David Cameron launches a 5 year plan to tackle extremism

Young Muslims are drawn to fundamentalist Islam in the same way young Germans were attracted to fascism in the 20th century, David Cameron will suggest, as he sets out a five-year strategy to combat Isis-inspired radicalisation.Cameron

In a speech in Birmingham, Mr Cameron will say Islamic extremist ideology is based on the same intolerant ideas of “discrimination, sectarianism and segregation” that led to the rise of Hitler and that still exist in the far right.

He will also reject suggestions that Western foreign policy has contributed to the rise of Isis and its popularity among Muslim populations in the West, arguing that such extremism existed long before the Iraq war.

Downing Street said Mr Cameron was determined to make tackling Islamic extremism in Britain a central priority over the next five years with a comprehensive strategy that involved not just the police and the criminal justice system but also “softer interventions” to tackle the root causes of radicalisation.

He will say that extreme views can gain traction – especially with the young. “Like so many ideologies that have existed before – whether fascist or communist – many people, especially young people, are being drawn to it,” he will say. “So we need to understand why it is proving so attractive.”

Mr Cameron will reject claims that support for Isis is formed on the basis of “historic injustices and recent wars, because of poverty and hardship”. Instead he will argue that the “root cause of the threat we face is the extremist ideology itself”.

Marginalized, gay Muslims celebrate Ramadan together

During Ramadan, members of the Marseille chapter of the Association of Gay Muslims (HM2F) decided to break the fast together. “These moments are important, because they allow us to find ourselves and maintain a connection with the religion,” said Salim, age 22, who has been a member of the association since February 2015.

In HM2F, which is linked to the Progressive Muslims of France (MPF), everyone is free to practice their religion as they choose.
“For a long time, I couldn’t practice my religion. Now it’s different, even if I still have difficulty telling myself I can be gay and Muslim,” explains Adil, age 42. Even today, many gay Muslims find themselves in an identity crisis, or seeing homosexuality and Islam as two incompatible identities.

 

In Marseille, Salim, who is one of the local group’s coordinators, receives calls from young North African Muslims between 20 and 30 years old, who are scared of being rejected due to their sexual orientation. And for good reason, as Salim explains, it’s extremely difficult in cities such as Marseille where Arab-Muslim communities are very important: “The individuals are very dependent on their community. It’s thanks to the community that they have an identity. In a way, the community compensates for the lack of immigrant integration.”

Despite the miles that separate him from his family, Said cannot shed the importance of his community. “The only part of my religion that I still practice, it’s that I know God is merciful,” says the young Frenchmen of Moroccan origin.

For the anthropologist and founder of HM2F, Ludovic-Mohammed Zehed, the guilt is emblematic of certain communities’ “amnesia,” arguing that they rewrite history and their identities by condemning and excluding homosexuals. “They deny their existence, claiming that [homosexuality] came from the West,” he states. Zehed, who is the first French Muslim to be religiously married to a man, lists the supporting scientific arguments and the acceptance of homosexuals during the time of Mohammed.

The meal ends. Everyone gathers on the balcony to take in the fresh air. Music sounds above animated discussion. Hichem takes a piece of paper from his pocket. Nervously, he says he wishes to read the letter by Moroccan writer Abdellah Taia following the lynching of a gay man in Fez. Silence. Hichem begins reading in Un pays pour mourir: “Impossible to shed a tear. The shock I feel is such that everything in me ceases to exist…”

It is night but in the twilight faces move by sadness and incomprehension can be seen. From one side of the Mediterranean to the other, this “amnesia” seems to persist. The reading ends. “All is said,” concludes Said.

FRANCK PENNANT / AFP
FRANCK PENNANT / AFP

French Muslims declare Islamophobia ‘intellectual scam’

In a statement primarily signed by those “of Muslim culture,” Islamophobia is under attack. In the manifesto against Islamism published in Marianne, the documentary filmmaker Mohamed Sifaoui, Charlie Hebdo journalist Zineb El Rhazoui, writer Boualem Sansal, and political activist Zohra Bitan rally against the term “Islamophobia.”

According to the signatories, Islamophobia is only a matter of an “intellectual scam” that serves to “anesthetize and weaken the debate” surrounding secularism and the Republic. The signatories notably argue that “Islamists, Sunnis and Shiites, who use Islam for political means, are an extremely noxious poison for societies and living together.”

They state that “the Republic should not tremble,” when faced with the increase in Islamism. The “collective” speaks out against the French Council of the Muslim Faith, who, they argue, is an authority “crossed by currents of political Islam and by others, linked to foreign states, who respect neither the principles of secularism nor the rules of democracy.”

The collective finds it “unacceptable” that the CFCM can claim to represent “more than five million French Muslims,” with the approval of public powers. Among the signatories is the controversial imam of Drancy Hassen Chalghoumi. The authors believe that the CFCM is a “manufactured authority,” who claims to be representative “but only represents a minority and is unable to convey a message challenging archaic and sometimes violent beliefs,” which the writer Abdelwaheb Meddeb referred to as “the malady of Islam.”Islamophobia

French jihadi network chief sentenced to 9 years in prison

The chief of a dismantled French radical network was sentenced Friday to nine years in prison for recruiting for jihad, plotting attacks against Jewish targets and praising terrorism. The relatively severe verdict comes as France is trying to prevent extremist violence by angry, marginalized Muslims.

A Paris court convicted Mohamed Achamlane, self-proclaimed “emir” of the Forsane Alizza (Knights of Pride) group, of terrorism charges. The French citizen was accused of plotting attacks, including targeting kosher markets and other Jewish businesses in Paris, abducting and torturing a Jewish judge in Lyon and threatening France, according to court documents.

Thirteen others, who like Achamlane were convicted of criminal association with a terrorist enterprise, were sentenced to up to six years in prison — except for the lone female defendant who got a suspended 12-month sentence.

The verdict came six months after attacks on a kosher supermarket and satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, which left 20 people dead including the three radical Muslim gunmen. It also came two weeks after the beheading of a businessman in eastern France that authorities have blamed on a former delivery driver, Yassin Salhi, who allegedly had links to Forsane Alizza.

During the trial, Achamlane, 37, said he created Forsane Alizza in 2010 to counter growing anti-Muslim feelings in France and claimed a desire to “channel the energy” of young Muslims and lead them away from violence.

Achamlane, 37, testified that he favored an “uninhibited” Islam but denied any violent intent or “terrorist inspiration.”

“I am the emir of a group that is considered Islamist and I do not hide anything,” Achamlane said.

The group was dissolved in 2012 and its suspected members were arrested because authorities feared they were ready to carry out violent acts.

Judge Dominique Piot  said the court found Achamlane had intended to “perpetrate an act of a terrorist nature.”

She noted a number of Internet chats, including one in which Achamlane praised Mohamed Merah, who killed three children and a rabbi at a Jewish school  in Toulouse as well as three French paratroopers before being killed by police. According to court documents, he had called the attack “a blessing of Allah.”

The court cited another chat in which he said: “We are going to inflict scars to France… We’re going to slash up France.” In another, he compared himself with Osama bin Laden, according to court documents.

Investigators pointed to a “declaration of war” against France in video and text posted on Forsane Alizza’s Web site. It issued an ultimatum to France to withdraw its troops from Muslim territories and scrap a law banning face-covering veils worn by some Muslim women.

On the group’s computer hard drives and memory sticks, investigators found a copy of “The Terrorist’s Handbook” and a file labeled “targets” in which a dozen Jewish businesses were listed. Achamlane had also stored personal information on policemen, lawmakers and magistrates.

AFP
AFP

Viral video of French ‘Muslim no-go zone’ is a fake

Under a torrent of projectiles and verbal abuse, a group of policemen flee a housing project in a notorious French ‘banlieue’, or suburb, near Paris. At least, that’s what a video that’s recently made the rounds on social media networks would like you to believe. But the truth is that the clip is taken from a ‘mockumentary’, or fake documentary.

The video, which was uploaded to YouTube, is entitled ‘French Police Enter Muslim No Go Zone 25 June’ in reference to the infamous – and erroneous – ‘no-go zones’ designated by US news channel Fox News. By publishing the video on June 26, the user who uploaded it intended to make viewers believe that the incident had taken place the day before.

Yet ironically, the clip is actually an extract of a mockumentary that aims to knock down clichés about the banlieues circulated by media outlets. Filed in 2008 by ‘Kourtrajme,’ and artists’ collective.fake-no-go

Farrakhan Plans Rally for Million Man March 20th Anniversary

WASHINGTON — Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan said Wednesday he plans to hold a Millions for Justice march in the nation’s capital this fall, 20 years after the Million Man March.
During a speech at Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Washington, Farrakhan said he intends to hold the rally Oct. 10 on the National Mall, scene of the 1995 march.
“This is the time our people must see our unity,” Farrakhan said. “Let’s make 10/10/15 a meeting place for those who want justice, for those who know what justice is.”

Nation of Islam opposes California vaccine mandate bill

A split among African American leaders on the issue of government-required vaccination has roiled the Capitol as lawmakers consider whether to eliminate most exemptions to state immunization laws.
A leader of the Nation of Islam has warned African American lawmakers of political repercussions if they support a bill that would require many more children to be vaccinated. A coalition of other black organizations on Monday countered that message with support for the measure.  And this month, a Nation of Islam leader denounced inoculation requirements, comparing such a mandate to the infamous Tuskegee syp

Nation of Islam Minister Tony Muhammad, shown in 2005, likened California's proposed vaccination mandate to the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, in which federal researchers, starting in the 1930s, withheld treatment from African American men. (Damian Dovarganes / Associated Press)
Nation of Islam Minister Tony Muhammad, shown in 2005, likened California’s proposed vaccination mandate to the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, in which federal researchers, starting in the 1930s, withheld treatment from African American men. (Damian Dovarganes / Associated Press)

hilis experiments.

Prison officials’ ordering Muslim prisoner-cook to handle pork may violate the Free Exercise Clause

So the Ninth Circuit held last Friday in Jones v. Williams, though the decision turns in part on the prison’s own admission that the kitchen could function just fine even if such requests for exemption were granted (and of course the rule would apply equally to Jewish religious objectors or to anyone else who feels a religious objection to handling pork):
The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act implements a more demanding standard (see the recent Holt v. Hobbs decision), but it has been read as not authorizing damages remedies; and while it does authorize injunctions, here the behavior was unlikely to be repeated (and thus unlikely to need an injunction) because Jones is no longer in prison.