05 February 2013
Dal Babu, one of the most senior police officers in the UK police force, has resigned after 30 years in the service in protest against the prevailing bias against the recruitment of officers from ethnic minorities. His resignation came after refusal of his request to be promoted to chief officer rank.
The high-ranking officer has been a prominent and eloquent spokesman for Muslim police officers with wide public exposure. He was also awarded an OBE in recognition for his efforts to encourage the soaring public confidence ratings in the London borough of Harrow which he runs.
In spite of holding a master’s degree and speaking four languages, he was considered unsuitable to assume chief officer rank because his media interview skills were not deemed good enough. He was also refused a place on the strategic command course for the next generation of chief constables.
In 2003 Dal Babu had won a case against the Metropolitan Police force after claiming that he failed to win promotion and faced discrimination because of his faith. The tribunal heard that Babu was interviewed for promotion. He was failed on one competency, decision-making, but did not feel the assessment reflected his performance. He was also concerned that the centre did not have prayer facilities, even though these were available in other police buildings.
When he decided to take his case to a tribunal he gained access to the documents used in his assessment and was able to prove his marking had been unfair. The Met tried but failed to have the case struck out on a legal technicality.
Only 2.8 percent of police leadership is from black or minority ethnic backgrounds. This year, there are no black or minority ethnic officers on the course and chief officers admit the service is in the grip of a diversity crisis.
The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Luxembourg has issued an important sentence in favor of religious freedom. The sentence defines what type of infringement on freedom of religion justifies the granting of refugee status. According to this directive, Member States of the European Union should in principle grant refugee status to foreigners who face persecution because of their race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership of a social group in their country of origin.
The specific case concerns two Pakistani nationals belonging to the Ahmadi Muslim minority (a minority not recognized by the Muslim majority) and seeking asylum in Germany. According to the Pakistani Penal Code, the two were liable to up to three years imprisonment if they claimed to be Muslims, preached or tried to spread their religion. The German authorities have rejected their application on the ground that the restrictions on the practice of religion in public imposed on Ahmadis were not “persecution” in the eyes of the right of asylum. Both applicants then complained to the German administrative courts, arguing that the German authorities’ position was contrary to Directive 2004/83/EC.
By declaring that “certain forms of serious interference with the public manifestation of religion may constitute persecution for reasons of religion”, the Court corrected this interpretation, and admitted the possibility that two Pakistanis are given refugee status.
News Agencies – October 5, 2012
The Canadian federal government has decided to end its contracts nationwide with minority-faith chaplains who had been working part-time in the country’s federal prisons.
Full-time chaplains who remain will be expected to provide spiritual guidance to inmates of all faiths. Finance minister Vic Toews ordered a stop to the tendering of new contracts last month after he announced that he was “not convinced” all chaplaincy services were an appropriate use of taxpayer money.
The email cited a memo from Don Head, commissioner of the correctional service, who said the government had decided to move exclusively to a “full-time chaplaincy model with continued reliance on the voluntary support of our community partners.” Renewal options for all part-time contracts “will not be exercised.”
According to corrections data, in the last fiscal year, 36 per cent of inmates identified themselves as Catholic, 18 per cent as Protestant, five per cent as Muslim, four per cent as native spiritual, two per cent as Buddhist, one per cent as Jewish and one per cent as Sikh. Twenty percent said they were non-religious, seven per cent said they belonged to “other” religious groups, and six per cent answered “unknown.”
17 August 2012
New research by Chris Aalberts of Erasmus University in Rotterdam shows that the majority of Dutch residents supporting Geert Wilders and his PVV party are not in agreement with the politiican’s anti-Islam stance. According to Aalbert’s research, conducted through in depth interviews with supporters, only a small minority of supporters see Islam as a serious threat; rather, Wilders draws support from those “concerned about the more humdrum irritations of daily life” who identify anti-Islam rhetoric as a way of bringing their issues to the table, Radio Netherlands Worldwide reports. Aalbert’s research and the media coverage comes with the commencement of national campaigns for a September parliamentary election.
In Council of Europe member States where Islam is not the religion of the majority of the population, Muslim
women face multiple discrimination as women, as part of a religious minority and sometimes for being of
immigrant origin. They are often victims of stereotyping, since their religious beliefs are seen as the only
defining element of their identity.
It is time to take a new approach since many Muslim women want to be actors of change and empowerment.
Rather than being isolated, stigmatised or forced into a stereotype, Muslim women should be encouraged in
their quest for equal opportunities in society. Positive measures should be introduced to make it possible for
Muslim women to be protagonists of their own empowerment. Investing in education, encouraging networking
and the participation in civil and public life, as well as accompanying them in their professional development
are key actions in order to raise Muslim’s women awareness of their rights and help them realise their full
16 July 2012
In the first quarter of 2012 the unemployment rate has risen from 22% to 29% among ethnic minority youth. The figure compares to a 10% unemployment rate among ethnic Dutch. Moroccan youth face the highest chances of unemployment with a 39% unemployment rate. The figures appear in a report on the place of non-ethnic Dutch on the job market in the Netherlands released by Forum this week, and compare with employment rates measured internationally by Eurostat.
08 June 2012
When a group of men of Asian Muslim origin were convicted last month for child sex trafficking some of the mainstream media and far-right groups turned the case into an Islamophobic onslaught and attacked the entire British Muslim community as if it were part of Islam to exploit ‘white’ British girls. The language of the media explicitly and sometimes implicitly instigated hatred against the Muslim community by emphasizing the gang members’ Muslim and Asian identity.
This was done in such a reckless way that some of the other Asian minority groups felt an urge to disassociate themselves from the Muslims and have called upon the media to not use the word ‘Asian’.
1 May 2012
Muslim interest in the British political process has traditionally been low. Due to alienation and lack of trust in the system the Muslim minority has shown a very limited turn out in the election. Muslims organizations have been trying to tackle this problem and raise awareness amongst Muslims to be more active in the political system.
Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), which represents more than 500 Islamic organisations in Britain, has urged British Muslims to cast their votes prior to local elections.
21 April 2012
The new book by right wing politician Geert Wilders, Marked for Death, Islam’s War Against the West and Me, though not yet officially released, has started receiving reviews from journalists who have seen advanced copies. The book claims to tell Wilders’ story of his “fight for the right to speak what he believes; namely that Islam is not just a religion but primarily a dangerous ideology which is a threat to Western freedoms”. A review from Vrij Nederland notes that there is little personal content from Wilders in the book, while magazine HP/De Tijd recaps Wilders’ account of being robbed by “three Arab youths”. In the book Wilders does not mention prime minister Mark Rutte but repeatedly draws connections to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and emphasizes his admiration for former US president Ronal Regan.
The reviews come as Wilders makes headlines for political upheaval in the country, as the politician withdrew key support for the ruling minority government this week, prompting prime minister Rutte to resign and the installation of a caretaker minority government.
23 April 2012
Britain’s Asian Muslim community has always been on the spot due to its distinct religio-cultural characteristics and fairly large proportion among the UK minority groups. Hence they have been very often targeted by the racist and/or Islamophopic motivations stemming from members of the host society as well as various government institutions.
A recent example of this transpired when a Muslim councillor from Cardiff spoke out and accused UK Border Agency (UKBA) of indirectly discriminating against Asian Muslims. The councillor Mohammed Islam claimed that UKBA staff has been checking on the businesses of every Asian and other ethnic minorities in the area to see if they are entitled to work.