Defence secretary Michael Fallon to pay damages to Imam at centre of ‘Isis claims’

Defence secretary Michael Fallon will pay undisclosed damages to a Muslim

cleric for falsely claiming he supported Islamic State (Isis). Imam Suliman Gani

was dubbed an Isis sympathiser by Prime Minister David Cameron in the Houses

of Commons as the London mayoral elections heated up between Khan and the

Conservatives' Zac Goldsmith in April 2016.

Khan was criticised by the PM for sharing a platform with extremists, like Gani,

and a few days later a similar claim was made on the BBC during the London

Mayoral Debate. Presenter Andrew Neil again described Suliman Gani as being a

supporter of Islamic State, rather than a supporter of an Islamic state, that he

says he intended.

Then, Fallon repeated the claims on 7 May, during BBC Radio Four's Today

programme. Unlike Cameron, Fallon was not protected by parliamentary

privilege and Gani brought legal proceedings.

Cameron and the BBC have subsequently apologised for their mistakes and on

Thursday (23 June), Fallon published a letter on his website that the claims

about the Tooting imam where "entirely untrue".

Fallon wrote: "I was made aware of the BBC's correction and apology a few hours

after the broadcast and immediately issued a statement in an effort to put the

record straight. I accept that you are entirely opposed to Daesh/Islamic State,

that you regard it as incompatible with your religious and moral beliefs, and that

you have spoken out publicly against it."
Source: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/defence-secretary- michael-fallon- pay-damages-imam-centre-isis-claims- 1567147

Radical Islam Or Radical Islamism? It Depends Whom You Ask

The Orlando shooter, Omar Mateen, claimed allegiance to the leader of the Islamic State during a phone call to 911 early Sunday. And that’s reignited a debate over how to label the ideology that apparently inspired the attack.
Republican Donald Trump and many on the right say it’s “radical Islam.” But Democrat Hillary Clinton used a different term: “radical Islamism.” It’s not just a debate over semantics.
“What exactly would using this label accomplish?” President Obama asked Tuesday as he spoke about his administration’s fight against ISIS. He spoke at length about the language debate. “Would it bring in more allies? Is there a military strategy that is served by this? The answer is none of the above. Calling a threat by a different name does not make it go away. This is a political distraction.”
NPR.org: http://www.npr.org/2016/06/14/482011041/radical-islam-or-radical-islamism-it-depends-who-you-ask

Man claiming allegiance to ISIS stabs policemen and wife to death

Source: http://www.liberation.fr/planete/2016/06/14/policier-et-sa-compagne-tues-en-plein-euro-la-france-a-nouveau-frappee-par-un-acte-jihadiste_1459272

 

June 14, 2016

 

A radicalized killer has stabbed a top cop and his wife to death in their Paris home.

 

Jean-Baptiste Salvaing, 42, a police commander, suffered nine stomach wounds in the ‘terror attack’ at his suburban house in the Yvelines department, north of Paris, shortly after 8.30pm. His wife’s body was found in the property after elite RAID commandos stormed the building and killed the attacker.

 

The only survivor was the couple’s three-year-old son.

 

The Islamic State’s terror group’s Amaq news agency said the attacker was an “Islamic State fighter.”

 

There were also unconfirmed claims that the attacker had discussed his “affiliation to ISIS” during negotiations with the police. A source close to the case said: “It’s said that he shouted Allahu Akhbar (Arabic for God is the Greatest) during the attack, and spoke about his membership of ISIS.”

 

Neighbors also said the man had served with the French Army, in the Foreign Legion

 

Bernard Cazeneuve, France’s Interior Minister, said “every line of enquiry” including terrorism was being investigated”.

 

Cazeneuve said the “immediate priority” was the wellbeing of the couple’s orphaned son.

 

Salvaing was an assistant chief with the judicial police at nearby Mureaux, while the dead killer was also from Magnanville.

 

“It is believed the attacker is a neighbor,” said a witness at the scene of the siege.

 

“The street has now been shut off, and the electricity and gas has been cut.”

 

An Interior Ministry spokesman in Paris said a police negotiator started talking to the neighbor, before he began tweeting threatening messages. It is then that the order was given for the commandos to move in.

 

Salvaing was known as a ‘friendly police officer with a very good reputation,’ said a former colleague.

 

France is currently under a State of Emergency following last year’s Islamic State terrorist attacks, in which almost 150 people were murdered, including two police officers.

 

In November 2015 it was RAID who took part in operations at the Bataclan theatre in Paris, where 90 people were killed during a series of bombings, shootings and hostage taking by ISIS extremists.

Horror in Orlando: Statement by the Union of Islamic Organizations of France

Horror in Orlando

Source: http://www.uoif-online.com/communiques/horreur-a-orlando/

Statement by the Union of Islamic Organizations of France

June 12, 2016

A killing without reason has struck the city of Orlando in the United States.

It was an act of terrorism that has been claimed by ISIS, which took the lives of at least fifty people during the shooting.

The UOIF condemns with the greatest firmness this barbaric and hateful act.

The UOIF wishes to express its deepest condolences as well as its solidarity with the American people, in particular with the families of the victims.

The Union of Islamic Organizations of France,

La Courneuve, Sunday 12 June 2016.

British imams visit Iraq in bid to counter Isis propaganda in the UK

A group of Sunni imams are to make the first-ever visit by British Muslim religious leaders to see first hand the front line in the fight against Isis.

The imams, representing mosques across the country, will travel to Iraq on Tuesday for an eight-day fact-finding mission. They are expected to visit parts of the country previously under Isis control as well as meeting victims of the group, including from the Yazidi community.

The hope is that the visit will help to counter Isis propaganda in this country by highlighting the Sunni resistance to Isis in Iraq and relaying back first-hand accounts of life under the extremists.

If successful, the plan is to then bring Iraqi Sunni imams to the UK, to talk in mosques about the reality of life in Isis-controlled areas and to “deglamorise” the group and its appeal to young British Muslims.

The trip is being paid for in part by trustees of the Imam Husayn Shrine in Karbala which Isis attempted to blow up earlier this year. The rest of the funding is coming from the Muslim community in the UK. Mustafa Field, an Iraqi-born community organiser who has helped to arrange the trip, said the group would travel to Samarra and Tikrit as well as Baghdad. Tikrit was previously under Isis occupation while Samarra was for a long time at the front line between the Iraqi army and Isis.

“We want to take those stories back to the UK so that Muslims can hear first hand what is going on and hopefully counter some of the myths that have been built up over the years.

“Daesh propaganda is dangerous and this is a British Muslim-led response to challenge their ideas.

‘Jihadi Jack’ is a label invented by media, say worried parents

The mother of a young man reported to be the first white Briton to join Islamic State has said it is ridiculous to suggest her son is a terrorist.

Sally Letts said her son Jack, 20, from Oxford, was not a member of the Islamist organisation and had gone to Syria to do humanitarian work.

In an interview with the Guardian, she confirmed her son had been in Raqqa, the headquarters of Isis, but said newspaper reports that he had married, had a baby boy and was going by the name Ibrahim or Abu Mohammed were all false. Since the allegations appeared in the media, Jack Letts has posted denials on his Facebook page.

His father, John, said newspapers made up the nickname “Jihadi Jack” because it suited their agenda. “It’s so ridiculous,” he said. “It was made up. Everything is alleged.

“People hear what they want to hear. They can’t resist the alliteration of Jihadi John and Jihadi Jack,” he added, in reference to the Isis terrorist Mohammed Emwazi, who was killed by a drone attack in November.

It was reported at the weekend that Jack Letts, who converted to Islam while living in the UK, was one of 750 Britons to have joined Isis. The Mail Online said he was “a frontline fighter for the brutal terror group and lives with his Iraqi wife and his son Muhammed after moving to the Iraqi city of Fallujah from Raqqa”.

However, his mother said: “We spoke to him yesterday and he said he had never had a weapon in his life.

 

 

Muslim Community Rejects Maajid Nawaz’s “derad” – Again

A prominent British Muslim activist in Australia campaigning against Islamic extremism has been snubbed by 45 Muslim organisations. Maajid Nawaz’s promoter Think Inc said the UK government adviser and author wanted to meet as many Muslim leaders as possible to discuss counter-extremism with them.

Think Inc contacted 46 organisations, including schools, across Melbourne and Sydney and received one affirmative response.

Muslim Students Australia NSW was among those who declined to meet him.

Think Inc director Suzi Jamil said MSA NSW replied via email saying it and “the wider Australian Muslim community” did not support Nawaz’s views and “his presence in Australia would not be welcomed”

The Lebanese Muslim Association did not meet with Nawaz and declined to respond to AAP’s questions about him. Nawaz is a former member of the radical group Hizb ut-Tahrir and spent five years imprisoned in Egypt. During imprisonment, he studied human rights and had a change of heart. Still a Muslim, though not devout, Nawaz went on to co-found counter-extremism think-tank Quilliam and call for “secular Islam” to reform the Islamic faith.

Australian Muslim human rights activist Sara Saleh clashed with Nawaz on the ABC’s Monday edition of current affairs program The Drum. “He has gone from one extreme to the other end in saying: I am the gatekeeper of what it is to be a Muslim, what it is to be appropriate, what kind of Islamism is acceptable,” Ms Saleh said.

Australian Muslim Women’s Association president Silma Ihram was not asked to meet Nawaz but said the way he tackled the issue of extremism got Muslims “a bit off side”. “The fact that he’s not a practising Muslim doesn’t help at all,” she said.

British jihadist in Syria: ‘I’m fighting Islamic State and Assad’

Sitting in Syria, and speaking via the internet, “Abu Dujana” told me: “I’m not a big fan of the suicide attack or exploding oneself.” But after giving it careful consideration, the British Muslim convert said he was prepared to be martyred, to kill himself for his cause.

He is perhaps in his mid-20s, has been fighting in Syria with the Islamic Front for the past three years, and comes from “somewhere’ in England. He came, he says, with the intention of giving humanitarian help, but soon picked up a gun. His identity is hidden, the biographical details are scarce, because he realises that by killing in Syria, he risks arrest at home. Yet, still, he could be the British government’s ally on the battlefield against the so-called Islamic State group.

Prime Minister David Cameron believes there are 70,000 “moderate” rebels fighting in Syria – a figure that many believe is an overestimate – ready to face IS, also known as Isis, Isil or Daesh. Abu Dujana is one of those moderate rebels. He meets Britain’s “moderate” criteria on two points: first, that he’s prepared renounce terrorism, and second, that he will accept a post-conflict Syria that includes all faiths and religions.

David Cameron admits it is too much to ask for “ideal partners” in the fight in Syria, and has asked: “Do we wait for perfection?” Abu Dujana sees fighting in Syria as his religious duty – jihad – but says he’s no different from other British citizens who have gone to fight IS and that he should be treated the same.

More than 700 Britons have gone to Syria to fight, mostly with IS, but no-one knows how many have taken up arms with other groups.

Muslim Council of Britain takes out advert condemning terrorists

The Muslim Council of Britain has taken out an advert in a national newspaper to condemn the Paris attacks – and reaffirm that terrorists do not represent in Islam. The council, which represents more than 500 mosques and community groups across the nation, used a full-page ad in the Telegraph on Thursday to denounce so-called Islamic State and the “barbaric” attacks in the French capital which killed 129 people.

The group also sought to reiterate its commitment to “the values of pluralism and tolerance” and insist that the terrorists must not succeed in turning communities against each other.

The advert, which is headlined Terror in Paris and accompanied by an image of the Eiffel Tower, spells out that acts of terrorism and murder are not “sanctioned” by Islam.

It also sought to highlight the actions of a Muslim security guard who reportedly risked his life to stop a suicide bomber from entering the Stade de France.

It reads: “With one voice, British Muslims condemn the Paris attacks unreservedly.

“We offer our condolences to the victims and their families.

“The barbaric acts of Daesh (or ISIS, as they are sometimes known) have no sanction in the religion of Islam, which forbids terrorism and the targeting of terrorists.”

“Muslims have held vigils and donated blood for the victims. It is not the terrorists who represent our faith but brave individuals like Stade de France security guard Zouheir, who risked his life to stop the attackers.

“We re-affirm our commitment to the values of pluralism and tolerance as the best defence against those who seek to create division and fear.

“The aim of attacks like those inflicted on Paris and other cities across the world is to turn communities against each other.

“As Muslims, Britons and Europeans, we must stand together to make sure they do not succeed.”

The advert was published amid fears of a potential rise in Islamophobic hate crimes following the attacks. Police in Scotland said there had been a spike since Friday. The organisation has already publicly condemned the attacks and helped to organise the vigil for the victims which was held in Trafalgar Square on Saturday and attended by thousands.

VICTORIA WHITE: Britain didn’t mistake Ireland for the IRA. Don’t confuse Islam with IS

Where would we be now if British prime ministers had conflated Irishness with terrorism, asks Victoria White. I might be just a south-county Dublin housewife, but I know more about stopping terrorism than Francois Hollande. I know you can’t defeat terrorists with military might. No matter what war drums you beat, no matter what arms you deploy, you can’t beat terrorists if there is an underlying injustice, some popular support and murderous fanaticism.

I grew up watching The Troubles from over the fence of the border, and reading a history of constant agitation against the world’s most powerful empire. Great Britain could not defeat piddling little Ireland, because of the underlying injustice, some popular support and terrorists with murderous intent. Whenever Britain attempted to crack the nut of Irish nationalism with a hammer, it missed and whacked itself in the leg. Think of the ‘terrible beauty’. Think of Bloody Sunday. Every time the empire put itself on a war-footing with Ireland, nationalism gained in strength. Look at the response to IRA atrocities — such as the Birmingham pub bombings, which killed 21 people — and compare them with France’s response to ISIS.

Imagine if the UK had gone in and bombed IRA bases, about which they must have had good intelligence. Imagine if some of those were in the Republic. Imagine, in other words, if open war-fare had been official between our two countries. Where would we be now? How many more innocent people would have been killed, simply because they were out enjoying life? Where would we be now if British prime ministers had conflated Irishness with terrorism, as David Cameron is conflating Islam with terrorism?

He says you can’t deny “any connection between Islam and the terrorists”, but you don’t need to state the connection, because it isn’t relevant. Terrorism is not an extremist version of Islam, any more than the IRA is an extreme version of being Irish.

Our terrorism was treated differently to ISIS less because it was on a much smaller scale and more because we are next-door neighbours. We know each other. We can look each other in the eyes. That makes dehumanising harder on both sides. If the UK had entered into open warfare with the IRA, she would have had to murder her own people, and people who look and sound just like her own people. But Syria is far away. The people speak a different language and they mostly have a different religion. The deaths of Syrians don’t seem like the deaths of real people.

That’s why Hollande can seek to win popular approval in France by launching murderous air strikes against Syria, which seem about as well-planned as a hurt child’s kick in the schoolyard. That’s why David Cameron can pose as a strong man in the British parliament, saying he will “personally build the case for RAF strikes against Syria.”

The ‘defeat’ of Al Quaeda in Iraq spawned ISIS in Syria, helped by the experience of prisoners from the American Bucca Prison in Iraq: “Bucca was a factory”, an ISIS fighter told The Guardian. “It made us all. It built our ideology.” That is no surprise to anyone who remembers the name ‘Long Kesh’.

How could the Americans have been so stupid as to think their illegal invasion of Iraq could bring stability — even their brand of stability — to the region? There was hardly an Irish person who believed that.

I want to hear the Irish voice appealing to the world powers to step back from war and concentrate on finding this political solution. I want to hear Foreign Affairs Minister, Charlie Flanagan, stating unambiguously that no Irish airport will be used by any foreign power launching futile military strikes in Syria, which will only succeed in forcing thousands more Syrians to knock desperately on our doors. This is a horribly historic moment and Ireland can’t stay silent but must speak up, loudly, bravely, forcibly, constructively, for peace.