Catholic Church critical of Catalan law protecting the establishment of mosques

Building a space of worship is no longer an impossible undertaking, be it a church, mosque, or synagogue – The Generalitit of Catalonia has approved a law that aims to eliminate the discretion of town halls, while at the same time, authorizing the opening of places of worship. The law suggests that health and safety measures must meet minimum oratories, and municipalities must set aside land for spaces of worship in new urban plans. This plan of equal religious treatment has outraged the Catholic Church. Concern of the law was cited, as the Bishop of Urgell stated that various places of worship have a different nature, content, and specific and different purposes.

Police track 20 more terror plot suspects

A hard core of 20 Islamic extremists with links to foreign terror groups is operating north of the Border and poses a “significant” risk to public safety, Scotland on Sunday can reveal. Senior intelligence insiders have revealed the suspects – many of them born and brought up in Scotland – pose a similar threat to that of Mohammed Atif Siddique, the Scottish Asian who was last week given an eight-year prison sentence for terrorist offences. Richard Elias reports.

Islam critic Hirsi Ali in fresh attack on Dutch authorities

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the former Dutch deputy who became a target of Islamic extremists, on Friday hit out at the government of The Netherlands for refusing to pay for her protection in the United States. It was not a question of money, but of principle, she said in an interview published in Friday’s edition of the Danish daily in Jyllands-Posten. “It costs less to pay an American company to protect me than to assure my safety in the Netherlands, because the threat there (the Netherlands) is a lot more real,” she told the paper…

Sale of UK Zamzam Racket Raises Alarm

Allegations that poisonous Zamzam water is being smuggled into Britain are exercising the minds of UK Muslims. The containers, which sell for the equivalent of SR25 each, are purporting to come from Makkah on their labels. Containers that have been analyzed by UK health and safety officials have been found to hold water that contains raised levels of arsenic and nitrates that, if consumed over extended periods of time, could prove fatal. Roger Harrison reports.

British PM Backs Detention Law

By Arshad Sharif Prime Minister Tony Blair on Wednesday backed the controversial Terrorism Bill which would allow the British law-enforcement agencies to detain terrorist suspects without a charge for up to 90 days. The Terrorism Bill, which proposes to increase the limit of detention without a charge from 14 to 90 days, was published in full by Home Secretary Charles Clarke within hours after getting support of the prime minister in the Commons amidst strong opposition. Formulated in the aftermath of July 7 London bombings, Mr Blair expects to get a majority support to pass the Bill by the year’s end despite opposition from civil right groups, political opponents and many in the Muslim community who believe it would be targeted against the Muslims. Giving support to the Bill before it was made public, Mr Blair said: I have to say that I, for the reasons the police have given, have found their request for this power absolutely compelling. Addressing parliamentarians at prime minister’s questions in the House of Commons, Mr Blair said, What I have to do is to try to do my best to protect people in this country and to make sure that their safety and their civil liberty to life come first, and that is what I’m going to try to do. Earlier, Tory leader Michael Howard said he was yet to be persuaded over the 90-day proposal and called for a more fundamental examination of the criminal justice system. The prime minister’s official spokesman told a regular briefing at Westminster, If you have to arrest people at an earlier stage of investigation because of the possibility of suicide bombs and the devastation that causes, therefore you do need to give more time to the police to gather evidence. That is the crux of the argument. The Terrorism Bill also made glorifying or indirectly encouraging terrorism an offence carrying up to seven years’ imprisonment.

Most British Muslims back the government’s plans to deport radical Islamist “hate preachers”

Most British Muslims back the government’s plans to deport radical Islamist “hate preachers” it says could inspire bombers like those who attacked London in July, a poll published on Sunday showed. The ICM poll found that 65 percent of Muslims backed the new government measures and 27 percent opposed them. Ninety percent said they would immediately tell police if they suspected someone was planning or had carried out a terrorist attack. Just over two thirds of those questioned said Britain’s 1.8 million Muslims bore “a lot” of responsibility for rooting out Islamist extremists, 19 percent said they bore “a little” responsibility and nine percent said they bore none. ICM interviewed 500 Muslims by telephone between Sept. 1 and 7 for the poll, published in the News Of The World newspaper. Home Secretary Charles Clarke has published a list of “unacceptable behaviours” which would prompt immediate action — either deportation or a ban on entry. Last month, Britain said it was detaining 10 people, including the alleged spiritual leader of Al Qaeda in Europe, Jordanian national Abu Qatada, and would deport them. It has also barred hardline Muslim cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed, who left for Lebanon last month, from returning to Britain. Civil liberties campaigners say they are worried Britain will deport people to countries where they might be tortured. The government responds that it is seeking agreements with other governments — like one it struck recently with Jordan — to guarantee the safety of deportees.

Leading Muslim Tells British Faithful: Abandon Hijab

LONDON (AFP) – A leading moderate Muslim in Britain advised women against wearing the Islamic veil for safety reasons in the aftermath of the London bombings. “A woman wearing the hijab in the present circumstances could suffer aggression from irresponsible elements. Therefore, she ought not to wear it,” said Zaki Badawi, chairman of the Council of Mosques and Imams and head of the Muslim College in London. The Egyptian-born leader made the call amid fears that Muslims could be targeted in a backlash over the July attacks. London’s Metropolitan Police said faith hate crimes were up 600 percent on the same period last year after the attacks. “In the present tense situation, with the rise of attacks on Muslims, we advise Muslim women who fear being attacked physically or verbally to remove their hijab so as not to be identified by those who are hostile to Muslims,” said Badawi. The July 7 attacks were perpetrated by four British Muslims. They blew up themselves and 52 others in three blasts on the London Underground and one on a bus. A repeat attempt by another gang of four men failed when the bombs failed to detonate fully. Badawi said the Koran justified removing the hijab, as it instructed women to dress so they could be “identified and not molested”. “The preservation of life and limb has a much higher priority than appearance, whether in dress or in speech,” he added. Badawi was denied entry to the United States with no explanation a week after the deadly attacks but accepted an unreserved apology offered later. He was due to speak in New York on the law and Islam.

Federal Minister of the Interior Otto Schily pleads for preventive detention of terrorism suspects in Germany

Federal Minister of the Interior Otto Schily pleaded the case for preventive detention of terrorism suspects in Germany. Although he said he knew that at present there was not majority support for the measure, he felt that it was a necessary step for the safety of the country. Schily said that there were a number of individuals known to be connected to terrorist organizations who had not committed any punishable offenses. However, he felt that it was not safe to allow them to continue their activities. (continued in German) Schily Pl_diert F_r Sicherungshaft Bei Terrorverd_chtigen Bundesinnenminister Schily hat die Einf_hrung einer Vorbeugehaft f_r hochgef_hrliche Personen in Deutschland erwogen. Der Minister sieht darin ein legitimes Mittel zur Gefahrenabwehr etwa im Kampf gegen den Terrorismus In einem am Dienstag vorab ver_ffentlichten Interview mit der _S_ddeutschen Zeitung sagte der SPD-Politiker, er wisse, da_ es derzeit in Deutschland f_r die Einf_hrung der Sicherungshaft keine Mehrheiten gebe. _Aber wir m_ssen dar_ber nachdenken. Wenn man sicher wisse, da_ bestimmte Personen gef_hrlich seien, aber keine konkreten Anhaltspunkte f_r eine Straftat habe – _ist es da v_llig au_erhalb des Denkbaren, da_ man sie f_r einen gewissen Zeitraum in Gewahrsam nimmt, zur Gefahrenabwehr und zur Sicherheit der Bev_lkerung, fragte der Minister. Es gehe um ein allerletztes Mittel, beschr_nkt auf wenige Einzelf_lle. Ziel sei die Vorbeugung angesichts von Gefahren, die ganz anders seien als bei gew_hnlicher Kriminalit_t. Es gehe nicht um Strafhaft, _sondern um vor_bergehende Freiheitsbeschr_nkung, wenn eine t_dliche Gefahr f_r die Gesellschaft nicht auf andere Weise abgewendet werden kann. Als Beispiel nannte er eine Person, von der man wisse, da_ sie in einem Ausbildungslager in Afghanistan gewesen sei und Verbindungen zum Moslem-Extremisten Osama bin Laden habe. Beides reiche meist noch nicht f_r ein Ermittlungsverfahren, k_nnte aber f_r eine Sicherungshaft ausreichen. Sollten die Beh_rden erst dann eingreifen k_nnen, _wenn die Person mit den konkreten Vorbereitungen eines Sprengstoffanschlages beginnt, fragte der Minister. Eine Pr_ventionsma_nahme gegen Terrorismus sei auch die Integration. In dem Ma_, in dem es gelinge, _die Menschen auf die uns verbindenden Werte zu verpflichten, steigt die Immunit_t gegen terroristische Propaganda, sagte Schily. Bei einigen moslemischen Gruppierungen, die im Verfassungsschutzbericht aufgef_hrt seien, sehe er da Probleme, da ihr Verh_ltnis zu Staat und Verfassung nur taktischer Natur sei.

The Fiqh Council Of North America Wishes To Reaffirm Islam’s Absolute 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 – or forbidden – and those who commit these barbaric acts are criminals, not “martyrs.” The Qur’an, Islam’s revealed text, states: “Whoever kills a person [unjustly]…it is as though he has killed all mankind. And whoever saves a life, 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}: 1. All acts of terrorism targeting civilians are haram (forbidden) in Islam. 2. It is haram for a Muslim to cooperate with any individual or group that is involved in any act of terrorism or violence. 3. It is the civic and religious duty of Muslims to cooperate with 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 pray for the defeat of extremism and terrorism. We pray for the safety and security of our country, the United States, and its people. We pray for the safety and security of all inhabitants of our planet. We pray that interfaith harmony and cooperation prevail both in the United States and all around the globe.