One out of two Italians thinks Islam is dangerous

More than one in two respondents think that the Muslim religion should be neither seen nor practiced in schools, despite this separation many believe that the teachings of the church are still valid.

According to a recent survey by the marketing research company SWG conducted for The Festival for Politics (il Festival della politica) one out of two Italians thinks that “the Islamic religion is a danger to everyone”. The survey was carried out at the Festival which was presented on Saturday, September 7 in a session called “Francis I: the renewal of the church, a challenge to the policy” with Alberto Melloni, church historian and Antonio Ramenghi, director of Mattino di Padova (http://www.festivalpolitica.it/francesco-i-rinnovamento-della-chiesa.aspx).

The difficult relationship with the Muslim religion is illustrated in the SWG survey. Half of the sample is in agreement (33%) or strongly agrees (~17%) with the statement “Islam is a danger to everyone.” Ten years earlier, the survey reveals, this distrust was much less marked, so that the danger posed by the Islamic religion was perceived by 36% of the sample, 14% less than now. From here emerges the xenophobia of Italians, 55% of whom believe that Muslims should not be allowed to observe and practice their own religion in schools.

Since 2004 this figure has grown by more than 10%. Italy remains a country so strongly attached to their Catholic religion. More than six out of ten Italians think that the teachings of the church are still valid, 7% more than in 2012. In any case, the vast majority of Italians, more than 80%, declares its secularism by saying that the church should not in any way affect the laws of the State.

 

No-fly-list challenge back in court 2 years later; Va. man still barred from travel

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — It’s been 2 ½ years since Gulet Mohamed, then 19, found himself stuck in Kuwait, unable to return to the United States because of his apparent placement on the government’s no-fly list.

 

Mohamed made it back to the U.S. not long after a federal lawsuit was filed on his behalf in January 2011, but the lawsuit challenging his placement on the list remains unresolved.

 

On Friday, Mohamed was back in a northern Virginia courtroom, where his lawsuit has been revived but as a legal matter is no further along than it was in 2011.

 

U.S. District Court Judge Anthony Trenga dismissed Mohamed’s case last year, deciding he did not have jurisdiction to hear it. Earlier this year, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the lawsuit and sent the case back to Trenga.

 

Mohamed’s lawyer, Gadeir Abbas of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said the court should now be in a position to rule on the substantive issue of whether the no-fly list is constitutional, and whether those placed on it must be given a fair chance to challenge their inclusion.

 

There has never been any explanation of how Mohamed — a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Somalia — ended up on the list, much less government confirmation of his placement on the list. His travel difficulties began after he traveled to Yemen and Somalia in 2009 to learn Arabic, then to Kuwait where he stayed with an uncle. He said he was questioned by FBI agents who wanted him to become an informant, and when detained by Kuwait he was beaten and tortured.

 

Mohamed’s challenge to the list was among the first in a wave of lawsuits that followed a dramatic expansion of the list that occurred after the failed plot by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to blow up a Detroit-bound flight on Christmas 2009 with a bomb hidden in his underwear.

 

US responds to force-feeding challenge filed by hunger-striking Guantanamo prisoners

MIAMI — The U.S. government on Wednesday defended the force-feeding of hunger strikers at Guantanamo, urging a judge to reject a legal challenge to the practice filed by four prisoners taking part in an ongoing protest at the U.S. base in Cuba.

Feeding the prisoners with a nasogastric tube is to prevent their death is “humane,” done in a way to minimize any pain, lawyers for the Department of Justice wrote in a legal brief filed in federal court in Washington.

The Justice Department filing urged the court not to issue a preliminary injunction against the feeding procedure, saying it would amount to authorizing “a detainee to commit suicide by starvation.”

Lawyers for four prisoners on hunger strike filed the challenge Sunday, arguing that feeding the men against their will was a violation of their human rights and served no legitimate interest. They also said it would deprive them of their religious right to the traditional daytime fast during the upcoming Muslim holy period of Ramadan.

 

Boston implications

Among the most insightful discussions of the Boston bombing case occurred on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday. While Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is still unable to speak due to his wounds, a number of themes are emerging in the aftermath of the rampage.

First is the startling revelation (for some) that we may have now migrated from large-scale terrorist assaults to al-Qaeda directed assaults to individuals independently radicalized by violent Islamic jihadism. David Remnick, Martha Raddatz, George Stephanopoulos and Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, had this exchange:

Indeed, the link connecting lone individuals, jihadist ideology and the decision to engage in terrorist activities is so fine, and largely, invisible to authorities that it poses a huge challenge to national security experts. Such individuals are not in any real sense part of al-Qaeda and so the administration (if that is the pattern here) probably had no choice but to utilize the criminal justice system.

Raddatz summed up:

STEPHANOPOULOS: Not going to be eradicated Martha Raddatz, but it does come at a time when the al Qaeda leadership top to bottom has been pretty well decimated.

Tariq Ramadan Response to Papal Renunciation

*Tuesday, 12 February 2013
*
I am not a Christian, and have frequently taken issue with Pope
Benedict XVI’s theological positions and historical
interpretations, both in form and in content.

We met on two occasions: the first, while he was still Joseph
Cardinal Ratzinger, the second, in Rome, when he was Pope, as a
participant in interfaith dialogues. I have read him closely,
and listened to him carefully.

His knowledge, his intellectual rigor and the depth of his
analyses made a strong impression on me. Behind a face that
often appeared cool and distant, and despite an introverted
manner, he radiated goodness and gentleness. He was surprising
in the most contradictory way. Despite our deep disagreements, I
always respected the man, his intelligence, his generosity and
obvious courage. He was never afraid to state what he thought
was just, to challenge his opponents or the majority view. As
Pope, he often seemed out of touch, his thought much deeper,
darker—that of a theologian—than the visionary and hope-filled
message of we normally associate with his position as a Pope.

Today, recognizant of his age and responsibilities, he has
stepped down. The difficult last years of his predecessor must
have been on his mind. His decision must be saluted. Sincerely.
As a lesson rich with multiple messages for both the Church, and
for the world at large: know your limits; take leave of power by
choice and not by fate’s decree.

Will the Church hear the departing Pope’s message and call to
the summit of power younger figures with the same knowledge, the
same intellectual rigor? Will world leaders, men and women
alike, grasp that above and beyond the question of age, what is
ultimately at stake is humility? Can we recognize that we are no
longer able to fulfill our commitments; can we learn to take our
leave, to turn our back on power? The lesson is valid for
everyone, religious or not; for agnostics and atheists, for
Hindus, Buddhists, Christians, Jews and Muslims. For we are
never aware enough of our limitations, never humble enough.

The best measure of a successful life is the way we turn away,
we renounce, and even by the way we depart it.

Respect

Tariq Ramadan

Muslim women’s group launches a campaign against domestic violence

8 January 2013

 

Muslim women’s charity Amina, based in Scotland is to launch a campaign to tackle domestic violence in the Muslim community.  There has been a widespread misconception among the certain sections of the Muslim community that Islam warrants husbands to beat up their wives. The group however, is planning to use Islamic teachings and clerics to challenge the misconception. Smina Akhtar, from the group stated that: “We have women coming in, phoning our helpline, time and time again and saying: ‘My husband said it’s okay, he told me the Koran says it’s okay’. We’re quite surprised that Muslim women are often not educated, even in Islam, because Islam does not condone violence.”

 

Organizers are asking people to promise to oppose all sorts of violence against women and girls and, crucially, to talk about the problem so that it cannot remain hidden.

 

Supreme Court rejects taxpayer challenge to AIG bailout AIG bailout

(Reuters) – The Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear an appeal by a taxpayer who claimed the government’s 2008 bailout of the insurer American International Group Inc violated the constitutional separation of church and state.

Without comment, the court let stand a June 1 ruling by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati that Kevin Murray lacked standing to challenge the $182.3 billion bailout, including its use of taxpayer funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (“TARP”).

The bailout left the government with a controlling stake in New York-based AIG, which it has since reduced.

Murray, a Michigan resident and Marine veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, said the bailout violated the First Amendment’s establishment clause because AIG has units that market and sell financing products compliant with Sharia, Islamic law based on teachings of the Koran.

He contended that the sale of such products was a basis for a “global jihadist war against the West and the United States,” and sent a message that non-adherents to Islam were outsiders.

But the 6th Circuit said nothing in the law authorizing TARP suggested that Congress knew or intended that TARP funds might support the sale of the Sharia-compliant products.

Muslims living in Leicester are joining blood donation campaign

28 November 2012

The Imam Hussain Blood Donation Campaign which aims to increase the number of regular blood donors from Muslim communities by holding donor drives in 10 cities across the UK.

The annual campaign, named after the grand son of the Prophet, is organized by the Islamic Unity Society (IUS), a charity set up to promote the integration of Muslim communities within wider British society.

Theo Clarke, of NHS Blood and Transplant, Leicester, said: “It’s great to have such an opportunity to work with the Muslim community in promoting blood donation. Often, rare blood groups are more common within certain ethnic groups, so encouraging people with rarer blood types to donate is a challenge.”

The Union of Islamic Communities contest the election of new president


The Union of Islamic Communities of Spain (UCIDE) has claimed that the decision of the Islamic Commission in Spain (CIE) in the last 17 of November to elect Mounir Benjelloun Andaloussi Azhari as its new president, “did not fit right” by which they will put the necessary legal action to challenge it.

They contest the election on the basis that more than 70%of the Federations represented by the UCIDE where not included in the election process. As so they declare them invalid because they don’t represent the needed consensus.

Riay Tatary, the general secretary of the UCIDE believes that the election has not complied with the statutes of “consensus” so far regulating the functioning of this community and has announced that he is considering contesting the results.

Muslim American summer camp blends faith and fun

Camp Izza in Pasadena and Irvine aims to help Muslim children take pride in their culture and faith. The summer includes prayers and Koran recitation as well as water balloons and scavenger hunts.

 

Camp Izza, believed to be the only Muslim summer camp in the U.S. that is accredited by the American Camp Assn. Located on school campuses in Irvine and Pasadena, Camp Izza is run by husband and wife Omar and Munira Ezzeldine as a means of instilling izza — the Arabic word for “pride” — in Muslim youths.

“We want the kids to be proud of who they are as Muslims,” said Omar Ezzeldine, 36, who was born in Los Angeles to Egyptian parents.  The children at Camp Izza face a challenge their parents did not: establishing their identities in a culture where anti-Islamic rhetoric can be found in political campaigns, cable news punditry and Hollywood films.

“It’s important for [my son] to be somewhere where a positive attitude toward his faith is reinforced,” said Samar Ghannoum, 46, who sent her 8-year-old Kareem to the camp this summer. “He is the future, in a lot of ways. He is American and Muslim.”

And it’s likely that the Camp Izza model will be duplicated because the U.S. Muslim population is growing at a relatively fast pace.