London terror attacker profiled

Khalid Masood, age 52, attacked London, driving a car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge and stabbing a police officer who was guarding parliament. 

Masood was not born into a Muslim family. His birth name was Adrian Russell Ajao. He was born in Kent to a 17-year-old mother. In school, he was interested in football and parties. 

Masood has two daughters with Jane Harvey, his partner with whom he lived in the mid-1990s. He also has a son with another woman.  

Most of his noted criminal acts occurred before his conversion to Islam.  He was convicted for criminal damage at the age of 18. He also had convictions for assaults, weapon possession, and disturbing public order. At least two of his convictions were for knife-related assaults.

It is unclear exactly when he converted to Islam. In 2004, he married a Muslim woman, Farzana Malik but they separated a few months later as a result of Masood’s abusive actions. By 2005, he was living and working in Saudi Arabia, where he earned qualification to teach English. A few months after returning to the UK from Saudi Arabia, he began to teach English to language learners in Luton.

It is also unclear when he was radicalised; however, he spent time in 3 prisons and told a friend that he had become Muslim in jail. 

In the most recent years, he has been moving around the UK with a notable lack of stability. In about the past 5 years, he has lived in Luton, Forest Glen in East London, and Winson Green in Birmingham. Some of that time was spent incarcerated.

At his death, he was married to Rohey Hydara who did not know of the attacks in advance. His wife and mother have both expressed their condolences to the families of the victims and anger at Masood’s actions. 

Muslim family kicked off flight demands apology from United Airlines

A Muslim family of five from Libertyville wants an apology from United Airlines after the family was removed last month from a plane at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.

The removal came after the parents requested an additional strap for their youngest daughter’s booster seat, according to Ahmed Rehab, executive director of Chicago’s Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Rehab said the family was ordered to exit the plane for security reasons. When the mother and father repeatedly asked the flight crew why they were being removed, they were told to exit “peacefully,” return to the gate and await further instructions, Rehab said.

United Airlines said in a statement that the family was asked to leave a SkyWest flight, operating as United Express from Chicago, “because of concerns about their child’s safety seat, which did not comply with federal safety regulations.”

But according to Rehab, when the parents tried to check the seat inside the airport, a United attendant said the computer system was down and instructed them to bring the seat onboard.

As the family settled into seats near the back of the plane, the parents made sure their son and older daughter were buckled in and attempted to secure their younger daughter in her booster seat, Rehab said.

According to Rehab, when the father asked a flight attendant if there was an extra strap for the booster seat, as advertised on the airline’s website, the flight attendant said she didn’t know what he was talking about and walked away.

Moments later another attendant came by and told the parents they couldn’t have the booster seat. They removed the seat and eventually the pilot asked the family to leave the plane. Before disembarking, the mother, who wears an Islamic headscarf, asked the pilot if the family’s removal was a “discriminatory decision.” The parents then left the flight with their children so as to not further frighten their children or inconvenience the other passengers, Rehab said. He said they felt singled out and humiliated.

The mother posted a video of the interaction with the plane’s crew on Facebook, where it has been viewed over 2 million times and shared more than 38,000 times.

“Shame on you #unitedAirlines for profiling my family and me for no reason other than how we look and kicking us off the plane for ‘safety flight issues’ on our flight to DC for the kids spring break,” she posted. “My three kids are too young to have experienced this.”

Rehab said other passengers around the family joined the disruption and said, “They did nothing wrong.”

The couple and their children completed their journey on a later flight and booked their return to Chicago on a different airline. Rehab said the family has asked for a formal apology, corrective action for the employees involved and reimbursement for that return flight and accommodations they had to book to adjust their travel plans.

This is not the first time United has been accused of mistreating Muslim customers. Last May, Northwestern University chaplain Tahera Ahmad was flying from Chicago to Washington, D.C., on a United flight operated by Shuttle America when a flight attendant refused to bring her an unopened can of soda. When Ahmad pointed out that another passenger had received one, the flight attendant abruptly opened the soda and told Ahmad it was so she would not use it as a weapon.

Adopting the hashtag #UnitedforTahera, thousands tweeted messages of support and calls for a boycott after Ahmad detailed the confrontation on Facebook. The controversy ended nearly a week later with an apology from United and the company’s promise that the attendant would not work on United express flights until she had undergone more training.

The airline also said employees would continue to receive annual cultural awareness training and that it would reach out to its express partners, including SkyWest, to make sure their staff also receives regular sensitivity training.

Civil Rights Groups Protest Closures Of Muslims’ Bank Accounts

March 5, 2014

 

A Minneapolis-based bank has been closing the accounts of its customers in the Islamic community for years, but nobody can figure out why.

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.– For years, Twin Cities’ residents who identify as members of the Islamic community say they have had their bank accounts closed unnecessarily and without reason by the Minneapolis-based TCF Financial Corp.

In one case, an American citizen — born and raised in Minneapolis — had his bank account closed, along with his sister’s account. The client used the account he opened in 2002 for his dental practice. He reportedly did not have any international transactions on his account, nor did he ever bounce a check or fail to keep a minimum balance. But he says that didn’t stop TCF from issuing a letter notifying him that the bank was “exercising its right under the terms of your account contract to discontinue our banking relationship.”

“A letter notified me that my account is closing, then after visiting and calling them I was notified by phone that TCF will not keep me as a customer even if I open a new account,” the former TCF customer told MintPress News. According to the Council on American-Islamic Relations Minnesota chapter, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization, the closure of bank accounts belonging to Minnesota Muslims of Somali, Middle Eastern and South Asian origin, largely occurred between 2012 and 2013. CAIR-MN says it first got involved after it was reported in January 2013 that several Iranian students at the University of Minnesota had their accounts closed.

As the group’s Civil Rights Director Saly Abd Alla told MintPress, “None of these individuals have been charged with any crimes or engaged in any transaction that violates U.S. law. The only thing these individuals have in common, aside from TCF abruptly and without explanation closing their bank accounts, is that they have Muslim names. “All of the clients are American citizens,” she added. “Some are converts to Islam, others were born into a Muslim family; they are various ages and professions; different ethnicities and races.”
Mint Press: http://www.mintpressnews.com/cair-mn-welcomes-minneapolis-civil-rights-directors-probe-muslim-tcf-bank-account-closures/185615/
CAIR.com: http://cair.com/press-center/cair-in-the-news/12399-cair-mn-protests-closures-of-muslims-bank-accounts.html

Muslim family challenges ‘do not resuscitate’ ruling over gravely ill man

November 9, 2013

 

A court will this week decide whether a seriously ill Muslim man should not be revived if his condition deteriorates – against the wishes of his family, who say it is God’s will that doctors must do all they can to keep him alive. The case, which will be seen in some quarters as a clash between the state and religion, is the first of its kind to deliver a judgment following a supreme court ruling last month that found doctors were right to withdraw treatment from a man in Liverpool.

The Muslim man, who has been in hospital for five-and-a-half months since suffering a heart attack, is barely conscious. The NHS trust in charge of the hospital where he is being cared for, and which cannot be named for legal reasons, argues that to revive him is not in the man’s best interests if his condition worsens.

The case will be studied closely by all faith groups, especially those who believe in a literal interpretation of scripture that, they claim, determines religious law must take precedence over law made by statute.

There have been legal challenges by Christian groups brought against right-to-die campaigners but this is the first challenge against a Do Not Resuscitate order following a ruling last month in the supreme court which said that appeal judges were right to allow doctors to withhold treatment from David James, a “gravely ill” man from Liverpool who died last December.

A verdict this week against the family is likely to dismay some Muslim groups. But, equally, many doctors’ groups are likely to resent any ruling that sees religious views take precedence. It is likely that either side could appeal if the ruling goes against them.

 

The Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/nov/09/muslim-family-do-not-resuscitate-challenge-liverpool

Collective makes appeal to Muslim shop owners during Ramadan

RTBF

11.07.2013

Egalite, sans guillements (Equality without quotation marks), a social collective, has decided to make an appeal to Muslim show owners to offer cheaper aliments to socioeconomically weak Muslims during Ramadan. The month of Ramadan is traditionally coined by high expenditures for festive iftar meals following the breaking of the day-long fast after sunset. A Muslim family in Belgium spends in average 60 to 70 Euro for one iftar meal.  A significant amount of Belgian Muslims are, however, unable to afford such expensive meals during Ramadan.

Egalite, sans guillements argues that Ramadan is the month of sharing and conviviality, thus shop owners should in this tradition enable all Muslims to participate in the iftar celebrations. Due to a sharp rise in earnings during Ramadan, in average three times more halal products are sold during the month, shop owners should be able to still make profits whilst making concessions to help fiscally restraint Muslim families.

Sicilian Catholics and Muslims discuss “Sustaining the Family”

Fernando Massimo Adonia

April 15, 2013

An interfaith meeting took place in Catania. The Islamic community together with the Catholic community came together to discuss ‘family in crisis.’ In Catania Imam Kheit Abdelhafid, President of the Islamic community of Sicily opened the meeting. The meeting’s main theme is “The Muslim family, the Christian family: challenges and hopes.” The meeting began with the reading of a passage from the Koran and the proclamation of the gospel.

Nottinghamshire Police warn about a sharp increase in hate-attacks against Muslims

10 December 2012

 

A Muslim family based in Bingham in north-western Britain were the latest victims of increasing anti-Islamic attacks in Britain. The family found an offensive graffiti which attacked Islam and Allah outside of their family house last week.

 

According to the father’s account the attack left the children traumatized:

 

“Two days after the first incident I saw the eldest on the laptop looking at a map, looking for escape routes in case anything goes wrong, I’m not even a strict Muslim at all, so for this to happen to my family is a joke.” He said.

The second attack came three weeks later when the family found a cross wrapped in ham left on their doorstep.

The attack was taken as a significant warning for increase in the hate crimes against Muslims. Police data show that 1,200 anti-Muslim attacks were reported in Britain in 2010. A Financial Times opinion poll showed that Britain is the nation that is most suspicious about Muslims. A poll of the Evening Standard found that a sizable section of London residents harbor negative opinions about Muslims.

Sentence of Administrative Court – Muslim girl cannot be dismissed from swimming lessons

September 28

 

The Administrative Court of the Federal State of Hessen has rejected a lawsuit by a Muslim family, who did not send their twelve-year-old daughter to the school swimming lessons. The family’s action has been rejected also by the Administrative Court of the city of Kassel. The girl has argued that swimming with boys would be forbidden by her religion. She would like to participate at swimming class, but only in case the class would be attended by properly covered girls, and no boys.

The court had to find a balance between different rights. Although the freedom of religion would be protected as it would be her right to avoid seeing or touching boys, this freedom would restrict the constitutional goal to ensure equal education.

As a result, the Court decided for rejection, while recommending the girl to wear an Islamic swimming dress, the Burkini.

 

The position of tribunals in this matter is not uniform. Recently, the Administrative court of the City State of Bremen had permitted girls to be released from sport classes with the beginning of adolescence.

 

So far, there have been no reactions by Islamic organizations such as the Islamic Religion Community of the States of Hesse or the Turkish-Islamic Union of the State of Hessen.

Muslim family is victim of religious hatred

Yousuf, Ibraheem and Ieysaa bin-Suhayl (aged 13, 10 and 7 years respectively) from Cambridgeshire have been called by the English Chess Federation (ECF) to represent England in chess, at the European Union Youth Championships in Austria. The Championship commenced in Mureck on 31st July and end on 8th August 2012.

 

During the completion the Muslim family claimed to be a victim of religious hatred and racism as a result of mistreatment of the other team members. They also claimed the ECF did not help them with their difficulties. The news upset the members of British Muslim community who are now campaign to bring those who are responsible for religious hatred and racism to justice.

Canadian Muslim family endures U.S. border nightmare

News Agencies – February 25, 2012

It was supposed to be a cross-border shopping trip to New York State to break the monotony of a Quebec winter – a Montreal soccer dad, his wife, their adult son and their two youngest children packed in a car, headed toward Plattsburgh. But when the Benaouda family got to the U.S. border, their outing turned into a scene from a bad movie – complete with shouting FBI agents, handcuffs, interrogation and six hours of unexplained detention.

More than a decade after 9/11, Muslim Canadian travellers with no proven links to terrorism continue to be targeted when they fly or try to cross into the U.S. Mohamed Benaouda, a Canadian citizen with Algerian roots who says he has never had any run-ins with the law, was handcuffed, photographed, fingerprinted, held in a cell and interrogated.