Video: women ‘shunned’ in certain Paris suburbs

The investigation was launched by France 2 TV with the aid of Brigade Des Mères (BDM) group which aims to restore gender equality across France.

Two BDM representatives – both women – carried out a social experiment. They chose Sevran commune in the northeastern suburbs of Paris and analyzed the reaction of local men towards women. The response was probably well-suited to some neighborhood in Saudi Arabia, the women later said.

In one café, which solely consisted of male customers, they received a cold welcome. The women were asked if they were looking for a man.”

“There are men in the café,” explains one of the men to them, while the women respond: “It’s OK, in the world there are men and women.”

Answering the question if such behavior is normal, the men in the café answer: “It’s Sevran, not Paris. We have a different mentality.”

“It’s not like in France, it is like back home!” one of the men says.

“But it’s France,” one of the women replies. Sevran is located 16km from the center of the French capital.

Later in the video the camera captures a woman dressed in burqa, a full-body cloak worn by some Muslim women.

All dialogues were filmed with secret cameras. BDM later wrote that in some neighborhoods in France women have become “undesirable in public places.”

Walking in a skirt or having a coffee on the terrace can become a real challenge for them,” the group said.

 

 

Why Charles Moore is wrong about British Muslims by Sadiq Khan

Sadiq Khan is the MP for Tooting, Shadow Justice Secretary & Lord Chancellor and Shadow Minister for London

 

Much has been written in the past month in the aftermath of the brutal murder of Drummer Lee Rigby. One unifying message has been the importance of communities standing together, in the face of the threats posed by those claiming to follow a particularly violent political version of Islam, and from far-right groups such as the EDL and BNP. One recent contribution to the debate came from the esteemed journalist Charles Moore, whose recent biography of Margaret Thatcher is a mighty tome of diligence and detail. In contrast, his words in last Saturday’s Telegraph were a clumsy foray into a territory about which he appears to know very little.

 

In his piece, Moore states that “the EDL is merely reactive” as if that’s OK. It’s far from OK. Many of the darkest chapters in recent human history have sprung from reactionary movements gaining a foothold in society. But to go on and equate the EDL with groups like Tell Mama, the charity that records incidents against the Muslim community as well as providing advice and support on how to deal with Islamophobia, as Charles Moore’s piece does, is ridiculous. I don’t recall seeing those running Tell Mama flicking fascist salutes while standing next to memorials for the war dead.

 

For decades, the British Jewish community has had to contend with the belittling of anti-Semitic attacks, whether they be on headstones in cemeteries or to Synagogues or schools. While we cannot be complacent, there is, rightly, a zero tolerance to anti-Semitism whether it be oral, viral or physical. Would we be comfortable with a respected journalist writing about the Community Security Trust the way Tell Mama has been written about? Or aspersions being cast on a politician due to their Jewish faith? Would we accept the Jewish community being talked about the way the Muslim community are? The piece would be roundly criticised, and rightly so. And that’s the point – in a tolerant society that won’t stand for division and hatred, attacks on any particular part of our society are an attack on all of our society. I don’t meet “young people taught to detest the freedom in which they live”, as Charles Moore claims. I meet British Muslims proud to be both British and Muslim, in many cases living their lives freer of the shackles of prejudice and social inequality than did their parents, or their parents before them. That is a real positive that living in Britain has fostered.

 

As a British Muslim, I understand that “Islam” and “Britishness” are not incompatible and, according to polling, 83 per cent of my fellow Muslims would agree – they are “proud” to be British, compared to 79 per cent of the wider public. And who could fail to be heartened by the custard cream diplomacy of the mosque in York when faced by an EDL protest, a very British response to a difficult situation. Like “Britishness”, Islam is about respect, tolerance and understanding.

CAIR: Okla. Muslim Told She Needs Bank Escort Because of Hijab

Muslim civil rights group asks Tulsa bank to review discriminatory ‘no hats’ policy

The Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is calling on Tulsa’s Valley National Bank to review its “inappropriate and discriminatory” policy that treats customers wearing religious head coverings differently than other patrons.

CAIR-OK said a Muslim customer at a Valley National Bank branch in Tulsa reported that she was singled out by bank officials because of her religiously-mandated head scarf, or hijab.

The Muslim customer was allegedly told she would not be able to enter the bank unless accompanied by a bank employee to and from the teller because of a “no hats, no hoods, no sunglasses” policy.

Valley National Bank has confirmed in a letter to CAIR-OK that it is their policy to single out women who wear a head scarf, whether for religious reasons or otherwise.

“Singling out Muslim women or other people of faith who wear religiously-mandated head coverings that do not hinder identification is inappropriate and discriminatory,” said CAIR-OK Executive Director Adam Soltani. “All customers should be treated equally regardless of their faith or religious practices.”

Soltani said the bank’s policy on head coverings would also impact Sikh and Jewish men who wear turbans and yarmulkes, and would logically be applied to Orthodox Jewish women who often wear wigs for religious reasons or Catholic nuns who wear habits.

Madonna: Obama Is ‘A Black Muslim In The White House,’ Deserves Votes (VIDEO) [UPDATE]

Madonna brought her MDNA Tour to Washington, D.C. on Monday night, and added a bizarre dose of politics to the show.

“Y’all better vote for f–king Obama, OK? For better or for worse, all right? We have a black Muslim in the White House. Now that’s some amazing s–t,” she said. “It means there is hope in this country. And Obama is fighting for gay rights, so support the man, goddamnit.”

Obama is Christian and has spoken and written widely about his faith. Madonna’s comments — which may have been made in jest — came in the middle of an extended speech that touched on Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy and traced the civil rights movement from America’s inception to Obama’s election.

Cindy Pugh, candidate for state rep., compares Muslim women to garbage bags

Tea Party candidate for state representative Cindy Pugh uses her Facebook profile to defend Scott Walker, criticize Barack Obama, and boast about her ongoing campaign to defeat incumbent state Rep. Steve Smith, a Republican from Mound.

But she also used it recently to compare Muslim women and children clad in traditional Islamic garb to garbage bags.

Pugh shared the above photo on May 21 with the following commentary: “Disturbing … that women & little girls are OK with dressing like this!!! What will it take for these women to stand up and say, ‘NO’!? Wondering if they will ever do that?!” The photo was originally uploaded by “Proud to be an Infidel,” a Muslim-bashing page with the following slogan: “It’s not Islamophobia when they are really trying to kill you.”

Pugh launched a right-wing campaign to unseat 22-year state Rep. Smith, a moderate Republican, earlier this year. Although Pugh defeated Smith for the Republican endorsement at the party convention May 23, he has announced that he’ll challenge her in the August primary.

Pugh co-founded the Southwest Metro Tea Party and touts herself as a successful small business owner. She’s also a former general manager of Dayton’s in downtown Saint Paul.

Muslims rally in support of NYPD surveillance tactics, say police ‘not trying to hurt us’

NEW YORK — Qazi Qayyoom, an imam in Queens, says he believes the New York Police Department is keeping his community safe, and if that means some Muslims are monitored, so be it.

“The police, they come to us and say, ‘Is everything OK? How can we help you?” he said Monday. “They are not trying to hurt us. For this, I want to say thank you and tell them I support them.”

The rally, held by the American Islamic Leadership Coalition outside police headquarters in downtown Manhattan, illustrated a division even among the faith’s adherents about how far authorities should go in seeking to protect the nation’s largest city from terrorists. Other Muslim groups were quick to say the coalition didn’t represent their views.

Among the speakers was Dr. Zudhi Jasser, the narrator of “The Third Jihad,” a documentary about the dangers of radical Islam that the NYPD showed in the lobby of a police training area and has since disavowed.

Posing in Playboy as libertion? (Op Ed)

First came Rima Fakih, the first Muslim to win the Miss USA title – and, with her participation in the pageant’s swimsuit competition, to push the public’s perceptions of Muslim women. Then came Sila Sahin, a Turkish German woman living in Germany, who recently posed for a cover of Playboy Magazine. The stereotype of the completely-covered-in-black Muslim woman has once again been challenged –this time with images of no dress at all.

Sahin explained her decision to model for Playboy thus, “I have always abided by what men say. As a result I developed an extreme desire for freedom … I want these photos to show young Turkish women it’s OK for you to live however you choose.”

Sahin’s connection between freedom and posing for a porn magazine is a difficult one to grasp. In leaving behind strict religious interpretations, which can at times be used to wield control over woman’s bodies, Sahin has moved into a more pernicious realm – one where woman are reduced to sexual objects and seen as nothing more than their physical selves. Sexual objectification is not exactly consonant with “freedom.”

Two new British film comedies dare to poke fun at religion

Two British films are coming out in April and May, both of which dare to approach religion with a comic touch. They will, of course, be castigated by the uncompromisingly religious, the usual suspects who believe that faith can never be a laughing matter and revel in demonstrating their beliefs through the medium of a violent punch up.

The first film, David Baddiel’s new offering, The Infidel, tells the story of a middle-aged Muslim family man who discovers he was actually born a Jew. To try and make sense of this sudden identity crisis, Mahmud, played by Iranian-born comic Omid Djalili, seeks out his neighbor, a drunken Jewish cabdriver called Lenny. The hilarity that ensues is largely based around the Muslim and Jewish communities’ deep misunderstanding of each other and how two flawed but instantly lovable characters learn to respect each other and their faiths.

The second film follows an even more controversial line. Four Lions is Christ Morris’s much anticipated movie debut and revolves around five wannabe jihadists from Sheffield who plan a series of coordinated suicide bombs in London. Their stupidity and haplessness is matched by the police, who are as incompetent and ill-informed as the people they are trying to catch.

Navid Akhtar, a film-maker who has specialized in serious documentaries on the nature of British Islam, including the film Young, Angry and Muslim, agrees. “I think after July 7 and the Danish cartoons there were plenty of British Muslims who felt equally concerned as anyone else about the global reaction and the ridiculousness of it all,” he says. “What we’re getting as a result is a more sophisticated and developed Western Islam that gets comedy and understands that it’s OK to poke a little fun at yourself.”

France’s Interior Minister Accused of Derogatory Comment To Arab Man

France’s interior minister sparked a storm of protest and accusations of racism after a video showed him making an apparently derogatory joke about French citizens of Arab origin. “When there’s one, it’s OK,” Brice Hortefeux, a key minister in President Nicolas Sarkozy’s government, said in the film posted on Le Monde newspaper’s site that rapidly became an online hit on a host of video websites. “It’s when there are a lot of them that there are problems,” he said in the film Le Monde said shows him getting ready to pose for a photo with a young man from France’s large community of Arab origin.

The young activist told the media that the minister’s comments had been taken out of context.
“It’s disgraceful. I am Arab but he completely respected me, it wasn’t at all out of place. And I do not consider that it was a blunder,” said the man, who was not named by the newspaper. Prime Minister Francois Fillon stepped into the row to stand by his interior minister, declaring that Hortefeux “was the “victim of a fairly scandalous campaign of defamation.” Hortefeux was immigration minister from 2007 until early this year. Many have called for his resignation over the matter.

Piglet’s Tale not Anti-Semitic: Germany OK’s Controversial Children’s Book

The German government has cleared a controversial children’s book of charges that it is anti-Semitic. The decision clears the way for the printing of a fourth edition of the book, “‘Which Way to God?’ Asked the Piglet.'” The German government announced Thursday that a controversial children’s book critical of major world religions will not be banned. The book is called “‘Which Way to God?’ Asked the Piglet'” and was seen by some to be overly critical of Judaism. Author Michael Schmidt-Salomon and illustrator Helge Nyncke had been accused of anti-Semitic depictions in the book. Specifically, the image of an angry rabbi led some to raise concerns that Judaism was lampooned more harshly than the other two religions treated in the book. But the Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons ruled that the book is equally critical of Christianity, Islam and Judaism, and should not be classified as anti-Semitic.