The Guardian World news: Islam

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Victorian judge bans niqab in court's public gallery

18 July, 2018 - 03:01

Wife of terrorism defendant had applied for permission to wear face veil during trial

A Victorian judge has banned a woman whose husband is facing terrorism charges from wearing a niqab in court, saying it posed a potential security risk.

The woman applied through her husband’s lawyers to wear the face veil, which she said was a “a fundamental way in which she observes her faith”, while sitting in the public gallery to support him through the six-week trial.

Related: Pauline Hanson's burqa stunt could change Australian Senate's dress code

Related: Woman cannot give evidence in a niqab, Australian court rules

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Tory MP apologises for tweet of Sadiq Khan image with pig balloon

13 July, 2018 - 14:03

London mayor calls for Conservatives to take action over Michael Fabricant tweet

The Conservative MP Michael Fabricant has apologised for tweeting a cartoon image of Sadiq Khan being mounted by an inflatable pig, after he was accused of Islamophobia.

Khan, the mayor of London, called on the Tories to take action against the backbencher, and the Labour MP Wes Streeting said he had written to the Conservative chief whip, Julian Smith, asking what would be done.

Hi @Mike_Fabricant, what is this flag on your mantelpiece? @FactCheck

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Lancashire council bans non-stunned halal meat from schools

12 July, 2018 - 17:03

Move is Islamophobic, antisemitic and undemocratic, say Muslim leaders

A council has banned meat from animals that haven’t been stunned from coucil-supplied school meals, prompting accusations of Islamophobia and antisemitism.

Lancashire county council voted on Thursday to stop providing halal meat to council establishments unless animals are stunned before they are slaughtered.

Related: Morrissey denounces halal meat as 'evil', and attacks May, Khan, Abbott and more

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No expense spared as England prepares for World Cup semi-final

10 July, 2018 - 19:07

From private jets to M&S waistcoats, open mosques to closed supermarkets, football fever grips the nation

England fans are taking trains, planes and automobiles – often at exorbitant cost – in a desperate bid to get to Russia in time to see England play in the semi-final of the World Cup against Croatia, and maybe even the final on Sunday. The Football Association is expecting more than 10,000 fans to make the 3,600-mile trip to Moscow for Wednesday’s game.

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Denmark’s ‘anti-ghetto’ laws are a betrayal of our tolerant values | Michala Bendixen

10 July, 2018 - 11:07

From a niqab clampdown to circumcision debates, my country is becoming explicitly Islamophobic

Denmark has just passed a law called the “ghetto deal”. This awful word is used in all seriousness to describe 25 residential areas across Denmark, where a significant proportion of the inhabitants have an ethnic-minority background and/or low social status.

Related: They want a wolf-free Denmark. Will migrants be next? | Dorthe Nors

Related: The Guardian view on forcible integration in Denmark: this cannot end well | Editorial

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Malaysian man who married 11-year-old Thai girl fined $448 by sharia court

10 July, 2018 - 07:53

Man who already had two wives also charged with polygamy in case that caused outrage in Malaysia

A Malaysian man who married an 11-year-old Thai girl has been fined 1,800 Malaysian Ringgit (US$450) after pleading guilty in a sharia court.

Che Abdul Karim Che Abdul Hamid, who already has two wives and six children, was charged with polygamy and conducting the marriage without the court’s permission.

Related: Muslim cleric accused of performing forced marriage of child bride sacked

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Imran Khan criticised for defence of Pakistan blasphemy laws

9 July, 2018 - 16:29

PTI leader accused of using blasphemy issue to win backing of religious right

Imran Khan has been accused of risking bloodshed for electoral gain after the former cricketer-turned-politician offered a full-throated defence of Pakistan’s strict blasphemy laws in the run-up to the general election on 25 July.

“We are standing with Article 295c and will defend it,” said the leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) at a gathering of Muslim leaders in Islamabad on Saturday, referring to the clause of the constitution that mandates the death penalty for any “imputation, insinuation or innuendo” against the prophet Muhammad.

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Ofsted chief accuses minority groups of 'entitlement' in hijab row

9 July, 2018 - 16:06

Amanda Spielman says school leaders must resist pressure on issues such as the headscarf

The head of Ofsted is to once again step into the fraught debate over the wearing of the hijab by primary school pupils, accusing minority groups with a “sense of religious or cultural entitlement” of attempting to exert an outsize influence on school policy.

In a speech on Monday evening, Amanda Spielman will urge school leaders to resist pressure on issues such as the wearing of the hijab or what is taught to pupils.

Related: New Ofsted chief: ‘I want everyone to see us as a force for improvement’

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Erdoğan flies into northern Cyprus to wary welcome

8 July, 2018 - 15:48

Turkish Cypriots fear secular traditions could be threatened by president’s autocratic style

Related: Turkey fires thousands of state employees in anti-terrorism purge

Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, his powers newly enhanced, flies into northern Cyprus this week for an official visit that is likely to be met with trepidation by Turkish Cypriots who pride themselves on a secular lifestyle at odds with the strongman leader’s Islamist outlook.

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German author sues Random House for not releasing book on Islam

8 July, 2018 - 11:37

Munich court to hear dispute between ex-central banker Thilo Sarrazin and publisher

A German author is taking Random House to court over the publisher’s decision not to release his latest book on Islam.

The dispute between the publishing group and Thilo Sarrazin, a former central banker and Berlin state finance minister, will be heard before a court in Munich on Monday.

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Look at art for the deep connection between Europe and Islam | Kenan Malik

8 July, 2018 - 09:00

While politicians present it as alien, a new exhibition in Florence reveals historic exchange and dialogue with the east

The Adoration of the Magi is an early 15th-century altarpiece painting by the Italian painter Gentile da Fabriano. Housed in the Uffizi gallery in Florence, it is considered by many art historians as Fabriano’s finest work and as the culmination of the International Gothic style of the late 14th and early 15th centuries.

Look closely at figures of the Virgin Mary and Joseph, and you will notice something odd. Their halos feature Arabic script. That might seem sacrilege in a Christian religious painting. Yet as a new exhibition in Florence, at the Uffizi and the Museo Nazionale del Bargello, sets out to show, such cultural and religious cross-dressing was common at the time. Entitled “Islamic Art and Florence from the Medici to the 20th Century”, the show explores “the knowledge, exchange, dialogue and mutual influence that existed between the arts of east and west”.

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Steps towards defining antisemitism | Letters

6 July, 2018 - 16:30
The fight against antisemitism is not enhanced by any conflation of it and legitimate criticism of Israel’s laws or the policies of its government, write parliamentarians and public figures including Caroline Lucas MP, Stephen Kinnock MP and Jarvis Cocker

We welcome the statement published last week by prominent academics and other figures from the Jewish community (Letters, 16 June). We endorse their clarity on the need for all public bodies and other organisations to be robust in addressing antisemitism within their own organisations and challenging it within wider society.

We agree that this requires clarity about what antisemitism is. We welcome their contribution to establishing such clarity. This is particularly important in addressing what type of speech about Israel may be antisemitic and what is not. We believe that the fight against antisemitism is not enhanced by any conflation of antisemitism and legitimate criticism of Israel’s laws or the policies of its government.

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The Guardian view on Islamophobia: time for the Tories to act | Editorial

5 July, 2018 - 18:27
The former Conservative chair Sayeeda Warsi is right to call for an independent inquiry into what she calls the party’s ‘Muslim problem’

Institutions can promise to tackle their problems because they grasp that there really is a problem. Or they can promise to do so because they begin to discern – often very tardily – that others, including their own members and supporters, believe there is a problem. On the surface, at least, the difference between these approaches cannot always be easily defined. Yet people usually have a gut sense of which has been adopted. They also know which will lead to real solutions.

Sayeeda Warsi, formerly the chair of the Conservative party, has demanded that it launch a full and independent inquiry into Islamophobia (or, as she put it, a “fuck the Muslims” tendency) within the party, echoing a call from the Muslim Council of Britain. Lady Warsi, the MCB and other critics point to cases including the Conservative councillor suspended after sharing an article calling Muslims “parasites” and Tory MP Bob Blackman, who retweeted a message from the founder of the English Defence League (by mistake, he says) and was a member of an Islamophobic Facebook group (to which he says he was added without his knowledge). Most damaging of all – because it was a matter of party strategy, not just the action or words of an individual – was the London mayoral campaign of Zac Goldsmith, which sought to tar Sadiq Khan as an extremist, and the subsequent attempts to justify those tactics.

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'Our community is terrorised': Muslims abused as men invade Brisbane mosque

5 July, 2018 - 05:48

Group of men threaten elderly man and call 15-year-old boy ‘bloody terrorist’ at Kuraby mosque

Islamic leaders say rightwing extremists are behind an offensive act of intimidation at a Brisbane mosque, where a teenager was called a terrorist and Islam a cult.

A group of men went to the Kuraby mosque in southern Brisbane on Wednesday, and abused and threatened worshippers after asking to be let inside to film what was going on, the Islamic Council of Queensland said.

Related: Far-right activists who invaded mass would be charged with terrorism if Muslim, rector says

Related: Fascism is coming | First Dog on the Moon

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No more excuses. Time for an inquiry into Tory Islamophobia | Sayeeda Warsi

4 July, 2018 - 06:00
Criticism of antisemitism in the Labour party isn’t credible as long as we’ve failed to root out hatred in our own backyard
• Sayeeda Warsi is the former co-chairman of the Conservative party

I’ve been warning my party of its “Muslim problem” for far too long. Which is why I can only welcome a change in tone from some senior members of the party in recent weeks. Theresa May condemned anti-Muslim prejudice in the House of Commons. The Conservative party chairman, Brandon Lewis, wrote that it was “utterly unacceptable that anyone should suffer abuse because of their faith”, and at a recent event to celebrate Eid, the communities secretary, James Brokenshire, was clear about the need to tackle Islamophobia. I welcome this language, but it’s not enough.

Related: The Tories have an Islamophobia problem. Will they tackle it? | Miqdaad Versi

Related: Sayeeda Warsi calls for inquiry into Islamophobia within Tory party

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Sayeeda Warsi calls for inquiry into Islamophobia within Tory party

4 July, 2018 - 06:00

Former party chair claims Tories are in denial about the problem within their ranks
Sayeeda Warsi: No more excuses on Tory Islamophobia

Sayeeda Warsi has called on the Conservatives to launch a “full independent inquiry” into Islamophobia in the party and warned the Tories were pursuing a politically damaging policy of denial about the problem in its own ranks.

The former Conservative party chair accused incumbent Brandon Lewis of a “woefully inept” response to recent complaints and added that MP Zac Goldsmith should receive “mandatory diversity training” following his unsuccessful attempt to beat Sadiq Khan to the London mayoralty.

Related: Muslim group accuses Tories of turning blind eye to Islamophobia claims

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Slam from Sudan: how Emtithal Mahmoud shook the world

2 July, 2018 - 06:00

She has debated with presidents, been comforted by the Dalai Lama, and been called one of the world’s most inspiring women – but it’s as a poet that Emtithal Mahmoud truly shines

Emtithal Mahmoud was brimming with rage and misery when she sat down to write her poem Mama. Her grandmother had just died in Sudan, her mother was on a plane to the funeral and she felt consumed by anger.

“I wrote it in one of the darkest times of my life,” she says. “It felt like my grandmother had survived everything, the war, famine, and in the end it was not just cancer, it was lack of access to proper medical research. It was a very dark time. And that poem helped me get through it.”

My parents got death threats every single day when I was walking. We were constantly under surveillance

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Outrage after Malaysian man marries 11-year-old Thai girl

1 July, 2018 - 15:43

Malaysian Muslims under 16 are allowed to marry with permission of a religious court

The marriage of a Malaysian man to an 11-year-old Thai girl has sparked outrage in the Muslim-majority country with one activist on Sunday labelling the groom a child predator.

Malaysian Muslims below the age of 16 are allowed to marry with the permission of a religious court.

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Muslim candidates rise above Trump hostility to focus on issues

1 July, 2018 - 11:00

For the nearly 100 Muslims running for state and federal office in the midterms questions about their faith are unavoidable

Deedra Abboud, an attorney, is competing for the Democratic nomination for the US Senate in Arizona. She has never sought public office before. But she has become a fixture in national headlines – in part because of online vitriol generated by the fact she is a Muslim.

Abboud wears a headscarf. Slurs against her have included calling her a “towel head” and suggestions that Muslims should not serve in the US government.

Related: Muslim Americans on Trump's travel ban: 'We live as second-class citizens'

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Ten face charges in France over suspected far-right terror plot

27 June, 2018 - 18:47

Police linked those arrested to extremist group urging people to combat Muslims

Ten alleged extreme-right militants suspected of a terrorist plot to attack Muslims in France are to appear before a judge and face preliminary charges.

Nine men and one woman aged 32 to 69 – including one retired police officer – were arrested in raids across France on Saturday, in the Paris area, the Mediterranean island of Corsica and the western Charentes-Maritimes region.

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