Monday, 27 June 2011

Report: Britain urged to intervene to end forced marriages

Guardian/gulfnews : Britain urged to intervene to end forced marriages, 27 Jun 2011: "Plan UK will publish a report this week entitled Breaking Vows, which states that ten million under-18s become child brides every year. In developing countries in South America, North Africa and parts of Asia, one in three under-18 year olds, and one in seven of all girls under 15, are married."

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

The Platform launched

MCB, The Platform is Raised: Celebrating the launch of a revolutionary new site, 7 Jun 2011 "The event celebrated the launch of a blog designed to facilitate a space for expression, promote proactive engagement and encourage a renewed and dynamic thinking for progress. The Platform is a site that unites talented Britons of diverse ages and backgrounds in the common cause of bettering Britain."

And here's the site itself (logo shown):

The Platform

'Newport Muslims launch anti-terror campaign'

South Wales Argus, Newport Muslims launch anti-terror campaign, 15 Jun 2011 "A coalition of Newport Muslim groups yesterday launched a grassroots campaign that spells out why terrorism and extremism are against the teaching of Islam."

Shari`ah-compliant Pensions

OnIslam, Shari`ah-compliant Pensions for UK Muslims

"Eyeing to get a share of the booming Islamic finance industry, a British firm has launched a Shari`ah-compliant fund to enable Muslims to save for retirement, the Zawya website reported."

Sheffield's Muslim Environmentalists

OnIslam, Sheffield's Muslim Environmentalists, 11 Jun 2011 "Drawn together by appreciation of mother nature and teachings of faith, a group of Muslim environmentalists in the central British city of Sheffield rolled up their sleeves in the service of their wider community and their religion as well.

"“For Muslims the Qur'an is very clear: Islam teaches us about our duty," Nabeel Nasser, the vice-chair of the Sheffield Islamic Network for the Environment (ShINE), told the Sheffield Telegraph on Saturday, June 11."

Tony Blair

Mail Online, I read the Koran every day, says former prime minister Tony Blair who claims it keeps him 'faith-literate', 13 Jun 2011

"Reading the Islamic religion’s holy book - considered by Muslims to be the exact words of God - ensured he remained ‘faith-literate’, the former Labour leader said."

Opinions on 'Islamophobia'

Andrew McCorkell, Independent, Muslims call for action against hate crimes, 12 June 2011 "The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) will challenge the "ethnic profiling" of members of its community, claiming that minorities are 42 times more likely to be targeted under the Terrorism Act."

International Islamic News Agency, UK/Islamophobia: UK Anti-Muslim Hate Crimes on Rise "Amid growing attacks on their worship places and religious leaders, British Muslims are calling for more robust efforts to fight rising hate crimes against their minority."

Also see Andrew Gilligan, Telegraph, Islamophobic crime fell in London last year – MCB spins the opposite, "There is, of course, plenty of anti-Muslim hatred in Britain, and it’s disgraceful. But these police figures are the only the latest in a great deal of evidence to suggest that it is, thankfully, diminishing."

I haven't seen the statistics (which don't necessarily tell the whole story). Clearly, there are many perspectives on this issue.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Prevent strategy

Home Office, Prevent strategy 2011

"The Prevent strategy has been re-focused following a review. The strategy now contains three objectives: to respond to the ideological challenge of terrorism and the threat from those who promote it; to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and ensure that they are given appropriate advice and support; and to work with sectors and institutions where there are risks of radicalisation that we need to address."

There's a set of pdfs on the page, including versions in Arabic and Urdu.

I have yet to read any of these documents in detail.

Home Office sets out plan to block websites

ZDNet, Home Office sets out plan to block websites, 8 Jun 2011 "The government is considering a national blocklist to prevent people in state-funded networks from accessing websites that promote Islamic fundamentalism and other extremist views."

Prevent strategy

eGov, Counter-Terrorism: Home Secretary Theresa May Launches "Radically Different Prevent" Strategy, 8 Jun 2011

OnIslam, New Extremism Policy Alarms UK Muslims, 8 Jun 2011 "Muslim groups were united Wednesday, June 8, in criticizing a new revamped government policy to fight extremism, warning that the strategy fuels anti-Muslim sentiments and stigmatizes the sizable minority."

Also see Yorkshire Post, Leeds and Bradford to lead renewed drive against Islamist terror, 8 Jun 2011 "Ministers have identified Leeds and Bradford as being among 25 areas where funding will be targeted. They hope to stop British Muslims being radicalised with a new focus on tackling pro-terrorist ideologies and on challenging extremism in schools, universities and on the internet."

Expect further updates on this ...

UK Muslim Women Declare Jihad on Violence

OnIslam, UK Muslim Women Declare Jihad on Violence, 6 Jun 2011

"In an effort to clear misconceptions about the term of jihad, a group of British Muslim women have initiated a new campaign to fight against all types of violence, terrorism and domestic abuse."

Further details:

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Reflections on 2001 Census and the 'Religion Question'

New and noted: Jamil Sherif, ‘A Census Chronicle: Reflections on the Campaign for a Religion Question in the 2001 Census for England and Wales’, Journal of Beliefs & Values, Vol. 32, 2011, pp. 1-18.

I haven't read this one yet.

'Islamic groups that do not embrace 'British values' to be targeted in UK'

David Sapsted, The National, Islamic groups that do not embrace 'British values' to be targeted in UK, 7 Jun 2011 "Several ministers, including the deputy prime minister and Liberal Democrat leader, Nick Clegg, and Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, chairman of the Conservative Party and the first Muslim woman to hold a British cabinet post, worry that radicals will be driven underground without open debates in which their views can be challenged."

Tackling 'radicalisation'

Daily Record, National blocking list of violent and unlawful websites at centre of new Government plans to tackle radicalisation, 7 Jun 2011 "Plans will be unveiled to prevent computers in schools, libraries and colleges from accessing unlawful material on the internet.
Mrs May has criticised universities for their "complacency" in tackling Islamic extremism on campus, saying that for too long they have not been sufficiently willing to recognise what was happening.

""We want to explore the potential for violent and unlawful URL lists to be voluntarily incorporated into independent national blocking lists," the new strategy will say."

Monday, 6 June 2011

Universities and 'radicalisation'

Mail Online, 40 UK universities are now breeding grounds for terror as hardline groups peddle hate on campus

"Officials have identified 40 English universities where ‘there may be particular risk of radicalisation or recruitment on campus’.

"A soon to be published Whitehall report – seen by the Daily Mail – will point to a string of examples of students going on to commit terrorist acts against this country or overseas."

Telegraph, Universities 'complacent' over Islamic radicals, 5 June 2011, Theresa May warns, "Theresa May told The Daily Telegraph that universities were not taking the issue of radicalisation seriously enough and that it was too easy for Muslim extremists to form groups on campuses “without anyone knowing” ...

" ... There will also be a move to limit access to extremist websites from public buildings, particularly schools and public libraries.

"Details of partnerships with YouTube and AOL to try to tackle extremism online, using lessons learned from anti-paedophile policing will be made public."

Samira Shackle , New Statesman, We will continue to spy on Muslims, says Theresa May, 6 Jun 2011 "The whole scheme is predicated on the idea that every Muslim is engaged in a battle for their souls between extremist and moderate forces. This is hugely overstated: the vast majority of ordinary Muslims go about their lives in the same moral universe as the rest of the population. A better idea would be to return to the pre-9/11 era of community cohesion work - integrating communities to foster a sense of belonging in the UK, rather than entrenching divisions along religious lines."

"Report warns of 'new generation' Islamic militants radicalised in back streets"

Patrick Sawer and Patrick Hennessy, Telegraph, Report warns of 'new generation' Islamic militants radicalised in back streets, 4 June 2011 "The report prepared for the Association of Chief Police Officers by the Universities' Police Science Institute at Cardiff University, found that 11 out of the 12 mosques it examined in London, Luton, Birmingham and Manchester have been targeted by extremist Islamist groups."

First cousin marriages in Muslim communities

Sue Reid, Mail Online, It's time to confront this taboo: First cousin marriages in Muslim communities are putting hundreds of children at risk, 3 Jun 2011

A sensitive subject, explored in depth in this report.

Also see: Saira Khan, Mail Online, Deformed babies and a shameful conspiracy of silence, 3 Jun 2011 "Professor Jones’s research showed that children of first cousins were ten times more likely to have recessive genetic disorders and face deafness, blindness and infant mortality.

"This is a shocking statistic, which is why I’m grateful that someone has finally been prepared to stand up and say what many of us in Islamic communities have known for decades."

Other opinions will no doubt present themselves online.

Friday, 3 June 2011

'Wish You Waziristan'

AP/, UK delays release of anti-terror cartoon movie, 1 June 2011

"The six-minute movie follows two England-raised Muslim brothers as they travel to a terrorist training camp in Pakistan and back to Britain -- where they're taken into custody.

""It's a cautionary tale," said Martin Orton, whose company Bold Creative made the animated short with funding from the British government."

The clip has been taken down from YouTube, but you get a sense of the perspective from this SkyNews report ...