Muslim Couple in Lille Upset with Appeal on their Marriage Annulment

A French couple who accepted a court annulment of their marriage when the woman admitted she was not a virgin on their wedding day are upset with the state’s appeal of their case. Led by Rachida Dati, the Justice Ministry has requested that state prosecutors file an appeal against the ruling annulling the marriage of the Muslim couple in Lille. While the verdict was given in April, public furor over the case has emerged only in the last two weeks when the groom complained his bride was not a virgin, as she had promised prior to their marriage. The April ruling did not mention the couple’s religious beliefs. Dati was booed in the parliament last week for insisting that while the annulment should go before an appeal court that the ruling was legally sound.

Five students win terror appeal

The convictions of five young Muslim men jailed over extremist literature have been quashed by the Appeal Court. Freeing the men, the Lord Chief Justice said their convictions for downloading extremist propaganda were unsafe as there was no proof of terrorist intent. A jury convicted the students in 2007 after hearing the men, of Bradford and Ilford, east London, became obsessed with jihadi websites and literature. The lawyer for one said they had been jailed for a “thought crime”. In one of the first trials of its kind, Irfan Raja, Awaab Iqbal, Aitzaz Zafar, Usman Malik and Akbar Butt were jailed by an Old Bailey judge for downloading and sharing extremist terrorism-related material. The men all received sentences of between two and three years. But at the Court of Appeal, Lord Phillips said the men had clearly downloaded extremist material but he doubted if there was evidence to support the prosecution’s case that this was in relation to planning terrorist acts.

Area Imam Leaves United States Under Threat of Deportation

by NICK WELSH {Muslim Leader Plans to Appeal Alleged Visa Violations From England} Imam Abdur Rahman, the spiritual leader for South Coast Muslims, was forced to leave the United States or face imminent deportation this past week. According to sources closes to Rahman, the Imam violated the terms of his temporary visa by selling spiritual texts on the internet. According to Rahman himself, he was seeking to make his temporary visa permanent when he was rebuffed by immigration and homeland security officials. He claimed that other imams throughout the United States have experienced intense scrutiny and long delays in such matters since 9/11. In either case, Rahman said he plans to appeal the decision from England, his native country.

Sweden: Veiled women win appeal against swimming pool

Two Muslim mothers won a court appeal against a municipal swimming pool in Gothenburg that required them to take off their veils and body-covering clothing. The Court of Appeal for western Sweden found the city of Gothenburg guilty of ethnic discrimination, and ordered authorities to pay each of the women 20,000 kronor (or $3,000) in damages. Both of the women were wearing head-coverings, long pants and long-sleeved shirts covering their body.

Madrid Bomb Victims to Appeal Verdicts

Those who lost relatives in the 2004 Madrid train bombings are planning to appeal the sentences and verdicts handed down from the trial. Dissatisfied with the court’s decision to acquit one suspect, and lessen the charges on three others, family members criticized the ruling as a shocking a slap in the face. Citing respect and justice for the victims, many family members are seeking an appeal to the verdicts.

Justices and religions

It is indeed a very strange decision that has recently been taken by the Italian Court of Cassation. The most senior transalpine magistrates confirmed the acquitting of a Muslim teenage girl’s parents and brother, who had beaten and sequestrated her, in order to put an end to her behaviour, considered as too _westernised’. According to the judges, the girl wasn’t treated this way _out of vexation or despise’, but _for her own good’. Confirming a decision taken by the Court of Appeal, the judges ruled that Fatima shouldn’t have had _a lifestyle not conform to their culture’. Confirmant une d_cision de la cour d’appel, les juges ont estim_ que Fatima avait eu tort d’avoir ” un style de vie non conforme _ leur culture “. In a country were at least nine Muslim women have died due to familial brutality, the silence of most politicians on this issue is hardly tolerable.

‘Honour Killing’ Appeal Refused

A father who tried to hire a hitman to carry out the “honour killing” of his son-in-law has lost a bid to have his prison term cut. Mohammed Arshad, 51, was jailed for seven years after being found guilty in 2003 of incitement to murder. The devout Muslim from Dundee took the action after his daughter married without his permission. Appeal judges said they were not convinced that the former justice of the peace received an unfair sentence. A local Islamic group had asked the court to impose community service. Arshad, a highly respected member of the Muslim community in Dundee, had an appeal against his conviction refused in March this year, but he has continued to challenge the length of the sentence. He put a price of _1,000 on son-in-law Abdullah Yasin’s head shortly after he married his daughter Insha in 2001. ‘Previous good character‘ Arshad objected to the marriage and had not given his permission for it to go ahead. However, he was caught after the “hitman” he approached turned out to be a Tayside Police detective. Arshad argued that his seven-year sentence was excessive and failed to take into account his previous good character and his state of health when he carried out the crime. A petition submitted to the court by the Tayside Islamic and Cultural Education Society, signed by more than 150 people, claimed Arshad was an honoured member of their community and asked judges to consider allowing him to serve his sentence in the community. Lawyers claimed Arshad was affected by ongoing depression, which was a “significant factor” in prompting him to act as he did. ‘Grave offence’ However, the judges at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh rejected the arguments, ruling that previous good character and the fact that he was unlikely to repeat the offence were not key mitigating factors. Lord Macfadyen and Lord Penrose stated in a written judgement: “We find nothing that persuades us that the sentencing judge erred in selecting a period of seven years’ imprisonment as the appropriate punishment for the appellant’s crimes. “What is of the greatest significance is that, when circumstances arose in which the appellant felt that his religious and cultural attitudes had been offended, he was prepared on that account to commit the extremely grave offence of incitement to murder. “We would add that we do not consider it appropriate in the circumstances to accord material weight to the views expressed in the petition which was laid before us.”

Muslim Legislator Makes Appeal: Islamic Commission Must Be More Democratic

The only Muslim in the legislature, Mohammed Chaib of the socialist group, said that the Islamic Commission must be restructured to be more democratic. He said that the commission was formed for the realities of the community from fifteen to twenty years ago and was not current to today’s Muslims.

Belgian Terror Suspects Lose Appeal

BRUSSELS – Four men condemned in Belgium in connection with terror-related offences on Wednesday failed in a bid to have their sentences reduced. A Brussels court on Wednesday found that one of the men, Tarek Maaroufi, should actually serve a longer sentence than he had originally received and increased the length of time he should spend in prison from six to seven years. Maaroufi was found guilty of helping to acquire forged papers and of recruiting fighters to be trained at a camp in Afghanistan run by the al-Qaeda network.

Mosques In Appeal To Help Police

A number of mosques across the UK have appealed to worshippers at Friday prayers to co-operate with the police in the fight against terrorism. The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) urged imams to make the appeal but some are thought to be angry their religion has been linked with terrorism. Meanwhile, police are questioning a ninth man following anti-terror raids in the South East. Tony Blair welcomed the appeal and said new anti-terror laws could be drawn up. At Regent’s Park Mosque, the largest in the country, spokesman Abdesselam Daoud said although the MCB’s letter would not be read out in full, its sentiments and concerns would be reflected in the day’s sermon. “It’s not practical to read a letter to a large audience but the sermon will focus on concerns of brotherhood and security of the community,” he said. But as several thousand prayer-goers left the London mosque, fringe radical group Al Muhajiroun staged a protest and burning of the union flag. The overwhelming majority ignored the protest, while some of the prayer-goers shouted abuse at the radicals. Others complained that the media at the scene were hyping the situation. During his Downing Street briefing to press on Thursday, Mr Blair indicated identity cards would be brought in soon and further anti-terrorist legislation was being drawn up. The MCB drew up a letter to mosques in the wake of the Madrid bombings, although news of its unprecedented step came at the same time as the raids in the South East, which led to the seizure of half a ton of fertiliser used in bombings. Police have until Saturday to question the first eight men – thought to be Britons of Pakistani descent – arrested over an alleged bomb plot. The latest man to be arrested was a 27-year-old Briton held in Crawley, West Sussex – the fourth in the town. He was held on Thursday evening on suspicion of being concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism. A man has also been detained by police in Canada in connection with alleged terrorist offences in London, although police have not indicated whether the arrest is linked to the British raids. Mohammed Momin Khawaja is due to appear via video link before a court in Ottawa on Friday. ‘Major crisis’ The Muslim Council of Britain said there had been an “overwhelmingly positive” reaction to its calls for mosques to help in the fight against terror. And it dismissed the comments of Sheikh Omar Bakri Muhammad, a cleric who on Thursday said the MCB was being unfair and advised Muslims not to co-operate. MCB general secretary Iqbal Sacranie said: “The message that is going out is not in any way associating mosques with terrorism.” Speaking on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, he said: “Mosques are an important institution in the country. “The imams and chairmen and secretaries are playing a very important role in society. “We are facing a major crisis in the country and world over. We have to exercise our duty, an Islamic duty, which is to convey the message to the community that they have responsibilities as well.” As well as Friday’s sermons, booklets are being printed that will remind Muslims of their obligation to help safeguard Britain’s security.