Republican presidential candidate reiterates opposition to a Muslim president

Elham Asaad Buaras

Republican presidential candidate Dr Ben Carson continued airing his opposition to a Muslim becoming US president, a view which embroiled him in a row with America’s largest Muslim civil rights group who branded his opinion unconstitutional.

In an interview with ABC on September 27, Carson, a member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, said Muslim Americans would have to “subjugate” their faith before being elected.


Referring to criticism of his previous remark that he “would not advocate” a Muslim president, the retired 64 year-old neurosurgeon said: “I said anybody, doesn’t matter what their religious background, if they accept American values and principles and are willing to subjugate their religious beliefs to our constitution, I have no problem with them.”

Asked by ABC host Martha Raddatz about his comments on Muslims and the presidency, Carson said: “What we should be talking about is Islam, and the tenets of Islam, and where do they come from?

“They come from Sharia. They come from the Qur’an. They come from, you know, the life works and examples of Muhammad. They come from the fatwas, which is the writings of scholars.

“You know, and if you go back and you look at – what I would like for somebody to show me is an improved Islamic text that opposes Sharia. Let me see – if you can show me that, I will begin to alter my thinking on this.

“But right now, when you have something that is against the rights of women, against the rights of gays, subjugates other religions, and a host of things that are not compatible with our constitution, why in fact would you take that chance?”

Carson’s views had led to a war of words with the Council on American-Islamic Relations – (CAIR) after its Executive Director Nihad Awad, called on him to withdraw from the race for expressing an opinion in violation of Article VI of the constitution which rules: “No religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”

The first amendment to the constitution also rules: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …”

Carson retaliated by starting a petition calling for CAIR to lose its charitable tax exempt status.

Carson argued that by demanding he drop out of the race CAIR had “brazenly violated IRS rules prohibiting tax-exempt nonprofits like CAIR to intervene in a political campaign on behalf of – or in opposition to – a candidate.”

Communications Ddirector for CAIR, Ibrahim Hooper, hit back arguing the organisation did not violate “any IRS regulation in that we did not ’participate in’ or ’intervene in’ any political campaign. We, as mandated by our mission as a civil rights organization, merely expressed the opinion of our community that a candidate whose views violate Article VI of the Constitution is unfit for public office.”

CAIR also accused Carson of using, “a federal government agency to silence his critics”.

Hooper also asked “if that tactic would be used to suppress First Amendment freedoms should he become president.”

French Muslims four times less likely to get a job interview than Catholics

Elham Asaad Buaras

According to a think tank study published on October 9 a practising Muslim man is four times less likely to get a job interview in France than a Catholic counterpart.

The research was carried out by the Montaigne Institute which sent out thousands of CVs to job adverts using fictional names and backgrounds.

Men who identified as practising Muslims had a 4.7 percent chance of being asked for a job interview, compared to 17.9 percent of practicing Catholics and 15.8 of practicing Jews.

Catholics were twice as likely as Muslims to get a call back for a job interview.

The study was carried out by Marie-Anne Valfort, a senior lecturer at Sorbonne University in Paris, who sent 6,231 responses to job adverts between 2013 and 2014.

All of her candidates were Lebanese, born in Beirut in 1988 with the last name Haddad.

Valfort used the names Dov and Esther for Jews, Michel and Nathalie for Catholics, and Mohammed and Samira for Muslims.

They were also listed as having attended faith schools and religious scout groups.

“It probably under-estimates the level of discrimination: all studies show that discrimination is present at each step of recruitment,” said Valfort.

Valfort also created a “non-religious” set of candidates to see how that affected the results.

When Mohammed said he belonged to a secular association, he almost doubled his chances of getting a job interview compared with the Mohammed who identified as a practising Muslim.

Interestingly, Catholics halved their chances if they identified as secular instead of religious.

“It’s likely that an attachment to Catholicism is seen by recruiters as a sign that a man is more disciplined,” the study said.

Her next question was whether the discrimination still held true for exceptionally gifted candidates.

She created profiles with excellent school results, skills and experience.

This removed discrimination when it came to women, with Jews and Muslims doing just as well as Catholics.

But for men, it actually made things worse: a gifted Catholic man was five times more likely to get an interview than a gifted Muslim, and 1.5 times more likely than a Jew.

France’s biggest Muslim advocacy group which records Islamophobia in the country welcomed the study but say they are unsurprised by Valfort’s findings.

“Islamophobia has become an acceptable form of racism which is met with total impunity,” said Yasser Louati, spokesman for the Collective Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF).

He told The Muslim News 69% of all reported Islamophobic incidents in France involve a form of discrimination.

“Discrimination is a deeply rooted practice in French society and this study, which is not the only on the topic, confirms the findings of the CCIF that being perceived as Muslim in France is enough to exclude you from the rest of society.”

Greek mosque vandalised

Elham Asaad Buaras

A mosque in Greece’s Western Thrace region has been vandalised. The Yeni mosque in Komotini, a town of 50,000 people, including many Muslims, was attacked on October 9 and the doors to the building were daubed with the words “Turks out”.

Greece has seen a rise in attacks on Muslims and Jews in recent years, coinciding with the rise of the far-right Golden Dawn party, which entered parliament in 2012.
In April, a fire at Komotini’s largest mosque damaged the entrance and roof.
In October last year, attackers placed a severed pig’s head outside an Islamic studies centre in Athens and painted anti-Muslim slogans on the building.

Western Thrace has a significant Muslim community. It was a part of Ottoman Empire before coming under Bulgarian and then Greek control around the time of World War I.

Man hands himself in to police after Islamophobia bus video is released

Elham Asaad Buaras

A 25-year-old man has handed himself in to police on October 19 after video footage emerged that appeared to show a man screaming Islamophobic abuse at a Turkish pensioner, and then seeming to throw his walking frame out on to the pavement.

The video emerged days after another incident where mother-of-three Simone Joseph was caught on camera Islamophobically abusing a pregnant Muslim woman on a bus in Brent. Joseph, 36, pleaded guilty to causing racially aggravated distress after the footage went viral online.

The incident involving the Turkish pensioner, the passenger, who had a young child with him, appears to shout at the pensioner: “Go back to Turkey.”

The video also appeared to show obscene remarks about the victim’s daughter, wife and sister during a five-minute tirade on a packed bus in Tottenham, north London, with a significant ethnic Turkish population, on October 17.

“This video footage – which includes racist and Islamophobic abuse – has been brought to the attention of the [police],” the Metropolitan Police said in a statement.

The three-minute-long video, which appeared on the 5Pillars website, showed the assailant shouting at a man on the bus.

“Nobody understands you! Go back to Turkey and talk that s…That’s why you are here! F… free benefits on a walker,” the suspect is heard saying.

The video then shows the man throwing the walker – seemingly belonging to the victim – from the bus before leaving the bus with a child’s buggy.

The news of incident comes on the same day a woman pleaded guilty at court to another Islamophobic incident on a London bus on October 13.

In a statement to The Muslim News a spokesman for Metropolitan police confirmed Joseph “pleaded guilty to causing racially/religiously aggravated intentional harassment/alarm/distress, contrary to section 31(1)(b) and (4) of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 on October 19.”

Joseph, called Muslim Hanane Yakoubi, an “Isis bi#ch” and told her to “go back to your f@cking country” while travelling with her two-year-old child on a London bus.

Yakoubi, who Joseph threatened to “kick in the uterus”’, said she was struggling to sleep following the incident, and added that “I cannot take medication because I am pregnant… I do not know how to ask for help because I do not speak the language.”

The mother-of-three, handed herself in after footage of the incident, which was posted to Facebook by Mico Abrigo, went viral, and pleaded guilty to the charge at Hendon Magistrates Court .

She will now appear at Hendon Magistrates’ Court on November 13 for sentencing.

French councils refuse to accept Muslim refugees

Nadine Osman

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Syrian refugees p1, Editorial p2

No Muslim refugees, say Hungarian and Slovakian leaders

Nadia Osman and Oliver Boulton

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tusk took issue with remarks Orbán made in Allgemeine Zeitung.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Islamophobic poster displayed on pub window removed

Oliver Boulton

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Danish Muhammad cartoon editor awarded

Elham Asaad Buaras

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

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

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

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

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

Baseball analyst suspended for Islamophobic tweet

Nadine Osman

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

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

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

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

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

The tweet was later deleted.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Elham Asaad Bauras

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

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

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

Maughan then mimicked the way Muslim people pray.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Man in court over attack on Autistic Muslim teen

Nadine Osman

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Islamophobic attacks increase by 70% in London

Sahra Mohamed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Two Muslims shot in the head by air rifle

Oliver Boulton

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

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

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

The second victim has returned home after treatment.

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

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

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

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

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

Elham Asaad Buaras

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nadine Osman

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

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

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

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

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

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

Islam religion of hatred, says brummie pastor

Elham Asaad Buaras

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Driver accused of Islamophobia

Elham Asaad Buaras

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stockport Muslim assaulted

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

Oliver Boulton

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Muslim family attacked on train

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Teenager injured in Islamophobic attack outside Coventry mosque

Elham Asaad Buaras

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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