Dutch court ruling: Demands Municipality of Amsterdam to Islamic Education Foundation unjust

The Municipality of Amsterdam demanded earlier this year that the educational board of the Dutch Islamic Education Foundation (Stichting Islamitisch Onderwijs) should distance itself from a board member who publicly expressed pro-Islamic State (IS) views. (AP Photo)

The Municipality of Amsterdam demanded earlier this year that the educational board of the Dutch Islamic Education Foundation (Stichting Islamitisch Onderwijs) should distance itself from a board member who publicly expressed pro-Islamic State (IS) views. After the Municipality had refused a permit to the Islamic Education Foundation for the establishment of a new Islamic high school the organization filed a complaint to the Dutch Court. The Municipality refused to co-operate because a board member expressed views on Facebook in support of the terrorist organization IS, active in Syria and Iraq.

The judge ruled on the demands as being unfounded and unjust on the basis of current Dutch law. The Dutch court also ruled that the Municipality of Amsterdam has to review it’s decisions on the permit within six weeks.

St. Paul police now allow employees to wear hijab

March 1, 2014


ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The St. Paul Police Department is now allowing employees to wear a police-issued hijab headscarf, according to an announcement Saturday.

St. Paul Police Chief Thomas Smith said he knows of only one other department in Washington, D.C., that allows the hijab in the United States, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press (http://bit.ly/1gJtpFc).

Cities in Canada and Great Britain allow Muslim officers to wear police-issued hijabs while in uniform.

The St. Paul announcement comes in tandem with the recent hiring of their first Somali woman, Kadra Mohamed. She serves as a Community Liaison Officer.

Although the Twin Cities has the nation’s largest Somali-American population, Garaad Sahal was St. Paul’s first and remains the only sworn Somali-American police officer, joining in late 2012.

The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations praised Saturday’s announcement in a news release.
Muslim women who wear the hijab believe it’s their religious obligation and asking them to remove it is akin to asking them to remove a shirt or other piece of clothing, Saroya said in the news release.

CAIR: http://cair.com/press-center/press-releases/12397-cair-mn-welcomes-new-st-paul-police-hijab-policy.html

Michigan Jews, Muslims volunteering on Christmas

December 23, 2013


DETROIT (AP) – The Detroit area’s Jewish community is once again working with Muslims this week to do some good deeds while their Christian neighbors celebrate Christmas.

About 1,000 Jewish volunteers from several congregations are expected to join local Muslims Wednesday for Mitzvah Day, the largest single day of volunteering by the local Jewish community. The Michigan Muslim Community Council is coordinating volunteers from its communities.

The volunteers will be helping social service agencies at about 40 sites throughout the day. The Jewish Community Relations Council of Metropolitan Detroit has sponsored Mitzvah Day for more than 20 years. Muslims have been part of the effort for the past five years.
Mitzvah means “commandment” in Hebrew and is generally translated as a good deed.


AP: http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2013/12/michigan_jews_muslims_voluntee.html

NY judge rules against ex-bin Laden spokesman

November 26, 2013


Statements Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law made to U.S. authorities when he was brought to the United States earlier this year can be used against him at a terrorism trial next year, a federal judge said Tuesday.

U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan rejected claims by Sulaiman Abu Ghaith that he was not properly informed of his right to a lawyer and that he was abused on a 14-hour flight to the U.S. earlier this year. He also refused to toss out the charges.

Abu Ghaith is scheduled for trial early next year on charges that he conspired to kill Americans in his role as al-Qaida’s spokesman after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. He has pleaded not guilty.

Kaplan ruled after conducting a lengthy hearing. Abu Ghaith’s interview with FBI agents resulted in a 22-page statement after his Feb. 28 arrest in Jordan.

Kaplan said government agents who testified about the questioning of Abu Ghaith produced “consistent and credible testimony” while Abu Ghaith chose to rely on an affidavit rather than testify.

Kaplan said the “evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates that Abu Ghaith was treated humanely while aboard the airplane.”

A month after 9/11, Abu Ghaith called on every Muslim to join the fight against the United States, declaring that “jihad is a duty.”

“The Americans must know that the storm of airplanes will not stop, God willing, and there are thousands of young people who are as keen about death as Americans are about life,” he said in the Oct. 9, 2001, speech.

Two days before that, he sat with bin Laden and current al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri against a rocky backdrop and spoke for nearly five minutes in one of the terror group’s most widely watched propaganda videos.

Abu Ghaith’s lawyer did not immediately respond to a message for comment.


AP: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/ny-judge-rules-against-ex-bin-laden-spokesman

Teens, Young Adults, and Digital Discrimination

The prevalence of digital communications and networking through social media for teens and young adults raises questions about young people’s online behavior. A growing body of research suggests that young people frequently encounter discriminatory language online. Are young people emboldened to say hurtful or discriminatory things online that they would never say face-to-face?

Seeking to contribute rigorous research on this issue, MTV and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research conducted a national survey of 1,297 teens and young adults between the ages of 14 and 24 to track the exposure of young people in the United States to discriminatory and hurtful language online and to better understand where on the internet young people encounter these messages. This survey updates previous estimates from

The Associated Press (AP) and MTV on the exposure of teens and young adults to discriminatory language online. The key findings are summarized below.

Growing Numbers of Young People View the Use of Discriminatory language as Inappropriate Even When Joking Around with Friends

Young people perceive the intent of discriminatory language online to be mostly hurtful for some groups, including transgender people and Muslims, and mostly “a joke” for other groups, including Asian Americans, Jews, and women.

Teenagers and young adults are most likely to perceive discriminatory language or images directed at transgender people (63 percent); Muslims (60 percent); gay, lesbian, or bisexual people (54 percent); men who dress or carry themselves in a feminine way (53 percent); and those who are overweight (53 percent) to be meant as hurtful.

Teenagers and young adults are most likely to perceive as a joke discriminatory language or images that are directed at Asian Americans (73 percent), Jews (73 percent), women (71 percent), those with mental disabilities (68 percent), Latinos (67 percent), those with physical disabilities (65 percent), African Americans (64 percent), and women who dress or carry themselves in a masculine way (55 percent).

Young people are divided on their perception of discriminatory language or images directed at immigrants and Christians. Forty-nine percent say discriminatory language or images directed at immigrants is most often meant as a joke, and 51 percent say it is most often meant to be hurtful.

Forty-nine percent say discriminatory language or images directed at Christians is most often meant as a joke, and 50 percent say it is most often meant to be hurtful. Of the groups that were asked about in 2011, only the perception of discriminatory language or images directed at Muslims and immigrants had a significant shift in how teenagers and young adults view the intent. Sixty percent of teenagers and young adults say the discriminatory language or images they see directed toward Muslims are most often meant to be hurtful, a significant increase of 13 points from 47 percent in 2011. Fifty-one percent of teenagers and young adults say the discriminatory language or images they see directed toward immigrants are most often meant to be hurtful, a significant increase of 12 points from 39 percent in 2011.


AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research: http://www.apnorc.org/PDFs/Digital%20Discrimination/AP-NORC-MTV%20Discrimination%20Report_FINAL.pdf

‘Fiction’: Ray Kelly Rebuts Allegations That NYPD Monitored Mosques

On Morning Joe Wednesday morning, New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly fought back against allegations that the NYPD had monitored entire mosques in the course of counterterrorist operations, telling host Joe Scarborough that the charges were the result of two reporters with an axe to grind, and the police department’s tactics were conducted lawfully and in the interests of the city’s security.

“They’re hyping a book that’s coming out next week,” Kelly said of the authors of the article with the allegations. “The book is based on a compilation of about fifty articles two AP reporters did on the department. If it’s a reflection of the article, then the book will be a fair amount of fiction. It will be half-truths, it will be lots of quotes from unnamed course sources.”

Scarborough asked if Kelly agreed that it would be improper to place entire mosques under police suspicion.

“Of course,” Kelly said. “We do according to the law. What we’re investigating, and how we investigate it, is done pursuant to a federal judge’s direction.”


Muslim youths plan peace rally

BOSTON (AP) — A group of Muslim youths is planning a rally on Boston Common, saying they want to emphasize that true Islam is a religion of peace.


The organizers of the Muslims for Peace rally Sunday afternoon say they’re responding to recent violence, including the Boston Marathon bombings in April and the killing of a soldier in London in May. Both incidents have been linked to Islamic extremists.


The group, which includes many youths who attend the Islamic Society of Boston mosque, says it wants to clear up misconceptions about Islam. It says it also wants to stress that the people accused in the crimes are responsible for their own actions and don’t represent Islam.


About 100 youth are expected to show up at the rally, which will include signs, chants and speeches.

Gitmo Prisoners Ask Judge To Stop Force-Feeding So They May Observe Ramadan

MIAMI (AP) — Prisoners at the U.S. Navy base in Guantanamo Bay are asking a federal court to halt the practice of force-feeding hunger strikers to keep them alive.

A motion filed in Washington on behalf of four men held at the base in Cuba says the practice violates medical ethics and is inhumane. They say it will also deprive prisoners of the ability to observe the traditional fast for the upcoming Muslim holy period of Ramadan.

Syrian prisoner Jihad Dhiab says he is well aware that he could die if he is not force-fed.

The U.S. says 106 prisoners are on hunger strike as of Monday in a protest over their indefinite confinement. The Miami-based U.S. Southern Command says the military remains committed to feeding prisoners to prevent protest deaths.


Va. cabbie pursues charges after anti-Muslim bashing

McLEAN, Va. (AP) — For the second time in as many months, a Muslim civil rights group is pursuing criminal charges on behalf of a taxicab driver who was subjected to an anti-Islamic rant caught on tape.

A civil rights organization is asking the Fairfax County, Va., prosecutor to pursue a case involving a Virginia taxi driver who was subjected to an anti-Muslim rant by a passenger.

In the most recent case, an Ashburn, Va., woman unleashed a string of expletives and called 911 to report that she was afraid for her life because she said her cabbie, Abdikar Aden of Alexandria, was “very Muslim.”

Aden says the woman also poked him repeatedly in the back of his shoulder, though that part of the confrontation was not captured in a recording provided to The Associated Press.

The Council on American Islamic Relations, which is representing Aden, wrote Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Raymond Morrogh on Tuesday asking his office to prosecute the case.

Cambridge mosque leader disavows marathon bombers

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — People who worship at the Cambridge mosque where the Boston Marathon bombing suspects prayed have held an interfaith service with community members during which a leader condemned the attacks as a ‘‘grotesque perversion of the teaching of our faith.’’

Anwar Kazmi, a member of the executive board of the Islamic Society of Boston which runs the mosque, effectively disavowed the bombing suspects during the interfaith service Thursday evening. He cited a warning from Mohammad that anyone whose actions make neighbors feel insecure is not a Muslim.

Kazmi was speaking after an estimated 300 people marched from the Cambridge City Hall to the mosque to pray for peace and declare their solidarity with worshippers there. Those who marched include residents as well as political, community and religious leaders.