Rotterdam Population to be 45 Percent “Non-Western” in 2030

October 19 2012

Some 45% of Rotterdam’s population will be non-western by 2030, according to estimates provided by the local Centre for Research and Statistics (COS) this week. This research sent to the city council estimates that the number of non-western people in the city (of Turkish, Moroccan, Surinamese and Antillean heritage) will grown from nearly 227,000 this year to over 297,000 in 2030. The expansion will not result from increased immigration to the Netherlands but from birthrates among the city’s existing population.

The research is part of the COS population predictions for the city in the coming years from 2013-2030, and also predicts future birth and death rates, domestic and international migration, and fluctuations in life expectancy.

A Planned Mosque Inches Along, but Critics Remain

A cluster of young Muslims in matching yellow T-shirts and broad smiles handed out free school supplies to a line of needy families in front of a gated construction site in the waning days of summer. Across the quiet residential street, two men glared at them, holding up protest signs.

The narrow avenue divided the two views of a three-story mosque and Islamic community center that is slowly being built on Voorheis Avenue in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, capturing the lingering tensions over a project that has split this multiethnic, but mostly Russian-Jewish, residential neighborhood that hugs the Atlantic shoreline.

The mosque’s backers say 150 to 200 Muslim families who live within walking distance are in need of a local place to pray. The mosque, they want to reassure neighbors, will be an asset, providing afterschool activities to children, a Boy Scout troop open to all and charity events, like the school supply giveaway.

But a determined group of opponents see in the half-built concrete and brick frame a provocation. To them, it is a blight, a source of future traffic congestion and worse: a beachhead for Muslim expansion in Brooklyn and a beacon for anti-Semitism.

“Yes, they are smiling, but you know what’s behind their smiles?” said Leonid Krupnik, 62, one of the two protesters late last month. Like many of the mosque’s opponents, he has strong memories of anti-Semitism as a Jew from the former Soviet Union. “Hatred. They want to create a caliphate. They want to push people out of this neighborhood.”

Mr. Krupnik and other opponents say they are being unfairly typecast as xenophobes and racists. They do nevertheless worry that the neighborhood will change so much that non-Muslims will want to leave and they fear that the mosque will be used to promote radical thinking.

“If the area, suddenly, is like a suburb of some Muslim country, it’s not very pleasant,” said Alexandr Tenenbaum, who lives several blocks away. “I am always scared because you see these kind of people, but we can’t say it.”

Mr. Ahmed and the Muslim American Society, which bought the property from him, say the suspicion is unfounded. They also say the statements by the politicians engender hate.

Mr. Ahmed, who has lived in the neighborhood since 1997, said that because of the tolerance he found in Brooklyn over the years, he had not expected such determined opposition.

Louvre’s Islamic art building is ready to fly

The Los Angeles Times – September 1, 2012

 

The Louvre’s new wing for the department of Islamic art undulates like molten gold. For the museum’s enlarged, 18,000-piece treasure trove of Islamic art, opening Sept. 22, architects Mario Bellini from Italy and Rudy Ricciotti from France used the latest in computer technology to create what is the most significant, innovative architectural expansion project to the museum since I.M. Pei shook up the institution with his glass pyramid in 1989. The building is a much more intimate addition, tucked into the folds of the sprawling monument (822 years old in some parts) and is not clearly visible from the street.

With its new structure and its expanded and restored collection, from which more than 2,500 works will be displayed, the museum says it hopes to “seduce” visitors into learning more about Islamic arts. In the process, the institution has stated a rather more ambitious goal for the $98.5-million-euro project ($123.8 million): to correct common “misconceptions” associated with the Islamic world and “bridge” cultural gaps that can lead to conflict.

The new wing will unveil never-before-shown precious works from the 7th to the 19th centuries, stretching from Spain to India, including pieces drawn from the Louvre’s collection of some 15,000 pieces, plus 3,400 other works on permanent loan from the Musée des Arts Décoratifs.

Funders include Saudi Prince Waleed bin Talal’s Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation; King Mohammed VI of Morocco; Sheikh Sabah al Ahmed al Jabbar al Sabah, the emir of Kuwait; Kaboos ibn Said, sultan of Oman; and the republic of Azerbaijan.

New powers to record every phone call and email makes surveillance ’60m times worse’

David Davis has claimed proposed plans to monitor emails, phone calls and websites will make existing surveillance legislation “60 million times worse”.

The former Conservative Home Secretary argued the new powers risked causing enormous resentment by allowing “unfettered” access to all forms of communication.

The Coalition is to revive plans first raised then shelved by the last Labour Government to track the activities of every Briton who uses a phone or the internet.

The proposals, to be unveiled in the Queen’s Speech, will see a huge expansion in the amount of data communication providers are required to keep for at least a year.

It will allow the police and intelligence officers to monitor who someone is in contact with or websites they visit, although the content of such communications will not be accessed.

Under new legislation, internet companies will be instructed to install hardware enabling GCHQ – the Government’s electronic “listening” agency – to examine “on demand” any phone call made, text message and email sent, and website accessed.

Salaamworld Social Media Platform to Target Muslim Demographic

16 March 2012

 

Radio Netherlands Worldwide this week profiles Salaamworld, a social media platform akin to Facebook which is to debut in June, during Ramadan. The site provides a platform for young Muslims who feel uncomfortable with the content of Facebook, as well as enabling access to a collection of Islamic e-books, products and services. The project is currently headquartered in Istanbul with branches in Russia and Egypt, and an ambitious expansion plan for the coming three years. The site is not the first alternative to Facebook targeting a Muslim demographic, and joins al- Millatfacebook, a Pakistani initiative.

Dutch-Moroccan publicist Mohammed Jabri comments on Salaamworld that while it provides a potentially fruitful, though undoubtedly commercial, enterprise, it does not reply a ‘pure’ alternative to an ‘impure’ Facebook. Jabri predicts that those who sign up with Salaamworld will not revoke their Facebook profiles, as they will not want to lose contacts not shared between the two platforms.

Toronto’s million-dollar mosque

News Agencies – February 16, 2012

Imam Aly Hindy of Toronto’s Salaheddin mosque has long been known for his controversial comments. He called the 9/11 attacks a joint CIA operation, refused to join other imams in signing a statement condemning the 2005 London bombings and referred to the Toronto 18 terrorists as good people.

But while he remains as provocative as ever, the institution that serves as his platform has undergone a notable shift: According to federal charity records, the Salaheddin Islamic Centre is being increasingly financed by foreign patrons. Almost a quarter of the centre’s revenues came from outside Canada in 2010, figures posted on the Canada Revenue Agency website show. Three unnamed foreign donors provided $931,000 of the centre’s almost $4-million in revenues that year. Imam Hindy said his centre was “not so dependent on foreign revenues.” He said it was simply going through an expansion phase that cost more than he was able to raise in Canada.

“We have purchased a building in Mississauga for $1.7-million and renovated by about $150K. We expanded our building in Scarborough so far by $1.5-million. We have now a full time elementary and secondary School up to Grade 12.

Imam Hindy has been critiqued by the Muslim Canadian Congress for “humiliating remarks” about homosexuals, and for trying to make the case that it didn’t matter if Canada accepted homosexuals because Islam did not.

Mosque expansion planned in Calgary, Alberta

News Agencies – January 21, 2012

Calgary Muslims have found a place to worship in the downtown. The Al Madinah Calgary Islamic Centre, in the northeast neighbourhood of Falconridge, will be moving to a new location, at 421 Riverfront Ave. S.E. Iman Syed Soharwardy says the grand opening will take place Jan. 27 on Eid Milad un Nabi. The new location will be the site for five daily prayers, Friday and Eid prayers, youth and children’s Qur’an and Islamic studies classes, adult Qur’an and Islamic studies classes, women-only programs, interfaith dialogue and community events.

Mississauga, Ontario mosque offers free hot meals

Toronto Star – September 28, 2011

Heeding the Qur’anic instruction to assist the needy, Jamia Riyadhul Jannah mosque in Mississauga, Ontario will start offering free meals, seven days a week from noon to 7 p.m., starting Friday. The Sunni/Sufi mosque, located in an industrial park near Credit View and Argentia Rds., is the first North American mosque to provide hot meals to all regardless of faith, organizers claim. The halal menu will vary daily, with the entrees ranging from burgers to pasta and other items.

Community outreach was a founding principle of the mosque when it opened last August, Sohawardy said. Future plans include providing temporary shelter for recent immigrants. The mosque has been putting the word out with flyers distributed through food banks and other community services. Initially, the food will be brought in, kept warm on site and be served in a small 18-square-metre dining room. But the mosque is equipped with a kitchen and additional dining space, leaving room for expansion.

March Against Halal in Lyon stopped

Le Figaro – May 4, 2011

Authorities in the Rhone have forbidden a “March of Pigs” which had been organized in Lyon for Saturday, May 14 claiming that the activity counters secular values and could cause public disorder. Organizers of the march positioned themselves against the expansion of the halal meet market in France and the concurrent Islamism taking place. Another group, the Collective Against the Extreme Right in the Rhone, organized their own protests claiming that the initial march could stigmatize an entire people and provoke hatred.

Map: Nationwide Anti-Mosque Activity

The controversy over the planned Park 51 community center in New York City is only one example of opposition to mosques and Islamic centers in the United States. Existing and proposed mosque sites across the country have been targeted for vandalism and other criminal acts, and there have been efforts to block or deny necessary zoning permits for the construction and expansion of other facilities.