News Agencies – February 28, 2012
Father tries to set 23-year-old daughter alight for being too emancipated. A man was being held by police after allegedly trying to set fire to his grown-up daughter in central Paris. Le Parisien newspaper reported that the man sprayed teargas in the young woman’s face and then covered her in petrol on Saturday evening. The father was apparently annoyed that the woman planned to go out with a group of friends that evening and considered her “too emancipated”.
The newspaper quoted a source describing him as a “Muslim fundamentalist.”
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.
News Agencies – February 20, 2012
French suburbs are becoming ‘Muslim land’, French journalist and historian Alexandre Adler told France Info. Adler also said that many French Muslims want this, and that he’s concerned about the self-administration against the State in those neighborhoods. Adler said the violence in the banlieues can’t be explained only as social problems, and that it’s due to the Muslim doctrine that wherever Islam spreads is Muslim land.
News Agencies – February 26, 2012
French Muslim groups have urged the government to take a stronger position against rising anti-Islam sentiments, calling for a modified legislation to tackle the surging Islamophobic crimes targeting the Muslim minority. “The actions and threats that have been the subject of formal complaints to the police and gendarmerie have increased from 116 in 2010 to 155 in 2011, an increase of 33.9%,” said Abdallah Zerki, head of the Paris-based Islamophobic Crime Monitoring Group. According to Zekri there were 38 major violent incidents and arson attacks aimed at French Muslims, mosques and Islamic centers, an increase from 22 in 2010.
Last January 31, vandals attacked a French mosque in the Glonnières district of Le Mans, covering its walls with graffiti reading “Islam out of Europe”, “No Islam” and “France for the French.” Three days earlier, another mosque in Miramas was also daubed with Islamophobic slogans along with the name of Front National presidential candidate Marine Le Pen. On January 17 fascist graffiti was painted on the wall of a mosque that is under construction in Montigny-en-Ostrevent reading “President Adolf” or “Hei” in reference to the Nazi salute. “Heil Hitler”. Two days later on January 19 two pigs’ heads were left at the site a mosque is being built in Nanterre.
News Agencies – February 6, 2012
France inaugurated its first municipal Muslim cemetery in the city of Strasbourg, a move hailed by Islamic leaders as a step in recognizing one of the country’s largest minority groups. Local officials and Muslim leaders attended a ceremony in the northeastern French city to launch the cemetery, which has space for about 1,000 graves. Mohammed Moussaoui, the head of the French Council of the Muslim Faith, hailed the cemetery’s opening as a “historic” moment for Muslims in France and said it was “an important symbol of belonging” for the community.
“If a religious community is to feel entirely at home in a city, it must be helped in building places for worship and for the burial of its believers,” said Strasbourg Mayor Roland Ries. France’s 1905 law on the separation of church and state forbids the building of municipal cemeteries restricted to only one religion. But the Alsace-Moselle region, which includes Strasbourg, operates under different basic laws dating from its reversion from German to French control after World War I.
News Agencies – February 10, 2012
The French postal service will mark the 90th anniversary of the completion of the Paris Grand Mosque with a new stamp. The stamp will be launched with a ceremony at the Grand Mosque. A temporary post office will be set up at the mosque to sell the first day of issue stamps.
News Agencies – February 1, 2012
The news that Mohammad Shafia, his wife Tooba Mohammad Yahya and their son Hamed Mohammad Shafia had each been found guilty of four counts of first-degree murder drew mixed reaction from across Canada. Experts in so-called honour killings — murders carried out to preserve family honour in the face of perceived disgrace — heralded the verdict as a step forward; a clear message that neither Canada’s courts nor its people will tolerate this type of crime.
But at least one Muslim women’s group says the way the Shafia case unfolded within and beyond the courtroom may have done more harm than good when it comes to public perception. “I’m frustrated and fed up with the kind of emphasis and time that’s been spent calling it an honour killing,” said Alia Hogben, executive director of the Canadian Council of Muslim Women.
News Agencies – February 28, 2011
French Prime Minister François Fillon is opposed to a proposed debate about the place of Islam in France, if it would lead to the stigmatisation of Muslims. “If this debate must be focused on Islam and if it seems to lead to the stigmatisation of Muslims, I oppose it. I say it clearly: I oppose it,” Fillon told French radio station RTL.
The president of the ruling UMP party, Jean-François Copé, recently announced plans to launch a debate about religion, “especially Islam”.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy declared on 10 February that multiculturalism was a failure in France. He called for “an Islam of France and not an Islam in France”.
News Agencies – February 22, 2011
The vehicle and motorcycle of French anthropologist Dounia Bouzar were vandalized outside of her Parisian residence. Several inflammatory texts were included. The French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM) has publicly condemned the vandalism and remarks.
News Agencies – February 5, 2011
A dozen Muslim families who recently arrived in Canada have told Winnipeg’s Louis Riel School Division that they want their children excused from compulsory elementary school music and co-ed physical education programs for religious and cultural reasons. “This is one of our realities in Manitoba now, as a result of immigration,” said superintendent Terry Borys. “We were faced with some families who were really adamant about this. Music was not part of the cultural reality.”
The families accept physical education, as long as the boys and girls have separate classes, but do not want their children exposed to singing or the playing musical instruments, Borys said. The division has suggested they could instead do a writing project to satisfy the music requirements of the arts curriculum.
However, a local Muslim leader says there is no reason for young kids to be held out of music or phys-ed classes based on religious and cultural grounds.
Borys said that there had been one or two requests for kids to be excused previously, but this year a dozen families came forward at six schools. Borys said that school division contacted a member of the Islamic community whom the parents suggested, consulted the Manitoba Human Rights Commission and looked at what other jurisdictions are doing about accommodation, particularly Ontario.