French councils refuse to accept Muslim refugees

Nadine Osman

A number of councils in France have refused to accept any of the 24,000 Muslim Syrian refugees the President had agreed to accept over the next two years, with one town claiming they “cut off boss’s heads”.

Two mayors declared they only wanted to accept Christian refugees to keep out terrorists.

Referring to the June incident when Yassin Salhi decapitated his boss, a memo, unanimously approved by Charvieu-Chavagneux Council on September 9 said the town only wanted to accept Christian refugees because they “wouldn’t proceed to cut off the heads of their bosses.”

The Council’s text went even further declaring that “Christian refugees will not put others in danger, they would not attack trains armed with Kalashnikovs and would not gun down journalists in an editorial meeting,” referring to the recent foiled attack by a gunman on a train, and to the massacre at the offices of the magazine Charlie Hebdo in January.

The text also evoked a “war of civilization” and the “arrival en masse of jihadists on French territory”.

Others have also expressed reluctance to accept refugees – a process which remains voluntary, so far at least.

National Front Leader, Marine Le Pen, vowed that none of the 11 towns run by her party would take in any refugees.

She claimed they were unequipped, but the suspicion is that anti-Islam sentiment may also lie behind the stance of a party seen by critics as being deeply Islamophobic and racist.

Even ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy has been stoking fears talking of the “risk of the disintegration of French society” due to the influx of refugees and migrants.

Secretary General of the Union of French MosquesMohammed Mraizika denounced the “dangerous” stance of the mayors.

“These mayors are irresponsible and their words are dangerous especially in the context of this crisis, which is very difficult,” he said

“Whether refugees are Muslim or from another religion we have a duty to stand together and face up to this human tragedy,” he said.

Mraiziki said Charvieu-Chavagneux Council was pouring “oil on the fire. They don’t think about the consequences of their words.”

“Each time there is a statement like this, we notice a steep rise in Islamophobia and racism in France. It’s dangerous,” he said.

Syrian refugees p1, Editorial p2

No Muslim refugees, say Hungarian and Slovakian leaders

Nadia Osman and Oliver Boulton

Hungary joined Slovakia in saying it did not want to accept Muslim refugees.

Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán, said that his country did not want to accept Muslim refugees, as he defended his tough approach to border control on the frontline of Europe’s migration crisis.

Orbán spoke in Brussels at meetings between EU leaders after images of a drowned Syrian child on a Turkish beach grabbed world attention and said that it was not a moral argument for opening Europe’s doors.

In a later news conference, Orbán said the history of Ottoman rule meant Hungarians would not accept large-scale Muslim immigration, a point made earlier by neighbouring Slovakia.

“We don’t want to, and I think we have a right to decide that we do not want a large number of Muslim people in our country,” Orbán said.

“We do not like the consequences of having a large number of Muslim communities that we see in other countries, and I do not see any reason for anyone else to force us to create ways of living together in Hungary that we do not want to see. That is a historical experience for us.”

He went further in an opinion piece in Germany’s Frankfurt Allgemeine Zeitung, writing: “Those arriving have been raised in another religion, and represent a radically different culture. Most of them are not Christians, but Muslims. That is an important question, because Europe and European culture have Christian roots. Or is it not already and in itself alarming that Europe’s Christian culture is barely in a position to uphold Europe’s own Christian values?

“Is it not worrying in itself that European Christianity is now barely able to keep Europe Christian? There is no alternative, and we have no option but to defend our borders.”

Slovakia has also said that it will not accept Muslim asylum seekers, as it prepares to take in 200 Syrian refugees as part of EU relocation scheme.

The statements come after last month EU member states agreed to take 32,000 asylum seekers into their borders. The scheme is a response to the growing migrant crisis in Europe.

Amid this crisis, Ivan Metik, a Slovakian interior ministry spokesman, told the BBC, “We could take 800 Muslims but we don’t have any mosques in Slovakia so how can Muslims be integrated if they are not going to like it here?”

The Slovakian Government said it plans to ask the migrants their religion on arrival.

The European Commission expressed its displeasure at the Slovakian plans. “We act here in the spirit of the treaty, which prevents any form of discrimination,” Annika Breidthardt, a spokesman, said.

Orbán also rejected criticism of the razor-wire fence he has thrown up along the EU’s external frontier with Serbia.

Orbán met European Council President, Donald Tusk, who appealed for greater European solidarity and more help for refugees.

Tusk took issue with remarks Orbán made in Allgemeine Zeitung.

“For a Christian,” Tusk said, “it shouldn’t matter what race, religion or nationality the person in need represents.”

In the UK, leader of the euro skeptic right wing party UKIP shared the concerns of the Slovakians and Hungarians about the influx of people from Muslim countries.

Nigel Farage insisted that the UK too could not afford to show too much compassion.

“The EU’s compassion…could be a very real threat to our safety,” he said.

He said he shared the concerns of some Eastern European countries about the influx of people from Muslim countries.

“A lot of these Eastern European countries with very strong Roman Catholic churches and traditions are very concerned about the number of Muslim people [coming here]…My concern is that Isis have actually said that they will use the migrant wave to flood Europe with half a million of their fighters…Even if it’s only 500 I’m very worried about that.”

Islamophobic poster displayed on pub window removed

Oliver Boulton

On August 20 a shocked customer had just sat down for lunch at the JD Weatherspoon’s pub, The Moon on the Square, Feltham, when he and his Muslim colleague noticed an Islamophobic poster.

The 28 year-old regular to the pub, who first saw the poster, said: “I was absolutely disturbed to see this vile poster on display in my local pub, let alone the biggest pub chain in the UK.”

The Islamophobic poster, which was displayed on the pub notice board, was a mimic of World War one British propaganda artwork. It depicts the protagonist of the British war recruitment campaign, Lord Kitchener, pointing out at the onlooker.

The poster, which was signed by ‘The Infidel Brotherhood,’ read: ‘‘Then we have a simple solution for you.‘Get the f*** out of our countries and go back to the monstrous s**tholes you came from. ‘You can live under Muslim rule there and enjoy it as much as you like.’

Reacting to the incident, an employee from The Moon on the Square, told The Muslim News, “It is not a racist pub, and is only one person’s view.”

A spokesperson for the nearby Hounslow Islamic Integration Community Centre, Minja Omar, told The Muslim News that there have been other Islamophobic incidents in the area, and that “the Muslim community is constantly targeted and isolated.”

In reaction to this latest episode, Minja said: “People are horrified; there is a sense of threat against the safety of families living in the area.”

The customer, who had gone to the pub for lunch added: “It is disgraceful that JD Wetherspoon pubs are allowing this anti-Muslim propaganda to be displayed – I’d hate for any Muslim to think all British people are racists because of this.”

The poster has been removed and a spokesman for JD Weatherspoon’s said: “A poster was displayed on the notice board at The Moon on the Square, by a customer at the pub, without the knowledge of the pub staff.

“As soon as this came to light, staff immediately removed the discriminatory material.

“The customer notice board, which is regularly checked and monitored by staff, has now been completely cleared of all material, whatever the content.

“The Moon on the Square is a community pub, proud of its diverse customer base, and has always been fully committed to operating in a non-discriminatory way.”
At present there is no ongoing police investigation.

Danish Muhammad cartoon editor awarded

Elham Asaad Buaras

Jyllands-Posten Editor, Flemming Rose, who was behind the controversial 2005 publication of Prophet Muhammad cartoons, is being honoured by a Norwegian free speech group.

Danish newspaper Editor will receive roughly £80,000 from the free speech group Fritt Ord for his “steadfast defence of free speech” over the past decade.

Announcing the award on August 31, Fritt Ord noted that Rose has consistently pushed forward the notion of free speech as a basic human right.

“On September 30, 2005, Jyllands-Posten published a page with 12 different cartoons, each of them caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad. That was the start of one of the most important debates over freedom of expression in modern times. Ten years later, it is still not finished,” the group wrote.

Rose currently serves as Jyllands-Posten’s foreign editor but was the culture editor who commissioned the Muhammad cartoons. He was very vocal in the aftermath of January’s Charlie Hebdo attacks and has a frequent presence in the international media speaking about threats against the freedom of speech.

Baseball analyst suspended for Islamophobic tweet

Nadine Osman

Former baseball great Curt Schilling was suspended from ESPN sport network after he tweeted a message that equated Muslims to Nazis.

“Curt’s tweet was completely unacceptable, and in no way represents our company’s perspective,” the ESPN network said in a statement.

“We made that point very strongly to Curt and have removed him from his current Little League World Series assignment pending further consideration,” it added.

On August 25, Schilling posted a photo of Adolf Hitler on Twitter that read: “It’s said only 5-10% of Muslims are extremists. In 1940, only 7% of Germans were Nazis. How’d that go?”

Above the photo, he wrote: “The math is staggering when you get to true #s”).”

The tweet was later deleted.

Schilling has been suspended by ESPN for the rest of the regular season and the Wild Card round of the playoffs because of a recent tweet.

“I understand and accept my suspension. 100% my fault. Bad choices have bad consequences and this was a bad decision in every way on my part,” Schilling said on Twitter.

“I got suspended because the rules of the company I work for I broke,” Schilling said in an interview last month.

“I don’t have a problem with that. It wasn’t the content, it was the act. I’m not racist. I don’t have a racist bone in my body. That’s not who I am.”

“It’s part of what in a sense of what they hired me for, is what I got suspended for,” he added.

Man jailed after asking McDonald’s worker if he was going to chop off his head

Elham Asaad Bauras

A 65-year-old man was jailed for 12 weeks after he went on an Islamophobic rant at a McDonald’s employee at a branch in Langley Green, West Sussex.

Patrick Maughan has been jailed after asking an assistant manager Mohamed Mahroof if he was going to chop off his head.

Drunken Maughan would not stop harassing Mahroof of the restaurant by making reference to the ISIS-style beheadings.

Maughan then mimicked the way Muslim people pray.

Upon appearing at Crawley Magistrates’ Court, Maughan pleaded guilty to the unprovoked attack towards Mahroof and security guard Mansoor Bahar in June.

Melanie Wotton, prosecuting, said: “At about 7pm Maughan went into McDonald’s where Mr Mahroof was working as an assistant manager and Mr Bahar as a security guard.

“Maughan leant over the counter and read Mr Mahroof’s name badge before asking him ‘Are you Mohamed?’ and adding, ‘Are you a Muslim’?

“Maughan then said, “I’m Christian, you are a Muslim, do you want to chop off my head’? and he made a gesture across his throat to show a beheading. ”

He was asked to leave, but after turning away, he returned to the counter to harass Mahroof.

Wotton added: “Speaking to Mr Mahroof, Maughan again said, “You Muslim, you want to chop off my head”.”

“He then knelt down and pretended to pray to mimic how a Muslim would pray.”

The court heard Maughan was given a 15-month community order in June for a separate incident of racially aggravated harassment.

Maria Kempshall, Chair of the bench of magistrates, said: “These offences are so serious only a custodial sentence can be justified.

“These were aggravated offences of harassment of a racial nature against two people carrying out their employment in a public place. This was also the second similar racially aggravated offence you have committed in a short time span.”

Man in court over attack on Autistic Muslim teen

Nadine Osman

A man has appeared in court in connection with an attack on a 16-year-old autistic Muslim boy in Rotherham town centre on September 9.

Mark Smith, 32, of Fleming Way, Wickersley, Rotherham, appeared at Rotherham Magistrates’ Court on September 11 charged with assault.

According to media reports the attack on the teenager was described as Islamophobic by witnesses on Effingham Street.

Police has yet to confirm if the attack was religiously motivated.

A spokesman for South Yorkshire Police said: “Police were called at around 1.10pm following reports a 16-year-old boy had been assaulted and injured. The severity of his injuries is not yet known.

“A 32-year-old man has been detained by officers nearby and is currently in custody. The investigation is in its very early stages and there is an increased police presence in the area.”
Rotherham Inspector Martyn Sheldon said: “I continue to urge anyone who may have witnessed the incident and has yet to contact police, to come forward and speak to officers.”
The boy was taken to hospital with a head injury and has since been discharged.

Smith will next appear at Sheffield Crown Court on September 25.

Islamophobic attacks increase by 70% in London

Sahra Mohamed

According to the figures published earlier this month by the Scotland Yard, Islamophobic crimes in London have rose by 70%, in the last 12 months,(July 2014 to July 2015). 816 Islamophobic crimes were registered in 2014/15, compare to only 478 crimes compared to the previous years.

The borough with the highest number of incidents in was Westminster, which had 54 Islamophobic crimes. In Merton, south west London, it increased from eight incidents to 29, rising by 262%. While in Richmond-upon-Thames’ it increased from one to nine.
The latest and most serious Islamophobic attack resulted in the death of an 81-year-old grandfather in Rotherham.

Mushin Ahmed died in hospital on August 21, 11 days after he was attacked on his way to morning in the early hours of August 10

The pensioner, described as “gentle and non-confrontational” was found slumped on the ground with serious head injuries just yards from his home.
Two men from the town have already been charged with assault with intent and were remanded in custody by magistrates.

The Muslim News asked Westminster City Council why Westminster has the highest number of Islamophobic attacks. The spokesperson failed to answer the question. Instead in a statement to The Muslim News the Council said it “takes hate crime very seriously” and are “committed to working closely with the police to reduce the number of incidents.

“Earlier this year we launched a new cross-party commission focussed on community cohesion. We want to empower our communities and encourage responsible debates among different groups.”

Speaking to The Muslim News, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain Dr Shuja Shafi, said the rise in Islamophobic hate crimes “should be a concern for us all. The fact that Muslim women bear the brunt of attacks is especially worrying. In London we take pride in the city’s diversity and tolerance. But these figures tell us that there is much more to do.”

Labour London Assembly Member Murad Qureshi, said that the increase is “a shameful blight on London’s reputation as a welcoming, inclusive and tolerant city. The situation is made even worse by the fact that 60% of attacks are reported to be against women, at times in front of their children.”

“If, as the Met say, local policing is the answer, its time the Mayor of London recognises the importance of local neighbourhood policing and invests to ensure it is able to work effectively.”

However, Scotland Yard has attributed the increase in recorded Islamophobic offences to the “growing willingness of victims to report hate crime, an improved awareness of MPS staff in identifying these offences; and work with partners to support victims.”
A spokesman for Scotland Yard added that, “World events can also influence a rise in hate crime incidents, as can High Holy days, due to increased numbers of visibly Muslim and Jewish people travelling to and from their place of worship.”

Two Muslims shot in the head by air rifle

Oliver Boulton

Two Muslim men were shot in the head with air rifle pellets in two consecutive days when attending a Mosque in Nelson, Lancaster.

On Sunday, August 16, at 9.30pm, the first victim, a 58 year-old man, was shot in the back of the head in a car park on Nelson Street, as he returned to his car after visiting the mosque. Then on Monday at 7.15pm a similar attack occurred in the same car park when, a second 56 year-old man, was shot in the neck by a pellet as he arrived at the mosque.

The victims went for treatment to hospital, with minor injuries. The doctors were not able to take out the metal shrapnel of the second person because of potential nerve damage.

The second victim has returned home after treatment.

An investigation is underway although there have been no arrests at this point.
Mubashir Ali, a management committee member at the Jamia Masjid Minhaj ul Quran Mosque, told The Muslim News, “People are upset. To be honest with you, it has surprised everyone. General public are a bit more vigilant at the moment. This is normally a peaceful area.”

He added that the Muslims “have never had anything like this before.”
Inspector Dave Clark of Burnley Police said in a statement, “At this stage, the motivation behind these incidents is unclear and we are yet to establish whether the two are linked.”

“We understand these incidents may cause concern in the area and I would like to reassure residents there will be an increased police presence,” he added.

Express apologises for incorrect story on British Muslims’ support of ISIS

The Daily Express apologises for incorrect story on British Muslims' support ISIS

Elham Asaad Buaras

The Daily Express was forced to remove an online story suggesting that 1.5 million British Muslims support the terror group ISIS after the poll it was based on proved to be flawed.

On July 7, The Daily Express ran with the headline ‘Half of British Muslims support ISIS as fears grow over influence of terror group’ and the sub-heading: ‘HALF of Britain’s three million Muslims could support the Islamic State terror group, a shocking new survey has revealed.’

The ICM online poll it refers to was originally commissioned by the Mirror newspaper and was a survey of general British public opinion and not Muslim opinion. It did show that favourable opinions of ISIS had risen from to 9% in 2015 but at the same time unfavorable views were running at 85%.

The article also quoted Managing Director of the counter-extremist think-tank Quilliam Foundation, Haras Rafiq, saying he “was ‘not surprised’ by the findings.”

However, it was not until July 11, that the newspaper issued an online apology conceding it had incorrectly interpreted the poll; “Within a few hours we realised our error and quickly removed the article, but it should never have been published and we apologise unreservedly for any upset caused.”

It continues, Rafiq, “was quoted out of context”. The apology was accompanied by a right of reply article by Rafiq.

This is not the first time the Daily Express has inaccurately reported on British Muslims. In 2008 the high court ordered the newspaper to apologise and pay £45,000 damages to the then Assistant Ssecretary of the Muslim Council of Great Britain, Inayat Bunglawala, after publishing an article wrongly linking him to death threats made against Prince Harry.

Man who stuck ‘halal funds terrorism’ stickers on Sainsbury products handed curfew

Nadine Osman

A man who went into a Sainsbury’s and stuck ‘beware halal is barbaric and funds terrorism’ stickers on meat has been given a month-long curfew on July 23.

Liam Edwards pleaded guilty to racially aggravated criminal damage on the day of his trial. The 29 year-old stuck nine stickers with the hashtag #banhalal on halal poultry products after obtaining the stickers over the internet.

Manchester and Salford Magistrates’ Court was told that CCTV captured Edwards going into the supermarket on Regent Road, Salford, on February 20 with his girlfriend and two young children.

Staff at the store became aware of the stickers on various packets of chicken breasts, thighs and a whole chicken. Upon searching the hashtag term on Twitter, staff found images of the stickers on trollies and point of sale displays.

Prosecutor Lisa Connor said “He accepted he had been in possession of the stickers and placed them on various items. He got involved in a Twitter conversation about halal and maintains that his whole motivation was his concern for the way in which halal meat is obtained and what happens in abattoirs. ”

“He maintained he wasn’t motivated by any racial prejudice he just wanted to highlight the cruelty involved. He admitted he was sorry for his actions.”

Islam religion of hatred, says brummie pastor

Elham Asaad Buaras

A Christian church leader from Birmingham has been slammed after calling Islam a “religion of hatred’ on August 19.

During his Sunday sermon, evangelical Pastor Steve Crosthwaite branded ‘highly offensive’ by a local minister, said: “Islam is not a peaceful religion. Islam is a religion of hatred.

“Islam teaches there are permissible sins. For a Muslim to tell you ‘I love you, I’m a peaceful guy’ and it be a lie, well, Allah forgives that sin. For a Muslim to go out and kill someone, to commit murder in the name of Allah, well, that’s a permissible sin.

“Islam is not a peaceful religion, but we’re not allowed to say that are we? In our multicultural society we’re not allowed to say things like that.”

The sermon by the cleric, who has been at the Simms Lane life centre for a year has been dubbed “disgusting and selfish” by the Rev Anthony Howe, minister of the nearby Unitarian Church.

He said: “To say that Muslims are liars and that Islam is completely based on hatred is a highly insensitive and offensive thing to say. At a time when people of different religions should be working together for peace it is sad to hear of such outrageous comments being made.”

Crosthwaite apologised for his comments insisting, “It was a throwaway comment. I’m sorry for that. I’ve generalised in a way that I should not have done.”

He added he had many Muslim friends who are “fine, upstanding and caring” members of the community. “The comments I made were to the congregation of my church. They appear very different when taken out of that context.”

Driver accused of Islamophobia

Elham Asaad Buaras

A Woman’s Facebook post claiming she was Islamophobically abused by a National Express driver has gone viral.

Yusra Ahmed says she was travelling with three friends from Manchester earlier this month when they were “humiliated and victimised” by the coach driver.

20 year-old Ahmed said it began when the four girls “received hostility” when the driver checked their tickets.

“She analysed each of our tickets and coach cards very closely which is something we noticed she didn’t do to any of the other passengers,” Ahmed wrote.

The driver then asked if they had any hot food in their bags, to which they replied they had only cold lasagne and rice.

“She then shouted quite loudly that we were not allowed to eat on the coach and that we had better not be taking ‘curry’ on to her coach.”

“I told her that we weren’t intending on eating on the coach but she continued shouting to us about stinking up her coach with curry,” wrote Ahmed.

“We offered to give the takeaway food to the homeless outside and put the remainder of it in the luggage section but she kept banging on about our ‘smelly curry food’.

“By this time we had lost our patience with her, we weren’t carrying any curry or ‘smelly food’ at all.

“She was obviously targeting us of her preconceived ideas about brown people, we were visibly Muslim so this made it easier for her.”

When Ahmed complained that the driver was being racist, she says the driver exploded in rage and said the women were not allowed to travel on the coach.

But when a security guard came along to see what the fuss was about, Ahmed says she and her friends were forced by him to apologise to the driver for calling her racist.

They then had to wait until the next coach which didn’t depart until two hours later.

Ahmed said no apology was made by National Express and despite being told they would hear back from them within three days that they had received no contact.

Others have been turning to Twitter to show their support for Ahmed and question National Express over it.

A spokesperson for National Express told The Muslim News: “We take reports of unacceptable behaviour very seriously are investigating the issues raised by this serious complaint as a matter of priority.”

Stockport Muslim assaulted

stream_imgBloodied and bruised face of Qasier Hamid, (Photo provided by Qasier Hamid)

Oliver Boulton

On August 14 at 17:30, Qasier Hamid, 37, was attacked by a group of unprovoked youths, leaving him bloodied and bruised in the city centre of Stockport. He says that he and other Muslims no longer feel safe.

After stepping outside of a shoe shop in the city centre, a female youth began to abuse Qaiser, saying that his “beard looked stupid”. She was then joined by several male youths who began to attack him shouting “Paki this, Paki that.”

Qaiser, who is a mental health nurse, told The Muslim News, ‘I was trying to defend myself and I heard my wife, who wears a headscarf, screaming, and then I realised there were several of them punching me.”

The attack comes at a time when there is a feeling of fear amongst the Muslim community in Stockport.

Qaiser said that “there is a consensus amongst Muslims in Stockport that the city centre is no longer safe.”

Chair of Cheadle Mosque in Stockport, Saeed Akhtar, said in a statement to The Muslim News the Muslim community “was deeply shocked about the Islamophobic attack on Qaiser. Thankfully, he escaped life threatening injury but for such an attack to occur in our hometown has gravely concerned the Muslim community.”

“The fear we have is that if such criminals are not apprehended and do not have full force of the law brought down on them, will open the gates of such attacks,” he added.

When asked to comment on whether or not there was an issue of Islamophobic attacks in Stockport, Inspector Stephen Gilbertson of Stockport Police, told The Muslim News, “I don’t think that’s the case” and labelled the incident as a “random attack”, and that the “gentleman was there at the wrong time”.

“Stockport isn’t a town centre that has racially motivated attacks”, he added.

After the attack, Qaiser ran into the shop and was told that the shop assistant had picked up a phone that had been dropped by one of the youths. The police had already been called, but as Qaiser stood in the shop, which was ‘covered in blood,’ one of the youths returned to collect the phone, threatening the shop assistant if she didn’t comply.

Qaiser said that the police took over half an hour to respond while the youths remained in the area after the attack.

The Inspector said the reason they took a long time to arrive was because “that time of evening, it was just a busy Friday evening.”

Gilbertson said on August 20 that no one was arrested for the attack.

Muslim family attacked on train

Four teenage girls were arrested after a couple travelling on a tram with their baby were allegedly racially abused.

The alleged incident took place on the Metrolink service between Rochdale and Oldham.

A video of the altercation, which happened on June 12, has been viewed more than one million times since being posted on Facebook.

A group of about six girls are said to have got on the tram at the Shaw and Crompton station before the incident unfolded.

They are alleged to have made comments about the woman’s head covering.

It is alleged when her husband intervened they became verbally abusive.

In a statement Greater Manchester Police said: “Police investigating the racial abuse of a man and woman on a tram have made a number of arrests.

“At around 3.30pm on Friday June 12, the two victims and their young child were travelling on the Metrolink between Shaw and Manchester when they were racially abused by a group of teenage girls.

“Following enquiries by officers, 4 girls aged between 16 and 18 have been arrested on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence.

Further enquiries are ongoing in an effort to identify and arrest the other offenders.”

Teenager injured in Islamophobic attack outside Coventry mosque

Elham Asaad Buaras

A Muslim teen was Islamophobically assaulted as he left a Coventry mosque following Ramadan Tarawih [night] prayers on June 21.

Police have launched an investigation after an 18-year-old, who doesn’t want to be named was attacked between 11.45pm and midnight in Eagle Street, Foleshill.

He was left with a nasty black eye in the assault but escaped without serious injury.

It is believed the same attackers may have targeted the nearby the Masjid-e-Zeenat-ul Islam Mosque, in Stoney Stanton Road, and thrown stones at the windows before attacking the teenager.

The victim’s father, Qudir Hussain, of Foleshill, said he was sure that attackers were motivated by race.

“I’m really angry,” he told Coventry Times. “They went from one place to the other, they were clearly looking for trouble. Apparently they were throwing things at the windows and shouting out racist abuse. My son has a black eye. I did tell him to be careful and that he maybe shouldn’t go out.”

The teenager had left the Jamia Mosque during evening prayers, shortly before the attack.

His group separated before he was targeted further down Eagle Street.

He was approached by four men who called him a P*** before they attacked him from behind. It’s believed some of the group were in a dark coloured Toyota car.

Hussain, 45, said: “They threatened him. They said they will cut him up, chop him into little bits. He wasn’t looking for trouble, it came to him. I just want everyone to be aware that this sort of thing is going on.”

The area outside the mosque and the surrounding roads are covered by CCTV.

Evening prayers at the Jamia Mosque begins at around 11pm and end at 12.30am. It’s believed the area outside the mosque would have been busy at the time.

A spokesman for West Midlands confirmed that, “Door to door inquiries took place the following morning while the 18-year-old has been interviewed by police.”

Lifetime ban for Islamophobic Headteacher

Nadine Osman

An Islamophobic Headteacher who branded teachers in her Ilford school as “f***ing Muslims”, called a colleague a “Polish slapper” and asked a pupil with special needs if he “liked touching women’s breasts” has been banned from the profession for life on June 12.

Anupe Hanch, 49, was found guilty of misconduct in May after being accused of racist and other discriminatory behaviour while she was headteacher of Gearies Junior School in Barkingside between 2005 and 2012.

The National College for Teaching and Leadership found Hanch guilty of unacceptable professional conduct at work which resulted the ban.

The panel published its report on June 12, in which it details 11 witness accounts of the former-headmistress’ bullying behaviour towards teachers and pupils.

When looking through CVs from Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs), Hanch told a colleague that “if we have any more Muslims around here, it’s going to start looking like Al-Jazeera,” the report said.

The report also revealed in 2010 she said of Muslim colleagues taking leave for Eid: “I’m not going to be like those f***ing Muslims taking a day off for Eid.”

Hanch denied the accusation, saying that such words went against everything she believed in.

The teacher tried to encourage staff and pupils not to take off religious holidays.

Witnesses described how Hanch regularly treated her colleagues with disrespect and intimidation, and that she shouted and used swear words. In the report, the panel said there was nothing to suggest Hanch’s actions were not deliberate.

The report also stated that she shouted at a child with special educational needs: “Do you want to become a paedophile” and asked them “do you like touching women’s breasts?”

In another incident, a witness told the panel how she referred to two mothers of school pupils as “bitches”. She told another witness that a member of staff looked like “a Polish slapper.”

Hanch, who is also a parish councillor in Epping Forest, locked the assistant head in her office for three hours between 4pm and 7pm in 2010 for “no reason.”

One witness told the panel that when she asked for time off to volunteer at the London Olympics, Hanch said “I’m going to have to break down 5,000 years of Islam to get through to her.”

Judge Paul Heathcote ruled that: “in view of the seriousness of the allegations found proved against her, I have decided that Mrs Anupe Hanch shall not be entitled to apply for restoration of her eligibility to teach.”

Non-Muslim name secures job interview

Trisha Vekaria

A teacher has accused a East London school of discrimination after he says he was only offered a job interview after changing his Muslim name to an Anglo one.

When applying for the second time to a RE position at Langdon Academy, Hamid Mahmood changed his name to Harry Mason on his CV wandering if his “race or religion had anything to do with the constant rejections”.

Mahmood, being unsuccessful with a previous application to the same school in 2014, applied for the exact same role in 2015 with a different ethnicity. The successful response proved his “fears of discrimination were true”.

A spokesperson for Langdon Academy, rejected Mahmood’s allegations insisting they have “a proud record of equal opportunities recruitment….“During 2014-15 we recruited more staff of Islamic faith than any other religious domination, including both new appointments to our Senior Leadership Team. The head of our Religious Education is also an Asian Muslim.”

However, Mahmood says, “before I applied last year, I called them up and they seemed very positive about the application, but then when I applied I didn’t hear back. I’m also sure that nobody else was hired because they re-advertised the job a month later in April. So, when the same position came up this year in May, I decided to apply again but this time I changed my name to Harry Mason and took out any reference to Islam.”

Mahmood changed his name and removed a reference to the Institute of Islamic Education in his application for the teaching post, but made no other changes to the CV he had applied with from the previous year. Despite having a first class Master’s degree and a distinction in his teaching qualification, he said he had been turned down from thirty teaching posts in the last year. He states “at the end of the day, it looks like my degree didn’t matter because it was really based on ethnicity and faith and this is something I am really saddened by.”

However, the school’s official statement states “These two, apparently different, candidates have never applied for a post in the same recruitment round.”
“Clearly, there are a number of variables that influence which candidates are shortlisted and which are not. Principally, and obviously, one of these is the quality of other applications received.”

Countless studies have supported Mahmood allegation of name-based discrimination in employment application processes.

In 2010, Claire Adida from the University of California, San Diego sent three fictitious resumes to employers in France with the same qualifications and experiences, only the names and small details about their background were different.

She found “Aurélie Ménard” and “Marie Diouf”, the names being typically French and Christian, received more positive responses than “Khadija Diouf”, a name strongly suggesting a Muslim background. For every 100 callbacks “Marie” received, “Khadija” received 38 callbacks. Her research showed that a Muslim candidate is 2.5 times less likely to get a job interview than a Christian or non-religious candidate in the French labour market, particularly in the Senegalese community.

More recently, in June 2014 University of Connecticut professor Michael Wallace led sociological studies where researchers sent 3200 resumes in South Connecticut. He found that CV’s with religious mentions received 29% fewer email responses and 33% fewer phone calls than identical CVs with no religious references. Muslims received the most discrimination with 38% fewer emails and 54% fewer phone calls.

Comedians sue for right to advertise in New York subway

Elham Asaad Buaras

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) unfairly pulled an advert posters from underground stations across New York for a film about Muslims because it confused the humour in the posters for political statements banned under a new policy, the filmmakers charge in two new lawsuits filed on June 25.

The MTA is accused of ­reneging on a $15,000 deal to plaster movie posters on walls in 140 underground stations across New York.

The Muslims are Coming! by Negin Farsad and Dean Obeidallah is billed as a lighthearted look at the culture of the religion.

The adverts used what the studio calls “satirical and tongue-in-cheek” statements such as “The Ugly Truth About Muslims: Muslims have great frittata recipes” and “Those Terrorists are All Nutjobs,” with the word “nutjobs” substituted for the crossed-off “Muslim” because it was “more accurate.”

According to the studio, the film carries a message that “American Muslims are ordinary people,” and that the MTA had no compelling reason to ban it.

When the posters didn’t go up on the scheduled date in April, the filmmakers called the MTA but didn’t hear back for several days, and then were told the ads would violate a new policy that bans ads that are “political in nature.”

The filmmakers countered that there is nothing political about funny movie posters. One of the ads says, “Muslims! They invented coffee, the toothbrush and algebra…Oh wait, sorry about the algebra. That’s a year of class you’ll never get back.”

Another said: “Beware! The Muslims are coming! And they shall strike with hugs so fierce that you’ll end up calling your grandmother and telling her you love her!”

“We make a living as comedians and thought it was important to use our craft to talk about our community,” said Dean Obeidallah. “These ads are positive and our goal is to make people laugh while they simultaneously learn a little bit about Muslims. I think the people of New York will appreciate these ads and hope the court will grant us permission to run them.”

The studio also said the MTA had approved the ads in March, but withdrew that approval last month in light of its April 29 ad ban.

MTA spokesman Adam Lisberg said the agency had not been served with the complaint, and he declined to comment further.

“Our lawsuit will travel through the legal system slower than the G train,” the filmmakers wrote. “But at least it’s moving.”

Sikh pensioner assaulted for looking like a Muslim

Elham Asaad Buaras

An 82-year-old Sikh man who was brutally assaulted outside a Gurudwara in 2013 is still awaiting justice with a third delay in sentencing of the accused who reportedly mistook him to be a Muslim.

Piara Singh was attacked outside his home in Fresno, California.His lungs and head were badly damaged and he was left bleeding in front of Gurudawara. Members of Sikh community say that they are still waiting for closure in the case due to third delay in sentencing.

His attacker, Gilbert Garcia Jr, 31, was initially charged with attempted murder but admitted elder abuse and hate crime in February of this year. Community Advocate Ike Grewal said, “Sikhs have been attacked all over the US after 9/11 and this is not acceptable because we have been mistaken as radicals when we are not,” Grewal said.

Singh’s nephew, Charanjit Sihota said that police told him that they found Garcia hiding behind a tree in a neighbour’s garden and that, as he was under arrest he shouted that he hated “those people” and wanted to bomb their places of worship.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence event is to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to society. Over 850 people from diverse background, Muslim and non-Muslim, attended the gala dinner.

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