March 5, 2014
The Judge of a Barcelona Court, María Pilar Calvo, has condemned Jaime T., the website administrator of “denunciascivicas.com”, to two years in prison for inciting hate and violence against Islam and for disseminating anti-Islamic beliefs. The condemnation is the first Islamophobia related condemnation in Catalonia.
Denunciascivicas.com, which has received at least 21,240 visits, contains material praising the Third Reich in Germany. It also encourages readers to carry out similar crimes against Muslims.
Police arrested the IT administrator in March 2011 and seized all kinds of xenophobic paraphernalia, such as photos of Adolf Hitler and swastikas, along with numerous videos from his computer which show him making anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim speeches.
But the man’s two-year sentence judgment — the first for Islamophobia in Catalonia — may be suspended if the defendant agrees to attend a human rights course and does not commit a new crime within three years.
In Catalonia the legal framing of anti-racist and anti-xenophobic laws is defined by the Spanish Constitution of 1978, by the Autonomous Status of Catalonia, Organic law 6/2006 from 19 of July 2006 and by the Organic Law of 4/2000.
Practising Muslims across the world are observing Ramadan. For one month, they are fasting between first light and sunset. But what do Muslims do in a town where the sun never really goes down? The town of Rovaniemi in Finland lies in a land of extremes. At 66 degrees north it straddles the Arctic Circle in Finnish Lapland. During midwinter it is cloaked in total darkness. But in the summer it is bathed in daylight. The long days pose a particular problem for fasting Muslims like Shah Jalal Miah Masud. The 28-year-old moved to Rovaniemi – 830km (515 mile) north of the capital, Helsinki – from Bangladesh five years ago to study IT. He has not had any food or water for 21 hours. Masud says it is difficult to fast according to Finnish time and admits he is tired. But despite the hunger and fatigue, he says it is a pleasure to observe Ramadan during the long Finnish days.
There is another option which reduces the number of fasting hours – mark its duration by the rising and setting of the sun in countries far to the south of Finland. Dr Abdul Mannan – a local Imam and president of the Islam Society of Northern Finland – says there are two schools of thought. “The Egyptian scholars say that if the days are long – more than 18 hours – then you can follow the Mecca time or Medina time, or the nearest Muslim country time,” says Dr Mannan. “The other (point of view) from the Saudi scholars says whatever the day is – long or short – you have to follow the local time.” Dr Mannan says the majority of Muslims in northern Finland observe either Mecca’s fasting hours or Turkish time because it is the nearest Muslim country to Finland.
Nafisa Yeasmin recalls her first Ramadan in Rovaniemi when she decided to fast according to Finnish daylight hours, going without food for up to 20 hours a day. “It was very difficult to follow because in Bangladesh we are used to 12 hours’ daytime and 12 hours’ night-time,” she says. “Then I thought, not any more. I have to follow Mecca’s timetable. But I’m a little bit worried whether Allah will accept it or not.”
Bilal Zaheer Ahmad, 24, was jailed for 12 years for urging fellow Muslims to attack and kills British MPs who had voted for the war in Iraq. As the Guardian reports, Ahmad, an IT graduate, posted threats and material inciting religious hatred on the US-based website RevolutionMuslim.com, including a full list of MPs who had supported military action in Iraq. Ahmad called on Muslims to imitate Roshonara Choudhry, who was jailed last year for stabbing and attempting to murder Labour MP Stephen Timms. In addition, he posted links to a Tesco website listing cheap knives. Judge Royce, sentencing Ahmad to 12 years in jail, noted that Ahmad “became a viper in our midst willing to go as far as possible to strike at the heart of our system”. This position, according to Joyce, was “alien to what we stand for in our country”.
The Guardian also reports that Ahmad was radicalized as a teenager and became an active contributor not only to RevolutionMuslim, but also to Islam4UK and IslamicAwakening websites.
22 October 2010
Increasing numbers of highly skilled German-Turkish labourers leave Germany behind and return to their parents’ country of origin. Business people, IT professionals or engineers turn their backs at a job market that does not provide them with the same chances like their non-migrant German peers, and turn to a country they hardly know. In Turkey, employers are happy about the well trained bilingual professionals. While politicians fight about immigration caps, the numbers show a reverse trend: While 26,600 Turks moved to Germany in 2008, 34,800 left Germany and moved to Turkey.
All Mohammed Zakaria Memon wanted to do was pray five times a day while working as an IT consultant for Wal-Mart in their Arkansas-based corporate offices. But this rite of Islam was allegedly unacceptable to Wal-Mart, according to a lawsuit filed by Memon, who lost his job and is now seeking damages from both the retail chain and his former employer, Deloitte Consulting LLP.
According to Memon’s complaint, the 59-year-old Pakistani-American citizen was first told he could only pray in the hallways or outside in the parking lot. So, in order to not lose too much time from his work, he began performing the washing ritual (known in Urdu as Wazu) required before every prayer, inside Wal-Mart’s men’s room.
But some employees complained about the washing, leading Deloitte to tell Memon he couldn’t do it. After he explained the importance of the Wazu, his employer instructed him to only pray at his hotel, which was
too far away to be a practical solution. After that, Memon was told Wal-Mart was restructuring the project and that he and several other Deloitte consultants would no longer work at the retail headquarters. But, according to his lawsuit, only Memon was taken off the job.
In *Minnesota, meanwhile, the local chapter of the Council of American-Islamic Relations *announced in July that Wal-Mart would rehire Zahra Aljabri, who had been fired for praying during breaks at work.
Rochdale Council responded with a detailed explanation of the source of funding after controversy arose following the revelation that mosques were to be installed with IT equipment. Following Rochdale Online request to Rochdale Council for further clarification, Andy Zuntz, Executive Director, gave an explanation of aims of the programme from where the funding came. He said that as per the objectives set by the Government, the funding was designed to identify Muslims as a “welcome part of a wider British society… Reject violent extremist ideology and actively condemn violent extremism” and “isolate violent extremist activity” while supporting and co-operating with the police and security services. He said: “Central Alquba Mosque & Islamic Centre of Rochdale put forward a proposal on behalf of other mosques following an open invitation to agencies and organisations across the Borough by the LSP Community Cohesion Sub-group in October 2007.”http://themuslimweekly.com/newsdetails/fullstoryview.aspx?NewsID=FB66AB58DD477EE7EC596A3A&MENUID=HOMENEWS&DESCRIPTION=UK%20News
Two Councillors Zulfiqar Ali and Mohammad Sharif of Rochdale saw the successful completion recently of an ambitious project, designed to improve communications among a number of mosques in the Borough. The IT equipment installed by Advance Technologies for appropriate information technology at Wardleworth, Spotland and Deeplish mosques was described as “excellent” by Councillor Ali who also thanked the Mosques committees for their co-operation and teamwork. The Cabinet Member for Community Cohesion added: “I am often advised by various statutory and voluntary organisations that it can be difficult to contact our Mosques committees, even in urgent situations. A main cause of concern has been that mosques did not have adequate communication tools.” He said that project work over the past six months had ensured “effective communications between our Mosques and the Police, the Fire Service, community groups, etc.” Councillor Sharif, the Portfolio holder for Regeneration, said: “Community cohesion includes bringing communities closer together, and this initiative ensures the mosques can now come into that process.”http://themuslimweekly.com/newsdetails/fullstoryview.aspx?NewsID=D79AC70C891B3A2B391A1B0F&MENUID=HOMENEWS&DESCRIPTION=UK%20News
IT outsourcing for British Islamic Insurance Holdings: A British Islamic insurance company is outsourcing its IT to Capita in an $87m deal. The eight-year deal will see Capita working with British Islamic Insurance Holdings (BIIH), which provides insurance compatible with the Muslim faith. It reflects a European shift towards Islamic-compliant financial services, which is seeing western banks offering services compliant with Islam’s Sharia law. Capita will provide front and back office services and an IT platform from which to launch and sell BIIH Takaful insurance products. The contract will be run from Capita’s existing office in Cheadle, which will handle customer sales, servicing and claims management.