Threat Level in Netherlands Remains Set at “Substantial”

July 1 2013


The National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism in the Netherlands has announced that the level of threat in the country continues to be “substantial”.

The main international threat with potential consequences for the Netherlands is presently based on the situation in Syria. Other areas of consequence include Mali, Yemen, Somalia, Nigeria and Afghanistan.

The Terrorism Threat: No opening to Islam, Statement by the Northern League

12 June 2013


“The arrest of Anas El Abboubi is yet another demonstration that Islamic extremism has taken root and is a looming threat. Radicalism is increasingly widespread among those who grew up in our country; even though they apparently seem to have accepted our rules of civil coexistence. While the policy underestimates phenomena of this kind that could cause disastrous consequences for our security and our future, despite the scarcity of resources, we thank the police station in Brescia who were able to intervene. The fear is that their work will soon be resized and disheartened by the government’s next steps on immigration, security and justice.” Said a statement by the provincial secretary of the Northern League Fabio Rolfi and the communications manager of the Northern League David Caparini.

What would you do if one of the richest men in the world dumped you? Muslim ‘divorcee’ Nivin El-Gamal explains all

This piece is an interview with Nivin El-Gamal who had years of court appearances against Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, 54, the son of the former ruler of Dubai and a man reportedly worth £19bn with regards to whether they were married and the consequences for their child. The London-based Muslim tells Louisa Peacock how she is finally escaping from the Sheikh’s shadow and putting two fingers up to her traditional upbringing, to forge her and her son a new life. The interview covers a variety of topics such as how El-Gamal, who comes from a rich family and who has led no ordinary life, might not find it hard to find the money to launch her new charity. However as someone with a solid business background; having founded an interior design business called Galaxy Stars, which counts pop stars, VIPs, foreign dignitaries and high-end London projects among its clients. She recalls how her father and grandfather disapproved of her business in the early days because she would come into “regular contact with men”. She says she was expected by her father to “marry someone from his society, rich like you, just be a mum, and if you are studying interior design, you’ll design your own house, that’s it”. Living in a world heavily steeped in tradition, where women are expected to behave and act in a certain way, it was unusual and brave for a 20-something girl like El-Gamal to break the mould and start her own firm – especially coming from a rich family where she did not need to make more money. The interview covers her early life in Egypt long before the current political situation and how the interviewee felt about life under Mubarak. Stating that life under Mubarak was much better and more liberal than life under the Muslim Brotherhood. Having said that, El-Gamal still holds views comparable with the Muslim brotherhood when it comes to the notion of family, she believes that people were put on earth only to reproduce and it follows that she disagrees with abortion; disapproves of contraception and sneers at same-sex marriage.

First Muslim anti-same-sex marriage group founded

Lyon Capitale


For the first time in France a group of 20 Muslims men and women came together to found a collective against the proposed same-sex legislation. The group named ‘Les musulmans pour l’enfance’ (Muslim for childhood) aims to “sensitivise French citizens of Muslim faith of the consequences of the law”.

The group remains unaffiliated with larger French religious authority and puts emphasis on being a citizen initiative. Members criticise that the proposed law on same-sex marriage didn’t take children into account, whose opinion remain outside of the debate. Les musulmans pour l’enfance claims to protect the traditional institution of marriage and has already called for rallies in Paris and other French cities. According to them, French Muslims who oppose same sex marriage do so in line with convictions and not as a move against the French government or its President.

Iraq: 10 years later

16 March

Iraq: 10 years later

In this piece the Financial Times’ Middle East editor Roula Khalaf gives an account of the last ten years of Iraq. Together with the analysis of the inevitable political and economic consequences of Iraq’s most recent history, the article also looks into how the religious populous of the country is rebuilding and re-contextualising itself after the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime. Looking specifically at the contemporary political situation and how this is both influenced by and influences the religious communities in Iraq.

The Ministers of Internal Affairs of Spain, Morocco, France and Portugal sign the “Rabat Declaration”

25 January 2013

The Ministers of Internal Affairs of Morocco, France, Spain and Portugal signed in Rabat the ‘Rabat Declaration’ in which they materialize a closer police cooperation among the four countries.
The statement was expressed in four main areas: management of migration flows, counter-narcotics, counter-terrorism (with special attention to the Sahel region and its consequences), police cooperation and training.

German Muslims demand consequences after right-wing terror

Dec 13


Erol Pürlü, speaker of the coordination council of Muslims, thanked the German commission of inquiry for its efforts to shed light to unsolved questions related to the right-wing terror series. He criticized the distorted picture of Islam in the public, which would enhance the stigmatization of Muslims.


Aiman Mazyek, chairman of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany, demanded consequences after the terror series of the NSU (National Socialist Underground). The right-wing motivated terrorist attacks against Muslims would be the “German September 11th”. Mazyek raised concerns about the belittlement of society toward right-wing extremism and ignorance toward daily racism against Muslims.


Giving advice regarding the risks of the Muslim (Ramadan) fast

July 19, 2012


The (Norwegian) Health Institute, (Norwegian) Islamic Council and (Norwegian) Diabetes Association continue their partnership.


It is on Friday (July 20) that the Muslim holy month of Ramadan is starting. That is the reason why some health experts fear that many Muslims are not sufficiently informed regarding the risks with fasting the long summer days.


Almost 100.000 persons in Norway will commence their fasting period on Friday which means that they will willingly abstain from food and water (smoking etc.) from sunrise to dawn. Bernadette Kumar, the director of the National Center for Minorities Health (NAKMI), means that “sometimes there are people with immigrant background who do not receive the necessary information about nutrition. This means that they do not fully understand the consequences of fasting regarding their levels of ‘blood sugar’ and the complications related to these issues.” She stresses however that the fast does not lead to any particular health risks for most people.


In order to spread the necessary information NAKMI have cooperated with the Islamic Council and Diabetics Association for some years now. They have worked for spreading fact-based information to Muslim minorities and also offered professional help regarding health issues in general. For instance, NAKMI has formulated a brochure on “meal plans” where recommendations are given to fasting Muslims how to maintain healthy diet during the fast period. This initiative is first in its form where specific advice is given.


“We are very enthusiastic over this cooperation. We know that there are many sick people who choose to fast despite that they are religiously permitted to abstain from fasting. This can result in serious health risks.” says Björn Guldvog, the assisting director of the Norwegian Directorate of Health (NDH) and university proifessor at University of Bergen. He continues “It is important that they (NAKMI and the Islamic Council) send out the information to people in the risk group advising them to discontinue fasting if they have a health condition which could get worse if one is to abstain from food and water (including medicine) intake. This is particularly important regarding people with chronic diseases, pregnant women, and people who’s health depends on some medications. In any case, the information really focuses on more general advice regarding nutrition.”
He further says that the NDH, “as a public institution works to inform the entire population about health issues including Muslims who fast. This certainly means that the Muslim religious leaders need to get the information out to their congregations. People who choose to fast and worry about their health should consult their physicians for more specific advice.” The NDH has distributed the necessary information to all of the country’s health clinics regarding the health challenges during Ramadan. The Islamic Council has in turn distributed similar information to all of their member congregations. The information is presented in a most delicate and positive fashion. Islamic congregations are regularly discussing issues related to nutrition and which foods contain which nutritional elements.


Medical Doctor Naeem Zahid at the Akershus University Hospital says that the young Muslims are often more concerned with what they eat during Ramadan. “My impression is that the youth has changed their food habits in relation to the older generation. Before, most of those who fasted ate deep fried dishes, and that changed for a while to more healthy alternatives. Today, the trend seems to be the return of fried stuff. Some just overeat, too much fatty foods and spices, which contributes towards bad food digestion. Moreover, eating eggs, lenses, and drinking carbonated beverages lead to buildup of gases.” He adds, “On the other hand Ramadan (lasts 29-30 days) is only once a year and this type of food consumption do not have any long-term consequences if one eats healthy during the rest of the year”


Some of the vendors and stores throughout the Oslo city center are well stocked with the season specific goods. Nadeem Iqbal’s store is ready for Ramadan. “There is no doubt that we like to eat fried food.” He answers the question, ‘Do you think that people will follow the nutrition advice from the NDH?’, that “youth are far more conscious about health and foods. For us who are a bit older it is not very easy changing our habits which have come to be viewed as tradition.” Even Iqbal eats samosa, chicken and paratha, all of it fried. After long fast the food is first thing that comes to mind.


Missouri To Vote On Prayer Amendment 2 Known As ‘Right To Pray’

ST. LOUIS — Missourians will vote on Tuesday (Aug. 7) on a proposed amendment to the state constitution that supporters say would protect residents’ right to pray in public, and if a recent poll is any indication, it could pass by a mammoth margin.


Supporters say the so-called “right to pray” ballot measure — known as Amendment 2 — better defines Missourians’ First Amendment rights and will help to protect the state’s Christians, about 80 percent of the population, who they say are under siege in the public square.


Opponents, meanwhile, say that the religious protections Amendment 2 would offer are already guaranteed by the Bill of Rights and the U.S. Constitution, and that it will open the door to all manner of unintended and costly consequences including endless taxpayer-funded lawsuits.

State Rep. Chris Kelly, a Democrat who opposed the original legislation, called Amendment 2 “a jobs bill for lawyers.”


Groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union and Americans United for Separation of Church and State have questioned how disturbance or disruption would later be defined. What if one person’s “right to pray” intrudes on another’s right to abstain from prayer, or to pray according to the tenets of his or her own faith?

But Episcopal Bishop Wayne Smith of Missouri said prayer in public schools “becomes the vehicle for a sectarian agenda, typically Christian and typically Protestant, in violation of the no-establishment clause of the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment.” Leading Jewish and Muslim groups also oppose the measure.

Central council of Muslims criticizes draft law on euthanasia

August 3


The Central Council of Muslims has issued a press release relatively to a new draft law on euthanasia. The draft law, proposed by Minister of Justice Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger (FDP), would legalize private euthanasia also when disposed by close relatives, allowing them to do so without legal consequences. The Council expressed the message that Muslims in Germany should not be abiding by this law. The medical doctor Dr. Houaida Taraji said that “Life is worth to be protected at any stage and no side doors should be opened for murder”.