Riay Tatary, president of the Union of Islamic Communities (UCIDE) of Spain defended yesterday that Islam “is peace and therefore can not be used as a synonym for violence or terrorism.”
He also insisted that the Muslim Spanish community is well integrated and that “ radical ideas are being transmitted over the Internet, in the virtual world. It occurs in homes, in closed rooms. “ He also pointed out that the youth receives a weak islamic educaction through the web and this creates a need among the community to strenghten universal values such as such as coexistence, tolerance, justice, equality, freedom.
The debate over “British values” came to the fore in the wake of the “Trojan horse” affairs, and the realization that hundreds of British Muslim men – and some women – had become radicalised enough to join extremists in Iraq and Syria. The government has stressed “fundamental British values” must be taught and encouraged in schools. To this end, secular and humanist campaigners have welcomed an increase in inspections, saying that for too long the UK has allowed religious communities to “enforce their own values and traditions” on children.
But the school that has been recently inspected said that during a two-day inspection in October, Ofsted asked pupils “vaguely worded questions which produced vague responses”. “To make sweeping generalisations on the basis of their response is utterly unprofessional,” it said in a statement.
Suggestions that children were not protected from extremist views were “completely unfounded”, it said, adding that Ofsted’s findings regarding the role of women did not “reflect the school’s attitude”. The school said it was “natural” for an Islamic school to have a “primary ethos” based on Islam, but that did not mean it taught children that other faiths and traditions were “antithetical to Islamic teachings”.
The six private schools are all in Tower Hamlets, where the council said it had no jurisdiction over teaching and standards at independent faith schools and that its powers were limited to offering training and advice to schools.
March 6, 2014
“We learned with great concern of the statements recorded by the press said by the President of the Republic, Giorgio Napolitano, on the occasion of his visit to Albania: “Italy supports the candidacy of Albania for entry into Europe as this would also prevent a drift from European values in every sense including the possible contamination of the ‘Islamic virus.'” The accusation came from Davide Piccardo, coordinator of Caim (Coordination of Islamic Associations of Milan), in a statement.
“We hope” Piccardo continues “that the President of the Republic has been misinterpreted and in this case we ask that he immediately deny this. If true, this would be an unacceptable statement, which constitutes an extremely serious offense to the sensitivity of our community, especially by invoking the term virus which brings us back to tragic events in European history, therefore, we consider it necessary and urgent that the president respond, to preserve the integrity of the Presidency of the Republic. ”
Libero Quotidiano: http://www.liberoquotidiano.it/news/politica/11563102/Islam–Piccardo–Caim-.html
November 22, 2013
South Windsor physician Saud Anwar is the state’s first Muslim mayor. He sat down with Where We Live to talk about his faith, his vision for the town, and how he plans to juggle his busy schedule. Anwar is a native of Pakistan, who came to Connecticut via Illinois to study medicine at Yale.
On being the first Muslim mayor in the state:
Anwar says that although his faith is important because it shapes his values, he is focused on his new responsibilities. “The fact that I am a mayor who is of Muslim faith helps the children who are in our communities in Connecticut or beyond who at times feel they are bullied or disenfranchised…when they are hearing on radio or television about their faith,” he said. “This would hopefully allow them to recognize that the people who are trying to paint them with a broad brush do not necessarily represent true America.”
On what he’ll tackle first as mayor of South Windsor:
Saud Anwar said his first step will be to unify the town. The town is divided, he said, not only across political boundaries, but across ethnic and demographic boundaries as well. “One of the main issues that we need to recognize [is] that we are all in it together,” he said. “This is our home. This is our community. We are going to do whatever it takes to stay together, and only together we’ll be able to address all the issues that we have to.” Anwar said that his job as a physician has taught him to be organized and to work with a team, all of which he plans to use in his new position.
Conspicuously, Islam has become a key issue in most European societies with respect to issues of immigration, integration, identity, values and inland security. As the mere presence of Muslim minorities fails to explain these debates convincingly, new questions need to be asked: how did Islam become a topic? Who takes part in the debates? How do these debates influence both individual as well as collective self-images and image of others? Introducing Switzerland as an under-researched object of study to the academic discourse on Islam in Europe, this volume offers a fresh perspective on the objective by putting recent case studies from diverse national contexts into comparative perspective.
Link to the book’s website and publisher: http://www.transcript-verlag.de/ts2249/ts2249.php
November 7, 2013
Bernd Lucke, speaker of the new party “Alternative for Germany” (AFD), has questioned the comments of former president Christian Wulff who positioned Islam as an integral part of Germany. Since its foundation in February 2013, the party mainly focused on economic issues such as the Euro, the economic crisis and the free market. The party represents a free liberal position, but it is said to possess partial close ties to right-wing populist groups and initiatives such as the anti-Islamic Pro Cologne movement. These groups have been targeting Islam and Muslim immigration, positioning them as core challenges for western liberal democracies.
Bernd Lucke who has been trying to stay away from these tendencies in the public, refers to the German constitution, which is guaranteeing the freedom of religion. Having included a populist note, Lucke has defended the freedom of religion, saying that in contrast to Muslim dominated countries, where Christians suffer persecution, every Muslim would be free to practice its his/her religion, educate his/her children and gather in mosques. Nevertheless religion should be limited, as Islamic values and the Sharia would undermine the equality of men and women. This would be incompatible with the secular nature of the German State and its deep-rooted Christian orientation.
Die Welt: http://www.welt.de/politik/deutschland/article121656967/AfD-Chef-Lucke-zettelt-Islam-Debatte-an.html
October 16, 2013
In an article on Zaman France, the question of the meaning of Eid al-Adha is being discussed. Bahri, the author of the article writes, “While Eid al- Adha is approaching , what values and what lessons can be learned from this celebration? Far from being limited to a religious festival , Eid is an opportunity to remember the very universal notions of selflessness and dedication”. According to Bahra, Eid provides a lesson during times of war and unrest that we should never stop being reminding of.
Zaman France: http://www.zamanfrance.fr/article/devouement-sacrifice-vraies-lecons-laid-aladha-5579.html?utm_source=newsletter-karisik-liste&utm_campaign=0acccea9ee-Zamanfrance+17_10_2013&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_2d6e3a9a0e-0acccea9ee-315948881
Some 27% of the thousand 18 to 24-year-olds questioned said they did not trust them, while fewer than three in 10 (29%) thought Muslims were doing enough to tackle extremism in their communities. A similar proportion of the young people polled (28%) said the country would be better off with fewer Muslims and almost half (44%) felt Muslims did not share the same values as everyone else.
The BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat survey was carried out by the pollsters Comres in June after the soldier Lee Rigby was murdered in the street in Woolwich, south east London, in May. Despite its findings on the degree to which Muslims were mistrusted, it showed that young adults were more likely to agree (48%) than disagree (27%) that Islam is a peaceful religion.
They were also found to be divided over the question of whether immigration is good for the UK. Around two fifths (42%) believe it is a good thing but more than a third disagree (35%), the survey showed.
Terror groups operating in foreign countries were held responsible for Islamophobia in Britain by 26% of respondents, while 23% blamed the media and 21% placed the blame on UK Muslims who have committed terrorist acts.
Of the young adults polled, 16% said they did not trust Hindus or Sikhs, 15% said they did not trust Jews, 13% mistrusted Buddhists and 12% did not trust Christians.
The Mayor of London said the burka, or full Islamic veil which leaves only a mesh for the eyes cannot be described as a school uniform. He was speaking after it emerged a number of secondary schools have forced children as young as 11 to wear the full covering when outside school.
The Madani Girls’ School in Tower Hamlets, east London, stipulates that girls must wear a full burkha and a black coat when outside school. Girls at the Jamea Al Kauthar school in Lancaster are required to cover their faces when outside the school and wear a jilbab, or long flowing black gown that covers the head and body but leaves the face exposed, when inside. The Ayesha Siddiqa Girls School in Southall, West London, requires girls to wear the jilbab when travelling to lessons. All three are independent fee-paying schools. There had been plans to turn Madani girls’ school into a state-funded Muslim school.
Parliament said this week it backed the rights of schools to set and enforce their own uniform policies but Mr Johnson said: “I don’t think it can be classed as any kind of uniform. I’m totally against any kind of compulsion in this matter. If a school is forcing children to wear the veil, that in my view is completely wrong, adding: “That is against my principles and it’s against the principles of liberty that London should stand for.”
August 29, 2013
Muslim and gay? Impossible! Transsexual and Muslim? Inconceivable!
These assertions gave life to Moi (Homosexual Muslims in Italy). We talk to Pier Cesare Notaro, the project coordinator.
Beyond prejudice, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Muslims are a reality and too often reduced to keeping silent. They, like all human beings, have the right to live and to freely express their sexual identity and religion.
From this notion was born, in 2011, Moi -Muslim Homosexuals in Italy – the first Italian project of media- activism, culture, research and information that aims to be an activist group for LGBTQ people in religion, culture and family issues. The group is open to Muslim immigrants and those born in Italy but the project aims to be for anyone who believes in respect for all religions and sexual orientation. Moi adheres to Calem – Confederation of European and Muslim associations for LGBTI – and collaborates with MPV -Muslims for progressive values - and – INIMuslim International Network for inclusive Muslims. To learn more we asked some questions to Pier Cesare Notaro, the project coordinator.
How and why did Moi develop?
Our project began with a simple observation: in Italy there was no tool to meet and exchange ideas for the LGBTQ people who are Muslim or from Muslim countries. The invisibility of homosexuals, transgender and queer Muslims was so deep that these people, in the common opinion, did not exist. As just one example, one of the leading gay websites wrote that Islam and homosexuality are thought of as “two concepts that are extreme opposites in nature.” Yet in our group of friends from various corners of the world, there were more gay Muslims. And so it felt natural to us that what was missing was a place where we could say, “We exist…”
How was your movement received in the Muslim community?
If we talk about the more or less institutional level, our project was simply ignored. Aside from an imam who wrote us a letter, we never received a response to our attempts to open a dialogue. The situation is different if we are talking about individuals: on the one hand every now and then we get messages of condemnation, on the other; our site is read and followed by some heterosexual Muslims in our country, especially women.