Toronto-area author attacked in possible hate crime

The Toronto Sun – August 25, 2011


Halton police are treating an attack on a first-time author whose self-published book has been branded anti-Muslim as a possible hate crime. Raised Muslim, Paris Dipersico, 24, reported being dragged from his bicycle Aug. 17, tied up among trees, then beaten briefly unconscious by two Muslim men. Accused of being gay, they then “called me a Jew in Arabic and said the Jews are paying you to write this against Islam,” the author of Wake Up Call said.

Using several characters, including ones named Paris and Gabrielle plus others disguised or altered, Dipersico said Wake Up Call was a self-healing project based on troubling experiences with relatives telling him they are superior to others, while some lied, cheated and committed adultery. Released in June, it has been accused of being pornographic, celebrating drug use and mocking various religions. Relatives criticized Gabrielle’s voluntary cover photo for showing too much flesh, “but I wasn’t coerced,” the 23-year-old said. “We are Muslim, but we were raised in Canada,” Paris said.

Kidnapped Tarragona woman still missing

The whereabouts of a woman alleged to have been kidnapped and condemned to death for adultery in a shari’a court in Tarragona are unknown. She didn’t make an appearance at court, and now the judge has advised the Morocco government that she is missing and her presence is required by the Spanish justice system.

The lawyer for the 10 accused of her kidnapping argues that this disappearance is a sign of their innocence.

Woman tried in Tarragona “shari’a court”

Seven men have been sent to prison without jail in Tarragona, and two others released with charges, for planning to kill a woman for “adultery” after kidnapping her from her home in Tarragona and holding her in a farmhouse, from which she escaped to a local police station.

The men allegedly created an Islamic Tribunal and illegally tried the woman for adultery using “an extremist version of Islamic law”, sentencing her to death. They were arrested in November.

Europe unfriendly to Muslims, Princeton scholar says

Many Muslims today struggle to integrate into Western society, but those in the U.S. are better off than those in Europe, said Islamic scholar Ralph Ghadban during a lecture Monday at Ohio State. “Many of the millions of Muslims that have moved to the West wish not to integrate into society,” Ghadban said. As a member of the Institute for Advanced Studies of Princeton University, Ghadban spoke in a small conference room in Hagerty Hall, with only 15 people in attendance. The lecture, “Islamic Law of Muslim Minorities in the West” was sponsored by the Middle East Studies Center and the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. “[Ghadban] is not a traditional scholar,” said Arabic professor Georges Tamer. “He has practical experience that combines Islamic studies with political science and philosophy.” Ghadban said that during their integration to the West, Muslims are confronted with new norms and customs, as well as a new structure of society. Most importantly, they must abide by a secular law system, which they have never or barely been confronted with in their home countries, he said. A third of the 1.2 to 1.4 billion Muslims in the world are minorities in 149 non-Islamic countries, and 25 to 30 million of them live in Western Europe and North America, he said. With the exception of black converts, the majority of Muslims living in the West came to the Western world during the modern migration period of the second half of the 20th century. He said that Muslim immigrants follow Sharia law, which is a form of Islamic justice often criticized for its brutal physical punishments, including flogging and execution by stoning. Sharia punishment is often enforced against women found guilty of offenses such as premarital sex and adultery. Mariam Khan reports.

Imam prosecuted for not preventing murders

Prosecutors in Ghent have demanded a one-year prison sentence for Muhsin Paksoy, the former imam of the Ghent central mosque. Paksoy is accused of doing little to prevent the murder of four women, after being approached by the killer. On November 11th 2004, Osman Calli called up Paksoy; the next day he killed four women. Calli’s wife also told the imam that her husband was going to kill her, but Paksoy did not intervene. Osman Calli locked his wife, along with her sister, in a cellar of his residence in Ghent. He nicked his wife’s face with a knife, trying to get her to confess to adultery, before killing them both. The prosecution claims that the imam knew the wife was in grave danger; while Calli condemned Calli taking matters into his own hands, the former imam did not contact police.

For Muslim students, a debate on inclusion

A debate on whether organizations for Muslim students should be inclusive or strict is unfolding on college campuses across the United States, where there are now more than 200 Muslim Students Association (MSA) chapters. Gender issues and relations are among the most fraught topics as Muslim students wrestle with the gap between American college traditions and those of Islam. Each chapter of the MSA is mostly autonomous in its rules, and discrepancies between liberal and conservative Muslim student groups are prompting Muslim students to reflect on the diversity of their representation. From clothing, to mixed-gender dodge-ball games, kissing at public ceremonies, to gender segregated barbecues, the levels of rigidity vary greatly. Amir Mertaban, who was president of his Muslim student group at California State Polytechnic University, Pamona said: There were drunkards in the Prophet Muhammad’s community; there were fornicators and people who committed adultery in his community, and he didn’t reject them… I think MSA’s are beginning to understand this point that every person has ups and downs. x

Islam in the World I: The silence of the moderates (Hirsi Ali Editorial)

By Ayaan Hirsi Ali The woman and the man guilty of adultery or fornication, flog each of them with 100 stripes: Let no compassion move you in their case, in a matter prescribed by Allah, if you believe in Allah and the Last Day.” (Koran 24:2) In the last few weeks, in three widely publicized episodes, we have seen Islamic justice enacted in ways that should make Muslim moderates rise up in horror.