Narendra Modi, the chief minister of Gujarat state has been boycotted by Western governments for 10 years over his involvement in the Gujarat massacre in 2002. According to the reports published by Human Rights Watch, Citizens for Justice and Peace and many other NGOs during the massacre more than 2,000 Muslims were killed, 150,000 displaced and over 800 women and girls were raped. Further, according to these reports Narendra Modi provoked the massacre and was complaisant with the killing of the Muslims.
The UK’s high commissioner in India has met Narendra Modi recently and ended the boycott. This angered the British Muslims who were ‘shocked’ and ‘dismayed’ with the decision of the Foreign Office. One of these groups was the Council of Indian Muslims (U.K.) who wrote an open letter to urge Foreign Secretary William Hague to review Britain’s decision to “engage” with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s government. The letter said:
“We are particularly disappointed because no consultation was done with British Indian Muslims in general and in particular the families whose members were butchered by Modi’s foot soldiers… We really find ourselves at a loss and have no words to express our utter disappointment, frustration and therefore very humbly request you to review your decision.”
It took Muslims a full three months to figure out a strategy to counter the campaign against Cordoba House, otherwise known as “the Ground Zero Mosque.” This time around, it took about three hours.
I’m referring to the lighting-fast organizing that took place once word got out that Lowe’s had pulled its ads from All American Muslim, pressured by the Florida Family Association who were disappointed that the show didn’t offer enough airtime to Muslim extremists (That’s true by the way. You can’t make this stuff up).
The hashtag #loweshatesmuslims lit up the Twitter-sphere, thousands of people threatened to boycott, mainstream television channels started reporting on the story, star power in the form of Perez Hilton and Russell Simmons jumped on board.
Lots of other people have weighed in on the bigotry at play here. I’d like to comment on a somewhat different dynamic: the Americanization of the Muslim community, especially the immigrant segment. A community that not long ago wanted only the comfort and confinement of its own bubble is learning the great American art of building bridges.
The anti-Ground Zero Mosque campaign showed that it’s not enough to have a bridge to the influence-centers in American society, we needed the ability to respond rapidly. If the #loweshatesmuslims campaign illustrates anything, it’s that Muslims will never be Ground Zero Mosque-d again.
An increasing number of Muslim biology and medical students as well as trainee doctors at the University College London (UCL) are boycotting lectures on evolution, claiming they clash with ideas established in the Quran. As the Daily Mail reports, similar to the beliefs expressed by fundamentalist Christians, Muslim opponents to Darwinism maintain that Allah created the world, mankind, and all known species. Yet, Professors at UCL are increasingly concerned about the students’ boycott of lectures, as Darwinist theory forms an important part of the syllabus.
News Agencies – October 6, 2011
Local communities in France’s immigrant suburbs increasingly organize themselves on Islamic lines rather than following the values of the secular republic, according to a major new sociological study by political scientist Gilles Kepel. Kepel led a team of researchers in a year-long project in Clichy-sous-Bois and Montfermeil, two Paris suburbs that exploded in riots in 2005.
The resulting study − “Suburbs of the Republic” (see link below) − found that religious institutions and practices are increasingly displacing those of the state and the French Republic, which has a strong secular tradition.
Families from the districts, which are mainly populated by immigrants from north and west Africa and their descendants, regularly attend mosque, fast during Ramadan and boycott school meals that are not “halal.”
Kepel performed a similar study 25 years earlier, and told the daily Le Monde that the influence of Islam in the daily lives and cultural references of the suburbs has “diversified and intensified” since then. Kepel’s study was commissioned by the Institut Montaigne, which will make recommendations in January 2012.
News Agencies – June 19, 2011
As expected, 47 year-old Franco-Moroccan Mohammed Moussaoui was reelected as the president of the CFCM (the French Council of the Muslim Faith. The 58 elected members of the executive council – themselves elected in different French regions on 5 June – united in Paris to elect the president and the executive office. The elections have been mired in controversy with the boycott of the GMP (Mosque of Paris) and the UOIF (Union of Islamic Organizations of France. The CFCM was created in 2003 as governmental interlocutor on questions related to Islam.
News Agencies – June 17, 2011
As the Council Election for the CFCM (French Council of the Muslim Faith) approaches on 19 June, the organisation meant to represent Islam here is torn apart by rivalries, boycotts and bitter attacks. It appears that incumbent Mohammed Moussaoui will be returned as head of the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM), but a boycott by the two rival Muslim federations competing with his Rally of French Muslims (RMF) group makes the victory a hollow one.
The campaign has also fuelled the ethnic tensions crippling French Islam, which is split among factions backed by Algeria, Morocco and Turkey and others who oppose any meddling from the Muslim countries that they left behind. The voting method used, which allocates electoral college delegates to each federation according to the total floor space of its mosques around the country, was the reason Moussaoui’s rivals gave for the boycott. The broader reason for the boycott is that French Muslims of Moroccan origin, although fewer than those with an Algerian background, are generally more devout and — with encouragement from Rabat and Moussaoui’s RMF — are building more mosques.
News Agencies – May 31, 2011
Despite a boycott by the Mosque of Paris and the UOIF, CFCM elections are going ahead. The Minister of the Interior has been active in seeking to save the organization. 43 chosen delegates will elect the 22 members of the organization, including the president. In 2008, 1, 221 mosques participated. This year 700 are expected to vote.
Campbell Soup Co., the Camden, N.J., food giant, has been fighting a grass-roots boycott of its products after its Canadian subsidiary rolled out a line of soups certified as halal, meaning they’re prepared according to Islamic dietary laws. Campbell Co. of Canada introduced the soups in a few Canadian markets in January, although American bloggers didn’t catch up to the news until earlier this month.
Blogger Pamela Geller began calling for a boycott earlier this month via her widely read site, Atlas Shrugs. Other bloggers soon joined in. “No one is suggesting they refrain from this line,” Geller said. “No one is suggesting they not have halal food. I’m not against halal food any more than I’m against kosher food. My issue is who’s doing the certifying.” Geller opposes Campbell’s decision to have its Canadian products certified by the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), an organization that government prosecutors alleged had ties to the terrorist group Hamas in a 2007 conspiracy case.
ISNA, an organization based in Plainfield, Ind., was designated an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the prosecution of a charitable organization that funneled money to Hamas, the Islamist organization that rules the Gaza Strip. Hamas has been named a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department.
August 22, 2010
Coop and Carrefour, two famous brands of supermarket, are planning to sell halal meat in their stores in the region of Piedmont. The supermarkets actions will simply the life of the Piedmontese Muslim community; however on the other hand it has triggered a passionate debate by animal rights associations which have launched a boycott and information campaign. The animal rights groups are critical of the Islamic method of killing animals, which calls for the animal to be conscious when it is slaughtered. The traditional procedure adopted by Italian supermarkets, instead, requires that the animal is anaesthetized before being killed so as to reduce the suffering, which leads to lower levels of toxins in the animal’s blood and flesh. To tone down the controversy, Coop has assured that the Imam responsible for the slaughtering has accepted the use of anesthesia. However, it will be the Muslim consumers, who represent a growing segment of the Italian market that will decide the success of this initiative.
4 August 2010
British Muslims are being urged to boycott Israeli dates when breaking their fast during Ramadan in protest at the continued occupation of the Palestinian territories. Campaign organisers Friends of Al Aqsa hope the boycott will dwarf previous attempts to hit Israel in the pocket, capitalising on the attention afforded to the plight of Palestinians by the deadly Israeli attack on a flotilla carrying aid to Gaza at the end of May. The focus is on dates because of their symbolic importance to Muslims, who traditionally eat them at sunset during the holy month to break the daylight fast.
The check-the-label campaign is supported by a number of groups, including War on Want and Jews Boycotting Israeli Goods. Pro-Palestinian activists say dates account for about 15% of exports from Israel to the EU and its income from the fruit each year is approximately €80m (£66m). The boycott organisers believe a large proportion of that income comes from Muslims buying dates during Ramadan, and with more than 2m followers of Islam in Britain, they say they have the economic clout to harm a lucrative Israeli industry.
But the Israeli ambassador to the UK, Ron Prosor, appeared to take the threat of a boycott lightly. “Israel will continue to successfully export dates, whilst others choose to export hate,” he said. “We encourage Muslim shoppers to ignore this nonsense, and instead double the quantity they usually purchase, to help bring about a two-date solution.”