A group of 122 illegal migrants were recently expelled from Spain, and sent to the capital of Mali last week. Having gone to Spain to look for jobs, the Malians said they had been held in Spanish camps since their arrival three months ago. Some of the migrants expressed their wish to try to make the trip again despite the risks, and having witnessed the drowning of others in their group.
Eight Somalian imams met in Trondheim to make a declaration against female circumcision, with the goal of the declaration serving as the basis for a fatwa. Trondheim’s imam Sheikh Abdinur Mahamoud met with seven other imams in a conference on how to stop female circumcision, meant to affirm the position that the custom is not religious, and that its association with Islam is a myth. Abdinur says that after preparing a declaration, they will then speak with more imams to see if they can make a collective fatwa – despite laws forbidding female circumcision.
260 pupils from Turkey, Morocco and Bosnia are studying at the Islamic Gymnasium in Vienne at the moment. Five prayers per day and controversial discussions about evolutionary theory are part of the curriculum. In the end, the will get a proper Austrian A-Level, the Matura. Emir Numanovic reports.
A local Italian politicians stunned Italians and Jews by proposing that immigrants ought to be treated with the same severity the Nazi’s used when occupying the country. “To make immigrants understand how they should behave it would be right to use the same methods as the Nazis,” said municipal councillor Giorgio Bettio. Bettio went on to suggest that non-EU citizens with work permits who want permanent resident status in Treviso should be placed under surveillance for six months, and that information about them should be collected from their neighbors. “After the six months, if they have behave well, the immigrants can stay. If not, they should be watched for another three months and then expelled,” he said. Mr. Bettio is a member of the Northern League, which campaigns on a tough anti-immigration policy. His comments were met with an onslaught of condemnation.
Miguel Angel Moratinos, the Spanish foreign minister, stressed the importance of Muslims in European countries and the sharing of a multitude of values, urging a joint fight against discrimination of Muslims in Europe. The head of the Spanish diplomacy stressed in a latter to the director of the Islamic Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), the millions of Muslims that are essential to a prosperous Europe, both in their work and social presence.
Lu Gronseth listens regularly to WWTC, a conservative talk-radio station in Minneapolis, and even advertises his mortgage-loan business on the station. But when he learned that a nationally syndicated radio show host had told WWTC listeners that Muslims should be deported and made rude comments about what they could do with their religion, Mr. Gronseth pulled his ads from the station. So have at least two other Minnesota businesses, at the urging of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Washington, D.C., as have a handful of national companies, including OfficeMax, JCPenney, Wal-Mart, and AT&T. But the comments by host Michael Savage in October – and previous anti-Muslim speech – have not created the furor that knocked radio icon Don Imus off of MSNBC and CBS Radio after he denigrated a black women’s basketball team. That leaves many Muslims-Americans – and non-Muslims like Mr. Gronseth – suspicious that Americans have a double standard when it comes to Islam.
French authorities were quoted as deciding to expel 22,000 to 25,000 illegal Algerian immigrants living in France. According to the French ambassador to Algeria, M. Francois Pageollet, many of these immigrants are Algerian students who studied in France, and failed to return to their home country post graduation.
The result of the research done by the anthropologist Jordi Moreras, about the imams of Catalonia reveals that contrarily to what society believes they are not so influent among the Muslim community.
One of the arguments Moreras presents is their poor labour conditions as their religious function is not officially recognised and they have no working contract. Another argument is the unfitted academic preparation to the current context in which they have to work at, as their preparation is designed in accordance with their native countries and not in accordance with western countries.
Two leading British Muslims met the Sudanese president on Monday in an attempt to secure the early release of a British teacher jailed for allowing her students to name a teddy bear Mohammad. Gillian Gibbons was sentenced on Thursday to 15 days in jail for insulting Islam to be followed by deportation. Opheera McDoom reports.
British Muslim leaders are to tell mosques to reform – but do young Muslims even care? This week began as just another for Britain’s mosques. But by the end of it, things could be very different. The four largest Islamic organisations in the UK have, against expectations, agreed professional standards for mosques. It may sound like management speak – but these standards on a mosque’s obligations to society are part of a battle for hearts and minds in the face of violent extremism. The unwieldily-named Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board (Minab) is seeking signatures on the dotted line. The question is whether any of it will make a difference. Today there are at least 1,500 institutions which are broadly independent of one and other. But while they may be about to get a dose of 21st Century management consultancy, tens of thousands of young British Muslims have already drifted away. Many British-born Muslims believe mosques offer them nothing – and so they are looking elsewhere for answers. Navid Akhtar is a commentator and a producer of muslimcafe.tv. It’s a polished internet broadcast with guests debating big issues of the day in a media-savvy way.