The Union of Islamic Communities contest the election of new president


The Union of Islamic Communities of Spain (UCIDE) has claimed that the decision of the Islamic Commission in Spain (CIE) in the last 17 of November to elect Mounir Benjelloun Andaloussi Azhari as its new president, “did not fit right” by which they will put the necessary legal action to challenge it.

They contest the election on the basis that more than 70%of the Federations represented by the UCIDE where not included in the election process. As so they declare them invalid because they don’t represent the needed consensus.

Riay Tatary, the general secretary of the UCIDE believes that the election has not complied with the statutes of “consensus” so far regulating the functioning of this community and has announced that he is considering contesting the results.

From Man Who Insulted Muhammad, No Regret

LOS ANGELES — Fuming for two months in a jail cell here, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula has had plenty of time to reconsider the wisdom of making “Innocence of Muslims,” his crude YouTube movie trailer depicting the Prophet Muhammad as a bloodthirsty, philandering thug.

Does Mr. Nakoula now regret the footage? After all, it fueled deadly protests across the Islamic world and led the unlikely filmmaker to his own arrest for violating his supervised release on a fraud conviction.

Not at all. In his first public comments since his incarceration soon after the video gained international attention in September, Mr. Nakoula told The New York Times that he would go to great lengths to convey what he called “the actual truth” about Muhammad. “I thought, before I wrote this script,” he said, “that I should burn myself in a public square to let the American people and the people of the world know this message that I believe in.”

In explaining his reasons for the film, Mr. Nakoula, 55, a Coptic Christian born in Egypt, cited the 2009 massacre at Fort Hood, Tex., as a prime example of the violence committed “under the sign of Allah.” His anger seemed so intense over the years that even from a federal prison in 2010, he followed the protests against the building of an Islamic center and mosque near ground zero in New York as he continued to work on his movie script.

Montgomery’s decisions on school holidays

MUSLIM LEADERS in Montgomery County stress that, in petitioning school officials to set aside an Islamic holy day as an official day off, they are not advocating for any of the currently recognized holidays to lose their designations. The unwillingness to broach that possibility is understandable, given the sensibilities and traditions attached to these holidays. But the issues of fairness and equity raised in the county’s debate over when schools should close require renewed scrutiny of a calendar that may no longer be relevant given changing demographics.

The Montgomery County Board of Education decided Tuesday not to add Eid al-Adha to the lineup of days off in the 2013-14 school year. “All we’re asking for is equality under the law,” said Mudusar Raza, president of the Maryland chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations as he ticked off the litany of Christian and Jewish holidays on which schools close.

It’s hard not to be sympathetic to the struggle of Muslim students and their parents in balancing school and religious obligations; students who miss school for religious holidays are excused, but many say they feel they can’t miss class for fear of falling behind. Yet it’s also hard not to see the problems that would result if Montgomery were to further balkanize its calendar to accommodate even more religious holidays.

Montgomery officials say they close schools not to recognize a particular faith (that would be unconstitutional) but for valid secular reasons. The Jewish holidays of Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah are days off because officials say there would be high rates of absenteeism for both students and teachers. Good Friday and Easter Monday are days off because of an anachronism in Maryland law that gives local officials no choice in the matter.

Before Thanksgiving, Muslim, Jews feed thousands across North America

Thanksgiving is a uniquely American holiday; a day when people of all faiths and ethnic backgrounds give thanks for their blessings and enjoy hearty Thanksgiving dinners with their loved ones. Yet unfortunately, because of the economic crisis of recent years, record numbers of Americans are now hungry and homeless and in need of succor if they too are to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal.

Over the past week, Muslims and Jews in cities across North America have been serving nourishing meals to hungry and homeless people as the centerpiece of the Weekend of Twinning, an annual event sponsored every November by the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding (FFEU), a New York-based not-for-profit working to strengthen ties of communication and cooperation between Muslims and Jews. During this year’s fifth Annual Weekend of Twinning, 150 synagogues and mosques and 150 Muslim and Jewish organizations representing thousands of Muslims and Jews in more than 20 countries around the world are linking up and holding joint programs dedicated to strengthening ties between our communities and serving the larger societies in which we live side by side.

Newly released emails say no sailors watched bin Laden’s burial at sea after Navy SEAL raid

WASHINGTON — Internal emails among U.S. military officers indicate that no sailors watched Osama bin Laden’s burial at sea from the USS Carl Vinson and traditional Islamic procedures were followed during the ceremony.

The emails, obtained by The Associated Press through the Freedom of Information Act, are heavily blacked out, but are the first public disclosure of government information about the al-Qaida leader’s death. The emails were released Wednesday by the Defense Department.

Bin Laden was killed on May 1, 2011, by a Navy SEAL team that assaulted his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

One email stamped secret and sent on May 2 by a senior Navy officer briefly describes how bin Laden’s body was washed, wrapped in a white sheet, and then placed in a weighted bag.

According to another message from the Vinson’s public affairs officer, only a small group of the ship’s leadership was informed of the burial.

Although the Obama administration has pledged to be the most transparent in American history, it is keeping a tight hold on materials related to the bin Laden raid. In a response to separate requests from the AP for information about the mission, the Defense Department said in March that it could not locate any photographs or video taken during the raid or showing bin Laden’s body. It also said it could not find any images of bin Laden’s body on the Vinson.

The Pentagon also said it could not find any death certificate, autopsy report or results of DNA identification tests for bin Laden, or any pre-raid materials discussing how the government planned to dispose of bin Laden’s body if he were killed.

California terror suspects’ recent conversion could have played a role in radicalization

UPLAND, Calif. — Three of the young men swept up in a federal terrorism probe grew up in the Southern California suburbs where they played pick-up basketball, ran for homecoming court and sparred in video games with neighborhood kids — a far cry from the wannabe terrorists described by the FBI.

Two of the men converted to Islam less than two years ago and the third, an American-born Vietnamese Muslim, drifted into their orbit as recently as September after a game of paintball. He also is an unemployed high school dropout and new father.

The rapid evolution from suburban teen to aspiring jihadist alleged in court documents blindsided family members, but experts who study homegrown terrorism said the case highlights the susceptibility of new converts to radicalization, particularly among the young.

Two of the members of what the FBI called an extremist network — Miguel Alejandro Santana Vidriales, 21, and Ralph Deleon, 23 — converted after meeting Sohiel Omar Kabir in an Ontario, Calif., hookah bar. The naturalized U.S. citizen from Afghanistan introduced them to the radical Islamist doctrine of the U.S.-born extremist cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed last year in an American airstrike in Yemen, according to court files unsealed this week.

Kabir, 34, later returned to Afghanistan but continued to give direction to the Southern California men on Skype. He was taken into custody last weekend.

All four men are facing charges of providing material support to terrorists, which can carry a maximum 15-year prison sentence.

Authorities won’t say how the investigation began, but at least two members of the group shared their beliefs on Facebook and held Skype phone calls with Kabir — all of which was recorded by an FBI informant or captured by agents monitoring their activity.

Iowa company: US probe into whether it falsely labeled items as halal could damage business

IOWA CITY, Iowa — The maker of a popular brand of food for observant Muslims says it is facing a potentially crippling investigation into whether it falsely labeled meat products as processed in compliance with Islamic law.

The Midamar Corp. said in federal court documents that investigators seized its main bank account and business records under search warrants executed last month. A judge last week upheld the government’s seizure of $454,000 in bank funds and rejected the company’s request to return the money.

No criminal or civil charges have been filed, and U.S. District Judge Linda Reade ruled that the government’s affidavit supporting its search warrant can remain secret so as not to “compromise an ongoing investigation.” The U.S. attorney’s office declined comment Monday on the investigation, which involves the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Internal Revenue Service.

Miramar said in court filings that the seizures relate to vague allegations that it improperly branded and sold meat products as meeting Muslim dietary requirements, called halal, when they did not. The privately held business, which has been in Cedar Rapids for 40 years, dismissed the allegations. And it claims federal investigators are trying to regulate something that must be left to religions under the U.S. Constitution’s separation of church and state.

Midamar says the matter does not involve food safety. Still, its lawyers made public a letter from USDA that noted the agency stopped voluntary inspections at the firm in 2010, after seizing what it called misbranded meat products, before resuming them last year. Such inspections are done at Midamar’s request to ensure their products meet requirements for export.

Investigators seized thousands of pounds of beef products that came from an establishment not approved for export to a foreign country and found falsified export documents for shipments to Indonesia and Malaysia, among other problems, according to the letter.

USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service resumed inspections after approving Midamar’s “corrective and preventive measures,” the letter says.

Baroness Flather’s anti-Muslim comments spark debate

26 November 2012

 

Baroness Flather, who was an influential member of the Conservative party, has come under heavy criticism after her remark that that all Muslims in Britain live on benefits.

 

She made the comments in support of a Conservative party adviser Lynton Crosby. Crosby led London Mayor Boris Johnson’s two election campaigns. He is of Australian origin and known to be a master of dirty political games; it was reported that one piece of advice he gave Johnson was not to canvas the votes of “f***ing Muslims”. People close to him later insisted that it was not a racist remark but rather just his style.

Muslim associations and Green Party in Lower Saxony criticize Minister of Interior

November 26

 

Muslim associations in Lower Saxony have criticized Minster of Interior Uwe  Schünemann (CDU) for defining Muslims as a marginal group. The associations did not accept to dialogue with the Ministry of Interior in July, after Minister Schünemann had refused to withdraw his “checklist” for the recognition of Islamists. Emine Oguz, a lawyer of the Islamic Union Institute for Religion – Ditib said, Schünemann would continue the checklist and keep controlling the mosques.

 

The migration policy speaker of the Green party Filiz Polat, criticized the government of Lower Saxony for ignoring the situation of Muslims. The Green party claims to record criminal offences against Muslims. Also, the Greens plan to include the situation of Muslims as an issue for the upcoming elections in Lower Saxony. The share of the Muslim population in Lower Saxony is about 6,2%.

Federal president Joachim Gauck refuses to meet bereaved family members

November 26

 

Federal President Joachim Gauck has refused to meet bereaved family members of the victims murdered by the right-wing terrorist group NSU (National Socialist Underground). The Turkish community had welcomed a meeting but the Office of the Federal President refused it.

 

Kenan Kolat, representative of the Turkish community criticized the reaction of the Federal President. “The President should set a sign. Many family members of the victims would have been disappointed by the results of the commission of inquiry.”

 

The reaction of President Gauck is peculiar. He condemned the NSU series of murders but did not take a clear stand in favor of the victims. In contrast to his predecessor Christian Wulff (CDU), Gauck refused to recognize Islam as an integral part of Germany. He has underlined the “strangeness” of Islam and its differences to the German and European identity. He related it to the historical strangeness of Western democracies towards Communism. President Gauck has shown understanding for the fear of Germans towards Islam and Muslim immigrants.