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Cowan's curious contest: how a changing electorate could help decide the election

The Guardian World news: Islam - 11 May, 2016 - 02:24

In Perth’s increasingly multicultural northern suburbs, a conservative Christian Liberal backbencher and a Labor Muslim terrorism expert are battling it out for one of two seats the opposition needs in WA to form government

Not a bellwether, but an indicator. That’s how Curtin University adjunct professor of politics, David Black, describes the Western Australian seat of Cowan, which pundits have tipped will go with government when the polls close on 2 July.

Related: The 10 big issues of election 2016: how Coalition, Labor and Greens policies compare

Related: The narrow margins of the far west: Labor gears up for epic struggle in Perth

Related: Dennis Jensen to run as an independent and says 'branch stackers should be jailed'

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New London mayor: ‘Donald Trump has ignorant views on Muslims’ – video

The Guardian World news: Islam - 10 May, 2016 - 22:24

Sadiq Khan, the newly elected mayor of London, speaks out against the pledge made by Donald Trump to ban all Muslims from the US, saying it is ‘playing into the hands of extremists’. Khan - who is himself a Muslim - was elected by a huge majority on 5 May. Trump has since said he would ‘make an exception’ to allow the new mayor into the country should he be elected president and enact the ban.

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Cry Baby Politics and Victim Culture: Lynching the Muslims

Muslim Matters - 10 May, 2016 - 20:38

'Beware of “cry baby politics,” wherein whoever cries the most and has the biggest tantrum is counted as the victim. Some of the greatest evil comes from those who operate under the guise of victimhood while they are in fact the transgressors. Every victim doesn't shed tears and seek public sympathy. Many suffer in silence, and are often doubly wronged: first by the transgression itself and secondly, by the transgressor relying on “cry baby politics” to incite the public against them.'

—from the journal of Umm Zakiyyah

~

“Nigg%r.”

I was ten or eleven years old at the time, and I remember being overcome with shock and offense as I sat in the school cafeteria opposite my white classmate. I really didn't know what to say to her angry outburst, as our disagreement (the details of which escape me today) had nothing to do with the color of my skin, or hers. I didn't think it was a good idea to simply ignore the slur, yet I had no idea how to respond.

At that moment, I thought of what my parents had taught me about name-calling and foul language: “Never speak to people like that. When you do, it says more about you than the person you're talking to.” I remember tossing this advice around in my head for a moment and deciding to share it with the girl so she'd understand not to talk to me (or anyone else) like that. But instead of using my parents' exact words, I said to her, “How would you feel if someone called you a honky or a cracker?”

Her eyes widened as if she couldn't believe her ears. She then let out a howling whine so loud and piercing that I momentarily wondered what on earth was going on. Then she cried and sobbed so loud that several teachers rushed to her side. They compassionately asked her what was wrong, guiding her away from her seat as droves of students looked on, perplexed and worried.

Stunned, I remained where I was and watched her carry on so emotionally that the teachers cradled her tenderly as she told them what had happened. As she spoke, some of the teachers gave me angry, disapproving glances. Minutes later, the principal was summoned, and I was brusquely called to the front of the cafeteria myself.

I was in a daze as I walked toward them. Standing before them, I hurriedly tried to explain what had really happened. But I was sternly shushed and asked only one thing: “How could you say something like that? We would've never expected something like this from you.” I was then taken to the principal's office and was swiftly punished.

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“Nigg%rs” Are the Problem

The day that I was called nigg%r then punished because someone else's feelings were hurt, I learned a painful two-pronged lesson: As an African-American and a visible Muslim, your feelings don't matter; and whoever can garner the most sympathy can get away with almost anything, even claiming victimhood while they are in fact the aggressor.

As I shared in my blog “You Don't Get It. I Have Feelings Too,” I learned as early as kindergarten that school was not a safe place for me; as no teacher or administrator intervened when students snatched off my headscarf every day, but they punished me when I defended myself. Ultimately, repeated experiences like this taught me that the world was unsafe, and that my greatest hope for safety was to go unnoticed as far as possible. Practically, what this translated into was daily living in fear, and nobody caring about it. Because in the eyes of the world, I was the problem. And the proof was my skin color and existence.

Lynching Black Men: Saving the White Damsel in Distress

As African-Americans know very well, seeking invisibility through quietly living your life and minding your business doesn't work so well in a society that both fears and loathes you, and where people are literally looking for justification for the crimes they have inflicted upon you (and continue to inflict). Historically, the bitter racism that led to widespread lynching and blatant legal injustice against Black Americans was merely a projection of the self-hate racist whites harbored due to their own crimes and sins. But it was black bodies and lives that had to pay for this white guilt.

Though it is inconceivable to many Americans today, part of the widespread “success” of uncontested lynching and blatant injustice against Black Americans was due to whites managing to convince themselves (and the rest of the country) that they were, in fact, the victims. Though the majority of white fear was based on a phantom Black terrorist that was out to get them, this didn't matter in an environment ruled by “cry baby politics.” Here, the white damsel in distress ruled the day. And this social-political system of emotional manipulation was so prevalent that it pervaded even American elementary schools, where I was punished after a “white damsel in distress” called me nigg%r.

Muslims living in America today would do well to take a lesson from this page in African-American history, as Muslims are, and I say this as a Black woman, definitely the new Black.

And like the anti-Black “cry baby politics” in America historically, today's anti-Muslim “cry baby politics” means that whoever lynches the “aggressor” (i.e. whoever made the damsel cry) is viewed as heroic, and even patriotic.

Cry Baby Politics

Beware of “cry baby politics,” I penned in my journal once, wherein whoever cries the most and has the biggest tantrum is counted as the victim. Some of the greatest evil comes from those who operate under the guise of victimhood while they are in fact the transgressors. Every victim doesn't shed tears and seek public sympathy. Many suffer in silence and are often doubly wronged: first by the transgression itself and secondly, by the transgressor relying on “cry baby politics” to incite the public against them.

Today's “cry baby politics” manifests itself against Muslims at the hands of both non-Muslims and professed Muslims. Not surprisingly, this social-political strategy of emotional manipulation is wildly effective in America today, particularly in its success at inciting public fear against Muslims.

However, this “tell a sob story” strategy is not limited to only “Islamophobes” fear-mongering and garnering support for widespread discrimination against Muslims. It also includes professed Muslims fear-mongering and garnering support for calls to change the rules of Islam itself (euphemistically called “religious reform”), or to vilify the religion and paint it as “draconian” and extreme.

Yesterday's white damsel in distress is today's Muslim damsel in distress.

And the emotionally manipulative strategy of “cry baby politics” is wildly successful in Muslim communities precisely because it is a mutated spinoff of the teachings of Islam itself. Given that our faith does, in fact, require compassion and the consideration of each person's unique circumstances, many Muslims have trouble differentiating between a context that requires compassion and understanding, and a context that requires speaking up against wrong and protecting the Muslims from harm.

Naturally, showing compassion and speaking up against wrong are not mutually exclusive. However, when confronting “cry baby politics,” speaking up against wrong most certainly takes precedence. In other words, as I discussed in my blog Gay and Muslim?” we have to differentiate between a genuine personal struggle that requires our patience, understanding and support; and an anti-Islam agenda (that comes under the guise of a personal struggle), designed to dismantle the teachings of Islam itself and justify the widespread mistreatment of Muslims.

The Muslim Damsel Calls for Lynching: “Poor Me! I Was Ashamed of My Sexuality!”

It is eerie to watch history repeat itself for the mere reason that it is unfolding in the present. Humans have a remarkable ability to look back and see wrong clearly (in their lives and others'), hence the term 20-20 hindsight. But true human rights activists and visionaries have sight in the present, not self-assigned titles in the present. Descriptions like “human rights activist” or “visionary” are often assigned to them by historians looking back on these people's actual work, not on someone's self-assigned self-aggrandizing claims.

However, today it's quite trendy to give yourself a host of fancy titles that exude social-political awareness and concern. It shows you are “hip” and oh-so politically correct: human rights activist, intersectional feminist, anti-patriarchy, and the list goes on.

While there are certainly those whose self-assigned title seems to reflect their actual work, it is not surprising that the modern day “damsel in distress” (who is responsible for inciting social and political lynching against Muslims) assign themselves these titles too.

Like the historic white damsel in distress used to vilify Black men and justify murdering and maiming them, today's Muslim damsel in distress is used to vilify practicing Muslim men and women and justify proverbially lynching them and their religion.

Predictably, this Muslim damsel relies heavily on “cry baby politics” as opposed to critical thinking or genuine social justice to evoke public sympathy and outrage against Islam and Muslims. Her sob story against the religion is about as creative as the white damsel's cry of rape against a Black man. Sometimes the story will be rooted in an actual crime suffered, and sometimes it will be rooted in the phantom terrorist the public fears (or a cover-up for something the woman did willingly).

However, just as was the case historically for Black people in America, today's anti-Muslim “cry baby politics” is less concerned with the veracity of any claim than it is with giving ample airtime (sob-story style) to the claim itself. When the public's heart is already full of fear and loathing against a people, emotionalism is so much more powerful than truth.

Nevertheless, the power of a true story cannot be underestimated. Because all categories of humans (regardless of race or religion) have criminals and wrongdoers amongst them, it is quite easy to find stories of “bad people” to give fuel to the fire of fear and hatred against any group of people.

Yesterday it was the white woman's cry of rape at the hands of a Black man, and today it is the “poor little oppressed” Muslim woman's cry of sexual repression at the hands of “patriarchal” Islam. Like the white woman's cry of rape, the “feel sorry for me” Muslim woman's sob story is quite predictable in it conveying the emotional and culture suffering she faced while seeking “sexual freedom” (i.e. being promiscuous and indulging in sin).

The details of each Muslim damsel's story differ, but the end result (i.e. goal) is always the same: “Lynch the Muslims! Down with Islam!” No, this genteel, oh-so-oppressed Muslim damsel (like the historic decorous white damsel) wouldn't dare openly cry for harm to come to innocent people.

Because “cry baby politics” and victim culture dictate that she doesn't have to. Her sob story does it on her behalf.

Victim Culture

Lack of privilege is privilege in victim culture, I penned in my journal once. Here, anyone who can claim to have suffered discrimination or wrongdoing can say or do whatever they please, no matter who is hurt or wronged in the process. Even God and religion have little authority in this culture, particularly when a victim can claim to have suffered from them, too.

In a discussion like this, I think it is important to point out that a person whose gender, religion, or skin color places them in the societal status of victim or oppressed no longer suffers lack of privilege once they decide to become an agent of the very system of oppression harming their people. In African-American history, this person is often referred to as a “sellout.” And the same dynamics are in play when a professed Muslim (or former Muslim) uses their perceived victim status to be an agent of further victimizing or “lynching” innocent people.

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Umm Zakiyyah is the internationally acclaimed author of the If I Should Speak trilogy. Her latest novel His Other Wife is now available. Read HIS OTHER WIFE novel now: CLICK HERE.

To learn more about the author, visit ummzakiyyah.com or subscribe to her YouTube channel.

‘Sexism’ no reason to remove a petition

Indigo Jo Blogs - 10 May, 2016 - 19:34

Picture of Laura Kuenssberg, a white woman in her 30s with shortish blonde hair, wearing a blue top with a black suit jacket over it, with a backdrop composed of the logo of Policy ExchangeLaura Kuenssberg petition taken down over sexist abuse, from the Guardian

I don’t watch the TV news much nowadays, even Newsnight, so I can’t comment personally on whether the coverage of politics by Laura Kuenssberg on the BBC, where she is political editor, is biased or not. People I trust on Twitter, however, say that her coverage is persistently biased in favour of the Tory party and against Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, in particular. (She has chaired seminars and written for the website of Policy Exchange, a Tory-affiliated think tank; Tim Montgomerie of Conservative Home wrote this glowing blog entry about her in 2009.) I’ve seen a Twitter account titled @ToryKuenssberg, which offers a rather amusing parody of her coverage, such as the following from last night:

Some people have launched a 38 Degrees petition to get her removed from her position. Some time today it was taken down, as the above news report states, because it was ‘hijacked’ by people from Twitter and Facebook who had left abusive comments of a sexist nature and posted similar writing on social media. Some of the defences of Kuenssberg boil down to “she’s just doing her job”, a common response when a woman in a public role is criticised for doing a bad job. I think it’s wrong for such petitions to have to be taken down (the owners have published a statement). (More: Stavvers.)

I’ve never run a petition, but I’ve signed a few and I’ve got more than a few criticisms of all the three main petition hosts (38 Degrees, Avaaz and Change.org). They don’t offer any means of registering dissent from the cause, and they will spam you with demands to sign other petitions until you expressly opt out. This is why, for example, I hesitated to sign the recent Predatory Peacekeepers petition because it’s on Avaaz, a site I hadn’t hitherto signed up to and therefore which I wasn’t already receiving several emails a day from. But what has happened here is that 38D has suspended a petition because of a flaw in their own system: the lack of any ability to moderate comments left at the bottom. Petition owners can’t control who signs, and who leaves what comment, and the sites allow you to broadcast your comment straight to Facebook or Twitter, and it’s easy for anyone trying to discredit a petition to leave an abusive comment against the target or subject of the petition.

I’ve not seen any abusive or sexist remarks in my Twitter feeds where there has been a lot of criticism of Kuenssberg for bias. It’s all been about her reporting. Perhaps the people leaving sexist remarks are people without any sense of what is appropriate, or actual misogynists, or morons looking to disrupt any cause for the “lulz”, or maybe it’s from supporters of Kuenssberg seeking to discredit the petition. Was any attempt made to investigate where the abusive remarks were coming from? I very much doubt it is what the people who put the petition up intended. Yet I’ve seen people assume it’s “typical leftist misogyny” rather than a few extremists or people trying to deflect criticism from Kuenssberg’s reporting.

In addition, I reject the “just doing her job” argument used by her supporters. If you want to present news in a way that’s sympathetic to a Tory government, there’s always the Times or Telegraph; the BBC is paid for by everyone. There is an attitude that a woman in a position of prominence or public authority is such a novelty that they should always be treated with kid gloves as their removal would probably put a man in the job, constituting a reversal for women. I hear this regularly in interviews on the BBC’s Woman’s Hour, where Jenni Murray interviews women in powerful positions, such as Alison Saunders, the current Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), in a sycophantic manner reminiscent of a schoolgirl excited to be given the privilege of interviewing an important person for the school newspaper, and not questioning them about serious failings, some of which have led to lives being lost. (Her interview with Madeleine Albright was another example.) We even sometimes hear this about women whose jobs involve victimising people, such as was said when a certain feminist activist known for harassing transgender people was exposed as working as a lawyer for the pay-day loan industry.

Women who do bad jobs, or who do vital jobs badly, should be open to criticism, whether it’s Kuenssberg or Alison Saunders or, say, Katrina Percy of Southern Health. I’ve been involved in a campaign (led mostly by women) to get rid of her and a number of other men and women in senior positions at that trust, and while I’m sure some people would like it if a woman took over from her, a man will do as long as it results in better care and no more drownings in baths. We’ve yet to see any misogyny or any attempt to discredit us with it, but I really hope the public will see through it if this happens (so far, the only abuse that could be described as such has been directed at Sara Ryan, the mother of the young man who drowned, not at Percy or anyone else at the trust). If Kuenssberg goes, it would be great if they found another woman, but not at the expense of persistent bias in favour of the government and, where the Labour party is concerned, the embittered right. It would, however, be a disaster for free speech if it were possible to destroy perfectly legitimate campaigns by making them look racist, sexist or otherwise malicious and getting petitions cancelled and other means of protest blocked. It’s up to the petition site owners to give campaigners the ability to make sure it doesn’t happen.

Image source: Wikipedia. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 licence.

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As an American Muslim, Donald Trump doesn’t scare me. He inspires me to vote | Moustafa Bayoumi

The Guardian World news: Islam - 10 May, 2016 - 16:52
The Republican nominee’s campaign traffics in threats, including Islamophobia. But the US is a diverse society now – and mobilising to oppose radical haters

So now we know. Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee for president of the United States. Considering the Islamophobia of Trump’s campaign up until now, some terrible months lie ahead for Muslim Americans. But I won’t be intimidated by Trump. In fact, this is an exciting turn of events.

Trump was never alone in his Islamophobia, and most of the other Republican candidates for president of the United States had also expressed alarmist ideas regarding Muslim Americans. Ted Cruz called on police to patrol “Muslim neighbourhoods”. Ben Carson stated that a Muslim would “have to reject the tenets of Islam” before becoming president. Chris Christie said that the United States should not admit any new Syrian refugees, not even “orphans under the age of five”.

Related: Sadiq Khan: I don't want exemption from 'ignorant' Trump's Muslim ban

Related: Donald Trump's kryptonite: millions of active – and furious – Latino voters | Sabrina Vourvoulias

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Citadel military college bans prospective Muslim student from wearing headscarf

The Guardian World news: Islam - 10 May, 2016 - 16:38

South Carolina institution official cites school policy of having cadets look similar as its president says ‘uniformity is cornerstone’ of program

The Citadel military college has decided a newly accepted Muslim student cannot wear her traditional Muslim headscarf if she enrolls.

The South Carolina school announced Tuesday that commandant of cadets Geno Paluso decided that allowing the student to wear the head covering, known as a hijab, wouldn’t be consistent with the school’s policy of having cadets look similar.

Related: West Point 'black power' photo a 'tempest in a teapot', experts say

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Police apologise for 'Allahu Akbar' use in mock Manchester attack

The Guardian World news: Islam - 10 May, 2016 - 14:05

Greater Manchester police say it was unacceptable to use religious phrase immediately before fake suicide bombing

Greater Manchester police have apologised after a fake suicide bomber shouted “Allahu Akbar” during a simulated terrorist attack at one of the UK’s biggest shopping centres.

More than 800 volunteers took part in the training exercise at the Trafford Centre in Manchester on Monday night. The mock attack, which took five months to plan, was designed to be similar to the marauding-style Paris and Brussels atrocities.

Please provide an explanation @gmpolice @RSutcliffeACC @amandacomms why the terrorist in #CTexercise was #Muslim and shouted Allah Akhbar.

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Who really “made Islam a hot topic”?

Indigo Jo Blogs - 10 May, 2016 - 13:27

A Mail on Sunday headline reading "On Thursday, are we really going to hand the world's greatest city to a Labour party that thinks terrorists are its friends?". There is a picture of a bombed-out London bus from the 2005 bombings.There has been an article published on the Daily Beast, the American news website that owns Newsweek, by Maajid Nawaz, explaining to their American audience the “real reason” why Islam was made an issue of during the recent mayoral campaign. It’s not just that the Tories used a consultant that is notorious for running racist campaigns that appeal to the worst in middle-class white provincials and suburbanites; no, it’s all down to “Islamists” and their friends on the “Regressive Left” in the Labour party and the liberal British media, who hold Muslims to “lower expectations” than others, and the “Populist Right” such as Donald Trump’s Republicans. He brings up things that were never mentioned in the recent campaign, such as the fact that he once shared platforms with people linked to extremists or who expressed unpopular opinions and that third parties told Muslim voters in Tooting not to vote for an “Ahmadi” Lib Dem candidate.

As someone who has been a Muslim since 1998, and used to make regular visits to mosques in Tooting and elsewhere in south London (I lived in Croydon until 2001), I can say that it’s difficult for Muslims not to come into contact with the people that Nawaz labels as “extremists”, and this was more true before 2001 than it is now because things were much more open, people were much less fearful and some groups held different positions to those they hold today. Many people would disagree with, for example, al-Muhajiroun’s policies on Muslims voting, but they did not intimidate anyone into not voting and the functions they put on (one of which I attended in 2000 or so) were social events where Muslims networked, and were not fraught or intimidating. Al-Muhajiroun changed their position in 2004 to an explicitly Salafi-Jihadi one and their tactics of holding disruptive demonstrations (including at other Muslim groups’ demos, such as those by CagePrisoners) started in earnest then. Some of the press reporting about the 2005 election campaign in Tooting (which Khan won) suggests that they were involved in some of the disruption.

Nawaz claims that there is a “left-wing bigotry of low expectations that holds Muslims to lesser, illiberal standards”. In another Daily Beast article linked off that one, he names the Guardian as a host for such attitudes. I’ve read the Guardian for years and most of their coverage of Islam is through a white liberal lens and there is a shortage of identifably Muslim contributors. When, for example, Nawaaz’s friend Usama Hasan was made unwelcome in the mosque he believed he would inherit the imamate of by dynastic succession for expressing a belief in human Darwinian evolution, the Guardian treated him as a wronged, brave dissenter. But the truth is that it is not a question of holding Muslims to lesser standards but of accepting that others’ standards are different, and don’t regard our standards as necessarily higher than theirs.

Picture of a high wall, on the left side of which children appear to be playing in a school playground in its shadow. On the right is a factory, houses and some sports fields.In places Nawaz appears to be relying on the ignorance of his foreign readership. I do not recognise his description of London as a “torn city”. This is not Belfast, or even Glasgow. It’s a place where, with the exception of some of the outer suburbs, people of different races and creeds live, work, study and travel together. People by and large keep themselves to themselves and do not strike up random conversations on the street or train — it’s not one big village or happy family — but they do know each other enough not to be afraid. The exceptions, and the places where Goldsmith did best, were in the white-dominated outer suburbs where people don’t see people of other cultures on a daily basis — they don’t, for example, have numerous perfectly civil encounters with Muslim women in hijab at college or on the train — and might perhaps be more susceptible to fear-based propaganda. This is how it is with racism in general; the more people actually meet those of other cultures or ethnicities, the less prejudiced they tend to be towards them. The outer suburbs tend to be the areas that vote Tory anyway, but the fear campaign did not make any inroads and, as London had elected a Tory mayor twice, actually lost them votes.

But in any case, the reason the Tories thought a fear-based campaign focussing on Khan’s background would work has nothing to do with the “regressive Left” and very much to do with the media, particularly (but not only) the right-wing press, which has drip-fed the public a series of stories about Muslims as terrorists, Muslims demanding one type of “special treatment” or other, Muslims trying to censor others’ free speech, Muslims simply doing things differently from others (e.g. having separate seating for men and women at events) with this being presented as a threat or as a scandal that it’s even allowed, and so on. Outrage is regularly manufactured about such matters that in fact threaten the life or liberty of nobody, and which are replicated in some other religious and even secular spaces (e.g. schools of other faiths and none, feminist conferences), with MPs joining in the frenzy.

 Give Us Full Sharia Law".The idea that every Londoner (let alone anyone else) is continually confronted by any kind of Muslim threat, or irritated by Muslim behaviour or obstructed by praying Muslims as they go about their business is laughable. People think Muslims are trouble because the papers tell them, and the ones who meet us every day won’t fall for fearmongering (and lies — we shouldn’t forget that the British mass-market tabloid press has a record of publishing malicious and fabricated stories) whereas those who only read about us in the papers probably will.

Bigotry is only to be blamed on the bigot, and the stirring of it only on the stirrer. We cannot blame Muslims, Islamists, the anti-racist left who do not demand humiliating renunciations of whole tracts of their religion, or anyone else for the Tory campaign against Sadiq Khan except the Tory party itself. It miscalculated, as it had a candidate who was fairly well-liked, who had been trying to build bridges with the Muslim community and has Muslim family connections, and faced a Labour candidate who was distrusted by his own community because he had taken a pro-Israel and anti-BDS stance, had attacked Muslim rights groups and made scaremongering remarks about Muslims and extremism to the press. He is considered almost as much an Uncle Tom as Maajid Nawaz is. The Tories had an open goal, and failed to take advantage of it because they thought that after decades of abuse from them and their propaganda press towards all their favourite targets, such as Muslims, a few smears targeting his religion and his human rights work before he became an MP would do the trick. What there is to celebrate is not that we have our “first Muslim mayor”; it’s that a racist negative campaign backfired spectacularly.

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Sadiq Khan: I don't want exemption from 'ignorant' Trump's Muslim ban

The Guardian World news: Islam - 10 May, 2016 - 10:25

London mayor says presidential hopeful’s policy to ban Muslims from entering the US ‘isn’t just about me’

Sadiq Khan, the new mayor of London, has rebuffed Donald Trump’s suggestion that he could be an exception to Trump’s proposed policy to ban all Muslims from travelling to the United States.

Khan, the capital’s first Muslim mayor, said the call by the presumptive Republicannominee for president for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the US was something that directly affected those closest to him, and said making an exception for him was not the answer.

Related: Donald Trump: ban all Muslims entering US

Son of a Pakistani bus driver, champion of workers' rights and human rights, and now Mayor of London. Congrats, @SadiqKhan. -H

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Hotline blab: the latest way to Muslim identity from the inside and out | Mostafa Rachwani

The Guardian World news: Islam - 10 May, 2016 - 05:55

I won’t be advising the Muslim community to use a new hotline set up for parents who fear their children are being radicalised

The attorney general’s department, tasked with “countering violent extremism”, often comes up with ideas that objectively seem sound, but in the context of growing and rampant Islamophobia, are actually rather daft.

Take the recent announcement that they will be establishing a hotline for parents who fear their children are being “radicalised”. They say it will “… help families and other frontline workers such as teachers and community leaders to seek help for young people at risk of online grooming by terrorists.”

Related: Australian election 2016: Plibersek attacks Greens over 'pragmatic deals' – politics live

Related: There's a lot written about young Muslim men in Australia, hardly anything written by them | Omar Bensaidi

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