by, Tufail Ahmad | The New Indian Express | h/t Islam Watch
For several hundred years, people have thought of Britain as the epitome of modern civilisation and land of Enlightenment that gave rule of law, individual freedom and democracy to the world. In early decades of the 21st century, this image is being eroded, as pockets of Britain are being transformed into isolated enclaves, administered by Islamic clerics associated with different mosques and madrassas.
The Darul Uloom madrassa in the village of Chislehurst, modelled after India’s Darul Uloom Deoband, seeks to produce “an Islamic elite who will rule the Muslim world” — as reported by British Indian journalist Edna Fernandes, who also reported that music, drama and modern foreign languages are deemed un-Islamic and Shakespeare is seen as evil for dealing with subjects like love and revenge. Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam of Darul Iftaa, an Islamic institute in Leicester, delivers fatwas such as: driving a taxi is forbidden by Islam because it may entail taking passengers to a pub. Such fatwas impinge on individual freedom, a fundamental basis of modern societies.
In 2008, Wesley Paxton of a teachers’ union warned that faith schools are causing segregation in Britain, adding: “More faith schools is probably going to mean more Islamic schools.” There are 166 madrassas, engendering segregation in British society along religious lines. The madrassas and mosques, established by Islamic clerics coming from Pakistan and other Muslim countries, are run along sectarian lines such as Barelvi, Deobandi, Ahmadi, Shia and the like. Ahmadi Muslims, who found shelter in Britain following discrimination in Pakistan, are being denigrated by Pakistani clerics visiting Britain to deliver sermons, sowing seeds of sectarianism. Gender segregation prevails at campus events, approved by British universities. Muslim students walk out of science classes on evolution, saying it conflicts with the Quran.
Islamic Sharia law is enforced by clerics in parallel to the British law. In pockets of British society, Muslims do not report criminal cases to police. Tom Winsor, chief inspector of the Constabulary, warned recently that Muslims do not call police in cases as serious as honour killings, sexual assaults and murder, choosing instead to administer Sharia-based criminal justice. Last month, Rebekah Dawson, standing trial for witness intimidation, refused to show her face before a court in London and was permitted to wear full-face veil. However, when told that she must remove the veil to give evidence, Dawson, a convert to Islam, decided not to take the witness box. Muslims are creating ghettos. As immigrants move into an area, natives sell their homes and move to another area. While there are more possibilities of integration in London, Muslim ghettos are emerging in areas of Birmingham, Bradford, Leeds, Manchester, Oldham, Dewsbury and Leicester, says Sajid Iqbal, a British journalist of Pakistani origin who sees British democracy as being weakened.
Reportedly, over 85 Sharia courts operate in Britain, delivering verdicts that contradict British law in cases of marriage, inheritance, child custody, polygamy, et al. In addition to Sharia courts operating informally, the government in 2008 approved five Sharia courts in London, Birmingham, Bradford, Manchester and Nuneaton, allowing their rulings to be enforced through the British judicial system. Sajid Iqbal warns that in next fifty years, if these trends continue, sections of Muslims would likely have left the British justice system. Informally, rulings are also issued by mosques and madrassas and enforced by Islamists. Last December, three Muslim youth were jailed for assaulting people in the streets of London’s Bethnal Green area for not meeting Sharia codes. Significantly, they were intimidating not Muslims, but non-Muslim couples for holding hands or girls for wearing skirts.
In streets of London, vigilante Muslim youth enforce no-go areas, designated as Sharia zones. Last December, dozens of Muslim men and women protested in London’s Brick Lane, demanding that shops and restaurants stop selling alcohol. Muslim families from Pakistan take their daughters to their country and have them married without their consent. In the recent past, Muslim parents have killed daughters for going out with non-Muslim boys or simply for a night out. Inside British prisons, Islamists convert inmates to Islam and enforce Islamic Sharia code. In 2010, officials at the Long Lartin jail reported that non-Muslim inmates were forced to stop playing Western music and remove pictures of women from their cells.
In April 2013, a British Muslim woman, a relative of former Pakistani singer Junaid Jamshed, quit Islam and, writing under the pen name Layla Murad, reported that members of Al-Murabitun — an Islamic movement started by neo-Muslim and former Scottish playwright Ian Dallas — practise polygamy in modern Britain. In 2012, the Islamic Sharia Council of Britain noted that Muslim career women are choosing to become second or third wives for varying reasons. Mizan Raja, a matrimonial consultant, reported that he received hundreds of calls from women asking about becoming second wives. At the end of 2013, the population of British Muslims was at 3.3 million, about 5.2 percent of the UK’s 63 million population. British Muslims have a young population. Journalist Ami Sedghi wrote recently that nearly half of all Muslims are aged under 25. There are concerns about Sharia-inspired ideals being transmitted to the next generation of Muslims.
There is also the concern that London could look like Islamabad in next five decades. In towns, politicians of Pakistani origin talk of the day one of them will take residence at 10 Downing Street.
As Islamism looms in British society, these issues cannot be seen in isolation from Islam and immigration. Layla Murad, who studied at an Al-Murabitun-run seminary in Morocco, discovered that she bonded with Moroccan women on a school holiday to the tune of a Kareena Kapoor number. If not Bollywood, democracy is a model for multi-cultural countries, but in Britain, due to the British leadership’s surrender before moral relativism, democracy appears to have lost its way under the Islamist assault.
Tufail Ahmad is director of South Asia Studies Project at the Middle East Media Research Institute, Washington DC.
by, AP | Saudi Gazette
GAZA: A teenage girl was stabbed to death by her brother while she prayed in her room. She has become the latest addition to a grim statistic: Palestinian women killed by relatives, often for allegedly shaming the family.
Twenty-six women were slain by relatives in the West Bank and Gaza in 2013, twice as many as the year before, according to official figures. The rise stems from mounting economic difficulties in the Palestinian territories, compounded by ongoing leniency for those killing in the name of “family honor” and social acceptance of violence against women, women’s rights activists said Wednesday.
They urged Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to repeal sections of a penal code that allows for short sentences of at most a few years for the perpetrators. Abbas suspended one article of the code in 2011, but others remain on the books, said Hanan Ashrawi, a senior PLO official and former legislator.
Ashrawi said she repeatedly has urged Abbas to adopt legal reforms, especially of articles that discriminate against women, but so far to no avail. She said she last met with Abbas in November, but that he referred the matter again to his legal adviser.
She said that male politicians often brush aside women’s concerns, with the argument that more important issues are at stake, such as ending Israeli occupation and establishing a Palestinian state.
Ashrawi said archaic laws harming women also undercut Palestinian aspirations. “We are fighting for freedom and human dignity,” she said. “How can you deprive women of all these things?”
Abbas aides, including his adviser on legal affairs, did not return requests for comment.
So-called honor killings are committed regularly in traditional Arab societies that enforce strict gender separation and view an unmarried women’s unsupervised contact with a man as a stain on the family reputation.
The most recent killing was carried out Saturday in the town of Bani Suheila in southern Gaza, according to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, which cited a police report.
The victim was identified as 18-year-old Islam Al-Shami. The girl was stabbed in the neck with a kitchen knife while she was praying in her room, the rights group said. Her 21-year-old brother was arrested and later told police he killed his sister to defend the family honor, according to the rights group.
In the West Bank, a mentally disabled 21-year-old woman was strangled by her brother in September, ostensibly over family honor, according to the Independent Commission for Human Rights, another Palestinian group. Her brother is in prison over the killing.
In all, 26 women were killed by their relatives in 2013, compared to 13 the year before, according to Palestinian government statistics. All were labeled “honor killings,” though in some cases, the motives appeared less clear-cut or ambiguous.
“There is a clear increase in so-called honor killings in Palestinian society,” said Rabiha Diab, the women’s affairs minister in the West Bank. In some cases, perpetrators claimed to have killed in the name of family honor, when in effect they appeared to have had financial or other motives and hoped to benefit from relatively lenient punishments, she said.
Some human rights groups provided slightly different figures, depending on their classification of killings of women by relatives.
Perpetrators spend at most a few years in prison. In Gaza, the longest sentence has been three years, said Anam Al-Inchasi, a judge.
“Judges are members of the same society in which honor killings take place,” she said, referring to the prevailing attitude that violence against women is an internal family matter.
Hamas terrorists in Gaza.
by, AP | ABC News | h/t Blazing Catfur
GAZA CITY, Gaza: A Palestinian rights group says assailants have attacked a Catholic church in the Gaza Strip.
The Palestinian Center for Human Rights says an explosive detonated in the church’s yard. The group said an “abusive slogan” was written on the church wall. No further damage or injuries were reported.
Hamas police spokesman Ayoub abu Shaar said Thursday an investigation was opened into the attack, which occurred Wednesday.
Fewer than 3,000 Christians live among 1.7 million Muslim residents in Gaza. Their numbers rapidly have shrunk in recent years because of turmoil in the territory.
In recent years, several Christian institutions were attacked by suspected Muslim hard-liners. In at least two cases, including the torching of a local YMCA, assailants were caught and sentenced to prison.
At least 37 Christian students murdered by Muslim terrorists. Photo courtesy of: Reporters 365
by, AFP | Yahoo News
KANO, Nigeria: Suspected Boko Haram gunmen killed at least 37 people in three separate attacks in northeast Nigeria, including at a theological college, a local government official and residents said on Thursday.
The coordinated attacks in Adamawa state late on Wednesday came just a day after Islamist militant fighters were blamed for killing 43 people, most of them students, as they slept at a boarding school in Yobe state.
The chairman of the Madagali local government area in Adamawa, Maina Ularamu, said “a large number of militants carried out three separate attacks on Shuwa and Kirchinga in my local government area and on Michika in neighbouring Michika (district)”.
“The gunmen divided themselves into three groups and separately attacked the three locations,” he told AFP.
He had earlier put the death toll in Shuwa, part of Madagali local government area, at 17.
But he later told AFP that eight more bodies were recovered in the village, including three from a Christian college, confirming the account of a resident about the three burnt corpse found in the seminary.
“The death toll in the Shuwa attack now stands at 25 after eight more bodies were recovered, including three discovered under the burnt debris of the theological school,” Ularamu said.
In Shuwa, several buildings were burnt, including a Christian theological college and a section of a secondary school.
In Kirchinga, Samuel Garba said the gunmen were all dressed in military uniform — a tactic frequently employed by the militant fighters in previous, similar attacks.
“The gunmen… killed eight people in our village and burnt many houses,” he added.
“Four people have so far been confirmed dead in Michika,” said Abdul Kassim, who lives in the village.
The dead were a young boy who was trying to run away and three security guards, he added.
In a statement, the military confirmed the attacks on multiple communities in Adamawa but said that only one soldier and three civilians were killed. Troops repelling the raids also killed six suspected Islamists, according to the statement.
The military further claimed that the militants, “in desperation for money and food…looted and burnt banks (and) shops”, and were trying to escape across the Cameroon border.
The top military commander in Adamawa last week ordered that the state’s border with Cameroon be sealed to block Boko Haram’s purported escape routes.
Residents in Michika described earlier how people fled to the nearby foothills when the attackers arrived in four-wheeled drive trucks and on motorcycles.
Michika resident Abdul Kassim said militants arrived at about 9:30 pm (2030 GMT) on Wednesday, “armed with RPGs (rocket propelled grenades) and explosives which they hurled indiscriminately at homes and public buildings”.
The attack reportedly lasted for more than four hours. Various residents said four banks were razed, as well as hundreds of shops, a police station, government buildings and dozens of homes.
One witness, who requested anonymity, said the village looked like a “war zone” and that some 90 percent of all businesses had been destroyed.
The military and police declined to comment when contacted by AFP.
Adamawa is one of three northeastern states placed under emergency rule in May last year following waves of Boko Haram attacks.
The top military commander in the state last week ordered the complete closure of the border with Cameroon in hope of blocking the movements of insurgents and weapons.
The ongoing military offensive has failed to crush the insurgency and nearly 300 people have been killed in a range of attacks already this year.
The United Nations meanwhile said on Thursday that nearly 300,000 people, more than half of them children, had fled their homes in the three states from May to January 1 because of the violence.
by, The Daily Star | h/t Blazing CatFur
GAZIPUR, Bangladesh: Unidentified miscreants vandalised idols in a Hindu temple in Bathania Chala under Kaliakoir upazila of the district on Tuesday night.
Dilip Kumar, a member of Sarbojanin Temple Committee, said miscreants desecrated all the idols in the temple, including the Durga, Laxmi, Saraswati, Kartik, Ganesh and Asur.
All the damaged idols were dumped in a field near the temple. The thugs also left notes threatening the Hindus to stop worshipping idols or face bomb attacks.
General secretary of the temple committee Surja Mohan Sarker said they left the temple about 7:30pm on Tuesday night. But in the following morning they found that all the idols have been vandalised.
A case has been filed with Kaliakoir Police Station in this regard.
On February 10, miscreants damaged two idols at the house of Nepal Chandra Barman in Gachgari area of the upazila.
Officer-in-Charge Muhammad Omar Faruk of Kaliakoir Police Station said the attack on the temple was a stray incident.