Scottish Authorities call for Unity after Glasgow Attack

{Scottish authorities call for unity and respect for diversity following the recent trauma of an attempted attack at Glasglow International Airport on June 30, 2007. Talks were held following the attack between government officials and representatives of the Muslim community as part of Scotland Executive Mr. Salmond’s “One Scotland” campaign.} Original Title: “Call for unity after Muslim talks” Scotland’s communities must hold together against the threats of terrorism, racism and sectarianism, the first minister has urged. The call came as Alex Salmond met with Muslim leaders at a Bute House reception as part of the Scottish Executive’s One Scotland campaign. Mr Salmond said Scotland must not allow divisions to be created from within. Last month’s Glasgow Airport attack have led to fears of possible reprisals against the Muslim community. Mr Salmond was joined by Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Community Safety Minister Fergus Ewing and Solicitor General Frank Mulholland for the meeting, which included a question and answer session and an open discussion.

The End of Tolerance in Amsterdam: Moroccan-Born Mayor Dispenses Tough Love to Immigrants

By Erich Wiedemann For one Amsterdam mayor, the Netherlands’ famous tolerance has gone too far. Morrocan-born Ahmed Marcouch is taking the tough cop approach in a rough Amsterdam neighborhood, pushing his fellow immigrants to integrate. But some consider him a traitor. A street festival is in full swing in Amsterdam’s Slotervaart neighborhood. The occasion is the dedication of a new community center for Christians and Muslims designed to foster interaction between the two groups. As the crowd listens to music, munches on fish snacks and Arab pastries and drinks fruit juice, Ahmed Marcouch, the district’s 38-year-old mayor, holds a speech. He talks about progress and mutual understanding between different ethnic communities. At the end of his talk, Marcouch poses for pictures with an attractive young woman wearing a headscarf. The festival and the speech are nice gestures, but atypical. Normally life in Slotervaart isn’t nearly as convivial as the speakers paint it. Crime and unemployment are significantly higher than the national average, and one in three of the neighborhood’s young people are high-school dropouts.

Many Asians ‘do not feel British’

More than a third of British Asians do not feel British, a BBC poll suggests. The research among the under-34s for the Asian Network found 38% of the UK residents of South Asian origin felt only slightly or not at all British. More than a third agreed to get on in the UK they needed to be a “coconut”, a term for somebody who is “brown on the outside but white on the inside”. ICM Research interviewed 500 Asian people aged 16-34 and 235 white people aged 18-34 between 4 and 12 July. Of those polled 84% were satisfied with life in Britain and almost half thought they have more opportunities here. All of the British Asians polled were of South Asian origin… Among the British Asians interviewed were 296 Muslims, 112 Hindus, 39 Sikhs and 33 Christians.

Satirical “Terrorist musical” Under Attack

{Censorship of exhibits and events in which Islam plays a central role has been a source of controversy in Europe, especially in the past decade. A new satirical musical in Britain is the most recent performance to cause unease.} A satirical musical about Islamic terrorism is causing protest ahead of its premiere at the Edinburgh Fringe. {Jihad: The Musical}, due to play at the C venue throughout August, is billed as a “madcap gallop through the wacky world of international terrorism”. But a petition on the Prime Minister’s website calls for the “tasteless” show to be scrapped. Composer Ben Scheuer defended the production, telling BBC Radio 4 it was “controversial because it is relevant”.

L’occidente Di Fronte All’islam

Dopo la fine della Guerra Fredda nuove insidie hanno occupato lo spazio lasciato libero dallo ‘spettro comunista’. L’Occidente e’ di nuovo in pericolo. Nel corso degli ultimi anni e’ stato aggredito ripetutamente dalle forze estreme provenienti dal microcosmo islamico. Esso, pero’, e’ reso piu’ fragile anche dall’indebolimento costante della sua identita’. Le sfide alle quali deve rispondere sono, pertanto, di natura ben diversa. Da un lato, l’aggressione dell’Islam che rifiuta il modello sociale religioso sul quale si e’ consolidato il nostro modo di vivere. Dall’altro, lo svuotamento dei valori che caratterizza la percezione della cultura nel nostro mondo. Ecco quali sono i rischi ai quali andiamo incontro inesorabilmente. Rischi che vengono messi in evidenza da Gianni Baget Bozzo e Raffaele Iannuzzi nel saggio ”Tra nichilismo e Islam. L’Europa come colpa”, pubblicato dalla casa editrice Mondadori nella collana ”Uomini e religioni”. ”Con il nuovo millennio – dichiarano gli autori – e’ ripreso il conflitto che segno’ il primo e il secondo millennio cristiano: quello tra Cristianita’ e Islam. Si tratta di una guerra radicalmente asimmetrica, che ha la forma dello scontro tra una religione e uno Stato, tra la potenza tecnologica e il suicidio martoriale, tra scelte individuali e diffuse e organizzazione concentrata”. Per molti secoli il confronto tra Cristianesimo e Islam ha caratterizzato la nostra storia. Le conquiste arabe e le offensive cristiane, organizzate intorno alle crociate per liberare interi paesi dall’incubo dei musulmani, hanno segnato lo sviluppo dell’Europa. Dopo l’attacco alle Torri Gemelle, pero’, il forte antagonismo tra le due realta’ contrapposte si e’ riacceso. La guerra all’Occidente, secondo quanto affermano i due autori, e’ influenzata ”dal wahabismo saudita che non riconosce diritto di esistenza ai cristiani e agli ebrei, andando oltre la stessa condizione offerta dal Corano ai popoli della Bibbia”. La religione e’ diventata uno dei terreni di scontro piu’ ‘caldi’. D’altra parte, l’Europa e’ assillata anche dal pericolo di perdere le sue peculiarita’ culturali e le sue tradizioni. Ma non solo. Oltre agli attentati islamici, che minano la convivenza pacifica del Vecchio Continente, il Cristianesimo sembra aver perso la piena consapevolezza del suo ruolo. A partire dalla fine della Seconda guerra mondiale ”le Chiese cristiane hanno pensato l’espansione mondiale del Cristianesimo come una colpa”. Una ‘colpa’ che ha pregiudicato la riaffermazione condivisa di un modello culturale la cui tradizione si perde nei secoli antichi.

Help For Young Muslim Women: The HatunundCan Association in Berlin

In August a case of so-called honour killing comes up for retrial in Germany’s highest court. Two years ago in Berlin, the murder of a young Kurdish woman at the hands of her three brothers sparked a nation-wide debate on the limits of multicultural tolerance and the failures of integration policy in Germany. The 23 year-old woman was shot for supposedly bringing dishonour to her family for living a western lifestyle. Only the youngest brother was handed a prison sentence, but the public prosecutor insists the whole family was behind the killing. While cases like this are extremely rare, it was the sixth such incident in five months. Now there’s a new organisation devoted to rescuing women and girls from Turkish or Middle Eastern communities in Germany, who feel the threat of an honour killing or forced marriage.

Widow of London subway bomber says she is ashamed of her husband

The widow of the leader of the 2005 London subway bombings said she was ashamed of her husband, and could understand if some people never forgave him. Hasina Patel, the wife of Mohammed Sidique Khan, told Sky News television in an interview released Friday that she still did not know why her husband blew himself up aboard a London subway train, killing six people and himself. “How you can be so calculated and cold and not have any emotions, how can people do that?” Patel said. “If somebody did that to me or my daughter, I would never forgive them.” Patel said Khan never dropped any hint about his deadly mission. She said he was a devout Muslim, but never gave any indication of radical leanings or criticized Britain. “I could never have imagined in my wildest dreams, never,” she said. “I didn’t have an inkling towards his views even going in that direction. He kept it very well hidden.”

Terror proposals: Muslim community: £70m promised for citizenship lessons in schools and English-speaking imams

Gordon Brown yesterday announced a four-fold increase in funding for a range of measures to help Muslim groups tackle violent extremism in their communities. Over the next three years, the government will set aside _70m to support local authorities and community groups to improve how they deal with the threat of terrorism in their midst, he said. The measures include lessons on citizenship in Britain’s 1,000 madrasas, or Islamic religious schools, sponsorship of English-speaking imams and a proposal for interfaith bodies in every community. The prime minister said the money would “support local authorities and community groups in improving the capacity of local communities to resist violent extremism. This will include developing leadership programmes for young people, strengthening the capacity of women’s groups, and local projects to build citizenship”.

Students who descended into extremism

By Dominic Casciani Five young British Muslim men have been jailed for downloaded and sharing masses of extremist material. During their trial they argued that they were not terrorists but intellectually curious. But what evidence convinced the jury they had gone too far? When Mohammed Irfan Raja quietly walked out of his family home in Ilford, east London, on 24 February 2006, he had dreams of becoming known for something more than the 18-year-old schoolboy he then was. But today, as the 19-year-old and four men from Bradford University begin jail sentences, his name becomes just another associated with the jihadi extremism of radicalised young British Muslim men. In one of the first trials of its kind Raja, Awaab Iqbal, 20, Aitzaz Zafar, 20, Usman Malik, 21, and Akbar Butt, 20 have been jailed for downloading and sharing extremist terrorism-related material.