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Rochdale Muslims fear fervour of youth spilling into hate and violence

The Guardian World news: Islam - 16 September, 2016 - 16:10

The murder of a respected imam highlights the dangerous emergence of a radical and intolerant attitude towards religion

Community leaders paint a bleak picture for young Muslims living in the borough of Rochdale on the outskirts of Greater Manchester. They have grave concerns that Muslim youth are increasingly turning to anti-western sentiment and extreme interpretations of Islam.

In recent months the peace in the narrow streets sitting in the shadow of the impressive Jalalia Jaame mosque has been shattered.

Related: Former Manchester United steward guilty of murdering imam

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If you want a response from the Muslim community, first understand it | Mostafa Rachwani

The Guardian World news: Islam - 16 September, 2016 - 04:04

Pauline Hanson isn’t the first to lament the silence of the Muslim community. But why should we participate in a discussion that reduces us to a caricature?

In the days and months following Pauline Hanson’s maiden speech in the Senate, there will be request upon request made for the Australian “Muslim community” to respond.

From the outside looking in, such a request seems harmless, even justified. Hanson did, after all, dedicate a large majority of her address to Muslims and Islam, so it appears to be rather logical to seek a response from said community.

Related: Pauline Hanson calls for immigration ban: 'Go back to where you came from'

Related: Agenda 21 is conspiracy theory. But don't dismiss Malcolm Roberts as a harmless kook | Jason Wilson

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The Guardian view on interfaith marriage: a human right | Editorial

The Guardian World news: Islam - 15 September, 2016 - 19:46
Fundamentalists around the world believe that people – particularly women – should not be allowed to marry outside their faith. They must be resisted

Romeo and Juliet is in some ways the most subversive of all Shakespeare’s plays. The plot seems hackneyed to us now, but that is because of the immense revolution in perspective that separates us from Shakespeare’s day. We believe marriage is something that is made by the relationship between two individuals, not their families, their tribes, or their religious authorities. All these outsiders are involved in the relationship, and their traditions and their habits of thought will of course affect it. But none has the right of veto over it. Consenting adults must choose, wisely or unwisely, to marry whom they will.

There are still many societies and parts of many religions where the attitudes of the Montagues and the Capulets are entirely comprehensible. In the old patriarchal order men were not free to marry against the interests of their family and women were very much less free: they were treated as property.

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Billions in Taxpayer Money to Israel: How the NYT Hides Unsavory Facts from View

Thanks to American taxpayers, Israel has been receiving $3.1 billion in direct military aid each year, and under a new agreement signed this week that amount is set to rise to $3.8 annually. This is a hefty package and major news, but The New York Times has been oddly reticent about it, running a story on page 6 of the print edition and without fanfare online.

This is not a new phenomenon at the Times. Over the past year, as the United States and Israel have negotiated a new 10-year memorandum of understanding concerning military aid, readers have seen few references to the topic, and even with the signing of a new agreement this week, the newspaper maintains its minimalist approach.

The article by Peter Baker and Julie Hirschfeld Davis gives few details of the deal, instead proving a great deal of space to the state of U.S.-Israeli relations. The story reports that the present aid package (signed in 2007 and due to expire next year) amounts to “about $3 billion a year” with additional funds of up to $500 million a year authorized by Congress for missile defense.

We also learn that Israel made some concessions in negotiations, that this week’s deal is “the largest of its kind” and that Israel receives more U.S. money than any other country. But much is missing.

In fact, Israel gets more than half of all U.S. military aid ($3.1 billion out of a total of $5.9 billion), and Israel together with Egypt receives 75 percent of American foreign military assistance. Since the large allotment for Egypt is aimed at maintaining a non-threatening neighbor on Israel’s border, this could also be counted as indirect aid to Israel.

In fact Israel has been receiving well over $3.1 billion. By a conservative estimate, the United States has been giving the country $3.7 billion in direct aid annually with funds for immigrants to Israel, grants for American hospitals and schools, “joint defense projects” with the Department of Defense, and an early disbursement of aid.

The last item on that list refers to a special arrangement: In contrast to other recipients, Israel receives all its funds from the United States in one lump sum within the first month of the fiscal year. The money is then transferred to a Federal Reserve Bank interest-bearing account, allowing Israel to accrue some $15 million annually in interest.

Then there are other perks, such as loan guarantees, “cash flow financing,” and the right to purchase arms directly from companies rather than going through a Department of Defense review.

In addition, donations sent by Jewish and Christian groups to support settlements are tax-exempt. So every dollar donated to support the colonization of Palestinian land means the loss of at least 20 cents that should go into the U.S. treasury. This is an indirect subsidy to Israel that has cost American taxpayers an incalculable amount, at least some tens of millions of dollars.

The Times, however, has shown no interest in revealing the full extent of aid or of pursuing the arguments against pouring so much money into Israel. This week’s story mentions criticism of the aid agreement not until about three quarters into the text, and then it is reduced to three bland paragraphs with quotes from the representative of an anti-occupation organization.

In fact, the opposition goes well beyond such groups. A member of Congress, Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN), has asked the State Department to investigate Israeli military units for possible violations of the Leahy Act, which prohibits the dispersal of U.S. funds to groups that violate human rights with impunity.

In 2012, 15 leaders of major religious organizations wrote to Congress asking that military aid be made contingent on compliance with American law. Other groups have sponsored billboards in various areas of the country highlighting the incredible largesse the United States provides for Israel.

Moreover, a poll of Americans taken in 2014 revealed that 60 percent believed the United States gives too much aid to Israel, and of that group 34 percent said it received “much too much.” The percentage claiming that our aid package was excessive was even higher (65 percent) among Americans under 34.

Other commentators have noted that Israel is a wealthy country, with universal health care, and is less in need of help than American citizens who struggle to fund their schools, pay for prescription drugs and meet medical fees.

None of this debate appears in the Times, which seems determined to keep the subject well below the radar. Thus we find a lightweight story on the inside pages of the print edition, well behind a more prominent one about Syrian and Israeli skirmishes in the Golan Heights, and an uninformative one-minute video of the signing ceremony on the Middle East page.

Times readers are to remain ignorant of the full, unsavory story about U.S. aid to Israel. If the facts were fully reported, this might inspire unwelcome questions and pushback. Better to say as little as possible and allow Israel to keep collecting its yearly billions from American taxpayers.

Barbara Erickson

[To subscribe to TimesWarp, scroll to the bottom of this page for email, follow @TimesWarp on Twitter or like Times Warp on Facebook.]


Filed under: US Military Aid to Israel Tagged: American taxpayers, Betty McColllum, Israel, Media Bias, Military aid to Israel, New York Times, Palestine

British ambassador to Saudi Arabia completes hajj after converting to Islam

The Guardian World news: Islam - 15 September, 2016 - 11:42

A picture of Simon Collis in the traditional white robes worn by pilgrims during the hajj was posted on Twitter

The British ambassador to Saudi Arabia has converted to Islam and this week completed the hajj with his Syrian wife.

A picture of Simon Collis in the traditional white robes worn by pilgrims during the hajj was posted on Twitter by Fawziah Albakr, of King Saud University.

أول سفير بريطاني للمملكة يؤدي فريضة الحج بعد اسلامه:سيمون كوليز مع زوجته السيدة هدي في مكة. الحمدلله pic.twitter.com/Gk3323d3ce

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Typecast as a terrorist | Riz Ahmed | The Long Read

The Guardian World news: Islam - 15 September, 2016 - 06:00
As my acting career developed, I was no longer cast as a radical Muslim – except at the airport

To begin with, auditions taught me to get through airports. In the end, it was the other way around. I’m an actor. Since I was a teenager I have had to play different characters, negotiating the cultural expectations of a Pakistani family, Brit-Asian rudeboy culture, and a scholarship to private school. The fluidity of my own personal identity on any given day was further compounded by the changing labels assigned to Asians in general.

As children in the 1980s, when my brother and I were stopped near our home by a skinhead who decided to put a knife to my brother’s throat, we were black. A decade later, the knife to my throat was held by another “Paki”, a label we wore with swagger in the Brit-Asian youth and gang culture of the 1990s. The next time I found myself as helplessly cornered, it was in a windowless room at Luton airport. My arm was in a painful wrist-lock and my collar pinned to the wall by British intelligence officers. It was “post 9/11”, and I was now labelled a Muslim.

Membership Event: The Long Read live at the Hospital Club

What kinda film you making? Did you become an actor to further the Muslim struggle?

When the airport interrogation came, it was more of a car crash than my Slumdog Millionaire audition

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Politicians and Muslim leaders condemn Hanson: 'She doesn't know what she's talking about'

The Guardian World news: Islam - 15 September, 2016 - 00:30

One Nation senator’s maiden speech ‘peddles prejudice and fear’ and will make harassment of Muslims more likely, critics warn

Pauline Hanson’s comments about the impact of Islam and migration on Australia have received condemnation from Muslim leaders and politicians across the spectrum.

Keysar Trad, the president of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, said the speech displayed ignorance about Islam and that Hanson needed to conform to Australian values like a “fair go for all”.

Related: Pauline Hanson calls for immigration ban: 'Go back to where you came from'

Related: Comprehending Pauline is not the challenge. Engaging constructively with Hansonism is | Katharine Murphy

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Pauline Hanson's maiden speech to the Australian Senate – full text

The Guardian World news: Islam - 14 September, 2016 - 22:33

The One Nation senator calls for a ban on Muslim immigration and reiterates fears about multiculturalism aired in her infamous 1996 address

Pauline Hanson calls for immigration ban: ‘Go back to where you came from’

First of all, I would like to welcome everyone in this house and thank you for your attendance. It is very much appreciated. When I cast my mind back to the last day on the floor of the House of Representatives in 1998, just prior to the election, I called out across the chamber, “I will be back!” Those around me cried out, “No, you won’t!’”

My electorate boundaries were changed, forcing me to stand for the new seat of Blair. Also, with the introduction of full preferential voting, this cost me the seat. Although I polled 36% of the primary vote, this was not enough against the Liberals’ 21% and Labor’s preferences, delivering them the seat.

Related: Comprehending Pauline is not the challenge. Engaging constructively with Hansonism is | Katharine Murphy

Related: Pauline Hanson is back, and it's still just as hard to counter her rhetoric with facts

Related: Cory Bernardi is more dangerous than One Nation – his party is in power | Jason Wilson

Related: 'It's good to catch up': Pauline Hanson and Tony Abbott bury the hatchet

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Muslim woman set on fire was not target of hate crime, New York police say

The Guardian World news: Islam - 14 September, 2016 - 21:01

Officials say three other victims were approached in a similar manner and in the same proximity as the Saturday attack on a Scottish woman

Police do not believe the man who set a Muslim woman dressed in traditional religious attire on fire in New York was motivated by anti-Muslim bias, they said on Wednesday, after more women are revealed to have been targeted.

Three other women were also targeted in a similar area, at a similar time as the incident on Saturday, according to the New York police department.

Related: New York City police search for man accused of setting fire to Muslim woman

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Muslim marine says he was forced into clothes dryer in boot camp hazing

The Guardian World news: Islam - 14 September, 2016 - 19:00

Marine said he was placed in dryer by a drunk instructor during marine boot camp at Parris Island in South Carolina and asked if he was a ‘part of 9/11’

A Muslim marine said he was placed in a clothes dryer by a drunk instructor during marine boot camp and subjected to several anti-Muslim slurs, a new investigation has revealed.

The unnamed marine said drill instructors asked him if he was a “part of 9/11”, and was forced to remain inside the dryer while they grilled him about his faith.

Related: Up to 20 marines could face disciplinary action over Muslim recruit's death

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After the hajj: Mecca residents grow hostile to changes in the holy city

The Guardian World news: Islam - 14 September, 2016 - 15:04

As millions of hajj pilgrims return home, Mecca’s two million locals are left struggling with the impacts of their changing city. Much of old Mecca has been razed and rebuilt to make room for growing tourism, forcing out residents

A prayer for Mecca: the city many hajj pilgrims don’t see – video

Millions of hajj pilgrims are preparing to head home, after five days performing ancient rites, revering a God omnipresent in the city of Mecca.

They have stoned figurative devils, they have slept in the world’s largest tent city, they have drunk water from the Zamzam well together: a heaving throng of nearly two million people from all over the world.

They are turning the holy sanctuary into a machine, a city which has no identity

Thirteen of Mecca’s 15 old neighbourhoods have been razed and rebuilt to make room for hotels and commercial spaces

Related: Behind the hajj: Ahmed Mater's photographs of a Mecca in flux

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Pauline Hanson: Australia ‘in danger of being swamped by Muslims’ – video

The Guardian World news: Islam - 14 September, 2016 - 11:56

Pauline Hanson, founder of Australia’s far right One Nation party, uses her maiden speech on her return to parliament on Wednesday to warn the country is in danger of ‘being swamped by Muslims’. Twenty years ago Hanson first entered parliament and gained international notoriety by warning that Australia was being ‘swamped by Asians’

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Pauline Hanson calls for immigration ban: 'Go back to where you came from'

The Guardian World news: Islam - 14 September, 2016 - 10:19

The One Nation senator uses her maiden speech to new parliament to reiterate fears about multiculturalism first aired in her infamous 1996 address

In her first speech to the federal parliament in 1996, Pauline Hanson warned “we are in danger of being swamped by Asians” – a line that became her political signature.

In her triumphant return to politics in 2016, the designated enemy has changed. “Now we are in danger of being swamped by Muslims,” Hanson, the leader of the One Nation party, told the Australian Senate in her first speech on Wednesday.

Related: Comprehending Pauline is not the challenge. Engaging constructively with Hansonism is | Katharine Murphy

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Behind the hajj: Ahmed Mater's photographs of a Mecca in flux

The Guardian World news: Islam - 14 September, 2016 - 10:07

The hajj pilgrims descend on a city that is massively reshaping itself. Saudi artist Ahmed Mater captures the grittier side of the holy city – the migrant workers, the tireless construction and the eye-opening sprawl

• Ahmed Mater’s new book Desert of Pharan: Unofficial Histories behind the Mass Expansion of Mecca is published by Lars Müller Publishers

A prayer for Mecca: the city many hajj pilgrims don’t see – video

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New York City police search for man accused of setting fire to Muslim woman

The Guardian World news: Islam - 13 September, 2016 - 20:28

The incident occurred Saturday, when a female visitor to the city dressed in religious clothing says a man set her blouse on fire on Fifth Avenue

Police are currently searching for a man they believe set fire to a Muslim woman dressed in religious clothing, in what may have been a hate crime.

The New York police department released footage on Tuesday of a man wearing a backwards baseball cap and a vest, which was filmed minutes after the attack.

Related: A Muslim woman was set on fire in New York. Now just going out requires courage | Linda Sarsour

More information on the male suspect wanted for lighting a woman's clothes on fire: https://t.co/q3dU1iASVJ https://t.co/9I0tSe02aM

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A Muslim woman was set on fire in New York. Now just going out requires courage | Linda Sarsour

The Guardian World news: Islam - 13 September, 2016 - 17:24

We are facing the most hostile environment since the immediate aftermath of 9/11. All Americans must speak out otherwise there will be worse to come

Each year, I look so forward to Eid Al Adha – the holiest holiday for Muslims worldwide – but not this year. As I watched my daughters prepare for the celebrations with joy, I learned of a horrific crime. A 36-year-old woman dressed in traditional garb was set on fire on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. She was the same age as me, walking in the city where I was born and raised. This comes at the heels of two Muslim women in Brooklyn who were physically assaulted by a woman as they pushed their babies in strollers.

As if this news wasn’t enough, we also learned that a mosque in Fort Pierce, Florida, which Omar Mateen reportedly used to visit, had been set on fire. They had to cancel their planned holiday celebrations as a result. How could I enjoy the day without thinking of them? Instead of celebrating as planned, the community in Florida has to explain to their children why someone would intentionally set their place of worship, their sanctuary, on fire the night before the highest holy holiday.

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