Terrorism: Politicians Warn of Increased Terror Threat in Germany

Politicians in Germany warned Saturday of the dangers posed by Islamists, following the arrest of two terrorist suspects and a police search for two others. The arrests took place in Cologne on Friday when a Somali and a German of Somali descent were escorted off a plane bound for the Dutch city Amsterdam. German prosecutors on Saturday were granted arrest warrants for the two men by a local court. Chief prosecutor Fred Apostel said evidence provided by police showed the pair “were planning to carry out an attack in the near future.” Security sources said the pair had been under observation for months and were planning to travel via the Netherlands to a training camp for militants on the Pakistan-Afghan border. A search of their apartment had turned up letters in which the two men, who are in their 20s, had declared their readiness to die in a jihad or holy war, the sources said. Police apparently stepped in to prevent them from joining their comrades in the Islamic Jihad Union, (IJU), often described as a successor to the terrorist network al Qaeda.

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Ethnic Politicians Struggle in Europe; Find Hope in Obama Campaign

Barack Obama is serving as an inspiration for minority politician hopefuls in Europe, who are still struggling to achieve legitimacy and support. Minority politicians are struggling for a voice, even though their families may have immigrated generations ago. For example, in the almost 600 members of parliament in France, only one is a racial minority – there are none in the senate. In Germany, where ethnic Turks comprise about 10 percent of the population, they hold less than one percent of the seats in parliament. In Italy and Spain, minorities have even less of a presence. Minorities in Europe are paying close attention to the elections in the United Sates in part because it will bring an end to the current Bush administration, but also because of the candidates themselves. [Obama] is seen by many as the embodiment of the American dream said Thomas Valasek, an analyst at the Center for European Reform in London. Zohra Bitan, who is running for mayor of the conservative Paris suburb of Thiais, said that she is following the Obama campaign very closely. While she says that France is ready to elect mayors or members of parliament who are a racial minority, she does not believe that the country is ready for an ethnic minority as president.

Dialogue Between British Muslims and Politicians

This month, The Muslim News successfully launched the first ever series of dialogues between British political leaders and British Muslims. The first meeting, organized jointly with Sadiq Khan, MP, Minister in HM Government Whips Department, was held in the House of Commons on October 18. Ahmed J Versi

Escaping Forced Marriages: New Project Helps Endangered Young Women

Politicians in Berlin and D_sseldorf are taking measures to try to prevent forced marriages among Germany’s immigrant community. A new program gives advice to young women via the Internet and by phone — and hides them from their parents if necessary. Andrea Brandt reports.

From the Court to the Imam: Praise for a New Policing Idea

Politicians endorsed an initiative of co-operation with mosques in the fight against juvenile delinquency. A good idea is born, now we must see to it that it’s implemented. This was the reaction yesterday from Berlin’s Senator of the Interior and from the Youth and Justice Senators to the proposal that the police and mosque associations unite in dealing with juvenile delinquency.

9-Year Old Muslim Girl Must Participate In Swimming: Politicians Of All Parties Welcome The Decision Of The Hamburg Administrative Court.

A nine year-old girl from Pakistan must participate in the swimming lessons at the school with the boys, decided the Administrative Court. In the controversy between education authorities and strict Muslims, this is the first judgment for a child of this age group. “I welcome the decision, which leaves nothing to be desired in its clarity”, said Educational Senator Alexandra Dinges-Dierig. Appealing the decision of the Administrative Court, the parents of the girl already lodged a complaint with the higher administrative court. The parents had refused the participation of their daughter in the school swimming lessons, claiming it was a sin. Wearing a bathing suit contradicts the regulations of Islam. The family belongs to the sect of the Ahmadiyya, which developed in India near the end of the 19th Century. {(continued in German)} Ein neun Jahre altes M_dchen pakistanischer Herkunft mufl am Schwimmunterricht in der Schule zusammen mit Jungen teilnehmen. Das hat das Verwaltungsgericht entschieden. In dem Streit zwischen Bildungsbeh_rde und strenggl_ubigen Muslimen ist es das erste Urteil f_r ein Kind dieser Altersgruppe. “Ich begr_fle die Entscheidung, die an Klarheit nichts zu w_nschen _brigl_flt”, sagte Bildungssenatorin Alexandra Dinges-Dierig. Gegen die Entscheidung des Verwaltungsgerichts haben die Eltern des M_dchens bereits Beschwerde beim Oberverwaltungsgericht eingelegt. Die Eltern hatten die Teilnahme ihrer Tochter am Schulschwimmen mit der Begr_ndung verweigert, dafl das nach ihrer Religion eine S_nde sei. Das Tragen von Badekleidung widerspreche den Vorschriften des Islam. Die Familie geh_rt der Glaubensrichtung der Ahmadiyya an, die Ende des 19. Jahrhunderts in Indien entstand. Das Verwaltungsgericht machte in seiner Entscheidung deutlich, dafl die Schulpflicht das Schulschwimmen umfasse. In der Abw_gung zwischen dem Erziehungsauftrag des Staates und der Religionsfreiheit geb_hre dem schulischen Erziehungsauftrag der Vorrang. Der Sportunterricht erf_lle dabei wichtige Erziehungsaufgaben. Der gemeinsame Unterricht von Jungen und M_dchen diene auch dazu, die Gleichberechtigung von Mann und Frau zu verankern. Zentrales Moment der Entscheidung ist das Alter des Kindes. Das Gericht verweist darauf, dafl die Bekleidungsvorschriften des Korans nicht f_r M_dchen vor der Geschlechtsreife gelten. Das steht im Einklang mit der Rechtsprechung des Bundesverwaltungsgerichts, das zugunsten der Familie eines _lteren muslimischen M_dchens entschieden hatte, das vom Schwimmunterricht befreit ist. Nach Informationen des Abendblatts besucht das neunj_hrige M_dchen die dritte Klasse einer Grundschule in M_mmelmannsberg. Zu Beginn des Schuljahres hatten sich die Eltern geweigert, ihr Kind am Schwimmunterricht teilnehmen zu lassen. Gespr_che der Schulleitung und von Mitarbeitern der Beratungsstelle REBUS mit den Eltern f_hrten zu keinem Erfolg. Schliefllich leitete die Beh_rde ein Buflgeldverfahren ein. Die Bildungsexperten von CDU, SPD und GAL begr_flten die Entscheidung. “Wir sind daf_r, die Schulpflicht in allen Punkten durchzusetzen”, sagte Robert Heinemann (CDU). “Das Gericht beweist, dafl die Schulpflicht ohne Gesetzesversch_rfung durchgesetzt werden kann”, sagte Britta Ernst (SPD), die damit auf die vom Senat geplante Einf_hrung des Schulzwangs anspielt. “Die Entscheidung ist pikant, weil die Beh_rde die faktische Abschaffung des Schulschwimmens durch die Einf_hrung von Geb_hren betreibt”, sagte Christa Goetsch (GAL). Hakki Keskin, Chef der “T_rkischen Gemeinden in Deutschland” freut sich _ber den Richterspruch: “Ich begr_fle die Entscheidung. Sie schafft Klarheit. Nur so kann die Schulpflicht von jedem erf_llt werden.” Der Islam gew_hre eine Flexibilit_t je nach den gegebenen Umst_nden.