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The North Manchester Jamia Mosque organised a ‘peace walk’ to show Muslim revolution at terrorist attacks in the name of Islam and to respond to criticism that the Muslim community has not done enough to combat extremism.
The march was in response to the terrorist attack in Manchester at the Ariana Grande concert. The targeting of children in this attack was particularly important to the organisers of the march, so many Muslim children marched in response. Hundreds of families participated. The march concluded with a vigil and flower-laying at the area outside of the Manchester Arena.
Manchester bomber Salman Abedi, 22, may have been radicalised through his connections to Libya. His father fled Libya to escape Ghadafi because Abedi senior was connected to the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), which had tried to assassinate Ghadafi. LIFG was prominently represented at the Muslim-Brotherhood-affiliated Didsbury Mosque which the Abedi family attended. After 9/11, the LIFG was declared an Al Qaeda affiliate and its funding was cut off. The Abedi family’s escape of Libya occurred before the birth of Salman Abedi; however, when Salman was 16, Abedi senior returned to Libya after the Arab Spring when the opportunity to finally overthrow Ghadafi presented itself.
As a result, Salman Abedi moved often between war-torn Tripoli and Manchester. At some point, it is suspected that he went with other Libyans to fight in Syria, where he saw American bombs killing Muslim children. He was full of contradictions, as he drank and used drugs but was violent towards women who adhered to Western sexuality norms.
Salman Abedi was radicalised into a different form of violence than his father. While his father abhorred ISIS, Abedi embraced it after his experiences with cultural clash and violence in Syria. This led to the tragic events last week.
Alan Salehzadeh, who has gained publicity in the past years as an expert on geopolitical conflicts and researcher for the Finnish National Defence College, urges in his blog for a ban on head scarves in schools and face veils in public spaces. Salehzadeh, an immigrant from Iran, has previously as well spoken out for issues that touch upon issues in multicultural Finnish society, such as migrants’ difficulties in the job market due to language skill requirements.
In his blog post from May 21st Salehzadeh maintains that in democratic Finland it is not acceptable that certain religious groups – with this implying to Islam – force their children to embrace a religion and at the same time force little girls to wear the headscarf to the school. He notes, that it creates inequalities between students for example when a girl who wears the headscarf is not able to attend gender-mixed swimming lessons. Hence, he urges for a citizens initiative that would call for a law which can forbid parents from determining their children’s dress style.
Salehzadeh argues that the headscarf should be allowed to be used only after the child has reached 18 years of age, which is the age of majority in Finland. However, he finds that even then, when a woman is able to decide for herself about her religious dress, face veils should be banned as they are not compatible with democratic values.
The issue of the face veil in the public space has been a topic of discussion also earlier this year, as MP Nasima Razmyar, like Salehzadeh with an immigrant background, expressed her concerns against the face veil in an interview. For Razmyar it would be necessary to ban the face veil in cases in which a woman is wearing it in her profession in the child education sector. Although she criticized the face veil as part of an employee’s dress in schools and nurseries, she extended her argument so that the face veil does not support the integration of its wearer into the Finnish society.
British Muslim children as young as 11 are being given classes to prevent them
being radicalised by violent Islamic State (Daesh) jihadists. This comes after
community leaders feared they were being targeted by extremist online
Imams and Islamic teachers warned a war of ideologies is currently being fought
in their own mosques, communities, and on social media following the rise of
terror groups in Syria and Iraq.
IBTimes UK visited one Islamic school in Luton – a town infamous for both far-
right and Islamic extremist groups – as it taught a new syllabus to tackle children
being groomed by IS fighters.
The Al-Hira mosque, home to one of the largest madrassas in Luton, is in its first
year of giving anti-Daesh classes for pupils aged 11 to 16.
Started eight months ago, the classes are described by the mosques leaders as
part of a new grassroots strategy which they say has become more effective than
the governments own anti-extremism programme.
Most of the young people from aged nine are on social media and they know
what Isis are – its very easy for them to go down the wrong path, Dawood
Masood, senior manager of Al-Hira, tells IBTimes UK.
http://www.ibtimes.co.in/extremism-in- luton-mosque- launches-anti- isis-
classes-for- muslim-children- to-combat- online-grooming- 682898
A senior teacher at the centre of an alleged plot by religious hard-liners to seize control of governing bodies has admitted that there was a campaign to install Muslims in leading roles at schools in Birmingham. Nearly 20 schools in the city are currently being investigated over claims that male and female pupils were segregated, sex education banned and extremist clerics praised in assemblies.
Speaking anonymously to Channel 4 News on Sunday night, the teacher admitted there was a campaign to assert more Muslim influence in schools, describing it as “a very positive thing”. He said: “This is about the proportion of representation and leadership on boards of schools that serve predominantly Muslim children. These teachers and leaders have a deeper understanding of the view of the population in these schools. I think the needs of Muslim children have been neglected for many, many years. There even school in areas with high Muslim population that do not serve halal meat, for example.”
28 March 2013
A Turkish newspaper is reporting that the controversy over a Dutch lesbian couple providing foster care for a Turkish-Dutch boy may reach courts. The newspaper Sabah is quoted as saying that the Turkish government may take the case to court in an effort to have the boy returned to his family. The boy’s biological mother had asked Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to intervene, though Dutch courts have ruled that the boy should stay in foster care. The incident has sparked wider discussion regarding the acceptability for homosexual and Christian couples to care for Muslim children.
March 18 2013
Two Dutch MPs of Turkish origin have called on more Muslim families to volunteer as foster parents. The comments follow recent unease in Turkey about a lesbian couple fostering a boy born to Muslim parents.
The MPs used social media networks to spread a message asking Islamic parents to “stop taking offence, start taking responsibility”.
The dispute has threatened to take on diplomatic overtones with Turkey. The Dutch couple has raised the boy, now nine, since he was a baby. The commotion began after the boy’s birth mother made an emotional appeal for the boy’s return on television, generating debate in Turkey and coloring an upcoming visit to the Netherlands by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. A Turkish parliamentary commission is currently researching the fostering of Muslim children by gay or Christian couples, which they say will lead to them becoming estranged from their cultural background.
Camp Izza in Pasadena and Irvine aims to help Muslim children take pride in their culture and faith. The summer includes prayers and Koran recitation as well as water balloons and scavenger hunts.
Camp Izza, believed to be the only Muslim summer camp in the U.S. that is accredited by the American Camp Assn. Located on school campuses in Irvine and Pasadena, Camp Izza is run by husband and wife Omar and Munira Ezzeldine as a means of instilling izza — the Arabic word for “pride” — in Muslim youths.
“We want the kids to be proud of who they are as Muslims,” said Omar Ezzeldine, 36, who was born in Los Angeles to Egyptian parents. The children at Camp Izza face a challenge their parents did not: establishing their identities in a culture where anti-Islamic rhetoric can be found in political campaigns, cable news punditry and Hollywood films.
“It’s important for [my son] to be somewhere where a positive attitude toward his faith is reinforced,” said Samar Ghannoum, 46, who sent her 8-year-old Kareem to the camp this summer. “He is the future, in a lot of ways. He is American and Muslim.”
And it’s likely that the Camp Izza model will be duplicated because the U.S. Muslim population is growing at a relatively fast pace.
An investigation by BBC Radio 4’s “File on 4” has discovered that Britain’s madrassas faced more than 400 allegations of physical abuse in the last three years. However, only ten of them were dealt with in court, with successful prosecutions in only two cases (as identified by the BBC). While corporal punishment is still legal in part-time education settings in England, including madrassas, if lessons are taught for fewer than 12.5 hours per week, the revelations of both physical and sexual abuse in Britain’s madraddas are alarming and call for more formal regulations of the schools that are attended by more than 250,000 Muslim children every day. According to the BBC, the cases of abuse reported may only be the tip of the iceberg, as many families are either pressured by their communities not to make a formal complaint or to withdraw complaints if they were made. Mohammad Shahid Raza, chairman of the Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board, considers the figures to be “very alarming and shocking” and said the issue needed to be addressed as a matter of urgency.