In France, five terror attacks thwarted, networks broken

France’s top security official announced that the country has thwarted five terror attacks and dismantled 13 networks affiliated with radical groups in Syria, but stated that the number of young people leaving to become foreign fighters has doubled in the past year.
France’s top security official announced that the country has thwarted five terror attacks and dismantled 13 networks affiliated with radical groups in Syria, but stated that the number of young people leaving to become foreign fighters has doubled in the past year.

France’s top security official announced that the country has thwarted five terror attacks and dismantled 13 networks affiliated with radical groups in Syria, but stated that the number of young people leaving to become foreign fighters has doubled in the past year.

There are more foreign fighters from France leaving to join extremist groups than from any other European country. France’s government is worried that these fighters will pose security threats when they return to the country.

Minister of the Interior Bernard Cazeneuve affirmed the government’s commitment to stopping radical networks, but stated that 1,200 Frenchmen have already left for Syria. There are currently 400 in the war zone and 200 travelling.

Since August 2013 the government has stopped five attacks but would not state if they were attempted by returning fighters or those who had not left.

In December 2014 two women and their children were prevented from leaving Paris when they attempted to travel to Turkey with the intention of joining an extremist group in Syria.

Cazeneuve also stated that a third of would-be jihadis are converts.

Jail Sentence Over ‘Cyber Jihad’

March 5, 2014

 

A French convert to Islam was convicted of using the Internet to disseminate terrorist propaganda and promote participation in terrorist acts and was sentenced by a Paris court to one year in prison and two more on probation late Tuesday. The case is the first using a law passed in 2012 that makes “cyber jihad” a crime and potentially has serious consequences for freedom of expression in France. The law was passed in response to the attacks in Toulouse by Mohammed Merah, who killed seven people including three children and apparently was inspired in part by extremist Internet postings. The maximum sentence in Tuesday’s case could have been five years in prison, and the relatively light term given to Romain Letellier, 27, suggested that both prosecutors and judges were still considering how to apply the new law. The prosecutor said that the trial was happening in a context where young people become radicalized rapidly after reading material on the Internet.

 

Racist bullying: Far-right agenda on immigration ‘being taken into classrooms’

January 8, 2014

 

The number of children seeking help for racist bullying increased sharply last year, as campaigners warn that the heated public debate about immigration is souring race relations in the classroom. More than 1,400 children and young people contacted ChildLine for counselling about racist bullying in 2013, up 69 per cent on the previous 12 months. Islamophobia is a particular issue in schools, according to the charity, with young Muslims reporting that they are being called “terrorists” and “bombers” by classmates.

The rise in children needing help for xenophobic bullying coincides with rising political hostility to immigration – especially in the lead-up to this month’s lifting of restrictions on Romanians and Bulgarians entering the UK.

In 2011, just 802 children approached the charity seeking help for racist bullying.

Sue Minto, head of ChildLine, said: “There’s so much more of a focus in the news at the moment about immigrants… it’s a real discussion topic and children aren’t immune to the conversations that happen around them. Some children are being told, even if they’re UK born, to pack your bags and go back where you belong. It is very worrying, it’s a big increase. This past year, it really seems to be something children and young people are suffering with.”

The charity’s report found that the majority of the racist bullying affecting children was happening at school and many of those calling ChildLine for counselling say teachers ignore the situation or make it worse with clumsy interventions.

James Kingett, of the charity Show Racism The Red Card (SRTRC) which seeks to combat racism, said: “We work with around 50,000 young people every year and issues around Islamophobia have been very prevalent over the past 12 to 18 months. That idea that all Muslims are terrorists or bombers is a particular problem. We’re getting that from kids with no Muslim classmates through to those in diverse schools with many Muslims.”

Some actions taken by the school made things worse, some children said. For example, racist bullying being discussed in assembly simply advertised it and led to increased abusive behaviour. While girls are ordinarily more likely to approach ChildLine about bullying, more boys get in touch about racist abuse. Of the calls and online counselling sessions, 52 per cent involved boys, 32 per cent girls and 16 per cent were gender unknown.

Mr Kingett said that although the rise in racist bullying complaints was worrying, it at least indicated that children were prepared to seek help about their problems.

 

The Independent: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/racist-bullying-farright-agenda-on-immigration-being-taken-into-classrooms-9045148.html

BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-25639839

The sons of Muslim immigrants are targets for Jihadist recruitment in Spain

November 28, 2013

 

“They live in a permanent schizophrenia. At home they are criticized because they are westernized and on the street they do not feel integrated. ” It ‘s the definition that Army Captain Julian Holguin applies to the second generation of Muslims that are socially vulnerable and in danger of falling into jihadi networks.

He describes the frustration of these teenagers after the study he carried out in Murcia on the risk of radicalization of children of Moroccan immigrants.

The result of this survey, which has sampled 92 young people from 18 years , is that 6.5 % of respondents showed high risk of jihadist radicalization by a number of factors: social frustration, identity crisis, impulse, school failure and the lack of job prospects. When these circumstances occur there is a high risk of being recruited by Islamist groups. “They have experienced school failure, can not find a job and a sense of creeping political alienation . If you are captured by recruiters, they will come with the message that the West is against Islam and they see the war on terrorism as a battle against their religion.

 

Te Interessa: http://www.teinteresa.es/espana/inmigrantes-caldo-cultivo-yihad-Espana_0_1037897574.html

NY judge rules against ex-bin Laden spokesman

November 26, 2013

 

Statements Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law made to U.S. authorities when he was brought to the United States earlier this year can be used against him at a terrorism trial next year, a federal judge said Tuesday.

U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan rejected claims by Sulaiman Abu Ghaith that he was not properly informed of his right to a lawyer and that he was abused on a 14-hour flight to the U.S. earlier this year. He also refused to toss out the charges.

Abu Ghaith is scheduled for trial early next year on charges that he conspired to kill Americans in his role as al-Qaida’s spokesman after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. He has pleaded not guilty.

Kaplan ruled after conducting a lengthy hearing. Abu Ghaith’s interview with FBI agents resulted in a 22-page statement after his Feb. 28 arrest in Jordan.

Kaplan said government agents who testified about the questioning of Abu Ghaith produced “consistent and credible testimony” while Abu Ghaith chose to rely on an affidavit rather than testify.

Kaplan said the “evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates that Abu Ghaith was treated humanely while aboard the airplane.”

A month after 9/11, Abu Ghaith called on every Muslim to join the fight against the United States, declaring that “jihad is a duty.”

“The Americans must know that the storm of airplanes will not stop, God willing, and there are thousands of young people who are as keen about death as Americans are about life,” he said in the Oct. 9, 2001, speech.

Two days before that, he sat with bin Laden and current al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri against a rocky backdrop and spoke for nearly five minutes in one of the terror group’s most widely watched propaganda videos.

Abu Ghaith’s lawyer did not immediately respond to a message for comment.

 

AP: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/ny-judge-rules-against-ex-bin-laden-spokesman

Teens, Young Adults, and Digital Discrimination

The prevalence of digital communications and networking through social media for teens and young adults raises questions about young people’s online behavior. A growing body of research suggests that young people frequently encounter discriminatory language online. Are young people emboldened to say hurtful or discriminatory things online that they would never say face-to-face?

Seeking to contribute rigorous research on this issue, MTV and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research conducted a national survey of 1,297 teens and young adults between the ages of 14 and 24 to track the exposure of young people in the United States to discriminatory and hurtful language online and to better understand where on the internet young people encounter these messages. This survey updates previous estimates from

The Associated Press (AP) and MTV on the exposure of teens and young adults to discriminatory language online. The key findings are summarized below.

Growing Numbers of Young People View the Use of Discriminatory language as Inappropriate Even When Joking Around with Friends

Young people perceive the intent of discriminatory language online to be mostly hurtful for some groups, including transgender people and Muslims, and mostly “a joke” for other groups, including Asian Americans, Jews, and women.

Teenagers and young adults are most likely to perceive discriminatory language or images directed at transgender people (63 percent); Muslims (60 percent); gay, lesbian, or bisexual people (54 percent); men who dress or carry themselves in a feminine way (53 percent); and those who are overweight (53 percent) to be meant as hurtful.

Teenagers and young adults are most likely to perceive as a joke discriminatory language or images that are directed at Asian Americans (73 percent), Jews (73 percent), women (71 percent), those with mental disabilities (68 percent), Latinos (67 percent), those with physical disabilities (65 percent), African Americans (64 percent), and women who dress or carry themselves in a masculine way (55 percent).

Young people are divided on their perception of discriminatory language or images directed at immigrants and Christians. Forty-nine percent say discriminatory language or images directed at immigrants is most often meant as a joke, and 51 percent say it is most often meant to be hurtful.

Forty-nine percent say discriminatory language or images directed at Christians is most often meant as a joke, and 50 percent say it is most often meant to be hurtful. Of the groups that were asked about in 2011, only the perception of discriminatory language or images directed at Muslims and immigrants had a significant shift in how teenagers and young adults view the intent. Sixty percent of teenagers and young adults say the discriminatory language or images they see directed toward Muslims are most often meant to be hurtful, a significant increase of 13 points from 47 percent in 2011. Fifty-one percent of teenagers and young adults say the discriminatory language or images they see directed toward immigrants are most often meant to be hurtful, a significant increase of 12 points from 39 percent in 2011.

 

AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research: http://www.apnorc.org/PDFs/Digital%20Discrimination/AP-NORC-MTV%20Discrimination%20Report_FINAL.pdf

Many young Britons do not trust Muslims, poll finds

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.

 

BBC_Radio_1_Newsbeat_Discrimination_Poll_September_2013

Demand for US-born imams up as mosques struggle to retain new generation of American Muslims

Mustafa UmarANAHEIM, Calif. — Mustafa Umar, an imam in Southern California, is popular with the Muslim teenagers who attend his mosque. They pepper him with questions about sensitive topics like marijuana use, dating and pornography.

Umar, 31, is a serious Islamic scholar who has studied the Quran in the Middle East, Europe and India — but he’s also a native Californian, who is well-versed in social media and pop culture, and can connect with teens on their own terms.

That pedigree is rare — 85 percent of fulltime, paid imams in the U.S. are foreign-born — but the demand for people like him is growing as American Muslim leaders look for ways to keep the religion relevant for young people in a secular country that cherishes freedom of expression.

“The demand for American-born imams is an articulation of something much deeper,” said Timur Yuskaev, director of the Islamic chaplaincy program at Hartford Seminary in Connecticut, which educates Islamic faith leaders.

“It’s a realization that assimilation is happening and it’s going to happen. Now, how do we control it, how do we channel it?” he said. “These congregations, if they do not provide the services that the congregants expect, then they will not survive.”

Abdel Rahman Murphy, a 25-year-old assistant imam in Knoxville, Tenn., is striking that balance with his newly founded Muslim youth group called Roots. Kids play sports, battle it out in video-game playing contests or strut in a girls’ Muslim fashion show with the tongue-in-cheek title “Cover Girl.”

Murphy, the son of an Egyptian immigrant mother and an Irish-American convert, was kicked out of a private Islamic middle school and strayed from the faith in high school — an experience he always keeps in mind.

“We can’t change what’s inside the package, but we can repackage it,” said Murphy, who tweets about college basketball and his faith.

Local Police agents break into a Mosque in Mataro

05 August 2013

 

The local Police (Mossos d’Esquadra) of Mataro broke on Sunday into the mosque of Rocafonda coinciding with the celebration of Laylat al-Qadr, the Night of Destiny, which occurs between the twenty-sixth and twenty -and-seventh day of Ramadan.

The police was following a group of young people that was previously manifesting in the city center about an alleged attack to one of their members by the local security forces. After the manifestation the group headed to the mosque causing the Mossos, d’Esquadra to follow them and consequently forcing the entrance into the religious space.
The day after these events, and after a meeting between the city Mayor representatives, delegates of the Autonomous Police of Catalonia, the local police, and some Muslim organizations, a brief statement, condemning the event.

The theologian Mokrani: Message from Pope Francis adds new energy to the dialogue between Christians and Muslims

August 3, 2013

“We need to train our young people to think and speak in a way that respects other religions and their followers” is one of the key steps of the message that Pope Francis has addressed yesterday to Muslims around the world to mark the end of Ramadan. A very significant gesture, as pointed out by the Muslim theologian Adnane Mokrani, an Islamic theologian from Tunisia who teaches at the Vatican’s prestigious Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

Mokrani – First, as a Muslim I am very happy to receive this message of peace and wishes from a great Pope. His name indicates interest in interreligious dialogue: Saint Francis is a symbol of dialogue with Muslims. So, the choice of the same name was a positive sign for interreligious dialogue. And it’s the first time that a Pope signs a letter so alive, so beautiful, open, a plea for mutual respect as a common basis of friendship, then, an appeal to young people respect other religions, and the leaders of other religions …

Pope Francis, who is returning from the experience of World Youth Day in Rio is addressing with particular attention to young people, their training, education …

Mokrani – This special attention to young people is very important to educate young people to dialogue, coexistence, common values ​​for humanity and a more peaceful, welcoming attitude … According to me, this is a common task, a common commitment that should be the goal of interreligious dialogue for the coming years.

How is this gesture seen in the Muslim world, from the media’s point of view, specifically how are these gestures of kindness, by Francis Pope taken by the faithful of Islam?

I believe that they receive positive reaction, despite the fact that the Islamic world today is taken by so many problems and challenges, and then the media is more interested in what is happening in Egypt, Tunisia and Syria: it is an very difficult. But in my opinion, this message may encourage people who are working in the field of interreligious dialogue, to move forward, to have hope and to find new energy. In my opinion, it is a message that gives hope and helps people who work in this field.