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Rightwing media attack Affleck for defending Islam

Elham Asaad Buaras

America’s right-wing slammed Hollywood A-lister Ben Affleck for his defence of Islam on a US talk show. Affleck accused TV host Bill Maher of and “racist” depictions of the religion during a televised debate.

Appearing on HBO talk show Real Time with Bill Maher, the Oscar-winning actor and director Affleck reacted furiously to claims by Maher that Islam manifested as “the only religion that acts like the mafia” and which would “f@#king kill you if you say the wrong thing, draw the wrong picture or write the wrong book”.

Atheist author and philosopher Sam Harris also angered Affleck after suggesting: “We have been sold this meme of Islamophobia, where criticism of the religion gets conflated with bigotry towards Muslims as people. It’s intellectually ridiculous.”


Maher backed up the author, telling Affleck that he was wrong to state that fundamentalist beliefs were only held by “a few bad apples”.

Affleck responded: “Hold on – are you the person who officially understands the codified doctrine of Islam? It’s gross and racist. It’s like saying, ‘Oh, you shifty Jew!’ Your argument is, ‘You know, black people, they shoot each other.’”

He added: “How about more than a billion people who aren’t fanatical, who don’t punch women, who just want to go to school, have some sandwiches, pray five times a day, and don’t do any of the things you’re saying of all Muslims. It’s stereotyping.”

The actor’s comments won him praise on Twitter, but conservative US radio and TV outlets have since made Affleck a target.

Rich Lowry, Editor of the conservative National Review magazine, laid into the actor for an alleged refusal to accept “frank truths about the Muslim world” in an article published on October 7.

“He kept on insisting it is just a few bad apples who think this way,” wrote Lowry. “At one point, he tried to wave Maher and Harris off with a condemnation of the Iraq war, positing an implicit moral equivalence between an overly idealistic war of liberation and the stoning of apostates.”

On Fox News, guest Dr Zuhdi Jasser of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy referred to the actor as “Imam Ben Affleck”.

On the Fox & Friends show on October 7 Jasser said Affleck was “defending the theocrats, the status quo.”

While America’s Newsroom contributor David Webb accused Affleck of living in a “unicorn-like world” and suggested Islam was “an intolerable religion”.
Meanwhile, presenter Greg Gutfield of the Fox show The Five described Affleck as a “Caliphate crusader”.

On October 6 regular Fox guest Laura Ingraham asked what it might take for liberals such as Affleck to “wake up” to Isis atrocities in Iraq and Syria.

Four men jailed for throwing a pig’s head into mosque

Andrew Warner, Travis Crabtree, Thomas Ashton and Steven White

Elham Asaad Buaras

Four men were jailed on November 17 for throwing a pig’s head into Blackpool Central Mosque just two days after the murder of soldier Lee Rigby.

Preston Crown Court was told Thomas Ashton, 21, Andrew Warner, 31, Travis Crabtree, 25, and Steven White, 28, dumped a carrier bag containing the pig’s head in the car park of Blackpool Central Mosque in Lancashire. Ashton was given ten months prison, Warner seven months, Crabtree 14 months and White was given eight months.

The men were imprisoned despite a plea of clemency from the Mosque’s Imam who called on the judge in the case not to jail the four men who
admitted religiously aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress.

Ashfaq Patel said: “I don’t think they should be put behind bars.”

Clare Thomas, prosecuting, said a volunteer discovered the pig’s head in a bag outside the mosque, after receiving a Facebook message that an unpleasant package had been sent there. She said: “Parents and children had started to arrive at the mosque. Some of them saw the head and felt offended and angry.”

Investigating police found taunting messages on White’s Facebook, which read: “They will be fuming.”

Judge Knowles said: “People are and must be free to worship as they please and without this kind of foul attack on them and that which they hold sacred. Public order must be preserved. What you four did must be denounced”.

Barrister for the four men denied their clients were racists, saying it was ‘a prank that went horribly wrong.’

Welsh councillor denies using Islamophobic word

Elham Asaad Buaras

A councillor in Wales has denied his use of the term “muzzy” on his Facebook was an Islamophobic slur. Mike Harris, an independent Torfaen councilor, posted “Once a Muzzy!” alongside an article on Hamas reportedly executing informers.

Anti-racism campaigners Hope Not Hate posted his remark on their blog on August 26.
The post provoked more than 70 angry comments on the group’s Facebook page.
One reader branded his comments “unbelievable” and “unacceptable”, while another accused him of being “racist”.

The Muslim Council of Wales, called on Harris and all “councillors to refrain from using such inflammatory and divisive language in the future.”


Cllr Mike Harris used the term “muzzy” in a post on Facebook – but he denies the comment was an anti-Muslim slur

Harris has denies that his post was intended as a racist slur but that he was using the word in its proper meaning as set out in the dictionary, “Unable to think clearly; confused”.

While referring to the picture accompanying the article, which shows the executioners carrying guns, he said: “They are executing people so they must be confused and not able to think clearly or muzzy as it says in the dictionary.”

A council spokesman confirmed that the council has been contacted by members of the public regarding the post and have referred the public to the Public Service Ombudsman.

He explained that individual councillors are responsible for their postings on social media and are subject to a Code of Conduct, some aspects of which apply to a councillor even when he/she is not acting on council business.

He added: “Complaints that a councillor may have breached the Code should be made to the Ombudsman and the Ombudsman will decide whether or not to investigate.”

The Ombudsman confirmed that it has not received a complaint on the issue.

In 2012, the public services ombudsman’s office received complaints after Harris wrote on Facebook that he would rush an act through Parliament to “reclassify all immigrants as being illegal immigrants.”

The public services ombudsman concluded there was no evidence of a breach of the code of conduct.

McDonald’s manager arrested after launching racist tirade at Somali customers

Elham Asaad Buaras

A West African McDonald’s manager was arrested over a racist tirade against Somali customers. The victims say he told them: “All you fu@#ing Somalians are the same.” Yasin Farah, 27, and his friends went to the restaurant in south east London, for breakfast at 5.30am on November 2. He said the manager of the restaurant, who is understood to be black and had a West African accent, quickly turned on him and four friends.


Yasin Farah, Abdi Mahamud and Mohamoud Duhod were subjected to racist tirade by a West African McDonald’s manager

Farah, of Penge, said the manager jumped on the till and straight away was aggressive with the group.

“He was saying to my friend: ‘Can you not read, can you not see? What do you want for your breakfast?’ I didn’t understand why he was asking if he could read, so I jumped in and starting saying ‘just let him order his breakfast’.

“Then he started telling us to get the ‘fu@k out of the restaurant. You are a low life, get out of the restaurant, all you fu@#ing Somalians are all the same.’”

Farah said: “Then all of a sudden he says I am a low-life. ‘You are a low-life, get out of the restaurant, all you fu@#ing Somalians are all the same.’”

“A lot of his colleagues were coming in, trying to calm him down. The customers were shocked, his response was completely out of proportion. His actions, his mannerisms, the way he was saying the things he said, made me want to take action. I called the police. At the end of the day he’s the manager, you cannot set that kind of example. No one is allowed to speak to anyone like that in today’s society.”

A McDonald’s spokeswoman said: “We are aware of the incident and are working with the individual and restaurant team to ensure this never happens again. All are aware of the severity of this and are following internal HR processes.”

A police spokesman said: “A 41-year-old man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of a racially aggravated offence under section four of the Public Order Act. He was subsequently issued with a police caution.”

Muslim woman broke arm in Islamophobic attack

Muslim woman broke arm in Islamophobic attackMuslim woman was left with a broken arm in an unprovoked Islamophobic assault in Melbourne last month

Elham Asaad Buaras

A middle aged Muslim woman was left with a broken arm in an unprovoked Islamophobic assault in Melbourne last month. The latest incident is one of many Islamophobic attacks sweeping Australia following anti-terror raids involving more than 800 police officers.

The 48-year-old woman, who was wearing a hijab [headscarf] had been shopping at Lalor shopping Plaza when she was attacked. The woman’s daughter, Abrar Ahmed, saw the incident unfold from her car.

“A man approached my mum and said, ‘You Muslims, go back to where you came from’,” Ahmed said.

“As my mum turned around to see who was yelling at her in such a disgusting way, she saw this really big guy. He pushed her on the ground. She landed in the middle of the road. When she fell on the ground she broke her arm. She heard her bone crack.”

Ahmed said Islamophobic attacks on Muslim women are on the rise in Australia. “A lot of other Muslim women, they have been going through worse assaults, they are being attacked in very different ways and they don’t have the courage to speak out.”

Federal member for Melbourne, Adam Bandt, said the current political climate is contributing to an increase of attacks on Muslim women.

“It can divide our community and some people end up on the receiving end of abuse. In this case, Muslim Australians – and especially women – tell me they are being harassed and assaulted,” he said.

Brunswick police Acting Senior Sergeant Ben Davies said police take all reports of Islamophobic attacks seriously. “I think sometimes people have a fear of reporting or think there is no point in reporting, so we are engaging with the community to encourage them.”

The Australian Muslim Women’s Association (AMWA) say the Government’s “draconian” policies is helping fester division.

“The Prime Minister’s constant reassurance that he is not targeting the Muslim community and that we need to work as part of team are completely opposite to his statements that divide the community between those who are on ‘the team’ and those who ‘the community’ needs to take responsibility for,” said AMWA’s Silma Ihram.

She told The Muslim News Tony Abbott is “conducting his own ‘shock and awe’ with a massive media presence when he sent in 800 heavily armed police to knock down the doors of 12 homes in two states, which only resulted in 2 arrests.”

She added; “This was a clear message to the Muslim community that any sign of disagreement or threat would result in serious measures. His latest anti-terror laws include draconian provisions against the press with 10 years jail for reporting any aspect of special operations, the right not only to gather meta data in mass surveillance, but to edit it (why?!?) with 73 passports already cancelled.”

AMWA say numerous community requests to the Government for dialogue about foreign policies and engagement with Australian Muslims “and numerous other requests are generally ignored.

Young Muslim men are feeling increasingly disillusioned and unhappy.
Even senior and conservative members of the Muslim community, including myself have been expressing frustration at the actions of the Government, their lack of response and their incredibly paternalistic short term, knee jerk reaction to these events.”

Muslims cemetery plans rejected

Aishah Ali

Plans for a 4,000 plot Muslim cemetery in Catherine-de-Barnes, in Solihull, was rejected by Solihull Council on November 5. But a separate application for a 7,000 plot Muslim cemetery adjacent to this site still has to be determined.

Justin Smith, representing the applicants, Cemetery Development Services, told Solihull Council’s planning committee there was a significant demand from the Muslim community within five to ten miles of Solihull.

The plan received 2,125 letters of support, plus a near-400 name petition.
There were 380 objections.

Solihull Ratepayers Secretary Trevor Eames said there was already adequate burial provision for local Muslims. Councillors unanimously rejected planning permission for the 4,000 plot cemetery.

The proposed plans for 11-acre site in Catherine-de-Barnes village, near Solihull, Birmingham, were resubmitted after withdrawing in March 2014. The developers, Cemetery Development Services, have proposed plans for two neighbouring cemeteries.

The 4,000 burial spaces would accommodate Muslim only plots, in compliance with Islamic tradition, and a further request for an extra 7,000 spaces, would become an adjacent multi-faith cemetery if approved. The site would also include around 90 car parking spaces.

The Muslim community of Birmingham have said they are in desperate need for more burial spaces. Funeral Director, ZUQ Funeral Services, Mohammed Khalil, explained the urgent need for the plot. “The local Muslim population is growing rapidly, but the cemetery Muslims use is mostly Handsworth which is nearly full,” he said.

“Birmingham Council are making some provision but we still need more in the vicinity of the population. Don’t forget, the people who came here in the 1950s and 1960s are now old and dying fast.

“Before, they used to send people back home to their families in Pakistan and Bangladesh. But apparently now all their families are here and they have no-one back home. They are saying ‘this is our country now. We are living here and dying here so we should be buried here,” he added.

But leader of Solihull Council, Councillor Bob Sleigh (Con. Bickenhill), said the needs of local people could be met at the borough’s current plots. “There is no need for this extra site in Solihull. We have identified our population need and made provision for that,” he said.

“This is an extremely large proposal. Obviously people are concerned about the scale of the development and its threat to greenbelt land around Catherine-de-Barnes,” he added.

Both applications will be seen by the planning committee next month.

Over 1000 people sign petition to launch police investigation into Hopkins tweets

Elham Asaad Buaras

Police confirmed that they have received complaints and are currently trawling the tweets of former Apprentice contestant Katie Hopkins, although no investigation has been launched. A website calling for the arrest of The Sun columnist and TV airtimefiller has been created following a string of Islamophobic posts on her Twitter account.

Katie Hopkins

The site called Arrest Katie Hopkins has complained to the police, the Home Secretary and the Director of Public Prosecutions, where all petitions are sent. So far more than 1000 people have signed it.



It is not the first time Katie Hopkins took to twitter to ridicule Muslims

On November 10, Hopkins posted a series of anti-Palestinian messages on her account after reports of the stabbings in Tel Aviv apparently carried out by an Arab man on two Israelis, including one that labelled Palestinians “filthy rodents”.

“Palestinians busy knifing Israelis. 2 stage solution my arse. Filthy rodents burrowing beneath Israel. Time to restart the bombing campaign,” she wrote though it isn’t clear if the former reality star posted the comments herself or was hacked – although the offensive tweets remain on her account.

The website goes on to claim that her Twitter activity has gone from being merely “offensive”, which may have received protection from the Director of Public Prosecutions’ interim guidelines, to “hurtful and indeed racist” – and argue those guidelines no longer apply.

The site claims the police have so far not acted, so they want to take charge. An ‘arrest her now’ tab sits at the top of the site.

In a statement to The Muslim News the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign said: “We find it shocking that this kind of racism can be propagated by people in this country, and that human life seems to have so little value to those who call for the deaths of Palestinians. Any decent person should oppose racism in all its forms, including racism directed at Palestinians.”

It is not the first time Hopkins has offended Muslims. On July 27 the Sun newspaper was urged to sack Hopkins after she branded Prophet Muhammad an imaginary paedophile.

Reacting to a report on Rotherham Council’s handling of the sexual abuse of children by men of Pakistani descent The Sun columnist and TV airtime filler posted, “If you follow a religion where your imaginary prophet is a paedophile, I suspect you think it is ok to rape young white girls too. Bastards”.

Her outburst has been re-tweeted 575 times and favored 622 times. Her supporters quickly closed ranks online with many calling her “brave” while another tweeted, “Couldn’t have said it better myself #ReligionOfPeace.”

However, some called Hopkins out on irrationality, “since 95% of all pedo cases are by white guys, I guess you must be following the white god pedo yourself?”

They also maintained that Hopkins would not make similar claims of “Christianity in light of child sex abuse scandals in Catholic institutions or of white British people following the widely publicised scandals involving Jimmy Savile, Stuart Hall, Rolf Harris and a host of other famous faces. Indeed, the vast majority of men on the sex offenders register are white men – would Katie Hopkins tweet comments blaming Britons, or ‘white culture’ of Christianity for their actions?”

MEND told The Muslim News as the most widely read newspaper in the UK, The Sun “should not allow the views of bigots to grace its pages. It would not allow individuals who aired racial slurs or anti-Semitic remarks. ”

The Sun distanced itself from Hopkins remarks insisting its Editor David Dinsmore said the newspaper is “not responsible for the Twitter postings of our contributors, nor does it agree with everything they say. Katie’s opinions on Twitter, some of which can be questionable on a number of subjects, are her own.

Earlier this summer she made a series of Islamophobic tweets about Ramadan.

On June 29 the former reality TV tweeted: “Ramadan typically brings a spike in violence in the Middle East. I get grumpy when I don’t eat – but I don’t blow things up. Religion of peace?”


Brief Islamophobia

Man charged over mosque attack following CCTV appeal
A 20-year-old man has been charged in connection to a racially aggravated attack on a mosque in Warrington town centre. Nathan Hancox, was arrested on Au gust 28, and has been bailed. A17-year-old will also appear in court. He is due to appear at Hal ton Magistrates Court on November 10, charged with racially aggravated criminal damage. CCTV images of sus pects were released af ter the mosque on Arpley Street was van da lised in July, with a win dow smashed.

Race hate crime up in South Wales
South Wales has seen a 20% in hate crime compared to last year with the majority of crime being of a racially biased nature. In the afte math of Drummer Lee Rigby’s murder last year, race hate crime in South Wales more than doubled com pared to the same period the previous year. The Welsh Got under took a hate crime consultation in 2013 be fore publishing a Frame work for Action earlier this year.

Vandals target Muslim graves in Chadderton Cemetery
Islamophobic vandals carried out a sickening at tack on Muslim graves in Chadderton cemetery, Oldham. The assail ants up rooted head stones, trampled on flowers and kicked over memorials in what police branded a ‘heinous and sense less’ crime. The raid took place at the site, on Middle ton Road, be tween 8.30pm on August 15, and 7.30pm the following day. Ten graves – all in the Muslim section of the cemetery – were dam aged by vandals. Abdul Chaudhary Wahad from Al-Madina Mosque, who visits the cemetery with his children daily since his wife died nearly two years ago, told The Muslim News he was “very angry” and “very up set” when he saw the his wife’s and other dam aged graves. He added that this should not hap pen to any grave, Muslim or non-Muslim. The cemetery was built in 2011 and has 200 Muslim graves. It is being treated by the police as a racially-motivated attack and not as Islamophobic attack.

Attack on mosque was a joke

Gehan Bashumailah

Ellesmere Port mosque in Chester was subjected to a hateful attack by intoxicated perpetrator, Martin Peter Sallis. His controversial behaviour is said to be influenced and learnt through “school exercises” and “recent TV shows”. Meanwhile, Cheshire West and Chester Council’s planning committee approved plans for the mosque on September 3.

On August 8, Chester magistrate’s court issued a restraining order to stay away from the centre for a year. He is sentenced with 12 month supervision with drug rehabilitation and a three month curfew. In addition Sallis was ordered to pay court expenses of £85 – £145.

The 42 year-old, from Great Sutton, hung an England flag and children’s bunting on the scaffolding of the building which contained the drawn swastikas and KKK symbols.

Sallis continued vandalising the building with offensive and threatening messages such as “burn down the mosque with youse in it” which he later dismissed to be a “bit of a laugh” when he was drunk.

Prosecutor Anouska Youd recounted that one piece of the bunting contained the slogans “Abu Hamza burn in hell” and “burn in hell forever”. “There was also a swastika drawn on it with an SS added” she said and initials “APINF” and “KKK”.

The reasoning behind his racial crime was because he wanted to “fit in” with the ideologies of the local community whom he claims share unified Islamophoic ideals for the Islamic cultural centre located in King Street, Ellesmere Port.

Sallis, who is an alcoholic and former drug addict, is not new to disorderly conduct as he holds 15 previous convictions. However, he has pleaded guilty to racially or religious harassment. Stephen Ferns defendant of Sallis states “he is shocked by how bad what he had written has been” and that “he does not consider himself to have any deep rooted racial views”.

French Minister to sue over fake Arabic memo

Najat Vallaud-Belkacem has found herself the target of
Islamophobic attacks from the far right for her religion and Moroccan roots.

Elham Asaad Buaras

France’s newly appointed Education Minister announced on September 8 that she will be taking legal action over identity fraud after a fake letter advising French towns to offer a weekly Arabic language class in primary schools circulated on the Internet in her name.

Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, a rising star in French politics who is the first woman to hold the office of education minister, has found herself the target of Islamophobic attacks from the far right for her Moroccan roots.

Vallaud-Belkacem’s appointment as France’s first woman education minister in a reshuffle was taken by many right wingers as a “provocation”. This was the word used by the far-right magazine, Minute, on its front cover. While Valeurs Actuelles carried less flattering photo of Vallaud-Belkacem with the front-page headline “L’Ayatollah”.

The memo, complete with fake letterhead and a forged signature, said an official from the ministry would be contacting town halls shortly “to offer a voluntary hour per week to discover the Arabic language”.

“I strongly advise you to give the green light to this activity, which aims at breaking down the linguistic barriers that our children could encounter in the near future,” the document said.

The letter circulated widely on social networks in France, especially on Twitter.

“The education ministry files sue every time there is a case of identity fraud,” said a spokesman for Vallaud-Belkacem.

The apparent forgers made a series of errors, notably with the name of the ministry itself, which they called simply the “Ministry for National Education” instead of its full title, the “Ministry for National Education, Higher Education and Research”.

In addition, it does not fall within the ministry’s purview to offer extracurricular activities, which are organised on a local level, the ministry said.

Pig’s head dumped outside Athens’ Islamic centre

(Photo: The Muslim Association of Greece)

Elham Asaad Buaras

A pig’s head was dumped outside an Islamic studies centre in Athens, in a predawn Islamophobic attack on October 17. Vandals spray-painted a crucifix on the door, splashed blue paint on the walls and an anti-Muslim slogan on the pavement outside the Arab-Hellenic Centre, which also functions as a Muslim prayer centre, in the district of Moshato.

Photographs of the defaced building were posted on the Muslim Association of Greece (MAG) facebook.

No arrests have been made.

Greece has experienced an increasing Islamophobic and anti-Semitic violence, in concurrence with the political ascent of Neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn.

A state prosecutor demanded all the party’s MPs face trial for offences including allegedly running a criminal organisation.

Prosecutor Isidoros Dogiakos demanded that 70 party members – including leader Nikolaos Michaloliakos should appear before a criminal court on a series of charges including the murders of an anti-fascist rapper and Pakistani immigrant.

The extreme-right party won 18 seats in the 300-strong Greek Parliament after national elections in June 2012, its ascent precipitated by Greece’s economic crisis and growing unemployment.

Last year its support peaked at 15%, making it the third-most popular party in Greece.

It came third in the latest local and European elections on an anti-bailout anti-EU ticket and performed strongly at local elections in May.

In April Greece was told to toughen its measures to combat a surge in massive racial violence by Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights.

The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights published a report in which Nils Muižnieks said that he was “seriously concerned” by the increase in hate crimes targeting immigrants in Greece.

“Democracy in Greece is seriously threatened by the upsurge of hate crime and a weak state response. Sustained and concerted action, notably by the police and the courts, is necessary to protect the rule of law and human rights in the country,” said Muižnieks.

The Commissioner noted that there is only one appointed prosecutor to monitor hate crimes in greater Athens as well as police officers tasked to deal with the problem have only been trained for two days.

The Commissioner also expressed deep concern by “persistent reports of ill-treatment, including torture, committed by law enforcement officials notably against migrants and Roma.”

The report describes Golden Dawn as a “neo-Nazi and violent political party” that should be secluded under legally binding international human rights conventions signed by Greece.

US Football League admits mistake in penalizing Abdullah for religious celebration

Elham Asaad Buaras

American NFL player Husain Abdullah should not have been penalised when he dropped to his knees in prayer after an interception the National Football League (NFL) ruled on September 30.

Husain Abdullah scored for the Kansas City Chiefs as they defeated the New England Patriots 41-14.

The league’s rule book prohibits players from celebrating while on the ground, but spokesman Michael Signora conceded that “the officiating mechanic in this situation is not to flag a player who goes to the ground as part of religious expression, and as a result, there should have been no penalty on the play.”

NFL admits mistake in penalizing Abdullah for religious celebration

Angry fans took to twitter to show what they say was an double standards in the Abdullah’s punishment pointing to the fact former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow was never punished for his his prayer

The flag thrown in the fourth quarter led to criticism, fans took to social media to point out that there were plenty of Christian players who marked their touchdowns with signs of deference or religious tributes.

Many are wondering how it was different from players such as former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow dropping to one knee in Christian prayer.

Abdullah is a devout Muslim who took a year off from football to make a pilgrimage to Makkah. He said after the game that he knew before he even reached the end zone he would drop to his knees in thankful prayer after intercepting Tom Brady.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, asked the NFL take steps in response to the penalty.

“To prevent the appearance of a double standard, we urge league officials to clarify the policy on prayer and recognize that the official made a mistake in this case,” CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper said.

The NFL Referee Association backed the match officials insisting the referee was correct in flagging Abdullah, not because of the prayer, but because of the slide that preceded it.

“Both the officials and the player involved in the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty were not confused as to why a flag was thrown. The player was flagged, correctly, for the slide on his knees in the end zone, not for going to the ground in a prayerful gesture,” said recently retired Referee and former NFLRA President, Scott Green. “On field officials are aware of the prayer provision and respect the right of players of all faiths to express themselves.”

Muslim banned from working in nuclear facility in France

Aishah Ali

Lawyers for an engineer, who has been banned access to nuclear sites in France, have called the decision ‘pure Islamophobia.’ But authorities claimed it was for security reasons.

The 29 year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was employed by a firm subcontracted by the energy company EDF. He worked as a project manager and as part of the role he was allowed access nuclear installations from 2012 to 2013. However, in March 2014 he was refused permission to work at Nogent-sur-Seine nuclear power station in Eastern France. Authorities said he had failed a vetting process and was not allowed entry.

Officials alleged he had links with a terror group and that he was in contact with an imam involved in recruiting people to fight in Iraq. These claims were rejected by the suspect, and his lawyer Sefen Guez said, “There is no proof of these supposed links.” Later in June the ban was overturned by an appeals court. Yet back to work a month later and the man was refused access again.

The court in the North-eastern town of Chalons-en-Champagne had revealed that the management could prevent those “undergoing a process of political and religious radicalisation” from accessing sensitive sites.

Sefen Guez said: “This country respects the rule of law and my client, a qualified man with no criminal record who practises his religion in a normal way, like many other French Muslims, would quite naturally like to know the reasons for this ban.”

He added that “considering the current atmosphere in France, his religious leanings cannot be ruled out” as a reason behind the ban. But officials from the police chief’s office said: “It goes without saying that the ban was not based on criteria such as religion or race. Our judgement is based on security issues.”

The court in the North-eastern town of Chalons-en-Champagne upheld the ban saying the management could prevent those “undergoing a process of political and religious radicalisation” from accessing sensitive sites.

The man now awaits the outcome as the second appeal case is pending a decision at the end of the month.

Former BBC presenter makes anti-Pakistani Facebook rants

Gehan Bashumailah

Former BBC Radio Bristol presenter, Sam Mason, launched a racist tirade last month about the sex abuse scandal in Rotherham on her Facebook page. In one of her posts, she wrote “Dirty dirty filthy p*ki Rotherham bastards.”

The post further stated “Some p*ki woman is blaming the government for not looking after the p*ki community! Wtf is that all about? Jesus Christ.

“Now, anyone I offended by booking my daughter a taxi can you please f#ck off.” (sic)

Her last remark, about booking her daughter a taxi relates to her sacking from the BBC in 2008 after she was recorded asking a cab company to send a ‘non-Asian’ taxi driver to pick up her daughter.

The recording was leaked to The Sun. Mason was said to have told the taxi operator, “A guy with a turban is going to freak her out. She’s not used to Asians.”

Among her series of Facebook posts, Mason also posted a link to a video entitled “The Horrific Muslim of Britain – Luton 2012” alongside the comment “If in any doubt, watch this. Rotherham is just the tip of the ice berg. How many of these are in Syria fighting for IS? Don’t let the b*****ds back. F**k PC.”

Defending her posts, she stated “F**k their human rights, they’re not human.”

Moreover, another post stated: “Being British isn’t about what colour or religion you are. It’s how you treat your neighbour. How you respect one another, how you integrate, respect and embrace each other’s cultures.

“It’s NOT about hard line radical retarded extremists who try to infiltrate our schools and prey on our children. It’s not about sending your wife out looking like Darth fekin Vader and trying to change our country into the s**t forsaken desert you came from. So please do us all a favour, come here and be BRITISH and if thats too much for you, please do f**k off.” (sic)

In another article, the Bristol Post observes Mason’s attempt to defend her comments by stating that she was referring to “radical Jihads and the home-grown idiots who go out to fight for IS” and not “the Muslim community we love and embrace.”

Mason stated, “May I make one thing clear – I love the Muslim community and have many Muslim friends, who have called me today with their wise words and support.

“It’s not about colour or religion. It’s about right and wrong. I don’t feel I have to apologise to the Muslim community, as my ‘rant’ was about the radicals and most certainly not about the Muslim community we love and embrace.”

EDL protests in wake of Rotherham sex abuse scandal

Elham Asaad Buaras

The Rotherham branch of the English Defence League (EDL) staged a protest outside Rotherham police station on August 27 following the release of the report on child sexual exploitation in the town.

EDL previously held a protest in the area in May against the “ideology of Islam”.

Similarly, Britain First reports that its supporters “stormed” the Rotherham council building, describing it as “the first installment [sic] of a new campaign” in Rotherham “against the council, the police and social services”.

The group’s far right supporters held a protest outside as well as inside the building. Pictures on their website show the group’s members holding a banner with the words “Justice for victims of Muslim grooming” written on it.

The ‘new’ campaign, however, appears to be an extension of an existing campaign, Operation Fightback, where the far right group’s supporters visit mosques and distribute inflammatory, anti-Muslim literature on “Muslim grooming gangs”.

The International Business Times said Britain First has seized upon excerpts from the report as if to justify their ‘mosque invasions’ while failing to acknowledge the report’s observation on “Good work…done by officers in developing a protocol on child protection issues in the mosques in 2008. Each mosque appointed a designated person responsible for child protection, and training was provided for imams and others. The current chair of the Rotherham Council of Mosques had made strenuous efforts to widen representation on his Council to include women and demonstrated a strong personal commitment to dealing with child protection and [child sexual exploitation].”

Islamophobia Brief

Muslim quits UKIP after online racism

A senior member of Leicester’s UKIP branch has quit claiming he had suffered online racial abuse at the hands of another party supporter. Ismail Patel complained to UKIP bosses about messages he had received on Facebook after making a comment about the crisis in Gaza.

The 26-year-old said party officials did not take action against the alleged offender so he decided to leave and join George Galloway’s Respect party. UKIP has said it was unable to substantiate his complaint with the evidence he initially provided – two screen shots – and had asked him for further information that would prove a UKIP member was responsible.

Police investigating graffiti at Vaughan mosque

York Regional Police are investigating after hateful graffiti was found at a mosque in Vaughan on July 20 . The messages were found spray-painted on the sidewalk outside the Jaffari Islamic Centre on Bathurst Street near Rutherford Road att around 7 p.m. police said.

One of the messages read “Arab go home,” while another referred to the conflict in Gaza. Police say they are now investigating the incident as a hate crime and are going through surveillance footage to try and gather more information. “We don’t know what time this actually occurred,” said Const. Laura Nicolle.

Islamism is the Nazism of our time, says Swedish politician

Sweden Democrats’ leader Jimmie Åkesson, has said “Islamism is the Nazism and Communism of our time,” as he launch the party’s push towards the general election in September.

Furthermore Åkesson said that he demanded that all aid to organizations and associations related to “Islamism” should be stopped, and directed his ire to the handful of Swedish citizens reported to be fighting in Iraq and Syria.

Britain First founder quits over mosque invasions

[How Britain First triumphantly announced its mosque invasions earlier this year]


Elham Asaad Buaras

The founder of Britain First, James Dowson, has resigned from the far-right group over its “provocative and counterproductive” mosque invasions.

Dowson, a former BNP member, announced his departure on July 27.

While Britain First blamed “media pressure” and family issues for the decision and said he would be missed “enormously” in a saccharine post. Dowson publicly shamed the group’s tactics as “unacceptable and unchristian”.

The 49-year-old said: “Most of the Muslims in this country are fine.

“They are worried about extremists the same as us. So going into their mosques and stirring them up and provoking them is political madness and a bit rude.”

Britain First posts triumphant videos of the so-called “invasions” on its website and Facebook page, where its paramilitary-style arm is seen confronting imams and worshipers.

The “invasion” of East London Mosque in May which is how Britain First described the incident on their Facebook page – ended after a local Community Support Officer had noticed three middle aged men and woman had parked illegally outside the mosque in Whitechapel Road, the four had run a red light as they fled.

In Bradford, the groups staged the protests outside 10 mosques, handing out bibles and urging worshipers to renounce Islam, as well as visiting the Keighley home of the Mayor Khadim Hussain.
The group also organises “Christian patrols” in ethnically diverse areas and has been known to hand out Bibles to Muslims.

The invasions are run by another Britain First leader, Paul Golding, who came in from criticism from his former ally.

Dowson said: “No matter how many times I told him [Golding] I did not want decent Muslims intimidated, he just continued doing it.

“I have come to the conclusion that no matter how hard I tried, you cannot escape from the fact that the group is being overrun with racists and extremists.

“I think he is fooling himself and lots of people that Britain First is a Christian group. Sadly, it has just become a violent front for people abusing the Bible.”

Muslim leaders have called for greater protection of places of worship following the mosque “invasions” in England and Scotland.

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) said Britain First had “violated a place of worship” and had “left many members of the community angered and disappointed with the inability of the Government and the authorities to curtail this type of thuggish behaviour.”

In a statement to The Muslim News the Muslim Council of Britain urged “the authorities and the Government to urgently reassure our communities that action will be taken to safeguard our places of worship as, up until this time, there has not been any form of public condemnation of this extreme behaviour which threatens the peace in our communities.”

Police officers to appear in court over assault on severely autistic Muslim man

Family of autistic man allegedly beaten by Beds officers doubt impartiality of probe[

[Severely autistic Faruk Ali, 33, was helping refuse collectors outside his home in Luton when according to witnesses two officers assaulted him]

Elham Asaad Buaras

Two Bedfordshire Police officers are to appear in court in connection with an alleged unprovoked assault on a severely autistic man.

Faruk Ali, 33, who also has learning difficulties, was helping refuse collectors outside his home in Whitby Road, Luton, on February 20 when, according to his family and witnesses, two officers assaulted him.

Christopher Thomas, 33, will face a charge of racially aggravated assault against Ali. Christopher Pitts, 39, and Thomas both face charges of perverting the course of justice and misconduct in public office.

They are due to appear at Aylesbury Magistrates’ Court on September 1.

His sister Husna Begum has described how she was woken by banging noises and the sound of him screaming ‘no’ on the morning of February 20 this year. She said she jumped out of bed and saw a man dragging him across the floor and punching him. The alleged attack was also witnessed by neighbours.

Leicestershire Police carried out the investigation for the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Prosecutor John Locke said: “It is alleged that Mr Faruk Ali…was assaulted on 20 February 2014 by PC Thomas and that this assault was racially aggravated. It is also alleged that PC Thomas and PC Pitts have perverted the course of public justice and committed misconduct in public office.

“I carefully reviewed all the evidence provided to me by Leicestershire Police and was satisfied in accordance with the code for Crown Prosecutors that there was sufficient evidence and that it was in the public interest to charge these two officers with these offences.”

Astonishingly his family says the attack in February was the second time that Ali was left “bruised and battered” after an encounter with the police.

According to the family, Faruk, who has the mental capacity of a 5 year-old, was first ill-treated by police in 2011.

Ali’s brother Kodor told The Muslim News only media interest in the latest incident has prevented the alleged assault from being “brushed under the carpet” like the 2011 incident.

NHS therapist denies bullying Muslim colleague

Victoria Wasteney, NHS worker taken to disciplinary over giving a Muslim colleague a Bible

Huda Abbas

A NHS employee has denied allegations she bullied her fellow Muslim colleague on her religious beliefs in June last year.

In February this year, an internal disciplinary found head of occupational therapy at the East London NHS, Victoria Wasteney, guilty of three charges of misconduct.

The occupational therapist was questioned about an incident where she gave her Muslim colleague a book about a Muslim woman who converts to Christianity.

She was found guilty of harassment when she had prayed with her and when she invited the woman to her church.

The complaints led to Wasteney being suspended on full pay for nine months. She had to accept a final written warning at work which will remain on her records for 12 months, and disciplinary actions were taken to prevent Wasteney from discussing faith at work.

Wasteney did not accept the repercussions and is taking legal actions against the NHS. She believed that the NHS was demonstrating a pro-Muslim bias due to political correctness. She emphasised that she made friends with the Muslim and had innocent conversations with her about faith. She stated that she took caution when discussing her Christian faith with her to ensure that she did not appear to be preaching.

Wasteney, from Essex, accused the company of stifling ordinary conversations about religious beliefs.
She was asked about her motives behind giving the woman the book. “It certainly wasn’t an attempt to convert her to Christianity, a friend had recommended it to me…I hadn’t read it. I still haven’t,” she said.

When the woman went on sick leave, Wasteney recommended a book about a Muslim converting that they had discussed at work.

Regarding the incident where they prayed together, the 37-year old claimed that her Muslim colleague came into her office in tears over health problems; Wasteney says she told her to draw on her faith, before they prayed together. “I said to her that she had strong faith and she should draw on that faith,” said Wasteney. “I said ‘Pray!’ She told me she could not pray, so I replied ‘Maybe I can pray for you?’ And she said ‘OK’.

Wasteney claims she invited the colleague to a number of church events after she showed an interest in the work they do against human trafficking.

Representing Wasteney Christian Legal Centre, Chief Executive Andrea Williams said the case demonstrated that “the NHS is increasingly dominated by a suffocating liberal agenda that chooses to bend over backwards to accommodate certain beliefs but punishes the Christian”.
A spokesman for East London NHS Foundation Trust refused to comment.

Katie Hopkins shares her unwanted opinion again on Ramadan

Jennifer G Andrade

Katie Hopkins offends Muslims with a series of Islamophobic tweets about Ramadan. Although she is known for her controversy Hopkins appears to have gone too far with her latest Twitter rant.

The 39-year-old former reality TV star, columnist and apprentice wannabe, tweeted on the first day of Ramadan on June 29, “Ramadan typically brings a spike in violence in the Middle East. I get grumpy when I don’t eat – but I don’t blow things up. Religion of peace?”

But she didn’t stop there, the mother of three then went to compare Ramadan to the trendy 5:2 diet saying: “if we take 5:2 as a basic idea, what is the ratio of Ramadan? 18:6? ”

Needless to say, Twitter users were quick to react, “Katie Hopkins. Islam is no Religion on Peace you say? I’m tempted to insult you, but falter because it’s Ramadan. You mentioned peace?”
Another added: “Oh dear how could I’ve not expected Katie Hopkins to make a ridiculous comment on Ramadan.”

Hopkins then went on attacking Islam, by posting a picture of a cake, captioning the picture with “Here we are my friends enjoying Ramadan. Another juicy cake for you.”

It wasn’t long before Hopkins was hit with more insults “You should start fasting as well!!!!! It will help you reduce the double chin.”

Another comment said: “Sometimes your opinions are on point but can you please just let people have their own beliefs without being unnecessarily rude.”

The TV personality seems rather amused by all the hatred she was attracting, “Angry people, please crack on with your diets and stop asking Allah to forgive me. I am beyond redemption.” She tweeted on June 30.

Hopkins then thanked her ‘fans’ for all their support, “Thank You for all your terribly kind support today-as ever. Sometimes it takes a woman to man up and tell it how it is.”

But there was no sign of an apology from Hopkins. In fact, she continued to insult Muslims.
A day later on July 1 asking her followers, “I am told there is a special place for me in hell. Can I just check – does it have free wifi?”

It’s not the first time Hopkins spouted bigoted opinions. In May she was forced to deny she was a racist when she dubbed “travellers” and “gypsies”, as “ferrel humans[sic]” (yes, she misspelt feral) that “we have no duty to”.

She also went on to lambast schools for introducing cultural assemblies to educate children about the traveller lifestyle and threw in a few source less figures about taxpayers’ money and how much of it we’re probably not haemorrhaging over their existence.

While many aimed abuse at Hopkins yet again, one Twitter user had a more effective approach, writing: “Muslims should continue to focus on our prayers. Ramadan is our time to perfect our faith. Let’s not get distracted. Pray for Katie Hopkins.”

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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