Four mosques closed for ‘promoting radical ideology’ in France

Four mosques in France have been closed after many people who attended them reportedly joined extremist movements. The places of worship, French officials said Wednesday, promoted violence and ideologies that ran contrary to French values.

The closures were made via a national state of emergency that was initiated following terrorist attacks, including one in November of last year in Paris that killed 130 people plus the seven terrorist attackers.

“Under the guise of ritual ceremonies, these places [harbored] meetings aimed at promoting radical ideology, [which is] contrary to the values of the [French] Republic and may constitute a serious risk to security and public order,” Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said. He said that the mosques had spread “hatred and violence.”

The interior minister also reaffirmed the country’s commitment to “allow the peaceful coexistence of all [places of] worship in compliance with the laws of the Republic.”

The crackdown on the four mosques comes after a July announcement that the government was considering a temporary ban on foreign financing for mosques.

American Muslims Send A Powerful Message Of Solidarity To Orlando Victims

The tragedy in Orlando has prompted both compassion and debate within the Muslim community.

The American Muslim community reacted with an outpouring of love and support in the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
The support came in the form of fundraisers, blood donations, and public statements that firmly condemned the violence that claimed the lives of 49 victims at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub early Sunday morning, and left dozens more injured.
At the same time, the violence sparked a debate within the community about whether Muslim leaders need to speak out more forcefully against homophobic ideologies.
The gunman, identified as 29-year-old Omar Mateen, reportedly called police about 20 minutes into the shooting and pledged his allegiance to ISIS. His father, Seddique Mateen, has claimed that his son became upset after seeing two gay men kissing in Miami a few months ago. Pulse was a haven for Orlando’s LGBTQ community.
Muslim organizations and activists across the country have spoken out against the shooting, explicitly calling it a hate crime.

Extremism in Luton: Mosque launches anti-ISIS classes for Muslim children to combat online grooming

British Muslim children as young as 11 are being given classes to prevent them

being radicalised by violent Islamic State (Daesh) jihadists. This comes after

community leaders feared they were being targeted by extremist online

propaganda.

Imams and Islamic teachers warned a war of ideologies is currently being fought

in their own mosques, communities, and on social media following the rise of

terror groups in Syria and Iraq.

IBTimes UK visited one Islamic school in Luton – a town infamous for both far-

right and Islamic extremist groups – as it taught a new syllabus to tackle children

being groomed by IS fighters.

The Al-Hira mosque, home to one of the largest madrassas in Luton, is in its first

year of giving anti-Daesh classes for pupils aged 11 to 16.

Started eight months ago, the classes are described by the mosques leaders as

part of a new grassroots strategy which they say has become more effective than

the governments own anti-extremism programme.

Most of the young people from aged nine are on social media and they know

what Isis are – its very easy for them to go down the wrong path, Dawood

Masood, senior manager of Al-Hira, tells IBTimes UK.

http://www.ibtimes.co.in/extremism-in- luton-mosque- launches-anti- isis-

classes-for- muslim-children- to-combat- online-grooming- 682898

Government crackdown on radicals ‘will lead to attacks on Muslims’

December 4, 2013

 

A fresh crackdown on Islamist extremism risks backfiring by fuelling anti-Muslim prejudice and driving hardliners underground, the Government was warned last night. A group that monitors attacks on Muslims said it was preparing for an upsurge of violence as a result of the moves being announced today by David Cameron.

Under the Prime Minister’s proposals, Islamist radicals face being expelled from mosques, Muslim community groups and universities in a fight-back against fundamentalism. The courts would be given new civil powers – similar to Asbos (Anti-social behaviour order) – to ban suspected extremists from preaching or indoctrinating others. At the same time internet companies have been asked to block terrorist material from overseas being accessed in this country.

Last night Fiyaz Mughal, the director of Tell Mama, which records anti-Muslim incidents, said he feared Mr Cameron’s announcements would reinforce negative perceptions of Muslims. Mr Mughal said he had asked extra staff to be on standby because of an anticipated surge in hate attacks. He added that the new rules should cover all forms of extremism, including the activities of the far right.

Isabella Sankey, the director of policy at Liberty, said it was important to confront “ugly ideologies across the spectrum”. But she added: “Driving those who despise diversity further underground does nothing to expose their beliefs and only acts as another recruitment tool. You cannot protect our democracy by shutting down the very freedoms that sustain it.”

 

The Independent: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/government-crackdown-on-radicals-will-lead-to-attacks-on-muslims-8981288.html

The Muslim Brotherhood a silent presence in Spain

28 July 2013

 

Riay Tatary, the President of the UCIDE (Union of Islamic Communities of Spain), was interviewed by the newspaper El Confidential about the possible connection between him, the UCIDE and the Musilim Brotherhood.

“UCIDE is distant from any movement: our principle is a positive independence. If any of our members is connected to it, it is on his own. We maintain a dialogue with other religions, ideologies and other sensibilities within Islam. We work with everyone, but without imposing “, he argues.

Do you belong to the Muslim Brotherhood? “No. I have good relationships with everyone, while there is nothing that affects our organization. I have been associated with them, yet I have the courage to say if I like or not. “My greatest concern is the entire Muslim community and that is the project that I defend. Islam is far greater than all the movements, which are nothing more than tools. In Spain I think we need to have another vision. And Tatary recalls that the word Islam means precisely peace: “The Muslim Brotherhood should have a very clear stance against violence, and not miss an opportunity to say it. “

The Union of Islamic Communities in Spain presents the video documentary “Together we build the future.”

17 May 2012
Spain forms a multicultural map with different lifestyles, ideologies, and beliefs. In this context of diversity, the Muslim community has an increasingly important opinion. “Together we build the future” is the documentary that gives voice to some of these people.
The video, made by Imal Producciones y Aire Comunicación, in collaboration with the Foundation for Pluralism and Coexistence, is part of the materials developed by the Union of Islamic Communities of Spain (UCIDE) to promote religious freedom in a framework of peaceful coexistence and plural in Spanish society.

The video, which lasts approximately 30 minutes, shows the daily lives of five Muslims and gives us their testimonies and experiences, especially on living in Spain.

Thinking outside the box: the new generation of Punk Islam

April 12

This week Michael Muhammad Knight presented in Germany his book Taqwarcores, first published in 2004. The author is a converted American Muslim who currently lives in Berlin. The book discusses the birthplace of Punk Islam and the desire of a new generation of Muslims who reject religious ideologies and dogmas. His book reading in Berlin found an interested and curious audience.

Germany’s 5th Integration Summit

31.01. & 01./02.02.2012

Last Tuesday, Chancellor Merkel hosted the fifth German integration summit, bringing together politicians and representatives of different immigrant groups and organizations.

When Merkel initiated the first integration summit in 2006, she made the integration of Germany’s migrant population a top political priority. At this first summit, the participants agreed on developing a national integration plan, which was presented at the second summit in 2007 and meant to be the basis for integration work in subsequent years. The third and fourth summits were, then, opportunities to assess what had been achieved – with many critical voices as to the progress with respect to integration made so far.

Amongst other things, this year’s summit focused specifically on the issue of language skills, which had already been a priority of recent summits as well as in the national integration plan. In addition, the summit focused on structures of the German state that essentially prevent immigrants from working in the civil service or civil service organizations. In this context, a particular goal formulated at the summit was to raise the number of migrants in these official positions. Furthermore, the summit’s participants talked about the recently uncovered right-wing terrorism cell in Germany. They called for more tolerance and a new “culture of welcome” in Germany as a clear sign against racism and right-wing ideologies. The participants then agreed on an “national action plan” to bring forward the practical implementation of the National Integration Plan.

As in previous years, the summit was – once again – criticized by opposition parties and migrant organizations for its mere symbolic character. Kenan Kolat, for instance, chairman of the Turkish Community in Germany, argued that the euphoria surrounding the first integration summits is over and it has now turned into a mere show-event.

US Born radical cleric took winding path to become ‘Pied Piper of jihadists’

Born in New Mexico and raised in Yemen, Anwar Awlaki learned to preach in the U.S. As a young man, he studied in several U.S. states, including California.

At the local mosque where he preached, he delighted in playing soccer with young children and taking the teenagers paint-balling. “He had an allure. He was charming,” Imam Johari Abdul-Malik, outreach director of an Islamic center in Falls Church, Va., where Awlaki later gave sermons, told reporters in 2009.
With his fashionable eyeglasses and fluent English, the U.S.-born radical cleric also had been called a “Pied Piper of jihadists,” an Internet phenomenon who produced video and audio recordings to lure Westerners to his extremist ideologies. Awlaki, who had been linked to several terrorist plots in the U.S., was killed Friday in a joint CIA-military airstrike, U.S. officials said. He was 40.

His was born in 1971 in Las Cruces, N.M., where his father had moved from Yemen to study agricultural economics at New Mexico State University. At 7, Awlaki returned with his family to Yemen, and his father served as the country’s agriculture minister.

Low support for radicalism among European Muslims

15 September 2010
Support for radical Islamist groups is low among European Muslims and some leading groups with overseas roots are now cooperating with local governments and encouraging Muslims to vote, according to a new report. European groups linked to wider Islamist movements such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Jamaat-i-Islami now focus more on conditions for Muslims in Europe than their original ideologies from Egypt and Pakistan, according to the report by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, on “Muslim Networks and Movements in Western Europe”.
The report also cited tensions between “jihadists” and peaceful Islamists in Europe, saying some groups linked to the Muslim Brotherhood were working with police to counter militants. “By most accounts, support for radical extremist groups is relatively low among Muslims in Europe,” it said. “Nevertheless, such groups have been central to the public discussion of Islam in Europe, especially in recent years.”
The report said supporters of European groups with links to foreign Islamist movements often showed little interest in their founding ideologies, which critics say are radical and anti-Western. Although some groups promoted militant views, others dealt only with religious issues or education, making it difficult to generalise about Muslim organisations in Western Europe.