Anti-Shariah activists have a new target in their sights: Crayola. Late last week the Pickens County (Ga.) Republican party posted a call to action on its website about a new promotion from the world’s leading crayon manufacturer, which had begun offering free Islamic-themedcoloring pages in honor of Ramadan. Zut alors! The images are pretty innocuous—one features a prayer rug; another features a young boy kneeling while reading from the Koran. But the Pickens GOP sees something more nefarious…
Both the Pickens County GOP and another anti-Shariah website, the appropriately named “Creeping Sharia,” both published the exact same text on the exact same day, so it’s not clear who plagiarized whom. Crayola is in good company. Other American institutions that have fallen under the spell of Shariah (according to anti-Shariah activists) include David Petraeus, the grocery store Wegman’s, and Nashville’s Hutton Hotel.
News Agencies – March 9, 2012
The Kingston, Ontario Police Force are asking for the public’s help after a woman allegedly pulled on another woman’s hijab, which police are calling a hate crime assault. Police said a woman was finishing her grocery shopping at a store when another customer came from behind her and pulled on her hijab. They said the suspect yanked the head covering so hard it forced the victim to bend backward. The suspect then let go and left the store without saying a word.
The female suspect is described as Caucasian, slim, about 40 to 45 years old, with long black hair and was with a male companion. The Kingston case is similar to a November incident in Toronto, when Inas Kadri, a Muslim woman who wears a niqab face veil, was assaulted by a stranger while shopping. The attacker, Rosemarie Creswell, later pleaded guilty after surveillance footage of the attack was played in court.
WILMINGTON, N.C. — A North Carolina man must stand trial in a plot to hire a hit man to behead three witnesses from his brother’s terrorism case, a federal magistrate judge ruled on Friday.
Following a day-long preliminary hearing, federal Magistrate Judge Robert B. Jones Jr. also ordered Shkumbin Sherifi held without bond.
Sherifi, 21, was arrested last weekend after FBI agents tracked him to a Jan. 8 meeting in the parking lot of a Wilmington Food Lion grocery store with a government informant posing as the representative of a hit man. He is accused of paying the informant $4,250 toward the first killing while his mother waited nearby in a Honda minivan.
Mangers at three locations of a popular grocery store in the Netherlands face charges for refusing to employ workers with Moroccan heritage, stemming from a case begun last year. The managers, from Haarlem and The Hague, are charged with professional discrimination and face up to one year in jail.
In the wake of the Quick fast-food chain’s decision to offer halal meat products, French politicians Fadela Amara and Cécile Duflot weigh in that the complaints against the possibility are excessive. Amara explained that because as a private business Quick does not offer public services they should be able to sell whatever they please. The consumer can choose. The real problem, she added, is that “elites in this country don’t accept its diversity . . . secularism is respecting the practices of one another.” Duflot warned of Islamophobia: “No one is chocked that there’s a kosher Franprix [grocery store].”
Le Figaro points to a report on halal meats (see reports section of Euro-Islam website) which claims that 32 percent of meat prepared in French abattoirs is halal or kosher, and is sometimes sold as non-halal.
Ipercoop, a famous Italian supermarket, has opened a halal corner in one of its branches near Rome. It is the first of its kind in Italy.
This step is the latest in time for Coop in its attempt to conquer the promising market of ‘foreign’ consumers in Italy. Immigration, in fact, represents a substantial economic opportunity in Italy since immigrants spend half of their wages locally. Large companies such as supermarkets, communication companies and banks have thus started targeting more immigrant consumers.
Germany has four million Muslim inhabitants but the market for halal food — produced according to Islamic law — is still in its infancy, partly because firms fear the wrath of animal rights groups. But companies are slowly waking up to this fast-growing market.
The potential market for halal food in Germany is huge. An estimated four million Muslims live in Germany, and the community is pre-programmed to grow because Muslims have a higher birth rate than non-Muslims. Halal already accounts for 17 percent of the global food market, according to the World Halal Forum based in Malaysia.
“German companies are too cautious,” says Levent Akgül of ethnic marketing agency Akkar Media in Hanover. “They don’t know the different culture and they can’t calculate the risks.”
In addition, German food retailers are worried that putting halal food products on grocery store shelves will deter non-Muslim customers, says Akgül. Advertising for halal products in Germany is still taboo for many German companies, he says.
Telegraaf reports that halal foods are gaining Dutch shelf-space in the Netherlands. The halal food includes pork-free snacks such as sausages and meatballs in which the meat is processed according to Islamic law. Manufacturer Mekkafood from Venlo drove up production 25% this year, to 7,800 tons of halal meat. Producers note demand for halal products among non-Muslims, including popular Turkish pizzas, but note that the increase in the total number of Muslims also plays a role.
A Muslim couple’s complaint over the salami at a B. C. grocery store has been dismissed by the B. C. Human Rights Tribunal. William and Micheline Issa filed a complaint with the tribunal on behalf of themselves and their three children, saying the Real Canadian Superstore in the Vancouver suburb of Coquitlam served them salami containing pork a year ago. The couple said consuming pork would violate their religious beliefs. The tribunal heard the couple were told by deli workers of the pork before receiving the meat. The Issas said in the complaint that they were concerned they had previously been served salami containing pork. Loblaws, which owns the store, had offered to settle the complaint by paying the couple $5,000 for injury to dignity, feelings and self-respect, and giving another $5,000 to a charity of the couple’s choice.
Rotterdam entrepreneur Kees van Vuuren is starting a chain of immigrant supermarkets, and hopes to eventually open 150-200 shops, especially in those areas that have witnessed the disappearance of small grocery shops in the past decade. Van Vuuren hopes that the shops, under the name Waikiki, will improve the atmosphere in unsafe neighborhoods and encourage integration, by being employed by many young immigrants seeking franchises, and encouraging entrepreneurship in localized neighborhoods. Waikiki shops will offer products of Lebanese, Polish, Russian, Surinamese, Czech, Turkish, and Dutch origins, and also offer halal or Islamically permissible goods.