Friday, 29 January 2010

Iraq Inquiry

Gavin Cordon, Sam Marsden and Mark Bulstrode, Press Association, Independent, Blair insists he was right to stop Saddam, 29 Jan 2010 "Defiant Tony Blair declared today that he was right to take action to stop Saddam Hussein, even though his supposed weapons of mass destruction turned out not to exist."

'Islamic Human Rights Commission' opinion piece

Douglas Murray, Telegraph, The truth about the Islamic Human Rights Commission, recommended by Britain's Muslim Police, 21 Jan 2010 "As I noted earlier, the National Association of Muslim Police thinks British Muslims should report crimes to the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC). It sounds a lovely organisation, doesn’t it? Human Rights. Who could be against that?

"The only problem, as so often with Islamic groups, is that it doesn’t do exactly what it says on the tin."

Opinion piece.

Digital Disruption

John Domokos and Haroon Siddique, Guardian, How young Muslims are fighting extremist propaganda, 29 Jan 2010

"The communities secretary, John Denham, has promised to make changes to the anti-extremism programme Prevent after Islamic groups accused it of stigmatising all Muslims as terrrorists and even spying on them. Haroon Siddique talks to participants on one of the schemes, the Digital Disruption project, about the value of what they are learning."

There's an interesting video attached to the above page.

Inayat Bunglawala

Guardian, Muslim Council spokesman wins payout over Mail on Sunday claims, 29 Jan 2010 "Associated Newspapers today agreed to pay out libel damages to Inayat Bunglawala, a spokesman at the Muslim Council of Britain, over an inaccurate claim in the Mail on Sunday that he supported al-Qaida."

Thursday, 28 January 2010

European Muslim Research Centre, University of Exeter

The European Muslim Research Centre is announced through the following article:

Jonathan Githens-Mazer and Robert Lambert, Guardian, Muslims in the UK: beyond the hype, 28 Jan 2010 "Today, we are proud to launch the European Muslim Research Centre (EMRC) at the University of Exeter. We hope that the EMRC will be part of a wider process of voices and perspectives which are too often being ignored, or buried under a tide of negative portrayals of Muslim communities and Islam by vociferous sections of the media and populist politicians."

There's a new report, published today via the EMRC website, (direct link: Islamophobia and Anti- Muslim Hate Crime: a London case study [pdf]. I haven't read this yet.

It will be interesting to track the progress of this centre, and to see what events and publications emerge. They have an Advisory Board that includes John Esposito (Georgetown University), Tim Niblock (University of Exeter) and Muhammad Abdul Bari (from the Muslim Council of Britain)

Monday, 25 January 2010

"Muslim students monitored in UK "

al-Jazeera, Muslim students monitored in UK, 25 Jan 2010 film report: I had some problems with the embedded feature here, so click on the link to see the report.

Surveillance society(?)

Telegraph, Terrorism and child pornography used to justify surveillance society, says academic, 23 Jan 2010 "The authorities have taken “advantage of the terrorist bombing in London” to erode civil liberties, according to Professor Ian Walden, an expert on internet communication and online security."

Friday, 22 January 2010

1,001 Inventions: Discover the Muslim Heritage in Our World

Telegraph, Elephant Clock is centrepiece of Science Museum's Islamic exhibition, 22 Jan 2010

The exhibitions site is

iMuslims Review

The Times Literary Supplement contains a short review of iMuslims in today's edition (22 Jan 2010). It's not online yet.

Commentary on al-Muhajiroun

Raffaello Pantucci, Terrorism Monitor, 8,1, Ban on U.K. Radical Islamist Group al-Muhajiroun Raises Free Speech Questions, Jan 21, 2010 "The actual impact of the ban is very hard to measure. Al-Muhajiroun co-founder Anjem Choudary remains a very public figure (he did numerous public interviews in the wake of the proscription) and has not given any indication that he is going to curb his calls for Shari’a in the U.K."

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Commentary on UCL 'Islamists'

Commentary: Douglas Murray, Daily Mail, UCL professors and students: still turning a blind eye to Islamists on campus, 19 Jan 2010, "One of the few positive things came at the end in the floor speeches. A delightful and pious young Muslim stood up and said that in his experience the Islamic society on campus was certainly radical and that was why he had not joined it and wouldn’t go to their meetings. As he said, we have to admit there is a problem. But as the NUS and UCL representatives showed again last night, they are a very long way from doing that."

Muslim Driving School

BBC News, Muslim Driving School: Driving with the veil "Muslim Driving School gives an insight into the lives of Muslim women learner drivers, their instructors and families." This is on BBC Two at 2200 GMT on Tuesdays, and on iPlayer. I saw it for the first time last night.

Also see BBC News, Muslim grandmother gets into the driving seat

Main page: Muslim Driving School

'Children create cross-cultural harmony'

Adam Barnard, Guardian, Children create cross-cultural harmony, 12 Jan 2010 "The children of Shirley Manor, a primary school in a run-down part of Bradford, an area far-right activists call a powerbase, are stunned. They have just returned from a visit to a school in another part of Bradford, where almost every pupil is Asian. "But actually, they like pizza," the children report. "And they watch television. And one has an Xbox!"" Just found this article: well worth reading.

Related: Jessica Shepherd, Guardian, England's schools are becoming more diverse, 20 Jan 2010

Monday, 18 January 2010

Event: Middle Eastern Spirituality and Peace Festival

"From Friday 5 March - Thursday 18 March 2010 the 7th Annual Edinburgh International Festival of Middle Eastern Spirituality and Peace, MESP 2010, will bring together people from a wide range of spiritual backgrounds, people working with peace, conflict, reconciliation and justice, educators, teachers, scholars and students, people from artistic and cultural backgrounds, people working with health, wellbeing and healing experiences and concerns, people from diverse cultures, traditions and communities, and people from across Scotland and internationally." Details: Middle Eastern Spirituality and Peace Festival


Times Online/, Islamic sect’s plan to build mega-mosque next to Olympics site collapses, 17 Jan 2010 "Tablighi Jamaat, the Islamic sect behind the proposal, will be evicted this week from the East London site, where it has been operating illegally a temporary mosque and had planned a complex that would accommodate 12,000 worshippers."

Minhaj ul-Islam report

"Daily Star, Muslim group's damning report against terrorism, 18 Jan 2010, "East London Sufi organisation Minhaj-ul-Quran launched a damning 600-page report today condemning terrorism."

I had a quick look for the report on their website - nothing yet (will update). However, see, “Fatwa” against terrorists, 5 Dec 2009 "Islam does not permit, under any circumstances, the massacre of innocent citizens, terroristic explosions and suicide bombings. The continuous carnage and slaughtering of people, suicide bombings against innocent and peaceful communities, explosions at mosques, shrines, educational institutions and businesses; the destruction of government institutions, buildings, trade centers; attacks on defense training centers, embassies, transports systems and other institutions of civil society; all these acts are grave violations of human rights and constitute kufr, disbelief, under Islamic law. The founder and patron in chief of Minhaj-ul-Quran International, and Chairman of Pakistan Awami Tehreek, Shaykh-ul-Islam, Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri issued his detailed edict (fatwa) today, consisting of 200 pages, while addressing a press video conference from Canada."

Monday, 4 January 2010

Islam4UK march

Ian Drury and Andy Dolan, Daily Mail, Choudary compares British troops to Nazi stormtroopers as 190,000 sign Facebook bid to stop his Islamic extremist march, 4 Jan 2010

"As more than 190,000 people signed an internet petition objecting to the march, Anjem Choudary said he had chosen to protest in the town - renowned for honouring soldiers killed in Afghanistan - because it would attract 'maximum attention'."

Also see Telegraph, What is Islam4UK?, 4 Jan 2010

Related links:

Facebook, No to the Planned Islam4UK March through Wootton Bassett


Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab at UCL

Telegraph, Revealed: the true extent of Islamic radical influence at UCL, 3 Jan 09 "The Sunday Telegraph can disclose new details of radical Muslim speakers who have been invited to events organised by University College London's Islamic society, the organisation headed by Abdulmutallab when he was an undergraduate at the institution in 2006-07."