French official threatens lawsuits over internet photos of police

From Engadget.com;

Unfortunately, it’s all too clear that some government officials just don’t understand how the internet works. After police in Nice, France were shamed online for forcing Muslim women to remove burkinis and other tradition-honoring apparel at the beach, deputy mayor Christian Estrosi announced that the city would sue people who post photos of police taking action against those women. That’s right — your Twitter post showing police officers doing their job (in a non-threatening situation, no less) could land you in court. These pictures “denigrate” the force and put officers in danger, Estrosi claims.

Rather than the pictures denigrating the Police perhaps it is the law in France, which empowers these armed policemen to force women to take their clothes off in public, that is the problem.

MI5 stopped Scotland Yard taking Choudary down

From The Telegraph;

The security services repeatedly prevented Scotland Yard from pursuing criminal investigations against hate preacher Anjem Choudary, it has been claimed.

 

Met counter-terror officers often felt they enough evidence to build a case against the radicalising cleric, only to be told to hang fire by MI5, because he was crucial to one of their on-going investigations, a source has claimed.

 

The situation led to tension between the two sides with police feeling “frustrated” that Choudary was not being brought to justice, the source added.

The ‘Islamic communities’, in the UK, have long been blamed for not stopping this man, but the reality seems to be that this media darling was being ‘protected’ by Government agencies who were trying to play a long game with him whilst Muslims bore the brunt of his horrific words in the form of rampant Islamophobia.

How to Fast for Ramadan in the Arctic, Where the Sun Doesn’t Set

Marya Hannun in The Atlantic

This week, with the start of Ramadan, Muslims from Indonesia to Michigan began fasting from sunrise to sunset in observance of one of the religions’ primary holidays. But what happens in places where the sun never sets because the country is too far north? For many, this particular dilemma is a relatively new one, only apparent over the last two years. Since the month of Ramadan is pegged to the lunar calendar, it rotates on a yearly basis. The last time the holiday fell this deep into the summer months was nearly three decades ago in the mid 1980s, a time when few Muslim communities could be found above the Arctic Circle. But with Muslims from Somalia, Iraq, and Pakistan — to name a few places — increasingly immigrating to countries like Sweden, Norway, and Finland, the ethical dilemma posed for them by the endless summer days has become very real.

So how did they cope with this dilemma?

Sandra Maryam Moe, a Norwegian convert to Islam and manager of Tromsø’s community center and mosque, Alnor, echoed Ahmed’s statement: “since we have midnight sun during Ramadan this year, we’ve chosen to use the timetable for Mecca.” This means that if the sun rises in Mecca at 5:00 am, residents of Tromsø will begin the fast at 5 a.m. (Norwegian time). In addition to being a good symbolic choice, adhering to Mecca’s timetable, according to Moe, also provides a practical benefit: “they have very stable times for sunrise and sunset so that makes the prayers and the fasting quite balanced.”

The article above, from 2013, is a timely reminder that to agree as a community the start and end times for daily fasts for the sake of peoples health is the sensible thing to do. And invariably the sensible thing to do is usually the Islamic thing to do.

I Just Wanted to Be Free’: The Radical Reverberations of Muhammad Ali

From Dave Zirin in The Nation

When Dr. Martin Luther King came out against the war in Vietnam in 1967, he was criticized by the mainstream press and his own advisors who told him to not focus on “foreign” policy. But Dr. King forged forward, and to justify his new stand, said publicly, “Like Muhammad Ali puts it, we are all—black and brown and poor—victims of the same system of oppression.”

 

When Nelson Mandela was imprisoned on Robben Island, he said that Muhammad Ali made him feel like the walls were not there.

 

When John Carlos and Tommie Smith raised their fists on the medal stand in Mexico City, one of their demands was to “Restore Muhammad Ali’s title.” They called Ali “the warrior-saint of the Black Athlete’s Revolt.”

 

When Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee volunteers in Lowndes County, Alabama, launched an independent political party in 1965, their new group was the first to use the symbol of a black panther. Beneath the jungle cat’s black silhouette was a slogan straight from the champ: “WE Are the Greatest.”

A must read on the effect that Muhammad Ali had on people’s lives.

Lawyer Group Behind Spike in Blasphemy Cases in Pakistan

From Reuters

A little-known alliance of hundreds of lawyers in Pakistan is behind the rise in prosecutions for blasphemy, a crime punishable by death that goes to the heart of an ideological clash between reformers and religious conservatives.

The group, whose name translates as The Movement for the Finality of the Prophethood, offers free legal advice to complainants and has packed courtrooms with representatives, a tactic critics say is designed to help it gain convictions.

Click the link above to read the full story of what this horrible group of men have been doing to destroy basic human rights in Pakistan.

Latino Muslims mix religion & culture

By Ryan Schuessler in The Guardian;

America’s only mosque founded specifically to be a place for Spanish-language programming for Latinos. Flores had just taken the shahada, the Islamic profession of faith, at the mosque’s first-ever Cinco de Mayo celebration on Saturday, where community members with roots in Colombia, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Cuba and other countries served halal variations of their traditional foods, while celebrating their shared identity as Muslims

A lovely article about how Hispanic Muslims are able to combine their religion and their culture. In a time when Islam seems to be undergoing an “Arabifcation” where some Muslims think they need to dress and look like Arabs to be Muslims it’s refreshing to see people come together under our faith but still hold their culture, quite rightly, close to them.

French Minister Trashes Muslim Women With Anti-Black Slur

From alternet.org;

Laurence Rossignol made the comments on Thursday in an interview with RMC radio and BFM TV, during which she slammed retailers who design products for Muslim women, such as hijabs, arguing that these companies are “promoting the confinement of women’s bodies.”

When the journalist pressed Rossignol, arguing that some women choose to wear such items, the minister retorted: “Of course there are women who choose it. There were American negroes who were in favor of slavery.”

Absolutely shocking comments from the French Minister for family, children and women’s rights. If French members of Parliament are openly making comments like this, then what chance is there of integration in society?

Anti-terror police question schoolboy for wearing pro-Palestine badge

Teenager referred by his teachers after trying to raise money to help Palestinian children

From Matt Broomfield in the Independent;

A schoolboy has been questioned by anti-terrorism police because he wore a “Free Palestine” badge to school.

Rahmaan Mohammadi’s teachers at Challney High School for Boys in Luton referred him to police under Prevent – the >controversial government anti-radicalisation programme, which critics have claimed is heavy-handed, discriminatory >and ineffective.

As well as wearing pro-Palestine badges and wristbands, Mohammadi was in possession of a leaflet advocating >Palestinian rights by pressure group Friends of al-Aqsa. He had also asked for permission to fundraise for children >affected by the Israeli occupation.

Questioned by Police for trying to raise money to help save the lives of little children? Whilst the Police were following procedure having received a report under the Prevent scheme, this seems a gross overstep by the teachers and administrative staff at Challney High School for Boys.

Internal police statistics obtained via a Freedom of Information request suggest only 20% of people referred to >Prevent are assessed as at risk of radicalisation.

Action should be taken against the teachers to stop frivolous reporting in the future, but as the statistics above show the mentality of gather up everyone and hope for the best is the one that prevails under the Prevent Programme.

Muslim women stopped from becoming Labour councillors

From the BBC News:

Muslim Women’s Network UK demanded an inquiry into “systematic misogyny displayed by significant numbers of Muslim male local councillors”.

“They don’t like women to be heard, to be empowered,” it told BBC Newsnight.

Jean Khote, a sitting Labour councillor in Leicester, said good women candidates were barred by the membership in some areas with high Muslim populations – and that was kept from people higher up the party.

The mindsets of the Muslim men who came from Pakistan are in full affect in local politics in the UK.

There is no room in Islam for this kind of systematic abuse of women, cultural mindsets like this though are hard to break and I believe that there is little chance these men will ever change their ways, but this being the UK, these women at least have a way to protest to have these matters investigated and hopefully changed so that the next Muslim women who wants to stand can do so without being threatened and slandered.

Deaths Under The British Empire

Atrocities under British RuleFrom The Independent;

A new YouGov poll has found the British public are generally proud of the British Empire and its colonial past.

 

YouGov found 44 per cent were proud of Britain’s history of colonialism, with 21 per cent regretting it happened and 23 per cent holding neither view.

 

The same poll also found 43 per cent believed the British Empire was a good thing, 19 per cent said it was bad and 25 per cent said it was “neither”.

 

At its height in 1922, the British empire governed a fifth of the world’s population and a quarter of the world’s total land area.

I wonder how many of the people polled actually know the true history of the devastating atrocities carried out under the British Empire during it’s rule over other countries.

Some people estimate more people died under British rule than during either of the World Wars, but whilst its hard to nail down the numbers the video in this link, which shows the estimated number of deaths, gives us a stark reminder of just how abhorrent one group of human beings can be to another in the name of economic prosperity.

Woman sues Twitter for allowing ISIS activity on the website

From engadget:

It’s pretty well-known that ISIS and its supporters have been using social media to encourage acts of violence, and Twitter seems to be one of their preferred platforms. Now, a woman whose husband was killed when a gunman attacked a police training center in Jordan is suing the microblogging website for allowing ISIS (and sympathizer) accounts to thrive on the website.

The women herself says;

…for years, Twitter has knowingly permitted the terrorist group ISIS to use its social network as a tool for spreading extremist propaganda, raising funds and attracting new recruits. This material support has been instrumental to the rise of ISIS and has enabled it to carry out numerous terrorist attacks.

Giant social media sites like Twitter and Facebook have, more or less, ignored groups like ISIS who successfully use their platforms to recruit vulnerable people to their violent causes.

The metric used to asses the value of sites like Twitter are the number of registered users it has, and it is vital for Twitter to keep growing its user base every year. Perhaps this is why it has been so slow to take any action in removing the estimated 70,000 accounts dedicated to ISIS on its platform.

Lets hope that this legal action forces these social media companies to take this matter seriously and for these accounts to be quickly monitored and removed as they appear.