Barelwi mosque in Oslo rejects accusations of promoting radical Islam

Syed Ali Bukhari, Imam at the Jamaat Ahle Sunnat mosque in Oslo has accused leaders of the Barelwi mosque “Aisha” of trying to attract young men in order to radicalize them. Bukhari says representatives of the Tabliqi-movement running the mosque express a Wahhabi inspired Islam and support terrorism in the name of Islam.

Members of the Barelwi congregation are refuting the accusations, stating that they represent a “mainstream Islam”, work against terrorism and are trying to help these young men to leave their criminality behind.

Annual report on integration by The Netherlands Institute for Social Research

The annual report on integration from the Netherlands’ Institute for Social Research (Sociaal en Cultureel Planbureau) was released in December 2009.

This report is designed to track the trends in immigration in the country, providing demographic information and statistics. The Netherlands’ Moroccan and Turkish populations, and particularly their second-generations, feature prominently in the report, followed by populations of Surinamese, Somalian, and Chinese background.

The report provides information on language, living conditions, employment, criminality, and social/cultural status among the country’s many diverse immigrant communities. Special chapters address the position of women, and of youth from non-western backgrounds.

Report:

http://www.vrom.nl/Docs/Jaarrapport%20Integratie%202009.pdf

Homepage Netherlands Institute for Social Research:

www.scp.nl/english

Dutch-Moroccans publish manifesto on youth criminality

A group of 38 Dutch-Moroccan professionals and organizations has published a manifesto calling for the cessation of criminality among Moroccan youths, intended to break the passivity in their community regarding crime among young Dutch people of Moroccan descent.

The group says it wants to increase awareness of the high crime rate among young Dutch-Moroccans being a major social problem for which their own community needs to take responsibility. The manifesto states that “our society is increasingly confronted with crime and violence committed by young Dutch-Moroccans…The criminal behavior of these young people has led to Dutch people of Moroccan descent increasingly being regarded as second-rate citizens, who more and more often are merely being tolerated, rather than accepted. In addition, the violent behavior of these young people is taking on ever more serious forms and claiming an increasing number of victims.”

The signatories plan to meet regularly to advise organisations and policy-making officials. Social worker Ibrahim Wijbenga says: “We want to emphasize that Dutch-Moroccan juvenile delinquents are not just our problem, they are a burden on society as a whole but receive too little quality attention… We lose more young people to crime than to Salafism.”

New study claims the French are open to immigration

According to a new survey released by TNS Opinion for the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the French view immigration as far more favorable than Americans, Brits, Germans, Italians, the Dutch and Poles.

Unlike the British, for instance, the French consider immigration as an opportunity and not as a problem. Unlike Italians, they typically reject common linkages between immigration and criminality. The French believe security at the borders should be tightened to impede illegal immigration, but also call for more developmental aid for immigrants. The study was undertaken between 29 August 29 and September 29, 2008 with a sample of 1000 people in each of these 7 countries.

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Click here for more information about the study.

Information Agreements between Spain and Algeria

The Algerian President, Abdelaziz Buteflika, has received the Interior Minister Alfredo P_rez Rubalcaba, to sign an agreement about security and fight against terrorism and organized crime. The agreement defines terrorism specifically as a form of criminality and establishes dispositions about the collaboration and cooperation on the activity of information.

Interview with Islam Expert Dietrich Reetz: ‘Muslims Have a Right to Be Different’

Islam expert Dietrich Reetz of Berlin’s Center for Modern Oriental Studies (ZMO) speaks to SPIEGEL about Muslims in Germany, social tensions and the prospects for dialogue between the communities. SPIEGEL: Mr. Reetz, recently the debate about the propensity to violence, among young Muslim men in particular, has heated up in Germany. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung co-editor Frank Schirrmacher wrote that, the mixture of youth criminality and Muslim fundamentalism is the closest thing today to the deadly ideologies of the 20th century. He is drawing an analogy to fascism and Stalinism. Is that excessive dramatization or is there a real threat?

Muslim Group Attacks Mosque Plan

Government plans that could see the closure of mosques suspected of inciting extremism have been attacked by Muslim leaders. Sir Iqbal Sacranie said the move would “criminalise an entire community for the criminality carried out by a few”. The Muslim Council of Britain secretary general made his comments in a speech to an east London conference focusing on the role of Muslims in the UK. But he added loyalty to the UK was not incompatible with the Muslim faith. Met Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur and the Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer are among the other figures addressing more than 20,000 people at the Global Peace and Unity conference. Wider community Sir Iqbal described the government proposals designed to tackle terrorism the “single most dangerous piece of legislation”. Under the plans, police could seek a court order for the temporary closure of a place of worship if extremist behaviour or terrorist activity was believed to be taking place. Mosques were not specifically singled out in the proposal but most people would see the proposal as referring to mosques and trustees of mosques, the MCB has said. The comments follow a recent warning by the Association of Chief Police Officers that the plan could be seen as an attack on religion. Assistant Chief Constable Rob Beckley, who is responsible for community relations at the association, said if officers had suspicions about a particular mosque they would want to identify those responsible rather than close it down. Sir Iqbal also used his speech to call for a public inquiry into the 7 July London bomb attacks. The MCB’s Sher Khan said the gathering at the Excel centre fulfilled a “very important need to clarify to the wider community that British Muslims are part and parcel of the wider community”.