New book on Dutch Islam: Islam in transformation

A new book in Dutch was published recently on Islam in the Netherlands called: “Islam in transformation: Piety and pleasure amongst Muslims within and outside of the Netherlands,” edited by the prominent Dutch scholars on Islam Joas Wagemakers and Martijn de Koning (Radboud University).New Book

This is a translation of the pamphlet of the book:

The Islamic State, headscarves, questions regarding integration, and opinions in Dutch politics: Islam is continuously in the headlines. Is Islam inextricably connected to violence as the IS wants to assert? Or does Islam stand for peace, as many Muslims in the Netherlands tend to stress?

Often the impression arises that “the” Islam is dominated by ages old texts that determine the behavior of Muslims today. Based on personal research, specialists show that Islam is dynamic and that Muslims experience and apply their faith in various ways. Thus there are large differences in the experience of celebrations, cultural expressions, interpretations of the Qur’an, and multifarious approaches to relationships with  people of different persuasion.

Part 2 in the Series Islam in Transformation treads a broad band of subjects and makes accessible complex themes for those who wish to contribute to the public debate. An earlier publication in this series was “Salafism: Utopian ideals in an unruly reality” (see the item on Euro-Islam: http://www.euro-islam.info/2014/11/18/book-review-salafisme/)

Read the first chapter here (in Dutch):

http://www.uitgeverijparthenon.nl/inkijkexemplaar_islam_in_verandering.pdf

Growth of born-again Muslims in Spain

Spain, traditionally a Catholic country, is undergoing a profound transformation. Some 50,000 Spaniards from Christian families have become Muslims, 20.000 of them in the last five years, according to the census of the Union of Islamic Communities in Spain. Between these born again Muslims, there is a group that concerns the Security Forces of the State: young people from radical Islamic environments who are willing to engage violent acts against Spain.

So far this year, security forces have detained more than 40 people connected with Islamist terrorism. A third of them have been arrested in Catalonia.

In fact, of the 1,264 mosques in Spain, 216 are in Catalonia. Moreover, in the last 10 years, the Islamic immigration in the community has increased exponentially, from 30,000 to almost 700,000 Muslim citizens, exceeding 20% of the population in some municipalities.Spanish Muslims

Why Islam is on the rise worldwide

By 2050, the number of Muslims will nearly equal the number of Christians in the world, according to The Pew Research Center.

In the United States, there will be more people who identify as Muslims than identify as Jewish.

What’s drawing more individuals and families into the Muslim faith? And will misperceptions and misinformation about Islam rise or fall as Islam grows?

Full PEW Report and Audio below

Muslim Population Change

Are Americans ready for a Muslim president? New poll suggests maybe

A recently released Gallup poll found “tidal shifts” over the past 60 years in Americans’ willingness to support a well-qualified black, female, Catholic or Jewish candidate for president.

But the study also found that 60 percent of Americans would be willing to vote for a president who was a “generally well-qualified person who happened to be Muslim.”

“If the 60 percent is to be used as a proxy of acceptance of Muslims, I am encouraged by an upward trajectory,” wrote Saud Anwar, the mayor of South Windsor, Conn., and that state’s first Muslim mayor.

 

The most and least racially diverse U.S. religious groups

The nation’s population is growing more racially and ethnically diverse – and so are many of its religious groups, both at the congregational level and among broader Christian traditions.  But a new analysis of data from the 2014 Religious Landscape Study also finds that these levels of diversity vary widely within U.S. religious groups.

Seventh-day Adventists top the list with a score of 9.1: 37% of adults who identify as Seventh-day Adventists are white, while 32% are black, 15% are Hispanic, 8% are Asian and another 8% are another race or mixed race.

Muslims (8.7) and Jehovah’s Witnesses (8.6) are close behind in terms of diversity, as no racial or ethnic group makes up more than 40% of either group. Blacks, whites (including some people of North African or Middle Eastern descent) and Asians each make up a quarter or more of U.S. Muslims, while blacks, whites and Latinos each make up a quarter or more of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

 

Extremism Concerns Growing in West and Predominantly Muslim Countries: Worries Especially Widespread in Western Europe and U.S.

Since 2011, the percentage saying they are very concerned about Islamic extremism in their country has increased 38 percentage points in France, 29 points in Spain, 21 points in the United Kingdom, 20 points in Germany and 17 points in the United States.
Worries about extremism are higher across the Western countries surveyed than they are in the Muslim countries surveyed.  In the U.S., these demographic differences also extend to political party and religion. Republicans and Americans who say religion is important are more likely to be concerned about Islamic extremism than are Democrats and independents, and those who say religion is not important to their daily lives.

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”.

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.