Swedish Defense League (SDL): “Majority of young Muslims in Europe do not want democracy”

August 1, 2012

 

On Saturday several Islamophobic organizations from all around the world gather on Norra Bantorget (a square in downtown Stockholm). English Defense League participate among other groups. They plan to gather in order to protest what they view as increased Islamization of Europe. These organizations choose to gather in Sweden primarily due to the failed terrorist attack in Stockholm in December 2010, this according to one of the organizers and the SDL’s spokesperson Isak Nygren.

 

“We want to show that we are not alone in our resistance to Islam. We want to show that we are many, and the more numerous we are the better it is (for our cause). We want to protect the democratic and open society, which Islam is against. There are no Muslim democracies,” says Isak Nygren.

 

‘Isn’t Kosovo democratic?’

 

Nygren answers, “I have never heard that they held any elections in Kosovo.” (NOTE: Kosovo has held four parliamentary elections since 1991, in the latest election, Social Democrats won – PDK).

 

‘What about the recent elections in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya?’

 

“The elections have been arranged by the West, soon they will abolish voting and elections, just what they did on the Gaza strip in 2006.”

 

‘Don’t you think that young people in the Arab world want democracy?’

 

”No, it is the same in Europe, majority of the young Muslims in Europe do not want democracy.”

 

‘What evidences support your claims that Muslims do not want democracy?’

”If you consider that the Islamist movement has grown since the 1980s, that is reflected in that many Muslim states has receded in development. The most obvious example is Afghanistan.”

 

‘Wasn’t it the desire for democracy that fueled the Arab Spring?’

 

“It had nothing to do with democracy. They (the people) were fed up with the secular state power. Majority of the Egyptians do not want democracy, (if so) they wouldn’t have voted for the (Muslim) Brotherhood.”

 

‘So, a regular Muslim does not want democracy?’

 

“Well they allow themselves to be ruled by certain groups which are against democracy. The silent majority allows the loud majority to rule.”

 

‘What are the signs that Sweden is being Islamized?’

 

“Couple years ago, a first Sharia court was formed in Malmö. And we are witnessing increase in building of Islamic centres. Also, there is gender apartheid in pool houses where they are closed for access to the public except for the Muslim women who also pull the drapes over the windows.”

 

‘But the so called Sharia court in Malmö has only counseling rights no judicial function.’

 

“Not according to the Swedish law, but it is how everything starts. First we have family jurisprudence than it develops.”

 

‘What is the problem (more specifically)?’

 

”These are small steps and in the long run these (steps) can lead to decreased rights of expression. If you criticize Islam you are automatically called an Islamophob and all other kinds of names.”

 

‘But isn’t the demonstration this Saturday a sign of freedom of expression?’

 

“There is still some freedom (allowed), but the media will lie about us.”

Giving advice regarding the risks of the Muslim (Ramadan) fast

July 19, 2012

 

The (Norwegian) Health Institute, (Norwegian) Islamic Council and (Norwegian) Diabetes Association continue their partnership.

 

It is on Friday (July 20) that the Muslim holy month of Ramadan is starting. That is the reason why some health experts fear that many Muslims are not sufficiently informed regarding the risks with fasting the long summer days.

 

Almost 100.000 persons in Norway will commence their fasting period on Friday which means that they will willingly abstain from food and water (smoking etc.) from sunrise to dawn. Bernadette Kumar, the director of the National Center for Minorities Health (NAKMI), means that “sometimes there are people with immigrant background who do not receive the necessary information about nutrition. This means that they do not fully understand the consequences of fasting regarding their levels of ‘blood sugar’ and the complications related to these issues.” She stresses however that the fast does not lead to any particular health risks for most people.

 

In order to spread the necessary information NAKMI have cooperated with the Islamic Council and Diabetics Association for some years now. They have worked for spreading fact-based information to Muslim minorities and also offered professional help regarding health issues in general. For instance, NAKMI has formulated a brochure on “meal plans” where recommendations are given to fasting Muslims how to maintain healthy diet during the fast period. This initiative is first in its form where specific advice is given.

 

“We are very enthusiastic over this cooperation. We know that there are many sick people who choose to fast despite that they are religiously permitted to abstain from fasting. This can result in serious health risks.” says Björn Guldvog, the assisting director of the Norwegian Directorate of Health (NDH) and university proifessor at University of Bergen. He continues “It is important that they (NAKMI and the Islamic Council) send out the information to people in the risk group advising them to discontinue fasting if they have a health condition which could get worse if one is to abstain from food and water (including medicine) intake. This is particularly important regarding people with chronic diseases, pregnant women, and people who’s health depends on some medications. In any case, the information really focuses on more general advice regarding nutrition.”
He further says that the NDH, “as a public institution works to inform the entire population about health issues including Muslims who fast. This certainly means that the Muslim religious leaders need to get the information out to their congregations. People who choose to fast and worry about their health should consult their physicians for more specific advice.” The NDH has distributed the necessary information to all of the country’s health clinics regarding the health challenges during Ramadan. The Islamic Council has in turn distributed similar information to all of their member congregations. The information is presented in a most delicate and positive fashion. Islamic congregations are regularly discussing issues related to nutrition and which foods contain which nutritional elements.

 

Medical Doctor Naeem Zahid at the Akershus University Hospital says that the young Muslims are often more concerned with what they eat during Ramadan. “My impression is that the youth has changed their food habits in relation to the older generation. Before, most of those who fasted ate deep fried dishes, and that changed for a while to more healthy alternatives. Today, the trend seems to be the return of fried stuff. Some just overeat, too much fatty foods and spices, which contributes towards bad food digestion. Moreover, eating eggs, lenses, and drinking carbonated beverages lead to buildup of gases.” He adds, “On the other hand Ramadan (lasts 29-30 days) is only once a year and this type of food consumption do not have any long-term consequences if one eats healthy during the rest of the year”

 

Some of the vendors and stores throughout the Oslo city center are well stocked with the season specific goods. Nadeem Iqbal’s store is ready for Ramadan. “There is no doubt that we like to eat fried food.” He answers the question, ‘Do you think that people will follow the nutrition advice from the NDH?’, that “youth are far more conscious about health and foods. For us who are a bit older it is not very easy changing our habits which have come to be viewed as tradition.” Even Iqbal eats samosa, chicken and paratha, all of it fried. After long fast the food is first thing that comes to mind.

 

The Alarm went off when the 33-year old did not return home

July 15, 2012

 

The suspected Norwegian al-Qaida 33 years old affiliate is seemingly an ordinary man holding some unusual political ideas. According to the Norwegian Intelligence Services (PET) his most likely present location is somewhere between the Yemen’s Abyan och Shabwah provinces. Other speculations suggest that he has been trained as an operative for the Al-Qaida network. Having Scandinavian appearance it is thought that he would play a major role in future attacks. However, (un)probable this sounds the man is not charged for any crimes. All he seems to be “guilty” of is perhaps holding extreme political opinions. This is the reason no arrest warrant has been issues by the Norwegian authorities.

 

He calls himself Muslim Abu ‘Abd Ar-Rahman and he converted to Islam in 2008. He has never been charged with a crime; however, several states’ intelligence services view him as a major operative within Al-Qaida. He grew up in a community just outside of Oslo, seemingly shy and loyal towards his friends. In his teenage years he was a fan of grunge music groups such as Nirvana etc. Was there anything which would lead him towards extremism? Nothing, one could argue. Multiple suggestions have also been developed in relation to the case of Breivik and the radicalization process that turned him into a mass-murderer. Such processes are obviously complex and often nonlinear regardless of our desire to understand such phenomena. For instance, the judge in the Breivik trial noted that he was not particularly interested in Islam or Muslims before discovering the counter-jihad ideology and rhetoric. In these circles Breivik found an “appropriate” place to express his latent hate. It is here that he could project his developing worldview where all things are either black or white.

 

For the 33 year-old Norwegian from Oslo politics was never a big issue, according to some of his old friends. His growing anti-American views and general suspicion towards his government were sparked around 2001 attacks on the U.S. buildings. This was the period when a massive number of conspiracy stories developed and this attracted him. At the same time, his spiritual quest seemed drawing him away from his everyday life. He sought to get away from the mainstream mode of life and after having fallen in love with a Muslim woman he converted in 2008.

 

Moved by a convert’s zealousness he dedicated himself to spiritual and physical purity where religion became central in all aspects of life. The few steps toward extreme interpretation of religious principles were not far away and he began to view reality in terms of black and white. His search for the ultimate truth played pivotal role after some time. One of his friends narrated Abu ‘Abd Ar-Rahman started to dislike his teachers, school, even Oslo and Norway. In the end he moved away to Yemen in 2009. All traces go cold after that. He did not contact his relatives or friends of his whereabouts, and that seemed to spark all kinds of speculations. The PET agent claimed that he studied Arabic and most likely had close relation to many radical Muslims. This in turn raised many questions among people back in Oslo. At the same time one needs to be aware that there are no evidences that he have been involved in any attack against Yemenite government or any other state for that matter.

 

Norwegian politician Mohammed Abulahoum argues that the whole thing has been blown out of proportions by the media. “Until now we have not seen any proper evidence that could confirm these stories about the Norwegian man (Abu ‘Abd Ar-Rahman). I have no reliable information from any source about the issue.”

Lippestad: ”Breivik will come out again”

July 29, 2012

 

Norwegians need to be prepared to the fact that Breivik will be coming out from prison and will join the society again: that is what Breivik’s lawyer, Geir Lippestad, told the NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation) journalists. He added: “We do not have lifetime sentence in Norway”.

 

Be it that Breivik is sentenced to prison or psychiatric care he will eventually be released – even if he an old man. Lippestad has spend much time on understanding why Breivik categorizes people in various broad categories instead of viewing and judging people in accordance to their individual merit. Lippestad explains: “What has been interesting to observe is that people with such a totalitarian and one-dimensional worldview (i.e. Breivik) quickly adjust their opinions when they meet or see a person who does not fit their categorization. Women and Muslims he (Breivik) had met and who deviate from his categories are always an exception”.

Tennessee Republican Primary Candidates Wage Anti-Islam Contest

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Aug 1 (Reuters) – An argument over who is more opposed to the Islamic faith and the construction of a mosque near Nashville has become an unlikely issue in a nasty Tennessee Republican congressional primary to be decided on Thursday.

Freshman Republican Representative Diane Black is challenged by Lou Ann Zelenik, who lost to Black in a primary to represent the rural district two years ago by less than 300 votes.

The heart of the struggle is over the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, about 30 miles (48 km) south of Nashville, which has been controversial since construction began two years ago.

Zelenik, who vigorously opposed the mosque and warned of potential terrorist connections, said Black was not forceful enough in her opposition.

“I will work to stop the Islamization of our society, and do everything possible to prevent Sharia law from circumventing our laws and our Constitution,” Zelenik said.

Some states dominated by Republicans have passed laws to prevent Islamic or Sharia law from applying in U.S. court cases. The United States legal system is founded in the U.S. Constitution.

But a wealthy conservative donor, Nashville health care investor Andrew Miller, has weighed in on the side of Zelenik, contributing $105,100 to a new group called Citizens 4 Ethics in Government, according to the latest reports the group had submitted to the Federal Election Commission as of July 20.

The group has spent nearly $188,000 on media and automated telephone calls with the goal to unseat Black.

Miller is also chairman and executive director of the Tennessee Freedom Coalition, a conservative non-profit which lists as the top issue on its website: “Educate citizens on the realities of Sharia and stop the growth of Radical Islam.”

Author celebrates lives of Islam’s four noble women

Shahada Sharelle Abdul Haqq says she became interested in studying Islam in her 20s when she learned how the Quran protects the rights of women.

Abdul Haqq laments that cultural and legal traditions in some Islamic countries contradict that egalitarian instruction. Moreover, those oppressive practices are all some Westerners know about Islamic teachings.

The book, sumptuously illustrated with Abdul Haqq’s luminous acrylic-on-canvas paintings, celebrates the women that Muhammad pointed to as providing examples of a faithful life.

“Noble Women of Faith” follows Abdul Haqq’s 2008 “Stories of the Prophets in the Holy Quran,” another illustrated book aimed at children that tells the lives of the 25 male prophets mentioned in the Quran. An art teacher who grew up in San Francisco and now lives in Alabama, Abdul Haqq’s paintings capture a child’s wide-eyed imagined views of the ancient tales.

“Stories of the Prophets,” Abdul Haqq recently learned, has become a worldwide best-seller for the Istanbul-based Tughra Books, which also has a U.S. office.

Of Islam’s “four noble women,” only Mary, the mother of Jesus, is mentioned in the Quran. The other three are from the Hadith, the collected sayings of Muhammad.

The book has been released just in time for Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting, prayer and study that began July 20. Muslims are encouraged to read through the Quran during the month. Abdul Haqq’s book will give children something to study, too.

And while the book is for all children, Abdul Haqq has been especially pleased with the early reactions from young women.

Missouri To Vote On Prayer Amendment 2 Known As ‘Right To Pray’

ST. LOUIS — Missourians will vote on Tuesday (Aug. 7) on a proposed amendment to the state constitution that supporters say would protect residents’ right to pray in public, and if a recent poll is any indication, it could pass by a mammoth margin.

 

Supporters say the so-called “right to pray” ballot measure — known as Amendment 2 — better defines Missourians’ First Amendment rights and will help to protect the state’s Christians, about 80 percent of the population, who they say are under siege in the public square.

 

Opponents, meanwhile, say that the religious protections Amendment 2 would offer are already guaranteed by the Bill of Rights and the U.S. Constitution, and that it will open the door to all manner of unintended and costly consequences including endless taxpayer-funded lawsuits.

State Rep. Chris Kelly, a Democrat who opposed the original legislation, called Amendment 2 “a jobs bill for lawyers.”

 

Groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union and Americans United for Separation of Church and State have questioned how disturbance or disruption would later be defined. What if one person’s “right to pray” intrudes on another’s right to abstain from prayer, or to pray according to the tenets of his or her own faith?

But Episcopal Bishop Wayne Smith of Missouri said prayer in public schools “becomes the vehicle for a sectarian agenda, typically Christian and typically Protestant, in violation of the no-establishment clause of the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment.” Leading Jewish and Muslim groups also oppose the measure.

Muslim Hotel Owner in California Defends Herself Against Anti-Semitism Charge

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — The Hotel Shangri-La, an Art Deco palace on a bluff next to the Pacific Ocean, looks the way Los Angeles is supposed to look but mostly doesn’t: its exterior is bright white, with rounded corners, glass tiles and upper-story railings. Its look is matched by its lore, a Hollywood haunt where Bill Clinton and Tom Cruise have been spotted among the guests and where a favorite story has it that Sean Penn courted Madonna.

But things have been far from idyllic here in the last week, as about a dozen Jewish plaintiffs, mostly young professionals, squared off in court against the hotel and its owner, Tehmina Adaya, over a charge that has not often surfaced in Santa Monica lately: anti-Semitism.

Ms. Adaya was on the spot last week defending herself against a claim that she had violated California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act, a law that bars hotels and other businesses from discriminating in their dealings on the basis of sex, race, religion or a number of other traits or conditions.

NYT OpEd: The Female Factor: Under Attack as Muslims in the U.S.

WASHINGTON — Muslims in Western countries say they have gotten used to the fact that as elections get closer, politicians pump up the volume of accusations against them, whether they are Sunni, Shiite or of another sect.

In some European nations, it was the debate over women wearing the veil that set off the attacks. Now in the United States, where pivotal elections are looming, accusations against Muslims have reached a new level. It seems to some that the days of McCarthyism are back.

Representative Michele Bachmann, a Minnesota Republican and a member of the Tea Party movement, cited Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s longtime aide Huma Abedin as the reason, questioning Ms. Abedin’s loyalty. One of the few Muslims in a prominent government position, Ms. Abedin is a trusted adviser who is known to the public; many have defended her against Mrs. Bachmann’s charge.

It is “so sad to see,” one of the women said. “There is already a lack of Muslims in government positions, but now this debate just shows no matter how loyal you are, some people will always attack you because you are Muslim.”

It is not the first time that Muslim women involved in politics have been attacked because of their backgrounds.

This accusation was a disturbing development for four Muslim women who work for the U.S. government and spoke on the condition that they not be identified because they were not authorized to make comments to the media.

Competency exam, hearing set for Florida imam in Pakistani Taliban terror financing case

MIAMI — A mental competency examination has been ordered in the case of a Muslim imam in South Florida accused of raising money for the Pakistani Taliban terror group.

 

A federal judge ordered a psychiatric evaluation of 77-year-old Hafiz Khan to take place by Aug. 31. The judge wants to decide if Khan is able to understand his legal proceedings and if he can assist in his own defense.

 

Khan and one of his sons are charged with providing material support to terrorists by allegedly funneling about $50,000 to the Pakistani Taliban. They have pleaded not guilty. Charges were dropped against another of Khan’s sons.

 

The case could be delayed indefinitely if the elder Khan is ruled incompetent to stand trial.