A Muslim Cleric: Malaysia Won’t Ban Manchester United Jerseys

Islamic authorities in Malaysia say soccer uniforms with devils, crosses or skulls promote the “wrong value,” but that doesn’t mean Manchester United jerseys should be banned. Recent reports said Muslims have been urged not to wear the Premier League club’s shirts because its emblem features a red devil holding a trident. The team is sometimes referred to as the Red Devils. It was also reported that Muslims in Malaysia were forbidden to wear similar jerseys of other international teams. “We just advise people not to wear this,” Harussani Zakaria, a cleric from northern Perak state, told The Associated Press on Friday. “Satan is for us our enemy … It’s the wrong value. Satan is always bad.”

From the region

“On May 1st, New York’s Times Square was the target of a failed terrorist attack. In the extensive coverage of the incident, you will find the timeline of the incident leading to the arrest of the suspect right before he scarped the country. The coverage will also include the news following the arrest, the charges against the suspect and the debate around the suspect’s Miranda rights. It will review some of  the immediate consequences of the incident including debates about the effectiveness of the no-fly list, the heightened security measures in NYC and potential effects of the incident on US foreign policy. International dimensions of the incident in linkage to Pakistani Taliban as well as the coverage by Pakistani sources have also been included. Finally, a collection of links related to the suspect’s background is available.”

Al-Arabiya: Pakistanis Reject Shahzad’s Involvement in Bomb Plot
Associated Press of Pakistan: Pakistan Condemns Terrorism
Associated Press of Pakistan: Pakistan Cooperating with the US on a New NY Bomb Suspect
Associated Press of Pakistan: Shahzad Says Inspired by Yemeni Cleric
Associated Press of Pakistan: Shahzad Reacted to Drone Strikes in Pakistan
Associated Press of Pakistan: The US Cautions Against Singling Out Any Country as The Source of Terrorism/Praising Pakistan for Helps
PakTribune: Shahzad’s Father and Four Others Detained
The Post: FBI Team in Pakistan Investigating the NY Plot

Female administrator for Amsterdam’s Polder Mosque

The Associated Press releases a profile this week of Yassmine el Ksaihi, leader of Amsterdam’s Polder Mosque. At age 24 she is the administrator of the large mosque. AP reports that in appointing a woman to this position, conducting sermons in Dutch, welcoming non-Muslims, and bringing men and women together for prayer (thought they remain segregated), the Polder Mosque is an example of a search for “if not a European style of Islam, at least grounds for coexistence with European norms”.

Dutch police arrest terror suspect at the request of US

At the request of US authorities, Dutch police have arrested a 43 year old Somali national in Dronten, the Netherlands, for suspected involvement in jihadist activities. The man had previously been resident in Minneapolis in the United States and is believed to have been in the Netherlands since December 2008. He was arrested at an asylum seeker’s center. Associated Press reports that US authorities suspect Omar of bankrolling the purchase of weapons for Islamic extremists and helping other Somalis travel to Somalia in 2007 and 2008. They have requested his extradition.

Texas Medical group denies hijab for potential Muslim employee; apologizes

A Texas woman was told in a job interview with CareNow that she would be unable to wear her hijab to work as part of the company’s “no-hat” policy.

“Being that I wear a head scarf to cover my hair as part of my religious practice, I felt very discriminated against. I have worked in many places that have a ‘no hat’ policy, and I have never been confronted with a problem regarding my head scarf. I can’t imagine this being an issue with an organization like CareNow. Please confirm if this is really a policy at CareNow.”

CareNow replied stating that the correct information had been given on the company’s denial of religious accommodation.

The Council on Islamic Relations CAIR called on the company to allow her to wear the headscarf, adjust the policy to accommodate religious symbols like the hijab, and formally apologize to the applicant.

CareNow President Tim Miller told the Associated Press, “I would apologize for any misunderstanding, definitely … but I don’t really feel like there is anything that we did that is wrong and our policy is wrong.” He then stated, “We apologize to Dr. Zaki for the misunderstanding. We will clarify our policy, and will continue our ongoing sensitivity training.”

“Care Now has made religious accommodations for employees in the past,” he said, adding that the company is interested in “sitting down with Dr. Zaki and discussing a job.”

Wilders visit to US college cut short

A question and answer session by Dutch anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders at a college in the United States was cut short on Tuesday after “the tone of the event began to turn ‘nasty’ and some of the several hundred students ‘began jeering’”.

Wilders visited Temple University in Philadelphia in order to screen his movie Fitna. Associated Press reports that Wilders’ “remarks were met by a mixture of applause and boos, and occasionally gasps — particularly when he stated that ‘our Western culture is far better than the Islamic culture and we should defend it.’” Wilders’ visit was supported by a student group identified as Temple University Purpose.

Somalia President condemns Minnesota terror recruiting

The president of Somalia on Sunday denounced the recruiting of young men from Minnesota’s huge Somali community for terrorist activity in his war-ravaged homeland, and said he plans to work with the U.S. government to bring those still alive back home.

President Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed spoke with The Associated Press while visiting the Minneapolis area, where authorities believe as many as 20 young Somali men — possibly recruited by a vision of jihad to fight — returned to the impoverished nation over the last two years.

At least three have died in Somalia, including one who authorities believe was the first American suicide bomber. Three others have pleaded guilty in the U.S. to terror-related charges.

”We believe this is a wrong action, that these young men were wronged, they were robbed out of their life. Their parents were wronged,” Ahmed told the AP through an interpreter. ”The laws of the United States were violated. The security of Somalia was violated. So we condemn (them) without reservation.”

Police arrest two terrorism suspects

Milan police arrested two Moroccan-born men on charges of plotting attacks against Italian targets. These targets included a supermarket, police barracks, and Milan’s Piazza del Duomo. The two men were said to have no ties to international terrorist groups, but did admire the work of such groups as Al Qaeda. Wiretaps of the two men uncovered the intent to use “bombs” made of gunpowder from firecrackers. Planning for the attacks is said to have been in the preliminary stages.

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