80% of Spanish Muslims Feel Accepted

Almost 80% of the Muslims living in Spain affirm that they feel accepted by the Spanish people; this is the result of the first enquiry to the community directed by the Catholic magazine, ’21rs. According with the gathered information, presented in Madrid by Luis Fernando Vilchez, the director of the investigation and Professor of the Universidad Complutense, integration in Spanish society is not free of difficulties; for 38,7% of the Muslims surveyed, two out of three felt totally accepted; 50% said they felt partially accepted and one out of ten felt very marginalised. Muslim women feel less integrated than the men; although younger women and those with more education disagree with this statement. Concerning democracy, almost 2/3 of the answers were in favour of the compatibility between Islam and Democracy.

Second International Meeting About Islamic Feminism

The president of the Intercultura, Yonaida Sel-lam, Hill participate this weekend in the Second International Meeting about Islamic Feminism celebrated in Barcelona and organized by the Junta Isl_mica de Catalu_a, together with the Generalitat de Catalu_a, the Concejal_a de la Mujer del Ayuntamiento de Barcelona, the Institut Europeo de la Mediterr_nea, the Fundaci_n Pluralismo y Convivencia and the Junta Isl_mica de Espa_a. This initiative aims to give continuity to the task of the First Meeting, which is to advertise the emergent feminine Islamic movement to the transnational promotion of gender equality. The participants are intellectual Islamic women (Sahin Sardar Al_, Law Professor of the University of Peshawar; the American Margot Badran, the Indonesian Lily Zakiyah Munir) working subjects such as abortion, polygamy, divorce, violence, sexual rights, family planning and leadership in countries like Morocco, Pakistan, Iran, Nigeria or Indonesia.

Islamic Schools Test Ideal of Integration in Britain

LEICESTER, England – The sports hall doubles as a prayer room and dining hall for male teenagers, at other times for young women, but never the two together. In the kindergarten, female teachers, warned of an impending visit by a man, draw full facial veils before receiving their guest. When the guest arrives, the children offer a chorus in Arabic: As salaam aleikum – peace be upon you.

Violent Muslims “Overemphasised”

The Mayor of London has condemned what he said was greater publicity given to Muslim extremists over and above non-Islamic groups. Ken Livingstone told BBC radio too much emphasis was placed on Muslim extremism while the vast majority of faiths wanted to live together in harmony. He said a situation had been reached where any comment by politicians on Muslims had “front page coverage”.

Muslim Teacher Defends Her Veil

A Muslim support teacher suspended for wearing a veil in class says it was never a problem for her pupils. Headfield Church of England Junior School, in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, said pupils found it hard to understand her during English language lessons. But Aishah Azmi, 24, said: “They never complained.” She added she was willing to take the veil off in class, but not in front of any male colleagues.

Muslim Leader Assaulted at Mosque

A 53-year-old imam has been punched and kicked by a man who entered a mosque in the west end of Glasgow. Strathclyde Police confirmed that the incident, at the Dawat ul Islam centre, happened at about 1800 BST on Friday. Mohammed Shamsuddin was taken to the nearby Western Infirmary, but later discharged following treatment.

Kelly Challenges Muslim Groups

Ruth Kelly yesterday challenged Muslim groups who have boycotted Holocaust Memorial Day, in a speech warning Islamic organisations that sitting on the sidelines in the struggle against extremism was “not good enough”. The communities secretary announced that funding for groups would depend on their willingness to take a lead on the issue, and defended the government’s record, insisting: “Britain is a good place to be a Muslim.”

Cash to Help Root Out Extremism

Muslim groups which prove they are trying to outlaw extremism within their ranks are to receive financial support, Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly says. Cash will be available for projects that involve women, that build bridges between communities and are in touch with young people, she said. She said it was “not good enough” to pay lip service to tackling extremism. But some Muslim groups condemned her, saying the government was trying to create its own “state-sponsored Islam”.

Muslim Students ‘More Tolerant’

Muslim pupils are more liberal and tolerant than non-Muslim pupils, a Home Office-funded study has found. The research, involving 400 15-year-olds, was carried out by Lancaster University in a two-year project after the 2001 Burnley riots. It found that nearly a third of non-Muslim pupils thought one race was superior, compared to a tenth of teenagers in a mainly Muslim school.

Popular to Compare Islamism to Nazism

One year after the publication of the caricatures of the prophet Mohammed in the conservative newspaper Jyllands Posten, the critique of Islam has never been so popular in Denmark. In their publication, Karen Jespersen and Ralf Pittelkow describe islamism as a “totalitarian ideologie, mortally dangerous” that they compare to nazism and communism. {(continued below in French)} Un an apr_s la publication des caricatures du proph_te Mahomet dans le quotidien conservateur Jyllands Posten, la critique de l’islam n’a jamais _t_ aussi populaire au Danemark. L’ouvrage qui cartonne actuellement dans les librairies s’intitule Islamistes et na_vistes. Vendu _ 5 000 exemplaires les deux premiers jours, cet essai en est _ sa troisi_me r?_dition. Les deux auteurs, Karen Jespersen et Ralf Pittelkow, y d_crivent l’islamisme comme _une id_ologie totalitaire, mortellement dangereuse_, qu’ils comparent au nazisme et au communisme. Pittelkow met en garde : _Les islamistes et leurs valeurs progressent en Europe, notamment aupr_s des jeunes g_n_rations. Ils essaient d’interf_rer dans la vie des gens, en leur disant comment s’habiller, que penser et que croire._ Les auteurs estiment que l’immigration musulmane est au coeur du probl_me. Mais surtout, ils fustigent l’attitude conciliante d’un groupe qu’ils appellent les _na_vistes_, accus_s d’ignorer la menace islamiste _par souci du politiquement correct et par peur de la r_action des musulmans_, en Europe et _ l’_tranger. Des journalistes, _crivains, universitaires, et m_me des chefs d’entreprise qui, pendant la crise des caricatures, ont choisi de consid_rer la publication des dessins du proph_te comme une provocation, plut_t que de d_fendre la libert_ d’expression. Le r_dacteur en chef de Politiken, T_ger Seidenfaden, en fait partie. Il r_agit : _Il y a une nouvelle orthodoxie : un fondamentalisme de la libert_ d’expression, qui pense que la provocation absolue est n_cessaire sous peine de verser dans l’autocensure._ Or remarque-t-il, _m_me si les gens font d_sormais preuve d’une certaine prudence, cela ne participe absolument pas d’un ph_nom_ne de limitation du d_bat public_ . La preuve : r_cemment, son journal a publi_ une p_tition exigeant que soient poursuivis en justice les propos islamophobes des dirigeants du parti populiste danois, Dansk Folkeparti. _Aussit_t, des voix se sont _lev_es pour mettre en garde contre une limitation de la libert_ d’expression, ce qui ne serait jamais arriv_ avec des propos antis_mites._ Pour l’islamologue J_rgen B_k Simonsen, lui aussi _lev_ au rang des _na_vistes_, l’ouvrage _donne de la substance au discours de la droite populiste_. A ce titre, il juge le parcours des auteurs symbolique. Si Pittelkow a longtemps conseill_ l’ancien Premier ministre social d_mocrate, Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, il est aujourd’hui chroniqueur _ Jyllands Posten. Quant _ son _pouse, Karen Jespersen, elle a _t_ ministre des Affaires sociales, puis de l’Int_rieur, avant de claquer la porte du Parti social-d_mocrate en 2004. Ses positions en faveur d’un durcissement de la politique d’immigration l’avaient, _ l’_poque, rendue c_l_bre, notamment sa proposition d’isoler sur une _le d_serte les demandeurs d’asile condamn_s en justice. Critiques. L’ouvrage ne serait-il qu’un nouveau br_lot anti-islamique auquel le Danemark est d_sormais habitu_ ? Le d_put_ Naser Khader, chef de file des musulmans d_mocrates, estime qu’il a le m_rite de poser les bonnes questions. _La menace islamiste existe et il serait ridicule de la minimiser._ Le jour m_me de la sortie du livre de Jespersen et Pittelkow, le 5 septembre, la police lan_ait d’ailleurs un coup de filet, _ Odense, contre un groupe soup_onn_ de pr_parer des actes terroristes. Sept suspects sont, depuis, en d_tention provisoire. Depuis un an, le d_put_ Naser Khader, d’origine syrienne, fait lui-m_me l’objet d’une protection rapproch_e, apr_s avoir re_u plusieurs menaces de mort, pour ses critiques r_p_t_es contre le milieu fondamentaliste danois. Des critiques dont il d_mord d’autant moins qu’il juge _essentiel de ne pas en laisser le monopole _ l’extr_me droite_, en progression constante au Danemark.