Muslims to be represented in broadcasting commission

May 5

The parliament of the City State of Bremen has passed a law to implement one Muslim representative in the council for public broadcasting. Muslim associations will be deciding about the person. The “Shura” – Islamic religious community of Bremen, “DITIB” – Islamic religious community of Bremen and Lower Saxony and “VIKZ” – the association for Islamic cultural centers. The city State of Bremen would be the first Federal State to include a Muslim representative in the council for public broadcasting.

What European allies can Marine Le Pen count on?

May 28, 2014

Despite an elevated voter participation rate compared to the 2009 elections, (42.5% in 2014 versus 40.5% in 2009), the Front national dominated the recent May 2014 European Parliament elections. Front national leader Marine Le Pen garnered 24.9% of the total French vote, beating out the UMP (20.3%) and the Parti socialiste (13.9%).

The FN has quadrupled its success since the 2009 elections and will now have 24 representatives in the European Parliament, where Marine Le Pen and her father, Jean Marie Le Pen both hold seats. The party’s success worries many French Muslims, as Marine Le Pen’s rhetoric is often anti-immigration.

“Too anti-Islam…too extreme” explains why other far-right parties in Europe refuse to ally with the FN in Parliament. Among such parties are the United Kingdom’s UKIP, Denmark’s UF, and the PS in Finland.

The party’s success puts it at the threshold for the number of seats required to form a parliamentary group, which requires 25 seats. However, in order to do so the elected leaders must come from at least seven countries. For the moment, the FN only has four allies: Italy’s LN, Austria’s FPO, Belgium’s VB and PVV in the Netherlands.

Cam Clash, revealing daily Islamophobia

May 27, 2014

Cam clash is a television series that airs Monday nights on France 4. It uses hidden cameras and actors to portray everyday occurrences, such as instances of discrimination, and then evaluates the public’s reaction.

In its most recent episode, Cam clash presents a scene of a young woman entering the Paris metro. She confronts a veiled Muslim woman and remarks, “we are no longer at home.” Three bystanders come to the Muslim woman’s defense, while a fourth supports the woman’s racist remarks.

The video has sparked considerable controversy because it “raises serious moral questions. The lack of distinction between true and false concerning this type of video, which can very quickly spread on the web, may be prejudicial towards real situations by casting doubt on them, and can lead to the viewer’s misconception and reinforce their fears or prejudices.”

Others believe that this type of video is necessary in order to bring these situations to the public’s attention because they raise awareness of the dangers of such widespread societal attitudes.

Update: Dutch Politician’s Anti-Islam Sticker

31 May 2014

Dutch politician Geert Wilders continues to appear in news media regarding the anti-Islam sticker posted on his office door in December 2013. The Volkskrant reports that Wilders has distributed the sticker through the mail in parliamentary envelopes.

The Netherlands will send a top diplomat to Saudi Arabia to prevent the country from imposing trade sanctions in protest of the sticker. The Saudi authorities have not announced any sanctions, but Saudi media reports this week announced that such measures had already taken effect, citing unnamed officials.

The sticker is printed in the colors of the Saudi Arabian flag and bears the words, “Islam is a lie, Mohammed is a criminal, the Koran is poison.”