17 April 2012
A Dutch-Pakistani man under suspicion for planning an attack against US military personnel in Afghanistan has lost an extradition appeal to the US. The 25 year old was arrested in 2011 in Pakistan and sent to the Netherlands, and a Rotterdam court found in favour of the extradition. The latest appeal was to the supreme court: a final decision on extradition will be taken by the Netherlands’ justice minister. The US accuses him of working with al-Qaeda in planning the attacks.
On Wednesday before Christmas, Britain’s Court of Appeal ruled that a baby at risk of becoming the victim of an “honour killing” must be adopted to keep her safe. The baby was the result of her unmarried Muslim mother’s secret affair with a married man and now had to be adopted to save it from being murdered by her mother’s family.
The child was conceived in 2009; when the mother found out she was pregnant, she was terrified of her family’s reaction and, with the help of sympathetic relatives, hid her pregnancy from most male family members and gave birth in a hospital far away from her home. When she returned home, she left the baby with adoptive Muslim parents. When the father found out about the pregnancy and the baby, however, he began proceedings to win custody. A High Court ruled, though, that the risk of retribution was too great and, in light of the danger that the mother’s family would kill the baby and her, the baby should stay with its adoptive parents. The Court of Appeal essentially confirmed this decision and regarded the risk of physical harm to the baby and its mother as being of major importance. The judges ruled that the desire amongst the mother’s relatives to preserve the family’s honour was simply too dangerous; therefore, the child has to be brought up by Muslim foster parents.
Illume – February 2, 2011
The French magazine, Respect Mag, initiated a rally in Place du Trocadéro, in Paris, to stand up against extremists who kill innocent people in the name of religion. About a 100 people, both Muslims and non-Muslims attended the demonstration. The rally follows the Appeal, “Islam flouted by terrorists” launched by Respect Mag on Jan. 12. The Appeal condemns violence committed ”in the name of Islam” and labels it as “the theft of the Muslim identity”.
The signatories include 70 French-Muslim personalities, as well as their co-religionist counterparts. This is the first initiative of its kind in France.
The Appeal was signed, among others, by representatives of associations, religious leaders, politicians, artists and intellectuals. Many of them attended the rally last Saturday, including the French rapper, Abdel Malik.
So far about 3,000 people have signed the text online. Respect Mag hopes that the Appeal will make people aware of the issue beyond the French borders. ”There are lot signatures from the Maghreb, Senegal, the United States and other European countries now. We are noticing that this Appeal echoes because the issue raised is universal. Today, people want to give life to their Muslim citizenship because people have been devastated by terrorism for so many years.” said Marc Cheb Sun, the chief editor of Respect Mag.
News Agencies –
Ontario’s highest court has restored Canada’s anti-terror law to full strength and sent an unmistakable message that terrorists acting on Canadian soil “will pay a very heavy price.” The Ontario Court of Appeal released six major decisions in terrorism cases on 17 December 2010. In its leading judgment, the court dismissed an appeal from Ottawa software engineer Momin Khawaja, the first person convicted under Canada’s anti-terrorism legislation, increasing his sentence from 10 ½ years to life in prison.
The court also upheld — and, in two instances, increased — prison terms handed to three members of the Toronto 18 in connection with the plan to detonate bombs at the Toronto Stock Exchange, the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS) headquarters on Front Street and an unspecified military base east of Toronto.
The Toronto Star – December 17, 2010
In Quebec in March 2010, provincial premier Jean Charest initiated legislation that would ban the niqab in public. Ontario’s Court of Appeal, meanwhile, said that the niqab must be removed in a court of law if the accused’s right to a fair trial requires it.
Farzana Hassan, a scholar and activist from Pakistan and the former president of the Muslim Canadian Congress, advocates a ban on the burqa and niqab, both of which obscure all of a woman’s face and head except her eyes. Hassan says the Qur’an does not demand adherence to these garments, and that even though some women say they “choose” to wear them, both represent a form of intolerable subjugation.
“The burqa is steeped in patriarchy,” says Hassan. “It is not a legitimate choice.”
Attorneys for the state of Oklahoma will appeal a federal judge’s ruling temporarily blocking a proposed voter-approved ban on the use of Islamic or international law.
December 2 2010
The family and friends of two Amsterdam men arrested last week on terrorist charges have written to the city’s mayor to request his assistance. The men, two out of three arrested in the city, are both social workers without criminal records, and their arrest has shocked their local communities. The men are currently being held in a Dutch prison while they fight extradition.
News Agencies – October 14, 2010
The right of a Muslim woman to wear a niqab while testifying in a criminal trial may be determined by judges on a “case-by-case assessment”, Ontario’s highest court has ruled.
The Ontario Court of Appeal ruling upheld a Superior Court decision. The court also set up a framework for lower courts to apply in balancing a defendant’s rights with a veiled woman’s religious freedoms. A lower court had ordered a woman to remove her veil, prompting the appeal.
The case involved a 32-year-old Muslim woman who alleged that her cousin and uncle had repeatedly sexually abused her when she was a child. A lower court judge ordered the woman to remove her veil during a preliminary inquiry, sparking controversy in the Canadian Muslim community. The Superior Court then quashed that decision following an appeal.
The RCMP engaged in racial and religious discrimination when it expelled a Muslim man from its cadet academy, the Federal Court of Appeal has ruled, paving the way for the man’s return to training 11 years after his dismissal. The decision upholds a finding by a Canadian Human Rights Tribunal in 2008 that Ali Tahmourpour, 37, faced verbal abuse and hostility from instructors, ridicule over his wearing of religious jewellery, and poor performance evaluations while enrolled in the RCMP’s Regina cadet academy .
Ruling his termination was based “discriminatory assessments of Mr. Tahmourpour’s skills” and that the decision to prevent his return to the academy was “based in part on his race, religion and/or ethnic or national background,” the tribunal ordered Mr. Tahmourpour’s reinstatement. But the Mounties challenged that decision last year in Federal Court, where a judge set aside the order and sent the complaint back to the Tribunal for a rehearing. Mr. Tahmourpour appealed that judgment to the Court of Appeal, where Justice Karen Sharlow this week upheld the Tribunal’s 2008 ruling, stating the RCMP’s “discriminatory treatment of Mr. Tahmourpour denied him the opportunity to complete his training at the Depot and to make his living as an RCMP officer.”
A French appeals court in Douai has overturned a lower tribunal of Lille from April 1st 2008 that had annulled the marriage of two Muslims because the bride misrepresented her virginity. The marriage was annulled when the court held that the woman had lied over what was considered “an essential quality,” and therein the marriage contract was invalid.
In the wake of outrage expressed by feminists and human rights activists, the court ruled that virginity “is not an essential quality in that its absence has no repercussion on matrimonial life.” Others expressed concern that the original ruling was an affront to France’s fiercely protected secularism. In a petition sent to French Justice Minister Rachida Dati in June, 150 members of the European Parliament said an annulment in the case would “only comfort fundamentalists in their archaic fight whilst the main barrier against this fanaticism should precisely be the law.”
The new ruling means that the marriage, which neither husband nor wife wishes to continue, stands. A court official aptly noted, “We’re back to the situation before the first ruling.”
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