The Guardian World news: Islam

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City of Ghosts director Matthew Heineman: 'Imagine seeing people crucified – every day'

21 July, 2017 - 18:41

Their families have been killed, they live in hiding, but a brave group of Syrians continue to defy Islamic State by reporting its atrocities to the world. The director of a new documentary explains how he told their shocking stories

The most remarkable scene in Matthew Heineman’s new film City of Ghosts – indeed, possibly the most remarkable scene in any documentary you’re likely to see this year – takes place in an unfurnished German apartment. Hamoud al-Mousa, a founder member of the citizen journalist group Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently (RBSS) sits staring at a laptop, watching a video of his father’s murder at the hands of Islamic State militants. The killing has been filmed in the manner of a Michael Bay movie, bombastic and slickly edited. It is intended to strike fear into Hamoud – and any others willing to expose the many atrocities committed by the terrorist group. Hamoud however refuses to be cowed. “I watch the video a lot. It gives me strength,” he says.

Hamoud’s fortitude in the face of such brutality will come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the work of RBSS. Formed initially to document the assault carried out by the Assad regime on their home city, the group turned their attention to Isis when the group took control of Raqqa in 2014 and declared it the capital of their new caliphate. Since then RBSS has, through social media postings and cameraphone footage, shone a light on a regime that is out of reach of western journalists. They have done so at enormous personal cost: several members of the group have been executed, as well as friends and family members. Hamoud’s father is just one of many victims.

Related: City of Ghosts review – astonishing look at Syrian media-savvy freedom fighters

Making people in safe houses come alive was a huge challenge, so he filmed tearful reunions, snowball fights and dancing

These guys are fighting an ideology that has been indoctrinated into a whole generation of children across the world

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Boston to fight Islamophobia with viral 'how to' transport cartoon

21 July, 2017 - 12:00

The work of a French illustrator on Tumblr has been picked up by US cities to encourage travellers to intervene in abuse

A viral online illustrated guide on how to respond to Islamophobic harassment has been adopted by US cities in a bid to make commuters more confident to intervene if they witness abuse.

Marie-Shirine Yener’s step-by-step guide first appeared on Tumblr in September, in response to what she described as “wave of Islamophobic hatred” in France. In it, the Paris-based illustrator, who goes by the alias Maeril, suggested supporting the victim by engaging them in conversation.

Nice to see BART finally displaying some useful advertising

Boston is placing anti-Islamophobia posters around the city to show that all are welcome in Boston pic @lucymartiros

Related: 'Always give up your seat for a monk': the unspoken rules of public transport

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Muslim mother takes legal action against school over face veil ban

20 July, 2017 - 18:05

Rachida Serroukh claims Holland Park school in London has discriminated against her by not allowing her on premises in veil

A Muslim mother has launched legal action against her daughter’s school, after being told she could not wear a face veil on its premises.

Rachida Serroukh, 37, a single mother of three daughters, has begun a discrimination test case against the prestigious Holland Park school, dubbed the “socialist Eton”, in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea after she was told she would not be allowed to wear a face veil at the school.

Related: Burqa bans, headscarves and veils: a timeline of legislation in the west

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Why the Manchester mosque will rise from the ashes | Giles Fraser: Loose canon

20 July, 2017 - 17:07
Religion is often revived by persecution. Those bigoted yobs who torched the Nasfat Islamic Centre will never succeed in driving the Muslim community out

Last Saturday afternoon, the Nasfat family of mosques held a national peace rally in Trafalgar Square. The banners they waved said quite a lot about where they come from theologically: “Say no to extremism,” read one banner. “No to Boko Haram,” insisted another. There was even a union flag on the leaflet. But none of this made a blind bit of difference to the bigots who broke through the back window of the Manchester Nasfat mosque the very next day and set the place alight. Five fire trucks turned up, but there wasn’t much they could do: the place was gutted.

Bigotry is stupid, conducted by stupid people. The mosque leadership told me that the building had been attacked several times during the five years since it opened. A couple of severed pigs’ heads have been thrown in the mosque during worship. Their minibus has been torched. Even this week, as some of the community stood surveying the charred remains of their former place of worship, young white men jeered at them from passing cars. “We don’t want you here,” they shouted, gleefully laughing at what is left of their mosque.

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Grenfell: faith groups step in to mediate between officials and community

19 July, 2017 - 16:09

Role of churches and mosques extends beyond emotional support as they engage authorities on behalf of people on the ground

Faith organisations are acting as mediators between authorities and people affected by the Grenfell Tower fire, as well as providing practical help and emotional support.

Churches and mosques have stepped in to the widening gulf between the community and officials, and some have seen their congregations grow.

Related: Grenfell Tower residents in uproar over failure to distribute donations

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Rotting pig's head left at Islamic school gate in Queensland

19 July, 2017 - 04:13

Islamic College of Brisbane asks police to investigate ‘hate crime’ after backpack with swastika on it found containing pig’s head

One of Queensland’s largest Islamic schools has referred what it described as a hate crime to police after a backpack emblazoned with a swastika and containing a pig’s head was left at the front gate.

Shocked staff at the Islamic College of Brisbane discovered the bag and rotting meat at 6.30am on Wednesday, hours before more than 1,000 students, some as young as five, were due to pass through the school entrance.

Related: Islamic Council of Queensland condemns insulting video of mosques

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Saudi police question woman accused of wearing 'indecent' clothing

18 July, 2017 - 15:55

Religious police begin inquiry but woman says she didn’t post Snapchat video herself of visit to Ushaqir in skirt and crop top, without veil

A woman who appeared in videos touring one of Saudi Arabia’s heritage sites dressed in a skirt and crop top is being investigated by the kingdom’s religious police.

The woman, who is identified as Khulood, appeared in a series of clips on Snapchat over the weekend at the deserted Ushaqir heritage village in the religiously conservative province of Najd, about 100 miles (160km) north of the capital, Riyadh.

Related: 'Rebel' Saudi Arabia woman who posted photo without head scarf is arrested

المتحدث باسم #هيئة_الأمر_بالمعروف بـ #الرياض: الرئاسة رصدت مقطع لفتاة بلباسٍ مخالف، وجرى التنسيق مع الجهات المختصة.

#مطلوب_محاكمه_مودل_خلود لأن تصرفها همجي!
لازم تحترم القانون اعجبك او ما اعجبك!
>لو كل واحد تمرد على القانون لأنه مو عاجبه، بتصير الدعوة فوضى

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Liberal National party conference calls for ban on headscarves for children under 10

16 July, 2017 - 07:56

Labor frontbencher describes Queensland convention’s vote as ‘appalling’ and says resolution at odds with multiculturalism

The Liberal National party state conference in Queensland has overwhelmingly voted against a limited Muslim immigration ban but has voted to call for headscarves to be banned for young children.

The main resolution had called for the federal government to ban immigration from countries with sharia law, with those in favour saying it was was “culturally incompatible “ with Australian values.

Related: Malcolm Turnbull: 'We've done more in past year than we did in previous three'

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Taboo-busting sex guide offers advice to Muslim women seeking fulfilling love lives

16 July, 2017 - 00:02

The Muslimah Sex Manual: A Halal Guide to Mind Blowing Sex is praised for empowering women

It was a confession by a newlywed friend about her disastrous sex life that gave Umm Muladhat an idea for a groundbreaking book.

Published last week, The Muslimah Sex Manual: A Halal Guide to Mind Blowing Sex is the first such guide written by a Muslim woman. The author has chosen to stay anonymous, using an alias.

I’ve had dozens of emails from men asking if I had plans for a companion book to teach them how to please their wives

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Supreme court gives Hawaii till Tuesday to answer Trump travel ban motion

15 July, 2017 - 21:13
  • District judge ruled ban not applicable to some travelers and refugees
  • Administration asked highest court to overturn that ruling

The US supreme court has asked the state of Hawaii to respond by Tuesday at noon to Donald Trump’s motion to block a ruling that prevented his travel ban from being applied to grandparents of US citizens and refugees already being processed by resettlement agencies, the court’s public information office said on Saturday.

Related: 'Your life becomes like hell': refugees fear drawn-out fight over Trump's travel ban

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A Good Country by Laleh Khadivi review – a journey into radicalisation

15 July, 2017 - 07:29

Cultural integration and the repercussions of terrorism are the key elements in this expertly crafted coming-of-age story

A Good Country is the third novel in a trilogy following three generations of a Kurdish family, its action moving from Iran to the US. It is the story of Rez, full name Alireza, who is 14 years old at the start of the novel and 18 at the end; the title comes from his father’s description of the United States. Our first sight of the father, whose experience of the Islamic revolution was related in The Walking, is of a demanding, adamant man, “a tyrant without a cause”, as Rez thinks him when he suffers violent humiliation at his hands for a B grade in a school history test.

The pieces are in place for a story of adolescence in wealthy Laguna Beach, California, and the rebellion of a second-generation migrant youth against hard-working and ambitious parents. The father’s name is Saladin Courdee, an Americanisation of Khourdi, while his first name invokes the most famous Kurd in history. Khadivi places a series of clues in the narrative to indicate the struggle of migrant families to become American, and the contrasting anxieties between the generations with their potential for violent rupture.

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A year on, families of 'martyrs' who resisted Turkey coup count cost

15 July, 2017 - 06:00

More than 250 people were killed and 2,000 injured as soliders tried to oust Recep Tayyip Erdoğan last July

The last time Gülzerin Kılıç saw her son was exactly a year ago – when he walked out of the house on the night of 15 July as tanks rolled on to the streets of Istanbul during the attempted military coup.

Mehmet, 22, died from a sniper’s bullet at the Bosphorus bridge as he marched to challenge the soldiers who had blockaded the thoroughfare, answering the call – along with thousands of his fellow citizens who took to the streets – to challenge the plotters and protect the democratically elected government.

Related: One year after the failed coup in Turkey, the crackdown continues

If Erdoğan was not our leader, we would not be free to practise our religion

Related: Talk of resurgent Turkish democracy dominates failed coup anniversary | Simon Tisdall

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Two Israeli police and three gunmen killed in shootout at holy site

14 July, 2017 - 11:47

Prayers cancelled at Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif complex in Jerusalem as attack threatens to raise Israeli-Palestinian tensions

Two Israeli police officers have been shot dead and three gunmen killed during an early-morning shootout in one of Jerusalem’s most holy and sensitive sites.

The attack – involving three Israeli citizens of Palestinian origin – took place just after 7am in the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif complex in Jerusalem. It began near the Lions’ Gate entrance to the compound, which is revered as a holy site by both Muslims and Jews.

Related: Israel-Palestine: the real reason there’s still no peace

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Saudi Arabia boosting extremism in Europe, says former ambassador

13 July, 2017 - 11:12

Sir William Patey says Riyadh may not be aware of how its support for a ‘certain brand of Islam’ is leading to radicalisation

Saudi Arabia has been funding mosques throughout Europe that have become hotbeds of extremism, the former British ambassador to Saudi Arabia Sir William Patey has said.

His remarks come a day after the government published a brief summary of a Home Office-commissioned report into the funding of extremism in the UK. The full report is not being published for security reasons.

Related: Rudd's refusal to publish full report into extremist funding 'unacceptable'

Related: Anti-Qatar alliance renews attack on al-Jazeera Arabic

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I'd be tempted to run over Yassmin Abdel-Magied, commentator says

12 July, 2017 - 08:21

Radio 2GB defends Prue MacSween’s comments as ‘light-hearted’ and ‘non-literal’ after she says Abdel-Magied was right not to feel safe in Australia

A conservative commentator on Sydney’s 2GB radio station has joked about wanting to “run over” Yassmin Abdel-Mageid, after the Sudanese-Australian engineer detailed death threats and rape threats she had received while in Australia.

Former journalist Prue MacSween made the comments on 2GB’s Chris Smith show on Wednesday, on a segment called “Smithy’s Deplorables”– a reference to the nickname adopted by supporters of Donald Trump.

Related: What are they so afraid of? I’m just a young brown Muslim woman speaking my mind | Yassmin Abdel-Magied

To all you festering, humourless Twitter ferals. Go tell someone who cares. Last time I looked this was a country of free speech. Get a life

You are a disgrace to this great nation Prue. Terrorists swerve their cars to intentionally hurt people. SHAME!!

You expressed a wish to murder someone on the radio and nothing's going to happen. Your free speech isn't threatened.

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Religion, gender segregation and sex education in schools | Letters

11 July, 2017 - 19:11
Segregation in co-educational faith schools should not be allowed, say Amina Lone and 21 others. Relationships and sex education is at risk of being hijacked for religious reasons, write Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain and 52 others. Plus Jim Lockie says freedom to express your views comes with responsibilities

We, the undersigned, are seriously concerned about the dilution of gender rights and equality regarding minority and in this case Muslim girls’ and women’s rights. We refer to the case of Al-Hijrah school, a co-ed faith school in Birmingham that has been segregating boys and girls during lessons and all breaks, activities and school trips (Gender-divided school is named, 11 July). The school was inspected by Ofsted, who judged it to be inadequate on a number of grounds including gender segregation.

We recognise the existence of single-sex schools but our concerns are with co-educational faith schools that apply gender segregation throughout the school day. It is as abhorrent as segregating people according to their race or sexuality. To engage in such conduct within a secular democracy raises fundamental questions about the type of society we are creating. Why are we allowing such educational institutions to waver from the basic freedoms our ancestors have fought for? We are in danger of creating a two-tier system in which minority women, especially Muslim women and girls, are being systematically treated as second-class citizens. Our progressive parties, institutions and even some on the left and within feminist circles seem to be abandoning the fight for gender equality in favour of religious dogma.

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Jacques Berque, a fighter for Arab culture – 11 July archive, 1995

11 July, 2017 - 05:30

11 July 1995: A very untypical pied-noir and a great theoretician of the Arab-Muslim world

The settlement of accounts between colonisers and colonised has not yet taken place. When it does, Jacques Berque, who has died aged 85, will be a key witness. The decolonisation of Algeria and Morocco was his life as well as his expertise.

Born of French parents in provincial Algeria, he was a pied-noir, though hardly a typical one. His father, Augustin Berque, was a scholar and Arabist of distinction, one of the few to take an interest in Muslim culture of the Maghreb during that dark night which followed Louis Napoleon’s flirtation with an Arab Kingdom under his own patronage, and the emergence of modern nationalism in this century.

Related: Algeria war of independence from France begins: archive, 2 Nov 1954

Related: The attacks in France show that its colonial past endures | Natalie Nougayrède

Related: How to access the Guardian and Observer digital archive

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Court lifts ban on naming faith school in segregation case

10 July, 2017 - 20:26

Al-Hijrah named as Birmingham Muslim school that Ofsted had penalised for separating boys and girls

A state-funded Muslim faith school in Birmingham at the centre of a legal battle over its policy of gender segregation in the classroom has been named ahead of the start of a court of appeal hearing on the legality of its approach.

Judges lifted a ban on the naming of Al-Hijrah school, an Islamic faith school in inner-city Birmingham, which segregates its pupils on the basis of gender between the ages of 9 and 16.

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Banned Grandmas of Instagram take on Trump over travel ban

10 July, 2017 - 12:22

Photographs of grandmothers posted on account curated by Iranian-American woman to highlight ‘absurdity’ of new rules

When Donald Trump’s revised travel ban was implemented on 29 June, Holly Dagres wanted to express her solidarity with those affected.

The new rules meant citizens of six Muslim-majority countries were not allowed to enter the US without a “credible claim of a bona fide” or close relationship with a person or entity already in the US.

Related: Hawaii loses court fight to exempt grandparents from Trump travel ban

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