Images of terror suspect at odds: Jihad martyr to feds; ‘good Muslim kid’ to friends, family

NEW YORK — At the Missouri college where Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis enrolled, a classmate said he often remarked that true Muslims don’t believe in violence.

That image seemed startlingly at odds with the Bangladesh native’s arrest in an FBI sting this week on charges of trying to blow up the Federal Reserve Bank in New York with what he thought was a 1,000-pound car bomb.

Leading British Muslim leader faces war crimes charges in Bangladesh

Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin, director of Muslim spiritual care provision in the NHS, a trustee of the major British charity Muslim Aid and a central figure in setting up the Muslim Council of Britain, fiercely denies any involvement in a number of abductions and “disappearances” during Bangladesh’s independence struggle in the 1970s.

He says the claims are “politically-motivated” and false.

However, Mohammad Abdul Hannan Khan, the chief investigator for the country’s International Crimes Tribunal, said: “There is prima facie evidence of Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin being involved in a series of killings of intellectuals.

“We have made substantial progress in the case against him. There is no chance that he will not be indicted and prosecuted. We expect charges in June.”

Mr Mueen-Uddin could face the death penalty if convicted.

Toronto imam charged with assault traveled under aliases

News Agencies – August 24, 2011

A Toronto imam charged with sexual assault travelled under three aliases, the Toronto Police Service has announced. Police allege that Mohammad Masroor, 48, used the name Junaid Salman in Hungary, Austria, Italy and elsewhere in Europe in the early 1990s, may have travelled under the name Abdur Rahim in India, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia in the 1980s, and was also known as Abdul Karim Abdul Aziz.

Mr. Masroor was arrested on Aug. 10 and police announced on Aug. 17 that he faced 13 charges, including sexual assault and threatening death, in connection with alleged offences between Nov. 1, 2008, and July 28, 2011. Mr. Masroor taught at the Baitul Mukarram Islamic Society on Danforth Avenue in Scarborough. Mr. Masroor has worked at mosques in Bangladesh, Singapore, Sri Lanka and several countries in Western Europe. He was most recently in Michigan and Florida.

Man Accused of Slashing NYC Cabby Is Released on Bail

Michael Enright, the film student charged with slashing a Muslim cabby in Midtown in August, was released on $500,000 bail Tuesday afternoon. Mr. Enright’s family secured the bond by putting up their house in Brewster, N.Y., and a certificate of deposit. On Aug. 24, the police say, Mr. Enright hailed a cab and engaged in small talk with the driver, a Muslim from Bangladesh, before he began railing against Islam. He then slashed the driver’s throat and stabbed him in his face, arm and hands, according to the police. Mr. Enright has been charged with second-degree attempted murder as hate crime.

Study reveals impact of immigration on UK faiths

According to a forthcoming report, the past decade has seen a net increase of 275,000 in the number of Muslims who were born in Pakistan or Bangladesh but are now living in Britain. – the equivalent to twice the population of Oxford. The number of Somali-born UK residents has also risen sharply, from fewer than 40,000 in 1999 to 106,700 this year.

Many of the newcomers are part of a trend of onward migration from European Union countries, coming to the UK after being subject to “latent Islamaphobia” abroad, according to the report. “Migration has caused an increase in the proportions of the population affiliated to non-Christian faiths,” says the report.

The report “Faith, Migration and Integration in the UK” will be published in January 2010 by the left-of-centre think tank Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR),

One in four people worldwide is Muslim, says study

Islam may be most closely associated with the Middle East, where it emerged in Arabia in the seventh century, but today the region is home to only one in five of the world’s Muslims, according to a study of the religion’s global distribution conducted by the Pew Forum.

Europe is home to about 38 million Muslims, or about five per cent of its population. Germany appears to have more than 4 million Muslims – almost as many as North and South America combined. In France, where tensions have run high over an influx of Muslim immigrant labourers, the overall numbers were lower but a larger percentage of the population is Muslim. Of roughly 4.6 million Muslims in the Americas, more than half live in the United States although they only make up 0.8 percent of the population there. About 700,000 people in Canada are Muslim, or about two percent of the total population.

The top five Muslim countries in the world include only one in the Middle East Egypt behind Indonesia, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, in that order. Russia, the survey shows, has more Muslims than the populations of Libya and Jordan combined. Germany has more Muslims than Lebanon. China has a bigger Muslim population than Syria.

Johann Hari: Dare we stand up for Muslim women?

While we’re addicted to oil, governments will put petroleum before feminism:

“It’s the smell I remember. Shahnaz’s face – what was left of it – reeked of a day-old barbecue, left out in the rain. Her flesh was a mess of charred meat: her skin, the soft flesh of her cheeks, and the bones beneath had been burned away. Her nose was gone. Her lips hung down over her chin like melted wax. Her left eyelid couldn’t close, so it watered all the time in an endless stream of tears.

Shahnaz – who was 21 years old – had been punished by having acid thrown in her face. Her crime was to be a Muslim woman who wanted to be treated as equal to a man. Shahnaz loved education – especially science and poetry. But when she got married – at the insistence of her family – her husband ordered her to stop schooling and start breeding. “You are a woman, that is your only job,” he said.

But she refused. She wanted to work for herself and enrich her mind. So she kept going to school, despite his beatings, ragings and threats. So one day her husband and his brothers carefully gathered up battery acid, pinned her down and hurled it into her face. She ended up in the Acid Survivors’ Foundation in Dhaka, Bangladesh, where I saw her earlier this year,” Johann Hari writes.

In Bangladesh, acid attacks on “uppity” women are an epidemic, peaking in 2002 with more than 500 women having their faces burned off. Fewer than 10 per cent of the attackers are ever convicted because juries and judges say the women bring it on themselves by wearing “revealing” clothes, or refusing to obey men.

Munira Rahman, the director of the foundation, explains: “From the late 1980s women were increasingly getting jobs in Bangladesh. Women were suddenly more independent and they could start to turn down marriage proposals and choose for themselves. This is the backlash from men who see women as property.”

Hari says this is just one tactic in a global war to keep Muslim women at heel. In Saudi Arabia, women are kept under house arrest and banned from driving or showing their faces in public. In Afghanistan, the Taliban massacre teachers who dare to educate girls. In Iran, women are stoned to death for adultery. In Somalia, women’s vaginas are butchered, with the clitoris cut out and the remains crudely stitched up. These are not freak exceptions: they are often state policy.

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Immigrants to stage first cricket tournament in Sicily

About 150 immigrants from Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh are expected to take part in a cricket tournament in Palermo. Palermo Councillor Giampiero Cannella said “the tournament is part of a municipal initiative in order to foment a real and concrete integration of immigrants that have chosen to live in Sicily, between them and Sicilians.” He continued saying that the tournament is an opportunity for Italians to get to know the game as an introduction to a sport popular to many of the city’s inhabitants, and for the immigrant community to be “able to practice the sport of their country of origin.”

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“Les Musulmans en Europe et les defis de l’enseignement Islamique”

L’Union européenne, avec ses 27 États, s’étend désormais aux pays de l’Europe de l’Est qui entretiennent une relation avec l’islam et sa civilisation ancrée dans l’histoire. De ce fait, le nombre de musulmans en Europe – près de 50 millions aujourd’hui – s’est considérablement accru, avec son lot de fantasmes sur la “possible islamisation” du vieux continent.

Il y a quelques semaines, le journal “Belgique libre” diffusait par exemple un article déclarant que Bruxelles – dont les musulmans constituent le tiers des habitants – sera musulmane dans vingt ans. Olivier Service, chercheur en sociologie à l’université Catholique de Louvain, considère pour sa part que d’ici quinze à vingt ans, les musulmans seront majoritaires en nombre en Belgique du fait de leur croissance démographique.

Le journal français “le Figaro”, quant à lui, écrit que le nom “Mohammed” est devenu, depuis l’année 2001, le premier nom dans les classes.

Enfin, une étude réalisée par l’Organisation du Centre de Recherche Chrétienne à Londres, mentionne que le nombre de croyants fréquentant les mosquées en Grande Bretagne dépasse largement celui chrétiens fréquentant les églises en Angleterre et aux Pays de Galle. Si ce processus se poursuivait, on comptera 678000 personnes assistant à l’office dominical en 2020 pour 683000 musulmans assistant à la prière du vendredi.

L’ensemble de ces points de vue conforte l’idée d’une présence relativement récente et perçue comme intrusive des musulmans en Europe. Pourtant, au plan historique, dès le début du vingtième siècle les États européens ont puisé une main-d’œuvre dans les anciennes colonies, surtout dans les pays musulmans. La France s’appuyait sur son vivier d’Afrique du Nord et sub-saharienne. Au même moment, la Grande-Bretagne s’appuyait sur le sous-continent Indien (Pakistan et Bangladesh). Au début des années 1960, l’Allemagne développera une politique d’utilisation de la main-d’œuvre turque et, plus récemment, ce sont les pays du sud de l’Europe, tels que l’Espagne et l’Italie, qui recruteront la main d’œuvre du sud méditerranéen.

Un second aspect de l’émigration à prédominance musulmane vers l’Europe, assez souvent occulté d’ailleurs, est celui des “cerveaux” ambitieux formés aux sciences des pays développés et spécialisés dans différents domaines. Avec le temps, ces émigrés sont devenus des cadres nationaux collaborant parfois à l’orientation de l’enseignement par la gestion d’établissements scientifiques et pédagogiques en Europe. Ces intellectuels ont, d’une certaine façon, imposé la présence de l’islam en tant que culture, doctrine et prédication. Certains, parmi ces intellectuels, alimentent les réflexions concernant les nouvelles doctrines islamiques spécialisées en matière de minorités, d’intérêts prioritaires, d’environnement ou encore de citoyenneté.

17,000 ‘honour’ crime victims every year, police say

About 17,000 women in Britain are being subjected to “honour” related violence, including murder, every year, according to police chiefs. The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) said official figures on forced marriages are the tip of the iceberg. It warns that the number of girls falling victim to forced marriages, kidnappings, sexual assaults, beatings and even murder by relatives intent on upholding the “honour” of their family is up to 35 times higher than official figures suggest. The crisis, with children as young as 11 having been sent abroad to be married, has prompted the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to call on British consular staff in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan to take more action to identify and help British citizens believed to be the victims of forced marriages in recent years. The Home Office is drawing up an action plan to tackle honour-based violence which “aims to improve the response of police and other agencies” and “ensure that victims are encouraged to come forward with the knowledge that they will receive the help and support they need”. A Civil Protection Bill coming into effect later this year will give courts greater guidance on dealing with forced marriages. Commander Steve Allen, head of ACPO’s honour-based violence unit, said the true toll of people falling victim to brutal ancient customs is “massively unreported” and far worse than is traditionally accepted.