The big story on most front pages this day was the fact that a white British Muslim convert pleaded guilty to charges of terrorism. He was the subject of a 2011 documentary made by his stepbrother and was said to have developed extremist views after he joined the Muslims Against Crusades group. He was arrested with two others before the London Olympics. The three men have all faced trials and will be sentenced sometime in April.
3 August 2012
Female Muslim athletes made a historic appearance in London Olympics, not for their victories which were scored against their opponents but against widespread prejudice both from biased non-Muslims and Muslims. Unlike their opponents Muslim females who have chosen to observe modest dress code due to religious reasons had to overcome political and cultural obstacles.
Judoka Shaherkani was the first female Saudi to join to the Olympic Games, yet she had to fight with countries clergymen who give a cultural spin to their interpretation of the religion. This was not only problem she had to deal with the International Judo Federation that had initially said Wojdan Ali Seraj Abdulrahim Shaherkani could not compete in a headscarf.
There have been a few other Muslim female athletes from who had to overcome similar obstacles and struggle to overcome the prejudice embedded in the minds of people at home as well as in the West.
29 June 2012
According to the media reports, the arrests were based on a tip-off after men were seen behaving suspiciously close to the Olympic venue. The two suspects were detained under the Terrorism Act 2000 on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism and held at a central London police station.
However, the police have been under heavy criticism for allowing police to exercise excessive powers thus leaving scope for abuse. In addition, the great majority of those who have been arrested under the Terrorism Act 2000 have been released without charge.
On the other hand, David Anderson QC, The Government’s Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation is working towards ensuring that Muslims are not wrongfully arrested during the Olympic Games in London amidst fears that the police may abuse their powers under the Terrorism Act 2000.
Controversial plans to build Europe’s biggest mosque close to the London Olympics site have been halted.
Tablighi Jamaat, the Islamic sect behind the proposal, is to be evicted this week from the East London site, where it has been operating illegally a temporary mosque and had planned a complex that would accommodate 12,000 worshippers.
The Muslim organization Minhaj-ul-Quran welcomed the move.
Minhaj-ul-Quran advises the Government on how to combat youth radicalization, and said that a mosque should be a “community effort” and not the initiative of one group with extremist links.
However, Inayat Bunglawala, a spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain, said: “We would hope that they will be able to work in cooperation with the local council if they wish to set up a mosque in the area. Tablighi Jamaat has no ties to terrorism. They have been subjected to some unfair coverage.”