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.

Heroic Samaritan assaulted for defending Muslim women

Nadine Osman

A heroic Australian traveler was assaulted after defending three Muslim women who were subject to a vile Islamophobic verbal assault on a packed Melbourne train, Australia.

36 year-old Jason Cias was commuting home on the train on May 15, when he witnessed two men targeting the women who were wearing headscarves.

The train had pulled out of Melbourne Central station about 3.15pm when the unprovoked abuse began after one of the younger women sat next to the tradesmen.

One of them made reference to her headscarf, saying, “You shouldn’t be wearing that shit in Australia’,” Cias said.

Cias said the woman tried to put the men in their place, asking them what their problem was, and it sparked a heated exchange.

He said the older of the women appeared to try to calm the situation in Arabic, which was met with yet another barb from the men.

“The comment was, ‘You shouldn’t be speaking that shit in Australia’,” Cias said.

The women got off the train at North Melbourne and it was when one of the men called after them “I’ll f—ing smash ya” that Cias stepped in.

“I said to the guy, ‘Mate, they’re women’. The implication there was you don’t threaten people, particularly women,” he said.

Cias said he was told to mind his own business before one of the men stood over him and punched him to his left cheek.

“Even though the guy stood up and was acting aggressively, I didn’t expect to get punched. After that I walked towards him and grabbed his collar and held him at arm’s length and told him I would be laying charges,” he said.

The men moved to another carriage when another commuter intervened and separated them. Cias got off the train at Kensington with two witnesses, including Katie Parker, 28, who captured part of the assault on video and rang police.

“It was awful to witness that sort of violence in the middle of the day… Jason just said one sentence calmly and the attacker was really aggressive at the drop of a hat for no logical reason,” Parker said.

Cias, who suffered bruising and swelling but no long-term injuries, said he would change only one thing about what he did.

“I would have liked to have said something earlier. That’s probably my only thing…but I certainly wouldn’t change what I did, I don’t agree with that behaviour,” he said.

“Whether it’s Islamic women or whoever, it’s just not right they can abuse people like that. No one should be doing that to anyone regardless of race or gender or religious creed.”

German police officer force-feeds Muslim with rotten pork

Nadine Osman

German prosecutors are investigating a police officer who allegedly abused two refugees, strangling an Afghan man and forcing a Moroccan to eat rotten pork off the floor.

The police officer has been accused of bragging about the brutal assaults in text messages and photos he sent via instant messaging service WhatsApp to his colleagues in the western city of Hanover.

Human rights group Pro Asyl condemned the alleged incidents, first reported by public broadcaster NDR, for their “appalling level of racism and inhumanity” and demanded a probe into how many “accomplices in police uniform” knew of the violence.

Prosecutors are investigating the officer, who has been suspended, on charges of physical assault and illegal weapons possession and have searched his home and work place.

In the first alleged case, in March last year, the officer had bragged in a text message about beating, strangling and sticking his fingers up the nose of a 29-year-old Afghan man whose feet were cuffed after he was detained for not carrying ID papers.

The officer later bragged about the assault over WhatsApp and sent several photos and messages to his colleagues saying: “It was funny…squealed like a pig… It was a present from Allah.”

In the second case, months later, the officer allegedly targeted a 19-year-old Moroccan man, who had been detained for travelling on a train without a ticket, carrying a small amount of marijuana.

NDR reported that the policeman bragged about how he assaulted and then humiliated the man by forcing him to eat minced rotten pork off the floor.

A photo allegedly sent by the officer shows a handcuffed man lying on the floor, wincing in pain, and apparently restrained by at least two officers.

The officer has been suspended over physical assault and possession of illegal weapons as investigation continues.

Supreme Court rules against Abercrombie in hijab case

Nadine Osman

On June 1, the US Supreme Court ruled against Abercrombie & Fitch, 8-1, deciding that the retailer’s failure to accommodate a job applicant who wore a hijab violated her civil rights.

Abercrombie declined to hire Samantha Elauf in 2008 because her hijab violated the company’s “look policy,” which at the time prohibited employees from wearing head coverings. Elauf was never informed of the “look policy.” Elauf filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

The EEOC filed suit against Abercrombie, prompting the retailer to deny its policy was discriminatory because its ban prohibited all types of headgear and therefore was not based on religion.

Abercrombie has since changed its “look policy” to allow for headgear, including hijabs.

Abercrombie also argued that it was up to Elauf to request accommodation. Under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, employers must provide “reasonable accommodation without undue hardship.” The question before the court was whether the employer bore responsibility to provide that accommodation even when the prospective employee – did not ask for one. The high court ruled that it did, reversing a decision from the Tenth Circuit.

This was not the first time Abercrombie stood accused of discriminating against Muslims in its hiring practices. In September 2013 the retailer agreed to $71,000 in settlements after the EEOC filed two religious discrimination lawsuits. One of those lawsuits concerned a Muslim teenager fired from her stockroom job after she refused to remove her hijab. The other involved an 18-year-old job applicant allegedly denied an “impact associate” position after her interviewer asked about her hijab.

The Elauf case was a significant win for religious advocacy groups. In December, the Council on American-Islamic Relations filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court, recommending that it overturn the Tenth Circuit’s ruling on the grounds that “it places unreasonable burdens on individual job candidates and employees who outwardly display their religion through dress and grooming practices.”

A court ruling in favor of Abercrombie would have also had implications for pregnancy and disability requests, since it would have freed employers from the obligation to accommodate pregnant or disabled workers unless asked explicitly asked to do so.

Misconceptions about Muslims ‘rife’ in UK

Hamed Chapman

Many young people have negative attitudes towards immigration, believing that Muslims are “taking over” the country and foreign-born workers are “stealing jobs”, according to a new study.

The research, conducted by Show Racism The Red Card, suggests that misconceptions about migration and other cultures are rife, fuelled by distorted views about the numbers of immigrants living in the UK.

It found that more than a third (35%) of the almost 6,000 pupils questioned believed that “Muslims are taking over England” and that more than one in four (28%) that jobs being taken by foreign workers might stop them reaching their goals.

The research, part of a two-year programme of work by the charity designed to combat the influence of far-right groups on young people, surveyed 10 to 16-year-olds in 60 schools across England who took part in anti-racism workshops between April 2012 and April 2014.

It found that youngsters overestimated the number of foreign-born people living in the UK, suggesting that around 47% were born overseas. In reality, 2011 census data indicates that the actual figure is around 13%, the charity said.

Of the 3,362 youngsters who answered the survey between April and November 2012, nearly half (49%) had agreed that migration to the UK is out of control or not being managed properly.

And of the 2,638 who were polled between November 2012 and April last year, even more (60%) believed it was true that “asylum seekers and immigrants are stealing our jobs”.

The study did find that when asked how they would describe what it means to be British to someone from another country, many of the answers young people gave were positive, highlighting areas such as the NHS, the education system, freedom of thought and even the weather.

It also reveals that many youngsters have concerns about the future, with 35% of all of those surveyed saying they do not think they will achieve their potential at school, and 40% saying they do not believe they will have enough, or earn enough money in the future.

Over two in five (43%) think that there is a lack of work opportunities, the study found, while “jobs” was the most used phrase by young people when asked about the negative aspects of living in a multicultural country.

“This data provides an evidence base which supports our experience in recent years working with young people throughout the UK; the presence of fears and misconceptions about issues of immigration, Islamophobia and ‘Britishness’,” said Chief Executive Ged Grebby of Show Racism The Red Card.

“Through Show Racism The Red Card’s work in schools we have found that there is a large amount of negativity when young people are asked questions about ‘immigration’ or ‘Muslims’. This survey shows that this is fuelled by a totally distorted view of the number of immigrants and Muslims in the UK.”

“It is only once we acknowledge the existence of these attitudes and identify the influences at work that we can deliver the right kind of educational interventions to help build the capacity to resist racist ideas and attitudes among young people.”


Muslim mother assaulted during school run

Elham Asaad Buaras

Police are investigating after a group of women allegedly ripped off a Muslim mother’s hijab during an Islamophobic attack as she went to collect her children from school in Croydon.

The young mum was allegedly set upon by three women “for wearing a headscarf” as she walked towards private Islamic primary school Al-Khair in south London.

She was going to collect her two young children on June 4 when a number of women started “shouting and hurling abuse”.

They allegedly asked if she was hot in the headscarf – before yanking it off and punching her.

The mother, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “They pulled my headscarf off and started punching and kicking me.

“One was dragging my head down while the others were hitting me. They were being so racist and using derogatory terms.”

She said she was left with whiplash and chunks of hair missing, but suffered no significant physical harm and the London Ambulance Service was not called.

The alleged attack in Derby Road, close to the school, only stopped when another parent jumped in, according to police.

Officers were called to the scene at about 3pm. Two women, aged 18 and 35, were arrested on suspicion of assault and a racially aggravated public order offence.

They were taken to a police station before being bailed to return at a later date. Officers continue to investigate, Scotland Yard said.

Quizzed by The Muslim News on why the women were arrested under racially aggravated offence and not religiously aggravated, a Metropolitan Police spokesman said, “This is the initial charge” adding it could be changed should they be charged later.

We don’t hire Muslims, Mumbai-based company tells candidate

Elham Asaad Buaras
Zeshan Ali Khan, posted a screenshot of an email he received the previous day from Hare Krishna Exports Ltd, on his Facebook page

A Mumbai-based diamond company is being investigated for discrimination after it explicitly informed a Muslim MBA graduate that his job application is being rejected on the grounds of his faith.

The storm erupted on May 20 after Zeshan Ali Khan, posted a screenshot of an email he received the previous day from Hare Krishna Exports Ltd, on his Facebook page.
The email simply read; “Thanks for your application. We regret to inform you that we hire only non-Muslim candidates” .

We don’t hire MuslimsThe viral reaction to Khan’s facebook page prompted, the company to issue a statement regretting “any hurt caused” by the incident as well as a denied it discriminates against Muslim candidates.

Savji Dholakia, founder and chair of HKE, contended that the “erroneous email” was “a mistake” committed by a junior trainee, Dipika Tike, who joined the “firm’s HR team only two months ago” and was not aware of the company’s culture. “She did not realise the gravity of her blunder,” said Dholakia. “There is no official policy or rule in the company that prevents people of a particular caste or religion from getting employment. We had no intention of appearing biased or hurting sentiments,” he said.

The company’s apology to Khan was accompanied by a job offer, an offer Khan says he rejected due to the company’s inadequate explanation which he says merely demoted the incident to “ a clerical error” by newly employed junior trainee.

In an interview with The Muslim News the 22 year old said journalists had since uncovered that contrary to company’s claim Tike “was working with the firm for the last 4 years and holds a senior post”.

According to the screenshot of Tike’s LinkdIn profile which has since disappeared, Tike worked with the Gammon group as an HR executive and Manager-HR and admin with Muez-Hest India Ltd.

Tike came to HKE with 4 years of experience and joined the firm with as ‘Human Resources Generalist’. Her job description at the firm was “recruitment, employee engagement, MIS, etc.” The page did not mention HR trainee under any field of expertise.

“I have been informed that the company is just trying to make the poor lady a scapegoat by pressurizing her to take the blame on herself. Also I have been told that she approached the Bombay High Court for anticipatory bail.”

Khan said he initially laughed when he read the email, “I thought it might be some stupid joke but when I discovered that my friends who applied with me were called for an interview the next day, I was shocked and disgusted. I realized that this is unacceptable.”

“My friends final round of interview was taken by the aforesaid trainee which proves she was a senior manager however my friends refused to accept their offer letter and as solidarity decided to walk out. ”

Khan case of religious discrimination has been taken by India’s National Commission for Minorities.

School governors urge parents to reconsider mosque visit after ‘guns and violence’ fears

Elham Asaad Buaras

Parents who withdraw their children from a RE trip to a mosque over fears they would witness “guns and violence” have been asked to reconsider the decision by governors from Lostwithiel School.

The governors correspondence – ahead of the trip due on May 7 – comes as Muslims in Cornwall revealed they are becoming targets of Islamophobic abuse due to concerns over the ISIS.

According to media reports 10 parents refused permission for their children to take part in the trip. The visit trip, which is part of the curriculum, will include Exeter Cathedral, followed by a tour of the mosque, where pupils will “observe a congregational prayer and be able to ask questions.”

One parent told the school they had “grave concerns” about the safety of children due to news coverage of ISIS.

Education Secretary of the Cornwall Islamic Community Centre, Mostofa Abdul Rahman, said that local Muslims had noticed a change in attitudes towards their faith in recent months.

Mosques in Cornwall have been defaced with graffiti and community members have become concerned about the amount of misinformation about Islam circulating among local people.

“There are definitely some changes. The police come to the mosque quite often and ask people if they’ve suffered because of this,” said Mr Rahman. “From what people hear in the news, that’s what they’re expecting [Muslims] to think. This will bring their children into thinking that way too. There will be a big problem later on.”

Rahman welcomed teachers’ efforts to help pupils understand the religion.

“The parents have to really learn a bit more about Islam themselves, from the right sources, before they make a decision. I have been trying all my life to clear this nonsense up.”

In a statement Chair of the governors at Lostwithiel school, Kat Smith, said: “The visit to the mosque will provide an insight for pupils into the nature of British Islam, help them understand how Islam is presented in the media and that groups like Isis are not a true reflection of the Islam followed by the vast majority of Muslims in Britain

French mayor illegally counts Muslim children

Nadine Osman

A Mayor in France has been accused of racism and acting illegally on May 5 after using the names of school children in his southern French town to decide how many were Muslim.

Under France’s strict secularism laws, the Government does not keep statistics on people’s religion or ethnicity.

Robert Menard: French mayor questioned by police over claims files were kept on Muslim school children

However, Mayor of Béziers, Robert Ménard, said his administration had used lists of pupils’ names to decide how many were Muslim, and claimed the figure came to 64.6 percent.

“Sorry to say this, but the town hall has, class by class, the names of the children,” said Menard, a 62-year-old former journalist who was elected in 2014 representing the Arise Republic movement, has always been backed by the far-right National Front.

“I know I don’t have the right to do it. Sorry to say it, but the first names tell us their religion. To say otherwise is to deny the evidence”.He added that there were schools where the “majority of mothers don’t speak French”.

His comments brought condemnation from the Socialist Government, with Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, tweeting “shame on the mayor”. “The Republic does not make any distinction between its children,” Valls said before adding that the scandal shows “the reality of the far-right”.

President François Hollande said the list was “against all the values of the Republic”.

Education Minister, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, said she had called for a judicial investigation, saying Menard’s statements were “profoundly anti-Republican”.

Head of Collectif Contre l’Islamophobie en France, Abdallah Zekri, said he was “scandalised and sickened by these comments”. “Moreover, you can be called Mohammed without being a practising Muslim,” he added.

However, the town hall of Béziers denied that there was any list of children’s names or that any effort had been made to identify which were Muslim. “The town hall of Béziers does not have, and has never had, files on its children,” it said in a statement. Police raided the town hall to gather evidence.

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.

Latest Tweets

The Muslim News

The Muslim News
Read more