French Minister of the family suggests possible ban on fully-veiled new immigrants

The French government is planning to require new immigrants to sign a contract recognizing that the face-veil is banned in France. “Equality between men and women is a fundamental principle of French society,” Families Minister Nadine Morano told French Radio, reported Agence France-Presse (AFP). “The same applies to the full veil.”

At present, newcomers are stipulated to sign the contract stating that polygamy and forced marriages are not allowed in France.”I also want to add that female genital mutilation is strictly prohibited,” said Morano.

Ex-Guantanamo detainees resettled in Palau, face issues

Six Uighurs formerly detained in America’s Guantanamo Bay have been resettled to the small Pacific nation of Palau upon the request of the US.

“They are happy to enjoy the beautiful environment of Palau,” Mampimin Ala, an Australian flown to Palau to act as a translator for the freed Uighurs, told Agence France Presse (AFP).

However, they arrive just as 200-300 Bangladeshi Muslims’ work visas expire, forcing them to face possible deportation. Any further immigration from the country was banned just last month.

Palau’s Muslim community of about 500 consists mostly of Bangladeshi migrant workers, and the shrinkage in that community could make the Uighurs’ transition hard.

“They need a community of Muslims,” Mujahid Hussain, the only Pakistani in Palau, said of the Uighurs.

“They need to sit together and pray together. So if they send home a lot of the Bangladeshis, that’s going to be a problem,” Hussain, 36, told The Associated Press on Monday.

Nonetheless, they will enjoy sea-views and a five-minute walk to one of Palau’s two mosques. Their lawyer Eric Tirschwell stated: “These men want nothing more than to live peaceful, productive lives in a free, democratic nation safe from oppression by the Chinese…thanks to Palau, which has graciously offered them a temporary home, they now have that chance. We hope that another country will soon step forward to provide them permanent sanctuary.”

Bin Laden’s son seeks and is denied political asylum in Spain

Spain has rejected an asylum request from Omar Osama bin Laden, the son of Osama bin Laden, after deciding that he did not meet the condition necessary for him to remain in the country. “The Interior Ministry has not accepted the request for asylum because this does not meet the conditions necessary for entering Spain,” an official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Omar, who has been living in Cairo with his wife, has renounced his father and mentioned that he wants to be an “ambassador for peace” between the Muslim world and the West.

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New York Times

Associated Press

Time Online

Agence-France Presse


Britain extradites three Tunisians to Italy

Three Tunisian men accused of having terrorist ties were extradited from Britain to Milan, Italy.  Italian prosecutors have accused Habib Ignaoua, Mohamed Khemiri, and Ali Chehidi of proselytizing, using politico-religious indoctrination with the aim of committing terrorist acts, facilitating illegal immigration, and creating false documents. The three men were arrested in London and Manchester in 2007, after warrants for their arrests had been issued via Milan. Two of the suspects – Ignaoua and Khemiri, have been previously tried and convicted in Tunisia with terrorism-related offences.

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Agence France Presse


Bosnia: Gay festival closes after clashes with hardline Muslims

Bosnia’s first gay pride festival has been forced underground after 10 people were injured when protestors attacked visitors on the festival’s opening night. Dozens of people chanting “kill the gays” punched, kicked, and threw stones at people leaving the event. Islamic leaders were angry that the festival of pride, which includes art, films, and workshops about sexual minorities, is being held during the Muslim month of Ramadan. Lead organizers of the event said that they are not canceling the festival, but changing the format from public to private, hoping that this will deter some of the harassment and violence.

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The Irish Times

Agence-France Presse

Agence-France Presse

“Immigrant massacre” in Caserta stirs concern

Italy is dealing with a rise in immigrant anger this week after protests erupted against the violent attacks directed at African immigrants. At Caserta, located in the north of Naples, riots sparked after the Naples mafia was linked to the gang-related killing of six Africans – three Ghanians, two Liberians, and a Togolese. In Milan, thousands took to the streets to condemn the beating to death of a young man from Burkina Faso, who was caught stealing biscuits from a local bar. While the events are unrelated, they show an increasing divide between African descended Italian citizens and migrants, and other Italians, with underlying tensions of skin color and racist concerns. The cabinet of Silvio Berlusconi approved 500 troops to monitor Caserta, and remain in the area for thee months to safeguard the area.

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Agence-France Presse

The Independent

Times Online




Italian Minister Against Veil Ban

ROME – Swimming against the anti-hijab tide in the West, Italian interior minister Giuliano Amato on Thursday, September 27, rejected calls for banning the Muslim veil in public places. “If we are going to ban the veil in public places, it immediately begs the question: why should a nun be allowed to wear her habit and not a female Muslim,” he told newspaper La Stampa, reported Agence France-Presse (AFP). Hijab has been thrust into the limelight since the 2004 French ban on the Muslim headscarf at public schools and institutions. Several European countries have followed the French lead. The minister said that the Italian constitution guaranteed freedom of religion. Islam sees hijab as an obligatory code of dress, not a religious symbol displaying one’s affiliations.