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A Sinner in Mecca review – Islam, homosexuality and the hope of tolerance

The Guardian World news: Islam - 10 September, 2017 - 13:29

In a book subtitled ‘A Gay Muslim’s Hajj of Defiance’, Parvez Sharma’s pilgramage leads him to consider Isis, Wahabbism and the true nature of his faith

Parvez Sharma is a proud gay Muslim whose first film, A Jihad For Love, was the first ever made about Islam and homosexuality. It made him the subject of death threats throughout the Arab world.

Related: Gay Muslim film-maker receives online abuse for hajj documentary

In my nightmares, my ihram would fall off in Mecca, subjecting unsuspecting pilgrims to my un-Muslim penis

Related: Gay pride only goes so far in India | Parvez Sharma

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National party votes against banning burqa in government buildings

The Guardian World news: Islam - 10 September, 2017 - 01:58

North Queensland MP George Christensen, who brought the motion to the federal conference, argued it was needed for security reasons

The Nationals have voted down a motion to ban the burqa and other facial coverings in government buildings and other public spaces.

North Queensland federal MP George Christensen, who brought the motion to the federal conference, argued it was needed for security reasons but also noted the party was “bleeding to the right” on issues such as this.

Related: Pauline Hanson wears burqa in Australian Senate while calling for ban

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Of course British Muslims are being held back. This is an Islamophobic country | Shaista Aziz

The Guardian World news: Islam - 8 September, 2017 - 16:18
With Muslims constantly spoken of or portrayed in a negative way, it’s no wonder we struggle to get jobs and be socially mobile

The government’s study into the social mobility challenges faced by young British Muslims once again shines a troubling spotlight on how race, class, Islamophobia and patriarchy within Muslim communities – and wider British society – is impacting the life chances and quality of life for a significant section of the British population.

It also further highlights the deepening fractures in our society. It is not inconsequential that the report from the government’s social mobility commission has been published days before the 16th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and the subsequent normalisation of anti-Muslim rhetoric in so much of our political, social and media discourse.

Related: Islamophobia holding back UK Muslims in workplace, study finds

Related: 'I don't see how you can succeed': discrimination faced by would-be teacher

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The Guardian view on the Rohingya in Myanmar: the Lady’s failings, the military’s crimes | Editorial

The Guardian World news: Islam - 7 September, 2017 - 19:23
The killing and abuse of civilians is a crime against humanity. Aung San Suu Kyi must speak out – but this violence is the army’s

Aung San Suu Kyi’s long silence over the desperate plight of the Rohingya in Myanmar has been shameful. With tens of thousands now fleeing atrocities in Rakhine state, the Nobel peace prize winner’s aura of moral sanctity lies in tatters. The Muslim minority are denied citizenship by a government which claims, against the evidence, that they are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. After decades of discrimination, matters got much worse. Since 2012 the Rohingya have endured not just immiseration and the denial of basic rights and services – many live in internment camps – but three major waves of violence by government forces and Buddhist Burman nationalists. Myanmar’s de facto leader has turned a blind eye.

Speak up, people have urged her. Do something. So far her words and actions have been as bad as her reticence. The government has blocked access to United Nations human rights investigators and aid workers. A post on her Facebook page blamed “terrorists” for “a huge iceberg of misinformation” about the current violence. Whether she shares the widespread prejudice towards the Rohingya is a moot question: she does not challenge it. Perhaps the populist Islamophobic forces thriving elsewhere encourage such indifference. On Wednesday, shortly after she met Narendra Modi – no stranger to condoning and exploiting vicious Islamophobia – India’s prime minister said his country shared Myanmar’s concerns about “extremist violence” in Rakhine state.

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Differing views about foster children’s needs | Letters

The Guardian World news: Islam - 7 September, 2017 - 18:39
The Daily Telegraph’s Allison Pearson responds to a Guardian column that referred to her piece about a young girl placed with Muslim foster parents

Your columnist Nesrine Malik (Can’t talk about Muslims? It seems we do little else, 5 September) claims I wrote in my Daily Telegraph column that I was “deeply uneasy about this Muslim foster family”. That is untrue. The quotation marks are around the headline to my piece, which I didn’t write. I said I was uneasy at the sight of a five-year-old girl in Tower Hamlets given into the care of a woman who wears a burqa, which covers her whole body and face. I also said I consider the burqa to be an extremist garment, which makes the wearer unable to interact with wider society. Therefore, I would not want a child of any religion or ethnicity fostered by someone who wears one. Plenty of people agree.

Foster carers of all kinds do a wonderful job, but social workers are bidden to place children in environments that are sensitive to their needs. The little girl was reported to be crying and complained that Arabic was spoken in the home where she was placed. She was reluctant to return to her foster family. I’m not surprised. A carer in a burqa is hardly a tolerant role model for a British child in the 21st century. Courageous Muslim women in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere are fighting to cast off the life-limiting garment which a misogynist belief system imposes on them. It is unfortunate, to say the least, that a London local authority should endorse it.
Allison Pearson
Daily Telegraph

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'I don't see how you can succeed': discrimination faced by would-be teacher

The Guardian World news: Islam - 7 September, 2017 - 06:01

Fatou, who has a degree in childhood studies, thinks her Muslim religion played a part in her rejection from jobs

Fatou came to the UK from Guinea when she was 16. She dreamed of a successful career as a banker or doctor and had worked hard to gain qualifications, which she had to redo in the UK. She completed her GCSEs and gained a degree in childhood studies from Leeds Metropolitan University.

“My tutor suggested I look at teaching qualifications and I thought ‘why not?’” she said, describing how she ended up achieving QTS (qualified teacher status) in early years education with a good grade.

Related: Islamophobia holding back UK Muslims in workplace, study finds

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Islamophobia holding back UK Muslims in workplace, study finds

The Guardian World news: Islam - 7 September, 2017 - 06:00

One in five Muslim adults in full-time work compared with 35% of overall population, Social Mobility Commission says

Muslim men and women are being held back in the workplace by widespread Islamophobia, racism and discrimination, according to a study which finds that Muslim adults are far less likely to be in full-time work.

Research for the government’s social mobility watchdog, shared exclusively with the Guardian, found a strong work ethic and high resilience among Muslims that resulted in impressive results in education.

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What is the Muslim World Doing to Help the Rohingya?

altmuslim - 6 September, 2017 - 22:46
For all the talk of Muslim solidarity, it seems that after all, the best hope for the Rohingya is that the United States and the European Union use the diplomatic clout they possess to sway the Myanmar government.

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