The mosque at the top of the world

North America’s most northern minaret opens (after an epic 2,800-mile
journey)

The most northern mosque in North America officially opened yesterday in
Inuvik, in Canada’s Northwest Territories, where there is a growing
Muslim population.

The opening marks the end of an arduous journey that saw the building
travel over rivers – atop barges – and bumpy, narrow roads to arrive
at its destination.

After being assembled in the city of Winnipeg, the mosque travelled some
4,500km (2,800 miles) and has been nicknamed ‘the little mosque of tundra’.

The most northern mosque in North America officially opened on Wednesday
in Inuvik, in the Canadian Northern Territories

The most northern mosque in North America officially opened on Wednesday
in Inuvik, in the Canadian Northern Territories

The mosque, nicknamed ‘the little mosque of tundra’, was build in
Winnipeg and travelled 2,800 miles to Inuvik

The mosque, nicknamed ‘the little mosque of tundra’, was build in
Winnipeg and travelled 2,800 miles to Inuvik

The new 1,554-sq-ft (473-sq-m) building is a step up from the
one-bedroom trailer Muslims in the town have used for prayer services
over the past 10 years

The new 1,554-sq-ft (473-sq-m) building is a step up from the
one-bedroom trailer Muslims in the town have used for prayer services
over the past 10 years

The mosque, which doubles as a community centre, is believed to be the
second most-northerly in the world, next to one in Siberia.

‘It’s a very personal achievement for all of us because we were in a
small building… and now we have this one,’ Ahmed al-Khalaf, who helped
organise fundraising efforts for the mosque, said

‘It’s a very personal achievement for all of us because we were in a
small building… and now we have this one,’ Ahmed al-Khalaf, who helped
organize

fundraising efforts for the mosque, said

At one point during the mosque’s journey to the small town in the
Arctic Circle, the building almost tipped over but was saved by a road
construction crew

Inuvik, a town of 3,300 people north of the Arctic Circle, has some 80
Muslim residents who until recently have met for prayers and religious
education inside a small trailer.

The new 1,554-sq-ft (473-sq-m) building is a step up from the
one-bedroom trailer Muslims in the town have used for prayer services
over the past 10 years.

‘It’s a very personal achievement for all of us because we were in a
small building, the old one, and now we have this one,’ Ahmed al-Khalaf,
who helped organise fundraising efforts for the mosque, said.

‘For the whole town of Inuvik, it’s another new building in town, and
everybody’s welcome here.’

Hussain Guisti, a member of a Winnipeg-based Muslim charity called The
Zubaidah Tallab Foundation, decided last year he would help design and
build a mosque for the northern community.

The group originally wanted the mosque to be built in Inuvik but soon
realized having a prefabricated building constructed in Winnipeg would
be much less expensive, even with the lengthy shipment factored in.

Inuvik Mayor Denny Rodgers said there is no sign of the type of
animosity encountered by new mosques in some parts of the United States.

‘We’re very much a multicultural town up here,’ he said. ‘Canada itself
is a melting pot, and Inuvik, when you look at all the different
cultures that are represented here, is just like that.’

Inuvik, a town of 3,300 people north of the Arctic Circle, has some 80
Muslim residents who until recently have met for prayers and religious
education inside a small trailer

Inuvik, a town of 3,300 people north of the Arctic Circle, has some 80
Muslim residents who until recently have met for prayers and religious
education inside a small trailer

There were only a handful of Muslims in the town 20 years ago, according
to Guisti. Like many northern communities, Inuvik has a near-constant
supply of job opportunities that has attracted people from all backgrounds.

They are mainly Sunni Muslims from Lebanon, Egypt and Sudan who were
drawn to northern Canada because of those job opportunities. More are
expected to make the trip now that there is a mosque in the Northern
Territories.

‘Christmas is Evil’: Radical Muslim Group Launches Poster Campaign against Festive Period

December 24, 2010

Fanatics from a banned Islamic hate group have launched a nationwide poster campaign denouncing Christmas as evil.

Organisers plan to put up thousands of placards around the UK claiming the season of goodwill is responsible for rape, teenage pregnancies, abortion, promiscuity, crime and paedophilia. They hope the campaign will help ‘destroy Christmas’ in this country and lead to Britons converting to Islam instead.

The campaign’s organiser is 27-year-old Abu Rumaysah, who once called for Sharia Law in Britain at a press conference held by hate preacher leader Anjem Choudary, the leader of militant group Islam4UK. Former Home Secretary Alan Johnson banned Islam4UK group earlier this year, making it a criminal offence to be a member.

Daily Mail

Police in Terror Plot Meeting with Muslim Community

24 December 2010

Police have met Muslims at a Cardiff mosque to discuss the arrests of five men in the city suspected of terrorism offences. Properties across Cardiff have been searched by officers after dawn raids on Monday, when 12 arrests were made in total across the UK.

Police met community leaders at the Jalalia Mosque and Islamic Education Centre in Riverside, Cardiff, on Friday. Saleem Kidwai, of the Muslim Council of Wales, welcomed the visit, and said: “The chief inspector came in the mosque and talked to the community just to reassure them that we are all in this together and we have to deal with this together,” he said.

Germany’s Central Council of Muslims Sends Out a Message of Charity for Christmas

December 23, 2010

Aiman Mazyek of the Central Council of Muslims has sent out a message of charity for Christmas. Christians and Muslims should see each other more as partners and allies rather than competitors, he said. Both religions share the notions of charity and mercy. Many Muslims also enjoy the peaceful quiet days over Christmas, and those married to Christians take pleasure in celebrating it in particular.

Müzeyyen Adores Christmas: A German-Turkish Love Story

23 December 2010

When they founded their Christian-Muslim family, the Dreessens had no reference points. But they encountered plenty of resistance from relatives. At home, there was more heated discussion over how to bring up the children than on the subject of faith. These days, things are much more relaxed.

The prospects for this marriage were hardly favourable. When a friend, acting on behalf of Thomas Dreessen, officially sought permission from the Turkish father for his daughter’s hand, the father turned pale and the daughter made a hasty exit through the back door. She went to ground for a few weeks, staying at a girlfriend’s house. The family wanted to prevent her from entering into a marriage with a Christian German at all costs. When the couple told an Imam of their marriage plans, he warned: “Your children will go to hell.” Many of the couple’s friends, both German and Turkish, held a sceptical view of the relationship.

Müzeyyen Dreessen wants to take the sting out of the Imam’s words uttered all those years ago. By “hell”, she says, he was referring to the dilemma that can face children when their parents have two different religions. Her husband also defends the Imam: “His warning is justified. Some couples compete with each other for recognition of what they see is the correct religion. Or they do away with religion altogether. That doesn’t apply to us.” He looks over to his wife, who is standing at the stove. In any case, she says, the Imam said something else: “For every wall that the Prophet puts up, there is a door.” In other words: There is a solution.

The Swedish Suicide Bomber might have had a Collaborator

23 December, 2010

The recording sent out to police and media 10 minutes before the Suicide bombing in Stockholm December 11 suggests that the perpetrator was not alone. After analyzing the tape, Swedish media have reported that what might be a second man can be heard in the background. Pictures from the crime scene also show what some speculate to be a walkie-talkie next to the body.

The Swedish Secret Police (SÄPO) – according to the paper edition of Dagens nyheter 231210 – won’t, as for now, disclose anything about their investigation.

Swedish Secret Police Publishes Report on Islamism in Sweden

December 15, 2010

In the beginning of 2010, the Swedish Secret Police (SÄPO) was assigned by the Swedish government to investigate and describe “violence inclined Islamist extremism in Sweden, discernable processes of radicalization in violence inclined Islamist environments in Sweden, and tools and strategies to be used in obstructing radicalization.”

The report was finally published December 15, just four days after the suicide bombing – classed as a terrorist crime – in downtown Stockholm. In the report “violence inclined Islamist extremism” is defined as “activities threatening security which are Islamistically motivated, and which aims at changing the society in a non-democratic direction by the use of violence or threat of violence.” Radicalization, further, is defined as: “the process leading to a person, or a group, supporting or exercising, ideologically motivated violence to support a case.”

The report is the result of a systematic adaptation and analysis of already existing material gathered by Säpo, and it is focusing on last year (2009). But one has also made use of other publically available sources, such as other authority reports and research articles.

According to the report there are approximately 200 individuals engaged in violence inclined Islamist extremism in Sweden – even though this activity mainly pursue to support or aid terrorism in other countries, such as Somalia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and North Africa. The only somewhat common denominator for radicalization amongst these individuals seems to be that the majority consists of men in between 15-30 years of age. Out of these 200 individuals SÄPO estimates 80 percent to have friendly bonds or other connections to each other. Not surprisingly Internet seems to be the common ground for these individuals and groups.

In the report SÄPO states that “the threat from violence inclined Islamist extremism in Sweden is currently not a threat against fundamental societal structures or the Swedish form of government.” The greatest potential threat towards Sweden, SÄPO concludes, is the long term effects of individuals travelling abroad to affiliate with violence inclined Islamist organizations.

The general conclusions of the report are that violence inclined Islamist extremism and radicalization is a reality in Sweden and must be seen as a potential threat. Presently, however, this is to be considered a limited phenomenon which is to be met with general crime preventive measures, already conducted in Sweden.

More than 100 Canadians named on Al-Qaeda-affiliated website

December 20, 2010

More than 100 Canadian-Arab Christians are listed on an Al Qaeda-affiliated website, apparently targeted because of their alleged role in attempting to convert Muslims. Some of those named say concerned Canadian intelligence officials have contacted them.
The Shumukh-al-Islam website, often considered to be Al Qaeda’s mouth piece, listed pictures, addresses and cellphone numbers of Coptic Christians, predominantly Egyptian-Canadians, who have been vocal about their opposition to Islam. In a forum on the website, one member named Son of a Sharp Sword, says “We are going to return back to Islam and all of the Mujahedeen (holy warriors) will cut off their heads.” Among those named on the Shumukh-al-Islam website is Samuel Tawadrus, a Coptic Egyptian living in Quebec. “This is a direct threat against our lives,” Tawadrus said in an interview. A spokesman for CSIS was not immediately available for comment.

Debate continues about French Muslim prayer space

December 18, 2010

The comments French far-right spokesperson Marine Le Pen have sparked condemnation from politicians from President Nicolas Sarkozy’s ruling UMP party and from the opposition Socialists and the Greens. “This is the true face of the far right which has not changed in the slightest, and Marine Le Pen is just as dangerous as Jean-Marie Le Pen,” said Socialist Party spokesman Benoit Hamon.
The French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM) said that Marine Le Pen’s comments were “insulting towards the Muslims of France” and were an “incitement to hatred and violence against them.” An anti-racist group, the Movement Against Racism and for Friendship between Peoples (MRAP), said it planned to file a civil lawsuit against her.
Paris’ Goutte d’Or district, where mosques are so full on Fridays that many believers end up praying on the streets outside, is one of the areas that Le Pen was referring to in her Lyon speech. Locals in the Goutte d’Or district said they were well used to comments like Le Pen’s. “Most Muslims feel threatened. They won’t leave us alone,” said a grocery store worker who gave his name as Hakim. “With the cold and the dirt, we’d love to have a clean hall to pray in but we don’t have the choice,” said Walid Ben, who works in a fabric shop in the area.

Prayer in the streets not an issue in Strasbourg, France

December 22, 2010
The Muslim community in Strasbourg is waiting for the inauguration of its large mosque, expected in 2011 after several years of construction. The president of the Regional Council of the Muslim Faith, Driss Ayachour, notes that “to my knowledge, there aren’t any issues, with the exception of certain holidays when the prayer space is not sufficient, which means that people extend out into the street.”