The Dutch Jewish and Muslim communities have deceived upon a joint march for solidarity in Amsterdam as a symbol against hatred. Jews and Muslims will walk together from the synagogue at the Jonas Daniël Meijerplein until the Al Kabir mosque at Weesperzijde. At both houses of worship a ceremony of laying down flowers will be held.
By means of the march for solidarity the participants are resisting against aggression against synagogues and mosques, antisemitism and Muslim hatred, and are pleading for peace, respect, love, and friendship.
The dialogue organization
– brought into existence last year with the goal of bringing together Jews and Muslims – organizes the march together with the liberal Jewish community and the Al Kabir Mosque. According to the organizers non-Jews and non-Muslims are also welcome.
The Council of Moroccan Mosques of the Netherlands (RMMN) has responded with shock to the occupation of a mosque in construction in the Dutch city of Leiden. Five members of the Dutch extreme right group “Identitair Verzet” (English: Identitary Resistance, named after the French group “Géneration Identitaire”) occupied the mosque in the morning of 7 February showing banners with slogans like “In Leiden victory starts” and “Stop Islam.”
According to the council fear is growing among Dutch Muslim citizens for an increase of agressive attacks on Muslims and mosques. The RMMN has called upon the government to ante up the protection of Muslims and their institutions. In the past ten years one out of three mosques has been the target of the besmearing of blood, pig’s heads on the front portal, and even arson.
“The past months we have witnessed a horrific increase of violent and discriminatory acts against mosques and individual Muslims and Muslimas,” According to the RMMN. In January the council already wrote a pressing letter to the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
Dutch Vice Prime Minister Lodewijk Asscher in a response has said about the act that it is “A malicious act to frighten people in such a way.” Additionally he stated that the Dutch government “would never allow that mosques, churches, synagogues, or any other house of worship become a target of threat, occupation, or destruction. If necessary houses of worship can count on additional protection measures.”
Thanksgiving is a uniquely American holiday; a day when people of all faiths and ethnic backgrounds give thanks for their blessings and enjoy hearty Thanksgiving dinners with their loved ones. Yet unfortunately, because of the economic crisis of recent years, record numbers of Americans are now hungry and homeless and in need of succor if they too are to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal.
Over the past week, Muslims and Jews in cities across North America have been serving nourishing meals to hungry and homeless people as the centerpiece of the Weekend of Twinning, an annual event sponsored every November by the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding (FFEU), a New York-based not-for-profit working to strengthen ties of communication and cooperation between Muslims and Jews. During this year’s fifth Annual Weekend of Twinning, 150 synagogues and mosques and 150 Muslim and Jewish organizations representing thousands of Muslims and Jews in more than 20 countries around the world are linking up and holding joint programs dedicated to strengthening ties between our communities and serving the larger societies in which we live side by side.
31 March, 2011
The Islamic Council of Norway (IRN) asks for the legal right to for Muslim pupils to refrain to visiting synagogues as part of schooling. It should not be obligatory, says the Council, to visit the houses of worship of other religions as part of one’s education. Christian or Jewish children shouldn’t be forced to visit the mosque either, says Mehtab Afsar, secretary General of IRN. But he also wants to make clear there is no Islamic rule that forbids Muslims from visiting other religion’s houses of worship, as long as they do not partake in the rituals.
The area around the Turkish mosque in Almelo was closed off Wednesday after a suspicious package was discovered next to the women’s entrance. The police were alerted and deployed the bomb disposal unit. After investigating the package they concluded that the package, which seemed to contain a detonator, did not contain any explosives. Following the incident Minister of Safety and Justice Ivo Opstelten emphasized that fighting violence against mosques, churches and synagogues remains a top priority for himself, “the government, the police and the local government”.
Authorities on three continents thwarted multiple terrorist attacks aimed at the United States from Yemen on Friday, seizing two explosive packages addressed to Chicago-area synagogues and packed aboard cargo jets. The plot triggered worldwide fears that al-Qaida was launching a major new terror campaign.
In the U.S., cargo planes were searched up and down the Eastern Seaboard, and an Emirates Airlines passenger jet was escorted down the coast to New York by American fighter jets. No explosives were found aboard those planes, though the investigation was continuing on at least two.
Since the failed Christmas bombing of a Detroit-bound airliner, Yemen has been a focus for U.S. counterterrorism officials. Before that attack, the U.S. regarded al-Qaida’s branch in Yemen as primarily a threat in the region, not to the United States.
On September 11, Geert Wilders, the contentious Dutch politician who likened the Koran to Mein Kampf, spoke in New York on the ninth anniversary of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. He delivered a message, forewarning about the dangers of Islam and the building of a “ground-zero mega-mosque.”
Under the threat of death from radical Islamists, Geert, stated; “We who have come to speak today, object to this mosque project because its promoter and his wealthy sponsors have never suggested building a center to promote tolerance and interfaith understanding where it is really needed: In Mecca – a town where non-Muslims are not even allowed to enter, let alone build churches, synagogues, temples or community centers. So why should we do that?”
Delegation of spiritual leaders from Europe visits US to learn about ‘twinning synagogues’ initiative aimed at advancing interfaith dialogue, battle anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. A delegation of over two dozen European imams and rabbis in a meeting late last week at the White House pledged participation in American-led efforts to combat Islamophobia and anti-Semitism. The declaration, signed by leading clerics from nine European nations came at the conclusion of a four-day interreligious mission to the United States that brought the group to the White House, State Department, Congress, United Nations, Ground Zero, US Memorial Holocaust Museum and even Yankee Stadium. The mission was hosted by The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding (FFEU) in conjunction with the World Jewish Congress United States and the Islamic Society of North America.
Three men were arrested when police entered Palma’s main mosque. Police arrested the mosque’s caretaker and the president of the Muslim Defence League when they attempted to prevent the police entry, saying that the sanctuary of a mosque should be respected in the same was as that of Christian churches and Jewish synagogues. Local Muslims have protested the arrests on the grounds that the police became violent and used force. An internal enquiry is to be launched to establish the happened during the incident.
Four Americans were arrested late Wednesday on charges of plotting to attack a Jewish synagogue and US Warplanes based at a New York military base. According to court documents, the four plotted to attack the base with surface-to-air guided missiles, and attack a New York synagogue. Governor David Paterson said that the men were of Arab and Haitian descent, but all are US citizens; it is alleged that the men are all Muslims – one born, and three who converted to Islam in prison. The four were tracked for a year, and arrested shortly after planting a 37-pound mock explosive device in the truck of a car outside the Riverdale Temple, and two mock bombs in the backseat of a car outside the Riverdale Jewish Center. Police blocked their escape, and apprehended the suspects. Police commissioner Raymond Kelly spoke at a news conference, saying: “They stated that they wanted to commit jihad… They were disturbed about what happened in Afghanistan and Pakistan, that Muslims were being killed.” Kelly said that he believed that the men knew each other in prison. Kelly also added that the four men were likely not aided by terror groups.
Nihad Awad, national executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, issued a statement praising law enforcers “for their efforts in helping to prevent any harm to either Jewish institutions or to our nation’s military… We repeat the American Muslim community’s repudiation of bias-motivated crimes and of anyone who would falsely claim religious justification for violent actions,” the statement said. US lawmakers joined rabbis and imams at a special ceremony on Friday morning at the Riverdale Temple. Judy Lewis, who serves as the congregation’s rabbi, said that it was difficult to understand why the temple, whose membership totals just 200 families, was picked as a terrorist target. With a touch of irony, Lewis added that the congregants primarily held left-wing political views.
This news event poses many questions when it comes to terror and security investigations that have levels of Islamic overtones or undertones. Police seem to have concluded that the suspects in this New York event do not have ties and were not aided by terror groups, but largely acted on their own, with their own connections. This story thus highlights that small, cooperative groups may create, define, and act upon their own attack motivations, apart from major terror networks. It also points to the sense of community that many Muslims feel (in different levels and ways) to macro events going on in Iraq, Afghanistan, and otherwise, and false imposed responsibility that may reside in the minds of such persons – i.e., an attack on a predominantly “liberal” synagogue.