Brexit board member resigns over Islamophobic tweets

A board member of the Leave campaign resigned Monday over a series of anti-

Muslim tweets, just two days before a referendum decides whether the U.K.

should stay in the EU, according to British media reports.

The Guardian noted that Arabella Arkwright, who is also a businesswoman,

reposted on her Twitter feed an image of a white woman surrounded by black-

colored burqas along with the caption: “Britain 2050: Why didn’t you stop them

Granddad?”

She also reposted another message saying: “Yazidi women fleeing Isis [Daesh]”

with a “Stop Islam” logo, according to the paper.

Arkwright reportedly deleted her Twitter account after she got negative

reactions to her posts.

Vote Leave campaign in a statement to the paper said that Arabella’s tweets did

not reflect the views of the group.

“As soon as we were made aware of these tweets we asked Arabella to hand in

her resignation, which she has done with immediate effect. These tweets do not

reflect the views of the Vote Leave campaign,” it said.

Also, Arkwright defended her position in a statement to the paper.

“I would like to make it absolutely clear that my RTs [re-tweets] and forwarding

do not mean that I endorse in any way the content of them,” she said.

Leave campaigners have repeatedly used xenophobic and Islamophobic content

to instill fear among voters that such a move would supposedly invite millions of

migrants into the bloc, especially to the U.K.

On Monday, Sayeeda Warsi, a senior Muslim politician in Britain’s governing

Conservative Party, also abandoned her support for Brexit.

The former Foreign Office minister had accused the Leave campaign of telling

“complete lies” about Turkey’s EU membership and announced she now

supported a vote for Britain to remain in the European Union.

Guantánamo Bay: why can’t Shaker Aamer return home to London?

Shaker Aamer was sent to Guantánamo Bay in 2002, and cleared to leave in 2007. Now, weakened by hunger strike, he asks what his fate has to do with justice.

The allegations which Aamer denies and which no one has ever been able to prove, has led to Aamer spending years in detention, a stretch of incarceration that has led him, in despair, to embark on a life-threatening hunger strike. So far detainee US9SA-000239DP has endured 68 days without food, far beyond what is accepted as safe. Clive Stafford Smith, his British lawyer, concedes that for the first time Aamer, widely regarded as a robust and resourceful character, has started to raise the possibility that he might die inside Guantánamo Bay. He recently told Stafford Smith, who is director of the legal charity Reprieve, to brief his wife that he might not make it out alive after all. The hunger strike began because the guards disrespected the Koran again, but it’s about much more than that now. It’s about the fact that they told Aamer six years ago that I was cleared to leave, and return to my wife and four children, but here I am, still in Guantánamo. It’s about the man in the cellblock with him who is in a wheelchair, or would be if they had not taken it from him as a punishment for striking. It’s about the man who got so desperate that he tried to kill himself. Aamer’s continuing incarceration is bizarre given that the Americans ruled almost six years ago that he could be freed from Guantánamo. In June 2007, he was officially cleared for release. A security assessment by the US government acknowledged it had no concrete evidence against him. Two years later, the Obama administration reiterated the lack of a case against him, underlining the fact that he could be released. So why is Aamer the only one among the 16 detainees who possessed British citizenship and residency who is still being held in Guantánamo? Officially, the British government insists it is dedicated to extracting the father of four, a position it has publicly adopted for the past six years. Last Tuesday, the Foreign Office’s human rights report of 2012 reiterated that it was committed to secure Aamer’s release and return. His case, it said, had been raised on multiple occasions, including direct pleas from the foreign secretary, William Hague. The situation is such that Aamer is starting to suspect the regime at Guantánamo Bay is trying to kill him through medical neglect. Simultaneously, the strain on his family is starting to mount.

British Muslims angry with Britain’s decision to “engage” with Narendra Modi’s government

Narendra Modi, the chief minister of Gujarat state has been boycotted by Western governments for 10 years over his involvement in the Gujarat massacre in 2002. According to the reports published by Human Rights Watch, Citizens for Justice and Peace and many other NGOs during the massacre more than 2,000 Muslims were killed, 150,000 displaced and over 800 women and girls were raped. Further, according to these reports Narendra Modi provoked the massacre and was complaisant with the killing of the Muslims.

 

The UK’s high commissioner in India has met Narendra Modi recently and ended the boycott. This angered the British Muslims who were ‘shocked’ and ‘dismayed’ with the decision of the Foreign Office. One of these groups was the Council of Indian Muslims (U.K.) who wrote an open letter to urge Foreign Secretary William Hague to review Britain’s decision to “engage” with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s government. The letter said:

 

“We are particularly disappointed because no consultation was done with British Indian Muslims in general and in particular the families whose members were butchered by Modi’s foot soldiers… We really find ourselves at a loss and have no words to express our utter disappointment, frustration and therefore very humbly request you to review your decision.”

British Muslim Fighters reportedly fighting in Syria

Jeroen Oerlemans a famous Dutch photo journalist and John Cantlie, a photographer from the UK was kidnapped by rebels when they were crossing to Syria from Turkish border. They reported that some of the rebels had distinct British accents. The UK Foreign Office has launched an investigation on the reports.

“Political Correctness” Allegedly Opened UK to Muslim Extremists Prior to 7/7 Bombings

30 April 2011

Leaked WikiLeaks documents suggests that Islamists have been radicalised in Britain for many years, and after detention at Guantanamo, have passed through Britain again before fighting against Western forces in Afghanistan. Former Foreign Office Minister Kim Howells now blames “political correctness” for creating an atmosphere of not challenging extremist views and thereby undermining security.

Howells said: “I think that people were terrified of stirring up allegations of racism, of wanting to vilify a particular part of the community. There was a great reluctance to speak about them as a separate part of the community or a community that was undermining our way of life and threatening it.” In this perspective, the 7/7 bombings did not come as a surprise.

Top Police Chief: We must start Negotiating with Al-Qaeda Now to Stop Terror

A police chief was slapped down by the Government yesterday for suggesting Britain could open talks with Al Qaeda. Sir Hugh Orde, head of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, said he knew of no terror campaign that had not ended with negotiation. And he said his 30 years spent tackling the IRA had convinced him that security work and arrests were not enough to defeat terrorists. But his suggestion was immediately dismissed by the Foreign Office. A spokesman said: ‘It is inconceivable that Her Majesty’s Government would ever seek to reach a mutually acceptable accommodation with a terrorist organisation like Al Qaeda.’ Jonathan Powell, ex-chief of staff at Downing Street, also says the Ulster peace deal shows talking to terror groups can work. He said negotiating with Al Qaeda might seem pointless now, but a political solution would be needed in the end. Sir Hugh, a leading contender to take over from Sir Ian Blair as chief of the Metropolitan Police, said: ‘If you want my professional assessment of any terrorism campaign, what fixes it is talking and engaging and judging when the conditions are right for that to take place.’

2000 Iraqis could settle in UK

Under a _25m government programme around 2000 Iraqis may be flown over to the UK from next month to start a new life. Interpreters and other staff who have worked for the UK government are being offered a one-off payment or the chance to settle in the UK with their family. About 50 Iraqis, many of whom fear for their lives in their homeland, are due to arrive on the first flight in April. The Home Office said they would spend two days in Slough, Berkshire, before being resettled outside the south-east. The new arrivals will be given help finding accommodation and settling down from Migrant Helpline, a charity which provides advice and support to asylum seekers and refugees in the UK. The direct entry assistance scheme is intended to support those who worked for British forces and the Foreign Office in Iraq, in many cases putting their lives in danger. Only those that were working on a date last August and had been doing so for more than one year are eligible. Those that meet the criteria are being given the option of indefinite leave to remain in the UK or a financial package for themselves and their dependents. The relocation package includes temporary accommodation for three months.http://www.themuslimweekly.com/newsdetails/fullstoryview.aspx?NewsID=4C379A4BC85C7BE8FB581D84&MENUID=HOMENEWS&DESCRIPTION=UK%20News

Government to link London schools with madrassahs

The British government will link schools at home with madrassahs (Islamic schools) in restive Muslim countries in an effort to combat extremist ideologies. “These projects have a tremendous effect on how young people see the modern world,” said Martin Davidson, the chief executive of the British Council, a Foreign Office-funded educational body, which has been assigned with the twinship programme._ “They are a direct way of revealing what people and cultures in other countries are really like. While they discover plenty of differences they also come to understand that young people share many characteristics.” The British Council has already allocated _6 million to the project, whose first phase will kick off in Afghanistan, Indonesia, Iraq and Pakistan, including the troubled North West Frontier Province regarded as a stronghold for the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. Schools in London, Bradford, Nottingham and Birmingham, where there are large Muslim populations, are expected to be the first to take part.http://themuslimweekly.com/newsdetails/fullstoryview.aspx?NewsID=B1A0F122A331107212D0B2D1&MENUID=HOMENEWS&DESCRIPTION=UK%20News (link temporary; some news sites may require registration)

About 500,000 Moroccans, 21,000 Congolese live in Belgium legally

According to a report by the Foreign Office, an estimated 500,000 Moroccans and 21,000 Congolese live in Belgium legally. Moroccans compromise the largest African community in Belgium, with an estimated 81,000 choosing to maintain their nationality. Not included in the report are estimates of illegal migrants, numbering at about 100,000.

Blair Promises to Improve Teaching of Islamic Studies

By Stephen Bates and James Meikle — PM says politicians should listen to moderate voices — Report calls for more UK-trained Muslim clerics Tony Blair yesterday pledged to spend _1m improving the teaching of Islamic studies at universities, as Downing Street said more imams should be trained in Britain to reduce reliance on foreign-trained clerics. In a speech to a conference of moderate Muslims in London, the prime minister accepted that British politicians should listen more carefully to the views of “the calm voice of moderation and reason” within the community. He insisted that his government’s foreign interventions had not been based on religion. Mr Blair said: “The voices of extremism are no more representative of Islam than the use in times gone by of torture to force conversion to Christianity represented the teachings of Christ.” Among those invited by the Cambridge inter-faith programme were the grand muftis of Egypt and Bosnia, but not representatives of more extreme or politicised lobbying groups. The guest list was criticised by the radical Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir, and also by the Labour peer Lord Ahmed, who told the BBC: “The conference is fronted by Cambridge University but organised by Downing Street, the Foreign Office and the communities department, who have deliberately chosen to exclude those Muslims who disagree with Government policy … It’s a colonial style of governing.”