Reflection on news outlets calling an attack “terrorism” after Finsbury Park

Guardian journalist, Paul Chadwick, responds to concerns about what should be considered terrorism. He said he started calling the incident a terrorist attack early but it was not premature.

He says events can be called terrorist attacks if they involve “serious harm to random innocents, a location and/or victims with symbolic resonance, apparent intent to generate widespread fear, and a political purpose.” A political purpose means aims at pressuring government or intimidating populations, often stemming from nationalism, racism, or religious fanaticism.

He argues that journalists do not need to wait for courts and official pronouncements to call something “terrorism.” Based on witness reports, journalists on the scene at Finsbury Park decided to call the incident a terrorist attack.

In the case of the Guardian, at 2:01am, about two hours after the attack, the live blog contextualised the event by referencing recent terrorist attacks. The crime correspondent arrived on scene at 3:07am. The correspondent reported at 3:54am that counter-terrorism police were there and at 4:45 am reported that the Muslim Council of Britain described the incident as a terrorist attack. At 5:15am, Prime Minister Threresa May classified the event as “a potential terrorist attack.”

 

Bernard Cazeneuve presents Legion of Honor to the Head of the Conseil Francais du Culte Musulman, Anouar Kbibech

Bernard Cazeneuve recently presented Anouar Kbibech, President of the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM), with the prestigious Legion of Honor.

“It’s impossible not to see your love for the Republic that has always guided you, in the same title as your religious convictions and your intention to ardently defend the interests and the reputation of French Muslims,” Cazeneuve said, recognizing Kbibech as “an important leader in religious dialogue and organizer of the Muslim faith in France.”

“Following the murder of Jacques Hamel, you called on Muslims to attend Mass at churches the following Sunday to bear witness to their mourning and compassion. Such an action is a gesture of determined calm, similar to the remarks made by leaders in the Catholic Church, in light of the suffering felt by the people of our country.”

“Respect is the most important Republican value, without which there would be no democracy, the Republic, or vivre-ensemble,” the Prime Minister concluded.

 

 

Rennes: Girl attacked by man who wanted to make ‘sacrifice for Ramadan’

Source: http://www.lepoint.fr/faits-divers/rennes-attaquee-par-un-desequilibre-qui-voulait-tuer-pour-le-ramadan-14-06-2016-2046654_2627.php

June 14, 2016

 

A teenage girl was seriously injured in a stabbing attack in Rennes when a man assaulted her on the street. The attacker, who has a history of psychiatric problems, claimed that he needed to make “a sacrifice for Ramadan.”

 

The girl, 19, was stabbed two times in the wrist and once in abdomen, Rennes prosecutor Nicolas Jacquet told journalists, adding that her wounds are not life-threating.

 

The girl’s assailant told a witness that he was a Muslim. He was immediately detained by police at the scene of the crime and later told officers that he was obeying voices in his head that had ordered him to make a sacrifice for Ramadan, the holy Muslim month of fasting that began on June 6.

 

“Voices told him that he had to make a sacrifice on the occasion of Ramadan,” Jacquet said.

 

The attacker, 32, was assessed by a medical specialist immediately after his arrest and sent to a psychiatric hospital. The Rennes prosecutor said that the man had already received special treatment at psychiatric hospitals several times.

 

The assailant later told investigators that he was being treated for schizophrenia and was supposed to receive an injection on Tuesday. An enquiry has been opened into attempted murder.

 

The attack came just a day after another attacker killed a police officer and his partner in the town of Magnanville, 50 kilometers from Paris. The murder was later classified as a terrorist attack. The assailant, who was identified as 25-year-old Larossi Abballa, had pledged allegiance to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said.

 

Police also found a list of other potential targets at the site of the killing near Paris that included the names of public figures, rappers, journalists, and police officers, Molins added.

Muslim woman will not testify after being told she must remove face veil

January 27, 2014

 

A Muslim woman standing trial in a full-face veil, who was told she must remove it if she gives evidence in her defence, will not take to the witness box, a court has heard. Rebekah Dawson, 22, has been allowed to appear at her trial for alleged witness intimidation in a niqab showing just her eyes. The trial judge, Peter Murphy, ruled last September that she could wear the Islamic garment in court but he said she would have to let the jury of five women and seven men see her face if she gave evidence.

Her barrister, Susan Meek, told the jury at Blackfriars crown court in London on Monday that she would not be giving evidence in her own defence.

Earlier in the trial, Murphy told the jury that Dawson was “fully entitled” to dress how she chose to in court. He told jurors to put aside any feelings they might have about her appearance because they would have nothing to do with the case.

 

The Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/jan/27/muslim-woman-face-veil-court-trial-witness

Lee Rigby murder: Accused man Michael Adebolajo ‘tried to justify Woolwich attack in a scrawled note’ handed to witness

November 29, 2013

 

One of the alleged killers of Fusilier Lee Rigby handed a letter explaining his attack to the woman who stroked the body of the fallen soldier in a final gesture of humanity, the court heard. Michael Adebolajo’s letter, scribbled on two pieces of lined A4 paper, was addressed to “my beloved children” and railed against the country’s political leaders. It says that “carnage” in Britain is a result of “oppression in our towns”. He handed the letter to Amanda Donnelly Martin, who was kneeling by the body of the dead soldier, before he charged at police and was shot and injured, the court heard.

The letter says fighting Allah’s enemies “is an obligation”. It goes on: “Do not spend your days in endless dispute with the cowardly and foolish if [that] will delay you meeting Allah’s enemies on the battlefield. Sometimes the cowardly and foolish could be those dearest to you, so be prepared to turn away from them.”

It adds: “If you find yourself curious as to why carnage is reaching your own towns, then know it is simply retaliation for your oppression in our towns. Mr Adebolajo made a number of comments after he was shot by police and was detained. “I am a Muslim extremist, this may be the only chance you meet one,” he told officers, the court heard.

Mr Adebolajo – a British citizen born in Lewisham – also said that “your people” had gone to Afghanistan where they had “raped and killed our women”.

“I am seeking retribution, I wouldn’t stoop so low as to rape and kill women,” he told them, the court heard. “I thank the person who shot me, because it is what Allah would have wanted. I love Allah more than my children.”

 

The Independent: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/lee-rigby-murder-accused-man-michael-adebolajo-tried-to-justify-woolwich-attack-in-a-scrawled-note-8973940.html

CAIR-FL Organizes Muslim Veterans Parade Participation

November 11, 2013

 
The Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR–FL) organized the particiaption of South Florida Muslims veterans in the November 8 Miami-Dade County Golden Veterans Parade 50th Anniversary Commemoration.

The parade was an initiative of County Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz and the Miami-Dade County Military Affairs Board, and with the support of 34 Miami-Dade municipalities, local military organizations and a diverse group of community leaders.

Attorney Wilfredo A. Ruiz, legal counsel for CAIR-FL and a Navy veteran officer who served in the JAGC Corps and in the Chaplain Corps, participated in the parade.

Ruiz, who is also the Secretary for the Miami-Dade Community Relations Board, said: “This type of event is necessary and welcomed as it honors those who have served this nation. It is good that the general public witness Muslim veterans of America participating because it is another way for them to realize that our community is an active contributor in upholding our most cherished values of liberty and democracy.”

 
Cair.com: http://cair.com/press-center/press-releases/12251-cair-fl-organizes-muslim-veterans-parade-participation.html

Hackney woman told to remove burka by crown court judge

A judge has refused to let a Muslim woman in a full-length burka enter a plea until she reveals her face. The 21-year-old from Hackney, who is charged with intimidating a witness, said she could not remove the veil in front of men because of her religion. Judge Peter Murphy said however, she could not stand trial in the veil, which only reveals her eyes, because her identity could not be confirmed. The Judge argued that the principle of open justice overrode the woman’s religious beliefs, warning that a different person could go into the dock pretending to be her if she did not show her face. Stating that, “I can’t, as a circuit judge, accept a plea from a person whose identity I am unable to ascertain.” The woman’s barrister, Claire Burtwistle, told the court the woman was not prepared to lower her veil with men in the room and suggested a female police officer or prison guard could identify the defendant and confirm it to the court. However, Judge Murphy rejected the proposal and said: “It seems to me to be quite fundamental that the court is sure who it is dealing with. Judge Murphy adjourned the case for legal argument over whether the defendant should have to remove her veil.

Naval officer who authored book on militant Islam is sentencing witness against Manning

FORT MEADE, Md. — Prosecutors are asking an expert on militant Islam to help them show that Pfc. Bradley Manning damaged U.S. interests by disclosing classified information through WikiLeaks.

 

Navy Cmdr. Youssef Aboul-Enein (ah-BOOL’-ah-NEEN’) is set to testify Thursday at Manning’s sentencing hearing at Fort Meade, near Baltimore.

 

The witness is the author of the book, “Militant Islamist Ideology.” He’s also a top adviser at the Pentagon’s Joint Intelligence Task Force for Combating Terrorism. He argues that winning the war against militant Islamists requires a nuanced understanding of their ideology.

 

Prosecutors are nearing the end of their part of the sentencing hearing. Manning faces up to 90 years in prison for giving more than 700,000 documents, along with battlefield video, to the anti-secrecy group while working as an intelligence analyst in Iraq in 2010.

The Converts to Islam

“What I like about Islam? Certainly the concept of individual responsibility, the lack of an intermediary between the believer and God because, in Islam, there is no confession and the imam is not a priest” says Alessandro Paolantoni, a 45 year old Roman who converted to Islam in 2001. “I testify that there is no god but God and I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of God.” The ritual is simple: one time Muslim converts verify the sincerity of their intention, to pronounce the testimony of faith before a man of Muslim faith and two witnesses. And so they are converted: a minority, but growing; in recent years almost 70 thousand people have converted in our country.

The Italian convert has been brought under the spotlight by the case of the 24-year old Genovese, Giuliano Delnevo Ibrahim, who was killed in Syria while fighting alongside the rebels. Delnevo had converted to Islam in 2008. His journey of faith, is , less and less rare in our country. “According to our estimates,” converts of Italian descent “exceeds 70 thousand” explained Izzedin Elzir, imam in Florence and president UCOII (the Union of Islamic Communities in Italy, bringing together over 150 organizations)  conversions to Islam are in fact becoming more frequent, especially in the recent times of economic and moral crisis. “For Elzir, the new Muslims” can be a valuable bridge for dialogue between faith and country “in short, a sort of ambassador of Islam.”

NC man sentenced in conspiracy to behead witnesses from homegrown terrorism trial

RALEIGH, N.C. — A North Carolina man was sentenced Friday to four life terms for plotting to behead federal witnesses whose testimony helped convict him for his role in an earlier plot to slaughter U.S. servicemen and their families.

Hysen Sherifi, 29, was one of six Raleigh-area Muslims convicted in 2011 of planning to attack the Marine base in Quantico, Va., and overseas targets.

Shortly after starting his 45-year prison sentence in the terror case, Sherifi approached another inmate to help him hire a hit man to behead government informants and FBI agents. He recruited his younger brother Shkumbin Sherifi, 23, and former special education teacher Nevine Aly Elshiekh, 48, to help pay the hit man and organize the murders.

But the inmate whose help Sherifi sought turned out to be yet another government informant. FBI agents then staged an elaborate sting that involved secretly videotaped meetings with a woman posing as the go-between for a fictional hit man named Treetop and doctored photos that appeared to show the corpse of a beheaded witness in a shallow grave.