Police arrest two terrorism suspects

Milan police arrested two Moroccan-born men on charges of plotting attacks against Italian targets. These targets included a supermarket, police barracks, and Milan’s Piazza del Duomo. The two men were said to have no ties to international terrorist groups, but did admire the work of such groups as Al Qaeda. Wiretaps of the two men uncovered the intent to use “bombs” made of gunpowder from firecrackers. Planning for the attacks is said to have been in the preliminary stages.

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AKI

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Associated Press

New York Times

Reuters

Europe’s First Woman Imam

The Al-Sahaba mosque in the northern Belgian city of Verviers has granted female Muslim professor Hawaria Fattah to fulfill the position of imam at the mosque. The move is the first of its kind both in Belgium, and in greater Europe. Fattah, along with two male imams, will supervise the preaching activities for women at the mosque. However, she will not deliver the sermon of Friday prayers or lead prayers, stressed Abdel Jalel Al-Hajaji curator at the mosque. The Belgian Justice Ministry has approved of Fattah’s selection. She was born to an Algerian father and a Belgian mother, is 35 years old, and a professor of social and Islamic studies.

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IslamOnline.net

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Proposal not to fund ‘virginity operations’

Anne-Marie Lizin of the Walloon Socialist party is acting against state subsidies for “virginity operations.” The senator proposed a law requesting that hymen reconstruction operations no longer be reimbursed by the national RIVIZ health insurance. The so-called “virginity operations” have been popular among the Muslim and immigrant community in Belgium, for women seeking to torn hymens to give the image of intact virginity. However, the procedure, falling under the category of “vagina and vulva surgery,” has been intended for repairing damage from birth defects, burns, abscesses, and similar cases.

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Telegraaf (Dutch)

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Scots Split on Official Sharia Courts

Reports about the possible establishment of first-ever Sharia courts in Scotland are sparking debate among proponents and critics of a paralegal legal system. “Those using Sharia law are fully entitled to religious freedom as long as it doesn’t conflict with criminal law,” said Aamer Anwar, a civil rights lawyer in Glasgow. The Church of Scotland said that it would welcome the possibility of introducing sharia courts, provided they meet three crucial standards – that they not break fundamental tenants of the Human Rights Act, that it not preclude recourse to the courts, and must respect the rights of women. The move is receiving opposition by several quarters in Scottish society.

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IslamOnline

The Scotsman

The Times Online

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Islam comforts Spanish intellectuals

Thousands of Spaniards, especially academics, intellectuals, and anti-globalization activists are finding solace in Islam. “Embracing Islam is on the rise despite ferocious Western media campaigns,” Abdul-Nour Brado, the head of the Islamic Society of Catalonia. It is estimated that three to four thousand Catalonians have accepted Islam recently, with some suggesting that the numbers are even higher. No specific reasons have been cited concerning the spike in Islamic practice, but leaders of various Spanish Islamic societies cite the trend as a global one, and not just limited to Spain. Nevertheless, there are differences that can be seen among these “new Muslims,” such as where they choose to attend prayers. Overall, the differences are welcomed as a positive sign for living in a democratic country.

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Islam Online

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