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Uniqlo teams up with UK-based designer for 'modest' fashion range

The Guardian World news: Islam - 7 hours 4 min ago

Stylish hijabs, long dresses and rayon blouses among collection designed by Hana Tajima on sale online and in Singapore

Clothing retailer Uniqlo has teamed up with a UK-based fashion designer to launch a new “modest wear” collection, including a range of hijabs.

The range, designed by Hana Tajima, features stylish hijabs in a variety of colours and prints, headbands, long dresses and rayon blouses which aims to “cater to ladies who embrace modest fashion” as well as being “carefully designed to suit contemporary tastes”. The items will go on sale on Friday from the store’s website and outlet in Singapore.

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A Ramadan of Remembrance – Memories of Dr. Maher Hathout

altmuslim - 7 hours 27 min ago
This is Day 13 of Altmuslim’s #30Days30Writers series for Ramadan 2015. By Ahmed Younis For my community, this is a difficult Ramadan. It is our first without Dr. Maher Hathout. The Man Maher Hathout was our father, our brother, our leader and to many of us, our best friend. For more than 45 years he [Read More...]

Hate Crime Investigation Sought After Deadly Road Rage Shooting

Loon Watch - 30 June, 2015 - 22:42

Ziad_Abu_Naim_Family

Another trigger happy White guy kills someone. This time a Muslim, Ziad Abu Naim, was killed in what is being dubbed by media a “road rage” incident in which there are also accusations that the killer expressed Islamophobic beliefs prior to killing Mr. Naim.

The Houson Chronicle, By Mihir Zaveri, Allan Turner

A civil rights organization is asking Houston police to investigate a deadly road rage shooting as a hate crime, saying the accused gunman made anti-Muslim sentiments before opening fire.

Ziad Abu Naim, 42, was shot in the head in the incident on Friday. He died Sunday at Memorial Hermann Hospital.

The accused gunman, Robert Craig Klimek, 43, of Houston, has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Naim, of Houston, was shot about 1:30 p.m. in the 6100 block of Fairdale Lane.

The Washington, D.C., office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations has asked Houston police to investigate the incident as a hate crime, alleging that the gunman made anti-Muslim statements before shooting. Police spokeswoman Jodi Silva described the investigation as ongoing.

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Center for Security Policy Compares Islamic Religion to the Plague

Loon Watch - 30 June, 2015 - 22:19

Frank_Gaffney

More dehumanizing insanity from the kooky anti-Muslim Frank Gaffney’s “Center for Security Policy.”

The Intercept, By Lee Fang @lhfang

The Center for Security Policy’s gala last Monday, a black-tie affair at the stately Metropolitan Club of New York, featured a procession of speakers warning darkly about the threat posed by the religion of Islam.

Tommy Waller, a marine veteran and the legislative outreach director for the group, said he had fought the enemy on the battlefields of the Middle East, but that he did not truly understand them until he joined the center. The enemy has “existed for 1,400 years” and “at the expense of 270 million lives,” he said.

Doctors study medicine, Waller continued, “but we don’t study something that has brought devastation to nearly the same number of humans as the plague.”

The Center for Security Policy, billed as a policy shop for national security concerns, has emerged in recent years as the go-to think tank for Islamophobia. The group hosted two summits for GOP presidential candidates this year, and regularly advises lawmakers. Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., spoke at the event on Monday.

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As atrocities are committed in the name of Islam, our ‘leaders’ are failing us | Nazir Afzal

The Guardian World news: Islam - 30 June, 2015 - 13:00
With Muslims both the victims and perpetrators of terrible crimes, the dearth of representative voices in the UK to speak up for our faith has never been clearer

The atrocity in Tunisia, at a hotel I once stayed in, is terrifying and deeply depressing. Muslim communities in the UK feel the pain of those who have lost loved ones. This is Ramadan, the holiest month of the Islamic calendar, and the fact that people have committed murder supposedly in Islam’s name has shocked us to the core.

For it is Muslims who are the biggest victims of Isis. They fight the jihadists in Syria, Iraq and Libya, and it is they who hourly die brutal deaths at the hands of Isis. The soul-searching of Muslims in the UK and beyond is now at fever pitch – the question they ask constantly is: what more can they do?

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Who’s sorry?

Indigo Jo Blogs - 30 June, 2015 - 09:00

Black and white picture of Connor Sparrowhawk, a young white man with shoulder-length dark hair, wearing a straw hat, eating an ice creamNHS staff told to say ‘I am sorry’ to patients for medical blunders | Society | The Guardian

Recently the health blogosphere and Twitter has been buzzing with talk of NHS managers’ and other public health and social care bureaucrats’ love of the “non-apology” — the statement that they are sorry if we are offended by their statement, or sorry that you are not satisfied, rather than sorry causing injury or death with mistakes or negligence. This report states that “doctors, nurses and midwives” will be subject to “tough new rules designed to make the NHS more honest”, which will compel them to apologise personally for such mistakes:

The General Medical Council (GMC), which regulates doctors, and the Nursing and Midwifery Council think that genuine, personal apologies will help patients overcome their anxiety and distress.

“Patients are likely to find it more meaningful if you offer a personalised apology – for example ‘I am sorry …’ – rather than a general expression of regret about the incident on the organisation’s behalf,” says the guidance, which was prompted by the Mid Staffordshire care scandal.

“Saying ‘I am sorry’ is intuitive. You want to avoid saying, for example, ‘my trust regrets’ or ‘the organisation that I work for regrets’. These could be seen by patients as slightly weasel words. They want a personal apology and for the doctor or the team to show genuine contrition,” said Professor Terence Stephenson, an eminent paediatrician who is the GMC’s chairman.

The report goes on to suggest that the new rules could “ultimately reduce the rising tide of medical negligence against the NHS, which now costs it about £1.3bn a year in damages and legal fees”, because patients often take legal action “because they feel they have not been told the truth about a lapse in safety”:

The guidance will make it much harder for any doctor, nurse or midwife to do what some have done until now, namely keep silent about a failing they have caused or witnessed for fear that that they or their colleagues or employer will be sued. Failure to comply with the regulators’ new instructions will mean that any doctor, nurse or midwife whose conduct prompts a complaint will be judged more harshly when their fitness to practise is being considered by their disciplinary body …

The guidance has been beefed-up since a draft was released last year. It now includes a duty on NHS medical personnel not to obstruct colleagues or ex-colleagues who want to raise concerns about patient safety.

That staff will be expected to be more open and forthright about mistakes they may have made is a good thing, but certainly in the Guardian’s version of events, there is no mention of managers, or staff outside the nursing and medical professions such as healthcare assistants, occupational therapists and care workers in NHS-run units such as assessment and treatment units (ATUs). Some medical mistakes are the fault of those who make them, alone; others are the result of overwork or poor training. As with mistakes in any other field, sometimes a group of people is to blame, but an attempt is made to make a scapegoat of one individual for everything, and this guidance might make it easy for them to blame them not only for a group mistake, but add “lack of candour” to it so as to make sure they are more severely punished, preferably removing them from the group.

The other problem with requiring medical staff to ‘say sorry’ is that it does not state what they should say sorry for. It is possible to say that you are sorry for your patient’s death, for example, without saying you are sorry for causing it, and in cases of severe injury or death, any apology will be couched in such terms as not to constitute an admission of guilt for fear of influencing any legal action. Even van drivers are told by their bosses not to make statements that could be received that way (and presented as evidence against them) in the event of an accident; most ordinary car drivers know this as well. In a case where someone suffers a fatal injury in a unit and is promptly removed to hospital, the family might not get to speak to any of the staff involved, and they may well be ordered not to discuss the incident. So there is still the potential for non-apologies and stonewalling in very serious cases.

And while an apology might be enough for a minor mistake that causes passing distress, it won’t be enough when someone has died, or suffered lasting and life-changing injuries. In such cases, there must be a thorough, independent investigation and the people responsible have to be removed, re-trained or prosecuted as appropriate, as well as the particular failings that led to that being fixed. Sometimes there will need to be financial compensation. Unless the cause really is a mistake (or malicious action) by one individual, the victim or their family will want a fulsome apology and an understanding by the organisation’s leadership that attitudes or behaviours were wrong and a commitment to changing them. Apologies, scapegoating and token resignations aren’t enough.

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These lone wolf terrorists are not holy warriors | Nabila Ramdani

The Guardian World news: Islam - 30 June, 2015 - 08:30
Nowadays any vengeful inadequate can claim a link with global terror. All it takes is a selfie and a flag for instant international infamy

With a grotesque matter-of-factness, suspected “Islamic terrorist” Yassine Salhi blamed “problems at home and at work” for beheading his boss last Friday. Salhi used a knife in the attack at Saint-Quentin-Fallavier in eastern France, before driving his delivery van into chemical canisters in an unsuccessful bid to blow up a factory.

Seifeddine Rezgui, who gunned down at least 38 people on a tourist beach in Tunisia on the same day, managed to get hold of an automatic weapon, but his profile was similar to Salhi’s. Neither man had a criminal record, and each was described by friends and neighbours as “normal”. There is no evidence of either travelling abroad to train for combat, and both had provoked little interest from the security services. They were thought to be “self-radicalised”, rather than members of a wider cell.

Nowadays anyone can claim a link with Isis or al-Qaida and their dark crimes. All it takes are a few shouted slogans

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Spin Becomes “Fact” in NY Times Gaza Flotilla Story

Now, with the seizure of a Swedish boat in international waters, The New York Times can no longer ignore Flotilla III, the latest attempt to break Israel’s illegal blockade of Gaza. So we find a story today that ends the paper’s silence on this weeks-long saga that began in Gothenburg last month.

Times readers learned nothing of the Marianne and her three companion vessels as the international organizers of the flotilla announced their plans and gathered crews throughout the spring. Even when one of the boats was sabotaged last week or when a Palestinian member of the Knesset announced that he was joining the group, none of these events appeared in the Times.

Those who checked out The Washington Post, Newsweek, CBS News or Israeli media would have known that Flotilla III was on its way to Gaza, with the Swedish vessel approaching the strip and the others far behind. The Times, however, avoided any mention of the effort until today, when the Israeli navy announced that it had seized the Marianne and was taking her to the port of Ashdod. (The other vessels by then had turned back toward Europe.)

Now the Times has published an article by Diaa Hadid on the seizure, and her piece gives precedence to Israeli spin, allowing official excuses for the brutal siege of Gaza to stand as fact. Thus, she writes that Israel maintains a naval blockade of the strip “because militants have tried to smuggle in weapons and attack Israel by sea.”

Hadid repeats this formula in the following paragraph where she states that Israel allows only “small amounts” of construction materials into Gaza “because Hamas has used building materials to construct tunnels to attack Israel.”

United Nations investigations have provided very different takes on these two issues: A 2010 fact-finding mission, for instance, declared that Israel has imposed the blockade (by land and sea) out of “a desire to punish the people of the Gaza Strip for having elected Hamas. The combination of this motive and the effect of the restrictions on the Gaza Strip leave no doubt that Israel’s actions amount to collective punishment as defined by international law.”

Where Hadid’s piece implies that tunnels have been used for random “terror” attacks on Israel, a recent UN report on the 2014 conflict found that the tunnels had been used only for legitimate means, to engage with Israeli troops during the fighting this past summer. Neither the Times nor any other media outlet has named a single Israeli civilian who was harmed because of these tunnels. (See TimesWarp 6-22-15.)

Unfortunately, Hadid fails to mention either of these findings and repeats Israeli spin as accepted fact. She fails to make even a minimal attempt at attribution, and so we have no “according to” or “Israel claims” here—just the bald, assertive “because.”

Her story ends with a poignant quote that begs for explanation. As fishermen gathered in Gaza to protest the seizure of the Marianne, one of them spoke to a Times representative. “We hope that other activists come to Gaza to help us break the naval siege,” he said, “so that we can sail again without fear.”

The article leaves us with an unanswered question: Why are the fishermen living in fear? Times readers, however, never learn the answer: Israeli naval boats routinely open fire on fishermen as they sail within the 6-mile limit imposed by the blockade. At least one died this year, several have been injured, and several have lost their boats and equipment because of the Israeli attacks.

The Times ignores this ongoing breach of the August 2014 truce, which stated that the fishing limit would expand to 12 miles. (This in itself is still far short of the 20-mile boundary set by the Oslo accords.) The paper also ignores Israel’s military incursions into Gaza, which are further breaches of the ceasefire.

Times editors are counting on a short shelf life for the Flotilla III story. Too much attention to such messy topics as international law, the definition of piracy, assaults on unarmed fishermen and Israeli breaches of the 2014 ceasefire might expose some inconvenient facts about Israel’s pitiless siege of Gaza, and this is not to their taste.

Barbara Erickson


Filed under: Flotilla III Tagged: Flotilla III, Gaza, Israel, New York Times, Palestine

Jails and universities obliged to prevent radicalisation as new act becomes law

The Guardian World news: Islam - 29 June, 2015 - 22:31

Counter-Terrorism Act, which also applies to NHS trusts, schools and further education institutions, comes into force

Local authorities, prisons, NHS trusts, schools, universities and further education institutions will this week be placed under a new statutory duty to prevent extremist radicalisation taking place within their walls.

The requirement was imposed by this year’s Counter-Terrorism and Security Act, and Home Office ministers have pointed out that the wide-ranging powers come into force in the week that David Cameron demanded “a full spectrum response” to the killing of as many as 30 British tourists in Tunisia.

Related: Tunisia attack: David Cameron pledges 'full spectrum' response to massacre

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Tunisia attack: what the British national newspapers say

The Guardian World news: Islam - 29 June, 2015 - 09:17

Headlines reflect a mixture of emotion, defiance and fear as leader writers strive to come to terms with yet another Islamist outrage

One story dominates the front pages, and many inside pages, of today’s national newspapers: the murderous attack in Tunisia. With 30 Britons among the dead, that is to be expected.

Amid the emotion and the fear, there is fact: 30 Brits are dead (Daily Mirror); Tunisia attack: police on alert amid fears UK toll will hit 30 (Guardian); “And still the death toll climbs” (i); Terror police on alert amid fears of UK attack (Times); and David Cameron: now the fightback begins (the Daily Telegraph’s report on an article written by the prime minister for the paper).

“Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, a Pakistani theologian, recently issued a fatwa against suicide bombers, stating that they should be ostracised, not lauded as martyrs.

He has suggested that British Muslims hold a mass march for peace to protest against the terrorists and everything they stand for.

“Whether it’s through social media, Islamist forums or direct contact with hate preachers, IS’s poisonous ideology is inspiring too many British Muslims.

Home secretary Theresa May is right to demand that Muslim families report their children to the police if they fear that they’re becoming radicalised. It sounds brutal. But if they don’t, they risk becoming the parents not of oddballs intrigued by radicalisation, but of cold-blooded terrorists.”

“Contrary to the fashionable talk about ‘the vast majority’ of moderates, 40% of Muslims in Britain want to see sharia law formally established here while 30% of Muslim students on British university campuses desire a caliphate and think that killing in the name of Islam is justified.

Far from taking the fight to extremism our political class has allowed it to flourish. The vital work of our security forces has been undermined by human rights legislation and by anxiety about accusations of so-called Islamophobia.”

“If democracy fails or the economy craters in Tunisia, all that will remain of the Arab Spring will be war, autocracy and the obscenity of the so-called caliphate.

The only significant difference between north Africa before and after its experiment with plural government will be that the region is now an even more lethal incubator of extremism than it was.”

“It is a reason to stand by Tunis come what may. Its brave experiment with democracy is too important to fail.”

“Our world is effectively shrinking and, as our physical horizons are reduced, it is hard not to believe that our mental horizons will not suffer the same fate.”

“The terrorists’ version of Islam is a twisted distortion. Real Islam stresses hospitality. Tunisians have shown what that looks like when it is fortified with courage.”

“Confronting the bloodthirsty fascists of the so-called Islamic State requires bravery so we should cheer the Tunisians making a stand. So as we mourn, let us welcome a glimmer of hope – supporting those in north Africa and the Middle East, most of them Muslims, in the frontline against Islamist wickedness.”

“While the overwhelming majority of British Muslims abhor the terrorists – some in the Islamic community can do more to condemn and root out extremism.”

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A ghost city revived: the remarkable transformation of Hebron

The Guardian World news: Islam - 29 June, 2015 - 07:00

Twenty years ago, the Old City of Hebron – one of the most important religious sites to Jews and Muslims alike – was crumbling, as curfews and restrictions reduced the Palestinian population to just 400. Then the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee started work

When the Israeli army barricaded the entrance to Usama Abu Sharek’s home in Hebron, he and his family were forced to climb over walls or clamber through windows on their way in and out of their 500-year-old property.

The barricades were to allow hardline Jewish settlers to reach their houses without having to encounter their Palestinian neighbours. But by then the Abu Shareks were the only Palestinian family left in their immediate vicinity of Hebron’s Old City anyway.

We had to go back to using horses and donkeys. Sometimes they even arrested the donkeys

Related: Palestine's abandoned parliament – a history of cities in 50 buildings, day 46

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New Poll on American Muslims Is Grounded in Bias, Riddled with Flaws

Loon Watch - 29 June, 2015 - 01:21

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This is particularly important highlight:

Sixty-percent of respondents agreed that “shariah as interpreted by Islamic authorities is compatible with the U.S. Constitution, including freedom of speech and other rights,” and 51% chose this definition of jihad: “Muslims’ peaceful, personal struggle to be more religious.” These rare but helpful nuances are not even alluded to … in conservative outlets like Fox News. Bill O’Reilly also makes exaggerations that the already-flawed data doesn’t support. “Fifty-one percent [of Muslims] say sharia law should be the reigning law,” he said. But that language is nowhere in the survey data he’s likely referencing, which says that “a majority (51%) agreed that ‘Muslims in America should have the choice of being governed according to shariah.’”

June 26, 2015  By:  The Bridge Initiative

On Wednesday, the Center for Security Policy (CSP), a Washington, D.C. think tank run by former Reagan official Frank Gaffney released a survey of 600 Muslims living in the United States. Its takeaway, captured in a headline on the CSP website, is this: “Poll of US Muslims Reveals Ominous Levels of Support For Islamic Supremacists’ Doctrine of Shariah, Jihad.”

The poll gained quick traction online and in the media. On the evening of its release, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly also lent credence to its findings and cast doubt upon American Muslims’ loyalty to their country.

Among the poll’s findings are:

  • “A majority (51%) agreed that ‘Muslims in America should have the choice of being governed according to shariah.’”
  • “Nearly a quarter of the Muslims polled believed that, ‘It is legitimate to use violence to punish those who give offense to Islam by, for example, portraying the prophet Mohammed.’”
  • “Nearly one-fifth of Muslim respondents said that the use of violence in the United States is justified in order to make shariah the law of the land in this country.”

But this survey should not be taken seriously. It comes from an organization with a history of producing dubious claims and “studies” about the threat of shariah, and was administered using an unreliable methodology. Its proponents seize upon its shoddy findings, exaggerating and misrepresenting them to American audiences, and falsely claim that the survey data represents the views of Muslims nationwide.

Here are the details.

CSP’s History of Baseless Fearmongering

In recent years, many groups have raised questions about the objectivity and intentions of Frank Gaffney. His tendency to posit conspiracies about Barack Obama and the Muslim Brotherhood is well documented, and has earned him sharp critique across the political spectrum. The Center for American Progress labels him a “misinformation expert,” while the Conservative Political Action Committee banned him from their 2011 conference for peddling false accusations about GOP connections to Muslim extremists. It was his organization, CSP, that was behind the unfounded rumor that Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff, Huma Abedin, was linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, and once floated the false idea that General David Petraeus had “submitted” to shariah.

Since the early 2000s, CSP has generated dozens of occasional papers, blogs, and reports that fixate on shariah or other allegedly nefarious topics related to Islam. Often, they are loosely sourced or entirely unsubstantiated, relying instead on a furtive web of connections or, in one case, a 24-year-old document written by a lone Muslim activist that has since been roundly discredited.

False Statistics and False Claims

Both Gaffney and O’Reilly claim that the poll’s findings are representative of nationwide Muslim public opinion. But this assertion is untrue.

CSP’s survey was an non-probability based, opt-in online survey, administered by the conservative group, the Polling Company/Woman Trend, a small Washington-based agency that has collaborated with CSP on other occasions to produce surveys about Islam and Muslims. (We learned this after reaching out to the Polling Company to get more details about their methodology, which wasn’t released to the public when Gaffney began promoting the survey’s findings.)

According to the body that sets ethical standards for polling, the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR), opt-in surveys cannot be considered representative of the intended population, in this case Muslims. The AAPOR says that in these cases, “the pollster has no idea who is responding to the question” and that these kind of “polls do not have such a ‘grounded statistical tie’ to the population.”

So when O’Reilly and guest Zuhdi Jasser pointed to this survey and made claims about what “25% of three million, which is hundreds of thousands of Muslims” believe, it’s not only a misleading statement—it’s outright false.

This survey does not represent the views of American Muslims. It only represents the views of the 600 Muslims that it polled.

Loaded Questions and Answers

Another problem with this poll is the way that questions and answers are phrased. Often, they are not neutral but are imbued with assumptions, and replicate, in an interrogative form, statements that Gaffney and CSP have declared as fact for years. In one question, respondents are asked: “Do you believe the Muslim Brotherhood in America accurately represents your views?” Packed into this question is the assertion that the Brotherhood indeed exists in the United States — something that Gaffney has long propagated. Those who answer “yes” confirm his suspicions, while those who answer “no” acknowledge nonetheless that the group is present here. They’re put into a lose-lose situation.

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Tunisian gunman Seifeddine Rezgui: from breakdancer to Islamic radical

The Guardian World news: Islam - 28 June, 2015 - 20:20

Video on Facebook shows killer breakdancing in 2010, as lack of foreign travel raises questions about how he obtained gun and who trained him

The dancer leaps into an athletic backwards somersault off a chair, then stumbles as he lands. The camera follows him as he comes back to inspect the broken seat of the chair with a shrug, a light-hearted blooper reel ending to a video of a seriously committed breakdancer.

Five years later, the same man was shown in a very different kind of video: chilling footage of him running along a beach in Sousse shortly after his massacre of more than three dozen foreign tourists.

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French terrorism suspect took selfie with slain victim

The Guardian World news: Islam - 28 June, 2015 - 03:43

Canadian authorities become involved after it emerges image was sent via WhatsApp to a Canadian mobile number

The main suspect in the beheading of a businessman that French authorities are calling a terrorist attack took a “selfie” photo with the slain victim and sent the image via WhatsApp to a Canadian mobile phone number, officials said on Saturday.

French investigators were working to determine the recipient’s identity, but weren’t able to immediately confirm media reports that it was an unspecified person now in Syria, where the Islamic State has seized territory, security officials said.

Related: French terrorist attack: mystery of ‘calm and gentle’ man who beheaded his boss

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French terrorist attack: mystery of ‘calm and gentle’ man who beheaded his boss

The Guardian World news: Islam - 28 June, 2015 - 00:08
France struggles to comprehend yet another Islamist terrorist outrage as hunt gets under way for those who radicalised the killer

“Again,” they were saying in Lyon on Saturday, with an air of incredulity. “It’s happened again.”

Just six months after the massacres at Charlie Hebdo and a kosher grocery shop, France finds itself struggling to comprehend another atrocity in its midst. The severed head of a businessman hung on a factory gate on Friday brought the horror of Isis-style beheadings in Syria, Libya and Iraq to a quiet corner of the Rhône-Alpes region.

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Intimacy in Ramadan – How Can We Eat, Pray, Sleep AND Be Intimate in the Nighttime Hours?

altmuslim - 27 June, 2015 - 16:22
This is Day Ten of Altmuslim’s #30Days30Writers series for Ramadan 2015. By Nadiah Mohajir Just recently, in casual conversation as well as in several private conversations, I have heard too many women (and in one case, a man) express frustration with trying to manage their intimate lives in addition to their spiritual and domestic responsibilities when [Read More...]

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