De Telegraaf reports that a Muslim nurse in Den Bosch has been firing for refusing to wear short sleeves. After working in the hospital since 2001, the nurse began wearing long sleeves under her work uniform as she “started becoming more engrossed in her faith”, explains her lawyer Frank Vermeeren. Barred from work in April 2008 for her refusal to bare her arms, she proceeded to lodge formal objections. Now a judge in Den Bosch has dissolved the nurse’s employment contract as of August 1, 2009, awarding the nurse 8,500 euro in compensation.
A 544-page report by Justice Frank Iacubucci released last week pointed to several deficiencies in current Canadian counterterrorism techniques, suggesting in particular not to follow the example of the American Central Intelligence Agency if it should not follow proper procedures. Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government appointed Iacobucci in December 2006 to lead the investigation into Canada’s role in the detention of Canadian citizens Abdullah Almalki, Ahmad El Maati and Muayyed Nureddin in Syria. Iacubucci applauded counterterrorist agents for their “conscientiousness” while highlighting how the consequences of mislabelling a suspect are enormous. The Commission also urged federal agents to be extremely careful in circulating intelligence.
Almalki, El Maati and Nureddin were detained in Syria independently when they were arrested and jailed upon their arrival. All three men have denied any links to terrorism. One who avoided this fate despite being on a similar no-fly list and under surveillance, Abdelrahman Alzahabi, told The Globe and Mail that he was able to avoid the fate of these detainees because of a warning he received form a Canadian agent not long after September 11, 2008: to stay in Canada, as the government could not be responsible for what could happen if he should leave.
James Kafieh, a lawyer representing the Canadian Arab Federation in the inquiry noted that Iacubucci’s report made conclusive that “these three men were sacrificed to show the United States that Canada was doing something.” Iacobucci found fault in the actions of Canadian police and intelligence, but added that no one had behaved improperly.
In a separate inquiry, Maher Arar received $10.5 million CAD in compensation from the government and was exonerated of any terrorist ties in 2006. The three men addressed in the Iacubucci report have filed their own lawsuits for compensation from the Canadian government.
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Libya and Italy are set to reach a deal soon to compensate for Italy’s three-decade colonial rule. The deal, said to be worth billions, was announced by Saif al Islam, the influential so of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. “In the next weeks, Libya will sign a deal with Italy on compensation for the colonial period. This deal … amounts to billions,” Said told an official gathering in Tripoli. The accord involves multiple projects, including a motorway across Libya, education resourced, and the clearing of mines dating back to the colonial era. Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi said that he hopes this friendship treaty could be signed by the end of August.
Mubin Shaikh, Canada’s most famous informant and the public face of the country’s largest-ever terrorism trial, is asking the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) for more compensation. Initially Shaikh was awarded $300,000 CA to spy on the Toronto 18 and testify against them. He has insisted that money was never his motivation: I didn’t do it for the money. I’m not going to negotiate with the lives of Canadians. Shaikh is now requesting an additional $2.4 million raise, for which he promises there will be no more media interviews, no more drug use, no book or movie deals. The 32 year-old married father of five also pledges to aggressively defend the evidence and vocally support the role of the agencies involved. This is his second request for more compensation. Shaikh claims that his life has changed dramatically since his involvement and that he also needs better protection against his detractors.
London marked the third anniversary on Monday of the suicide bombings on the city’s transport network, with ceremonies at blast sites as survivors and the victims’ families remembered the deadly attacks. A total of 56 people were killed, the four bombers included, in the July 7 2005 blasts that tore through three London Underground trains and a bus at the height of the morning rush hour. London Mayor Boris Johnson, the government’s London minister Tessa Jowell and transport chiefs were among those who laid flowers outside King’s Cross railway station at 07:50 GMT. Johnson’s tribute on his wreath read: “We honour the memory of those who died on 7/7 2005, we salute the courage of those who were injured and our thoughts and prayers are with all victims and their families.” The event was exactly three years on from when three bombs ripped through the Tube trains at the height of the morning rush hour. Survivors and families of the 52 victims visited the three Underground stations – Russell Square, Aldgate and Edgware Road – where the bombs went off, and Tavistock Square, where another home-made bomb later wrecked a double-decker bus. Waiting for compensation payments. Compared to the first anniversary in 2006, subsequent anniversaries of the attacks have been low-key. Twelve months after the bombings, there was a national two-minute silence and a day-long memorial programme. Dozens of the victims’ families and some of the 700 who were injured are still waiting for compensation payments. The attacks, perpetrated by four British Muslims, threw the spotlight on the threat from homegrown extremism, and the extent of opposition to Britain’s foreign policy in Iraq and Afghanistan among the country’s 1.6-million-strong Muslim community. Three years on, Britain is still facing a “severe” threat from terrorism – the highest level – according to the security services, with increasingly frequent arrests of suspects under anti-terrorism legislation. Last year, Jonathan Evans, the head of the domestic intelligence service MI5, said the number of people with suspected links to extremists in Britain had risen from 1 600 in 2006 to at least 2 000. The government is currently pushing through parliament proposals to increase the pre-charge detention limits for suspected extremists from the current 28 days to 42 days, despite widespread outrage from civil liberties groups.
Dutch prosecutors closed a case against three men arrested in New Years Eve, on suspicion of planning an imminent attack. The reason given was that there was no evidence against them. Police arrested three men after the intelligence said the suspects – Two Moroccan men and one Sudanese man, were about to carry out an unspecified act of violence. The three suspects now have the right to compensation for the time they spend in detention.
A Muslim woman has doubled her claim for damages in her pursuit to sue a salon owner for refusing her a hairdressing job because of her headscarf. Bushra Noah, 19, from Acton, west London, has reportedly claimed that Sarah Desrosiers, who runs the Wedge salon in King’s Cross, behaved in a “high-handed, malicious, insulting or oppressive manner” by discussing the case in public. She said that the media intrusion in her life which led to her harassment and receiving of hate mail has left her feeling “awkward and embarrassed”. As a result, Noah, who is suing Desrosiers for religious discrimination, has raised her claim for damages from just over _15,000 to more than _35,000. Desrosiers, 32, insists she rejected Noah because it is essential that her employees display their hair. The salon owner denies discrimination insisting she would vigorously contest the new bid for increased compensation. “I am not responsible for other people sending hate mail. I needed to highlight the case because I needed to find financial help to pay my legal bills.
Just before he was scheduled to undergo surgery to treat oral cancer, Mohammed A. Hussain went to the bathroom at the hospital — and that’s when he says the humiliation began. Inside the restroom at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, the 61-year-old Muslim performed the Islamic ritual of washing his hands and feet. The private ritual, known as wudhu, was to purify his body and soul before praying. But Hussain never got to pray. A hospital security guard saw him washing himself in the sink, Hussain said, and proceeded to manhandle him, yell racial epithets at him, push him down the corridor and order him to exit the hospital. “He was just very loud and yelling at me,” Hussain said. “He pushed me and literally dragged me into the lobby. . . . It was very terrifying.” Hussain filed a $30 million lawsuit Friday against the hospital, alleging assault, battery and emotional distress from the incident about 10 a.m. March 22. Because the case is in litigation, hospital officials would not comment other than to release a brief statement saying that hospital executives contacted Hussain on several occasions before the suit was filed to discuss his concerns. Hussain’s lawsuit was first reported by the Baltimore Examiner. Hussain, who lives in Upper Marlboro and is a practicing physician and radiologist in Waldorf, described his experiences in an interview yesterday with The Washington Post. He said he was treated as if he were homeless or a criminal. It was “humiliating,” he said. “People who are coming in the bathroom and treating you so harshly and thinking everybody is either a terrorist or somebody who you don’t recognize of your color or your race — this is something that is a very emotionally tortured experience,” Hussain said. The guard, identified in the suit as Rodney Corban, yelled at Hussain to “get out here!” Hussain said. Corban “was extreme and outrageous, and beyond the bounds of decency in society,” according to court filings. Hussain said he repeatedly told Corban that he was a patient at the hospital and a licensed physician, but he said Corban did not seem to listen. Hussain said a crowd — including his wife, who is a psychiatrist, and their two adult daughters — witnessed the scene in the lobby. “Everybody in the lobby, including my family, was stunned as to why I had been treated like this,” Hussain said. “They were very devastated.” Hussain said he underwent the oral cancer surgery later that day and has returned to the hospital for other procedures. Hospital officials would not say yesterday whether Corban was disciplined after the incident. Corban worked a shift yesterday, a hospital receptionist said, but he did not respond to a message left for him there yesterday afternoon. Hussain’s attorney, David Ellin, said his client sued the hospital because he did not think executives were taking his case seriously enough. “He felt the only way to get their attention and make any changes was to really put their feet to the fire and file a lawsuit,” Ellin said. Ellin said Hussain’s aim with the suit is not to win compensation but to raise awareness about Islam and religious prejudices. “This is really done to try to educate people on the religion of Islam and make people more tolerant and just educate them on different religious backgrounds,” Ellin said. Hussain said he immigrated to the United States from India in 1972 and has been a U.S. citizen for two decades. He said he blames his experience at the hospital on a general lack of education about his religion. “People are so much ignorant about this and deal with it so harshly,” Hussain said. A survey by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Washington-based civil rights and advocacy group, found last year that just 2 percent of Americans were “very knowledgeable” about Islam and that 60 percent were “not very knowledgeable” or “not at all knowledgeable” about the religion. A Washington Post-ABC News poll last year found that nearly half of Americans had a negative view of Islam. Ibrahim Hooper, communications director for the council, said education is the key to overcoming the kind of prejudices Hussain faced. “I think it’s just a lack of knowledge of Islam and basic Islamic practices that led to this unfortunate misunderstanding,” Hooper said. “With the filing of this lawsuit, there may be more awareness in the general society about what to Muslims is a fairly routine practice but to others who don’t know what it is might be something that they would be concerned about.” Staff researcher Rena Kirsch contributed to this report.