Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Emir of Qatar's state visit

BBC News - Emir of Qatar begins state visit in Windsor, 26 Oct 2010 "Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani will be met by the British monarch and Duke of Edinburgh ahead of a horse-drawn carriage procession to Windsor Castle."

Tony Blair's sister-in-law converts to Islam

The Independent, Tony Blair's sister-in-law converts to Islam, 25 Oct 2010: "Tony Blair's sister-in-law, Lauren Booth, has become the latest in a long line of Western Islamic converts. From Chris Eubank to Jermaine Jackson to Alexander Litvinenko, she joins an eclectic list, yet she is markedly different from most of its names, for one key reason – she is female." Booth is a presenter on PressTV.

CCTV Birmingham 'to be dismantled'

The Guardian, CCTV aimed at Muslim areas in Birmingham to be dismantled, 26 Oct 2010 "More than 200 cameras targeted at Muslim suburbs of Birmingham as part of a secret counter-terrorism initiative are to be dismantled, it emerged today."

Friday, 22 October 2010

Taliban: 'Britain is our greatest source of funding'

Telegraph, Taliban: 'Britain is our greatest source of funding' 21 Oct 2010 "“We are not like a government, we depend on individuals,” a Taliban commander told Sky News. “We get donations from our Muslim brothers in Britain for jihad and they help us. It is the duty of all Muslims to pay towards fighting a jihad. And this is how we get our money and buy our weapons and carry on fighting.”"

Opinion on 'How Fair is Britain?'

Nadine el-Hadi, UK Human Rights Commission: British Muslims underpaid, underqualified and underemployed, 22 Oct 2010, "The report does not offer explanation or analysis of the thousands of statistics it presents, and instead leaves the reader to wonder why some groups are excelling where others aren’t. A lot of Muslim communities live in more deprived urban areas which means that socio-economic factors are at play. However, they have also been the victims of negative stereotyping and prejudice since the 11 September terrorist attacks in the United States. The situation begs the question as to whether there is a link between this type of social disadvantage and Islamophobia."

Discusses the report 'How Fair is Britain?' and 'Islamophobia' [blogged here last week]

Tower Hamlets

Andrew Gilligan, Telegraph, Labour: London borough becomes 'Islamic republic', 22 Oct 2010 opinion piece

"For the last eight months – without complaint or challenge from Mr [Lutfur] Rahman – this blog and newspaper have laid out his close links with a group of powerful local businessmen and with a Muslim supremacist body, the Islamic Forum of Europe (IFE) - which believes, in its own words, in transforming the “very infrastructure of society, its institutions, its culture, its political order and its creed… from ignorance to Islam.” Mr Rahman has refused to deny these claims."

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Report: Women, Islam and Western Liberalism

Telegraph, Islamic face-veil part of 'British way of life' 16 Oct 2010 "In a new report, Women, Islam and Western Liberalism, Mrs [Alveena] Malik said: “We in Britain need to take a different direction from others in Europe and to accept the veil as part of a modern British way of life.”"

See Civitas, British tolerance means recognising freedom of religious expression, say Muslim women for more information, and links to purchase the report [cover, left].

I haven't read this report. I'll add it to my reading list!

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Headley trial: UK links

Jason Burke, The Guardian, Two Britons linked to al-Qaida plans to attack Danish newspaper, 19 Oct 2010 "According to the documents, Kashmiri told Headley the two men in Derby – who were originally from Kotli, in north-east Pakistan – would help him. It transpired that one of the men had fallen out with Kashmiri, accusing the militant leader of allowing his son to steal funds for jihad, but he did agree to provide money for the mission; the other man "was available" for the attacks in Denmark, the documents reveal. These are based on 34 hours of interviews with Headley conducted by Indian investigators this summer."

Trial outcome

thisisleicestershire.co.uk, Man put on trial after collecting terrorist instruction manuals cleared, 19 Oct 2010 "Mr Yusuf, a Somalian Muslim, was arrested at his home in Higgs Close, Evington, Leicester, on May 28, 2008, during an investigation into his links with a militant group in Somalia.

"But, during his trial at the Old Bailey, he claimed that the material was to be used in legitimate self-defence by resistance forces back in his homeland against invading Ethiopian troops."

Monday, 18 October 2010

"Radicalisation on British University Campuses"

Quilliam Foundation, Radicalisation on British University Campuses: a case study, 18 Oct 2010 "Quilliam’s latest briefing paper, Radicalisation on British University Campuses: a case study, was published this morning and is now available for download here. The report uses the events at City University in London during the last academic year (Sept 09 – June 10) to show how a mainstream academic institution in the UK can become an incubator for extremist, intolerant and potentially violent forms of the political ideology of Islamism."

I haven't read this report yet, so cannot really comment on its contents. If you haven't come across the work of the foundation before, here's the wikipedia entry (usual wiki health warnings apply).

Nahid Afrose Kabir, "Young British Muslims: Identity, Culture, Politics and the Media"

Nahid Afrose Kabir, Young British Muslims: Identity, Culture, Politics and the Media, Edinburgh University Press, 2010

"In Britain's highly politicised social climate in the aftermath of the 7/7 London bombings, Young British Muslims: Identity, Culture, Politics and the Media provides an in-depth understanding of British Muslim identity through the following social constructs: migration history, family settlement, socio-economic status, religion and culture, and the wider societal environment." 

I haven't seen this book yet, but plan to get hold of a copy.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Social services issues

Deutsche Welle, Social services still struggling to break through to UK Muslim youth, 13 Oct 2010: "Young British Muslims are still reluctant to get the help they need from mainstream counseling services for fear of being misunderstood, says the Muslim Youth Helpline, which helps young Muslims cope with their issues."

New Muslim Newspaper planned

Guardian, Middle East company to launch Muslim newspaper in UK, 11 Oct 2010: "The paper, which is backed by the Pakistani pay-TV operator ARY Digital and will be able to tap its network of reporters covering south Asia, is earmarked to launch early in the new year"

Shari'ah issues

The Economist, Sharia in the West: Whose law counts most?, 14 Oct 2010 "ANY Western politician, judge or religious leader desiring instant fame or a dose of controversy has an easy option. All you need do is say “sharia” in public."

Overview/opinion.

Cambridge - al-Azhar course

Varsity Online, Cambridge University hosts training session for British Muslims, 14 Oct 2010 "Cambridge University collaborate with Egyptian students to offer training session to teach them about pastoral care, interfaith working and community leadership"

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Football: Zesh Rehman

Chris Arnot, Guardian, Footballer gives Asian youths a helping hand, 13 Oct 2010 "Rehman concedes that it may be some time before a player of Asian heritage pulls on an England shirt at Wembley stadium."  Useful article/profile.

Rehman also has a blog: Zesh Rehman's Blog which gives details of the activities of the Zesh Rehman Foundation

Interesting, even for non-football fans.

Rehman plays for Bradford City. Other teams are available.

UK Islamic Studies Network

Islamic Studies Newsletter - Issue 2, October 2010 "The second edition of the UK Islamic Studies Network online newsletter is available online. This newsletter, published every three months, highlights the work of the Islamic Studies Network and informs you of upcoming events and other activities."

Monday, 11 October 2010

'How fair is Britain?' report published

Randeep Ramesh, Guardian, 'How Fair is Britain' report shows that for UK, race is still the issue, 11 Oct 2010 "The commission's first three-year review, How Fair is Britain, shows that while some inequalities remain entrenched, new challenges are emerging as the country's population becomes older and more ethnically and religiously diverse.

"The study identifies "five great gateways" to opportunity – revolving around well-being, education, work, security and voice in society – where millions could benefit if barriers are lifted. These should become the basis to assess "fairness" in public policy, the commission says."

Further information: Equality and Human Rights Commission, How fair is Britain? includes download [in various sections, as PDF], summaries, video, etc.

I haven't read this yet (700 pages!).

Op-ed on 'extremist virus,

Asharq Alawsat Newspaper (English), The Trans-Continental Extremist Virus 10 Oct 2010: "European countries, like Islamic governments, think that their temporary successes indicate that the crisis is being controlled, and that they have been victorious in battle. They believe that each time they seize a terrorist cell, be it active or sleeping, they have struck a blow to this potential danger. However, in fact this has been proven to the contrary. It has been proven that extremism is still active, and terrorism is alive and breathing."

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Telegraph Comment on Mohammed Abdul Aziz

Douglas Murray, Comment, Telegraph, Mohammed Abdul Aziz's advice on Islam has cost Britain quite enough, 8 Oct 2010 opinion piece "The Government may never summon the courage to tell the Islamists where to go, although the department said yesterday that Mr Aziz's role was being reviewed. But it could at least ensure that money is spent more wisely than this."

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Friday, 1 October 2010

Sayeeda Warsi

Mehdi Hasan, New Statesman, Blogs, Sayeeda Warsi says media is "anti-Islamic"...., 1 Oct 2010

"...and the Daily Express and Rod Liddle prove her point."

Lively piece, linking to this blog:

Mehdi Hasan, New Statesman, Exclusive: Baroness Warsi says electoral fraud cost Tories the election, 30 Sep 2010

Mehdi Hasan's article isn't online yet - it will be in the print version of the NS. His blog points to other coverage/opinions on the alleged fraud issue. Let's hope it doesn't overshadow the comments about media coverage.

Marriage

Guardian, Sarfraz Manzoor: My family said they would boycott my wedding, 29 Sep 2010

"My mother and siblings were angry that I had fallen in love with a non-Muslim white woman. Then came a phone call ..."

Nice article + Springsteen reference...

Islamic finance discussion

Isla MacFarlane, cpifinancial.net, More than meats the eye, 23 Sep 2010 "On an internet forum, one British Muslim twittered, “As a Muslim who was very enthusiastic about Islamic finance (and still is), I want to pinpoint some reasons why I and many others didn't go for these ‘Islamic’ products. There was a lot of hype among British Muslims when these Islamic products were introduced, which then turned into a big disappointment when we realised that these products were the same as conventional products just sold with Halal stamp and extra premium. This turned into anger once it was realised that our beliefs were being exploited by the same old capitalists."

Interesting piece on halal finance/Islamic banking.