France’s Muslim leaders discourage abstention

While the majority of French Muslims traditionally have voted for leftist parties, at a recent UOIF conference there was talk of abstention.

The main candidates–save for Marine Le Pen–met the leaders of the French Council of the Muslim Faith before the election’s first round, and the “Muslim vote” could have additional significance in the upcoming election. Despite this, many Muslims at the conference reported feeling disappointed with Hollande’s tenure as president, and were hesitant to cast their vote in the first round.

Amar Lasfar, president of the UOIF, advised French Muslims “not to reduce a candidate to what they say about Islam,” which many took as an endorsement of François Fillon of Les Républicains. “Vote!” he urged during a speech, “Save France from the threat of the far right.”

“Abstention, it’s the wrong choice: it means nothing,” concluded Nabil Ennasri, president of the Collective of French Muslims.

 

BBC Current Affairs Programmes failing to address radical Islam

The BBC is failing to address the “awesomely difficult questions” facing Britain, including the economy and the threat of radical Islam, according to the corporation’s former chief.
The BBC is failing to address the “awesomely difficult questions” facing Britain, including the economy and the threat of radical Islam, according to the corporation’s former chief.

The BBC is failing to address the “awesomely difficult questions” facing Britain, including the economy and the threat of radical Islam, according to the corporation’s former chief.

John Birt, director-general of the BBC from 1992-2000, said its current affairs analysis was falling short. He was not referring to Newsnight, which he described as “a programme of the day, about issues of the moment.” But he said he was “talking about a much more strategic need on all the big questions we face. Every economy bar one in the G7 is more productive than the UK – these are the big issues that go undiscussed,” he told a media conference at London’s City University.

Digital journalism is giving people access to more information than before. “What it is not creating is more quality journalism,” Lord Birt said. “We get more knowledge of things happening around the world but pulling it all together and addressing the big policy questions – what should we be doing in respect of radical Islam, the National Health Service – that’s what we’re not doing very well and nobody’s doing very much.”

He added that the BBC must “get back to those very high purposes which are appropriate to a publicly funded broadcaster”.

 

 

Republican conference objects to anti-Islam label

March 29, 2014

 

There are lots of threats to America and ways to destroy the U.S., and it’s not just one particular kind of enemy who might do it, members of the Tennessee Republican Assembly were told Saturday.

They heard a session on economic warfare. They heard about electromagnetic pulse — damaging bursts of atmospheric energy triggered in space or by atomic bombs. They heard about Russia and China backing nuclear weapons in North Korea and Iran.

The point is, speakers said, there’s no single issue to worry about. And they objected to characterizations of the event as anti-Islam, despite top billing for authors who have written at length about Islam’s threat to America.

The Tennessee Republican Assembly’s annual conference came under scrutiny recently by area Muslims, who wanted the Tennessee Republican Party to disavow it after confusion over the two groups’ relationship.

Tennessee GOP deputy executive director Michael Sullivan said the groups are unaffiliated, so the party couldn’t comment on the assembly’s activities.

But the assembly calls itself “The Republican Wing of the Republican Party,” and the event stage in a packed ballroom at the Millennium Maxwell House was adorned with a banner inviting people to join the RINO Hunters Club. It stands for Republican In Name Only.

Michael Del Rosso, an event headliner who helped write “Shariah: The Threat to America,” took that stage to criticize the U.S. for failing to protect its energy and communications systems from electromagnetic pulse, and he discussed legislation aimed at doing that. His formal speech held few mentions of Islam, but he discussed the book and the topic at length afterward.

He’s not anti-Islam, he said, and in fact likes to barbecue lamb for his Muslim friends. He’s simply bringing to light documents proving that the nation’s Islamic centers are terrorist recruiting stations and that America is in danger of falling under Shariah.

Drost Kokoye, a board member with the American Muslim Advisory Council, said she was still comfortable characterizing the conference as anti-Islam since that topic was used to promote it — including in a picture on the event’s website.

“To say we’re not just against Muslims, we’re against everyone against America, it carries the connotation that all Muslims are against America,” she said. “That’s hyper-paranoia. Sadly, it works here.”

The Tennessean: http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2014/03/29/republican-conference-objects-anti-islam-label/7058227/

Young Islam Conference

March 17, 2014

 

The Young Islam Conference sees itself as both a forum for dialogue and a mouthpiece for young Muslims and non-Muslims alike. It seeks to counter prejudice and negative ideas about Islam in Germany. Shohreh Karimian spoke to Esra Küçük, the managing director of the Young Islam Conference, about the forum’s background and aims

 

Source: http://en.qantara.de/content/young-islam-conference-interface-between-politics-and-society

Interview with Naika Foroutan on Germany’s Islam Conference

February 24, 2014

 

Germany’s Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière has announced that the German Islam Conference will no longer concern itself with security issues. For sociologist Naika Foroutan of Berlin’s Humboldt University, this is a positive sign. At last, the conference will be able to concentrate on ensuring religious equality for Muslims in Germany.

 

Qantara: http://en.qantara.de/content/interview-with-naika-foroutan-on-germanys-islam-conference-encouraging-developments

Major challenges for German Islam Conference

February 10, 2014

 

According to experts such as Islam Scholar Michael Kiefer, the German Islam Conference has not made progress, since it was found by former Minister of Interior Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU) in 2006. The initial success was the creation of an institutional connection to Islamic representatives and the foundation Islamic studies in schools.

Since then, the dialogue between State and religion representatives has gone through difficult obstacles such as the debate on selection processes through home affairs politicians and constitution protection authorities. The exclusion of extreme Islamic organizations like the Turkish Milli Görüs represented.

Further challenges are questions related to the understanding and representation of Islam in Germany. The current Minister of Interior Thomas de Maizière (CDU) seeks a pragmatic oriented approach to Muslim associations with a “goal-oriented” and “issues-driven” agenda. Muslim associations have welcomed the Ministers approach by sidelining security policy issues, focusing mainly on issues such as the recognition of Islam as a statutory body under public law.

Again, there will be questions related to the representativeness of associations. The growing Islamophobia will be a further challenge to the German Islam Conference. Critics fear the conference to remain an event of political symbolism. The politician Lale Akgün (SPD) claims more representative rights for women. Female teachers of Islamic studies, female Imams would be necessary to enhance a feminist view of Islam, deliberately strengthening a “liberal” Islam in Germany.

 

Qantara: http://en.qantara.de/content/changing-the-orientation-of-germanys-islam-conference-new-agenda-same-old-faces

Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens) to Open Sanremo 2014

February 15, 2014

 

Yusuf Islam was announced as the international guest for Sanremo (the large music competition held in Italy every year). In a press conference, held last Monday Fabio Fazio announced that Yusuf Islam, who for all connoisseurs of his music will always be Cat Stevens, will be the international guest on the first evening of the festival, scheduled for February 18.

The British singer-songwriter became popular in the London of the sixties beginning his career in the pop genre. Since completely changing his lifestyle, Yusuf Islam still looks himself by continuing to have an unshaven look while shouldering an acoustic guitar. In his latest album, Islam echoes the Mediterranean in his tracks with especially intimate lyrics focusing on the cultural and social scene in Britain, increasingly divided by economic differences.

 

Soundsblog: http://www.soundsblog.it/post/249915/sanremo-2014-yusuf-islam-cat-stevens-ospite-internazionale

Musical News: http://www.musicalnews.com/articolo.php?codice=27016&sz=6

Today: http://www.today.it/media/sanremo-2014/cat-stevens-ospite.html

Mosque project replaced with nursery project

07.10.2013

Liberation

The mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, rejected on Monday a mosque project funded by Saudi money. Estrosi intends to replace the project with a new nursery project. During a press conference, the mayor expressed that the religious site would not be compatible with his ‘Eco-Vallé project, which should attract businesses to the area. According to Estrosi, Dalil Boubakeur, the director of the Grand Mosque of Paris, expressed his support over his decision.

Hate Group Leader Cited By Terrorist to Headline Catholic Homeschool Conference

During the last weekend in July, The Kolbe Academy, a Catholic homeschool program located in Napa, California will host a conference in Sacramento where educators and home school instructors will gather to discuss how they can “engage the culture in a year of faith.”

Ordinarily, such a program would come and go unnoticed. But this year, featured amongst a lineup of distinguished speakers, is Robert Spencer, a controversial anti-Muslim blogger who civil rights organizations including the Southern Poverty Law Center and Anti-Defamation League label a “hate group leader.” This places him in close proximity to KKK leaders, the Black Panther Party, and neo-Nazi groups.

His scheduled appearance casts a negative light on what should be a positive event. It also raises questions about why a man whose writing was cited thirteen dozen times by the Norway terrorist Anders Breivik, who slaughtered 77 youth campers in Oslo in 2010, was ever invited to speak about youth education in the first place.

Spencer, a Catholic deacon from New Hampshire and director of the blacklist blog Jihad Watch, is set to appear as part of a speaking lineup that includes prominent clergy and educators from all across the United States. Once the director of Kolbe Academy, where he also served as a history and classics teacher, his publications include “Classical Education in the Contemporary World” and “How to Introduce Your Child to Classical Music in 52 Easy Lessons.”

If any religious group in the United States understands the harmful effects of prejudice, it is Catholics. Throughout the 1900s, they were on the receiving end of the same stereotypes and associations that Spencer aims at Muslims today.

The Santa Rosa Diocese, which governs the Kolbe Academy, should follow the actions of the Worcester Diocese in Massachusetts, which rescinded Spencer’s invitation to speak at a men’s conference in Massachusetts in March. The Sacramento Diocese, which governs St. Stephen The First Martyr Parish, the parish where the event will be held, should do the same.

 

ICNA statement at joint US Muslim org press conference

WASHINGTON D.C. (April 19, 2013) – The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) issued a statement during a joint press conference today with other national Muslim organizations at The National Press Club in the capital.

“The death of innocent lives is heartbreaking and we offer our condolences to the families of the victims of the Boston Marathon Bombings. And, we pray for the speedy and full recovery of the injured. Our thanks go to the law enforcement officers for working around the clock in identifying and going after the terrorists. ICNA stands with the rest of the American Muslim community in condemning such heinous crimes.

We want to make it very clear to our fellow Americans that such acts of terrorism have no place in Islam. These acts are not just against Americans but against all mankind. Islam, our faith, condemns those who murder innocent people and God Almighty declares the killing of even a single innocent person as murdering the entire humanity.

ICNA calls upon the American Muslim community to engage in social justice and service work being offered by ICNA Relief and other Muslim relief organizations.

We also thank the media for not jumping to any conclusions and showing responsibility in reporting of the situation in Boston.

We pray for peace and harmony, and may such moments of trials bring our hearts closer to one another.

The Islamic Circle of North America is a leading American Muslim organization dedicated to the betterment of society through the application of Islamic values. Since 1968, ICNA has worked to build relations between communities by devoting itself to education, outreach, social services and relief efforts.