Suspected 9/11 Terrorist Challenges Canadian Detention

A suspected Syrian terrorist who has spent seven years in custody in Canada is claiming that his indefinite detention without charge or trial amounts to cruelty. Hassan Almrei has argued in Canadian Federal court that this lengthy incarceration violates his constitutional rights. Almrei has arrested after September 11, 2001 and is one of five Muslim foreigners held under a national security certificate, which allows the Canadian government to detain suspects indefinitely, with secret evidence, as a threat to public safety.

Full-text article available here. (Some news sites may require registration)

Officials in Calgary Allow Hijabs, Saris and Other Religious Clothing at City Pools

Residents of Calgary, Alberta will now be allowed to swim in city pools wearing saris, hijabs and other clothing deemed religious in a new policy designed to encourage the participation of ethnic and religious minorities. For safety reasons, saris will be banned from the deep end. The city’s superintendent for aquatics and fitness stated that the policy clarifies what before had been a grey area, typically handled on a case-by-case basis. Ms. Bruce stated, We wanted to make sure that everyone feels comfortable and they can participate with dignity when they use our facilities. Clothing must be clean and swimmers must shower in the garments before entering the pool. Similarly, last winter, the Alberta Soccer Association changed its rules to, like in the provinces of British Colombia and Ontario, allow female soccer players to wear the hijab while playing. The headscarf is banned on Qu_bec soccer fields.

Muslim inmates living in fear for their safety at high-security prison

Muslim prisoners, including some convicted terrorists, inside one of Britain’s biggest high security prisons feel so unsafe that they have sought sanctuary in the jail’s segregation unit for their own protection, the chief inspector of prisons discloses today. Anne Owers says that there have been serious incidents of “prisoner-on-prisoner” violence inside Frankland prison, near Durham, with black and ethnic minority inmates in general the target of attacks and Muslim prisoners in particular.

Owers says in her inspection report on the high security jail published today that some, but not all, of the Muslim inmates who have been attacked had been convicted of terrorism offences. Fourteen prisoners have been identified by the prison authorities as involved in racist activities, some for racially motivated offences and others with links to racist organisations. Owers also reports there has been a “serious incident” involving groups of black and ethnic minority prisoners and white prisoners.

Two high-profile terrorists, Dhiren Barot and Omar Khyam, were moved out of Frankland prison in March amid claims the jail had become “an extremely dangerous environment for ethnic minority prisoners”. Barot’s solicitor, Mudassar Arani, told the high court that boiling water and oil had been thrown over Barot last July and he had spent a week in hospital. The prison inspectors report that when they surveyed inmates about their treatment by staff the responses by black and ethnic minority prisoners were worse than those of white prisoners on a range of issues and they were also over-represented in all disciplinary procedures, including use of force, segregation and adjudications. Alan Travis reports.

Frankland jail: Muslim inmates living in fear for their safety at high-security prison

Muslim prisoners, including some convicted terrorists, inside one of Britain’s biggest high security prisons feel so unsafe that they have sought sanctuary in the jail’s segregation unit for their own protection, the chief inspector of prisons discloses today. Anne Owers says that there have been serious incidents of “prisoner-on-prisoner” violence inside Frankland prison, near Durham, with black and ethnic minority inmates in general the target of attacks and Muslim prisoners in particular. Owers says in her inspection report on the high security jail published today that some, but not all, of the Muslim inmates who have been attacked had been convicted of terrorism offences. Fourteen prisoners have been identified by the prison authorities as involved in racist activities, some for racially motivated offences and others with links to racist organisations. Owers also reports there has been a “serious incident” involving groups of black and ethnic minority prisoners and white prisoners. Two high-profile terrorists, Dhiren Barot and Omar Khyam, were moved out of Frankland prison in March amid claims the jail had become “an extremely dangerous environment for ethnic minority prisoners”. Barot’s solicitor, Mudassar Arani, told the high court that boiling water and oil had been thrown over Barot last July and he had spent a week in hospital. The prison inspectors report that when they surveyed inmates about their treatment by staff the responses by black and ethnic minority prisoners were worse than those of white prisoners on a range of issues and they were also over-represented in all disciplinary procedures, including use of force, segregation and adjudications. Alan Travis reports.

Norway: Publisher withdraws textbook after caricature error

One of the largest publishing companies in Norway, Gyldendal, is pulling a new school textbook off the market. The book contains errors that could possibly endanger the safety of an editor caught in the debate over drawings of the prophet Muhammad. Gyldendal published a book on religion intended for high school students, called Eksistens (Existence), which contained coverage of the 2006 drawings of the prophet Muhammad. The book erroneously indicated that a Christian newspaper by Norwegian editor Vebjom Selbekk published caricatures of Muhammad. Fearful that this erroneous mention could endanger Selbekk with false accusation, all copies of the textbook were pulled and publishing is being halted.

Italian police target foreigners in crackdown on illegal immigration

Italy’s police arrested hundreds of illegal immigrants last week in a sweep of migrant shantytowns in major Italian urban areas across the country. Nearly 400 people were arrested, and 100 were immediately expelled – most of who were Moroccans and Romanians who violated immigration laws, were involved in theft and prostitution, or drug dealing. The anti-immigrant sweep was a positive thing because that’s what people want… people ask us for safety and we must give it to them, said Minister of Institutional Reforms and Federalism Umberto Rossi.

Airline plot suspects ‘inspired by 7/7 gang’

Two of the suspects arrested and accused of plotting to blow up transatlantic jets had in their possession, pictures of the July 7 bombers. Documents linked to the London bombings were found in the homes of two of those found trying to smuggle home made liquid bombs on aircraft, a jury was told. Documents referring to September 11th and jihad were also found in the searches. In all, eight men are on trial accused of conspiring to murder and endanger the safety of the aircraft. Evidence showing plans to attack Belgian and British pipelines were also found in searches of the suspects. The eight men are currently on trial in a Crown Court trial in London.

Erdogan says Turks in Germany fear for safety

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged Germany yesterday to take measures to counter discrimination against its large Turkish population, saying his own relatives in the country feared for their safety. In an interview in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Erdogan also criticised German Chancellor Angela Merkel for not joining him for an event in Cologne last month attended by thousands of German Turks. The comments promised to overshadow a government-sponsored Islam Conference held yesterday in Berlin that is designed to help foster the integration of Germany’s 3.2mn Muslims. The vast majority are of Turkish origin. The German government must take severe measures, Erdogan told the newspaper. I have relatives in Germany and they tell me: we are scared. Erdogan was responding to a question about a house fire last month that killed nine people of Turkish origin in Ludwigshafen. The Turkish media has speculated that the fire was a racially-motivated attack, but German prosecutors have virtually ruled out arson as the cause of the blaze, which killed five children and a pregnant woman. Erdogan, who visited the site of the fire last month, said he had seen Nazi symbols on the door of the house.

Pakistanis in U.S. Fear for Homeland

By Verena Dobnik NEW YORK — Pakistanis across the U.S., regardless of whether they supported Benazir Bhutto, mourned her on Thursday and worried that her assassination could destabilize their homeland and threaten the safety of family members living there. “I imagine this is how the people of this country felt after Kennedy’s assassination,” said Syed Hassan, a Houston resident who moved from Pakistan 20 years ago. “When these kind of things happen, it just shatters you.”

Fatwa Condemning Terrorism and Religious Extremism

The Fiqh Council of North America wishes to reaffirm Islam’s condemnation of terrorism and religious extremism.

Islam strictly condemns religious extremism and the use of violence against innocent lives. There is no justification in Islam for extremism or terrorism. Targeting civilians’ life and property through suicide bombings or any other method of attack is haram – prohibited in Islam – and those who commit these barbaric acts are criminals, not “martyrs.”

The Qur’an, Islam’s revealed text, states: “Whoever kills a person, unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land, it is as though he has killed all mankind. And whoever saves a person, it is as though he had saved all mankind.” (Qur’an, 5:32)

Prophet Muhammad said there is no excuse for committing unjust acts: “Do not be people without minds of your own, saying that if others treat you well you will treat them well, and that if they do wrong you will do wrong to them. Instead, accustom yourselves to do good if people do good and not to do wrong (even) if they do evil.” (Al-Tirmidhi)

God mandates moderation in faith and in all aspects of life when He states in the Qur’an: “We made you to be a community of the middle way, so that (with the example of your lives) you might bear witness to the truth before all mankind.” (Qur’an, 2:143)

In another verse, God explains our duties as human beings when he says: “Let there arise from among you a band of people who invite to righteousness, and enjoin good and forbid evil.” (Qur’an, 3:104)

Islam teaches us to act in a caring manner to all of God’s creation. The Prophet Muhammad, who is described in the Qur’an as “a mercy to the worlds” said: “All creation is the family of God, and the person most beloved by God (is the one) who is kind and caring toward His family.”

In the light of the teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah we clearly and strongly state: All acts of terrorism targeting the civilians are Haram (forbidden) in Islam. It is Haram for a Muslim to cooperate or associate with any individual or group that is involved in any act of terrorism or violence.

It is the duty of Muslims to cooperate with the law enforcement authorities to protect the lives of all civilians. We issue this fatwa following the guidance of our scripture the Qur’an and the teachings of our Prophet Muhammad -peace be upon him. We urge all people to resolve all conflicts in just and peaceful manners. We have deep concern for the suffering and pain of millions of Muslims in different parts of the world. We deplore those who cause death and destruction to them. However, we urge Muslims to not lose their moral grounds. God’s help is with those who follow the right path.

We pray for the defeat of extremism, terrorism and injustice. We pray for the safety and security of our country United States and its people. We pray for the safety and security of all inhabitants of this globe. We pray that interfaith harmony and cooperation prevail both in United States and every where in the world.