The Guardian World news: Islam

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Anti-Muslim rhetoric 'widespread' among candidates in Trump era – report

12 hours 9 min ago

Sharp rise in tactics that echo attempts to inflame fears around immigration and minorities ahead of midterm elections

The 2018 midterm elections have seen a dramatic rise in anti-Muslim rhetoric, a new report has found, as political campaigns are emboldened by Donald Trump’s ascent to the White House.

Related: Trump was 'playful' in praising assault on Guardian reporter, Ben Sasse says

Related: Republican attacks take aim at non-white congressional candidates

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From denial to pride: how China changed its language on Xinjiang's camps

15 hours 46 min ago

Beijing now proudly parades ‘humane management and care’ at internment camps, after denying their existence for months

China’s state broadcaster CCTV last week offered a look inside Xinjiang’s controversial internment camps.

In the 15-minute segment journalists visit the Hotan City Vocational Skills Education and Training Centre where they teach students Mandarin, China’s various legal codes, and job-relevant skills, according to a city official, reciting almost verbatim a description previously given in Chinese state media.

Related: Internment camps make Uighurs' life more colourful, says Xinjiang governor

The ultimate aim is the creation of a vocational, patriotic education system for adult minorities.

Seeing this video again, it appears there are at least five cameras monitoring this classroom of a so-called "vocational skills training center", as seen on @CCTV.

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Row over Muslim scholar's invitation to preach at Anglican service

20 October, 2018 - 08:00

Blog claims sermon by imam at Oxford church contrary to ‘sacred act of divine worship’ in keeping with C of E rites

An invitation to a distinguished Muslim scholar to preach at a eucharist service in an Oxford church on Sunday has triggered complaints from traditionalists.

Monawar Hussain, who was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s birthday honours last year for services to interfaith relations and the community, will deliver a sermon at the University Church of St Mary the Virgin, following a request from Oxford University’s vice-chancellor, Louise Richardson.

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Retrial ordered for black activist Michael X – archive 19 October 1967

19 October, 2018 - 05:30

19 October 1967: A retrial was ordered in the case against Michael Abdul Malik, leader of Britain’s Black Muslims, amid confusion over jurors

A retrial was ordered for Michael Abdul Malik, known as Michael X, leader of Britain’s Black Muslims, by the Recorder, Mr R. C. Hutton, at the Reading Quarter Sessions yesterday on a race-hate charge.

This followed an application by Mr Kenneth Jones, QC, for the prosecution, who said that from what Malik had said he had intended to object to a juror on Tuesday.

Related: The story of the British Black Panthers through race, politics, love and power

Related: Dennis Morris's best photograph: a boy with a gun at Michael X's HQ

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Ex-Chinese internment camp detainee denied US visa despite Congress invitation

18 October, 2018 - 16:57

Kazakh national was asked to speak at Congress about his ordeal, but his application was rejected by the US consulate in Istanbul

An outspoken former detainee in China’s internment camps for Muslims has said that his application for a visa to visit the United States was rejected even though he had been invited to speak at Congress about his ordeal.

Kazakh national Omir Bekali was asked to travel to Washington in September by the chairs of the Congressional-Executive Committee on China. He said his application was rejected by the US consulate in Istanbul on 2 October after he was questioned about his employment status.

Related: Internment camps make Uighurs' life more colourful, says Xinjiang governor

Related: 'My soul, where are you?': families of Muslims missing in China meet wall of silence

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One man’s (very polite) fight against media Islamophobia

18 October, 2018 - 06:00

For three years, Miqdaad Versi has waged a quixotic – and always scrupulously courteous – campaign against the endless errors and distortions in news about British Muslims. But can a thousand polite complaints make a difference? By Samanth Subramanian

News about Muslims in the British press is rarely positive, but it is never scarce. Consider these stories, published across a typical month towards the end of 2016. In the Times on 9 November 2016, an article announced: “Islamist School Can Segregate Boys and Girls.” On the Daily Express website, nine days later: “Anger as less than A THIRD of Muslim nations sign up to coalition against Isis.” In the Sun online, on 1 December: “SECRET IS SAFE: Half of British Muslims would not go to cops if they knew someone with Isis links.” On the Daily Express site the day after: “New £5 notes could be BANNED by religious groups as Bank CAN’T promise they’re Halal.” On ITV News, the same day: “Half of UK Muslims would not report extremism.” Two days later, in the Sunday Times: “Enclaves of Islam see UK as 75% Muslim.” The Mail on Sunday, that same day: “Isolated British Muslims are so cut off from the rest of society that they see the UK as 75% Islamic, shock report reveals.” And another version, in the Sun online: “British Muslims are so cut-off from society they think 75% of the UK is Islamic, report reveals.”

No other community in Britain receives such regular torrents of bad press. But that is not the most shocking thing about these articles. Every single one of them was misleading. And they were not just lightly dotted with inaccuracies. The chief premise of each piece – the premise articulated in the headline – was dead wrong.

Related: Trojan horse: the real story behind the fake 'Islamic plot' to take over schools

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'Inequality is a poison': campaigning for Muslim women's rights – podcast

17 October, 2018 - 06:00

Shahin Ashraf’s experience growing up as a British Muslim has led to a life campaigning for gender equality around the world

Shahin Ashraf’s humanitarian work has taken her from Bosnia to Afghanistan, where she helped a woman escape forced marriage.

Ashraf, who was awarded an MBE in 2015 for her services to interfaith and community cohesion, is a global advocacy advisor for Islamic Relief. She speaks to Lucy Lamble about her own experience of gender inequality, which influenced her campaign work for Muslim women’s rights in traditionally conservative societies.

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Divided Britain: study finds huge chasm in attitudes

17 October, 2018 - 00:01

Far-right and anti-Islam ideas taking root in post-industrial towns, says Hope Not Hate

Britain is hugely divided across cultural, age and education lines, a major study of national attitudes has concluded, warning of a potential rise in far-right and anti-Islam sentiments unless politicians tackle long-standing disaffections behind the Brexit vote.

There is a particular chasm between people living in affluent, multicultural cities and those from struggling post-industrial towns, according to the report from Hope Not Hate, based on six years of polling and focus groups.

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Jailed preacher Anjem Choudary faces strict controls after release

16 October, 2018 - 19:19

Restrictions on convicted Isis supporter cover using the internet and speaking in public

Convicted Isis supporter Anjem Choudary will be in effect banned from any public statements after his release from prison this week, as British authorities seek to stop him from inciting support for terrorism.

British officials believe they have drafted conditions that will stop Choudary from repeating his method of drumming up support for extremism, which enabled him to escape prosecution for years even as his propaganda motivated at least 100 people to pursue terrorism.

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'A soaring miracle of art' – Albukhary Gallery of the Islamic World review

16 October, 2018 - 14:07

British Museum, London
Two new rooms present an alternative history of the world, beginning with works with a geometric sophistication and abstract calm that western art could not achieve for another 10 centuries

The best way to get to the British Museum’s new gallery of Islamic art is via the Sutton Hoo gallery. That way, you first take a trip through Anglo-Saxon England, past Celtic gold, Viking jewels and treasures from the burial of a seventh-century king. These artefacts, lurking in shadow, all date from a time that is often called the Dark Ages. Then you step out of that gallery and into a world of light.

Streaming in through patterned screens and coloured glass, the light spills over lustreware, the glazed ceramics invented by medieval Islam that have an iridescent quality. Such luminous clarity seems to shine right through Islamic art: what you see here resembles the Enlightenment in 18th-century Europe – an age of reason that, in this case, started in the eighth century.

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Hindu nationalist-led state changes Muslim name of Indian city

16 October, 2018 - 12:28

Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh, headed by hardliner accused of violence against Muslims, to become Prayagraj

An Indian city in a state led by a hardline Hindu nationalist preacher accused of instigating violence against Muslims has had its Muslim name changed to one with Hindu associations.

The state cabinet in Uttar Pradesh announced on Tuesday that it had approved the renaming of Allahabad as Prayagraj, which harks back to the city’s ancient appellation, Prayag, before it was changed by Mughal-era rulers in the late 16th century.

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The Guardian view on populism: belonging not believing | Editorial

15 October, 2018 - 17:58
When religious and nationalist longings combine, progressives need a powerful counter-narrative

The regional elections in Bavaria resulted in a crushing defeat for the CSU party, which has ruled the province since 1950. It fell from almost half the votes to slightly over a third; at the same time its traditional rival (and partner in the national coalition government), the Social Democrats, did even worse and slumped to fifth place. The huge gainers were the Greens, now almost twice as large as the Social Democrats, and after them the anti-immigrant AfD in fourth place.

The CSU lost votes to both right and centre; more votes to the centre, in fact, than to the populists. But across Europe is it the populist parties that seem to be having their moment now. The word “populist” is a useful label, but it does not entirely explain the power of these movements. This cannot derive only from their most obvious feature, which is hostility to outsiders. There is also the sense of belonging that they produce by combining religion and nationalism to imagine, and so create, communities.

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Two images that show we need to be sensitive about our photos | Paul Chadwick

14 October, 2018 - 19:00
Pictures can be upsetting, so a lot of time is spent considering, and reconsidering, their usage

Khalid Masood was lawfully shot dead by police after he killed five people at Westminster in March 2017, a coroner’s inquest in London concluded on Friday. Over several days of covering the hearing, Guardian editors had access to a limited range of images of Masood. For one report they used a photo of him taken in the Great Mosque of Mecca, Islam’s holiest site.

Some Muslim readers expressed to me concern that the image linked a particularly important aspect of their religion to the awful crimes of this individual. One of the five pillars of Islam is for Muslims, if physically and financially capable, to make the Hajj, a pilgrimage to the site, at least once in their lifetime.

Related: Westminster attacker lawfully killed by minister's bodyguard, jury finds

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Relations with Pakistan remain stable, says China | Letters

14 October, 2018 - 18:06
The Chinese embassy responds to our report on criticism from Pakistan

The Chinese ambassador to Pakistan recently met with Pakistan’s minister for religious affairs, Pir Noorul Haq Qadri (Report, 21 September). They discussed bilateral relations, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), and took the same stand on religion issues.

We would like to clarify that China and Pakistan are all-weather strategic partners. CPEC is a landmark of bilateral economic cooperation and a pilot project for the Belt and Road Initiative. At present, there are 22 projects under the CPEC – nine completed and 13 under construction, with a total investment of US $19bn (£14bn). These projects have led to an annual economic growth of 1 to 2% and created 70,000 jobs in Pakistan. Any attempt to stir up the stable relations between China and Pakistan will not succeed.

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Tourism pushed women out of Zanzibar's public spaces – but now they're taking them back

11 October, 2018 - 07:30

Women-only spaces on the 99% Muslim island have been usurped by economic growth. The Reclaim Women’s Space project is trying to change that

Wandering the maze-like streets of Zanzibar’s Stone Town, it’s easy to get lost and stumble into one of the city’s many courtyards. Here, a social buzz breaks the quiet: men sit on low stone benches, or baraza, which are carved into the sides of many houses, and fan themselves and chat; at night, the courtyards come alive with men laughing in the balmy night air, drinking cups of masala tea and watching football on fuzzy televisions, as hawkers sell juicy skewers of spiced meat. And yet, amid all the liveliness, there is just one thing missing. Women.

Zanzibar is 99% Muslim, and women and men in Stone Town have traditionally occupied separate spaces. Older women remember the days before tourism began to flourish, when there were all-female beaches and parks for local women. Near the coast, the Old Fort, built by the Omani empire when they expelled the Portuguese in 1699, used to belong to women.

We want to empower women to stand on their own

Related: Scores of women 'divorced or abandoned' for voting in Tanzanian elections

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Tory deputy chairman admits concerns about Shaun Bailey remarks

4 October, 2018 - 18:50

London mayoral candidate ‘should have been clearer’ in paper about multiculturalism

The Conservatives’ deputy chairman has conceded the party’s newly selected London mayoral candidate “could and should” have made clear he was not singling out Muslims or Hindus when he wrote about the impact of multiculturalism.

James Cleverly insisted Shaun Bailey had been misunderstood, and that he was trying to say that because black boys were learning more about faiths other than “their own Christian culture”, they were more likely to drift into crime.

Related: Tory London mayoral pick under fire for remarks about Muslims and Hindus

Do the Tories not have any other strategy apart from trying to divide our communities and attack multiculturalism?

It didn't work against @SadiqKhan in 2016 and won't work in 2020.

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Ukip has become too vile even for its own extremists | David Lawrence

4 October, 2018 - 09:24
MEP Bill Etheridge is the latest to desert the party as it ramps up the ugly anti-Muslim rhetoric

Ukip’s controversial and gaffe-prone West Midlands MEP, Bill Etheridge, has dramatically quit the party, claiming that its character has been “permanently changed” and is now viewed by voters as “a vehicle of hate towards Muslims and the gay community”.

The move is yet another blow to the Eurosceptic party, which has driven hard into far-right territory under leader Gerard Batten, who has actively courted anti-Muslim figurehead Tommy Robinson in an obsessional quest against Islam (which he calls “Mohammedanism”).

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Muslim Council of Britain to train women to run mosques

4 October, 2018 - 07:39

Six-month programme aims to increase diversity and follows calls for greater involvement

Britain’s leading Muslim organisation has launched a scheme to train women for leadership positions in mosques and community bodies.

Twenty women have embarked on the six-month intensive programme run by the Muslim Council of Britain, aimed at equipping them for leadership positions. As well as one-to-one mentoring, the women will visit “best-practice mosques” and be given media and public speaking training.

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Multiculturalism 'robs Britain of its community' - Tory London mayor pick

3 October, 2018 - 08:07

Accommodating Muslims and Hindus risks turning UK into ‘crime-riddled cesspool’, Shaun Bailey wrote in 2005

Accommodating Muslims and Hindus “robs Britain of its community” and risks turning the country into a “crime-riddled cesspool” as a result, the Conservative candidate for London mayor declared in a thinktank pamphlet he wrote a decade ago.

In it, Shaun Bailey voiced concern about the marking of Muslim and Hindu festivals, claimed that children were being taught more about Diwali than Christmas and argued Britain “removing the religion that British people generally take to” had allowed immigrants to bring their country’s cultural problems with them.

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