Friday, 26 February 2010

Lecture: "Towards Understanding Each Other's Scriptures"

Centre for Muslim-Christian Studies

2nd March, 2010: ANNUAL JOINT LECTURE at The North School, Examination Schools, High Street, Oxford

Prof. M. Ayoub and Dr M. Whittingham:

Towards Understanding Each Other's Scriptures

Britain "centre for Hamas support"

Martin Bright, The Jewish Chronicle, Britain now centre for Hamas support, 25 Feb 2010 "Britain as a Focus for Hamas's Political Propaganda and Legal Activities in Europe warns that this country's tradition of toleration has allowed supporters of the Palestinian terrorist organisation to develop a sophisticated activist and media operation."

Based on the report from Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (Israel), Britain as a Focus for Hamas’ Political, Propaganda and Legal Activities in Europe, 21 Feb 2010

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Abdalqadir as-Sufi and Murabitun Movement

Barney Henderson, Telegraph, Radical Muslim leader has past in swinging London, 20 Feb 2010 "Shaykh Abdalqadir as-Sufi, as he is now known, believes the Islam world will conquer the "Jewish dominated" West with an hardline interpretation of Islamic law."

Muslim Community Development Fund launch

APP, British politicians look forward to successful and inclusive British Muslim community, 24 Feb 2010 "Leading British politicians joined more than 500 guests from all areas of British Muslim civil society at the Muslim Council of Britain’s first Muslim Leadership dinner where the focus was on strengthening and inspiring a diverse array of Muslim individuals and groups for the good of all.Addressing the audience on Tuesday evening, the British Justice Secretary Jack Straw acknowledged “the vital and valued role Muslims and the Islamic faith play in our society.”MP Nick Clegg , Leader of the Liberal Democratic Party spoke about “the common values we all shared” as British citizens and said he felt “a sense of renewal and optimism” at the dinner."

'Prevent' and 'Generation Jihad'

Anwar Akhtar, Guardian, Comment is free, Prevent – back to the drawing board, 23 Feb 2010 "Generation Jihad showed tensions that have arisen from the Prevent programme. Prevent's whole starting point is Muslims and problems, which misses the equal responsibility of the western political establishment for the problems we all face from a tiny number of fascistic Islamic extremists."

Refers to Generation Jihad, which was on the BBC on Monday night. I haven't seen these programmes yet (I Sky+-ed them). The article also refers to a piece by Arun Kundnani

The latest (and final) episode can be found on iPlayer (UK viewers only), together with earlier episodes:

"Peter Taylor investigates what Britain is doing to counter the threat of violent extremism. In 2010, 140 million pounds will be spent to win the battle for the hearts and minds of young Muslims, but the policy risks alienating many in Britain's Muslim communities. With unique access to a man who came face to face with al-Qaeda and the inside story of how police managed to thwart would-be suicide bombers, the programme examines the biggest single threat to national security."

The Prevent page is here

Education and mentoring

CGNews/, Asim Siddiqui, Can madrasahs bridge the education gap for British Muslims?, 23 Feb 2010 "Studies show that poor educational attainment and professional underachievement are prevalent amongst young British Muslims. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation, an independent development and social research charity, found that British Muslims are less upwardly mobile than their Hindu, Christian and Jewish counterparts. This trend appears consistent across Europe, where Muslims are almost three times more likely to be unemployed than non-Muslims." Not sure which report this refers to here. The writer is linked to the CEDAR: European Muslim Professional Network. Here's a clip on their Mentoring Programme:

Voting patterns

Inayat Bunglawala, Guardian, Comment is free, Muslims cast few votes for Tories, 23 Feb 2010 "As Nick Spencer highlighted yesterday on Cif, research carried out by his Theos thinktank has found that UK Muslims are three times more likely to vote for the Labour party than the Conservatives."

Refers to:
Theos, Religious vote key to election result as Labour closes in on Conservatives, 21 Feb 2010, "In an opinion poll conducted for Theos by ComRes, support for the Conservatives has dropped two points from last week to 38%, Labour is up one to 30% and the Lib Dems are down one to 20%. Others are up two to 12%. All these changes are within the margin of error."

"Suicide bomb blast kills Welsh woman in Pakistan "

BBC News, Suicide bomb blast kills Welsh woman in Pakistan, 23 Feb 2010 "A British woman was among several people killed in a suicide bomb blast in a north-west Pakistan city."

'Blackburn Resistance'

Lancashire Telegraph, Blackburn 'terror' trial video footage released, 23 Feb 2010

"The videos have been released to the media after they have been played to the jury at Manchester Crown Court.

"The homemade footage shows the men firing weapons in the air at the back of their homes.

"Another piece of film, titled the 'Blackburn Resistance', shows two of the men dressed in camouflage crawling across woodland in Corporation Park, Blackburn."

This report shows an extract of a much-longer clip.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

"Scottish Muslims tackle Islamic far-right", Scottish Muslims tackle Islamic far-right, 21 Feb 2010 "Shaykh Amer Jamil, an Islamic scholar from Glasgow, has promised to wipe out what he sees as dangerous misinterpretations of his religion.

"Using arguments taken directly from the Koran, he is demolishing misguided attempts to justify domestic violence, within fringe elements of the Muslim community."

Tariq Ramadan Comment

Tariq Ramadan, Guardian, Islam's role in an ethical society, 23 Feb 2010

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Binyam Mohamed case

Daily Mail, Angry U.S. warns there will be a price for Britain to pay after judges reveal MI5 DID collude in abuse of terror suspects, 11 Feb 2010

Health issues

Diane Taylor , Guardian, Spiritual Healing: Mosques play key role in raising awareness about hepatitis C, 10 Feb 2010 "Mosques across the UK have been ­doubling as makeshift medical centres, with queues of worshippers lining up to have saliva swabs taken, in what could prove to be a model for identifying future health problems. In a unique collaboration, a team from the Royal London hospital in east ­London – led by Graham ­Foster, a professor of hepatology and a leading authority on viral liver disease – embarked five years ago on a mass viral hepatitis screening programme of apparently healthy people of south Asian origin in mosques and community centres."

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Abu Hamza

AFP/, Muslim cleric's London home seized to pay legal bills, 9 Feb 2010 "British legal aid authorities have seized the London home of jailed radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza to recover costs spent on defending him, they said Tuesday."

Prince Charles

Manchester Evening News, Prince Charles wowed by whirling dervishes, 8 Feb 2010 "Prince Charles was guest of honour at a celebration of Sufi Muslim culture at Manchester United's Old Trafford ground where he was entertained by whirlers in traditional dress.

"Greeted by artists, religious leaders and musicians, he made his way into a hushed hall at the stadium where he enjoyed a musical recitation of the Holy Quran accompanied by a whirling dervishes dressed in traditional costumes."

UK government 'initiative' on web

Tim Stevens,, Crowdsourcing Counterterrorism, 4 Feb 2010 "In conclusion, this reporting and adjudication mechanism looks to be the ‘least worst’ thing government could have done. It hasn’t announced that this will ’solve’ the problems as they see it, and it hasn’t sought to grab the headlines by launching it. If managed well, this could have some real effect on online behaviours government sees as undesirable. It takes the heat off ISPs and hosting companies, restores a degree of responsibility to consumers, and is unequivocal that there is actually very little content likely to be affected."

Mohammed Atif Siddique

Scotsman, Scot freed after his terror sentence was quashed insists: 'I'm not a terrorist, I'm more of a numpty', 10 Feb 2010 "Siddique insisted he was innocent of plotting to cause carnage in the centre of Glasgow. He said: "I admit to being a stupid loudmouth but I never planned to hurt, let alone kill anyone anywhere ...

"... The bulk of his sentence - six years - was for having material on his computer which a reasonable person would think was intended for use in a terrorist act."

Ali Dizaei

This is London, Ali Dizaei stripped of his £90,000 Met salary as he begins jail term, 9 Feb 2010 "The Met commander became the highest ranking officer to be convicted of corruption offences for more than 30 years when he was jailed for trying to frame a web designer."

Guardian, Ali Dizaei sentenced to four years in jail, 9 Feb 2010 "Dizaei, 47, remained defiant and told the Guardian the case was "completely outrageous and a fit-up". He said that he had been pursued by the authorities, who had a "vendetta" against him."

Monday, 8 February 2010


Daily Mail, Bus delayed after Muslim driver pulls over so he can pray in the aisle, 8 Feb 2010 "Transport for London said it had apologised to all the passengers for the delay to their journey and said all Muslim drivers are being reminded that they should pray during statutory rest periods rather than hold up services."

Policing issues

Telegraph, Muslim communities should do more to tackle potential terrorists, a chief constable warns, 7 Feb 2010 "Sir Norman Bettison, the head of West Yorkshire Police, said that Britain is facing another 20 years of having to deal with the threat from radicalised home-grown extremists.

"He said there was a fine line between winning the support of the Muslim community and alienating it, but he believed that Muslims needed to do more to tip off police."

'Generation Jihad' on BBC

Preview: Guardian, Generation Jihad, 8 Feb 2010 "In this three-part series, Peter Taylor examines the threat still posed by a tiny minority of radicalised young men seduced by fundamentalist Islam. Tonight, he interviews two such men, both recently released from jail, as well as examining the case of Hammad Munshi, who at 18 was Britain's youngest convicted terrorist. Glib explanations like poverty or poor education don't explain the Munshis of this world – the aggrieved young men, mesmerised by the medievalist, anti-modernist rhetoric they are exposed to via the web, are generally well educated. Plenty of sane Muslim voices offer perspective."

Programme page: BBC,Generation Jihad "In the first episode, Peter hears from those convicted under Britain's newest anti-terror laws and investigates how some of the most notorious terrorists came to be radicalised. He finds a generation that has shed the moderate Islam their parents brought to this country, and instead have adopted a faith that they believe compels them to stand apart from Britain and its values."

Also see Peter Taylor, BBC, Young British Muslim ex-prisoners unrepentant on views, 8 Feb 2010

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Islamic weddings 'chaos'

BBC News, Wedding chaos as Muslim marriages not recognised in UK, 3 Feb 2010 "A growing number of young Muslims in the UK are entering marriages that are not legally recognised, BBC Asian Network has found. This is because couples are having an Islamic wedding without the civil ceremony needed for the marriage to be recognised under British law." This includes an interview with Ghayasuddin Siddiqui of the Muslim Parliament of Great Britain, although the Muslim Parliament's website does not appear to have been updated on this issue. It does, however, have the details of the Muslim Marriage Contract, launched in 2008 by the Muslim Institute

Tariq Ali interview

Julie Mollins, Reuters, Tariq Ali on the state of UK politics, 3 Feb 2010 "Where is the burning debate on domestic and foreign policy observers might expect from the major political parties ahead of the next general election in Britain?

"It’s just not going to happen, says political commentator and writer Tariq Ali, whose new novel “Night of the Golden Butterfly” concludes a fictional series titled “Islam Quintet” he began writing 20 years ago."

Wole Soyinka

Riazat Butt, Guardian, 'Comment is Free', Wole Soyinka's rash words, 2 Feb 2010

"Is England really a "cesspit" and breeding ground for fundamentalist Muslims, as the Nobel laureate has it?"

Research on prisons

Gabriele Maraanci, New book: Faith, Ideology and Fear-Muslim Identities Within and Beyond Prisons, 5 Jan 2010 "My research has highlighted serious problems of discrimination based mainly upon religious and political victimisation. Adopting visibly religious behavior or converting to Islam can mean an increase in distrust from some sectors of the prison and especially from fellow inmates. This has, as we have seen, a serious impact on how Islam, as religion, is understood and practiced within prison and this increases the risk of certain radical groups exploiting former Muslim prisoners’ resentment." New from co-editor of Contemporary Islam journal.

Monday, 1 February 2010

"Jihad training for children"

Telegraph, Police warn of Jihad training for children, 1 Feb 2010 "''No child is ever too young to be started off on Jihad training,'' states one document recovered by police from the North West's Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU) during raids.

"CTU officers, interviewed by the BBC's Inside Out team for a special programme, show the document and a film they recovered of two children aged about three and six playing with a pistol and Kalashnikov rifle."

Inside Out programme link

Leicester, 21st year of Shia Muslim procession in Leicester, 1 Feb 2010 "The procession, held in Leicester yesterday afternoon, set off from the Masjid-Al-Husayn Shia Muslim mosque near Uppingham Road, with devotees carrying the banner "Husayn, The Champion of Truth and Justice".

"One of the organisers, Onali Ismail said this year marked the 21st anniversary of the procession taking place in the city."