The Former Imam Of The Finsbury Park Mosque, London, Has Lost His Appeal Against Detention Without Trial. Abu Qatada, described as an “inspiration” for terrorists both here and abroad, has been held for more than a year under emergency powers introduced after the September 11 attacks on the Twin Towers in New York.
For Moroccans to demonstrate against French President Jacques Chirac’s decision of banning the veil as a religious symbol at schools, it reflects a religious position more than a political one. Although it is difficult to reduce the Islamic issue to the wearing of the veil, or not, it is obvious that extremist circles in France, and outside, will find in the argument a pretext to accuse Islam of extremism and exaggeration.
Kenza Refsi, 18, furtively breaks away from a cluster of friends near her high school and with a shy smile that exposes her braces, she agrees to discuss why her teachers won’t let her dress the way she wants. It’s not that she wants to wear a thong with low-riding pants, or a nose ring, or a halter top that exposes her midriff. Those fashion statements are considered acceptable for teenage girls at Lycee Jean Jaures in Montreuil, a Paris suburb. What Refsi’s teachers forbid is a scarf that she seeks to wear to cover her head in modesty, which she believes is an obligation of her Muslim faith.
Qatar’s Al-Jazeera satellite TV did not mean to defy France by choosing its only veiled presenter to interview French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin, editor Ibrahim Hilal said Thursday.
Perhaps no other issue has stirred as much controversy both inside and outside France as the recent decision to ban the veil in French public schools. In the heat of the passions this issue has ignited over the conflict between Islam and the West and western racism against Arabs and Muslims, it was easy to lose sight of the political and cultural context in which this ban was promulgated, a context that suggests that the problems at hand pertain more to the nature of, and perhaps a crisis in, French secularism than they do to the fight against Islam.
At every stage of the visit of French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dominique De Villepin, to each of Abu Dhabi, Muscat, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain, the question about the law France is intending to adopt in order to ban the religious symbols, including headscarves in schools and the workplace was raised. Some people in the region considered that such a law is a violation of individual freedoms in the country of democracy, which is based on three sacred pillars: freedom, equality and fraternity.
The Foreign Office minister Denis MacShane is facing a grassroots revolt in his constituency after his challenge to Muslims to choose between the “British way” and the way of terrorists.
Around 60 people, most of them veiled female students, demonstrated Monday outside the French embassy in Jordan to protest against France’s move to ban Islamic headscarves in state schools.
A leading Lebanese Shi’ite Muslim hit out Friday at the Cairo-based Sunni leadership over its support for France’s decision to ban girls wearing the Islamic headscarf in public schools.