Portrait of Suspect in Boston Is Disputed

Rahimah Rahim, a nurse, had tears in her eyes as she clasped the hand of her eldest son, Ibrahim, formerly a local imam. Behind them stood Usaamah Rahim’s wife, her face shrouded in a black veil.
It was the family’s first public appearance since Mr. Rahim, 26, was killed Tuesday by an F.B.I. agent and a police officer after the authorities said he threatened them with a large knife. A lawyer for the family, Ronald S. Sullivan Jr., said that they knew nothing of his alleged affinity for Islamic extremists, nor of the reported threat to behead police officers.
A Boston imam and the aunt of the 26-year-old Roslindale man killed by police and the FBI on Tuesday say he was not a terrorist and blamed his “murder” on the media, an investigation gone awry and the strained relationship between cops and black men.
 “Usaamah was tuned in a lot with online Islam,” said Yahya Abdullah Rivero, who attended mosque with Mr. Rahim in Miami. “He kept an ear to everything that was mentioned about Islam online. I know he used to listen to some extreme imams online.”
 Robert S. Sullivan Jr., the lawyer for Usaamah Rahim’s family, on Thursday in the CVS parking lot in Boston where Mr. Rahim was killed on Tuesday. Credit Sean Proctor for The New York Times
Robert S. Sullivan Jr., the lawyer for Usaamah Rahim’s family, on Thursday in the CVS parking lot in Boston where Mr. Rahim was killed on Tuesday. Credit Sean Proctor for The New York Times

Against Swedish Law to Ban Student for Wearing Niqab

January 12, 2010

According to a verdict presented this week by the Swedish discrimination ombudsman, Katri Linna, it’s wrong to ban a student from class for wearing a niqab.
The decision stems from an incident in January 2009 when a Muslim woman, wearing niqab, was asked to take the face veil of if she wanted to continue her training to become a pediatric nurse at an adult education center in Spånga, west of Stockholm.
The student reported the matter to the ombudsman, as an act of religious discrimination. Almost two years later – when the student has graduated from the education – the ombudsman presented her verdict. Sweden’s Parliamentary Ombudsman has criticised Linna for taking nearly two years to rule on the case.
Linna said her office has no plans to take the woman’s case to court because the she had been able to finish her studies with solid marks. This fact, the discrimination ombudsman says, has proven that her headscarf didn’t present an obstacle to attending lectures. Nor were there any problems related to her interactions with teachers or other students.
From the now ongoing debate over the verdict, we can tell the last word is not yet said in this issue.

Nurse Fired for Not Wearing Short Sleeves

De Telegraaf reports that a Muslim nurse in Den Bosch has been firing for refusing to wear short sleeves. After working in the hospital since 2001, the nurse began wearing long sleeves under her work uniform as she “started becoming more engrossed in her faith”, explains her lawyer Frank Vermeeren. Barred from work in April 2008 for her refusal to bare her arms, she proceeded to lodge formal objections. Now a judge in Den Bosch has dissolved the nurse’s employment contract as of August 1, 2009, awarding the nurse 8,500 euro in compensation.