City of Valencia breaches agreement to bury Muslims

The city of Valencia breached an agreement of cooperation between the state and the Islamic Commission of Spain, which regulates the burial of Muslims in cemeteries. The city refused to give burial space in the General Cemetery and other locations that accommodates Islamic burial practices. The agreement between the state and the Islamic Community of Spain stems from a 1992 law giving the same recognition to Islamic communities right to grand land for burials in the necropolis and municipal property, and the right to their own precincts.

Sharing his story: Muslim cleric writes a book about Islam and his family’s suffering in Iraq

By Niraj Warikoo Born into a prestigious Iraqi family descended from Islam’s prophet, Imam Hassan Qazwini started life anew when he moved to the United States in 1992. He knew little English, was unfamiliar with American culture and uncertain about his future. But now, Qazwini of Dearborn heads one the largest U.S. mosques — the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn — and has become a nationally known figure who has advised President George W. Bush, Gov. Jennifer Granholm and Muslims from metro Detroit to Baghdad.

CAIR Asks Giuliani to Repudiate Campaign Worker’s Anti-Muslim Remarks

WASHINGTON DC – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called upon Republican presidential candidate, Rudy Giuliani, to repudiate anti-Muslim remarks made by one of his campaign workers in New Hampshire. John Deady, co-chair of that state’s Veterans for Rudy, told Britain’s Guardian newspaper that Americans need to chase Muslims “back to their caves.” When Deady was later asked if he was referring to all Muslims, he said: “I don’t subscribe to the principle that there are good Muslims and bad Muslims.” He added that he “wasn’t necessarily referring to genocide.” Deady later resigned his post.

Four halal butchers in Galicia

The city of Ourense recently premiered its first butcher shop offering various meats slaughters according to Muslim rites. Merbah Abdelouahab Chorti, an Algerian in Ourense who decided to open up the shop after his own dissatisfaction of not being able to find permissible meat to cook with and eat in the town. His halal shop is the fourth of its kind in the Galicia region.

Fresh Faces: He Could Care Less About Obama’s Story

By Reza Aslan Every time I hear about how Sen. Barack Obama is going to “re-brand” America’s image in the Middle East, I can’t help but think about Jimmy Carter’s toast. When the idealistic Democrat came to Iran in 1977 to ring in the new year with Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the country’s much-despised despot, throngs of young, hopeful Iranians lined the streets to welcome the new American president. After eight years of the Nixon and Ford administrations’ blind support for the shah’s brutal regime, Iranians thrilled to Carter’s promise to re-brand America’s image abroad by focusing on human rights. That call even let many moderate, middle-class Iranians dare to hope that they might ward off the popular revolution everyone knew was coming. But at that historic New Year’s dinner, Carter surprised everyone. In a shocking display of ignorance about the precarious political situation in Iran, he toasted the shah for transforming the country into “an island of stability in one of the more troubled areas of the world.” With those words, Carter unwittingly lit the match of revolution.

Terror fear cancels Brussels’ New Year’s celebrations

Traditional New Year’s Eve fireworks in central Brussels have been canceled due to a continuing terror threat, officials said. The popular downtown Christmas market closed early on December 31st, rather than staying open all night, and the adjacent skating rink shut down at 8pm. The terror threat is related to a December 21st arrest of 14 people who are accused of plotting the release of accused al-Qaeda militant Trabelsi.

Italy, Libya agree joint anti-immigrant patrols

Italy and Libya have agreed to jointly patrol the Mediterranean Sea to stop illegal immigration from Libya to Italy. In the deal, Italy will supply Libya with six patrol boats to help officials from both countries increase their watch at ports and beaches that serve as popular departure points. The deail will save many human lives and dismantle criminal gangs said Italian minister Giuliano Amati; thousands of migrants try to make the trip each ear, with many dying at sea. It is not yet known when the joint patrols would begin.

Center ignores the religious rights of Muslim children in serving pork meals

The UGT union denounced the situation faced by Muslim minors living in the La Esparanza center in Tenerife, in the town of El Rosario. The company, which manages the catering, was denounced – citing the responsibility to take into account the religious needs of minors. Among the citations included the serving of pork, instead of allowing for permissible meal and meat alternatives.

Islamophobia in Cartagena

The premises of Muslim prayer areas in Cartagena are being viewed with suspicion by neighbors in the community. Many Muslims rent areas to pray, including structures like garages and warehouses, being among the only affordable places to hold such gatherings. However, others often see these areas as clandestine centers of conspiracy, and spaces of danger. It is estimated that some 12,000 legal Moroccan immigrants reside in the town, in addition to the many other non-documented members of the Muslim community. Joaquin Segado, spokesman for the municipal government, cites a rise in the number of reports of neighbors expressing concern over prayer gatherings in the town.