Australia's imams council denies grand mufti justified Paris attacks

The Guardian World news: Islam - 17 November, 2015 - 20:52

After criticism from Coalition MPs of mufti’s response to Paris, council issues a new statement saying there is ‘no justification’ for taking innocent lives

The Australian National Imams Council has hit back at suggestions the grand mufti of Australia did not condemn the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris strongly enough.

Related: Australia’s grand mufti criticised by Coalition over Paris attack comments

Breaking: Press Release from the Grand #Mufti clarifying his statement re #ParisAttacks

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Deep roots of Islamic State’s murderous fanaticism | Letters

The Guardian World news: Islam - 17 November, 2015 - 20:36

David Shariatmadari (Opinion, 16 November) keys into a fundamental fact of this outrageous terror campaign: “Isis hates civilisation wherever it sees it, not just in the west.” It’s vital to vibrantly sustain that notion, to ensure the prevention of any widespread negative tendency towards to all things Islam. Most Muslim people, who live true to authentic Qur’an idealism, would vigorously condemn and dissociate themselves from this tragically distorted ideological anarchy, enacted viciously in the name of a noble spiritual tradition.

But disaffected fanaticism surely has its roots in many manipulative socioeconomic and erstwhile colonial travesties, stretching back through not only decades but centuries. While this may not be the optimal time to ponder this history, it’s crucial in the medium to longer term to appraise this selfsame backdrop, to stand any chance of a sustainable, equitable resolution.

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Britain is in no position to criticise the French state | Letters

The Guardian World news: Islam - 17 November, 2015 - 20:36

Yet another unsympathetic and, frankly, wrong interpretation of laïcité, which never seems to get beyond the single issue of the headscarf – a not uncontroversial matter even within Islam (Paris, je t’aime, G2, 17 November). The French constitution expressly defends the right of religious practice and, implicitly, the right of individual conscience in the face of so-called religious or other communities; a form of governance that excludes religious privilege. According to what inclusive model do we presume to criticise the French state? The ability of faith groups to enforce the closure of plays and exhibitions? The faith-determined refusal of the Northern Ireland administration to implement laws on abortion and same-sex marriage operating in the rest of the UK?
Henry Phillips

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The Guardian view on defeating Isis: winning hearts and minds | Editorial

The Guardian World news: Islam - 17 November, 2015 - 20:27
The terrorists want to divide by fear. The best defence is to build solidarity by expanding our common home

Violent jihad predates 9/11 and it will outlast Islamic State, as Isis now dwarfs al-Qaida. Even if inflicting military defeat on such a shifting target can be done, it would not end violent extremism. As the pool of potential jihadis, newly trained in techniques of terror in the training camps of the self-declared caliphate, grows more numerous, the question of how to shrink its operating space becomes increasingly important. This is not a question of drones and bombs, but of hearts and minds.

Like all jihadi terror movements, Isis seeks to foment division, to sort the world into supporters and the rest. This is a violent campaign of disruption intended to destroy multiculturalism wherever it exists. With fear and terror Isis intends to sow mistrust and hatred between communities.

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MPs criticise Cage for being slow to condemn Paris attacks

The Guardian World news: Islam - 17 November, 2015 - 19:42

Select committee chairman Keith Vaz says campaign group was ‘deeply misguided’ to have missed chance to put things right

The chairman of parliament’s home affairs select committee has criticised Cage, the group which campaigns on behalf of communities affected by the war on terrorism, for failing to condemn the attacks in Paris “until they attended parliament”.

After an hour of pointed questioning by MPs, Keith Vaz, the Labour chair of the committee, told Adnan Siddiqui, the group’s director, that it was “deeply misguided not to have issued [a condemnation] about Paris”.

Related: Charities can fund Cage campaign group, commission agrees

Related: Boris Johnson tells Cage research director to defend victims of Isis

Related: 'Extremist is the secular word for heretic': the Hizb ut-Tahrir leader who insists on his right to speak

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Tamwar's speech in EastEnders shows the true face of Islam

The Guardian World news: Islam - 17 November, 2015 - 18:17

The scene in Monday’s episode in which Tamwar Masood explained his faith to his girlfriend Nancy was a rare – and timely – counter to how Muslims are often portrayed on TV

It’s not often you turn to EastEnders for a little nuance – let alone a crumb of spiritual comfort. But in a particularly bleak week, when the news was filled with terrifying details of the Paris atrocity, the show offered a quiet moment of respite. In a short scene, one character, Tamwar Masood, gently tried to explain his religion to his girlfriend Nancy.

Reciting a passage from the Qur’an, he translated it as: “Do good to relatives, orphans, the needy, the neighbour who is near of kin, the neighbour who is a stranger, to the companion at your side and to the traveller.” Haltingly, he explained: “That, to me, is what Islam is about. Be kind to people, family and strangers alike, and love them.”

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Israel bans Islamist group it blames for inciting Arabs

The Guardian World news: Islam - 17 November, 2015 - 12:28

Security cabinet approves crackdown on Islamic Movement of Israel, prompting police to close 17 affiliated organisations and search offices

Israel has outlawed an Islamist group it blames for inciting the country’s Arab citizens and fuelling a two-month wave of deadly violence.

The move was swiftly condemned by Arab leaders and threatens to worsen already strained relations with Israel’s Arab minority.

Related: Palestinian Salafists pose dangerous new problem for Hamas

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Rupert Murdoch to Obama on refugees: admit only 'proven Christians'

The Guardian World news: Islam - 17 November, 2015 - 11:03

News Corp chief tweets some worrying anti-Muslim advice to US president

I see Rupert Murdoch has come up with a foolproof method to ensure that the United States is safe from terrorism.

In a tweet offering advice to the American president, he wrote:

“Obama facing enormous opposition in accepting refugees. Maybe make special exception for proven Christians”

“Interesting idea... will you come and talk about it on @BBCNewsnight”.

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Australia’s grand mufti criticised by Coalition over Paris attack comments

The Guardian World news: Islam - 17 November, 2015 - 08:01

Ministers say Ibrahim Abu Mohamed’s statement, which highlighted the ‘causative factors’ of the attack, did not go far enough it its condemnation

Australia’s grand mufti has been criticised by federal ministers for not going far enough in his condemnation of the Paris attacks.

Related: Australian Muslim party launches but Christopher Pyne questions electoral chances

Related: 'We reject any form of terrorist activities': religious community responds to Parramatta shooting

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Texas Falls Victim to Terror

Muslim Matters - 17 November, 2015 - 03:40
Syrian boys, whose family fled their home in Idlib, walk to their tent, at a camp for displaced Syrians, in the village of Atmeh, Syria, Monday, Dec. 10, 2012

Syrian boys, whose family fled their home in Idlib, walk to their tent, at a camp for displaced Syrians, in the village of Atmeh, Syria, Monday, Dec. 10, 2012

Terror has taken over Texas.

Not with guns or bombs, but with fear and xenophobia.

Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas, the state in which I live (sometimes to my embarrassment), sent President Obama a letter today informing him that the state of Texas will not accept any Syrian refugees, and he urges the President to stop his plans to accept Syrian refugees in this country.  He is joined in this refusal by the governors of Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Illinois, and Michigan. The number of governors denying refugee settlement is growing (22 by some online reports).

I do not feel safer because Governor Abbott has closed our doors to Syrian refugees.

Rather, I feel vulnerable because this refusal reflects our government's inability to find a way to keep us safe from terrorists, as the governor himself states.

I am ashamed that the fear engendered by the terror attacks in Paris has defeated us.

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant said in a statement that he will do “everything humanly possible to stop any plans from the Obama administration to put Syrian refugees in Mississippi.”  That almost sounds like a feeble call to war.

It is rhetoric that appeals to those who feel threatened by the 'new' others, who accuse the president of weakness.

I don't consider these governors to be honorable men. They are cowards who are not inclined to use their intellect or resources to devise a plan for America to be safe and compassionate.  They don't really care for the hungry and homeless of Syria any more than they care for the children who walk hundreds of miles across deserts alone to breach the Mexican border.

They prefer partisan talk and talk of states' rights.

Laura Turner writes in the Religion News Service: “Syrian refugees need the aid and shelter of the global community, and Christians should be the first to answer the call for hospitality.” In a Christian-majority country, where is the hospitality of which she speaks?

Perhaps the governors' refusal reflects their ignorance of current events in Syria, that many are fleeing the Assad regime, which commits atrocities against men, women and children daily. But Assad doesn't violate buildings in Parisian neighborhoods; the Eiffel Tower cannot be lit with any color representing his victims.

And perhaps Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal chooses to ignore the possibility that his own parents, immigrants from Punjab, might have been refused entry to the United States were an ISIS-type entity operating in India and our elected officials closed our doors.

Adding to the mix are reports that the Syrian passport found at one of the attack sites was fake. A top EU official claims,

“Let me underline—the profile of the terrorists so far identified tells us this is an internal threat. It is all EU citizens so far. This can change with the hours, but so far it is quite clear it is an issue of internal domestic security,” High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini stated, following a gathering of EU foreign ministers.”

Are Americans not strong enough, smart enough, willing enough, to compassionately open our borders to the lost and vulnerable?  Or are we so fearful we hide from the enemy behind metaphorical walls?

The pedestal of the statue of Liberty contains these verses meant to honor all those who flee poverty and oppression:

Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

Today at Lady Liberty's feet rest the ghostly voices of drowned children, terrified mothers, fathers begging Christian Europeans for bread, for shelter, for warmth.

Will America allow terror to win?

Australian Muslim party launches but Christopher Pyne questions electoral chances

The Guardian World news: Islam - 17 November, 2015 - 01:40

Coalition frontbencher says ‘I don’t think a religious-based party will be very successful’ but founder says party would give the Muslim community a voice

A new political party aimed at giving Australian Muslims a political voice was to be launched on Tuesday, but Coalition frontbencher Christopher Pyne has called into question its electoral chances.

Related: George Brandis: alienating Australian Muslims the 'worst thing we could do'

Related: Geert Wilders tells Australia to abandon multiculturalism or end up like the EU

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The Project's Waleed Aly hits out at Isis over Paris attacks in viral video

The Guardian World news: Islam - 16 November, 2015 - 21:53

Aly says Isis is weaker than it seems, but MPs in Australia who preach hate and division are only helping ‘these bastards’ prosper

A powerful video of Waleed Aly outlining strategies to stop Isis in the wake of the Paris attacks has drawn more than 10 million viewers.

Aly, one of the hosts on Channel 10’s The Project, has become renowned for his editorials at the end of the show. On Monday’s program he focused on the aftermath of the attacks in France which left 129 people dead.

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Growing number of US states seek to block acceptance of Syrian refugees

The Guardian World news: Islam - 16 November, 2015 - 21:46

At least 15 states voice opposition to refugees’ resettlement as legal experts say some governors may be attempting to act beyond the bounds of their authority

A growing list of governors and lawmakers are moving to block US acceptance of Syrian refugees, inciting outrage from the Muslim and immigrant communities who say it is Muslims who have suffered the most from Isis attacks. Legal experts, meanwhile, warn that many governors’ positions exceed their state power.

At least 15 states have expressed resistance to accepting Syrian refugees attempting to flee their country’s civil war, and the list is rapidly expanding. Several governors are working to prevent refugee resettlement in their state directly, while other governors and several members of Congress are urging federal action.

Related: Obama savages Republican calls to give priority to Christian refugees from Syria

“The threat posed to Texas by ISIS is very real. ISIS claimed credit last May when two terrorist gunmen launched an attack in Garland, Texas. Less than two weeks later, the FBI arrested an Iraqi-born man in North Texas and charged him with lying to federal agents about traveling to Syria to fight with ISIS. And in 2014, when I served as Texas attorney general, we participated in a Joint Terrorism Task Force that arrested two Austin residents for providing material support to terrorists – including ISIS.”

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Farage accuses Muslims in UK of 'split loyalties'

The Guardian World news: Islam - 16 November, 2015 - 21:40

Ukip leader calls for battle for hearts and minds of Muslims after Paris attacks and claims EU imperils UK because of risk of terrorists posing as migrants

Some British Muslims are “conflicted in their loyalties” between the UK way of life and what some elements within their faith are telling them, Nigel Farage has said in a speech.

In an incendiary intervention in the wake of the Paris terror attacks, the Ukip leader said there must be a battle for hearts and minds within the Muslim population.

Related: The fight against Islamophobia is going backwards | Matthew Goodwin

Related: Nigel Farage: British Muslim ‘fifth column’ fuels fear of immigration

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