Turkey is in shock – but many will have seen this attack coming

The Guardian World news: Islam - 2 hours 2 min ago

As Turkey comes to terms with the worst terrorist outrage in its history, the dealings of Tayyip Erdoğan’s government will come under scrutiny

The blame for the horrific bomb attacks in Ankara that killed 86 people at a rally involving Kurdish peace activists is likely to fall on Islamic State terrorists operating across Turkey’s long border with Syria and Iraq. But the proximity of Turkish general elections, due on 1 November, is certain to raise suspicions among opposition parties that dark forces supportive of the hardline government led by president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan may be involved.

Isis‎ is in open conflict with Kurdish nationalist fighters in both northern Iraq and Syria. Last July a suicide bomber or bombers, reportedly of Turkish origin, attacked a pro-Kurdish peace rally in Suruç in the south-east of the country. On that occasion, 37 people were killed.

Related: Ankara attacks: innocent hearts beating for peace are brutally stopped

Related: Turkey terror attack: scores killed in twin Ankara blasts

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Was It Only Ever About Muslims Or Are The Conservatives Moving To Stage Two?

Islamicate - 2 hours 52 min ago

As the season of party conferences draws to a close, with battle lines drawn the next five years will prove a decisive showdown. The Prime Minister’s agenda explicitly confirms that the Conservatives will be continuing their muscular approach towards immigration, national security and welfare reform; and in true Orwellian style anyone who disagrees with the Government will find it increasingly difficult to air grievances, be it through striking or advocacy, from faith groups to teachers and junior doctors.

However, beyond the simple concerns of the Muslim populace, the Conservatives, as has been the argument at Islamicate, have now moved into their second phase of extending the rhetoric of securitisation beyond the Muslim community. We have continuously argued that the moral panic around Muslims has merely been the initiation of an approach that seeks to restrict the freedoms of all in society. Muslims in being a group made up predominantly of ethnic minorities; a community that is relatively new, not very well established and unorganised has proved a logical starting point. However, one might assume that the next step would have demanded something low-profile to keep up momentum yet re-election seems to have emboldened the neo-conservative machinery: Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour party finds himself the next target.

The Prime Minister it seems has been borrowing from the tactics of a friend; the misinformation adopted out of Rupert Murdoch’s handbook had him describing Corbyn, an English representative of the people and leader of the opposition as ‘security-threatening, terrorist-sympathising, Britain-hating…’ Now interestingly, every ad hominem is in some way related to Muslims – a clever strategy now that the demonisation of the Muslim community seems to be in full swing, it is rather more effective when moving on to the second post to somehow link it to the already tarnished first one.

So Corbyn becomes a ‘threat to security’ – this vernacular already entrenched in the public psyche when it comes to Muslims – merely because Corbyn believes in a nuclear-free world (the most he might be charged with is naivety). Similarly, the rest of the rhetoric was legitimised by shameful distortions, such as labeling Corbyn a terrorist sympathiser for considering Bin Laden’s death a ‘tragedy’. However, as it is known to most, Corbyn was simply referring to the lack of due process – rather than instituting the rule of law Bin Laden was assassinated. In the context, and exposing the dishonesty of Conservative rhetoric, it this not one of the fundamental British values that Mr Cameron fervently espouses, or is it that the rule of law should only be applied in specific situations?

In fact, there seems to be a great move to paint Mr Corbyn as a supporter of terrorism. He is spuriously linked with groups such as Hamas and the IRA simply due to efforts to reach out to those whom he has explicitly stated to disagree with, adding quite reasonably that it would be nigh impossible to achieve peace without engaging with these groups in some manner. Yet as the defamation continues, Corbyn’s detractors agitate the already sown misgivings, Corbyn’s clarified approach is merely a façade to his true radical beliefs. But if this is the case, what are we then to make of Cameron’s most recent sentiment towards Saudi Arabia so gallantly exposed by the journalist Jon Snow who in a recent interview pressed the Prime Minister on the issue of Ali Mohammed Al-Nimr, who faces beheading and crucifixion for taking part in pro-democracy protests at the age of 14, that is, displaying another quintessential British value. Not only is Cameron more than willing to overlook these ISIS-esque punishments but also previously struck a secret deal to laughably allow both nations’ election to the UN Human Rights Council.

Whilst these revelations are worrying in themselves, the Prime Minister excuses what he himself considers to be an undesirable association arguing that Saudi intelligence has helped to foil terrorist plots on British soil and so, his contrived friendship with the Saudis is justified in the interests of the British people. Yet, this particular line of reasoning is somehow deplorable when expressed by Corbyn, provoking the most hypocritical of attacks. The silence of rightwing commentators who vociferously condemn Corbyn on the same issue illustrates a nefarious plan, to use fear mongering and deception to vilify those antithetical to a neo-conservative and neo-liberal capitalist agenda. Given that even the leader of the opposition isn’t safe from such bold mendacities, Muslims, as a faith group completely unrelated to the interests of the ethnic communities that substantially make up British Muslims must organise with a new, robust and effective leadership to join other citizens in resisting the belligerence and antagonistic approach of the Conservative cabinet.

Pro-diversity and anti-mosque protesters in standoff in Bendigo park

The Guardian World news: Islam - 15 hours 11 min ago

A heavy police presence keeps rival demonstrations apart in Bendigo as hundreds gather, either to oppose a mosque development or support it

Related: Anti-mosque protesters 'bringing hate and bigotry' to Bendigo, says premier

Rival protest groups have converged on a park in central Bendigo, Victoria, where a standoff was under way on Saturday afternoon.

Related: Victoria police will guard mosques after warnings about rightwing protests

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The day I met the other victims of extremism: boys brainwashed to kill | Stan Grant

The Guardian World news: Islam - 19 hours 20 min ago

Most of the victims are Muslims – and as I saw as a war correspondent in Pakistan, the killers are often mere children turned against their own

In the mountains of Pakistan I met young men who would have killed me. They would have slit my throat, put a bullet in my brain, caved in my skull with a rock. After I was dead they would have severed my head from my body and displayed it as a warning to all.

Related: The stigmatisation of Muslims as 'could-be terrorists' has produced a toxic social order | Randa Abdel-Fattah

Related: Parramatta shooting: speculation is plentiful but the facts are few

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Muslim community split in response to violence committed in name of Islam

The Guardian World news: Islam - 9 October, 2015 - 22:32

The problem with blowback against Ben Carson? 'People take him too literally'

The Guardian World news: Islam - 9 October, 2015 - 20:07

The Republican presidential candidate has come under fire after a slew of incendiary comments touching on everything from 9/11 to the Holocaust. Can it be that it was all so simple as a misreading of his intent?

Ben Carson has a way with words. With the exception of Donald Trump, who has more practice, Carson is the most quotable presidential candidate in the current Republican field.

Related: Ben Carson claims Jewish people might have stopped Holocaust if they had guns

He’s trying to provoke discussion in an area that he thinks has not been appropriately discussed up to that time

Related: Ben Carson's healing hands and bedside manner have GOP donors dreaming

Ben’s used to dealing with people who are just about as informed, in a highly specialized field, as he is

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Doubts over David Cameron’s equality claims | Letters from Jonathan Lynn and others

The Guardian World news: Islam - 9 October, 2015 - 19:11

David Cameron’s pitch for the centre ground was also reflected in his reference to the poor outcomes of care leavers (A watershed moment? Deeds not words will decide, 8 October). In doing so he was following in the footsteps of Tony Blair, who in his first term of office introduced legislation and a raft of policy measures. Paradoxically, under Blair, Brown and Cameron’s coalition, though leaving-care services improved, there has been very little change in outcomes, as central and local government services failed to address three fundamental issues that blight care leavers’ adult lives.

First, too many young people move around the care system – a third of young people leaving care at 16-plus have between five and 10 placements. Second, very few young people do well at school and in their GCSEs – only about 7% go on to university. And third, young people leave care at a younger age than other young people – half of 20- to 24-year-olds in the UK are living with a parent, whereas most young people leave care between 16 and 18.

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Friday Links

Muslimah Media Watch - 9 October, 2015 - 18:55
Sara Niroobakhsh “illustrates with artistry the ongoing conflict between the desires and ambitions of Iranian women stripped of agency in a man’s world.” Bake Off winner Nadiya has “done more for British Muslim women than politicians” Puteri Hasannah Karunia is a popular Indonesian fashion blogger trying to change stereotypes of muhajjabas. 77 female lecturers sue Cairo [Read More...]

Islamophobic Paranoia and Hate Erupts in Florida Town After Photo Shows Muslims Praying At Beach

Loon Watch - 9 October, 2015 - 18:24

Muslim men praying in Wakulla County (Facebook)

Muslim men praying in Wakulla County

The paranoia of Islamophobia has reached “Mashes Sands Beach, Wakullah County, Florida.” Love the reaction of Vanessa More, the Christian mother of one of the Muslim men praying in the picture: “Hatred only leads to more hate, so now are you going to make every Muslim carry a card that says, ‘I’m a good citizen, I’m not affiliated with ISIS, I just want to pray.’”

By , Raw Story

A photo taken by a Florida county commissioner of a group of men observing their Muslim faith has ignited a racist backlash that spilled over into a recent government meeting, WTXL reports.

The photo was taken at Mashes Sands Beach in Wakulla County by county commission chairman Ralph Thomas and posted to his Facebook page with the caption, “Walked up on this at Mashes Sands this evening! First time seeing this in Wakulla County.” The photo has sparked an emotional storm that has included death threats.

“I’m raising the question of whether or not a group of military aged Muslim men… are praying on our beach, well label me whatever you want,” said Wakulla County Sheriff candidate Will Dance, according to WTXL. “The reason I brought this up is because my daughters use that beach, my wife uses that beach and gentlemen, under Sharia Law, the cutoff shorts and tee-shirts… that my family wears on that beach are considered offensive under Sharia and any Muslim man may carry out what he feels is fit punishment. And I’m sorry but that type of behavior cannot happen here.”

Muslim leader Imam Amro was interviewed by WTXL and assured people that in general, no Muslim would retaliate against anyone not wearing modest clothes because it’s none of their business.

“A sick brain, then you will find it in Islam and in Christianity, in any religion there is a sick brain, but this is something else,” he said. He also pointed out that Sharia is a divine religious law that is not forced on people who don’t know what it is or don’t want it.

Devout Muslims pray five times a day facing Mecca, which is what the picture seems to portray. Responses on Thomas’s post show a great deal of fear at what appears to be nothing more than routine prayer.

Vanessa Moore is the mother of one of the men who happened to be at the beach and was caught in the photo. She says her 29-year-old son never expected to attract attention and worried about the implications of the anti-Muslim hate on display.

“He never wanted to be in anyone’s spotlight, he was just out there, at a barbecue, praying,” she told WTXL. “Hatred only leads to more hate, so now are you going to make every Muslim carry a card that says, ‘I’m a good citizen, I’m not affiliated with ISIS, I just want to pray.’”

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US Muslim leaders brace for protests with potentially armed demonstrators

The Guardian World news: Islam - 9 October, 2015 - 18:14

Communities across the US worry over a gathering storm this weekend dubbed the Global Rally for Humanity: ‘There is so much misunderstanding’

Muslim leaders of mosques in some 20 cities in the US, including Phoenix and Oklahoma City, are preparing for anti-Islam demonstrations scheduled for Friday and Saturday by a loose group of potentially armed rightwing protesters.

Various Facebook pages are promoting the protests and calling on followers to go to any mosque, Muslim establishment or Islamic organization and voice their opinion on Saturday, 10 October.

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Hajj stampede death toll raised to 1,453

The Guardian World news: Islam - 9 October, 2015 - 14:09

Latest figure for tragedy at religious site outside Mecca, compiled by the Associated Press, is nearly twice official Saudi estimate

A fresh tally of casualties killed in a stampede near Mecca last month has raised the death toll to 1,453, making this year’s incident the deadliest recorded during the hajj.

The figure, compiled by the Associated Press, was gathered from officials and statements by 19 countries whose citizens were declared dead at the pilgrimage.

The figure is substantially higher than official Saudi figures. The kingdom’s government had placed the death toll at 769 during the stampede near Mina, a religious site outside the holy city, where religious rites are conducted as part of the pilgrimage.

The incident sparked a diplomatic row. Iran, which announced that 465 of its nationals were killed, blamed its regional rival, Saudi Arabia, for failing to protect worshippers at Islam’s holiest sites and condemned its leadership.

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The ‘Muslim penalty’ in the workplace can be overcome | Miqdaad Versi

The Guardian World news: Islam - 9 October, 2015 - 12:58
A Demos report highlights what really holds British Muslims back professionally, and how government and communities can act to help future generations

Amid the tub-thumping rhetoric on security and madrasas earlier this week, the prime minister also rightly spoke about the need to end discrimination and “finish the fight for real equality”. A report released today by the cross-party thinktank Demos highlights how British Muslims are strongly under-represented in the “top professions” compared to the population at large, and refers to the “Muslim penalty” that exists across ethnic groups in the labour market.

Related: Cameron accuses Corbyn of 'Britain-hating ideology' in conference speech

More than half the British population see Muslims as a threat

Related: It’s time the media treated Muslims fairly | Miqdaad Versi

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Malcolm Turnbull bins Team Australia and dials down the rhetoric | Lenore Taylor

The Guardian World news: Islam - 9 October, 2015 - 09:53

Tony Abbott divided Australians into ‘us’ and ‘them’ but the new PM’s recasting of these roles could help make the country – in all its diversity – a little bit safer

Malcolm Turnbull has binned “Team Australia” and we have so many reasons to say “good riddance”.

Tony Abbott liked to use the term, which portrayed the Australian community as a pre-existing “team” which migrant communities had to show they wanted to join, an “us” deciding on membership applications from a “them”.

Related: Tony Abbott's 'death cult' act is already wearing thin | Richard Ackland

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Muslims who don't like Australia should 'get out' – Parramatta mosque chairman

The Guardian World news: Islam - 9 October, 2015 - 07:06

‘We do not need scumbags in the community,’ Neil El-Kadomi says after first sermon since 15-year-old Farhad Jabar shot police employee Curtis Cheng

The chairman of the Parramatta mosque, where a teenager prayed before shooting dead a police employee, has said Muslims who reject Australian values should “get out”.

Related: Malcolm Turnbull urges Australians to show 'mutual respect' in battle against extremism

Related: Parramatta shooting: speculation is plentiful but the facts are few

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Malcolm Turnbull: extremism destroys the virtues of faith and religion – video

The Guardian World news: Islam - 9 October, 2015 - 06:30

Speaking in Sydney on Friday, prime minister Malcolm Turnbull called for the ‘fundamental Australian value’ of mutual respect to shape the national debate on violent extremism. His address comes a week after the shooting death of Curtis Cheng by 15-year-old Farhad Khalil Mohammad Jabar. He also said that those found Australian values ‘unpalatable’ were free to leave the country

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The stigmatisation of Muslims as 'could-be terrorists' has produced a toxic social order | Randa Abdel-Fattah

The Guardian World news: Islam - 9 October, 2015 - 05:22

To offer security to all its citizens, Australia needs a new counter-terrorism paradigm – one that does not use ‘terrorist’ as an everyday metonym for Muslim

Australia’s tough national security posturing in the past 14 years has cultivated a discourse and climate of fear and overreaction.

If our fears were based on objective reality, then domestic violence would evoke the toughest of legal, political, economic and media responses. We would understand that the greatest threat to our national security is the fact that the most dangerous place in Australia is at home.

Related: Malcolm Turnbull urges Australians to show 'mutual respect' in battle against extremism

It is the work of our justice system to draw conclusions, not politicians or law enforcement.

Related: Your theory about violent extremism doesn't help us understand why a teenager would kill | Anne Aly

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