Four Mosques thanks to the founds of Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Sharia

According to Mansur Escudero, president of the Islamic Council, Islam does not benefit from a strong and hierarchical structure like the Catholic Church which once again forces them to accept external help. In Andalusia, two of the Mosques (Fuengirola e Marbella) were financed by money coming from Saudi Arabia and a new one at Malaga is also being financed by the Wahhabism thought. The Mosque of Granada managed by the Islamic Community of Spain was supported by the King of Morocco and by the emirate of Sharya.

Jennifer Selby

Jennifer Selby

Project Responsibilities:

News for France and Canada, research, and some articles

Contact Info:

Assistant Professor of Religious Studies
Memorial University of Newfoundland
St. John’s, NL   A1C 5S7  Canada


Professional Positions: 

Current – Assistant Professor, Memorial University of Newfoundland
Former – Postdoctoral Fellow, Islam in the West Program, Harvard University

Areas of Expertise:

  • Islam in the West (France, Canada)
  • Method and Theory, Secularization Theory
  • Islam, Interpretations of Sharia
  • Women and Islam, Gender Studies

Select Publications:

Questioning French Secularism: Gender Politics and Muslim Women in a Parisian Banlieue. February 2012. Contemporary Anthropology of Religion Series. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Debating Sharia: Islam, Gender Politics and Family Law Arbitration. Spring 2012. Co-edited with Anna Korteweg. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

“French Secularism as a Guarantor of Women’s Rights? Islam and Gender Politics in a Parisian Banlieue.” 2011. Culture and Religion 12:4 (December): 1-22.

“Islam in France Reconfigured: Republican Islam in the 2010 Gerin Report.” 2011. The Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs  31:3 (September): 383-398.

Professional Bio:

Jennifer Selby currently teaches in the Department of Religious Studies at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada.

Non-Muslims Snap Up Islamic Bank Accounts

Non-Muslims both in England and in Islamic countries are increasingly opening Islamic bank accounts, which operate in compliance with Sharia law. Under Sharia Islamic law, making money from money, such as charging interest, is usury and therefore not permitted. Wealth should be generated only through legitimate trade and investment in assets. Sharia also forbids investing money in arms, tobacco, alcohol, gambling, and pornography. Non-Muslims find this version of ethical finance increasingly appealing and are therefore opening such accounts at major UK banks.

Terror Ban On Muslim Extremists

{Ministers to put radical groups on a proscribed list despite fears they’ll be driven underground} By Jamie Doward LONDON – A number of radical Muslim groups are to be proscribed despite concern that this will drive them underground where they cannot be monitored. As part of the Prime Minister’s 12-point plan to tackle terrorism, announced after the London bombings on 7 July last year, The Observer has learnt the government is to unveil a list of organisations it wants to ban under the Terrorism Act 2006. The list is expected to include Hizb ut-Tahrir and The Strangers, also known as al-Ghurabaa’, the group that organised protests outside the Danish embassy in London earlier this year. Hizb ut-Tahrir’s aim is to subject the world to Sharia law and ‘bring back Islamic guidance for mankind and to lead the Ummah [Muslim community] into a struggle with Kufr [non-Muslims]’. Shortly after the 7/7 bombings, Tony Blair signalled his intention to proscribe this group. But such a move will prove highly controversial. Hizb ut-Tahrir claims to oppose violence and it has condemned the 7/7 bombings, as well as the atrocities in Madrid and Bali. The Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) has questioned the merits of banning the group, as have human rights lawyers. ‘The Prime Minister correctly said fighting terrorism is an ideological battle,’ said Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty. ‘How are we to fight the war of ideas if non-violent political groups are driven underground?’ Such a step could harm the war on terror. ‘Criminalising free expression surely will make the job of police and intelligence services that much tougher, not to mention the spike in membership that these groups will receive once they’ve been banned,’ she added. A spokesman for Hizb ut-Tahrir accused the government of behaving dictatorially: ‘To ban us would not be a sign of strength, but a sign of weakness.’ Critics point out that many proscribed groups simply adopt a new name and structure. Members of another radical Islamic group, al-Muja Anjem Choudhury haroun, which the government signalled it was going to proscribe, disbanded and re-formed as al-Ghurabaa’. Al-Ghurabaa’ organised the 3 February protest outside the Danish embassy where demonstrators waved placards reading ‘Butcher those who mock Islam’ and ‘Kill those who insult Islam’. One of its spokesmen is Abu Izzadeen, who has described the 7/7 suicide bombers in London as ‘completely praiseworthy’. On the eve of the anniversary of the 7/7 attacks, Izzadeen was filmed preaching to a group of Muslims in Birmingham, mocking the victims of 9/11 and warning of further terror attacks in Britain. A spokesman said banning it would stifle debate and lead to further distrust between the Muslim and non-Muslim world. ‘The government wants to silence any opponents of its policies,’ said Anjem Choudhury. ‘Organisations such as Hizb ut-Tahrir or Al-Ghurabaa’ have been doing nothing other than ideological or political struggle, exposing the government’s policies and calling for the introduction of Sharia. This government claims to support liberalism and freedom. Why does it not allow groups with different policies and ideologies to challenge it?’ In the Commons last Thursday, the Leader of the House, Jack Straw, signalled the action against radical groups. He said a motion would be put before Parliament this week to approve the Terrorism Act 2006 (Proscribed Organisations) Amendment Order 2006. A vote on this will rubber-stamp measures to proscribe groups claimed to glorify terrorism. In conjunction with the vote, the government is expected to unveil the new list of those it will ban. Inayat Bunglawala, a spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain, said: ‘We have major differences with Hizb ut-Tahrir, in particular its non-participation in the democratic process. Having said that, we think banning it is entirely wrong. It is non-violent.’

Islamic Bank Customers Share Risks And Rewards

MANCHESTER – Two years after its launch, the country’s first fully Islamic retail bank cannot yet offer traditional products like mortgages, but Muslim clients say they feel more at home there. “You feel you’re putting your money in the right place,” said Kuwaiti-born Mona Aabbassi as she walked into the Islamic Bank of Britain ( IBB.L ). Behind the bank’s glass walls, engraved with Arabic calligraphy, the staff can speak Arabic, Urdu, Bengali and Punjabi as well as English. Licensed in August 2004 by the Financial Services Authority (FSA), IBB has its headquarters in Birmingham and opened its seventh branch in Manchester in January. It aims to expand further in northwest England before moving into mainland Europe. According to the most recent census in 2001, around 13 percent of the country’s 1.6 million Muslims live in the northwest. Islam prohibits paying or receiving interest, “riba” in Arabic, considering it immoral to profit from money alone. Islam allows people to make a profit only if they bear the risk of an investment — as with equity in traditional western finance. Aabbassi feels comfortable with the way other customers at IBB share her values. “Some money went missing from my account but I recovered it because the person who got it by mistake phoned the bank,” she said. “It is because people here put Allah before themselves.” IBB aims to compete with conventional banks but to comply with Islamic principles, to ensure Muslims do not break the rules of their religion when they open a bank account. “Muslims want a good return,” said IBB Managing Director Michael Hanlon, who came to the bank after 34 years at Barclays ( BARC.L ). “But their faith might not necessarily drive them down the route of accepting the benefits regardless of what is available.” To offer a return on deposits, Islamic banks must share with customers any profits — and any risks — arising from trades the banks carry out with clients’ cash. “We generate profits from commodity trading activities and then we seek to pay our customers profits that are consistent with market rates generally,” Hanlon said. CLASH OF CONCEPTS To get its licence, IBB worked closely with the FSA as under British law, banks must guarantee that depositors receive their money back in full — a concept which clashes with the Islamic principle of risk-sharing. The solution was to offer a full guarantee for clients’ deposits, but let them choose whether to share any losses the bank may make. While trying hard to rival conventional banks, IBB is counting on its clients’ willingness to accept that returns may be lower for the sake of their faith. It recently launched a young persons’ savings account offering a target return of 3 percent before tax. This compares with a current 4.43 percent gross from Natwest’s ( RBS.L ) children’s savings accounts. “Only retail customers are attached to the religious argument,” said Standard & Poor’s analyst Anouar Hassoune. “Corporate borrowers and depositors usually do not care about religion: they ask for price and service.” Estimates of assets controlled by Islamic banks globally range between $200 billion (106 billion pounds) and $500 billion, growing at a pace of 10 to 15 percent per year, the FSA said. But IBB, which said it had some 14,000 customers at enD-2005, faces competition from conventional banks which are also offering services compliant with Islamic law, or Sharia. HSBC ( HSBA.L ) first introduced Sharia-compliant current accounts and home-finance schemes in July 2003 through its Islamic finance division. HSBC Amanah now has around 2,000 accounts and has financed as many home purchases. Lloyds TSB ( LLOY.L ) followed suit early last year and Lloyds’ Islamic services are now available at around 35 branches with more planned across the country, a spokesman said. Islam also bans investments in industries such as tobacco, alcohol, pornography, gambling and arms, so special committees have been set up to monitor banks’ Islamic products and services. Each bank has its own Sharia Supervisory Committee, employing experts in Islamic finance to ensure that all the bank’s products and transactions comply with Sharia.

40 Pct Of Uk Muslims Back Sharia – Poll

LONDON (Reuters) – Four out of 10 British Muslims want sharia, or Islamic law, introduced in predominantly Muslim parts of the country, a poll showed on Sunday. One in five of those polled for the Sunday Telegraph also said they sympathised with the “feelings and motives” of suicide bombers who killed 52 people in attacks on the London transport system last July. British Muslims emerged from the poll as becoming more radicalised and alienated from mainstream society but 91 percent did say they feel “loyal” to the United Kingdom. Sharia is implemented to varying degrees in several Muslim countries including Iran and Saudi Arabia, where religious courts can impose punishments including stoning, amputation and execution. In other countries sharia is applied to specific areas such as family law, banking, or religious rituals. The poll came just one day after 10,000 Muslims took to the streets of London to express their anger and hurt over the publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammad. They were first published in September in a Danish newspaper and were then reprinted by papers in other countries but not Britain. The publication prompted uproar in the Islamic world, with thousands taking to the streets to protest. Five people were killed in protests in Pakistan and 10 people were reported to have died in clashes in Libya. Sixteen died in Nigerian riots. Many Muslims believe it is blasphemous to depict the Prophet. In London, a small demonstration in front of the Danish embassy earlier in the month provoked outrage as masked men called for those who insulted Islam to be beheaded.