Officers of Berlin’s Federal Police Department searched the offices of Germany’s extreme right-wing Nationalist Democratic Party (NPD) shortly before Christmas. The search was a reaction to the party’s xenophobic and islamophobic campaign for the Berlin state elections in September. The party used various posters that violated the dignity especially of Muslims living in Germany; one poster, for instance, showed a cartoon drawing of a woman with a headscarf, a man with a turban and a black person on a “magic carpet” with the comment “Have a nice trip home”. Furthermore, the party published an islamophobic video on their website. However, the police search for evidence against the two leading members of the party was not successful.
The search of the party’s offices in Berlin was shortly after the second attempt to ban the party altogether. Following the arrest of a former NPD member suspected of being involved in the murder of nine foreigners, the interior ministers of Germany’s 16 federal states had agreed to set up a working group to launch a new legal case against the party. Germany’s Interior Minister Friedrich explicitly articulated the aim to outlaw the party.
News Agencies – December 27, 2011
Over 20,000 people showed up at Toronto’s Metro Convention Centre for the Reviving the Islamic Spirit Convention to listen to leading Muslim scholars, personalities and artists. Ticket sales to the convention were closed on Saturday evening as the facilities reached its capacity. Overflow rooms with TV screens were set up to handle the large crowd that showed up for the annual gathering, which was celebrating its 10th anniversary.
Organized by a group of young, active Canadian Muslims, the three-day convention opened on Friday, December 23. The theme of the convention, “Control, Chaos or Community: Three Ways, One World, Our Choice”, was chosen to address the many challenges plaguing humanity today beyond the confines of cultural, religious or intellectual divides, according to the organizers.
Leading among attendees were prominent scholar Dr Jamal Badawi and Sheikh Abdallah Idris from Canada, Prof. Tariq Ramadan from Switzerland and Dr. John Esposito from the United States. Also attending were Sheikh Abdallah Bin Bayyah from Mauritania, Habib Ali Al-Jifri from Yemen and Dr. Tawfique Chowdhury from Australia.
CTV News – December 27, 2011
Islamic Supreme Council of Canada founder, Imam Syed Soharwardy, has spoken out against the church bombings in Nigeria.
“This is an extremely deplorable crime that has been committed by those people who follow the hate-mongering ideology of Wahabism. It’s not Islam. This is an un-Islamic action”, said Imam Soharwardy.
News Agencies – December 27, 2011
Thirty war graves of Muslim soldiers who fought in World War I have been attacked and defaced in the southern city of Carcassonne. Racist insults and swastikas were painted on the graves, which are identified by the Islamic symbols of the star and crescent.
Slogans including “France for the French” and “Arabs out” were painted on some of the gravestones, reported daily newspaper Le Figaro.
News Agencies – December 23, 2011
France sparked diplomatic tensions with Turkey by taking steps to criminalize the denial of genocide, including the 1915 mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks, prompting Ankara to cancel all economic, political and military meetings. Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said the draft law put forward by members of President Nicolas Sarkozy’s ruling party was “politics based on racism, discrimination, xenophobia.”
“This is using Turkophobia and Islamophobia to gain votes, and it raises concerns regarding these issues not only in France but all Europe,” he told a news conference, adding that Turkey could “not remain silent in the face of this.”
News Agencies – December 29, 2011
A woman in Brittany, France was given a €35 ($45) fine after police spotted her driving her car wearing a full-face veil.The woman, who was visiting family in the northwest coastal town of Saint-Brieuc, was wearing the face-covering niqab.
Police stopped the woman who “seemed hesitant in her driving,” said local police spokesman Laurent Dufour. “On closer inspection, they realized she was veiled,” he said.