16.06.2011/ 17.06.2011/ 18.06.2011
On Thursday, North London Central mosque (formerly Finsbury Park mosque) was evacuated after a parcel with suspicious white powder and racist/ anti-Islamic messages well as drawings was delivered to the imam of the mosque. Upon receipt, the people at the mosque were concerned that the white powder was anthrax and, therefore, informed the police. After conducting tests, however, the police found the powder to be harmless. Following this incident, the police admitted that it could be linked to a number of other ‘malicious communications’ that were sent to a number of mosques in London and elsewhere in the UK. The police are now investigating, especially in the Far-Right scene.
“How much do you get paid?” This is the first question I am asked by many of the A-level students I meet as part of a Muslim mentoring programme for schools in underprivileged areas of North London. Although they ask with a cheeky smirk, in the eyes of many of the students a satisfactory answer would cement my credibility as a mentor. Most are of Somali, Pakistani and Bengali origin, and the mentoring scheme kicks off in their first year of A-level study with the purpose of helping to motivate the students academically by providing successful examples of the fruits of a good education. If they make enough money, that is. Upon closer acquaintance, it appears that most of the students need very little academic motivation. They are second-generation immigrants whose families encourage them to perform and go to university in order to secure a good job and a healthy livelihood. If anything, they need motivation to take up more extra-curricular activities and be more involved with pursuits that would allow them to explore their talents and personal aptitudes. Every single one of the students in the programme was planning to enrol in either a science or maths-based discipline (except one girl, who wanted to study English and asked sheepishly whether an English degree would help her secure a lucrative role in today’s job market). Nesrine Malik reports.
Last week the Guardian uncovered a report by MI5 suggesting there is no single pathway to Islamic extremism. What a surprise! And in a further deconstruction of preconceptions, the report found evidence that a well-established religious identity actually protects against violent radicalisation. If this is the case, what are the implications for racial and religious profiling? The report clearly dismantles any assumptions that can be made about the identity, background and religiosity of a would-be terrorist. The UK’s Muslim population is a mere 2.8% but is so ethnically diverse that the government could cynically use this report to sanction the continuing infringement of civil liberties of the entire population through ID cards, surveillance and so on. The sounding the death knell for racial profiling is something to celebrate, but I wonder whether my optimism is premature. Adam Khan, 28, from North London also has his reservations, after repeatedly being stopped and interrogated under schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 when trying to return to the UK. Samia Rahman reports.
A British terrorist who helped plot the failed suicide bomb attacks on July 21 has been sentenced to nearly seven years in jail. Adel Yahya, 24, a student from Tottenham, North London, admitted collecting information useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism. The charge related to hydrogen peroxide, the main ingredient used in the home-made bombs. Duncan Gardham reports
FOUR Muslims who raged in Britain against Danish newspaper cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed were jailed for a total of 22 years yesterday. They had joined 500 demonstrators outside the Danish Embassy in London 17 months ago, calling for terror atrocities. Judge Brian Barker told them at the Old Bailey: “You subjected the multicultural citizens of London to a constant barrage of hatred.” Abdul Muhid, 24, of Whitechapel, East London; Umran Javed, 27, of Birmingham, and Mizanur Rahman, 24, of Palmers Green, North London, got six years each for inciting murder. Abdul Saleem, 32, of Poplar, East London, got four years for race hate.