sold to French supermarkets.

The prosecution wanted 1.5 years. The court sentenced him to less since there was no evidence that people suffered health problems from the meat. An accomplice, a 53 year old from Oosterhout, got 160 hours of community service. The company was fined 20,000 euro.

Brussels: Professor says Muslim countries should establish theological schools in Europe

Brussels: Professor says Muslim countries should establish theological schools in Europe

Via KUNA:
A Belgian professor of sociology and researcher on Islam Felice Dassetto is calling on rich Muslim countries to assist in establishing Islamic theological schools and faculties in Europe to overcome the gap in intellectual leadership of European Muslims.

"One of the major problems Muslims in Europe face, except perhaps for UK, is the absence of religious intellectual leadership," said Dassetto who teaches sociology in the university of Leuven and has published three books on Islam.

Ireland: Gov't plans to be first EU state to sell Islamic bond

Ireland: Gov't plans to be first EU state to sell Islamic bond

Via the Irish Examiner (h/t Jihad Watch):
IRELAND plans to become the first European nation to sell sovereign sukuk — Islam-approved financial certificates — as its equal tax treatment for Islamic-finance products attracts investors.

The Government has agreements with more than 60 countries to avoid double taxation on Islamic transactions, Micheál Smith, the south-east Asia director of IDA Ireland, said.

(source)

Sweden: Three men cleared of plotting to kill Muhammad cartoon artist

Sweden: Three men cleared of plotting to kill Muhammad cartoon artist

Via M&C:
A Swedish court on Friday acquitted three men charged with plotting to kill artist Lars Vilks, whose depiction of the Muslim prophet Mohammed as a dog sparked outrage worldwide in 2007.

Abdi Aziz Mahamud, and Salar Sami Mahmood and Abdi Weli Mohamud, Somalis who hold Swedish citizenship, were however fined for violating a law against carrying a knife in public, the court said.

The trio were arrested in September on suspicion of planning to kill Vilks.

(source)

UK: Growing use of Sharia

UK: Growing use of Sharia

Via the BBC (h/t Islam in Britain):
An estimated 85 Sharia councils could be operating in Britain, according to a 2009 report by the think tank Civitas.

Several bodies like the Islamic Sharia Council have seen a large increase in their cases in the past five years.

''Our cases have easily more than tripled over the past three to five years," says Sheikh al-Haddad.

''On average, every month we can deal with anything from 200 to 300 cases. A few years ago it was just a small fraction of that.

''Muslims are becoming more aligned with their faith and more aware of what we are offering them,'' he explained.

(source)

Oslo: Muslims call to boycott Islamic demonstration

Oslo: Muslims call to boycott Islamic demonstration

Via Views and News from Norway:
Muslims themselves were urged to boycott a planned demonstration in front of the Norwegian Parliament on Friday by an Islamic group considered to be extremist. One local Muslim leader in Oslo claimed the group’s attitudes, actions and slogans actually violate Islamic principles.

Dr Usman Rana, the former leader of Muslimsk Studentsamfunn (the Muslim students’ society) and now a practicing physician, urged fellow Muslims to stay away from the demonstration that was organized to protest Norway’s presence in Afghanistan.

(source)

Genoa: Moroccan upset his children were given to Muslim foster care

Genoa: Moroccan upset his children were given to Muslim foster care

Via El Punto Critico (Spanish) and Corriere della Sera (Italian):

A couple from Albenga (Genoa) says their children have been given to a Muslim family by social services against their will. Makhlou Khalid is a Moroccan married to an Italian, Valentina. They say their children (a 3 and 5 year olds) have been baptized and are Christian. The children were handed over to a Muslim couple: an Egyptian and Italian convert after Khalid applied for financial support for the children's grandparents and uncles, who were taking care of them. Khalid is concerned since he says converts are many times more fundamentalist, and he doesn't want his children to grow up like everyone else.

He claims discrimination, since the Italian courts assumed he was Muslim. He's been living in Italy for 25 years and says he's completely integrated.

The case is causing resentment in the Islamic community of Albenga. Makhlou's brothers say they are criticized, but that they feel Italian. Moroccan-Italian MP Souad Sbai got involved and filed for an investigation into the case, saying it was 'cultural rape'. The court's decision is not yet final.

Sweden: 'Your baby looks like Saddam Hussein'

Sweden: 'Your baby looks like Saddam Hussein'

Via the Local:
An administrator at the Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket) is facing disciplinary action after telling a family of Iraqi asylum seekers that their newborn baby looked like Saddam Hussein.

The man, who has worked at the agency for 30 years, is also under investigation for physically assaulting a female colleague and making derogatory remarks about a woman wearing a headscarf.

(source)

UK: Why British Muslim women struggle to find a marriage partner

UK: Why British Muslim women struggle to find a marriage partner

Via the Guardian:
First, there has always been a tradition for British men originating from the Indian subcontinent to marry women from their country of origin. Families encourage their sons to do so for a host of reasons, including the cultural expectation that girls from "back home" will stay with and look after their in-laws.

The second trend is for Muslim men to marry "women of the book" (Christian or Jewish women), which is permissible in Islam. Men are more likely to work and socialise with British Christian women than their female Muslim counterparts, which leads to a higher chance of such marriages occurring.

(source)

France: Fearing attacks, Jewish students masquerade as Muslims

France: Fearing attacks, Jewish students masquerade as Muslims

Via the Jerusalem Post:
2 generations ago, some Jews sought to protect themselves by masquerading as Aryans. In an interview conducted in November, a Parisian mother related how the fear of being physically attacked by Muslim extremist thugs means that it is “not rare at all today” for French Jewish students to attempt to pass themselves off as Muslim - with some even going as far as to fast on Ramadan. One case in point was a Jewish girl of North African descent who for years was successful in this deception, until finally she was “exposed” when Muslim girls caught her eating matzah in the bathroom during Pesah. After her classmates beat her viciously, they invited their male Muslim friends to their school to participate in a gang rape.

(source)

UK: The New Muslim suffragettes

UK: The New Muslim suffragettes

Via the Independent:
An increasing number of Muslim women activists are receiving death threats, fatwas and even hate-mail from extremist male and female Muslims. Their crime: Rescuing fellow Muslim women from violent and life threatening situations.

With heightened media sensitivity surrounding forced marriage, honour based violence and domestic violence we are all too aware of the suffering experienced by vulnerable and marginalised Muslim women. But we know little about the Muslim women activists who risk their lives to fight for the rights of oppressed Muslim women. These women are the New Muslim Suffragettes (NMS) of The United Kingdom.

(source)

Denmark: Millions sent abroad to finance terrorism

Denmark: Millions sent abroad to finance terrorism

Via JP (Danish, h/t JIHAD I MALMÖ)

Jakob Scharf, head of the Danish Security Service (PET), said Tuesday that terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda and Al-Shabaab get funds from Denmark.

"PET estimates that around 20 million kroner (~$3.5m) are collected every year in Denmark to finance terrorist groups abroad," he said. This is only an estimation.

Flanders: 53% don't want Muslim doctor

Flanders: 53% don't want Muslim doctor

Via Het Nieuwsblad (Dutch):

53% of the Flemish prefer not having a Muslim family doctor. 40% prefer a White doctor. 22% said they prefer not being treated by a gay doctor.

The survey was conducted last November by the GfK Significant agency for Vitaya magazine. A thousand Flemish ages 20-70 were asked about their relationship with their family doctor.

Belgium: Youth theaters complain about 'Muslim prudishness'

Belgium: Youth theaters complain about 'Muslim prudishness'

Via De Telegraaf (Dutch, h/t NRP):

Jo Roets, artistic head of the Laika threater group, told newspaper De Morgen that prudishness among immigrant youth will be a hot item in the coming years. Immigrant teenagers shut their eyes or avert their heads when it comes to naked scenes.

Theater maker Jan Decorte says that a woman leading a group of children asked before a show whether there would be any nudity "because our Muslim youth may not see naked people." Decorte says it's a form of censorship.

Germany/Switzerland: Honor killings

Germany/Switzerland: Honor killings

Two recent honor killing stories:

In Germany, five siblings are suspected of killing Kurdish Arzu Ö. (18) in November because they disapproved of her relationship with her boyfriend. The siblings, four brothers and a sister, have been held for months but refuse to cooperate with the policy. Arzu's body was apparently found this week.

In Switzerland, a Pakistani is on trial for axing his daughter, Swera (16), to death. Swera's Christian boyfriend also said her parents disapproved of her relationship with him. The father is on trial also for a previous unsuccessful murder attempt.

Sweden: Bid to 'define Swedish citizenship'

Sweden: Bid to 'define Swedish citizenship'

Or in other words, define what 'being Swedish' means.

Via the Local:
The government plans to launch an inquiry to study Swedish citizenship in hopes of finding ways to boost its value and use it as a tool for integration.

“When someone immigrates to our country, we want the signals to be clear – we want you to be a part of Sweden, find work quickly, and learn Swedish,” integration minister Erik Ullenhag wrote in an opinion piece in the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper in which he outlined plans for the inquiry.

Switzerland: Radical Muslims turn to Gulf states to finance mosque

Switzerland: Radical Muslims turn to Gulf states to finance mosque

Via the Local:
The Islamic Central Council of Switzerland (ICCS) is trying to raise enough funds in the Gulf states to enable the construction of a 20-million franc ($21 million) prayer centre in the capital Bern.

With three storeys, the planned mosque would be the biggest in the country. In addition to a prayer room for 270 men and 174 women, plans show that the building would have conference and training rooms, shops, underground parking and a garden.

The president of the Council, Nicolas Blancho, confirmed his fundraising activities in Kuwait and Qatar to newspapers SonntagsZeitung and Le Matin Dimanche on Sunday, although he said the organisation has not received any donations yet.

(source)

Norway: Proposal to allow police, judges to wear headscarves

Norway: Proposal to allow police, judges to wear headscarves

Via the Local:
A government-appointed committee is set to make recommendations that will allow police and judges in Norway to wear clothing and personal effects with religious overtones, including the Muslim hijab.

Tasked with setting out a new religious affairs policy, the committee believes that religious symbols like the hijab and the Christian cross should be granted a place in Norwegian public life, Christian newspaper Vårt Land reports.

“We need to able to tolerate being exposed to other people’s religion, whether we meet an imam in a hospital corridor or a police officer with a hijab,” one committee member told the newspaper.

(source)

Belgium: Muslim executive 'under control of foreign countries'

Belgium: Muslim executive 'under control of foreign countries'

Via HLN (Dutch):

"Belgian Muslim bodies are definitively under the control of foreign countries. The Muslim Executive will now be led only by people who will prioritze the interests of their land of origin over those of Belgian Muslims," says the AMDB (Democaratic Alternative of Belgian Muslims), who say they unite 'all components of the Muslim community' in Belgium.

Belgium: Self-immolation in apparent attempt to escape forced marriage

Belgium: Self-immolation in apparent attempt to escape forced marriage

Via Het Nieuwsblad (Dutch), RTL (French):

A 16 year old North African girl set herself on fire in the La Louvière hospital Thursday. The girl had felt unwell at the end of the school day and had come to the hospital with her parents.

Shortly before the hospital released her she slipped away. She went up to the eighth floor, where she first tried to jump out of a window. Then she put on disinfectant gel and set a match to herself.

Germany: "Discrimination with a smile"

Germany: "Discrimination with a smile"

Via Deutsche Welle:
Experts call it "discrimination with a smile" when describing the practice of gently fobbing off those who don't typically look like they fit in. They might be given a paltry, but friendly excuse such as "the flat is no longer available," or "the restaurant is closed for to a private function" or "the hostel is fully booked."

But there is also the daily discrimination that is intended to be friendly. "Your German is pretty good," is actually an insult for many fully integrated Germans, born and raised in the country but deemed "pretty good" because they don't fit another person's definition of what a German looks like.

(source)

Netherlands: PM says headscarves are not a symbol of oppression

Netherlands: PM says headscarves are not a symbol of oppression

Via RNW:
In a weekly meeting with the press, Prime Minister Mark Rutte has backed remarks made yesterday by Queen Beatrix that it is “nonsense” to say the Islamic headscarf is a symbol of women’s oppression.

(...)

Today, he added the queen’s comments were “completely right”. He said Mr Wilders’ comments on headscarves being a symbol of oppression were much too general, “There are lots of women who wear headscarves, they are not all oppressed.”

(source)

Germany: Majority of Turks believe state supports far-right terrorists

Germany: Majority of Turks believe state supports far-right terrorists

Via Spiegel:
Turkish immigrants in Germany have lost faith in the German state as a result of the murder series allegedly committed by the Zwickau neo-Nazi terror cell, a new study shows. Three-quarters of respondents fear there will be further racially motivated killings.
Info

(...)

The authors of the study interviewed a representative sample of 1,058 people of Turkish descent living in Germany aged 15 years and over, between Dec. 5 and Dec. 15. More than half of the people surveyed -- 55 percent -- believed that the far-right terrorists were protected or even supported by the German state. About one-third were even convinced that there was "extreme" state support for the Zwickau-based neo-Nazis. Only about 21 percent believed there was no state support.

(source)

France: Le Pen slams Qatar for investing in French 'Muslim' suburbs

France: Le Pen slams Qatar for investing in French 'Muslim' suburbs

Via AFP:
Far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen on Friday lashed out at Qatar for investing in "Muslim" areas of French cities and for taking over Paris Saint-Germain football club.

"The massive investments which it has made in suburbs are made because of the very high proportion of Muslims who are in the French suburbs," she told reporters.

"I think this situation could be very dangerous," she said. "We are letting a foreign country choose its investments with regard to the religion of this or that part of the French population or of French territory."

(source)

Flanders: "Imams hardly in touch with their local community"

Flanders: "Imams hardly in touch with their local community"

Via VRT:
Research commissioned by the Equal Opportunities Support Unit shows that many of the imams who are working in Flanders hardly speak any Dutch, the language of their local community. In addition, they are hardly in touch with the local community.

The research shows that most of the imams active in Flanders didn't grow up here and never learnt French or Dutch. They have little understanding of Belgian or Flemish affairs. As a result contacts with Belgian youngsters are strained. In consequence many young Muslim Belgians go in search of information about Islam via other channels increasing the chance of radicalisation.

(source)

London: Fifteen arrested after EDL supporters clash with locals

London: Fifteen arrested after EDL supporters clash with locals

Via the Guardian:
Police have arrested 15 people after violence between far-right activists and local youths outside a mosque in east London.

Witnesses said the clash near the East London Mosque in Whitechapel erupted after supporters of the English Defence League chanted anti-Muslim slogans. Scotland Yard said one man was injured and taken to hospital with "non life-threatening injuries".

"The incident involved several hundred people," a police spokesman said. "Bottles and other items were thrown."

(source)

Lombardy: Row over 'Italian Butcher' sign

Lombardy: Row over 'Italian Butcher' sign

Antonino Verduci, a butcher in Treviglio (Lombardy), has noticed that business has been getting worse in recent weeks. He says that this was because a rumor was spread in town that he was a Muslim butcher. In order to reassure his customers, he put up a flag and a sign saying "Italian Butcher". Verduci was roundly condemned on the internet for being racist, but his store is now back in business, with many in town showing solidarity with him.

Netherlands: PVV in Limburg under fire over 'sicked-up halal meat' comment

Netherlands: PVV in Limburg under fire over 'sicked-up halal meat' comment

Via DutchNews:
The anti-Islam PVV in Limburg is again under fire after one provincial councillor described a Labour party colleague as ‘a piece of sicked-up halal meat made from a Turkish pig’.

The comment was made by PVV number two Cor Bosman in an email to 20 supporters after Labour councillor Selçuk Öztürk gave an interview to a local magazine, the Eindhovens Dagblad reports.

(source)

UK: Family ties 'help Asian businesses'

UK: Family ties 'help Asian businesses'

Via BBC:
According to academics, small to medium-sized Asian-run businesses are less likely to fail when there's a downturn in the economy because of the way they are set up and financed.

Dr Malcolm Chapman is senior lecturer in international business at the University of Leeds.

"Asians tend to finance business internally or use capital from family derived networks; crucially those networks are tolerant of slow repayment of loans if slow repayments become necessary," he says.

(source)

Netherlands: Majority Dutch think Queen should wear headscarf to mosque

Netherlands: Majority Dutch think Queen should wear headscarf to mosque

Via De Telegraaf (Dutch):

Queen Beatrix wore a headscarf while visiting a mosque in Oman this week, as a sign of respect for local custom. The Party for Freedom (PVV) criticized her, saying she was supporting the oppression of women under Islam.

According to a Maurice de Hond poll, 79% of the Dutch think she acted properly. 20% think the Queen shouldn't have worn a headscarf. 53% also think that Beatrix should wear a headscarf when visiting a mosque in the Netherlands. Among PVV voters, 47% think the Queen acted properly, 53% disagree.

58% of the poll respondents don't think the headscarf is a symbol of the oppression of women. Among PVV voters, 77% do think so.

France: Muslim and Jewish celebrations ‘should be bank holidays’

France: Muslim and Jewish celebrations ‘should be bank holidays’

Via France24:
France’s Green presidential hopeful raised heckles across the political spectrum Tuesday by suggesting that France should honour Muslim and Jewish festivals as well as Christian ones, by according them a national holiday.

Speaking in Paris on Wednesday at her first campaign rally, Green presidential candidate Eva Joly argued that national holiday status should be accorded to the Muslim festival of Eid-ul-Fitr and the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur.

Currently six of the 12 national holidays in France are Catholic calendar events, with the other six having no religious connotation.

(source)

UK: Imams must reach out to youth, says cleric

UK: Imams must reach out to youth, says cleric

Via ENInews:
Imams at British mosques have let down a generation of young Muslims by failing to reach young people who sometimes end up in prison, Ibrahim Mogra, chair of the mosque and community affairs committee of the Muslim Council of Britain, said.

Following the publication of a report showing that the number of Muslims in British prisons has rocketed over the last 20 years, Mogra told ENInews in an interview on 11 January that most Muslim clergy and mosques have finally realized that in houses of worship they are preaching only to the converted.

"They are now taking their message out to the youth," he said, "and this is excellent. The cocktail of issues facing young people today -- broken homes, difficulties with arranged marriages, drugs, the absence of male role models -- requires a unified effort. I am convinced that more and more imams and mosques will rise up and join that effort."

(source)

Bosnia: Arrest made in suspected failed terror attack

Bosnia: Arrest made in suspected failed terror attack

Via AKI:
Bosnian Serb entity police have arrested a Serb man on suspicion of having planned a terrorist act against highest state officials, police spokeswoman Mirna Soja said on Wednesday.

Soja said 61-year old Bozidar Bole Stanisavljevic had admitted of placing explosive and hiding weapons this week in the “Borik” sports hall in Banjaluka, the administrative center of Bosnian Serb entity Republika Srpska (RS).

Three kilos of devastating TNT explosive, detonators, a sniper, two automatic weapons and rounds of ammunition were found hidden in the sports hall on 8 January, only a day before the RS celebrated 20th anniversary of its founding.

(source)

Belgium: "Belgium is no Eldorado"

Belgium: "Belgium is no Eldorado"

Via VRT:

Belgium's brand new Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration, Maggie De Block (Flemish liberal), presented her policy document to lawmakers on Wednesday. Ms De Block wants to come down hard on abuse of Belgium's asylum system and encourage voluntary repatriation when appropriate.

The Asylum Secretary also announced the speedy creation of a new closed asylum centre as well as a new centre for illegal delinquents.

(...)

The Asylum Secretary identified the priorities of her policy: limiting the asylum procedure to six months and short shrift for people who apply for asylum for a second time. She was also keen to stress that Belgium is no Eldorado: "Putting asylum seekers up in hotels has to stop. There has to be an end to the enormous fines that the courts impose on us by the day."

(source)

Sweden: Teachers free to ban Islamic veils

Sweden: Teachers free to ban Islamic veils

Via the Local:
Teachers in Swedish schools can, in certain situations, prohibit students from wearing Islamic veils that reveal only their eyes, the country's school's agency has ruled.

The ban covers clothing that could hinder interaction between students and teachers or which could pose a specific risk, such as in a laboratory.

However, a general ban on headscarves isn't possible.

(source)

Gothenburg: Sister retracts 'honour killing' allegations

Gothenburg: Sister retracts 'honour killing' allegations

Via the Local:
A 21-year-old woman from Gothenburg in western Sweden who had accused her brother of threatening to take her life in an “honour killing", retracted her allegations on the opening day of the trial on Monday.

“Families often put a lot of pressures on these girls. They promise the world to them. Let's just hope it is true this time,” said prosecutor Helena Treiberg Claesson to local paper Göteborgs-Posten (GP).

According to Treiberg Claesson, it is not uncommon that girls withdraw allegations against family members in cases such as this, but she stressed that it isn't possible for them to drop the charges.

(source)

Oslo: Radical Muslims plan protest against Afghanistan war

Oslo: Radical Muslims plan protest against Afghanistan war


('Just so it's clear: This event is organized by MUSLIMS, meant for Muslims and is against Norway's participation in the occupation of Afghanistan and massacre of Muslims. If any Kufr show up outside Parliament, no participant will be sent away, but it's not an invitation for them. As simple as that!!!)

Netherlands: Khat is banned

Netherlands: Khat is banned

Via Expatica:
The Dutch government Tuesday banned the use of khat, a leaf native to East Africa chewed for its stimulant properties mainly by the Netherlands' sizeable Somali community.

"The drug khat is banned," the Dutch Immigration, Health and Justice departments said in a joint statement.

Khat is grown in the Horn of Africa and has for centuries been chewed by users in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Yemen.
Link
"The problem lies especially within the Somali community, which is much larger than the Kenyan or Yemeni communities within our country," immigration department spokesman Frank Wassenaar told AFP, adding there were about 27,000 Somalis living in the Netherlands

(source)

London: Living in Leytonstone, Identity and Belonging

London: Living in Leytonstone, Identity and Belonging

A 12-minute film examining the experiences of pupils, staff, and community members in a diverse and multicultural part of East London. Located in the borough of Waltham-Forest, Leytonstone is one of several neighborhoods where immigrants to Britain from the Caribbean, South Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe have long made their home.

Sweden: Immigrant homelessness on the rise

Sweden: Immigrant homelessness on the rise

Via the Local:
(...)

In total, the study showed that 34 percent of the overall homeless population, some 10,900 people, were born outside of Sweden.

Some 40 percent of these were women and 60 percent were men.

A third of these came from other European countries. The second largest group originated in the Middle East and the third largest in Africa.

(source)

Denmark: Kurdish ROJ-TV guilty of supporting terrorism, can continue broadcasting

Denmark: Kurdish ROJ-TV guilty of supporting terrorism, can continue broadcasting

"ROJ TV is the voice of democracy" - Kurds protesting in support of the broadcaster

Lyon: Muslim bride sues after order to remove veil

Lyon: Muslim bride sues after order to remove veil

Via the Local:
A newly-wed Muslim couple are suing the mayor of Lyon after a local official insisted the bride remove her veil at the town hall wedding ceremony.

The bride, identified only as Nassima A., was asked to remove a veil which was covering her hair during her wedding ceremony at a town hall in Lyon in June.

"Nassima thought it was an order and did not think twice about removing her veil. She thought she had to do it to get married and took it off in front of everybody," says her lawyer Gilles Devers in an interview with the French daily Liberation. He says she felt humuliated during the ceremony.

(source)

Germany: Anti-Islamic websites come under greater scrutiny

Germany: Anti-Islamic websites come under greater scrutiny

Via the National:
German authorities have announced a plan to place anti-Islamic websites under surveillance because of growing concern that they are becoming more radical and fomenting right-wing violence.

The domestic intelligence agency, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, said last week it had set up a working group to assess whether German-language sites such as Politically Incorrect and Nürnberg 2.0, whose stated aim is to oppose the "Islamisation of Europe" are in breach of the constitution.

(source)

EU: Muslim antisemitism rooted in integration failure

EU: Muslim antisemitism rooted in integration failure

Via Latitude (NY Times):
(...)

But while incidents in the Middle East are relevant, the root cause of the problem between Jews and Muslims in Europe isn’t simply the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; it is primarily the failure of European states to integrate immigrants, Muslims in particular.

(...)

In fact, the real answer lies much closer to home: according to a position-paper by the Brookings Institution, if Muslim communities in Europe felt less marginalization and had more economic opportunities, they would resort less to misdirected violence. Although attacks on Jews are scary and hard to explain away, there is no broad and systematic anti-Jewish sentiment in Europe, neither among Muslims nor among the rest of the population. This is not 1936.

(source)

Duisberg: Muslim fight for Catholic churches

Duisberg: Muslim fight for Catholic churches

Pastor Michael Kemper (r) and mosque association chairman Mohammed Al

Bosnia: Muslims want RS Day declared "genocide day"

Bosnia: Muslims want RS Day declared "genocide day"

Via B92:
Islamic organizations in Bosnia-Herzegovina demanded, in completely identical statements, that the Republic of Srpska (RS) Day be declared the genocide day.

The RS celebrates its national day on January 9.

Citing rulings of the International Court of Justice in The Hague, they said the entire month of January should be declared "the day of truth" because of the genocide committed by RS institutions against the Bosniaks in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

(source)

UK: Study indicates more Britons are converting to Islam

UK: Study indicates more Britons are converting to Islam

Via Al Arabiya:
A new study found that the number of Britons converting to Islam is growing, a London-based newspaper reported on Tuesday.

The Independent newspaper said that the estimated number of British converts has always been difficult to count because “census data does not differentiate between a religious person that has adopted a new faith or was born into it.”

According to a new study by the inter-faith think tank Faith Matters, the real figure could be as high as 100,000, with as many as 5,000 new conversions nationwide each year. Previous estimates have placed the number of Muslim converts in the UK at between 14,000 and 25,000.

(source)

UK: Judge critical of sentencing powers for anti-Muslim comments

UK: Judge critical of sentencing powers for anti-Muslim comments

Via the BBC:
A judge said it was "quite staggering" that he could only impose a fine on a former soldier who admitted making racist remarks about Muslims.

John Parkin, 26, from Rhyl, said he wanted to "shoot Muslims in the head" and admitted being a racist.

Judge Niclas Parry jailed Parkin for 10 months for breaching an earlier suspended sentence.

But he said he could only fine Parkin for charges of religiously aggravated public order offences against Muslims.

(source)

Strasbourg: First Muslim cemetery in France

Strasbourg: First Muslim cemetery in France

Via Le Parisien (French):

The first Muslim cemetery will be inaugurated in Strasbourg on February 6th. The cemetery will have place for 1000 graves.

The cemetery is the first to be established by a French municipality, and was made possible by the special local laws of the region, which do not recognize separation of Church and State. Elsewhere in the country, there are Muslim plots in other cemeteries.

Vienna: Racist youth check causes controversy

Vienna: Racist youth check causes controversy

Via Austrian Times:
A sociologist has questioned the results of a disputed study on Austrian teens’ attitudes.

Newspaper commentators, integration experts and radio talk show hosts engaged in a heated debate about the outcome of the latest examination by the Austrian Institute for Youth Culture Research. The organisation found that 43.6 per cent of Vienna-based teens agreed with the statement that "there are way too many Turks in Austria."

The poll – in which Austrians aged between 16 and 19 participated – also found that 11.2 per cent were of the opinion that German Third Reich dictator Adolf Hitler "also did many good things."

(source)

Athens: Appeal against plans to build mosque

Athens: Appeal against plans to build mosque

Via Today's Zaman (h/t Qalam)
A group of Greeks that includes bishops, academics and military officers have appealed against a parliamentary bill that will allow the construction of a mosque in the Greek capital.

According to the Greek press, a petition submitted to the Council of State in December was signed by Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus, as well as a university professor, naval officers and five residents of the area in which the mosque is planned to be built. The appeal argues that the construction of a mosque would be in violation of the constitution and harmful for national unity. It also cites the high cost of the building project in the face of Greece's financial crisis.

Known for his far-right views, Seraphim said the bill constituted an anti-Christian action and described it as disrespectful to Christian martyrs. He went on to condemn the Greek parliament for approving such a bill.

(source)

Copenhagen: Muslims clean up after New Year's celebrations

Copenhagen: Muslims clean up after New Year's celebrations

The article doesn't say, but these are Ahmadiyya Muslims. Ahmadiyya Muslims have held similar cleaning operations in Oslo and Amsterdam.

Via Fyens Stiftstidende (Danish):

A group of Muslim youth from the Nusrat Djahan mosque in Hvidovre (Copenhagen) volunteered on New Year's Day to help clean up the night's celebrations in the city's central square.

"Our religion teachers us that we should love our country. And if we love our country, we should keep it clean," says Muhammad Zakaria Khan, chairman of the mosque.

France: Six So Far Convicted Under Veil Ban

France: Six So Far Convicted Under Veil Ban

Via RFE/RL:
French Interior Minister Claude Gueant says six women have been convicted and fined since a ban on face-covering Islamic veils took effect in April.

Gueant cites the figure in an interview with "Le Monde" daily, saying no woman has been sent to a citizenship class -- another potential punishment.

(source)

UK: We won't eat halal meat, say MPs and peers who reject demands to serve it at Westminster

UK: We won't eat halal meat, say MPs and peers who reject demands to serve it at Westminster

Via the Daily Mail (h/t Tundra Tabloids)

The Palace of Westminster has rejected demands to serve halal meat in its restaurants.

Muslim MPs and peers have been told they cannot have meat slaughtered in line with Islamic tradition because the method – slitting an animal’s throat without first stunning it – is offensive to many of their non-Muslim colleagues.

The stance has infuriated some parliamentarians who have eaten meat in the Palace’s 23 restaurants and cafes, having been assured that it was halal.

(source)

Christmas and Muslims: Tradition vs. Religion

Christmas and Muslims: Tradition vs. Religion

I've been running behind with various stories, and so only now I've gotten around to some of the Christmas stories. While I was summarizing them up, I realized they all revolve around the same motif: Is Christmas a religious holiday or a traditional national-cultural holiday?

Germany: Foreigners set up a third of all new firms

Germany: Foreigners set up a third of all new firms

Via the Local:
Foreigners are three times as likely to start a new business as Germans, according to a new study which showed that nearly a third of all new companies founded in 2009 were set up by migrants.

The study commissioned by the Economy Ministry showed around 130,000 new companies were started in 2009 in Germany by people without German citizenship – around 30 percent of all new firms set up that year.

Liege: Kurdish protest against Turkish air-raid

Liege: Kurdish protest against Turkish air-raid

A thousand Kurds protested in Liege (Belgium) yesterday against the Turkish government. 36 Kurds were killed in an air-raid by the Iraqi border Thursday.

France: New law makes it harder to become French

France: New law makes it harder to become French

Via France24:
Foreigners seeking French nationality face tougher requirements as of January 1, when new rules drawn up by Interior Minister Claude Guéant come into force.

Candidates will be tested on French culture and history, and will have to prove their French language skills are equivalent to those of a 15-year-old mother tongue speaker. They will also be required to sign a new charter establishing their rights and responsibilities.

“Becoming French is not a mere administrative step. It is a decision that requires a lot of thought”, reads the charter, drafted by France’s High Council for Integration (HCI). In a more obscure passage, the charter suggests that by taking on French citizenship, “applicants will no longer be able to claim allegiance to another country while on French soil”, although dual
nationality will still be allowed.

(source)