India enacts citizenship law criticised as ‘discriminatory’ to Muslims

The Guardian World news: Islam - 11 March, 2024 - 17:34

Controversial rules grant Indian nationality to refugees who are Hindu, Christian, Parsi, Jain or Buddhist, but not Muslim

India’s interior ministry has said it was enacting a citizenship law that critics say discriminates against Muslims, just weeks before the world’s most populous country heads into a general election.

While the law was passed in December 2019, its implementation was delayed after widespread protests and deadly violence erupted in which more than 100 people were reported to have been killed.

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In Light Of A Suffering Ummah Can/Should We Make Ramadan Special In Our Homes?

Muslim Matters - 11 March, 2024 - 16:10

Many Muslims living privileged lives in the West use Ramadan as an opportunity to reinforce their children’s Islamic identity. We think we should do this by creating a holiday experience that rivals the non-Muslim holidays our children are constantly bombarded with. But many of us are looking at the genocide in Gaza and wondering, what should Ramadan and Eid look like for my family in light of the suffering of thousands of Palestinian children trying to survive

Some of us are torn when it comes to observing Ramadan with the joy and vivacity of years past. We might feel guilty about what we can give our children while other parents watch their kids starve to death. We might feel incapable of being happy thinking about how much suffering others are enduring. Additionally, some of us may be thinking of how we can center the Palestinian struggle for justice into our observation of Ramadan in a family-friendly way. There are many approaches to Ramadan this year you can take as a family, whether it’s cutting back the extravagance or refocusing attention on Palestine–but now more than ever is the perfect time to remind ourselves that Ramadan is not meant to be a time of joy and excitement. Its true purpose is to build taqwa through increased devotion to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)

The Pitfalls of Modeling Ramadan after Christmas and Other Secular Holidays

Living in the West, many of us take the examples of non-Muslim holiday celebrations as the gold standard of what celebrating a holiday should look like. This year in particular provides us all with an opportunity for critical reflection on the materialism and frivolity our cultures inspire. 

Many American holiday celebrations are devoid of true meaning. Most Americans today celebrate religious holidays like Christmas and Easter in secular ways without honoring their religious and moral underpinnings. Thus, many holidays in the West turn into themed parties that drive non-essential spending in the economy. Since the early 2000s, holiday spending has increased every single year in America! Many of us have probably noticed how extravagantly Americans celebrate anything in the last 20 years. Whether it’s Halloween decorations in a neighborhood, elaborate dessert tables at weddings, matching pajama sets for entire families, or simply the increased number of parties during pregnancies (gender reveal party, baby sprinkles)…we are getting more and more extra as the years pass. If we set aside religious holidays and consider celebrations like Halloween, Valentine’s Day, and Independence Day, the materialistic hullabaloo is even clearer. 

Now imagine the pressure these cultural norms put on Muslim parents when it comes to Ramadan and Eid! I agree that it is imperative to have our children in the West be excited about their religious identities and want to engage in important religious observations. It is vital to create fun moments and fond memories of Ramadan and Eid so that they have deep emotional connections to their faith which helps buoy their beliefs and self-confidence while living in increasingly diverse societies. That said, we are fighting the wrong battle if all we want to do is recreate the Christmas and Halloween fun with an Islamic spin. Our observations of Ramadan and Eid must fall within Islamic boundaries without compromising our religion’s core principles in favor of adopting mainstream materialistic trends. This is exactly why so many of us feel so confused and conflicted when it comes to celebrating Ramadan and Eid with the swag of years past.   

Going Back to the Roots of Ramadan

We must remind ourselves what Ramadan is truly supposed to be about increasing our taqwa through increased worship and devotion to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He).

“O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous -“ [Surah Al-Baqarah: 2;183]

Whatever ways we decide to make Ramadan feel special for our families, the goal of Ramadan should guide all efforts. The hardest things for us to figure out are what aligns with the goal of Ramadan and how we create age-appropriate avenues to allow everyone to grow spiritually. 

PC: Sylwia Bartyzel (unsplash)

How we observe Ramadan has changed so much culturally as American Muslims that people from other faiths believe that Ramadan is a holiday as much as Eid is. This is something we have to consider critically. I remember when Ramadan was not considered a month-long celebration to my immigrant parents and our immigrant-dominated masjids. All they wanted to do was make sure the house and masjid were super clean and organized before the holy month started. If we saw balloons or banners in our homes or at the masjid, it was only at Eid and never on the first day of Ramadan. Although I think we can strive for a little less austerity, I think the case for simplification and restraint is strong.

As I mentioned in a previous article from 2019, “To Decorate or Not to Decorate–Is that the Ramadan Question?,” having a goal-oriented approach to making Ramadan feel special for our families can be an act of worship if approached with adequate mindfulness.

“The crux of this issue is simple to me: if we are treating decorating for Ramadan as a voluntary act of worship, what are the conditions that should be met for God to accept this deed? Basic religious principles such as prioritizing obligatory acts of worship over voluntary or simply permissible ones, not violating anyone’s rights or hurting others, etc. should be part of the considerations, as well as practical logistical issues.”

Recommendations for Honoring the Spirit of Ramadan 

Here are some recommendations for festive touches that I believe are in line with the goals of Ramadan. They can all be accomplished without much expense or investment of time/energy:

  • Anything that teaches or ritualizes the Sunnah, like learning/displaying daily duas
    • Try out this simple Fasting Dua Lantern that features a dua you can make at iftar time
    • Buy/print out common duas and post them around the home, like dua for going to the restroom, leaving the home, etc.
  • Anything that makes engaging in acts of worship easier or more appealing
    • Setting up a Quran reading nook with your favorite mushaf on display (without buying a $500 egg chair for HGTV vibes)
    • Creating a small musallah in your home or making a modest upgrade to your existing space, like incorporating a new prayer rug storage solution or adding an essential oil diffuser
  • Simple decor that makes the home environment feel more special to welcome the blessings of Ramadan
    • String lights you can use every year
    • A Ramadan banner or sign

There are also activities with an Islamic lesson or good deed at the foundation that you can do with your children. Depending on the age of your children, you may find these activities useful (find details here!):

  • Good deed collection jar
  • Daily charity birdhouse
  • Moon phase garland
What to Avoid this Year

So what should we cut back on, not only this Ramadan but perhaps in the future as well? What have we gone overboard with in our celebrations of Ramadan after being inspired by the worldly cultures we live in? 

I think it boils down to splurging on things that don’t bring any true value to our observation of Ramadan and spending too much time or energy on them. Things that come to mind are elaborate designscapes inside or outside of the home, including miniature masjids, backdrops, or lawn decorations. When it comes to looking at what we have already amassed for Ramadan and Eid, we should look at our items and feel content, rather than wanting to add more items to our collections. Stockpiling increasingly amazing items is a disease of materialism that we need to actively fight, even if we have good intentions! We may be supporting Muslim business owners and artists, giving dawah, or instilling the love of Islam in our children, but can we do so with moderation?

Additionally, overly indulgent gift baskets or iftar parties are out this Ramadan. Because wealth is relative, I can only suggest cutting down non-essential spending to half or less compared to previous years’ budgets. This includes how much money we spend on decorations, gifts, and food. Not only that, iftar and Eid parties must be paired back–from decor to goody bags to the amount of food served. Ramadan shows us how little we actually need and how much we should be grateful for everything we have. We must actively fight against the trend of bigger and better every year in our highly materialistic cultures. 

Ways to Focus on Palestine this Ramadan

Now we come to the other concern: how do we welcome Ramadan for our families in light of the horrific suffering in Palestine? 

The first recommendation is to take the money you would have spent on non-essential items this Ramadan (remember, the goal is to spend less than half compared to previous years) and put that all towards aid to the victims of Israeli (and US-backed) violence. With this strategy, you are not increasing your overall spending but simply increasing the amount you’ve donated. For example, spend $25 instead of $50 on Eid toys and give the rest of it to Palestine. Purchase ordinary dates instead of importing special ones and donate the rest of the money. There are many ways we can cut corners to reduce how much of our budgets go towards our own families this year so that we can divert the remaining funds to others. This practice should be discussed openly as a family and communicated with children to maximize its effectiveness.

Decorating in light of displacement

Palestinian children make Ramadan lanterns out of paper and hang them in their makeshift tents ahead of the holy month of Ramadan in Rafah, Gaza on March 8, 2024 [Abed Zagout/Anadolu Agency]

Secondly, remembering the oppressed in our duas every single day, specifically at iftar time, is a way to bring the suffering of Palestinians, and others, to the forefront of our minds this Ramadan. This is a practice that Shaykh Omar Suleiman suggested in a recent talk and I have also heard of other families who do this daily already. Keeping the collective dua’ age-appropriate is key, depending on who is sitting at your dinner table. 

Third, honoring the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement in all of our purchases. Avoiding Starbucks when grabbing a coffee for taraweeh or planning ahead to not rely on last-minute Amazon Prime deliveries or purchasing ethically-made clothing for Eid that does not utilize forced Uyghur labor can go a long way. The obvious companies to boycott are Israeli ones or ones that profit Israel in any way, but our concern should extend to the oppressed throughout the ummah

Fourth, making it part of the family’s spiritual practice to advocate for justice daily. This includes ritualizing calling elected officials as part of the daily wird the family keeps. Take turns calling, especially since you may call on behalf of family members in addition to yourself. Also, find a way to share factual information about the ongoing suffering in productive ways–whether it is strategically sharing news stories on social media or talking to friends and colleagues about the ongoing crisis. 

Fifth, find ways to support Palestinian or pro-Palestinian businesses this Ramadan. Can you get take-out from a Palestinian restaurant one week? Can you purchase Eid gifts this year from a company based in Palestine, or with a CEO who openly advocates for the Palestinian cause? 

Lastly, I have seen discussions about trying to honor Palestinian culture this year–whether it’s cooking a Palestinian dish or wearing Palestinian clothing. Since I am not Palestinian, I cannot speak to when these actions may cross over to cultural appropriation, which is a crime Israel is very guilty of. The balance between loving our fellow Muslims for the sake of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) and over emphasizing certain nationalistic or cultural practices is a delicate and complicated one.    

Observing Ramadan with a Backdrop of Pain

Once these adjustments have been made, I believe that we will be able to feel the spirit of Ramadan and Eid while acknowledging the suffering of others. Focusing on the true meaning of Ramadan will help us to make room for all of the emotions and realities we and others in the ummah are facing.

May Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) purify our intentions and accept our efforts. May the difficulties the ummah faces this Ramadan be essential to our personal and collective spiritual achievements. Ameen.

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[Podcast] The Ramadan Mubarak AH Episode

Muslim Matters - 11 March, 2024 - 13:00

MM Podcast hosts Irtiza Hasan and Zainab bint Younus welcome Ramadan with a short but sweet episode! From what we look forward to this Ramadan, family plans, and challenges, to the big question on everyone’s mind – how do we celebrate the sweetness of Ramadan while observing the devastation in the world right now?

Ramadan Mubarak from the MuslimMatters podcast team to you and your family! May Allah accept all our worship, forgive our sins, and grant the Ummah victory over the oppressors, ameen.


The MuslimMatters Ramadan Podcast Playlist [2023]

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Ramadan is beginning – but it’s my humanity, not my Muslim faith, that makes me weep for Gaza | Tahmima Anam

The Guardian World news: Islam - 11 March, 2024 - 10:00

My family in Bangladesh will come together to fast and pray. Yet our feelings for Palestinians are based on secular values of equality and justice

I have not been a devout Muslim. I don’t fast or pray. I have never been to Mecca to make the hajj pilgrimage. I’ve only read the Qur’an in English – not in Arabic, as many Bangladeshi children do.

Instead of learning Arabic verses, I was raised on a diet of Marx, Mao and liberation theology. My bedtime reading was Nehru’s Letters from a Father to a Daughter, written while he was imprisoned alongside Mahatma Gandhi during the Indian independence struggle.

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It’s Islamophobia, thank you

Indigo Jo Blogs - 10 March, 2024 - 23:11
A group of demonstrators in Vauxhall, London, in November 2023. Banners include "we stand with Palestine" and "genocide ain't kosher".Demonstrators in London, Nov 2023

Over the past week, some of the same politicians and think-tankers who couldn’t hide their resentment at George Galloway winning a by-election and were accusing anti-genocide demonstrators in London of being controlled by extremists behind the scenes and making London a “no-go zone for Jews” (a claim reported uncritically by the BBC, who could have asked the police if their statistics back this claim up) were also telling us to stop using the term ‘Islamophobia’ and stop paying heed to those who do. According to them, Islamophobia is a term made up by Islamists to impose a blasphemy law on non-Muslims by the back door and to punish people who opposed Islamist politics rather than those who were hostile to Muslims as such. Politicians started telling us it was different from “anti-Muslim hatred” which of course they condemned. And lo and behold, today there was an open letter to politicians from a group of victims of Islamist terrorist attacks (Lee Rigby’s widow as well as relatives of the victims of the Bataclan massacre and the 7th October attacks, among others) appealing to politicians not to associate Muslims with terrorists and to stop fuelling “anti-Muslim hate”. Why is this a problem?

Islamophobia has been the term favoured by the Muslim community for hostility to Muslims and Islam since at least the 1980s; it was already well-established in the mid-90s when I was actively looking into Islam (I took the shahadah in 1998) because Muslims were campaigning for such hostility to be recognised in law, and for Muslims not to have to base any complaint on constructs of race. The term ‘phobia’, meaning fear in Greek, was already being used in words for hostility such as xenophobia. Perhaps not accurate in its use of Greek, but it’s certainly typical of English words derived from classical Greek and Latin. We tend to prefer this sort of single long word to a whole series of words when we have to refer to something a lot. As with other terms for racism or bigotry, it has no doubt been abused by some people to make people out to be racists who aren’t, but it’s a bit snappier and just as well understood as “anti-Muslim hatred”, much as ‘antisemitism’ does the job better than “anti-Jewish hatred”. But much as antisemitism includes more than shouting racial slurs and beating up Jews for being Jews, or calling for them to be expelled (less often heard than in the case of more recently arrived minorities), Islamophobia includes more than just obvious and straightforward hatred. These include:

  • Stereotypical views about Muslims, such as assuming we all eat the same foods, or that all Muslim women are oppressed, or are at risk from FGM or honour killing
  • The “politics of suspicion”, such as assuming that Muslims generally support terrorist actions committed in our name or in Islam’s, and in particular, demanding condemnations from Muslims who had nothing to do with them
  • Making assumptions about what, say, Islamic dress means or ‘symbolises’ and then talking over Muslims about these issues (the hijab is a common focus of such assumptions)
  • Ascribing political meanings to in themselves apolitical aspects of Muslim practice: portraying “Allahu akbar” (God is great) as the chant of terrorists, or minarets as military fortifications rather than places from which to project a call to prayer, and paying no attention to Muslims about the facts of these things
  • Making life difficult for Muslims when we try to practise Islam: excluding girls for wearing the hijab, or imposing a uniform that is incompatible with it, or preventing students from praying when they are an age when it is required of them.

As for the accusation of a “blasphemy law”, the protests about insults to Islam or Muslims are not usually about someone merely criticising Islam or disagreeing with something in it (or they think is in it) but about insults that have a threatening edge to them. Muslims accept that we cannot stop people saying what they like about Islam in the West; there is, however, no real reason to publicly insult another’s religion other than to whip up hostility to it and, by extension, its followers. Insults are perceived, often correctly, as threats to people’s safety. A commonly cited example is the teacher who left his job because of parent protests after showing cartoons published by the French comic Charlie Hebdo to his pupils. Now, this teacher could have displayed these cartoons on his personal blog or Twitter account, but as a teacher you have responsibilities to uphold the children’s welfare, and the cartoons are not actual critiques of Islam but a collage of racist stereotypes about Arabs. The teacher told his pupils that it was his right of freedom of expression to show them the cartoon, which is not an attitude any teacher should take.

Generally, minorities know what forms prejudice against them take. They know what certain words mean that are used as coded racial slurs and they know the subtexts (if they aren’t obvious) to racist slogans. That doesn’t mean false or abusive accusations of racism don’t happen, and sometimes people take it too far, interpreting something that sounds like a thing racists used to say as actual racism when the phrase has other meanings, but in general, members of a minority are able to spot expressions of bigotry and prejudice against them. There is a doctrine that something is deemed to be racist if it is perceived as such, regardless of what the speaker intended, and the same people telling us Islamophobia is not a thing, that it’s just made up for censorship purposes also insist that Jews know best about what is and isn’t antisemitism and we should just take them at their word. The politicians concerned have their agenda, but if you are concerned about bigotry against Muslims and want others to be, please don’t use language endorsed by the politicians who are doing just that. We call it Islamophobia, because it’s more than just hate.

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‘This time it’s really hard’: British Muslims reflect as Ramadan begins

The Guardian World news: Islam - 10 March, 2024 - 19:22

Holy month to begin against backdrop of bombardment of Gaza and rise in Islamophobic incidents

Thousands of people are expected to attend evening prayers at the East London Mosque to mark the beginning of Ramadan, a deeply significant time of spirituality and community for Muslims.

The shared experience of fasting and worship during the holy month, which begins on Monday in the UK, “reinforces a sense of unity and common purpose within the British Muslim community”, according to Sufia Alam, the head of programmes at the mosque.

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The MM Recap: MuslimMatters’ Most Popular Ramadan Articles [2024 Edition]

Muslim Matters - 10 March, 2024 - 18:35

Every year -right before the coming of Ramadan- we at MuslimMatters put together a list of ‘must read!’ Ramadan articles from our platform that have proven exceptionally popular over the years gone by. From articles on reverts’ first fasts, fasting with a disability, boosting our ‘ibaadah during that mid-Ramadan slump, to even tips on social media management for the Holy Month.

And as alhamdulillah we approach yet another Ramadan, here’s your MM Ramadan Recap for 2024:


– Prophetic Guidance For An Exemplary Ramadan

Prophetic Guidance For An Exemplary Ramadan

– Al-Wahhab And The Gift Of Ramadan

Al-Wahhab And The Gift Of Ramadan

– Beginning My Quran Memorization Journey In Ramadan

Beginning My Quran Memorization Journey In Ramadan

– Using Ramadan To Forgive Those Who Have Hurt Us In The Past

 Using Ramadan To Forgive Those Who Have Hurt Us In The Past

– The Ramadan Of The Early Muslims | Sh Suleiman Hani

The Ramadan Of The Early Muslims I Sh Suleiman Hani

– Show Up As You Are: Overcoming Ramadan Guilt For The Last 10 Nights

Show Up As You Are: Overcoming Ramadan Guilt For The Last 10 Nights

Social Media

– This Ramadan, Delete TikTok Before It Deletes You

This Ramadan, Delete TikTok Before It Deletes You

– Get Your Phone Ramadan Ready!

Get Your Phone Ramadan Ready!

 Parenting & Children

– Ramadan With A Newborn: Life Seasons, Ibaadah, And Intentionality

Ramadan With A Newborn: Life Seasons, Ibaadah, And Intentionality

– Beyond The External Trappings: Teaching Children The True Essence Of Ramadan

Beyond The External Trappings: Teaching Children The True Essence Of Ramadan

– Foster Love For The Blessed Month With These 5 Fun And Easy Ramadan Crafts For Kids

Foster Love For The Blessed Month With These 5 Fun And Easy Ramadan Crafts For Kids

– Parents In Ramadan: Pivot To Another Worship

Parents In Ramadan: Pivot To Another Worship

– My Dear Ramadan Stay-at-Home Mom, I Salute You

My Dear Ramadan Stay-at-Home Mom, I Salute You

 Ramadan & Illness

– Eating Disorders And Ramadan: Debunking The Myths, Mechanisms To Cope

Eating Disorders And Ramadan: Debunking The Myths, Mechanisms To Cope

– Reflections On Observing Ramadan With A Disability

Reflections On Observing Ramadan With A Disability

– How To Maximize Ramadan When Not Fasting

How To Maximize Ramadan When Not Fasting

– Mental Illness and Ramadan

Mental Illness and Ramadan

– What I Learned About Ramadan – By Not Fasting

What I Learned About Ramadan – By Not Fasting

 On Campus/At The Workplace

– From The Chaplain’s Desk: Prep Guide For Ramadan On Campus

From The Chaplain’s Desk: Prep Guide For Ramadan On Campus

– Ramadan While Working Full-Time: Tips For Young Muslim Professionals

Ramadan While Working Full-Time: Tips For Young Muslim Professionals

– Tips For Managing School And Ramadan

Tips For Managing School And Ramadan

– From The Chaplain’s Desk: Engage With The Quran

From The Chaplain’s Desk: Engage With The Quran

– How University Made Me a Better Muslim

How University Made Me a Better Muslim


– Ramadan Reflections: 30 Days of Healing | Aliyah Umm Raiyaan

Podcast: Ramadan Reflections: 30 Days of Healing | Aliyah Umm Raiyaan

-Man 2 Man: Beast Mode – Spiritual Preparation For Ramadan

[Podcast] Man 2 Man: Beast Mode – Spiritual Preparation For Ramadan

– Ramadan Vibes: Connecting with the Quran | Sh Muhammad Ziyad Batha

[Podcast] Ramadan Vibes: Connecting with the Quran | Sh Muhammad Ziyad Batha

– Ramadan Imposter Syndrome | Shaykha Taimiyyah Zubair

[Podcast] Ramadan Imposter Syndrome | Shaykha Taimiyyah Zubair

– Muslim Women’s Spirituality In Ramadan

Podcast: Muslim Women’s Spirituality In Ramadan

Have we missed out on mentioning any of our articles that have deeply impacted you, or at least made a small change in the way you approach Ramadan? Do let us know in the comments below!



The MM Recap: Our Most Popular Ramadan Articles [2023 Edition]

The MuslimMatters Ramadan Podcast Playlist [2023]

The post The MM Recap: MuslimMatters’ Most Popular Ramadan Articles [2024 Edition] appeared first on

Tory MPs criticise plans for memorial to Muslim soldiers who died in world wars

The Guardian World news: Islam - 10 March, 2024 - 17:40

Exclusive: Marco Longhi and Jill Mortimer, allies of Lee Anderson, question Jeremy Hunt setting aside £1m for tribute

Tory MPs have privately criticised the government’s decision to build a memorial for Muslims who died fighting for Britain in the two world wars.

In messages to a Conservative MPs’ WhatsApp group seen by the Guardian, two Tory MPs elected in 2019 – Marco Longhi and Jill Mortimer – questioned why a memorial for Muslims was needed. The disclosure raises questions about the attitude towards Muslims in some sections of the Conservative party.

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UK anti-Islamophobia body has not met for four years despite hate crime rise

The Guardian World news: Islam - 10 March, 2024 - 17:18

Exclusive: Chair of working group raises concerns over Michael Gove not restarting body that last met in 2020

The government’s anti-Muslimhatred working group (AMHWG) has been “on pause” for more than four years, despite repeated promises from officials and a sharp rise in hate crime.

The Guardian understands members of the AMHWG last officially met in January 2020, before all working groups were adjourned because of the Covid pandemic.

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Ramadan in Gaza: ‘We used to adorn our street, now everything around us is bleak’

The Guardian World news: Islam - 10 March, 2024 - 15:13

Displaced families prepare to spend holy month in Rafah amid food shortages and fear of attack

Seventy days after they were forced to leave their house in the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis, Hanaa al-Masry, her husband and their six children are preparing for Ramadan in their new home: a dilapidated tent. Here, there will be no decorations, no joyous family meals and no reading of the Qur’an under the lemon and orange trees in the garden.

The Muslim holy month – a time for friends and family as well as religious contemplation, prayer and fasting – starts on Monday and will be like none that anyone in Gaza can remember.

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Survivors of UK terror attacks warn: ‘Don’t equate Muslims with extremists’

The Guardian World news: Islam - 10 March, 2024 - 06:00

Open letter signed by families of victims including Manchester Arena bombing says debate ‘must not play into terrorists’ hands’

More than 50 survivors of terrorist attacks, including the Manchester Arena bombing and the London Bridge attacks, have signed an open letter warning politicians to stop conflating British Muslims with extremism.

The signatories include Rebecca Rigby, the widow of soldier Lee Rigby who was murdered in south-east London in 2013, and Paul Price, who lost his partner, Elaine McIver, in the Manchester Arena attack in 2017. They caution against comments which play “into the hands of terrorists”.

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‘Waiting for the storm’: Israelis and Palestinians fear difficult week as Ramadan starts

The Guardian World news: Islam - 10 March, 2024 - 05:00

Key site is al-Aqsa mosque on what Jews call the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Peaceful access for Muslims could send a message of calm

Israelis and Palestinians are bracing themselves for a tense and ­potentially violent week, with no sign of a ­ceasefire likely in Gaza and calls from Hamas for protest marches around the Islamic world to mark the start of Ramadan on Monday.

Earlier this month, a halt to hostilities before the Muslim holy month looked possible, but hopes have dimmed since indirect talks in Cairo ended without progress last week.

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