Virginia anti-Sharia law unconstitutional

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) says a new law that has been proposed in the State of Virginia is anti-Muslim and unconstitutional.

Titled Morris’ HB631, the new bill was introduced by Virginia General Assembly Delegate Rick L. Morris (R-House District 64) on January 11.

“Unfortunately, a state delegate in Virginia, has introduced a piece of legislation that is copied from an extreme anti-Muslim (and) racist who has made a template for such laws nationwide and they have been introduced in more than 20 states and now Virginia and Pennsylvania being the latest,” CAIR’s National Communications Director, Ibrahim Hooper, has told Press TV’s U.S. Desk.

The anti-Sharia proposed law would ban courts from applying religious traditions to proceedings, such as the execution of a will among Muslims. Not only the religious Muslim code, the new bill would also prohibit the application of the Catholic equivalent, canon law, and other religious guidelines.

The suddenly controversial bill is scheduled to be heard by a Virginia legislature House subcommittee next Monday.

In U.S. courts, judges can refer to Sharia law in Muslim litigation involving cases about divorce and custody proceedings or in commercial litigation.

French hold anti-racism rally in Paris

Press TV – May 28, 2011

Rallies were held across France to protest what many say is the continued scapegoating of Muslims and immigrants for political gain. In Paris, thousands marched under many different banners, but they all spoke of feeling excluded from French society.

Since his appointment in February, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé has been the point man in the Sarkozy administration’s desire to keep their “national identity” campaign in the media. Recent decisions such as the burqa law, debates on the role of Islam in France and the deportation of Tunisian immigrants have been condemned by many as purposely divisive. With unemployment and social insecurity still high as France tries to exit the Great Recession, the message here is that foreigners will not tolerate being used as a distraction.

Tariq Ramadan to Take Position at Oxford

In the wake of his dismissal from positions at Rotterdam’s Erasmus University and with the city council, Tariq Ramadan has accepted a teaching post at Oxford. The Islamic scholar will take up the position of professor of contemporary Islam studies from September 1 2009.

Ramadan was dismissed from his position advising the city on integration due to controversy surrounding his presentation of a television programme on Iranian station Press TV. He has refused to stop work for the station and announced that he will take legal action against the city for his dismissal.

Ramadan, who has been attached to Oxford as a researcher and lecturer for the past four years, takes up a professorship funded by the Qatar foundation for education. ‘Freedom of expression is a fundamental right which will be respected,’ a spokesman for the British university told Telegraaf.

Rotterdam Dismisses Tariq Ramadan Amidst Controversy

Following controversy regarding his participation in a television program on Iranian station Press TV, Rotterdam has fired Tariq Ramadan from his position as Integration Advisor for the city council. NRC reports that officials feel Ramadan can no longer lead dialogue in the city as he has become the central focus of debate. Ramadan has also lost his position as professor of identity and citizenship at Rotterdam’s Erasmus University.

Ramadan refuses to accept the dismissal and is taking legal action against Rotterdam council as he feels he has been treated disrespectfully. According to NRC Ramadan maintains that he “does not support the current Iranian government, and says he has full editorial freedom. He believes change in Iran should come from within, for example through television. He also says he has been completely open about his television sideline. It is even mentioned on the homepage of his personal website.” Rather, he suggests that the controversy is due to the current political climate in the Netherlands and the increasing popularity of Geert Wilders.

Ramadan, 46, has been attached to the city council for two years and is a visiting professor at Erasmus University, a post paid for by Rotterdam. The dismissal comes after it emerged that Ramadan presents a weekly programme on Iran’s Press TV which is paid for by the Iranian authorities. Ramadan was asked to present the Iranian show Islam & Life two years ago because of his position on a list of worldwide intellectuals, according to Press TV’s Matthew Richardson, reports the AD.

Rotterdam Council Criticizes Tariq Ramadan

Three opposition parties in the Rotterdam city council are calling for Tariq Ramadan’s resignation because of his collaboration with Iranian state television station Press TV. Ramadan was hired by the city in 2007 to help bridge the divide between Muslims and non-Muslims, and he lectures at Rotterdam’s Erasmus University. Ramadan has been hosting a weekly talkshow on Press TV titled ‘Islam & Life’. The conservative VVD, the local populist party Liveable Rotterdam and the Socialist Party say the local authority should stop consulting Mr Ramadan as an adviser.