Halal supermarket ordered to sell pork and alcohol

A halal supermarket in a Paris suburb has been told by local authorities it must start selling alcohol and pork or else it will be shut down.

Good Price discount mini-market in Colombes has been told by the local housing authority, from which it rents its premises, that it has not followed the conditions on the lease that stipulate that the shop must act as a “general food store.”

The authority argues that all members of the local community are not being served properly if there are no alcohol or pork products in the Good Price store, which is run as a franchise and which last year replaced another small supermarket.

“The mayor of Colombes, Nicole Goueta, went there herself and asked the owner to diversify the range of products by adding alcohol and non-halal meats,” the mayor’s chief of staff, Jérôme Besnard, said.

He said locals, particularly older residents, had complained that they could no longer get the full range of products at Good Price, which replaced a regular supermarket, and had to travel some distance now to do their shopping.

“We want a social mix. We don’t want any area that is only Muslim or any area where there are no Muslims,” Mr Besnard said, adding that the town’s reaction would have been the same had a kosher shop opened on that spot.

The Colombes housing authority argues that the store breaches French republican principles by prioritising a certain group within society rather than catering to all categories.

It has taken legal action to bring an end to the lease which would normally run until 2019. The case goes to court in October.

Soulemane Yalcin, who runs the shop under franchise, said he was merely catering to the demands of his customers in this area of large public housing estates.

“It’s business,” said Mr Yalcin.

“I look around me and I target what I see. The lease states ‘general food store and related activities’ – but it all depends on how you interpret ‘related activities’,” he told Le Parisien newspaper.

He has hired a lawyer to fight the housing authority’s bid to get him evicted.

Muslims attend Sunday Mass after priest’s murder

Muslims attended Catholic mass in churches around France in solidarity and sorrow following the brutal murder of a priest in an ISIL-linked attack.

More than 100 Muslims were among the 2,000 who gathered at the cathedral of Rouen near the Normandy town where two teenagers killed 85-year-old Father Jacques Hamel.

“I thank you in the name of all Christians,” Rouen Archbishop Dominique Lebrun told them. “In this way you are affirming that you reject death and violence in the name of God.”

Nice’s top imam Otaman Aissaoui led a delegation to a Catholic mass in the southern city where Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel carried out a rampage in a truck on Bastille Day, claiming 84 lives and injuring 435, including many Muslims.

“Being united is a response to the act of horror and barbarism,” he said. The Notre Dame church in southwestern Bordeaux also welcomed a Muslim delegation, led by the city’s top imam Tareq Oubrou.

“It’s an occasion to show [Muslims] that we do not confuse Islam with Islamism, Muslim with jihadist,” said Reverend Jean Rouet.

The Muslims were responding to a call by the French Muslim council CFCM to show their “solidarity and compassion” over the priest’s murder on Tuesday.

“I’m a practising Muslim and I came to share my sorrow and tell you that we are brothers and sisters,” said a woman wearing a beige headscarf who sat in a back pew at a church in central Paris:

Giving her name only as Sadia, she added softly: “What happened is beyond comprehension.”

 Prime Minister Manuel Valls called on Sunday for a new “pact” with the Muslim community in France, Europe’s largest with around five million members.

“Islam has found its place in France … contrary to the repeated attacks of populists on the right and far-right,” he said, condemning “this intolerable rejection of Islam and Muslims”.

Also on Sunday, dozens of prominent Muslims published a joint letter warning that “the risk of fracturing among the French is growing every day.”

The signatories, who included academics as well as medical professionals, artists and business leaders, pledged: “We, French and Muslim, are ready to assume our responsibilities.”

Both of the 19-year-old attackers – Adel Kermiche and Abdel Malik Petitjean – had been on intelligence services’ radar and had tried to go to Syria.

 Meanwhile, a Syrian refugee who was taken in for questioning after a photocopy of his passport was found at Kermiche’s house has been released, a source close to the investigation said. “Nothing suggests he had any involvement” in the attack, the source said.

However, Petitjean’s 30-year-old cousin was to appear before an anti-terrorist judge later on Sunday.

Prosecutors said they have asked that the suspect, named as Farid K, be charged with “criminal association in connection with terrorism”. The suspect “was fully aware of his cousin’s imminent violent action, even if he did not know the precise place or day”, the Paris prosecutor said in a statement.

Media reports, meanwhile, said investigators had established that Petitjean and Kermiche met through the encrypted messaging app Telegram.

Kermiche described the modus operandi of the attack on the priest in an audio posted on Telegram just a few days beforehand.

The luxurious lifestyle of some Muslim leaders in France

Mohamed Louizi, a longtime leader of a local branch of the Union of Muslim Organizations of France and author of Why I Left the Muslim Brotherhood, has once again raised eyebrows with a recent blog post in which he alleged that Hassan Iquioussen, known as the “preacher of the cités,” also has an impressive property portfolio in Hauts-de-France.

When Muslims give zakat at the end of Ramadan Louizi writes that he finds it odd that “they cannot have access to those donations relative to the assets or the lifestyles of Islamist leaders and other Muslim religious leaders, notably those responsible for collecting money in mosques.” He suggested that the CFCM, in partnership with the State, “should maybe think about requiring religious leaders, and imams too, to declare their assets before and after assuming their roles.”

Mohamed Louizi writes that the “preacher of the cités” is an “uninhibited anti semite” who has stated that “the Zionists worked with Hitler.” He adds that Hassan Iquioussen, along with Alain Soral, believe that “Hamas and its armed forces do good work.”

The preacher runs three organizations: the SCI Smolin, with his sons Soufiane et Locqmane, the SCI Sainte Reine, and the SCI IMMO59, with his wife. He was recently poised to acquire real estate in Escaudain and Liévin. “It’s not normal that we ignore the ways of life of religious leaders, lesson givers, and the sanctimonious, while certain among them amass, through the Muslim religion, protected and hidden assets and property.” He argues that the case of Hassan Iquioussen is hardly unique in France, citing several national UOIF leaders, who also mix “preaching and business.”

July 6, 2016

Source: http://www.lepoint.fr/societe/le-luxueux-train-de-vie-de-certains-representants-de-l-islam-en-france-06-07-2016-2052292_23.php

Manufacturing Bigotry: A State-by-State Legislative Effort to Pushback Against 2050 by Targeting Muslims and Other Minorities

Based on review and analysis of laws passed and bills proposed in 6 identified issue areas, some key findings are noted below:
i. Red states, or states dominated by Republican lawmakers, have the most restrictive legislative agendas across all six (6) issue areas for both laws passed and bills proposed.
ii. However, a relatively small number of lawmakers, 480 out of 3813 (12.6%) Republican state legislators are sponsors of restrictive bills proposed in more than one issue area. This indicates that, more than “red vs. blue” politics, this is a “red vs. red” issue, reflecting internal disagreements within the Republican Party at the state-level.
 iii. Additionally, as both parties have become more polarized, it has squeezed out ideological moderates in both parties. Particularly in the Republican Party, more moderate female Republican lawmakers have been undercut, and the more conservative female Republican lawmakers remain. This is critical because female legislators tend to be more effective than men, as well as more moderate, and collaboration- and consensus-oriented.4 With regard to anti-sharia specifically,
iv. 630 of the total 3813 (16.5%) Republican state legislators have sponsored or co-sponsored an antisharia/anti-”foreign law” bill.
v. And 80% of the 102 anti-sharia bills were sponsored or co-sponsored by an overlap legislator, or legislator who sponsored or co-sponsored a restrictive law in another of the six issue areas.
vi. It is critical to note that the greatest overlap with anti-sharia/anti-”foreign law” legislation is not with anti-immigration laws as might be thought but with strict Voter ID laws and Right-to-Work laws. Both of these types of laws negatively and disproportionately impact African-Americans, women and Latinos. Thus, if a lawmaker wants to support legislation marginalizing the most people at one time, antisharia along with Voter ID and/or Right-to-Work would help to achieve that end.
 vii. Although the linkage between anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim advocacy is very strong, research indicates that anti-immigration law proposals are limited in number because of the high political and financial costs of implementing legislation that faces widespread opposition from religious groups and business interests alike5 .
Institute for Social Policy and Understanding: link to pdf of report: http://www.ispu.org/files/PDFs/ISPU%20Manufacturing%20Bigotry[4].pdf

New Dutch think-tank initiated to analyze integration in the Netherlands

In the coming years a new Dutch think-tank called Knowledge Platform Integration & Society (Kennisplatform Integratie & Samenleving) will develop a new program pertaining to integration issues in the Netherlands. It will stimulate and facilitate current debates and present concrete solutions for inquiries by governments, business world, and societal organizations. The Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment will finance the program that will be executed by the Verwey-Jonker Institute and Movisie. In the past similar projects were executed by Forum, a knowledge institute for multicultural issues, that ceased to exist last year.

The Halal Guys: Cashing In on Street Cred

June 13, 2014

One recent evening, Mr. Hegazy, 54, wearing a traditional kufi, sat with a coffee at one of his regular tables, with two Halal Guys carts within sight across the way. He will sometimes sit there late into the night. “To watch the guys,” he said, gesturing to the scene.

To proudly illustrate a story about the Halal Guys being the first halal cart to secure a trademark, he made a fast phone call in Arabic; moments later, a boyish-looking young man appeared at the table with a takeout bag bearing the logo as proof.

Before Mr. Hegazy arrives in the evenings, cart workers have been known to set out cones to secure him a parking spot on Sixth Avenue. The Halal Guys know how to work the street.

But things are about to change for the Guys. More than a decade after three Egyptian men switched from selling hot dogs from their Midtown cart to serving halal food to Muslim cabdrivers, the Halal Guys are about to become a fast-food chain. The company — founded by Mohamed Abouelenein, Ahmed Elsaka and Abdelbaset Elsayed — signed a deal with Fransmart, the restaurant franchise consulting firm that took Five Guys Burgers and Fries from four locations in Northern Virginia and helped turn it into a chain with more than 1,200 stores and more than $1 billion in sales last year. Qdoba, a Mexican food chain, is Fransmart’s other success story.

Within a year Fransmart hopes to open Halal Guys outlets in Los Angeles, along the East Coast, across Canada and in the Middle East. The five-year plan is for 100 locations, as well as a presence in Europe.

An early glimpse at what a Halal Guys franchise might look like will come next month when the first shop opens on 14th Street, just off Second Avenue. A second location is planned to open near Columbia University’s campus in the fall.

Zach Brooks, the founder of Midtownlunch.com, a popular blog that has chronicled the city’s street-food scene since 2006, has followed the Halal Guys for years. “Those carts probably pull in a couple hundred grand a year,” he said. “But I don’t want to sound like an idiot. They could be making a million bucks.”
As to why the brand has become so strong, appearing on the to-do lists of tourists and standing above countless imitators, that, too, is something of a mystery. Maybe, Mr. Brooks suggested, the Halal Guys used better meat? Maybe it was the white sauce that is slathered over everything? Maybe it’s because people can’t remember a time when they weren’t there?

Gym faces lawsuit over Muslim head covering

March 20, 2014

 

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A gym in Albuquerque refused to let a Muslim woman wear her religious head covering when she tried to work out, according to a new lawsuit against the company.

An attorney for Tarainia McDaniel, 37, recently filed the lawsuit in a New Mexico district court stemming from a 2011 clash at a Planet Fitness that prevented McDaniel from using the gym while wearing the head covering, even though court documents said another Planet Fitness in the area had previously let her do so, the Albuquerque Journal reports (http://goo.gl/lqi6Xj).

On Oct. 3, 2011, she was turned away at her new gym and was told the informal head covering didn’t meet its dress code, the lawsuit states. The gym had a sign that said “no jeans, work boots, bandanas, skull caps or revealing apparel.”

McDaniel said she asked to be allowed to wear the informal head covering to accommodate her Muslim faith, and she even asked if she should come back wearing a formal head covering known as the hijab, according to the lawsuit.

But the gym denied her requests, the lawsuit states.

Planet Fitness attorney Erika Anderson said the head covering violates the gym’s dress-code policy. “My client’s position is that they didn’t know the head covering was for religious purposes,” Anderson said.

McDaniel’s civil lawsuit, filed under the New Mexico Human Rights Act and the Unfair Practices Act, alleges that Planet Fitness illegally based the decision to deny her access upon her religion, or alternatively upon her race — she is African-American — and that the gym had no legitimate reason to deny her entry.

Planet Fitness, in its formal answer to the claims, denies violations of either the Human Rights Act or Unfair Practices Act. It says McDaniel failed to participate in good faith and that the company has legitimate business reasons for its practice as well as measures to prevent discrimination.

Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/gym-faces-lawsuit-over-muslim-head-covering/2014/03/20/755d6f7c-b074-11e3-b8b3-44b1d1cd4c1f_story.html

Michigan Republican Dave Agema under fire again for questioning contributions of American Muslims

January 14, 2014

 

Michigan Republican National Committeeman Dave Agema is under fire this week for another controversial Facebook post — this one questioning the contribution of Muslims in American society.

Agema, in a Facebook communication dated January 9, shared with his followers an old internet attack piece comparing Catholics to Muslims.

“Even if you’re not Catholic you may find this eye opening,” Agema wrote.

He then copy-and-pasted an anonymous blog post that has circulated on the web and through email for years. It highlights charity work of the Catholic church before posting a series of questions about Muslim heritage.

“Have you ever seen a Muslim do anything that contributes positively to the American way of life?” it asked.
While Agema’s post generated upwards of 40 “likes” on Facebook, it also prompted a series of critical responses on the social media network.

Republican political consultant Joe Munem replied to Agema in a Facebook post of his own, highlighting the contributions of his father, Mustafa Munem, who heads the math department at Macomb Community College.

“My muslim father, an internationally published author, 52 year math professor, business owner and gentleman farmer has done far more to contribute positively to the American way of life than you ever will,” Munem wrote.

As a state representative, the Grandville Republican introduced a bill seeking to ban the implementation of foreign laws, such as Islamic Sharia. Critics said the legislation unnecessary and could fuel anti-Muslim paranoia. It did not pass.

Agema made headlines in recent months for a series of inflammatory andinaccurate statements he made about the gay community on Facebook, conservative radio and a Berrien County GOP holiday party. While many prominent Republicans rebuked his statements, they stopped short of calling for his resignation.

MLIVE.com: http://www.mlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/01/michigan_republican_dave_agema.html

Tucker Carlson Confronts Islamic Preacher Who Wants to Implement Sharia Law

December 20, 2013

By Josh Feldman

 

Tucker Carlson filled in for Sean Hannity on his show Friday night, and he brought on Anjem Choudary, a Muslim preacher responsible for an effort to threaten Muslim-owned business to stop selling alcohol lest they receive 40 lashes. Carlson confronted Choudary about this stunt and his desire to implement Sharia law in England.

Choudary pushed back against Western “propaganda,” saying he is simply trying to encourage the following of Islamic law in a “den of iniquity.” Carlson shot back, “This isn’t Pakistan, this is Great Britain!”

He continued on to say that “troublemakers like you are thrown in prison in Pakistan,” and called him out for being a beneficiary of social services in the country he’s condemning as decadent. Choudary said the legal notice is actually “intended to provoke discussion” and warn of ultimate punishment in the afterlife.

Carlson concluded by asking, “Will you concede that your unwillingness to denounce violence makes your program repulsive to people in the West and decent people everywhere?” Choudary insisted that “we’re not threatening anyone with violence.”

 

Mediaite.com: http://www.mediaite.com/tv/tucker-carlson-confronts-islamic-preacher-who-wants-to-implement-sharia-law/