Mosque in the middle

The Rotterdam department of political parties Christenunie (Christian Union) and SGP (Reformed Political Party) organized a debate on integration in the Essalam mosque in the city, the biggest mosque in the Netherlands. One of the invitees was conservative and former PVV (Party for Freedom – known for its harsh criticism on Islam) Bart Jan Spruyt.

Adjunct-director Jacob van der Blom received a lot of angry messages. How could he allow this in a mosque?

But he believes that connection can only occur from within people themselves. When you work with organizations and politicians subsidies play a big role and they make achieving the purpose (almost) impossible. Van der Blom wants to facilitate conversations, without telling people how they should do this exactly.

He thinks he is the right person to facilitate this conversations. As a convert to Islam he knows both the Islamic as the Rotterdam community very well. After the attacks in Paris he opened the mosques doors for these conversations. But besides that, he wants to contribute with the mosque to the neighbourhoods well-being. However according to him religion is not the way to connect people: “Muslims pray with Muslims and Christians pray with Christians”. This is why, for example, he wants Muslims to help in retirements houses and that people will eat together in the mosque.
He doesn’t want to ‘create’ perfect Muslims, but decent human beings.

From Islam to Christ: the Conversion of Muslims from the Director of the Apostle

In an interview with director Cheyenne Carrone, whose latest movie The Apostle pays homage to a priest that she knew in her childhood whose daughter was killed by a young Muslim. The priest wanted to remain living near the boy’s parents “to help them live.” She was also inspired by a former Muslim who converted to Christianity and attended the same church as her.

She said that it is less likely for someone to convert from Islam to Christianity because it is forbidden. One hadith states, “One who leaves the religion, kill them.” She recognizes that in France this doesn’t happen and that “many Muslims are tolerant of conversion to Christianity when it comes to their brothers.”

When asked if she felt that “the difficulty for some Muslims to accept the conversion of their brethren tends to intensify,” she said “I don’t know. But I have a feeling that on the contrary things are changing, and that tolerance is slowly growing.”

Carrone has had difficulty finding movie theaters that will show her film due to its subject.

Muslim parent upset over school flyer promoting church’s Easter egg hunt

April 4, 2014

 

Some Muslim parents are concerned about public schools in Dearborn handing out flyers to all students advertising an Easter egg hunt, saying it violates the principle of church and state separation.

A flyer headlined “Eggstravaganza!” was given to students this week at three elementary schools in the Dearborn Public Schools district, which has a substantial number of Muslim students. The flyer described an April 12 event at Cherry Hill Presbyterian Church in Dearborn featuring an egg hunt, relay race, and egg toss. It asked students to RSVP “to secure your free spot” and included images of eggs and a bunny.

“It really bothered my two kids,” said parent Majed Moughni, who is Muslim and has two children, ages 7 and 9, in Dearborn elementary schools. “My son was like, ‘Dad, I really don’t feel comfortable getting these flyers, telling me to go to church. I thought churches are not supposed to mix with schools.’ ”

Moughni said he’s concerned about “using school teachers paid by public funds … to pass out these flyers that are being distributed by a church. I think that’s a serious violation of separation of church and state.”

David Mustonen, spokesman for Dearborn Public Schools, did not respond Thursday to several requests by the Free Press for comment.

The pastor of Cherry Hill Presbyterian Church defended the flyer, saying it was approved for distribution by Dearborn Public Schools and is not promoting a religious event.

“It’s designed to be an opportunity to invite the community to come for a day of activity,” said Pastor Neeta Nichols of Cherry Hill. “There is not a religious component to this event.”

And in recent years, other Muslim parents have complained about what they say are attempts to convert their children. The Conquerors, a Grandville-based group of Christian athletes who display feats of strength to spread the message of Jesus, have performed in Dearborn schools, drawing some concern. In 2009, there was controversy over an assistant wrestling coach who some parents said was trying to convert Muslim wrestlers, which the coach denied.

Moughni said he greatly respects Christianity, but believes that schools should not promote events related to religious holidays. He said he would oppose flyers that promoted events at mosques as well.

Detroit Free Press: http://www.freep.com/article/20140404/NEWS05/304040016/Muslim-parents-upset-over-flier-promoting-Easter-egg-hunt-at-church

Washington: Arrested Man Is Accused of Seeking to Join Militants in Syria

March 18, 2014

 

A California man who prosecutors said was on his way to Syria to join a Qaeda group was arrested on Monday near the Canadian border in Blaine, Wash., on a terrorism charge, federal officials said. The Department of Justice said in a statement that the man, Nicholas Teausant, 20, an American-born convert to Islam, had planned to cross into Canada and travel to Syria to join Islamist militants. A student at San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton, Calif., he was also a private in the United States Army National Guard but was in the process of being released as of December, according to the complaint.

NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/18/us/politics/washington-arrested-man-is-accused-of-seeking-to-join-militants-in-syria.html?action=click&module=Search&region=searchResults%231&version=&url=http%3A%2F%2Fquery.nytimes.com%2Fsearch%2Fsitesearch%2F%3Faction%3Dclick%26region%3DMasthead%26pgtype%3DHomepage%26module%3DSearchSubmit%26contentCollection%3DHomepage%26t%3Dqry19%23%2FIslam%2F7days%2Fallresults%2F2%2Fallauthors%2Fnewest%2F

Mustafa Maya, a convert that defended the Taliban treatment of women

March 15, 2014

 

Mustafa Maya Amaya, alleged leader of the Al Qaeda terrorist cell dismantled yesterday by a police operation is an old acquaintance in Malaga. His name came to the fore a month after the attacks of September 11, 2001. All eyes turned also to him when he placed outside a local Mosque a pro-Taliban manifesto that among other things, defended the status of Afghan women and the use of the Islamic headscarf.

He converted in prison in 1996 while serving sentences for burglary. Rafael Amaya Maya was born 51 years ago in Brussels and is the son of Spanish immigrants.

Diario Sur: http://www.diariosur.es/v/20140315/malaga/mustafa-maya-converso-defendio-20140315.html

Anti-social behaviour order (Asbo) for ‘religious extremism’: Muslim convert given five-year preaching ban

February 14, 2014

 

A man from east London who took part in vigilante patrols and promoted Islamic extremism has been given a “landmark” Asbo banning him from preaching in public, police said.

Jordan Horner, a Muslim convert, has been consistently linked to extremist groups and has already been jailed for harassing and attacking “non-believers” in east London. The 20-year-old took part in vigilante patrols aimed at non-Muslims in an attempt to promote a ‘Sharia State’ in the UK. He is also thought to have put up the ‘Sharia controlled zone’ leaflets and posters in Waltham Forest, Scotland Yard said.

Horner appeared at the Old Bailey on Friday, where a series of restrictions were placed on him in one of the first Asbos of its kind in the UK. The order – which lasts for five years – bans Horner from being in possession of a loudhailer in any public place and means he cannot enter any educational establishment where he is not a registered student. He has been told he must not make “unsolicited approaches” to promote Sharia law and cannot hand out material promoting Sharia law or place posters and signs which damages a public advert.

He is also banned from being in a public place with four named men who are also linked to extremist behaviour. They include Royal Barnes, the radical preacher Anjem Choudary along with Ricardo McFarlane and Dean Le Page.

 

The Independent: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/asbo-for-religious-extremism-muslim-convert-given-fiveyear-preaching-ban-9129898.html

 

Young man arrested for praising Jihad online

December 23, 2013

 

The Madrid XL Group of the Provincial Information Brigade, which specializes in Islamic Terrorism, has arrested a 24-year Spanish man and convert to Islam at his home of Entrevias (Puente de Vallecas). He is charged with an offense of glorifying terrorism and the Jihad and the case is in the hands of the High Court.
According to investigators, Abdallah used his Facebook account to defend the “jihad” in Islamic wars or conflicts such as Syria or Palestine. The Police found manuals for weapons and explosives in his house. Abdallah made ​​his first trip to Mecca last year.

 

Abc.es: http://www.abc.es/madrid/20131223/abcp-detenido-joven-enaltecer-yihad-20131222.html

 

Mighty, Muslim and Leaping Off the Page – Marvel Comics Introducing a Muslim Girl Superhero

With most superheroes, when you take away the colorful costume, mask and cape, what you find underneath is a white man. But not always. In February, as part of a continuing effort to diversify its offerings, Marvel Comics will begin a series whose lead character, Kamala Khan, is a teenage Muslim girl living in Jersey City.

No exploding planet, death of a relative or irradiated spider led to Kamala’s creation. Her genesis began more mundanely, in a conversation between Sana Amanat and Steve Wacker, two editors at Marvel. “I was telling him some crazy anecdote about my childhood, growing up as a Muslim-American,” Ms. Amanat said. “He found it hilarious.” Ms. Amanat and Mr. Wacker noted the dearth of female superhero series and, even more so, of comics with cultural specificity.

When they told G. Willow Wilson, an author, comic book writer and convert to Islam, about their idea, she was eager to come on board as the series’ writer. “Any time you do something like this, it is a bit of a risk,” Ms. Wilson said. “You’re trying to bring the audience on board and they are used to seeing something else in the pages of a comic book.”

Kamala, whose family is from Pakistan, has devotedly followed the career of the blond, blue-eyed Carol Danvers, who now goes by Captain Marvel, a name she inherited from a male hero. When Kamala discovers her powers, including the ability to change shape, she takes on the code name Ms. Marvel — what Carol called herself when she began her superhero career.

“Captain Marvel represents an ideal that Kamala pines for,” Ms. Wilson said. “She’s strong, beautiful and doesn’t have any of the baggage of being Pakistani and ‘different.’ ”

As for Kamala, Ms. Wilson said the series was “about the universal experience of all American teenagers, feeling kind of isolated and finding what they are.” Though here, she adds, that happens “through the lens of being a Muslim-American” with superpowers.

 

New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/06/books/marvel-comics-introducing-a-muslim-girl-superhero.html?_r=0

French man arrested for abetting terrorism

Liberation

19 September 2013

A 26-year Muslim convert who lived in the Normandie was arrested and charged with abetting terrorism and  promoting acts of terrorism. The man is named as the translator of the Al Qaida’s English language online magazine, Inspire. His arrest marks the first time that the anti-terror law that was passed in 2012 was used.

White Muslim convert planned to steal bodyguard’s gun and murder Prince Harry for having ‘blood on his hands’

Ashraf Islam, 31, formerly known as Mark Townley, confessed to police he had “advanced plans” to kill the Prince the day after he was arrested in May. Belfast-born Islam was held the day after Drummer Lee Rigby was murdered in Woolwich, and said the fourth in line to the throne “had blood on his hands” after two tours of duty in Afghanistan.

 

At a sentencing hearing at Isleworth Crown Court, Lynne Townley, prosecuting, said Islam told an officer he had spent time watching soldiers on Horse Guards Parade “and planned to disarm an officer whilst disguised as a tourist rather than bringing a gun into London”.

 

After analysing his laptop police discovered a number of internet searches showing Islam had been researching Prince Harry’s protection team, where he lived, his royal engagements and his whereabouts.

 

A video found on the computer showed him making threats to kill Prince Harry to camera whilst he was in Malaysia.

 

Sentencing was adjourned until November 1 for an assessment of Islam’s mental health to be carried out.