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France’s liberal traditions won’t be helped by the burkini ban | Will Hutton

The Guardian World news: Islam - 21 August, 2016 - 00:05
Western nations need to stop stigmatising Muslims as ‘other’ and champion institutions that speak to everyone

Liberal Europe is fighting for its life. Across our continent, it is suffering reverse after reverse before the onslaught of violent jihadism, which in turn can provoke Islamophobia. In vain do European liberal leaders – politicians, philosophers, civic officials and even some journalists – counsel against stigmatising an entire religion for each successive crazed killing. The wider population is less willing to hear pleas to hold its nerve. Muslims should be confronted and stigmatised. Let there be a clash of civilisations.

I told a close friend I was planning to write about the several French seaside resorts that have banned the burkini, backed by the prime minister, Manuel Valls, and Germany’s proposed partial ban on wearing the burqa in public places. This comes with the gathering strength of mainstream feeling in both countries that they need to affirm their secular values and identity, not least to close down opportunities for the extreme right.

Related: German minister to propose ban on full face veils in wake of attacks

A teacher I know, in a Welsh town, said how shocked she was at the scale of the anti-Islam prejudice she encountered

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‘They want us to be invisible’: how the burkini ban is dividing the Côte d’Azur

The Guardian World news: Islam - 20 August, 2016 - 20:41
As the national mood hardens following terror attacks, the seaside resort of Villeneuve-Loubet is divided over the new ‘religious offence’

Late last week, officers Lucenay and Roux of the municipal police were resuming their patrol of the beaches that extend from the vast marina complex at Villeneuve-Loubet along the Côte d’Azur towards Nice. This would normally be a routine duty during peak season, but now they have an extra task: to look out for “burkinis” – swimwear that covers the body and head, preferred by orthodox Muslim women but now banned by the town.

Related: Nice becomes latest French city to impose burkini ban

I don't think this is religious dress; there is nothing in the Qur'an to say you have to wear a burkini

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The fatwa hotline: 'We have heard everything'

The Guardian World news: Islam - 20 August, 2016 - 09:30

Can men and women work together? (Yes) Should I fast during Ramadan if I have my period? (No) These are just some of the dilemmas answered by women running a Muslim helpline in Abu Dhabi

Sheikha Naeema lifts her glass to take a sip of water, but the large grey telephone on her desk blinks again, red and insistent. It is only 9am and she has already spoken to 11 callers. The woman on the other end of the line is in distress.

“Peace be upon you, blessings be upon you,” Sheikha Naeema says in a soothing tone. The woman tells her she has given birth twice and that both babies were stillborn. Now she is pregnant again. Her doctor has said the foetus is showing signs of severe complications and will probably die. The woman wants to know if Islam will permit her to have an abortion. After clarifying a few other details, Sheikha Naeema issues a fatwa. “If the foetus is severely ill and will not survive, you may have an abortion,” she tells the woman. “You must take advice from your physician, he will guide you. Religion does not conflict with medicine.”

On the internet, not everything is correct... we teach people about the real Islam

When we communicate with another woman, we understand how she thinks

When a woman confides that her husband is having an affair, she is advised to urge him to have two wives

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Danish Turks withdraw children from 'Gulen-linked' schools

The Guardian World news: Islam - 20 August, 2016 - 03:47

Parents urged on social media to ‘Save your children from Fethullah Gulen’s terror organisation’s schools’

Hundreds of Danish Turks have withdrawn their children from schools with alleged links to the US-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen, accused by Ankara of masterminding last month’s attempted coup, it was reported on Friday.

A document circulating on Facebook listed 14 private schools in Denmark as being linked to Gulen and urged parents to “Save your children from Fethullah Gulen’s terror organisation’s schools”, according to a translation from Turkish by broadcaster TV 2.

Related: Fethullah Gülen: who is the man Turkey's president blames for coup attempt?

Related: Turkish court rejects Erdoğan's ban on his enemy's schools

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Nice becomes latest French city to impose burkini ban

The Guardian World news: Islam - 19 August, 2016 - 18:04

The French Riviera city was the scene of last month’s truck attack on Bastille Day revellers that left 86 people dead

Nice has become the latest French resort to ban the burkini, the full-body Islamic swimsuit that has sparked heated debate in secular France.

Using language similar to the bans imposed in a string of other resorts on the French Riviera, the city barred clothing that “overtly manifests adherence to a religion at a time when France and places of worship are the target of terrorist attacks”.

Related: Five reasons to wear a burkini – and not just to annoy the French | Remona Aly

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German interior minister backs ban on full face veils in public places

The Guardian World news: Islam - 19 August, 2016 - 09:35

De Maizière wants legal requirement to show face in some situations, saying full veil does not belong in Germany

Germany’s interior minister, Thomas de Maizière, has come out in favour of a partial ban on full face veils, amid a fierce national debate on integration.

“We agree that we reject the burqa, we agree that we want to introduce a legal requirement to show one’s face in places where it is necessary for our society’s coexistence – at the wheel, at public offices, at the registry office, in schools and universities, in the civil service, in court,” he said after a meeting with regional counterparts from his conservative party.

Related: German minister to propose ban on full face veils in wake of attacks

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Britain is full of inspirational Muslim women. They’re more crucial than ever | Mariya Hussain

The Guardian World news: Islam - 19 August, 2016 - 08:00

In a climate of heightened Islamophobia, these educated, interesting women are pushing at the barriers – and reminding us to be proud of our identity

Type “Muslim women” into Google Images and the most common photographs show a woman wearing a niqab staring out into the distance or straight into the camera. Some may see such images as a reaffirmation of their view that Muslim women are an orientalised “other”; that they are passive, homogeneous, and silent. However, I see a complete erasure of the identity of Muslim women, their work and their roles.

Related: For Muslim women life had been getting better. No longer | Yasmin Alibhai-Brown

Many Muslim women have sacrificed much in order to provide a life of better opportunity for their children

Related: Train passengers stand up against racial abuse of Muslim woman

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Oh, for a burkini in my youth | Letters

The Guardian World news: Islam - 18 August, 2016 - 19:12

I’m a pale person and I spent my formative years turning red on the beach and laying the groundwork for an impressive selection of brown blotches and spots that could easily turn nasty at some point. I could have done with a tiny burkini to keep my skin safe from the sun’s burning rays. My teenage years were riven with angst and embarrassment as I sought to hide my imperfections from public gaze. How I would have welcomed a swimsuit that could have shielded my pale, skinny frame from the eyes of the world instead of having to suffer the worst of British design that incorporated armoured bra cups which soared skywards when I lay on my back.

A trip to hotter climes saw me swathed head to foot in towels and sporting an impressive weight of greasy sunblock when I really needed a decent garment that didn’t leave my shoulders and thighs bare. Luckily these clothes are now available in the shape of swim tights and swim shirts so I can go to the beach covered head to foot in clothing that is designed to keep me safe in the sun and that works well as swimwear. If I want to add a swim hat to keep my hair from getting tangled in the water, I can do that … unless I am a Muslim woman (French minister for women’s rights defends burkini ban, 17 August). The burkini isn’t a million miles from some of the clothing sold to surfers or those who wish to stay safe in the sun, but because of the religious overtones, Muslim women are being denied the right to enjoy the beach and go swimming like any other person.

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Anjem Choudary was given platform 'by the media, not Muslims'

The Guardian World news: Islam - 17 August, 2016 - 20:15

Government is accused of alienating the very Muslims who have barred extremists such as Choudary from their mosques

Anjem Choudary was “given the oxygen of publicity” by sections of the media and ideologues more interested in culture wars than fighting extremism, even as Muslims threw him out of their mosques, Britain’s biggest Islamic group said on Wednesday.

Choudary’s conviction for urging support for Islamic State has sparked debate and soul searching about how he spread his message inciting terrorism for so long before being charged and convicted of a serious criminal offence.

Related: We’re still playing into the hands of Anjem Choudary | Miqdaad Versi

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We’re still playing into the hands of Anjem Choudary | Miqdaad Versi

The Guardian World news: Islam - 17 August, 2016 - 20:13
Britain’s counter-terror strategy has become a culture war, alienating the very people who oppose his extremism

Anjem Choudary was a gift for our media establishment. Here was a man who seemed to have more journalists on speed dial than he had mainstream Muslims. At a Muslim News conference last year Channel 4’s Simon Israel was able to share the latest text message he received from the loudmouth, proffering his outrageous comment of the day.

Related: Anjem Choudary has left a trail of broken families and lost youth | Robb Leech

Related: Anjem Choudary was a leader. His conviction will damage terror networks | Raffaello Pantucci

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French PM supports local bans on burkinis

The Guardian World news: Islam - 17 August, 2016 - 15:43

Manuel Valls said Muslim swimwear was based on the enslavement of women but stopped short of suggesting national ban

The French prime minister has expressed support for local bans on burkinis, saying the swimwear is based on the “enslavement of women” and therefore incompatible with French values.

The burkini, a wetsuit-like garment designed for Muslim women, covers the torso, limbs and head.

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New York man charged in 'assassination' of Queens imam and his friend

The Guardian World news: Islam - 16 August, 2016 - 23:59

Oscar Morel has charge bumped up to first-degree murder as prosecutors call act premeditated and intentional, while police say hate crime a possible motive

The suspect in the shooting of an imam and his friend was arraigned on Tuesday on charges of first-degree murder, as prosecutors labeled the attack an “assassination”.

“This was a most horrendous and despicable act that can only be described as a cold-blooded premeditated assassination,” assistant district attorney Peter McCormack said.

Related: Hundreds gather to remember Muslim cleric as suspect charged in shooting

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Danger Games: An Analysis of Trump’s “Radical Islam” Foreign Policy Speech

altmuslim - 16 August, 2016 - 23:58
Embed from Getty Images By Alan Howard Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump laid out his plan, or rather thoughts, to combat “radical Islam” in a “much-heralded” foreign policy/terrorism policy speech given in Youngstown, Ohio this week. While Trump is often reduced to ridiculous soundbites, I decided to watch and breakdown his speech, point-by-point, so [Read More...]

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