The League’s deputy secretary discussed the meeting between the Minister of Integration Cècile Kyenge and Muslim religious leaders. “They’ll take the eight mosques per thousand people and put the veil on women”
The visit of Kyenge the Grand Mosque of Rome yesterday passed quietly. Due to the wishes of the minister who wished to make the meeting almost “private,” routine, and away from the spotlight.
The visit, however, did not escape the deputy secretary of the Northern League Matteo Salvini, which in a few months may lead the party. The visit became the subject of yet another attack on the minister of integration.
“Today Mrs. Kyenge visited the mosque in Rome. Indeed this is a priority for Italians,” said Salvini on his Facebook page.
“It seems” added the Salvini “she has also discussed a future agreement between the Italian state and the Muslim community. Fine, but this agreement would allow eight Mosques per thousand and allow the veil on women.”
“What about Kyenge’s salary?” concludes Salvini “is she paid for by the Arab League?”
As so often declared by the French Government, the recent Secretary of State, Maneul Valls, wants to see more imams educated in France in mosques all over the country. He has made it one of his priority tasks to forward the cause and instructed a study conducted by the Ministry of Higher Education and Research on the subject, which is ought to be published in September.
Today, the majority of France’s ca. 1800 imams is still educated in the countries of origin of the diverse French Muslim community, despite that a large segment of France’s Muslims represents the second or third generation of immigrants. One of the greatest obstacles for the attraction of French educated imams is the lack of funding assigned to the job in the country. As most financial assets of the community are diverted to the construction of mosques and other facilities, the majority of imams need to be recruited from abroad based on lower salary expectations. France’s imams are in their majority sent from Algeria, Turkey, Morocco and other countries to teach no more than 4 years in the country while remaining to be regulated and under the control of their countries of origin.
The French Council for the Muslim Religion (CFCM) has for long championed the cause of recruiting French educated imams, but has failed to advance the cause. The internal politics of the larger French Muslim organisations, who prefer to hold sway over who is in power of teaching and influence the Muslim community, has further made it difficult to make progress. While the Union of Muslim organisations in France (UOIF) and the Grand Mosque of Paris have set up training centres for imams, it is unclear what happened to the many French trained students of the imam centres. Most are believed to have visited the centres to learn Arabic or learn Islamic sciences, prior to unsuccessfully enrolling to greater Muslim centres of theological teaching such as Medina or Cairo
3 January 2013
A Belgian tribunal has determined that an outlet of the Dutch department store Hema was wrong to fire an employee for wearing a headscarf. The woman had worked for the store, located in the Belgian city of Genk, for two months wearing a headscarf before her employment was terminated on the grounds that she refused to remove it following complaints from customers. The tribunal ordered Hema to pay the 21- year- old woman six months salary in compensation.
This report examines the salaries of imams in Belgium. A 1974 law (Article 29) fixed the salaries of these men who are paid by the State. For instance, the secretary general of the executive of Muslims in Belgium has an annual salary of 43,228 Euros. An imam in the first level of ranking earns 18,653 Euros. These salaries are quite low in comparison with religious men in the Catholic church where an archbishop earns 68,371 Euros per year.
The Hessian Office for the Protection of the Constitution found that Roman R., a 40-year-old police officer from Frankfurt, appears on the Internet under the name “Abu Bilal” to preach the Quran, call for an Islamic state, and promote conversions to Islam. Following a report by the “NDR” (a broadcasting corporation from North Germany), Roman R. has close links to the Salafist network “Dawa FFM”; he uses their homepage to disseminate his views, especially those relating to (unveiled) female dress habits that allegedly do not align with Islamic beliefs. Salafists are known as especially extreme jihadis; they aim for an Islamic state and the introduction of Sharia law.
While Roman R. is not actively working for the police any more, he still receives a large share of his salary. So far, there is not criminal prosecution; however, the police investigate internally.
Representatives of Valencia’s Islamic Cultural Centre have suggested that imams across Spain be paid a wage, in the manner of Catholic priests. Amparo Sanchez Rossell, head of the Centre, advocates awarding salary based on university qualification in training related to Islamic studies. According to Rossell, instituting a salary “would help prevent extremists becoming involved in the mosque”.
The conservative government in Greece announced Thursday its decision to give a salary to 240 imams who serve the Muslim minority in Thrace, in the north-east of Greece, in a gesture of goodwill towards this population, which will also serve to better regulate the sermons. At present, only Orthodox priests are salaried by the Greek state. A commission made up of three government representatives, two university scholars of Islam, and two muftis from Thrace, also nominated by the state, will choose the imams to be salaried. “In principle, the reform is positive, but it’s important that there is not too much interventionism”, said the Muslim deputy Ilhan Ahmet, member of the conservative majority party.
The Islamic secondary school in Ibn Ghaldoun in Rotterdam is refusing to pay back the 1.2 million euro that the State Secretary Van Bijsterveldt withdrew from the school. Nass, the furious school president said: We’re not going to pay that amount back. I’m giving nothing back because it’s not spent. We’ll fight this till the highest judiciary. Van Bijsterveldt is requesting that the money be returned, because it was spend on tangential issues including trips to holy sites in Saudi Arabia, and salary for two imams whose affiliation to the school is being question. The education inspection could not prove that fraud had been committed, but says that something appears amiss at the school. The school administration, however, believes that the school is being unfairly targeted, saying there’s clearly no place for Islamic education in this country.
Key points of a bill making its way through parliament: _ Create a renewable, three-year work permit for highly skilled foreigners. _ Do away with a provision that allows foreigners who have been in the country for more than 10 years – even those here illegally – to apply for French citizenship. _ Require the government to submit to parliament an annual report specifying the number and kind of residency permits to be authorized over a three year period. Although the draft bill avoids using the word ‘quotas,’ critics say the provision amounts to a quota-system. _ Stiffen requirements on foreigners requesting to bring family members to France, requiring them to show their salary alone – and not government assistance – would suffice to support their families. _ Double the current two-year period foreigners married to French nationals must wait before applying for French citizenship. _ Require foreigners applying for long-term residency permits to attend French language and civics classes. _ Make obtaining 10-year-residency permits contingent on speaking French and respecting of the “values of the French republic.”