March 22 2013
Dutch Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten will investigate whether it is legally possible to confiscate the passports of young Dutch nationals who plan to fight in Syria, reports Nos television. The minister said in a cabinet meeting that “we have to prevent them from travelling”, following a majority of parliament members calling on the cabinet to investigate the possibility.
16 February 2013
Recently passed gay marriage law which enabled gay couples to marry in religious institutions have angered Muslim community since homosexuality is banned under the Islamic law. However, their feelings have become stronger after the voting in the Parliament since five Muslim MP voted in favor of the gay marriage. Muslim MPs came under harsh criticism from Muslim groups, some of those accused the MPs with “apostasy”.
It has been also reported that some of the MPs have received death threats over the vote. According to Daily Mail, Sadiq Khan, Labour’s Shadow Justice Secretary has received death threats after voting in favour of gay marriage. Police have told Sadiq Khan, Labour’s Shadow Justice Secretary, that the threats are credible enough that he should review the security around him and his family following the Commons vote.
Mufti Muhammed Aslam Naqshbandi Bandhalevi, who is the head imam of the Jamia Islamia Rizvia mosque in Bradford, has issued a fatwa, or ruling, declaring Mr Khan an ‘apostate’ from Islam and said he should ‘repent before Allah’.
Hizbut Tahrir Britain said “some people hold up these MPs as examples for young Muslims to follow yet nothing could be further from the truth”.
8 February 2013
Dr Leon Moosavi, who is a lecturer in Sociology at the University of Liverpool, took on MPs’ lack of seriousness regarding Islamophia, in an article published on the University of Liverpool website. In the article he demonstrates his point by referring to the recent Early Day Motion attempt in the Parliament. MP Keith Vaz tabled an Early Day Motion in Parliament suggesting that Islamophobia be recorded by police forces across Britain so that it can be better understood.
However, up until now, only 24 out of 650 MPs have signed the EDM for Islamophobia to be recorded by police forces. To put that neglect into perspective, Dr Moosavi mentions that, 90 MPs have signed an EDM against turtle farming and 73 MPs have signed an EDM calling for elephant protection. The Islamophobia petition has only managed to receive as many MP signatures as a petition against dog attacks on postmen.
17 December 2012
Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), which is an umbrella organization that represents 500 mosques across the UK, has strongly criticized the new government initiative to pass a law which would allow gay marriages to take place in religious establishments. According to the law however it is illegal for the Church of England and the Church in Wales to conduct same-sex weddings.
The MCB statement found the law “utterly discriminatory” as it does not provide a similar exemption for Muslims. Farooq Murad, the Secretary General of the MCB said:
‘We find it incredible that while introducing the bill in the House, culture secretary Maria Miller could keep a straight face when offering exemption for the established Church while in the same breath claiming, “fairness to be at the heart of her proposals”… It is not just the ‘Church of England and Church in Wales’ who “explicitly” stated strong opposition’ as Mrs. Miller says, the Muslim Council of Britain along with most other faith groups also made equally strong representation… no one in their right mind should accept such a discriminatory law. It should be amended to give exactly the same exemption to all the religions.’
Ministers expect the legislation to take up to 12 months to get through Parliament.
Conservative Party MPs, including ministers, will get a free vote amid private fears that at least 40 per cent of Tory MPs oppose the plans. Labour has also granted its backbenchers a free vote, in a surprise move.
photo by Andrew Hodges
28 October 2012
Muslims gathered at Stockton’s Muslim Welfare Trust to register their protest against the movie Innocence of Muslims. According to the organizers the demonstration was organized in order to give Teesside’s Muslim community the chance to voice their concerns over the movie.
Mahroof Hussein, Treasurer of the Muslim Welfare Trust, said: “We wanted to make sure this was a peaceful demonstration. We decided not to take to the streets because we wanted to avoid any conflict and wanted to get our point across through a peaceful gathering and the lobbying of our MPs”
Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham and Hartlepool counterpart Iain Wright along with Middlesbrough Councillor, Barry Coppinger, participated in the event. They agreed to deliver a petition on behalf of the Muslim community to the Houses of Parliament regarding their concerns.
Further, a Muslim group called Jammat-e ahle Sunnat UK issued a warning that the movie is “encouraging and promoting racial and religious hate crime”.
23 May 2012
Proposals to ban the burqa and dual nationality in the Netherlands remain in process in Dutch parliament, home affairs minister Liesbeth Spies states. With the government collapsed in May, Spies has commented that the legislation could be dropped, given that the sponsoring PVV (Freedom) Party no longer formed the supporting member of the minority coalition. However Spies now says that it is up to MPs to decide whether to drop the legislation, and that so far none have identified the issues as controversial.
MAP, March 20, 2012
Andre Azoulay, adviser to King Mhammed VI, called, on Monday night in Rome, for a new Euro-Mediterranean partnership built on fairness, ambition, parity, respect and above all mutual knowledge.
Azoulay stressed the need for all partners in the region to build together a space governed by a new road map and common rules of coexistence.
Europe, which is struggling to accommodate the cultural diversity, must overcome its fears and stop being cautious, he insisted to an audience composed of ambassadors, businessmen, bankers, MPs and economic organizations’ officials.
16 February 2012
Amsterdam’s Free University (VU) has cancelled a debate organized by the Islamic
Student Union of Amsterdam, which was to see Haitham al-Haddad, a controversial
Saudi-born scholar living in London, in conversation with Yasser Ellethy of the
Centre for Islamic Theology. The subject of the debate was the role of the Muslim
scholar in the west.
Al-Haddad has faced criticism for making anti-semitic remarks, including reportedly
describing Jews as ‘the enemies of God and the descendents of apes and pigs’. The
Centre for Information and Documentation on Israel (CIDI), opposed his presence
in the Netherlands and requested that the VU rescind the invitation. MPs from the
country’s Freedom Party (PVV) and Christian Union Party urged the government to
bar al-Haddad from entering the Netherlands.
The VU initially continued with plans for the debate but cancelled the event on 16
February, following complaints from Jewish students.
14 December 2011
A debate in the Netherlands over a proposed ban on ritual slaughter continues with a majority of senators in the upper house of parliament now opposing the ban. A large majority of MPs in the lower house voted in favour of a ban in June, though Jewish and Muslim groups oppose the proposition. The change comes as members of the Labour and Liberal VVD parties decided to oppose the ban; members of the country’s Christian Democrats had opposed from the outset. The senate vote, now a foregone conclusion, will take place next Tuesday.
6 December 2011
Dutch parliamentarians are calling for a ban on an imam who supports a young marriage age for girls. Mohamed al- Maghraoui , who is due to attend a conference later this month in the Hague, published a fatwa in Morocco (2008) accepting nine as a marriageable age for girls. Members from the Dutch Labor (PvdA) and Liberal (VVD) Parties have requested that the controversial imam not receive a visa. Muslim MP Tofik Dibi of the Green Left party supported the visit as an opportunity for free-thinking Muslims to “break through this sort of man’s position of power”. He noted further that it was “encouraging to see how many Muslim-Dutch people are giving this man the cold shoulder”.