A mosque and a cultural center in Venice?

February 22, 2014


No Islamic cultural center and mosque is complete without a minaret muezzin calling to worshippers to prayer. A Mosque would take many Venetian Muslims into the sunlight, out of garages and stairs that have been their places of worship for all this time. A cultural center could be in the future for the City of Venice. An unnamed Saudi prince has agreed to fund the center, according to the local newspapers. Now begins a battle for a place of worship.


Venezia Today: http://www.veneziatoday.it/cronaca/moschea-centro-culturale-islam-venezia-principe-saudita.html

Rihanna Asked to Leave Mosque in Abu Dhabi

October 21, 2013


Rihanna was asked to leave the site of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi after posing for photographs there over the weekend that the shrine’s overseers said had violated the “sanctity” of the site.

In photos that Rihanna posted on her Instagram and Twitter accounts, she is seen posing at the mosque site, in the United Arab Emirates capital city. Though she is fully covered in the photographs, with only her face, hands and painted fingernails visible in some of the shots, these images drew some negative responses from online commenters, like one who responded with an obscene word, adding: “Leave our holy place and keep your filth away from it. We don’t need you.”

The Associated Press, citing a statement from the overseers of the mosque that was published in local newspapers, said Rihanna was in a part of the mosque that is not open to visitors and that the photo shoot was not in accordance with the “status and sanctity of the mosque.” A press representative for Rihanna said on Monday morning that she did not have any other information on the incident.


The New York Times: http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/21/rihanna-asked-to-leave-mosque-in-abu-dhabi/

Salam, Islam: a Trip inside the Muslim Community

June 6, 2013


After success with his first novel, Pasquale Nuccio Franco goes back to the library this time with another book.


“Salam, Islam” is a travel through the Muslim community, through a number of interviews and articles that have given life to an understanding of spiritual matters, politics and social issues of a religion very often viewed with suspicion if not bitterness.


With this work, the author hoped to illustrate the truth essence of Islam and open a window to little known aspects that are often misinterpreted. In fact, many include anecdotes, and stories told in library book pages little known to many.

From the social point of view, the author insists that the collective followers denounce those who now seem to be synonymous with the religion i.e. Islam and radical Islamism.

There are, however, also insights pertaining to market expansion as fashion, food, forms of tourism – including new tourists to the Islamic religion – search engines and the internet and the presence of women no the net and in the economy.

In this respect, the author delves into a topic that in a situation like the present, of the economic downturn, could make it a resource for international markets, namely Islamic Finance, focusing to the rules of Shari’a which is still little known in our country.

From the past, some considerations related to the so-called “Arab Spring”, the role played by the media as a sounding board of this movement and the struggle for greater freedom of information and the effect on the proliferation of newspapers, satellite channels and Internet.

Not the usual book, Salam, Islam’s purpose is to tell the reality as much as possible with objectivity and consistency in a framework that places the Islamic community as a pivotal player of our society.

Labour peer Lord Ahmed suspended over claims he blamed imprisonment on ‘Jewish conspiracy’

The story today is that the labour party has suspended one of its members in light of comments made in a Pakistani television interview. The peer was suspended after he appeared to blame a Jewish conspiracy for his imprisonment for dangerous driving. The leader of the Labour Party Ed Milliband responded as follows: “There’s no place for anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, and frankly anybody who makes those kinds of comments cannot be either a Labour lord or a Labour Member of Parliament”. With the relations between Islam and Judaism tense as it is, the labour peer is reported to have said in the TV broadcast: “My case became more critical because I went to Gaza to support Palestinians. My Jewish friends who own newspapers and TV channels opposed this.”

Report calls Leveson Inquiry to investigate Islamphobia in the media

July 2012

Following to News International phone hacking scandal the Leveson Inquiry has been investigating misconduct of the British press, mostly Rubert Murdock’ News Corporation. The inquiry has revealed shocking relations between the media, politicians and the police, and has informed the public how the media has been effectively used to influence certain government politics and to manipulate the public.

In an important report that has been submitted to the inquiry by Nafeez Ahmed entitled Race and Reform Islam and Muslims in the Britsh Media pointed out overwhelmingly negative, stereotypical, and racist media coverage of Islam and called the Leveson Inquiry along with a number of media professionals to urgently investigate how to hold the media accountable for this shocking lapse in journalistic standards.

Some of the senior journalists who were interviewed by the author of the report acknowledge the gloomy situation in the British media:

‘Jason Beattie, political editor of the Daily Mirror, said: “In general, though not exclusively, the portrayal of Muslims in the mainstream media has been unsatisfactory… [including] sloppy and sometimes stereotypical reporting.” Brian Cathcart, former deputy editor at The Independent on Sunday, similar notes that “where Muslims are concerned, some of the country’s top-selling newspapers have too often failed… damaging stereotypes have been adopted and repeated by some newspapers… Since these papers enjoy such wide circulation, this cannot fail to disadvantage Muslims in British society.”’

The report also provides valuable data regarding the rise of Islamphobia in the public as a result of negative media coverage.

Four are convicted for terrorist plot



Four men from Sweden have been convicted on the basis of terrorist plot in Denmark. They were supposedly conspiring to attack the offices of the newspaper   Jyllands-Posten with weapons. The attack was planned to take place at the building that houses the two major newspapers, Jyllands-Posten and Politiken, just days before the New Year’s Eve 2010.


The men were arrested on December 29th 2010, three of them in Copenhagen and the fourth in Stockholm. Both Swedish (SÄPO) and Danish (PET) intelligence services have followed the three men traveling the entire car trip from Stockholm to Copenhagen. Prior to that the police has had the four men under surveillance for a long period of time. The fourth man, who stayed in Stockholm after deciding to discontinue the journey was convicted by as well.


According to the director of PET, Jakob Scharf, the men were only hours away from attacking the offices of the newspaper(s). according to the information given by the police, the men had an automatic weapon, a handgun and 200  of so called PlastiCuffs. A large amount of material used as evidence has been presented throughout the trial. The Prosecutor has relied heavily on hours of recordings from police surveillance of a Stockholm apartment where the attack have seemingly been planned. The recordings indicate that the men had planned to cause maximum destruction with their attack. All of them are between 31 and 46 years of age and according to the Prosecutor the men planned the attack as a part of a reprisal plot against the newspapers’ distribution of the so called Muhammed Caricatures.


All of the men have been sentenced to 12 years in prison, a highest possible sentence in this type of cases. The Prosecutor wanted the sentence to be extended between 14 and 16 years.

Community Action: Muslims Clean up after New Year’s Celebrations

02./ 03.01.2012

At the beginning of the new year, various newspapers (and news magazine) across Germany reported on local Muslim communities that have volunteered on New Year’s Day to help clean up the city centres after New Year celebrations. Especially young Ahmadiyya Muslims have demonstrated their commitment to the community, which some newspapers described as a clear sign of successful integration.

Muslims Around the Globe Celebrate Eid al-Adha


Various German newspapers report about the celebrations of Eid around the globe. As reported by the Ostthüringer Zeitung and the Ahlener Zeitung, Muslim communities in Thüringen and North Rhine Westphalia celebrate the holiday and have established ways of making sacrifices that are in line with German rules and regulations. In light of current celebrations, the central council of Muslims in Germany emphasised the importance for Muslims to contribute to the fight against prejudice; furthermore, the German non-Muslim majority had to fully accept Islam and its practices as part of German society.

End of Ramadan

Various German newspapers reported on the end of Ramadan and the three-day celebration (Eid al-Fitr) held in Muslim communities. Aiman Mazyek, Chair of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany, wished all Muslims happy celebrations amongst their families and friends, but also pointed to current grievances in many parts of the world. To remind people of the importance of solidarity, peaceful coexistence, and mutual trust, he closed his message by drawing on the case of Tariq Jahan, whose son was recently killed during the riots in the UK. Jahan had called on people to not seek violent revenge, but end the riots and unite (as reported).

Tony Blair’s sister-in-law Lauren Booth converts to Islam

3 November 2010

Journalist and broadcaster Lauren Booth, 43 – Tony Blair’s sister-in-law – has converted to Islam after having what she describes as a “holy experience” during a visit to Iran.

She decided to become a Muslim six weeks ago after visiting the shrine of Fatima al-Masumeh in the city of Qom. “It was a Tuesday evening and I sat down and felt this shot of spiritual morphine, just absolute bliss and joy,” she said in an interview. When she returned to Britain, she decided to convert immediately at a London mosque.

Newspapers have commented widely on her decision and not always in a positive way. In an opinion piece for the Guardian, she explains why she took this step and what it means to her. She also throws light on Muslim women she met during her travels through Islamic countries, finding them very often in powerful and hard-working positions.