Closing the week 18

English (international)

Politics

ADL Condemns Anti-Islam Remarks Made by Dutch Parliamentarian During Appearances in S. Florida

ADL Condemns Anti-Islam Remarks Made by Dutch Parliamentarian During Appearances in S. Florida

Boca Raton, FL, April 28, 2009 …The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) strongly condemns remarks made over the last few days at various appearances throughout South Florida by Dutch Parliamentarian Geert Wilders.

In his speeches, he claimed that “Islam is not a religion” and “the right to religious freedom should not apply to this totalitarian ideology called Islam.” Mr. Wilders also stated that the Koran is a book of hatred, and that Mohammed was both “a pedophile and a warlord.”

Andrew Rosenkranz, ADL Florida Regional Director, issued the following statement:

The ADL strongly condemns Geert Wilders’ message of hate against Islam as inflammatory, divisive and antithetical to American democratic ideals.

This rhetoric is dangerous and incendiary, and wrongly focuses on Islam as a religion, as opposed to the very real threat of extremist, radical Islamists.

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world’s leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.

See also at LobeLog.com and watch the video:
[flashvideo filename=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpiRHgth5c8 /]

Labour ‘candidate told she was too white and Jewish’ to be selected for Muslim dominated seat | Mail Online

The Labour Party has become embroiled in a race row after a prospective female councillor was allegedly told she was ‘too white and Jewish’ to be selected.

Elaina Cohen claims that Labour councillor Mahmood Hussain said he would not support her application for an inner-city ward because ‘my Muslim members don’t want you because you are Jewish’.

See also:
Pickled Politics » Selective outrage over bigotry

If the guy did say that obviously he is a racist idiot. Anyway – the story is all over the press and blogs – OMG didn’t I tell you all these nasty Muslims are evilllll and racist!?

A couple of years ago, when the Conservative candidate Ali Miraj, was doing the rounds trying to get selected by a seat, he was told by senior Tories: “Good luck Ali, but I would be shocked if they didn’t pick a White middle-class male.” — at the time of course he was told off for embarrassing his own party by bringing up allegations of racism. Neither the blogosphere nor the media was that upset by the saga.

Opposition & Citizenship

New Statesman – Get up, stand up

Get up, stand up

Salil Tripathi

Thirty years ago, a violent clash with racists marked
the beginning of a political and artistic awakening for British Asians, writes Salil Tripathi

In April 1979, against a background of high unemployment and anti-immigrant sentiment, the National Front staged a rally in Southall, a suburb of west London where many Asians had settled. These immigrants, mainly Punjabis, worked at Heathrow Airport, keeping London connected with the world. They were making efforts to assimilate, listening to BBC radio programmes such as Apna hi Ghar Samajhiye (“Think of it as your home”) and watching Nayi Zindagi, Naya Jeevan (“New way, new life”).

Under the banner of the Anti-Nazi League, Londoners of all ethnicities turned out to challenge the NF and its racist message.

Gender, Islam & Cultural Politics
The defiant poets’ society – Times Online

The defiant poets’ society
Attending a reading and writing class like this one could end in mutilation or murder for Afghan women — and simply leaving their homes could mean death. Christina Lamb returns to Afghanistan seven years after the fall of the Taliban and finds a country still rife with the persecution of females.

Perspectives: Morocco’s family code, 5 years later by Hakima Fassi-Fihri and Zakia Tahiri – Common Ground News Service

Perspectives: Morocco’s family code, 5 years later
by Hakima Fassi-Fihri and Zakia Tahiri

It’s time for additional reforms by Hakima Fassi-Fihri

Rabat – In February 2004, Morocco was praised for significant progress in the field of women’s rights, particularly for revising its 1958 family code – the “Moudawana”. This reform was the result of many years of work between academics, theologians, activists and legal experts.

Five years later, it’s time to assess whether this praise was warranted.

A black Muslim, a priest, and an Episcopalian walk into a bar… | Bitch Magazine

A black Muslim, a priest, and an Episcopalian walk into a bar…

*wait for it*

…and they are all the same woman.

Meet Ann Holmes Redding

Mona Eltahawy on Afghan Women « Nuseiba

It’s always refreshing to hear Muslim women’s voices on issues affecting them. There should be more Muslim women in such discussions– Egyptian writer Mona Eltahawy’s being no exception. However, when I read her recent article No Faith in Afghan Clerics, I was somewhat disappointed. Eltahawy takes what is a complicated issue and reduces it to misogyny.

Islam’s Sex Licenses – Page 1 – The Daily Beast

Temporary “pleasure marriages” offer unwed Muslims a way around the Islamic rule against premarital sex. Betwa Sharma talks to one young American Shiite who’s on his 25th “I do.”

Carnival Time – Celebrating Muslim Motherhood « Outlines

Firstly, a confession. I didn’t get many submissions, so I actually went hunting for some worthy material.

Masha Allah, there is so much out there, this is just a small selection.

If anyone would like to add to it, please email me: safiyaoutlines at gmail dot com, or alternatively, you can leave comment.

On with the carnival!

Southern California InFocus – Muslims find Islamic ways to be fashionable

Models strutted down runways in winter in wide-leg pants, bulky jackets, long cardigans and the ever-so controversial keffiyah-like scarves, sometimes wrapped around their heads or trailing off their shoulders. Months later, spring and summer fashions have held on to stylized neck scarves and looser clothing, fitting into the lifestyle of modest women looking for a fashionably-refined appearance.

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Kurdish women seek football freedom

Kurdish women’s football teams are still pretty new.

The first only started a couple of years ago, but they are being seen as a way to prize open the door to more equality in a male-dominated society that takes a dim view of women in sport.

A Quiet Revolution Grows in the Muslim World – TIME

Three decades after Iran’s upheaval established Islamic clerical rule for the first time in 14 centuries, a quieter and more profound revolution is transforming the Muslim world. Dalia Ziada is a part of it.

BMI told stewardess to wear Muslim robe -Times Online

BMI told stewardess to wear Muslim robe
Jon Ungoed-Thomas

A BRITISH air stewardess was sacked for refusing to fly to Saudi Arabia after she was ordered to wear a traditional Islamic robe and walk behind male colleagues.

BBC – BBC Radio 4 Programmes – Twin Sisters, Two Faiths

Identical twins, Elizabeth and Caroline, talk to Anna Scott-Brown about their choices to follow two very different faiths – Islam and Christianity. They discuss their strongly-held but separate beliefs, and how this affects their relationship within the family. As their own lives unfold, they also have to confront their mother’s terminal illness and come to terms with what her death will mean to them.

War on terror

Terrorism: A Cultural Phenomenon Asharq Alawsat Newspaper (English)

The first conclusion is that the fight against terrorism continues, and that the security efforts to pursue terrorism and the terrorists – especially in Saudi Arabia – are largely successful.
[…]

The second conclusion is that the Al Qaeda organization remains active and strong; evidence of this [conclusion] can be seen in the continued existence of the group despite all efforts [to wipe it out].
[…]
The third and most important conclusion is that the persistence of Al Qaeda is a result of the persistence of the circumstances that Al Qaeda is working against, this provides the organization a suitable environment for existence and vitality.

Muslims hit by trebling in stop and search – Crime, UK – The Independent

Muslims hit by trebling in stop and search

Police used anti-terror laws to screen more than 120,000 individuals

By Robert Verkaik, Law Editor

Police officers use a metal detector to search commuters for weapons at Mile End underground station in east LondonPA

Police officers use a metal detector to search commuters for weapons at Mile End underground station in east London

Police use of anti-terror stop and search powers trebled last year, prompting fears that the policy is alienating London’s Muslim communities.Officers in England and Wales used Terrorism Act powers to search 124,687 people in 2007/8, up from 41,924 in 2006/7, figures released yesterday showed. But only around 1 per cent of those searches ended in an arrest. There were 1,271 arrests in total but only 73 of those were for terror offences.

Informed Comment: Obama’s First Hundred Days in the Greater Middle East

It is too soon to tell whether he can succeed in handling this very full plate. But he has at least stopped digging us into a hole, and there is some prospect of him succeeding on at least some fronts.

It is hard to remember now how bad things were a year ago, in April of 2008, in this regard. How hopeless issues looked on all fronts, how absent and arrogant the supposed decider was, how perfidious and devious the real president-behind-the-scenes was. Obama cannot fix the world’s problems simply by taking office or making some speeches. But he does give people hope with his style, intelligence, grasp of issues, and clear ethical imperatives. It is a new day. It is a new day.

Harper Expose on Crusaders in American Military « Umar Lee

The title of this article was taken from an incident that happened in Iraq where a group of Evangelical crusaders fighting for the US armed forces went on a killing spree of Iraqis and had an Iraqi sellout from Texas write a sign that said “Jesus Killed Mohammed” on top of a tank.

This article only confirms what I have known for a long time and that is that the officer corps of the military and many parts of the military are under the control of the Christian Right and that they view their job today as to destroy Islam.

Virtual contestations

The Washington Independent » Civil War Raging in Right-Wing Blogosphere

Since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, jazz musician and Web designer Charles Johnson has devoted his blog, Little Green Footballs, to exposing Muslim extremism in and outside the United States. His targets have included the Council on American-Islamic Relations, filmmaker Michael Moore, Reuters, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Dan Rather, and the late pro-Palestinian activist Rachel Corrie — who some LGF commenters (not Johnson) call “St. Pancake,” a tribute to the Israeli steamroller that killed her. LGF helped write the lexicon of the self-styled “anti-Jihadist” blogosphere — from “moonbat” (”an unthinking or insane leftist”) to “anti-idiotarian” (”anyone who grasps the significance of and does his or her best to combat the post-9/11 political alliance between the ‘Old Left’ and militant Islam”).
But in the early days of Barack Obama’s presidency, LGF has become better known for the various fights it picks with many on the right — including conservative bloggers, critics of Islamic extremism, and critics of Islam in general who used to be Johnson’s fellow travelers.

Whitehall to train pro-West Islamic groups to game Google • The Register

Whitehall officials will train pro-West Islamic groups to manipulate their Google search ranking in an attempt to drown out extremist voices online, The Register has learned.

The policy is being developed despite recent warnings from a group of international experts on radicalisation that such strategies are likely to be “largely ineffectual”.

The need for constructive discussion on tariqa problems – Indigo Jo Blogs

The last few weeks have seen an upsurge in attacks on shaikhs on various blogs, particularly on Umar Lee’s site and Salafi Burnout. It all started with Umar’s post about so-called Rand Institute Muslims and particularly Shaikh Hamza Yusuf, but the “discussion” quickly moved on to the subject of Shaikh Muhammad al-Ya’qoobi and Shaikh Nuh Keller, with a number of angry messages left on those two blogs, and a few on mine back in January and early February, mainly criticising the way Shaikh Nuh and some of those around him handle the personal affairs of students in Kharabsheh, the district of Amman where the shaikh’s zawiya and the Qasid Arabic school are located, and which is home to a number of western students.

Internet Brings Some Moderate Tone to Big Three of Faith – Digital Journal: Your News Network

Religion has entered the digital world in major ways. Not only are there mega churches in Christianity, but now the Islamic and Jewish groups use the Internet widely. Some of these teach and convert, with moderate views.

Review: Al-Mudarris Quran Software | MuslimMatters.org

A few months ago I got a copy of Al-Mudarris software. It’s essentially a software that incorporates ayaat with multiple translations and audio recitations of each individual ayah. That is nice, however, what really prompted me to utilize the software is the notes and tafsir features.

Islam, liberalism, secularismTerry Eagleton: The liberal supremacists | Comment is free | The Guardian

One side-effect of the so-called war on terror has been a crisis of liberalism. This is not only a question of alarmingly illiberal legislation, but a more general problem of how the liberal state deals with its anti-liberal enemies. This, surely, is the acid test of any liberal creed. Anyone can be tolerant of those who are tolerant. A community of the broad-minded is a pleasant place, but requires no great moral effort. The key issue is how the liberal state copes with those who reject its ideological framework. It is fashionable today to speak of being open to the “Other”. But what if the Other detests your openness as much as it does your lapdancing clubs?

There is no quarrel about how to treat those whose scorn for liberal values takes the form of blowing the legs off small children. They need to be locked up. But socialists as well as Islamists reject the liberal state, so what is to be done about them? Are they to be indulged only until they successfully challenge the state, at which point they too will find themselves behind bars with the zealots of al-Qaida?

Religious-secularist mix impacts women’s rights in Turkey by Sertaç Sehliko?lu Karaka? – Common Ground News Service

Developing modern religious interpretations to address women’s issues provides a rich and strong foundation for feminist discourses. The PRA has made significant progress in developing modern and accurate religious interpretations generally and specifically on the subject of women. Though Muslim women still have a long way to go to achieve the rights due to them in Islam, the PRA’s reforms – including giving women access to clerical positions and the prevalence of new interpretations of religious sources – are slowly paving the road to empowerment.

Feminists are prompting many of these changes in religious interpretation. In turn, strengthening women’s rights by referencing religion provides guidelines for women living in other Muslim countries, a project which is consistent with Turkey’s mission to become a model of a modern Muslim country.

Britain Grapples With Role for Islamic Justice – NYTimes.com

The Church of England has its own ecclesiastical courts. British Jews have had their own “beth din” courts for more than a century.

But ever since the archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Rowan Williams, called in February for aspects of Islamic Shariah to be embraced alongside the traditional legal system, the government has been grappling with a public furor over the issue, assuaging critics while trying to reassure a wary and at times disaffected Muslim population that its traditions have a place in British society.

[…]

Conservatives and liberals alike — many of them unaware that the Islamic courts had been functioning at all, much less for years — have repeatedly denounced the courts as poor substitutes for British jurisprudence.

Book reviews

Belonging & Banishment: Being Muslim in Canada – Book Review | MuslimMatters.org

Most of the essays in Belonging and Banishment provided food for thought and were worth the time I spent on them. If nothing else, I appreciated that trends and ideas which have been tossed around, expressed, argued about, and developed by the Muslim community have been brought together in such a concrete manner. Although I disagree with a great deal of what was said in several of the articles articles, I think that for those who aren’t easily confused or impressed by philosophical or intellectual types, it’s a good book to have on hand.

As a whole, I am cautious of recommending the book to all and sundry; there are a few essays which I feel are great for general reading and sharing with friends and colleagues, but there are also a few which I feel can only be fully understood if one has a relatively thorough background in the history of Muslims in the West and their current socio-ideological situations.

Jihadi Suicide Bombers: The New Wave – The New York Review of Books

Two of the books under review are so illuminating about this twilight period in the 1990s that I even wonder if September 11 could have been averted if they had been published a decade earlier. One is Omar Nasiri’s Inside the Jihad, a first-person account by a Moroccan-born spy who infiltrated Islamist groups on behalf of European intelligence organizations in the 1990s; the other is Brynjar Lia’s Architect of Global Jihad, a Norwegian scholar’s account of a top al-Qaeda strategist named Abu Mus’ab al-Suri, who was arrested in Pakistan in 2005 and handed over to the US. He is now one of the “rendered” or disappeared prisoners. Both books are about men who were trained in terrorist camps in Afghanistan in the early 1990s—when bin Laden was not even there—and who then traveled across Europe to mobilize Muslims for the emerging global jihad. The Afghan camps were providing military and technical training, ideological education, and new global networks well before al-Qaeda arrived on the scene.

Middle East

UAE – National anorexia levels ‘astonishing’ – The National Newspaper

National anorexia levels ‘astonishing’

Mitya Underwood

Doctors are worried about the level of anorexia nervosa among teenage girls after 1.8 per cent of youngsters surveyed in the country’s first study into the illness showed signs of being sufferers.

The survey of 900 girls conducted at Al Ain University found that a relatively high number of 13- to 19-year-olds were anorexic.

‘Aqoul: A Public Service Clarification for non MENA Readers, re Pig Flu

As it would happen, most non-psychotic Muslims are
(i) Aware that pigs exist
(ii) Not incredibly scandalised by the fact
(iii) Aware that Xians and others eat pigs
(iv) Aware that Swine Flu is not little pigs floating around….

Dutch
Allochtonenweblog: Nederland islamiseert, maar in welke mate? (1)

In hoeverre is er sprake van feitelijke islamisering? In hoeverre wordt er overdreven? Wie hebben er belang bij het beeld van islamisering? Aan deze en meer vragen wordt de komende tijd aandacht besteed op het Allochtonenweblog.

Masterclass over islam en geweld – Universiteit van Tilburg

Masterclass over islam en geweld
Van 8 tot 18 juni 2009 zal prof. dr. Abou El Fadl, hoogleraar aan de University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) een intensieve masterclass verzorgen voor masterstudenten van de UvT en andere universiteiten in Nederland. De titel van zijn masterclass luidt:

Moslims en de autoriteitscrisis in de islam: hoe om te gaan met fundamentalisme, radicalisme, geweld en terreur?

Khaled Abou El Fadl wordt gezien als de belangrijkste Amerikaanse voorvechter van een ‘progressieve islam’, een islam die tolerant en pluriform is en die zich naadloos laat inpassen in het wereldbeeld van de moderniteit.
In zijn boeken en tijdens zijn lectures doet hij regelmatig uitspraken als: “Zonder een intellectuele revolutie binnen de islam hebben democratie in het Midden-Oosten en de integratie van moslims in het Westen geen enkele kans van slagen.”
In een recensie over zijn boek The Great Theft: Wrestling Islam from the Extremists schrijft het NRC Handelsblad: “El Fadl heeft moedige, intelligente en controversiële boeken geschreven over onder meer geweld in het islamitische rechtsdenken, de verenigbaarheid van islam en democratie en de noodzaak om nieuwe methoden te ontwikkelen voor de interpretatie van de religieuze teksten.”

SpitsNieuws : Onderzoek Islam-internaten Den Haag

Onderzoek Islam-internaten Den Haag

Den Haag stelt een onderzoek in naar de mogelijke aanwezigheid van islamitische internaten in de stad. Volgens VVD’er Else van Dijk-Staats zouden er minstens drie internaten zijn die bijvoorbeeld contacten hebben met de beweging van de islamitische prediker Fethullah Gülen. Jongeren zouden in de internaten worden ,,geïsoleerd en geïndoctrineerd”.

Maghreb Magazine » ‘Moderne islam biedt ruimte voor homo’s’

Op hoge toon vraagt Youssef of Dialmy zichzelf als moslim ziet. In zijn ogen kan Dialmy onmogelijk moslim zijn. Hij heeft zich immers in zijn toedracht vierkant achter het beleid van Marcouch gesteld. Die wil volledige acceptatie van homo’s in de moslimgemeenschap bewerkstelligen, door bijeenkomsten (als deze) te organiseren, scholen lespakketten te geven, de Gay Pride naar Slotervaart te halen en ondernemers uit te nodigen een homobar te openen.

Kalm antwoordt Dialmy, hoogleraar sociologie aan de Universiteit Mohammed V in Rabat, dat hij de lezing geeft in zijn hoedanigheid van wetenschapper. En dat hij het volste recht heeft delen uit de Koran en de hadith (overleveringen van de profeet Mohammed) te citeren als wetenschappelijke onderbouwing van zijn betoog. In zijn visie van de islam, ‘een moderne islam’, zijn mensen gelijkwaardig. ‘Die gelijkwaardigheid bestaat ook op seksueel gebied, of het nu gaat om mannen en vrouwen, getrouwden en ongehuwden, hetero’s en homo’s.’ Hij vult aan dat er hadiths zijn die homoseksualiteit verbieden, maar ook die de praktijk anders uitleggen. Dialmy wil een veilige plek creëren voor homo’s in een moslimgemeenschap. ‘Niemand zou zijn identiteit hoeven te verloochenen.’

The Max Pam Globe » Zoek de nul verschillen

Uit nieuwsgierigheid vroeg ik de twee vertalingen op: die van de Gay Krant en die van de door wethouder Grashoff ingehuurde beëdigde vertaler. Ik legde ze naast elkaar en vergeleek de teksten. Op wat kleine, onbeduidende details na, zag ik geen verschil. De vertaling van de Gay Krant is praktisch dezelfde als die van de beëdigd vertaler (zie hieronder). In verschillende vertalingen zitten natuurlijk altijd verschillen, maar wezenlijk zegt Ramadan in de versie van de beëdigd vertaler niets anders.

[…]

Eigenlijk blijft alleen het argument over dat de Gay Krant de opmerkingen van Ramadan “uit zijn context” heeft gehaald. Dat is altijd beproefd, maar lafhartig argument. Communisten zeiden dat ook altijd als je kritiek had op de Sovjet-Unie. Als een dissident in een concentratiekamp werd opgesloten, was dat misschien even vervelend, maar je moest het zien in de “historische context”.

Trouwens: ook in de versie van de beëdigde vertaler stemmen de woorden van Ramadan weinig vrolijk. Zo zegt Ramadan: “Het is waar dat de islam in relatie tot de seksualiteit grenzen stelt. Zij stelt zeer duidelijke grenzen door te zeggen dat God een orde heeft gewild en dat deze orde is: de man voor de vrouw en de vrouw voor de man”.

En over homoseksualiteit zei hij tegen het niet-Westerse publiek: “Het verbod is duidelijk. Homoseksualiteit is niet iets dat men beschouwt als toegestaan in de islam”.

Als hij gaat uit leggen dat er tegenstelling is tussen de dagelijkse praktijk en wat God van ons verlangt, wordt het taalgebruik van Ramadan nogal wollig. Homoseksualiteit moet je verwerpen, maar de homoseksueel niet: “Die moet je begeleiden”.

Tsja, zou Martin Bril zeggen.

Zo dachten ze er vroeger ook over bij de EO, toen die omroep zich nog op Staphorst richtte. Waarmee ik bedoel te zeggen: laat Ramadan in alle vrijheid homoseksualiteit afwijzen. Maar een nieuwe Erasmusbrug zal hij er niet mee bouwen.

Elsevier.nl – Politiek – CDA-ideoloog verlaat partij om houding tegenover Wilders

CDA-ideoloog verlaat partij om houding tegenover Wilders

zondag 26 april 2009 10:39

CDA-prominent en emeritus-hoogleraar sociologie Anton Zijderveld heeft het lidmaatschap van zijn partij opgezegd. Het CDA neemt volgens de partij-ideoloog te weinig afstand van de ‘islamofobie’ van PVV-leider Geert Wilders.

De Standaard Online – Proces moord op jonge jood begint met ‘Allah is groot’

PARIJS (REUTERS) – In Parijs is het proces begonnen over de moord op Ilan Halimi (23), die in 2006 drie weken lang door een groep jonge immigranten vastgehouden en gemarteld werd. De ‘bende der barbaren’ eiste 450.000 euro losgeld van Halimi’s bescheiden familie want ‘alle joden zijn rijk’.

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