UK’s Liberal Democrats to fight discrimination against Muslims

The leader of the Liberal Democrats has promised he will fight against anti-Muslim discrimination perpetrated by the government and the police in many guises.

Riding high in the opinion polls and looking set to be a potential kingmaker after the 6th May election, Nick Clegg told this newspaper exclusively that his party was completely against the anti-Muslim prejudice at all levels and will campaign to end the discrimination that hurts Muslim communities, from restricting stop and search, to scrapping control orders, to getting innocent people off the DNA database.

“We’re also pushing for changes to reduce discrimination against Muslims in the work place, including anonymous job application forms and pay audits to make sure people aren’t being paid unfairly,” Clegg said, who whop has seen his star rise in the last few weeks in a way unseen in the modern political history.

“The new minister will notice she is not with the Greens”: Interview with Cem Özdemir

In an interview, Cem Özdemir calls for an international Islam conference in Germany. The leader of the Green Party, who currently participates in a similar conference in Washington, calls for an intensive exchange of Europe with civil representatives from the Islamic world. On the topic of the new Turkish-German minister, Özdemir welcomes that more migrants are becoming involved in shaping German politics, but claims that the conservative CDU is far from taking over the Green Party’s strength of integration politics, as long as the party continues to have politicians like Roland Koch. Koch, the prime minister of the state of Hesse, has stood out with his campaign against dual citizenship and repeated quasi-racist remarks.

Dutch MP court date set for October

The Amsterdam district court has set the date for anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders’ trial for October, after initially scheduling it for June. According to the court, the change is a result of scheduling problems, as the court requires five days to hear evidence in the case. Preliminary schedules mark October 4, 6 and 8 for the trial, followed by a judgment on November 2. The leader of the Freedom Party (PVV) is accused of five counts of religious insult and anti- Muslim incitement.

Doubts prevail in of number of full-face veil-wearing women in France

This short article examines the question of how the number of women wearing full-face veils in France is counted. At the beginning of the controversy, a study undertaken by the DCRI (Direction centrale du renseignement intérieur) for Le Monde counted 367 niqab-wearing women. This number according to the DCRI is an estimate. Several weeks later in the fall of 2009, the minister of the interior claimed there were 1900 such women, or approximately 0.03% of the population.

Obama says to the Muslim world that a new era has started

President Obama announced that the United States would embark on a business exchange program in areas such as telecommunication and electronic technology, health care, education and infrastructure with the Muslim World. It is a part of the larger outreach efforts by his administration to begin a new era in US relations with Muslims. He declared that such new era “has already begun.” The announcement came in the Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship in Washington D.C. The idea of the Summit had been mentioned in Obama’s Cairo speech last June.

Hirsi Ali receives newspaper honor

Ayaan Hirsri Ali, the former Dutch politician born in Somalia, has received a free speech award from Jyllands-Posten, the Danish newspaper which published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in 2005. The paper named Hirsi Ali, well known for writing Theo Van Gogh’s film “Submission”, as winner of its Prize for Freedom of Expression. She is now lives in the United States

Polygamy question in France continues, CFCM weighs in

A French Muslim threatened by the government with being stripped of his passport for practicing polygamy said he had only one wife and several mistresses. The case of Lies Hebbadj, an Algerian-born butcher who became a citizen when he married a French woman in 1999, has flared into a major political debate. The government, which days earlier announced it planned to ban the full veil from the streets of France, said Mr. Hebbadj appeared to have several wives and suggested that he lose his French nationality. But Mr. Hebbadj denied having more than one wife, saying other women he has had children with were his lovers.

The French government has said it has information that Mr. Hebbadj is married to four women with 12 children and accuses them of fraudulently claiming single parent benefits. “If the French consider that fraudulent polygamy and benefit claims shouldn’t be allowed, then … we could well imagine a change to the law,” Immigration Minister Eric Besson told RTL radio, suggesting a tightening of legislation. Frederic Lefebvre, a spokesperson for the ruling UMP party, accused Mr. Hebbadj of being “someone whom we can well suspect of practicing polygamy, which is against the principles of our society, for financial aims.”

The French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM) condemned the information dispelled by Mr. Hebbadj who claimed that the tradition of Islam allowed mistresses. The CFCM spokesperson said, they were “Lies about the legality of mistresses in Islam” and “qualified these allegations as offensive and insulting for the Muslim religion.” The organization also reminded French Imams who grant religiously-understood marriage contracts that polygamy in France is illegal.

Swedish politician threatened

Carl P. Herslow, leader of the right wing populist Skånepartiet, have received threats related to a poster distributed by Skånepartiet showing a drawing of a naked Muhammad holding hands with a likewise naked Aisha. Swedish police says they are taking the threats seriously.

Ammar Daoud, representative of a Muslim Organisation in Malmö says the drawing make him and other Muslims sad and that he regards the poster disrespectful and insulting. But, he continues, no one he knows of has threatened Herslow. It’s important, he says, not to react in a way which could “strengthen the racists case.” But they have reported the poster to the police.

French Muslim denies polygamy, admits to mistresses

A French Muslim threatened by the government with being stripped of his passport for practicing polygamy had publicly stated he has one wife and several mistresses. The case of Lies Hebbadj, an Algerian-born butcher who became a citizen when he married a French woman in 1999, has flared into a major political row with opposition parties accusing the government of exploiting the situation.

The story came to light on when Mr. Hebbadj’s wife, Anne, complained she had been fined for driving while wearing an Islamic veil, which police said was dangerous. The government, which days earlier announced it planned to ban the full veil from the streets of France, said Mr. Hebbadj appeared to have several wives and suggested that he lose his French nationality.

But Mr. Hebbadj denied having more than one wife, saying other women he has had children with were his lovers. “If one can be stripped of one’s French nationality for having mistresses, then many French could lose theirs,” he said.

A person can see their French passport taken away if they acquired it through fraud – if, for instance, Mr. Hebbadj hid an existing marriage when he married Anne. Mistresses, however, are hardly unusual in France, where former President Francois Mitterrand maintained a hidden, second family for years.

The French government has said it has information that Mr. Hebbadj is married to four women with 12 children and accuses them of fraudulently claiming single parent benefits. Frederic Lefebvre, a spokesman for the ruling UMP party, accused Mr. Hebbadj of being “someone whom we can well suspect of practicing polygamy, which is against the principles of our society, for financial aims.”