African nations and predominantly Muslim countries are among the least accepting of homosexuality

The world is divided over the acceptance of homosexuality, a survey released Tuesday (June 4) finds.

There is broad acceptance of homosexuality in North America, the European Union, and much of Latin America, according to the Pew Research Center survey. The survey was conducted by telephone and face to face in 39 countries among 37,653 respondents from March 2 to May 1. The margin of error for the survey ranges from plus or minus 3.1 to plus or minus 7.7 percentage points.

Juliana Horowitz, the report’s lead author and a senior researcher at Pew, says, “I can’t think of any question we have asked where we have this sort of global polarization. In North America, Europe and several countries in Latin America, we have really high acceptance of homosexuality. In predominantly Muslim nations and in sub-Saharan Africa, we have equally widespread views on the other side.”

African nations and predominantly Muslim countries are among the least accepting of homosexuality. For example, about 98 percent of people in Nigeria say homosexuality should not be accepted. In Indonesia, a predominantly Muslim country in Southeast Asia, 93 percent say homosexuality should be rejected.

Leaked US cables portray worries that Jamaica could become incubator for Islamic extremism

KINGSTON, Jamaica — U.S. diplomats have expressed concern that an Islamic cleric convicted of whipping up racial hatred among Muslim converts in Britain might do the same thing in his homeland of Jamaica, according to a leaked cable from the island’s U.S. Embassy.

The dispatch, dated February 2010, warns that that Jamaica could be fertile ground for jihadists because of its underground drug economy, marginalized youth, insufficient security and gang networks in U.S. and British prisons, along with thousands of American tourists.

U.S. diplomats and law enforcement officials have expressed concern in the past that Middle Eastern terror groups might forge alliances with drug traffickers or take advantage of general lawlessness in parts of Latin America and the Caribbean.

The cable is one of the quarter million confidential American diplomatic dispatches first obtained by anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks and separately obtained by The Associated Press.

Celebrating Eid in America’s Heartland

Even in Omaha Nebraska, the heartland of America, Muslim Americans gathered to celebrate the end of Ramadan. A community of about 3,000 celebrated Eid Al-Fitr in the Hilton hotel ballroom room in Omaha. In the traditionally conservative Christian area, “They filed into the hall past non-Muslim Americans who, in bewilderment, stared at this unusual sight” reports IslamOnline. People with backgrounds from Sudan, Somalia, Pakistan, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Latin America all participated in prayers. One man observed: “This is really great to see so many cultures in one place at one time.”

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A new guide highlights Rome’s ethnic assets

A city guide celebrating Rome’s ethnic diversity is in the works to be released to promote the city’s diverse cultural attractions. The publication, called ‘Roma Multietnica’ contains information related to cultural, artistic, and other activities involving migrants from Africa, Latin America, the Arab world, China, and other countries. The guide will be divided into geographic areas, and include cultural centers, associations, places of worship, language and culture sources, and restaurants. While it will published in Italian, it is expected to be available in other languages online. “Integration is only possible if we convince ourselves of Rome’s multi-ethnic identity,” said Silvio di Francia, councillor for cultural policies from the city of Rome.

Spain’s dire straits for immigrants

African migrants trying to reach Europe find that entrance via Spain is the preferable route. The Spanish government says that illegal crossings by boat have decreased by 60% this year, compared to the previous year – about 31,000 illegal immigrants arrived by boat to the Canaries, which lies just 67 miles off the coast of northwest Africa. The plight taken by African migrants has sparked an increasing amount of media attention and concern. Immigrants from Latin America, Eastern Europe, and African now comprise about 9% of Spain’s population – with the majority from Morocco and Romania.

Caribbean: Alleged plot casts light on the Caribbean

The alleged terror plot against John F. Kennedy International Airport has cast a spotlight on radical Muslim elements in the Caribbean, including a group that launched the hemisphere’s only Islamic revolt and a former Florida man wanted by the FBI. In 1990, Yasin Abu Bakr, a Muslim leader on the twin-island nation of Trinidad and Tobago, led a six-day coup attempt against the government with his 113-member Jamaat Al Muslimeen organization. The prime minister was shot and wounded and 24 others killed. In an indictment unveiled in New York on Saturday, the U.S. government accused the four men of conspiring to plant explosives at the airport and of trying to contact Abu Bakr personally to seek his support. Two of them failed, but one of them claimed to have talked to Abu Bakr, the indictment said. Three of the men are natives of Guyana and one is from Trinidad. Two of the men were arrested last week in Trinidad and police are searching for a third suspect there. The fourth man was arrested in Brooklyn on Friday night. (…) Muslims, mostly Sunnis, make up about 9 percent of Guyana’s population of about 770,000. Though Guyana has not had the same level of activity as Trinidad, the FBI has been looking for Adnan Gulshair Muhammad el Shukrijumah, a former Broward County resident and one of the few alleged al-Qaida members known to have been in Latin America – in his case, Trinidad, Guyana and Panama. The Saudi Arabia-born el Shukrijumah lived with his parents in Miramar, Fla., until four months before the Sept. 11 attacks. An FBI statement at the time said he was “possibly involved with al-Qaida terrorist activities and, if true, poses a serious threat.”