Do we tolerate sexism if it is Muslim?

In Spain they’re living about 1.3 million Muslims and the question that flourish is how can to handle some extreme situations. In some cases tolerated behaviors in the immigrants’ homeland are legally prosecuted, because they transgress fundamental rights in Spain.

One main problem is how to handle with problems that affect the relation between genders. Is the solution to mediate in the situations where the rights of a women has been attacked, denying women their rights in order to avoid the conflicts with the Muslim community or should it be report to the police in order to proceed legally?

What is happening in Spain is that they’re two different perspectives about this issue. Sometimes, locally they´re using the mediation, but at state level the General Director for Religious Affairs pending from the Justice Ministry says that the first step is to offer protection and ensure the right of the victims.

Europe’s First Woman Imam

The Al-Sahaba mosque in the northern Belgian city of Verviers has granted female Muslim professor Hawaria Fattah to fulfill the position of imam at the mosque. The move is the first of its kind both in Belgium, and in greater Europe. Fattah, along with two male imams, will supervise the preaching activities for women at the mosque. However, she will not deliver the sermon of Friday prayers or lead prayers, stressed Abdel Jalel Al-Hajaji curator at the mosque. The Belgian Justice Ministry has approved of Fattah’s selection. She was born to an Algerian father and a Belgian mother, is 35 years old, and a professor of social and Islamic studies.

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Muslim Couple in Lille Upset with Appeal on their Marriage Annulment

A French couple who accepted a court annulment of their marriage when the woman admitted she was not a virgin on their wedding day are upset with the state’s appeal of their case. Led by Rachida Dati, the Justice Ministry has requested that state prosecutors file an appeal against the ruling annulling the marriage of the Muslim couple in Lille. While the verdict was given in April, public furor over the case has emerged only in the last two weeks when the groom complained his bride was not a virgin, as she had promised prior to their marriage. The April ruling did not mention the couple’s religious beliefs. Dati was booed in the parliament last week for insisting that while the annulment should go before an appeal court that the ruling was legally sound.

French Public Accepting of Religious and Ethnic Minorities: But most are uncomfortable with outward signs of piousness

PRINCETON, NJ — Hopes that France’s recent legislative elections would result in greater ethnic representation to reflect the country’s diversity were dashed when only one of the 555 National Assembly seats for metropolitan France went to a minority candidate. But at the Hôtel Matignon, the government’s Paris headquarters, the situation looked a bit brighter for advocates of diversity. Three individuals visibly identifiable as minorities out of 19 portfolios now hold minister-level posts. And President Nicolas Sarkozy’s highest profile appointment went to Rachida Dati, a female lawyer of North African ancestry, who heads the Justice Ministry.

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President Sarkozy appoints his former spokeswoman Rachida Dati to Justice Ministry

Today, President Sarkozy appointed his former spokeswoman Rachida Dati as the new Minister of Justice. Ms. Dati is from a Moroccan Algerian family with twelve children. She was Sarkozy’s spokeswoman during the Sarkozy’s election campaign. When questioned about her future role in the integration question with the Minister of the Interior, she cast Sarkozy as someone distinct from the Right. Here, she said, Arabs are not alone in seeing to their needs. Nicolas, she added, embodies best the refusal to let one’s birth determine their future. Minister Dati, at age 41, is the youngest high ranking official since John Hume. She will be taking over the position from Pascal Clement, criticized for his lack of political weight and unwillingness to work the system. Her lack of political experience may be an asset since she will not be bound by a pre-established reputation.

Dutch Government Passes New Terror Bill

THE HAGUE, Netherlands – The Dutch government passed a new terrorism bill Friday, granting law-enforcement authorities far-reaching powers of investigation and allowing them to hold suspects for up to two weeks without charges. Intelligence agents will be able to use currently banned techniques such as infiltrating terror cells for undercover operations and telephone taps, a Justice Ministry statement said. They will also be allowed to use entrapment tactics, such as bogus sales transactions. The law must be approved by parliament. “There also will be more possibilities to gather information, detain suspects and conduct preventive public searches,” it said. “The events in Amsterdam and The Hague have made clear that wider powers to prevent terrorism are desirable.” The ministry was referring to the Nov. 2 killing of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh, whose throat was slit allegedly by a young Muslim radical who associated with a suspected terrorist cell. In The Hague a few days after the murder, terrorist suspects wounded several policemen during a botched arrest attempt. Two young men holed up in a residential neighborhood for a day before surrendering. The new law also lowers the level of proof needed to hold a suspect believed to be plotting terrorist activity, said Justice Ministry spokesman Wibbe Alkema. The problem in the past, Alkema said, has been insufficient grounds to detain someone who could be preparing an attack. If the law is passed, authorities will have more time – up to two weeks – to build a case and bring charges. “In the initial stage of custody, there will no longer need to be serious suspicion, but only a reasonable doubt,” he said. “That could be someone who is believed to be involved with a network that has been under observation for some time.” One such case is that of Samir Azzouz, an 18-year-old Dutch Muslim on trial for allegedly plotting bombings of prominent Dutch landmarks. Prosecutors will be able to approve the use of spot searches of people and cars in public places that could be potential targets, such as an airport or a sports stadium, if there is suspicion of an attack plot.