Travel bans considered to stop Britons from training for terrorism overseas

Criminals in Britain could be barred from traveling to countries suspected of harboring terrorist camps after it emerged that the leader of a 2005 bombing plot against London’s transit system had been allowed to go to Pakistan despite facing minor charges in Britain. Failed bomber Muktar Said Ibrahim was an Eritrean refugee offered a British passport in 2004, a fact that has fueled fresh debate in Britain over border controls and immigration. Ibrahim, 29, was among four men sentenced Wednesday to life in prison in the attempted bombings, which came two weeks after July 7, 2005, suicide attacks that killed 52 commuters on three London subway cars and a bus. Though Ibrahim had prior convictions for assault and at the time of a 2004 trip to Pakistan was charged in a disturbance while he was distributing extremist leaflets, authorities granted him British citizenship and allowed him to travel freely. The conclusion of the trial in the failed bombing came weeks after more failed attacks involving immigrants the attempted car bombings June 29-30 in London’s entertainment district and at Glasgow’s airport.

French schools accused of discriminating against Muslim mothers

A top anti-discrimination body has ruled that French schools were violating the rights of headscarf-wearing Muslim mothers by preventing them from taking part in their children’s outings. A group of Muslim women petitioned the French anti-discrimination authority HALDE after they were barred from accompanying school trips or extra-curricular activities. The school invoked a 2004 French law which bans students from wearing religious insignia, including Muslim headscarves, Jewish skullcaps, Sikh turbans or large Christian crosses, in state schools. In a ruling dated May 14 the HALDE stressed the ban only concerns students, and that “the refusal on principle for mothers wearing the headscarf” to join in school activities was a form of “discrimination on religious grounds.” The HALDE recommended that all schools revise their guidelines on parent participation “in order to respect the principle of non-discrimination on religious grounds.” France, which has Europe’s biggest Muslim population, is one of the few countries to have passed legislation banning visible religious symbols in public schools. The law sparked a wave of anger and incomprehension among Muslims worldwide, but in France the controversy that surrounded its adoption three years ago has all but died down.

Denmark: Danes Restrict Imams To Stifle Muslim Radicals

By Julian Isherwood, Scandinavia Correspondent Denmark will crack down on the immigration of Islamic preachers to try to stifle radicalism among its Muslims. A parliamentary bill does not mention the Islamic faith, but Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the Danish prime minister, has made the target of the legislation clear in announcing restrictions on “foreign missionaries”. The bill is expected to be passed by parliament within weeks. To cater for the Danish constitution, which bans any form of religious discrimination, the legislation will affect all religious persuasions. About 30 organisations under the banner of the Danish Missionary Society reacted strongly to the proposals yesterday, saying the government was “stifling the freedom of religion and thought”. The new laws are expected to curtail seriously the activities of some imams, who have been at the centre of controversy for making statements alleged to be anti-Semitic, or against current legislation.

Danes Restrict Imams To Stifle Muslim Radicals

By Julian Isherwood, Scandinavia Correspondent Denmark will crack down on the immigration of Islamic preachers to try to stifle radicalism among its Muslims. A parliamentary bill does not mention the Islamic faith, but Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the Danish prime minister, has made the target of the legislation clear in announcing restrictions on “foreign missionaries”. The bill is expected to be passed by parliament within weeks. To cater for the Danish constitution, which bans any form of religious discrimination, the legislation will affect all religious persuasions. About 30 organisations under the banner of the Danish Missionary Society reacted strongly to the proposals yesterday, saying the government was “stifling the freedom of religion and thought”. The new laws are expected to curtail seriously the activities of some imams, who have been at the centre of controversy for making statements alleged to be anti-Semitic, or against current legislation.”