Arabic language taught in Italian schools begins, surprisingly, in the fortress of the Northeast, the hard and pure Treviso. Just the inhabitants of the Marca Gioiosa, who pushed for the Venetian dialect to be the official language, people are now sending their children to learn Arabic. In fact the elementary school Coletti will begin the lessons as part of a course on Arabic language and culture . “The institute in Treviso is the first in Italy to implement an Arabic language course totally free, paid for by the Government of Morocco” says professor Zinoun Bouchra, of Moroccan descent “…children in third to fifth grade will have the opportunity to learn the Arabic alphabet, and the history and culture they come into contact with through many of their companions. And all during the school day, Treviso is ahead of the curve offering this as absolutely free.”
The Government should not tell women what to wear, the Home Secretary has said amid ongoing debate over the use of full-face veils. Theresa May said it is for women to “make a choice” about what clothes they wear, including veils, although there will be some circumstances when it will be necessary to ask for them to be removed.
The ruling followed calls by Home Office Minister Jeremy Browne for a national debate on whether the state should step in to prevent young women having the veil imposed upon them.
Asked if parliament needs to issue formal guidance to courts and schools on whether women should be allowed to wear a veil, the Home Secretary told Sky News: “I start from the position that I don’t think Government should tell people, I don’t think the Government should tell women, what they should be wearing.
“I think it’s for women to make a choice about what clothes they wish to wear, if they wish to wear a veil that is for a woman to make a choice.” There will be some circumstances in which it’s right for public bodies, for example at the border, at airport security, to say there is a practical necessity for asking somebody to remove a veil. “I think it’s for public bodies like the Border Force officials, it’s for schools and colleges, and others like the judiciary, as we’ve recently seen, to make a judgment in relation to those cases as to whether it’s necessary to ask somebody to remove the veil.
“But in general women should be free to decide what to wear for themselves.”
28 August 2013
The Catalonian government spokesman, Francesc Homs, denied Tuesday that the order of their Department of Interior affairs to create a record of burkas and niqabs violates fundamental rights. “The duty of the police is to know what happens “, said Homs. The procedure is based on the assumption that these garments may constitute an indicator of the emergence of Salafism.
09 August 13
About 5,000 Muslims have come this Friday morning to perform their prayers at the two outdoor locations city organized by the City Hall to celebrate the Eid El Fitr. This year, however the UCIDCE has decided to withdraw the invitation made to the Local Government to join the festivities. The President of the Union, Laarbi Maateis, has justified the act as a way to “avoid criticism and controversy.” The local government spokesman Mabel Deu, also told reporters, did not give significance to the fact and said that “there is no need to be invited.”
The Government has been accused of double standards in the way it responded to the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby compared to the killing of an 82-year-old Muslim and explosions at three mosques in the West Midlands. Although the stabbing of Mohammed Saleem in Birmingham in April is regarded by police as a terrorist incident, Labour is concerned that it has not been discussed by the task force on extremism set up by David Cameron after the Woolwich killing in May. That was followed by explosions at mosques in Walsall, Tipton and Wolverhampton.
Yvette Cooper, the shadow Home Secretary, has written to Theresa May, the Home Secretary, recalling that Mr Cameron said the task force would look at new ways to support local communities and take a united stand against all forms of extremism. She added: “Like others, I had assumed the Prime Minister’s task force for tackling extremism would engage seriously with the West Midlands communities concerned. Its purpose was to ask questions about attacks, what more we can do to prevent extremism and to protect our communities. Clearly it needs to cover terror attacks on Muslim communities as well as Islamist extremism. So I think it’s really important the Taskforce considers these attacks and engages with the community now.”
Replying to Ms Cooper, the Home Secretary said: “These are of course terrible crimes which have the potential to cause fear and resentment across communities and we must continue to make clear that we will not tolerate extremism which attempts to divide us.”
The Security Minister acknowledged that there was “some fear and concern” in the community. He said: “Specialist advisers have been giving security advice to mosques, Islamic schools and community centres and there have been increased police patrols and community engagement plans.”
Around half of mosques and Muslim centres in Britain have been subjected to Islamophobic attacks since 9/11, academics have warned as the far-right English Defence League prepares to march to the south-London scene of Drummer Lee Rigby’s murder. The figures are highlighted in a report which also found that the number of anti-Islamic attacks increased by as much as tenfold in the days following the Woolwich attack.
Despite the warning signs, a senior Government adviser told The Independent that there remains a “lack of political will” to take on the rise of Islamophobic attacks in Britain. The adviser, who did not want to be named, said that attempts to “tackle this issue – even before Woolwich – struggled to attract buy-in,” with the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, identified as the primary source of frustration.
Professor Nigel Copsey, of Teesside University, the author of the new report which showed that between 40 and 60 per cent of mosques and other Islamic centres (around 700) had been targeted since 9/11 – said: “There has undoubtedly been a spike in anti-Muslim incidents since the Woolwich murder. An obvious concern now is whether the number of hate crime incidents return to ‘normal’ levels or whether Woolwich has been a game-changer in terms of increasing the underlying incidence of anti-Muslim hate over the longer term.”
But Dr Matthew Goodwin, associate fellow at Chatham House and an expert on extremist groups said that “the broader picture is more positive than we think. Young people are more at ease accepting Muslims in society.” A spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government said: “There is no place for anti-Muslim hatred or any kind of hatred in Britain, and we are committed to tackling this unacceptable scourge.”
June 7, 2013
This is the tough stance of the president of the League of Muslims in Ticino. “The UDC posters (previously reported on by Euro-Islam: http://www.euro-islam.info/2009/04/28/swiss-high-court-rules-udc-muslim-posters-not-racist/) reminds us of the propaganda in the ’30s”
The debate focuses on the controversial posters of UDC that portray two immigrants riding two Swiss; the poster has finally been brought to the attention of the Muslim community. The president of the League of Muslims in Ticino, Gasmi Slaheddine wrote to the government requesting decisive action. “Say enough to these constant attacks on the Muslim community,” it reads.
According Slaheddine, “the majority of people of the Islamic community in Ticino are well integrated, both socially and professionally. There are men and women who contribute to the growth and prosperity of this country as doctors, engineers, economists, artisans, teachers, cooks… to name just a few examples. Many of these workers are of Swiss nationality.”
Gilles Le Guen, who was arrested at the end of April in Mali, has been returned to France where he was immediately taken into custody by Central Directorate for Interior Intelligence. The 58-year-old was arrested in the Timbuktu region of Mali by French army units, who have joint the Malian government in combating Salafi groups in the North. The man is suspected of having fought alongside the Salafis for the imposition of a Sharia law ruled state. Le Guen’s arrest made several headlines in France and brought the subject of ‘home-grown terrorism’ back onto the national forefront. The French Government accuses him of having fought in ‘jihadist groups’ and being a ‘fanatic’ and a ‘clueless person who became a terrorist’.
Le Guen is to face several weeks of interrogation by the intelligence unit and a prolonged a jail term.
23 April 2013
On Tuesday, 23 April, the House of Commons held a debate on the role of sharia courts in the United Kingdom. With frequent reference to the BBC “Panorama” program on sharia councils which aired the previous evening, Kris Hopkins (Conservative MP for Keighley) sought clarification of the Government’s position on sharia councils and a guarantee that these council would not be allowed to constitute an alternative judicial system. Citing evidence presented in the BBC documentary, Mr. Hopkins raised particular concerns over the unequal treatment of women in matters of arbitration and divorce and called for the prosecution of those suspected of wrongdoing in these affairs.
Helen Grant, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice, stated plainly that “Sharia law has no jurisdiction under the law of England and Wales and the courts do not recognize it” and that “there is no parallel court system in this country, and we [the Government] have no intention of changing the position in any part of England and Wales.” Both Mr. Hopkins and the Government were careful to emphasize Britain’s proud tradition of religious tolerance and voiced a strong determination to protect the rights of all British citizens.
Mr. Hopkins was motivated to broach the issue in Parliament at least in part by a statement from the Bradford Council of Mosques calling for the formalization of sharia councils. The MP expressed particular concern over calls for government recognition of sharia councils. However, local Muslim groups were quick to distance themselves from such a position. Mujeeb Rahman, a member of the Keighley Ahmadiyya Muslim Association, asserted that U.K. Muslims do not want a separate judicial system and that sharia councils in the U.K. would benefit from operating in a more rigorous legal framework.
28 March 2013
The Spanish Government is prepared to amend the law of adoption to assure that the Guardianship of Alawites minors granted to Spanish families do not become full adoptions under Spanish law.
This guardianship system – typical of Islamic countries – involves a commitment to take charge of the protection, education and maintenance of an abandoned child, but does not confer the right to descent or succession. Moroccan legislation imposes on the families a series of requirements, such as their commitment to respect the child’s full name, nationality or religion until adulthood.
“What the Moroccan authorities really want, explains El-Otmani, the Morrocan Minister of Foreign Affairsis is a mechanism that will enable them to track how that child is doing”; that allows them to “control, verify that the child has a normal situation in education, psychology and health” culturally and religiously speaking, he adds.