According to Corine de Riuter, professor of forensic psychology in Maastricht, Islam is possibly one of the causes of delinquent behavior of Moroccan youth. De Riuter, together with others, has mapped out ways to deal with Moroccan youth and presented their findings to the justice ministry. According to De Riuter, Moroccan and Turkish youth are “backwards” in their moral development. This backwardness is one of the factors that can cause criminal behavior, and cause these youth to have decreased moral functions. “In Islam the emphasis is on obedience and respect for the parents. Individualism and independence are less important – and these are exactly the qualities which can bring moral development to a higher level,”according to the co-authors of the knowledge base for dealing with criminal Moroccan youth. They contrasted this to how children grow up in Dutch families, who have a “democratic negotiation style.”
A youth charged as part of the “Toronto 18” terrorism arrests was released after two years in custody. The youth cannot be named because he was under-age at the time of the arrests; he was sentenced as an adult. For knowingly participating in a terrorism group, the now-21-year-old could have been sentenced to a maximum of 10 years in prison. His shorter sentence has received some criticism. He was the first to be sentenced in this high-profile Canadian terrorism case. 18 people were charged initially. Charges against three youths and four adults have been stayed; one adult recently plead guilty but has yet to be charged, and the other adult suspects have yet to go on trial.
Finding a halal restaurant has become easier for Americans Muslims, thanks to a new phone application launched this month that makes dietary religious observance much simpler for Muslims eating out. Halalpal, an iPhone application that locates halal restaurants and eateries throughout the United States, has made restaurant eating while sticking to a halal diet much easier. The search engine is designed for Apple’s iPhone, and gives users a list of nearby restaurants with maps, contact information, price categories, and recommendations. We found people are reaching out for this service and this gave us the inspiration to create a special application for halal users,” said Rami Dodin, Halalpal’s founder, adding that the aim of any business is to tune in and respond to the needs of customers.
Far-right German organization Pro Köln will organize an “Anti-Islam Conference” on May 9, only nine months since the last conference. The organization, which is against the mosques being built in Köln and Frankfurt, called far-rightist groups from all around Europe to participate in the conference. The group argues that society in Köln is gradually becoming Islamized. Some groups in Belgium and Austria responded positively to the call.
The European rabbinical umbrella organization “Conference of European Rabbis” (CER) boycotted an interfaith conference in Belgium after it was determined that Muslim delegates included alleged members of the Muslim brotherhood movement. The meeting, co-hosted by the European commission and the European Parliament, took place in Brussels on Monday of this week. The interfaith meeting was intended to bring together four religious leaders from each participating faith community. In a statement explaining the decision not to attend the meeting, the executive director of the CER said: “We do not consider it appropriate for organizations such as the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe, or individuals who made or endorsed anti-Semitic statements and who are clearly linked to radical Islamist movements such as the Muslim Brotherhood to be present.” These invitees, according to the CER, are “extremists who are not representative of the vast majority of Europe’s Muslim citizens.” The statement noted that the interfaith initiative was a positive one, but that it was undermined by the inclusion of some persons who are more interested in divisiveness than dialogue. The European Commission said that the decision was regrettable, as president Jose Manuel Barroso stated: “This meeting aims to foster dialogue and build on common ground, regarding the importance of this economic and financial crisis and we believe it is important to contribute. …It is time for unity and not for isolation on such an important topic.”
From his home in Austin, Teas, Shahed Amanullah runs six popular websites that explore topics of interest to Muslims – with two more expected to launch shortly. Amanullah’s mini-internet empire include a website that reviews restaurants that meet Islamic dietary restrictions, another that reviews mosques, and one that explores gender issues – but his highest-profile website is “alt.muslim.com” – a forum for Muslims and non-Muslims to explore contemporary, often controversial topics as they intersect with Islam. These topics include terrorism, politics, culture, and comedy. The Washington Post interviews Shahed Amanullah on his reasons for creating these communities, the changing perception of Muslim Americans post 9/11 and moving into the Obama administration. “My job isn’t to convince people that Muslims are perfect. My job is to convince people that Muslims are human,” he says.
Hundreds of Muslims marched through Athens on Thursday, protesting what they said was the destruction of a Quran by a Greek policeman. Naim Elgandour, the president of the Muslim Union of Greece, said that during police checks at a Syrian-owned coffee shop, a police officer took a customer’s Quran, tore it up, and threw it on the floor before stomping on it. In response, about one thousand Muslim migrants – mostly from Syria, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, marched to central Omonia Square, where some had smashed shop windows and windows of about five course. Athens police said that an internal investigation would be launched in the Quran incident, but a name nor charges against the accused officer have not been given.
They are among the most unusual of couples. Joshua Boyle, 25, is the son of a tax judge who garnered media attention when his robbed home was shot at. Zaynab Khadr, 29, is the sister of Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr — and Osama bin Laden attended her wedding in Afghanistan a decade ago.
The divorced, single mom and the researcher met over the Internet – their mutual interests in Wikipedia and the War on Terror helping them stake out common ground. They married – quietly – but their romance was soon propelled into the public’s eye, after thieves fired several .22-calibre bullets into the groom’s family home. For the first time, they speak to the Globe and Mail newspaper talk about their marriage, the break-in, and overcoming prejudice – including a suspicion that Mr. Boyle was a spy.
Muslim parents have lost an appeal against their nine year-old daughter having to attend mixed swimming lessons with boys. The girls can protect their modesty, however, with full-length bathing suits. A court in the western city of Muenster has ruled that Muslim girls at elementary schools in Germany must attend mixed swimming classes with boys, rejecting a request from the parents of a nine-year-old girl for her to be excused from the lessons.
The parents from the industrial city of Gelsenkirchen told the school authorities that they lived strictly to the teachings of the Koran, adding that they found mixed swimming “immoral”. The administrative court said, however, that the girl could protect her modesty by wearing a full-length bathing suit dubbed a “burkini.” It also dismissed complaints that the bathing suit hindered swimming because of excessive absorption, endangering their daughter’s life. German teaching unions and education authorities have adamantly refused to segregate swimming classes in state schools at the request of parents, contending that mixing of sexes is a goal of education. The tribunal refused Wednesday to issue a temporary injunction and said it would allow no further appeal. The issue has also divided the Islamic community into conservatives and liberals who say the custom should change in Germany.