Ads 468x60px

20 December 2013

European research on religious “fundamentalism” criticised

.... Two-thirds of Muslims interviewed about their attitudes towards religion said religious rules were more important to them than state laws, according to the report from the WZB social science centre.

The survey also showed more than half of Muslim respondents believed the West was “out to destroy Islam”.

.... Nine thousand people were interviewed in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Austria, Belgium and Sweden. However, the Muslim respondents were drawn only from Moroccan and Turkish communities.

This choice of sample reflected the strong presence of these groups in those countries. But Europe’s Muslim community is much broader based, including people with origins in the Middle East, South-east Asia, the Indian subcontinent and Maghrebin and African countries. [The National] Read more

16 December 2013

Europe: Islamic Fundamentalism is Widespread

The majority of Muslims in Europe believe Islamic Sharia law should take precedence over the secular constitutions and laws of their European host countries, according to a new study, which warns that Islamic fundamentalism is widespread and rising sharply in Western Europe.

The "Six Country Immigrant Integration Comparative Survey"—a five-year study of Moroccan and Turkish immigrants in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Holland and Sweden—was published on December 11 by the WZB Berlin Social Science Center, one of the largest social science research institutes in Europe.

According to the study which was funded by the German government, two thirds (65%) of the Muslims interviewed say Islamic Sharia law is more important to them than the laws of the country in which they live. [Gatestone Institute] Read more

13 December 2013

How widespread is Islamic fundamentalism in Western Europe?

One narrative about Muslim immigrants in Europe is that only a relatively small proportion holds views that are sometimes labeled as “fundamentalist.” Ruud Koopmans from the Wissenschaftszentrum in Berlin argues that this perspective is incorrect.

He conducted a telephone survey of 9,000 respondents in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, France, Austria, and Sweden and interviewed both Turkish and Moroccan immigrants as well as a comparison group of Christians.

His first finding is that majorities of Muslim immigrants believe that there is only one interpretation of the Koran possible to which every Muslim should stick (75 percent), and that religious rules are more important than the laws of the country in which they live (65 percent). Moreover, these views are as widespread among younger Muslims as among older generations. [The Washington Post] Read more

12 December 2013

Islamic fundamentalism is widespread in Europe

Religious fundamentalism is not a marginal phenomenon in Western Europe. This conclusion is drawn in a study published by Ruud Koopmans from the WZB Berlin Social Science Center.

The author analyzed data from a representative survey among immigrants and natives in six European countries.

Two thirds of the Muslims interviewed say that religious rules are more important to them than the laws of the country in which they live. Three quarters of the respondents hold the opinion that there is only one legitimate interpretation of the Koran.

These numbers are significantly higher than those from local Christians. Only 13 percent of this group put religious rules above national law; just under 20 percent refuse to accept differing interpretations of the Bible.

For Ruud Koopmans, this powerful tendency toward Muslim religious fundamentalism is alarming: “Fundamentalism is not an innocent form of strict religiosity”, the sociologist says. “We find a strong correlation between religious fundamentalism – actually among both Christians and Muslims – and hostility toward out-groups like homosexuals or Jews.”

Almost 60 percent of the Muslim respondents reject homosexuals as friends; 45 percent think that Jews cannot be trusted; and an equally large group believes that the West is out to destroy Islam.

The Christians’ answers for comparison: As many as 9 percent are openly anti-Semitic; 13 percent do not want to have homosexuals as friends; and 23 percent think that Muslims aim to destroy Western culture.

The Six Country Immigrant Integration Comparative Survey collected data in more than 9,000 telephone interviews in Germany, France, Netherlands, Austria, Belgium and Sweden.

The respondents were Turkish and Moroccan immigrants, as well as control groups of natives. This study is the first that allows analysis on an empirical base of the extent and impact of religious fundamentalism.

[The WZB was founded in 1969 by members of the German parliament from all parties. The WZB is funded by the Federal government and the state of Berlin.] [WZB Berlin Social Science Center]

Read more

Do You Think The Wrong Thing?!

.... The reaction to the Glasgow story was reminiscent to that which followed the publication of a poll carried out by BBC Radio 1 in June of this year. When it was released in September, it transpired that of 1,000 young people polled, 27% said that they did not trust Muslims, with 44% saying they thought Muslims did not share the same views as the rest of the population.

On that occasion, too, the BBC and other media went into overdrive to work out what had gone wrong and how Britain could better "address" the problem that so many people thought this way.

Conversely, when the same poll showed that 15% of young people did not trust Jews, 13% did not trust Buddhists and 12% did not trust Christians, those facts were not deemed figures of significance. [Gatestone Institute] Read more

03 December 2013

Survey on Islam in Austria: 18% of Muslims support death sentence for apostasy, 21.9% oppose democracy

One in five teachers of Islam (21.9%) has a problem with democracy. And he or she even says so openly. This is the result of a written survey meticulously conducted by the sociologist and scientist Mouhanad Khorchide (Note 1).

Apart from the above assertion, there is additional explosive data: 14.7% distance themselves from the Austrian constitution, 13.9% are of the opinion that elections are not compatible with Islam, and 28.4% believe that it is not possible to be a European and Muslim at the same time.

Even more, there are those among the polled Islamic teachers (18.2%) who advocate the death penalty in case of apostasy. And 8.5% sympathize with those using violence to spread Islam.

Anas Shakfeh, the head of the Islamic Faith Community in Austria, also concludes that beliefs and attitudes such as the above are highly problematic. However, direct consequences cannot be drawn from this study because the questionnaires were made anonymous. “I cannot react to a private opinion,” Shakfeh says. If a teacher does make these statements, there would be consequences.

But the hiring of Islamic teachers is the responsibility of Islamic Faith Community, not that of the state. This resulted in the hiring of teachers who were inadequately trained or not trained at all. 37% of those teaching right now have no theological training, 41% are not trained as teachers — all this can also be found in the study.

The Faith Community blames these numbers on “relics”: when Islamic religious teaching was first introduced in 1982, there were no qualified teachers in Austria, which meant they had to be “imported” from Turkey. Only in 1998 was the Islamic Religious Academy (IRPA) founded in Vienna [as part of the University of Vienna].

Things have since changed somewhat, says Khorchide. “Second-generation religious teachers identify more strongly with Austria. They do not have deficits [such as those found in the study].” On the other hand, these younger teachers do not emphasize critical reflection, but rather convey rituals and laws. There remains much to do.

The title of the study was: Mouhanad Khorchide, “Islamic Religious Education between Integration and Parallel Societies: Attitudes and Beliefs of Islamic Religious Teachers in Public Schools”

(Note 1) Who is Mouhanad Khorchide? The 37-year old Lebanese native considers himself a liberal Muslim who does not read the Quran as the literal word of God, and who applies scientific methods when he trains religious teachers and works as an imam.

[Muslim Statistics] Read more

14 November 2013

What Guardian Readers Think of the Muslim Veil

Veils hit the headlines in early September.

(1) A prospective Muslim student at Birmingham Metropolitan College complained that the school's long-standing dress code, which forbade all head coverings on campus, would discriminate against her and her desire to cover her face.

The college promptly caved in to an extremist campaign and changed its rules allowing Muslim students to veil their faces. Other face covering clothing, balaclavas and crash helmets, remained forbidden on college premises.

(2) A judge decided a Muslim woman must take off her veil to give evidence, but she could wear it during the rest of the trial. He expressed the hope that Parliament or a higher court would soon ‘provide a definitive answer’, adding: ‘The niqab has become the elephant in the court room.’

Following this The Guardian published rapidly what seemed like an endless stream of articles all with more or less the same message.

"The veil isn't a problem. We can change our rules to suit Muslims if they think their religion requires it."


According to readers' comments on five of those articles that in total attracted over 5700 readers' comments (a huge number, indicating the interest in the subject) and the recommendations other readers gave those comments ....


We have looked at (well, scanned) all 5700 comments! It hasn't been easy, as the Guardian, doesn't allow sorting of comments by popularity. [Some people might think this is wise as otherwise it shows starkly how much The Guardian is out of tune with its readers when it comes to Islam apologetics!!]

For each article, we have made extracts from a selection of high scoring comments (mostly those with more than 100 reader recommendations). See below

The number of Guardian reader recommendations each comment received is shown followed by a code created and allocated by "Islam Surveyed" to indicate the point or points made as follows:

BF = Ban the veil in public, like the French.
BNE = Ban face covering where required, No Exceptions for Muslims.
DR = Disagree with the veil because of the religious beliefs it represents.
DS = Disagree with the veil because those who wear it separate themselves from society.
DC = Disagree with the veil because it hinders human communication and interaction.
MV = A Muslim view.
GP = Guardian problem. The Guardian does not give a balanced picture and ignores the views of its readers.
TP = Teaching problems. The veil is a barrier to good teaching and not appropriate in school or college environments.
TF = Two fingers. It is a deliberate anti-West or political gesture and even a form of showing off.
N = It is new. There are more veil wearers than there ever used to be
WR = When in Rome etc.
MM = Muslim men don't have the same or equivalent restriction.
PI = Promotes anti-Muslim feeling.

The artcles covered are:

(1) My veil epiphany - Just what was Birmingham Met thinking of when it tried to stop women wearing the niqab? By Victoria Coren Mitchell.

(2) Spare us a 'national debate' on veils By Simon Jenkins.

(3) Full-face veils aren't barbaric – but our response can be By Maleiha Malik.

(4) Don't follow France's burqa ban. It has curbed liberty and justice By Nabila Ramdani.

(5) Should there be restrictions on wearing the niqab? - five-minute video debate. By columnists Nabila Ramdani and Joan Smith.

My veil epiphany - Just what was Birmingham Met thinking of when it tried to stop women wearing the niqab?

By Victoria Coren Mitchell. 39 top recommended comments selected from a total of 1400 comments.

Leopold1904 - 1357 DC DR
The real point is surely the basis for the woman's choice to hide herself from the kufr world. It cannot really be an individual's choice when the pressure from conservative elements within those communities is there.

The niqab is against what makes us human - it is a denial of species interaction, a denial of nature. A forced cultural choice that denies what we are. The appropriate reaction to seeing a woman enclosed in one is sadness.

IanInOz - 1059 BF
While we may laugh at the French, at least they show some spine when it comes to upholding their secular values!

Londonhongkong - 1053 BF
[I laugh at the French because they ban the burqa in the name of liberty]
I admire the French because they ban the burqa in the name of liberty.

JamesHardman - 1002 DC DR
What were they thinking?

Maybe they were thinking that in this country, so many aspects of non-verbal communication depend on seeing the other person's facial expressions, and that hiding your face limits your ability to communicate.

Maybe they were thinking that whatever Muslim women think about it today, and whatever choices they can make today, the concept was born of oppression and patriachy and mysogyny and subjugation.

Maybe they were thinking that in western cultures, the hiding of the face is associated with dishonesty and bad faith.

Maybe they were worried about exam fraud.

Maybe they were thinking that they have the right to define the values of their institution, of making openness and transparency and honesty core to what they do.

Maybe they didn't think any of this.

LeVendeen - 885 DR DC
.... when it comes to mixing personal religion with public office, I have no such doubts. When I saw that the English police had adopted a uniform hijab for muslim policewomen I had to check the date to make sure it wasn’t April 1st. The very idea is so obviously stupid, it beggars belief!

The whole point of police uniforms is to make all coppers look the same; the uniform says, “I represent the law of the land and I’m the same for everyone.” But, before she even opens her mouth, the first thing a woman in a hijab says is, “I am a practicing muslim.”

For an anonymous woman in a Paris street, that is one thing; for a policewoman, it’s another, and it’s obviously, screamingly wrong.

The same thing applies to a person appearing in court - any person in any role, but especially the judge, the lawyers, witnesses and the accused. By appearing fully veiled, that woman was effectively saying, "I am different. You cannot judge me as you judge other people. I exclude you from my world and I hide myself from yours."

In addition, it's not enough in a court of law to see "the smile in someone's eyes". Judge and jury need to see a person's reaction under questioning, because non-verbal language often reveals much more than mere words. I'd have thought that too was screamingly obvious.

crypto71 - 747 DC
In our culture concealing the face or most of it means just that, concealment. A mask.

It is not unreasonable to expect to see who one is teaching, being taught by, treating or being treated by etc;

I too am with the French on this one.

Cecile - 517 DC
From the gut - I just hate to see veiled women - sorry. To me, it feels like a slap in the face - the wearer might just as well be saying 'I don't want anything to do with you' to me and the world around.

Leopold1904 - 483 DR N
The niqab for us secular Britons is a phenomenon of the street, an increasingly more common aspect of street life, of locking the woman in - the apartheid system of Islamist fundamentalsim. Oppression begins at home.

It is not really a matter of the woman herself feeling 'comfortable' - it is above all else a matter of the patriarchy feeling comfortable that the woman knows her place in the street and in the house. You know this. You know it is a matter decided for the woman - whatever illusion the woman may have about 'choice'.

woman55 - 454 DS
[To me, it feels like a slap in the face - the wearer might just as well be saying 'I don't want anything to do with you' to me and the world around.]

It is a statement saying 'I set myself apart from the rest of the UK population and I don't espouse its values.'

It is reasonable for the majority population to expect those from other cultures to integrate. Worship who or what you like in private, but at school, college and in the public sphere there is no space for religious arrogance. A refusal to conform with the dress code and behaviour standards of the majority means you are probably living in the wrong place. You might be happier somewhere where such behaviour is welcome.

Richmanchester - 437 BNE
[bans Muslim women from wearing veils on the grounds of "security risk" – then changes its mind within days.]

Not quite. It banned all students from wearing a variety of clothes which obscured thier faces. The special exception does seem to be afforded to Muslims though.

TotallyBlunt - 410 DR
How can the writer be so sure that every single one of those niqab wearing ladies do so by their own choice?

Freedom implies the right to not do so, and I know for a fact that many women and young girls have to wear it or else. How does she know those women didn't just internalized the niqab because they were raised with spoken or unspoken threats of 'or else'?

I'm Turkish. I know a thing or two about how women cover themselves 'freely'.

kepler1 - 398 DR
You seem to see it as some sort of historically free floating individualistic fashion statement unrelated to a centuries old ideology grounded in hatred and control of female sexuality. You talk as if feminism never happened.

There is undoubtedly a lot of anti- Muslim sentiment around, but you shouldn't allow that to confuse you: the niqab is enmeshed in oppression, irrespective of what anti-Muslim bigots or happy seeming niqabis get up to.

Verysensiblebloke - 374 BF
It's nice to see the vast majority of comments disagree with the wearing of these masks.
There can be no sensible argument for not banning these from public life and the sooner our government has the balls to stand up and say it, and ban them, the better. I won't be holding my breath unfortunately because all of our politicians are spineless and weasly.

Swan17 - 342 BNE GP MV
This is the expected (almost obligatory in the Guardian/Observer nowadays) article supporting special rights for Muslims. Where is the article pointing out the opposite view - you know, for balance?

This is a policy that has, I understand, lasted for 8-years - faces must not be obscured. For some reason that policy has been acceptable for all that time (despite whatever complaints - if any - have been made) until a single Muslim girl complains.

Immediately all the forces of Political Correctness swing into action - the Muslim Women's Network and the Black Students Group and the local MP all complain. Strange how the policy is acceptable until someone THEY approve of is affected!

There were good reasons to have this policy originally and those reasons still apply. I work with a number of Muslims and they are appalled by this decision - it can only add to the anti-Muslim feelings in the UK. This is a cultural NOT a religious issue.

frannie5 - 280 BNE
And, in exams, you can be sure that the student 'under the veil' is the student named?

TheGreatRonRafferty - 245 DC TP
If you're teaching someone, you are constantly looking for visual cues that they have understood what is being taught. To diminish those means that you have little possibility of spotting that student "a" has grasped it, but student "b" hasn't.

crotty32 - 257 BNE
The education authority comes out of this very badly, the reasons for the banning face coverings was valid 3 days ago and they are valid now, the security question now is that anyone that dresses as a muslin woman is to be given total freedom to ignore all rules as they are for everyone else and not for them

Londonhongkong - 245 DC
I don't see why anyone should accept having to deal with someone who deliberately conceals their features unless in the extreme case of disfigurement.

woman55 - 224 DS
[They're not re-writing social norms, they're exercising their right to freedom as citizens of a supposedly enlightened democratic country.]

Freedom to reject us, whilst expecting us to accept them? No reciprocal obligations then?

As citizens of this enlightened country, they need to understand and participate in the culture that made living as a free person possible. Worship who of what you like, but integrate please.

bluepaul99 - 223 DS
I always wonder what type of employment the veil wearing woman attending collage are looking to enter following the completion of their education. Turning up for an interview wearing a veil regardless of how many exams you have will seriously limit your employment prospects.

woman55 - 205 DS DR
Most people outside the cities do share cultural norms and values that have been developed over the centuries and we are still the majority. We may be happy to welcome newcomers that integrate but rightly refuse to accommodate those who want us to rewrite the social norms to accommodate their values, whilst they reject our own.

Tehillim - 173 DS
The full face veil, as shown in the photo, is an appalling thing. I'm not in favour of banning clothing, but that doesn't mean we should embrace it: imagine a country where we all wore those things, men, women and children.

It's not part of our culture, it's not even part of the qu'ran (which asks for modest dress only, I believe). So while we should tolerate it, let's not make the mistake of accepting it as a perfectly agreeable choice of clothing. A liberal society allows people to make their own choices, but that doesn't mean that it should treat all choices as equally good.

Victoriatheoldgoth - 132 BNE
.... in my Sixth-form I was banned from wearing a long, flowing gothy garment made from a surplice on health-and-safety grounds. I thought, fair enough, there are a lot of stairs and it is a bit of a hazard in the art room. It would have been impossible to do science in that sort of gear.

We also had to have out hair pinned or tied back for health and safety reasons all through school. I do not understand why theses health and safety concerns suddenly don't apply if the wannabe wearer of flowing robes is religious. Do they have divine protection, and does that figure in the schools' insurance policies?

Copperanne - 132 BNE
The critical point to recognise is that even if all veiled women are wearing the veil through choice (which I doubt) and every single one of those women was entirely free to wake up one morning, put on a T-shirt and shorts and walk around freely, there are still issues as to the appropriateness of conceiling your identity in public.

Nufubar - 130 TP
As someone who teaches (not lectures, but small group teaching) in a university I would have to ask Victoria one question. Do you know how hard it is to impart detailed information to someone when feedback is limited?

A large proportion of those I teach are overseas students. Cultural differences already mean that smiling is a tricky indicator of understanding or agreement, and now we have to rely on smiling eyes? Where English is already poor we can't lip read?

NuitsdeYoung - 121 DC
I recall a situation in a college where I was working (all female staff in the room) when 3 girls came in with an enquiry: 2 in hijab, one in niqab. All spoke English, but the 2 in the hijab had to repeat everything the girl in the niqab said because no-one could hear her through the cloth. She did not offer to remove the niqab even though no men were present.

Aliasboy - 118 BNE
Sunglasses, bandanas and balaclavas probably wouldn't be acceptable in lectures or exam sittings.

Apart from my personal view that state buildings should be secular and free from excessive displays of people's personal religious beliefs, there is a question of being able to recognize students.

woman55 - 116 TF
Whatever the wearer's nationality, people's religious and cultural persuasions are their own business, but using these to justify "wearing whatever the fuck they want" is the equivalent of sticking two fingers up at the rest of us.

Is it a surprise that some of us stick two fingers up in return?

As tolerant people, we often ignore people that reject our norms but understandably baulk at changing rules to accommodate those who want to be 'free' to remain behind the niqab where legal or security rules require the rest of us to show our faces.

royaldocks - 111 DC DS
I think every woman should have the right to hide their face if they so wish. My cultural response (which is just as valid as theirs) to a masked face is that of an inherent threat and the most I could accommodate that would be to completely ignore veiled women.
No interaction. No helping with prams up stairs. No answering questions. No serving in shops. No showing directions. They're non-people, deliberately cutting themselves off from any social interaction.

Akiba - 108 DR DS
You can look at this in two ways. The first is a simple issue of women's rights. While some women may choose to wear a sack over their heads (arguably through years of childhood indoctrination by family and preachers), many do it because they are forced to by misogynistic husbands. To ban the head bag, is to free them, and tell their women hating relatives that they don't belong in the modern world.

The other way is the old "when in Rome" approach. In the West we don't cover our faces, as it hamper communication, and to be frank, is rude and intimidating. If you want to live in the West, you do as everyone else does, and you don't cause a fuss. Therefore, remove the bag.

bigbadwolf - 103 DR TF
[.... it's to hide her face from males who are not close relatives]

And the reason for this? Is it because Muslim men are brought up with no respect for women and, therefore, cannot control their urges when in the presence of an unveiled woman? If this is the case then Islam needs to take a very serious look at how it brings up and educates its boys and young men.

However, it seems to be going in the opposite direction and some muslim women in Britain now seem to be expected to cover their faces rather than just their hair. How many choose do to this and how many are coerced we will probably never really know.

As for the student in this case, maybe she was wearing the niqab to draw attention to herself. Look at me! I'm holier than thou!!!

Rudedude - 100 DS DC TF
[And you only need to see someone's eyes to know if they're smiling back.]

Not really. The original 'purpose' of these clothes was for the desert Patriarchy to de-sex and de-individualise women. The 'barrier' is very real, it isn't 'in our minds' or anything; it makes women 'there but not there', semi-invisible. It's the original point. No amount of being 'right on' will change this fact.

That original 'purpose' seems to have morphed into a symbol of 'resistance/refusal' for the Islamic diaspora in the West, ironically understood by the liberal bien-pensant as an expression of individual 'freedom' or 'choice'....because the liberal can only understand the world from this individual point of view, where 'choice' is self-evident and made the most sacred thing.

Booling - 94 DS DR PI
Every time a women goes outside in the full veil they promote anti-Muslim feelings. The dislike of it unites Left and Right, men and women, feminists and misogynists. It undercuts attempts to promote Islam as a reasonable religion that can fit into British society.

Any comment that Islam 'respects' women is treated with derision. I find that my male friends treat it as weird, but the sight of a Muslim female slave enrages women that I know.

If I wanted to cause discord between Muslims and rest of the population I would certainly promote the veil.

chilledoutbeardie - 91 MV BNE
If I may give a Muslim perspective.

The current trend towards veiling is, at least in substantial part, a concentration towards outward forms of piety at the expense of the inner; it has become, in certain circles, fashionable, mad as that may sound. In a society of large, ethnic ghettos, one of the few areas where these women encounter the wider society is in colleges. Do we really wish to drive down their interaction with wider society by allowing the veil in these situations?

Of course, in a free society, people should be free to dress as they please, within reason. In public places, colleges, courtrooms etc where identity confirmation and facial reactions are important, the veil has no place. I am loath to advocate a legal ban, unless as a last resort as I fear it may be used by more unsavoury elements to cause disharmony.

Perhaps the best way to go, at least initially, is to involve Muslim clerics. Having talked with a good number, here and in Arab countries, the consensus is certainly that there is no obligation to veil and, if it leads to local frictions, should not be adopted on that basis. After all, if veiling is so obligatory, why is it expressly forbidden during the Hajj pilgrimage, the holiest time of the year?

sojomo - 85 MV
As a Muslim, I am sick of the way the fundamentalism and conservatism of the overtly "uniform-wearing" Muslims are pandered to and given so much air time. That is what they are after, it is the oxygen of publicity they crave. This is their rebellion, the outwardly in-your-face assertion of their individuality. They should not be banned. They should just be ignored, as is their right.

overworkeddoc - 82 N MM DS
I grew up in Handsworth in Birmingham, trained in Birmingham and worked in Bordesley Green and in Leicester. Until about 1992, I never saw a woman's face covered in those cities.

"Dress modestly" is the injunction in the Koran, I believe? Why should women cover the face, but not men? And why are female children (and I mean 6 year-old girls) having to cover the hair?

My parents were immigrants and we encountered racism. We were just as affected by the historical (and indeed more contemporary) problems of Britain's colonial ventures - but this is both a feminist issue and a question of respect for the country you are in. The cultural norm in the UK is not to hide the face - the niqab is as offensive as a balaclava.

CaledonianSmokeball - 74 N
[I don't see why anyone should accept having to deal with someone who deliberately conceals their features unless in the extreme case of disfigurement]

Especially as the custom of covering the face seems to be an ancient religious custom of all of about 5 years' standing. Before then - al least in our neck of the woods - you never saw anyone with their face covered.

If fact, I can remember a time when robes and hijabs were unknown. Pakistani women wore shalwar kameezes - loose tunics and trousers and a scarf would loosely round the head, but never dark robes, tight headscarves and certainly no face coverings. Why the change?

Keo2008 - 74 BNE TP ###
I much prefer the French approach which tries to ensure that no religious symbols or clothing are allowed in educational establishments.

As it happens the College argued for no Niqab partly to ensure that the students could be clearly identified when taking their exams, as well as to ensure non-students could not easily come onto the campus.

As someone who was once responsible for student discipline at a FE College, I can assure Victoria that the problem of outsiders coming into college premises (trying to sell drugs or to steal from classrooms for example) is a real one and not to be dismissed lightly

chockychocky - 60 N TF ###
How times have changed: I lived in Hounslow in the 70's and there were lots of Muslim women there then - immigration from the Indian subcontinent started in the 1950's,not the 1990's. But no veils whatsoever...

Islam hasn't changed obviously, so why the veils now? it's a political statement as far as I'm concerned and one which looks like a slap in the face to the indigenous English people. I read a veil as "You can't see me, infidel, I'm far superior to you".

Nothing to do with the women issue, and everything to do with wishing to be outside of British culture.

Not a good omen for cultural cohesiveness, I say with rather a hint of sarcasm.

Spare us a 'national debate' on veils

Home Office minister Jeremy Browne wants the nation to discuss how Muslim women dress, but it is hardly a menace to society.

By Simon Jenkins. 25 top recommended comments selected from a total of 1048 comments

dirkbruere - 390 BNE
[Individuals and institutions should be able to make their own decisions ad hoc.]

But preferably without being called racist and taken to court.

Spike501 - 346 DS
[The sight of totally hooded people wandering the streets may spook some people and can sometimes pose a security threat to police but it is hardly widespread or a menace to the state and society.]

No but it is just another sign that some groups are not willing to integrate and it creates a divisive society. Veils are not part of British customs and society - there are certain things that should not be accepted and if some groups are not happy with that then they should not be living in a society they are not happy in.

StVitusGerulaitis - 219 DR
I'm against banning most things, and I don't think the state should be involved here.
However, let's not pretend that the veil is not a disgusting symbol of oppression. Yes, some women may choose to wear it, but that choice does not occur in a vacuum. There are intense pressures upon them

StephenStafford - 194 BNE
If the Court allows the woman to wear the nijab this could no doubt raise the question about other modest women wearing a veil in Court.

Hopefully the Court will rule that the nijab is removed as this is an English and not a Sharia Court

Psigram - 192 BNE
The Birmingham college reversed its decision for muslim women wearing the veil. As far as I know, the ban on face covering is still in place for motorcycle helments. So muslim women are given special treatment.

The same is true of the court case where a muslim woman was allowed to appear in a veil. Would the right to cover their face during a court appearance be granted to anyone else (except in very special circumstances)?

The real issue is that an exception is being made for muslims that is not being made for anyone else: they expect our society to change accommodate their culture, but make no attempt to adapt to ours. And that is what causes resentment.

Deicidium - 170 BNE
[But preferably without being called racist and taken to court.]

And herein lies the problem. Institutions such as Birmingham Met and Judge Murphy's court have made their ad hoc decisions. They are subsequently forced to change their position after threats of legal action, disruption, bad publicity etc (and we would be fooling ourselves if we said that the possibility of violence is not an issue). It is because of this that there need to be fixed rules covering where it is not permitted to cover your face, thus removing the influence of undue pressure on decision makers.

Special exception should not be granted for any reason. Covering the face is not a requirement of Islam and the vast majority of Muslim women do not practise it. It is therefore a personal choice and requiring removal in court, for example, is no more infringing someone's rights than requiring them to remove a balaclava.

Robjmac - 164 BF
.... to me the niqab is a symbol of female slavery. It should have no place in a civilised country.

bailliegillies - 161 BNE
I've no problem with a Muslim woman choosing to wear a veil but think that given the law of this country and that it is secular it should be removed in a court of law, or when the person is dealing with business or authorities where identification is important.

The jury has the right to see the person who they are going to make a judgement on, otherwise we might as well dismsiss the jury and have the decisison made behind closed doors

Yorkied24 - 156 BNE
[but it is not up to us (non veil wearers) to tell women what they should/shouldn't be wearing.]

The rest of us get told all the time what we can/can't wear. Why should this be any different when it comes to a veil?

Can I walk around naked? Apparently not. Can I walk into a bank with a motorcycle helmet on? No. Can I appear in court in a balaclava? No.

People need to understand that what they believe doesn't mean dick when it comes to the law.

woman55 - 150 BNE
[Some authorities, possibly schools and colleges in populated Muslim areas and certainly the justice system, clearly regard obscured faces as a practical problem. They should make their own decisions, consulting and defending them in their local circumstances.]

This is unfairly placing pressure on local institutions, who need support when facing this type of difficult circumstance. Some minorities are too quick to impose their own culture on the majority and this is resented.

Your religion is your own business and I respect that, except when you expect me to adapt to suit you. Christians in this country (and I am not one) do not demand non-believers to adapt to suit their Christian preference and would get short shrift if they did. The same rule should apply to all other religions.

JoeDelta - 142 BNE ###
[Yet the point of a national debate is to yield a national decision. In this case it is not clear whether such a decision is really needed. The sight of totally hooded people wandering the streets may spook some people and can sometimes pose a security threat to police but it is hardly widespread or a menace to the state and society.]

I strongly disagree. You can't have a mish-mash of incoherent inconsistent bye laws here, nor can you say it is up to banks or shopkeepers themselves whether to allow people in with their faces hooded. That would be madness. Imagine the fuss there would be (more than fuss; riots actually) if a shopkeeper decided he or she didn't want to serve people in these costumes.

So clearly we need a national policy. It's also important because, like France, Belgium and other countries, it is appropriate to set out what our values are.
I believe that there is far too much emphasis on individual rights in this area and others. Everybody seems to have rights about everything but nobody seems to have the slightest responsibility.

It's also an interesting double standard. Individuals demanding the right to wear these face veils are quick to tell others to mind their own business about it - it's my individual freedom - but, as we saw with the Danish cartoon, for example, there's all hell to pay when somebody else's individual freedom causes them to be offended.

1nn1t - 142 BNE
[Individuals and institutions should be able to make their own decisions ad hoc.]

Good luck being the first shop to refuse entry to the veiled.

Swan17 - 142 BNE MV
There is a perception that Islam and Muslims are receiving special treatment in the UK. Not saying it is or is not but there is a perception.

Some form of debate could enable people who have concerns to express them so that they can feel that they are being listened to as well. I fear we are storing up trouble for the future by ignoring this.

Oh, for those individuals I have a number of Muslims as my friends and work colleagues. They also express such concerns as it will directly affect them. They tell me that the niqab is a cultural not religious interpretation and agree that there are circumstances where covering your face is not appropriate. So do not try to tar me with the racist brush please.

Serpentsarecreeps - 142 BF
Debating it means dignifying the defenders of a vile misogynistic practice with a platform to argue their case. Surely banning it outright, without any nitpicking, would drive the message home more pointedly.

Yorkied24 - 127 BNE
[Equally, it's not a requirement of Islam that a woman cover her face.]

More than that; who cares if it were? Why does stating that you believe something that falls under the heading 'religious belief', mean you should get an exception from any regulations that conflict with that?

There has to come a time when 'it's my faith' holds absolutely zero weight in society. Do whatever you want at home, but don't ask for special treatment in public or the workplace, because your beliefs are no more special than anyone else's.

Twosides2it - 118 BNE
It is quite simple.

The law of this land should change and veils should be banned in public areas.
Then these women can choose either to live here in a free and democratic land or go and live in another country, for example where they are not even allowed to drive a car.
That would soon sort their shyness problems out.

Entianonsunt - 112 BF GP MV
[France banned the wearing of the full-face veil in public in 2010 with Belgium following not long after. Their debates have been bitter and divisive]

No, they haven't, certainly not in France. There is a wide consensus, including Muslims, with only a very few incidents, such as a mass protest by two women in Meaux.
But it is true that the debate on the ban on full-face masking in France has been bitter and divisive in the comments columns of the Guardian.

seejaybee - 102 BNE
[Veil wearers don't ask for any exclusive treatment.]

Er, yes they do. The lady in the court case is asking to keep her face covered, when no-one else would be allowed that right. That looks like asking for "exclusive treatment" to me.

hebe02 - 100 TP ###
As a female TEFL teacher I have taught many women wearing a veil. When there are no men in class they remove the veil and become chatty & confident, smiling and openly expressive. I can see their mouths when learning new pronunciation, I can help them express themselves in another language and try to encourage them to interact as much as possible while they are living here.

When a man enters the room or joins the class it is a different matter entirely. Their notebooks are hastily put on their knees as they are 'not allowed' to share a desk with a man. Their confidence evaporates; they don't answer questions that I know they have the answer to; their whole body language changes into shrinking mode. The Muslim men see no problem with this, because it is all they know.

The European men sometimes feel shunned and confused; the energy in the class is so markedly altered and the education - which is after all the reason they all attend - is so diminished that I have often left the class in a state of frustration.
My experience has shown me that the veil is detrimental to women's lives. It inhibits their education and social interaction, not just with British people, but with their own community.

I wish the veil banned.

tomaszzaraza - 100 N
[I'm so tired about these "debates" about the niqab, only a very very small minority of women wear them, and they are not in anyway a national emergency.
Yet they are very handy when you want to revert attention from something else.

Clearly you don't live in yorkshire

1970 - 100 BNE
How would any of us feel if before a jury and we couldn't see the face of one or more of those deciding our fate. Can a defendant challenge the Niquab? Has the judge the authority to order its removal? What's to stop several women swapping the role to siut convenience etc.

It cant be left to individual circumstances there has to a general rule. But why oh why should ANYONE be exempt from a regulation merely because of their particular religious belief. If Muslim women can hide their faces regardless of rules and regulations then there should be nothing to stop anyone else including hoodies with scaves over the mouths and noses. NOTHING.

Yorkied24 - 75 BNE
[Veil wearers don't ask for any exclusive treatment.]

Yes, they do. That's the problem with the court case, that's the problem with not following dress policy at the Birmingham college.

[Just let then live their lives how they wish, and you live yours.]

That would be fine, but people are asking for exemptions from the rules, always on religious grounds - whether it's halal/kosher meat, wearing religious jewellery, or covering your face in court/exam halls.

Pinkfloydera - 71 BF
I worked in a college where ID cards were issued. We had a small but significant minority of Muslim women who would not remove a face mask even for the photograph. What is an individual institution supposed to do?

The ID card was placed on the desk during exams so that the invigilator could see the right person was taking the exam, even if the girl was persuaded to unmask for the ID card she wore the mask for the exam.

Veiling women has no place in a modern western society, it should be banned. Personally I would like to see that extended to all forms of dress that show women are subject to the rule of their male relatives, everywhere. But that is beyond us at the moment, banning the veil in public in Britain is within our power and should be done.

Johnny_Boy_GB - 67 BNE
The veil is not appropriate in any public institution...schools, hospitals, GP surgeries and of course Courts. How could you have a doctor, teacher or police officer who wore a veil? How could some one seing their doctor, a pupil or a defendant or witness in Court be allowed to hide their face?

It disgusts me that many liberals and secularists think it's fine for women to wear the veil in public places. I guess it's afear of being branded 'racist' by the ultra-politically correct.

LPBudovski - 64 DR
.... forcing a woman to wrap her head up in a medieval mask and not allow her to talk to any other men besides her husband and father is the height of modernity and women's emancipation and if you don't think so you're a xenophobe. That's how it goes correct?

Full-face veils aren't barbaric – but our response can be

By Maleiha Malik. 21 top recommended comments selected from a total of 1449 comments

londonhongkong - 710 N DR TF
Why have British girls from families with Indian subcontinental roots adopted the full-face veil when this has never been practised in any substantial form in their cultures?
Is it because of the politicisation of Islam by some?

And why do some of these girls insist on wearing it in situations which they know are unreasonable, for example whilst teaching junior school children or whilst attending university that wanted any covering banned which prevented identification of the students?

Is this because of a deliberate policy of challenging cultural norms in this country and seeking to bend them to the wishes of a particular form of political Islam?

Tokaido - 601 GP ###
If you must have more articles on the veil, how about taking another point of view entirely – on a previous thread there was a good post from as TEFL teacher, who found that when there were no men in the class, women wearing the veil would take them off, become more expressive and confident.

But the minute a man entered, they would put them on and their confidence vanished, making teaching much harder. The poster found the veil to be a barrier to interaction, and a symbol of submission.

Why not examine soberly the reasons why some people want the veil banned, rather than painting everyone who objects to the veil as *sigh* islamophobic?

jeremyll33 - 526 ?? ###
[The motive for attacking the veil is racist. I have no doubt at all about that. It comes from a distaste for foreigners and is a product of the anti-muslim campaign launched by Tony Blair and Jack Straw, to justify their annihilation of Iraq. Britain should be ashamed that it is conducting itself in this bigoted fashion. Veils harm no one, just as gay marriage does no damage to conventional marriage.]

Absolute rubbish. Britain is one of the most tolerant countries in the world.

woman55 - 486 DR
[Is this because of a deliberate policy of challenging cultural norms in this country and seeking to bend them to the wishes of a particular form of political Islam?]


Elleygray - 476 TF DS
They are disrespectful to the values and culture of the host Nation. And I believe that in many cases it is a deliberate and indeed, intended display of disrespect.

candyapple - 443 GP
Typical CiF, isn't it? Hammer us over the heads with article after article taking the same view on a subject, expressed in slightly different ways, without ever taking the opposing view into account or even admitting that there might be more to the wish for a ban on the niqab than 'Islamaphobia'.

stokeite - 437 DR N BNE ###
[Our attacks on Muslim majority countries and the alienating of Muslims abetted by the press has got to be an issue as well. The pictures of women in Kabul in the 70s with their hair flowing is quite unnerving.]

This argument is often used on the left but is wrong headed. The adoption of the veil is not solely a reaction to western policy

For example your Afghan example is incorrect. Afghan women in urban area such as Kabul had the veil imposed on them under the Taliban before any western intervention.

The veil in Saudi is supported by elements of a state supported by the West.

Those who seek to promote the use of the veil in the UK generally do so as part of a wider fundamentalist agenda. There has been an increase in the wearing of the full face veil amongst women of bangladeshi background in London for example in recent years.

This is not just a response to the treatment of muslims in the UK. It is a political statement of rejection of liberal values and in some cases it imposed. Those who defend the veil in the name of freedom need to answer whether they defend the right of muslim women in muslim majority countries to not wear the veil? If not their protest is specious and Guardian readers should not be seduced into supporting people who are our deadly enemies. Ask liberals and leftists in Iran....

Bamboo13 - 378 DC BNE
The retail assistant who refused to serve a customer using a mobile, prompted a debate about rudeness.

Some may consider it rude to engage with others while dressed in a Burqua. Is it?

UndyingCincinnatus - 221 DR
We've been very, very tolerant of Islam for a very long time. But people are getting fed up of that tolerance being abused. It is a two way street: when we make allowances to foreign practices we expect those living here to try and acclimatise as well.

We see none of that, in fact the opposite: no-go zones for non-Muslims, increasing numbers wearing these symbols of oppression, Sharia courts in what is supposed to be a secular country.

And we don't like it. To tolerate means to put up with something you don't especially like, and our tolerance is being stretched further and further by the Islamic community who take and take without ever giving.

secondwave - 203 DC
Normally I would never comment on what a person wears. However when it comes to covering the face, I have an issue with that, just as I do with the wearing of balaclavas outside the confines of military training or the Arctic regions.

My objection has to do with showing others who you are and your intent towards them through body language and facial expressions, both of which play a large part in non-verbal communication. Attempts to hide the face can therefore lead to mistrust by others. I believe this is why so many dislike the full veil and feel uncomfortable with it.

devonguy - 201 BNE DR DC ###
I think the parallel should be drawn with full face helmets. There is a reason you wouldn't be allowed in court (or a bank, or in an official meeting, or any meeting actually) wearing one. It's not about persecution, it's about having your face open to be seen.

[Today's debates about, and treatment of, veiled Muslim women are akin to the way heretics, lepers and Jews were talked about and treated in medieval Europe when]

This is just hyperbolic rubbish. The inference is drawn because a small subset of the population hasn't been consulted on a law change. Most people who are affected by law changes aren't consulted, why should this particluar group be singled out for special treatment?

[Again, there are parallels today. Post 9/11 and 7/7 discussions of Muslims in Europe have generated an anti-Islam ideology that has now been adopted by the far right throughout Europe]

This is more hyperbole. The discussions have generated an anti-Islamist not anti-Muslim feeling, not ideology.

What people don't like are radical Muslims, those who actually have an ideology of hate. Obviously the ones who blow others up in the name of their ideology are the most feared. However, that feeling is also about the ones who chant in the street about killing or beheading people for calling teddy bears the wrong name, or writing cartoons or prose which say the wrong thing. Normal Muslims who may disaprove but accept these things aren't worrying or scaring people.

Calling the response to this behaviour anti-Muslim is fear-mongering, and pot stirring. As is the comparison with medeival lepers. It's calculated to generate an angry or even radical response in Muslims who read it. Given the previous responses from angry radical Muslims to being agitated - the redistribution of the Danish cartoons much later than they were published being a prime example - this approach is calculated to cause trouble.

WitNit - 198 BNE MV
The UK is by some distance the most tolerant Western country, in terms of accommodating immigrant cultures - and I say this as an immigrant of South Asian origin. Why not have a look at other European countries and see how they treat immigrants there.

Besides, Islam is not a race, so the whole racist thing is just hogwash and a nig red herring. Tents and veils for women are not compatible with a liberal and democratic ccountry.

DavidECooper - 178 BNE
Every society has the right to ban shocking and indecent dress from being worn in public. No doubt some Naturists would find it empowering to have the right to walk naked in public places. But since this would go against our cultural sensibilities, it is justifiably banned.

Wearing the full face veil is equally offensive to sensibilities in this country, regardless of whether it empowers or dis-empowers the wearer.

LeoL - 130 BNE
I think the French and Belgium decisions have much more to do with Europe's Enlightenment tradition than with the writer's half-baked attempt to portray the veil ban as 'medieval'.

Personally I think the French approach is taking those ideals too far, creating unnecessary conflicts over headcoverings, when the state should be working with Muslims to tackle the actual underlying sexism that is prevalent in Muslim communities.
The self-flagellating tone of the article (only in Europe was identity founded by attacking vulnerable groups? Really?) is incredibly unhelpful when it actually comes to building on what European society has to offer, now, today, in 2013.

The writer wallows in our long history of persecution, while conveniently sidestepping the fact that for all its defects, western Europe now offers freedoms and a level of self-critical debate that in the vast majority of Muslim countries would be unthinkable.

leftleast - 110 DR GP ###
Many of us find this crude "separation" with black garb and slits for eyes an anaethema to our culture, our freedoms and our sense of equality.

To many these "black ghosts" are an affront to British women who have worked for years to fight the opression of men over women and (whatever) people say about their right to choose, we all know family pressure, and male pressure whether it be from brothers or fathers or uncles, "force" many women to dress in this way.

.... mydaughter has two Muslim friends who are forced to wear headscarves and they have both confided that their parents force them to wear them and that in the future they want to forget about the religion and live what they consider a "normal" life. I can well believe it.

The Guardian, once a champion of female rights and a champion of the oppressed now finds itself supporting the "right" of women to be garbed in a black robes so only their eyes can be seen. The Guardian should be ashamed of itself using the ridiculous claim of "religious freedom" to justify the enslavement of vulnerable young Muslim women by ignorant and bullying muslim males.

KillickThere - 108 ??
[It comes from a distaste for foreigners]

Rubbish, get yourself down to the next Notting Hill carnival. There you will see a colourful, confident, integrated culture that British people love. The Caribbean community has given so much to Britain. What does radical Islam give?

Rastafori - 86 DR TP ###
As someone who has worked for an extended period of time with a large number of muslim women often 1 on 1 (lunch time meetings) in north Sudan, I am in a very good and unusual position to assess the impact of veils.

Those female students who wore a full veil at the university at which I worked struggled to communicate their ideas, did not gain empathy from other students, had a striking lack of self confidence, and had a very small group of exclusively female friends. Those who eschewed the veil (from more liberal familes) were the opposite and were striking in the advancements they made in their studies.

From a disinterested standpoint, the veil appears a very good tool for the subjugation and limitation of females in both their abilities and their ambitions.

MrVholes - 75 DS BF
It's really nothing to do with religion whjether the practice is acceptable in the UK. It's about people's willingness to be more fully integrated into society. My own view after much deliberation is that there is no place for this practice in UK society and yes, face veils ought to be banned.

FawltyGenome - 74 BNE
I couldn't care less if women want to wear it (as long as they actually have the choice).
But at the same time, there will be occasions when they should have to remove it because of British cultural practices: like showing one's face in a court appearance, passing through airport security, teaching children. I'd probably even go so far as to say in any workplace.

But in your personal and private time, they can do what they want. Who are we to tell people what to wear? There was an interview on the C4 news yesterday, and the Muslim Niqab wearer interviewed made it pretty apparent that her decision was based on her self-identity.

eminexion - 68 DR TF ###
[A couple of questions? Why have British girls from families with Indian subcontinental roots adopted the full-face veil when this has never been practised in any substantial form in their cultures? Is it because of the politicisation of Islam by some?]

In various parts of Pakistan, some women have been wearing niqab for a long time, so there is some tradition, though far less pronounced. As for women in the UK whose families originate in South Asia, the niaqb has been adopted as a political symbol, indicating an identification with a far less compromising and usually fairly literalist interpretation of Islam.

Many women in this country who now wear niqab are making a statement, and it has a limited connexion with observing codes of modesty or being submissive to men.
For some it is a means of being provocative and assertive as far as Muslim identity is concerned.

Toom - 63 BNE
Give them the freedom to wear what the hell they want as long as as everyone else has the freedom to refuse them entry to their places of work and/or employ them.
Freedom for everyone I say.

Don't follow France's burqa ban. It has curbed liberty and justice

There's a sorry parade of women being fined for wearing the veil – and the people who attack them

By Nabila Ramdani. 27 top recommended comments selected from a total of 703 comments

blessmycottonsocks - 377 BF
[a sorry parade of women being fined for wearing the veil]

Which is surely preferable to the sorry parade of women wearing the veil because they are either coerced into so doing or because they hold and wish to flaunt Islamic fundamentalist views.

Well done to France for upholding secular standards and la liberation de la femme.

Andrew Fox - 345 BF
Both the niqab and the burka should be banned.

Ukwraith - 312 BNE
So far as requiring facial exposure in schools, shops, banks medical premises etc. Yes, absolutely - establishments and employers alike should be able to set that as a rule. In court, no compromise. One rule for all.

.... France's ban on the wearing of face-covering headgear in public places is not specific to Muslim face masks, but all face masks for males or females. Like their law on secularity and conspicuous religious symbols in schools, it applies to everyone of any religious persuasion.

Freedom cannot be absolute. Democracy does not and cannot insist on complete freedom (anarchy). France's government (any government) must reconcile competing views and interests in order to find the position most acceptable to the largest number.
And particularly to preserve the values shared by the majority of citizens, which form the backbone of their national identity. The overwhelming democratic will of the people of France is that they wish to protect the secular nature of their government, their education system and their nation. And they are going to do so actively and timeously. Understandable and legitimate.

Coldfilter - 285 BF
Unfortunately, the British are intent on learning the hard way that these cultures do not want to integrate,much better to create a state within a state.
The great experiment has failed and the British need to redraw the rules respecting the rights of the minority.

Like most Western countries now, Britain, is a hostage to the PC Brigade who mow down all bastions of reason in it's path leaving the ordinary citizen paralysed with fear to speak out against injustice!

Akiba - 270 BF
Of course the burqua should be banned. The reasons are obvious and entirely sensible, and far outweigh the bizarre, brainwashed opinions of a few crazies who actually want to wear a bag over their head.

1 - Many women actually are forced to wear this hateful garment by their sadistic husbands and relatives.

2 - The garment represents the triumph of men (who never cover up), over women, who are apparently just sex objects and of little worth.

3 - Face to face communication is vital in the Western world. There is absolutely no history here of wearing masks, and I see no reason why we should suddenly bend over to accommodate this illogical and nasty practice.

4 - The burqua is a very visible sign of an extreme form of the most extreme religion. Religion does not belong in the modern world, especially not something as dangerous and misogynistic as this. We need less religion in the UK, ideally no religion.

Cherry picking a few cases of abuse and assault from France do not somehoe make it right to allow state sanctions misogyny. The French are right on this, and we should absolutely follow them as soon as possible.

Hopefully it will become an EU wide thing, and send a very clear message that extreme religion is not welcome, and that women are every bit as good as men, regardless of whatever magic and pixie worshipping cult they've been indoctrinated in.

steena - 256 BNE
You make it sound like there are vigilantes standing on every corner of Paris waiting to beat burqa-wearing women up. While I absolutely don't condone violence against anyone, this is a complete exaggeration.

France is a secular country, and has the right to regulate when it comes to the separation of Church and State. Muslim women can wear what they like in their own homes. In public they have to respect the law, just like the rest of us.

FlummoxedCollywobble - 248 BF
[France's ban on the wearing of face-covering headgear in public places is not specific to Muslim face masks, but all face masks for males or females. Like their law on secularity and conspicuous religious symbols in schools, it applies to everyone of any religious persuasion.]

This needs to be repeated.

And Ms Ramdani, you can't really believe the majority of Muslim women who wear the veil choose to do so.

Lioneljoseph - 215 BF
[The ban in France is a hateful assault on basic freedoms]

really? A law passed by a modern democracy with considerable public support (polls indicated about 80%) reflecting the state's strong secular values is a hateful assault on basic freedoms.

I think we could all find better examples....

rosybeeme - 202 DR
The attacks on women for wearing the niqab or burka are deplorable, who can possibly argue with that? But I take issue with the assertion that women freely choose to wear it.

The weight of social and religious pressure to do so means that that women do not need to be coerced into wearing it, except in a few cases. They are conditioned from childhood into a mindset that makes them comply with a deeply misogynistic and medieval notion of female 'modesty', so they 'choose' it themselves.

I'm afraid that taking the veil off in front of children does not negate the message it sends that women must cover themselves in front of men or that men's sexual urges are so uncontrollable they will be aroused by the sight of any bare-faced woman. I do not want my grandchildren to get that destructive and insidious message.

LabanTall - 218 DS BNE
Historically, the British have been strongly against face-masks, and they've only been used by criminals wishing to disguise themselves.

If the burqa is to be legal, you'd like to think the rest of us would have the right if we wished to go around in IRA-style balaclavas - but IIRC a chap who wore one in Ipswich was arrested when he refused to remove it.

After the first lot of riots in Bradford, but before the major ones, the city's former race relations officer wrote a fascinating document which can be found here.. While it relates to Bradford, I think it has wider application.

[The Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities now expect to recreate the environment of their country of origin. They have settled in village patterns which reflect their origins and they constantly reinforce this by bringing in new members from the country of origin. This, in turn, leads to spatial and social immobility, communities which are internalised on themselves and are relatively self-sufficient in social and cultural terms ...."]

Swan17 - 180 BF
France has a tradition of not allowing religion to impact on public life. That is their tradition, why is it that the traditions of immigrants seem to be more important that the traditions that France has from the centuries? It also applies across the board, not just to Muslims. No faces covered in public.

RichieRich66 - 169 DR
[The myth around which France's burqa ban was formulated is hugely offensive. It suggests that a cartel of faceless bogeywomen dressed in medieval black personify an alien religion, one whose values threaten those of the secular French republic and, by implication, those of all civilised nation states.]

Well the stuff in the core Islamic texts and main schools of Islamic jurisprudence about the obligations re offensive jihad and killing apostates is, for some, evidence that its values are not akin to those of "civilised nation states".

Alex71 - 161 BF
I do not agree that because of some correlating attacks, that the ban should not be enforced. Nor do I accept your argument that women you refer to have made a free choice.

It is a choice made in the context of a regressive cultural and religious norm. They might be technically 'free' not to wear it, but they choose not to endure the ostracisation and exclusion from their families and culture that would result. Presumably the author is aware of this, but why is it not bought into the article?

[The ban in France is a hateful assault on basic freedoms]

The veil is a hateful assault on basic freedoms. In the majority of the Muslim world, it is not commonly worn, with the exception of the barbaric Saudi Arabia.

scubaM10 - 158 BF
[If someone wears something on their head of their own free will, who is it repressing]
Both you and Ramdani need to do a bit more reading about French history and culture and about the Enlightenment in general.

It is very important to the French to keep religion in the private sphere and to have a coherent society.

The burka and the niqab are powerful statements about the status of women in society, a declaration of separateness and an culturally insensitive encroachment on secular space, extreme by even the standards of Islam.

Also there are clear security problems involved and the French dohave general bans on face coverings in banks, airports etc.

This article is just another example of this victimhood guff about the wearing of face coverings we are getting on an almost daily basis on c.i.f.

Learning_by_doing - 153 TP
[Just as no one in Britain can produce a veiled woman in the National Health Service who has unsettled patients, or teacher who refuses to take off her niqab in front of children when asked]

I am sorry but a teacher, covered in black cloth from head to toe with only her eyes barely visible, will only take her niqab off if asked? I am, for the sake of children, against niqab wearing teachers. No child should have to be in a situation where the only grown up in a classroom is dressed up in such a frightening manner. The human face is very important with all its imperfections and to deprive the children of facial expressions is frightening.

fedupandenglish - 143 BF
Simple answer if anyone doesn't like the veil ban, move to a muslim country. Otherwise accept the norms of your host country and integrate.
Bet this gets deleted!

ziggythehamster - 139 BNE
This is exactly right. Muslims complain about their right to wear whatever they like but there are many examples where the general population have to obey similar rules e.g. our local shopping centre has banned people wearing hoodies and motorcycle helmets.

Why do Muslims in a country where they comprise less than 5% of the population always feel they have a sense of entitlement to overrule the wishes of the majority? And more to the point, why do so many Guardian columnists think that's OK?

Andrew Fox - 137 BNE
Neither the niqab nor the burka are required by Islam. Both are also against this countrys culture and cultural values. If you choose to live in this country you must abide by the majoritys values. Why do you find thatso hard to understand?

Nonkey1 - 130 BF
[Don't follow France's burqa ban. It has curbed liberty and justice]

Excellent point.

And, of course, it would explain why so many thousands of Muslims are fleeing France and pouring into countries where they can live under Islamic law.

SaraNovember - 104 GP DR
Banning everything that makes us uneasy is illiberal indeed, but it's also something this paper is usually in favour of. Because this particular practice involves women and better still, largely non-white women, you take the opposite view.

Clearly there is no excuse for the acts of racism referenced in the article. But Ms Ramdani uses this to shut down legitimate criticism of the niqab by decent people who are not racists, but want to protect western values just as much as Muslims want to preserve theirs.

The burqa does not represent Islam per se but only the radical, militant Wahhabi strand which is a threat to anyone who values a free, open society. For the past week on CiF we’ve had feminist journalists, who panic on a daily basis about twerking and pop lyrics, telling us to relax about the burqa! Complete hypocrisy and complacency.

hbomb2200 - 103 GP DR
Oh good, another article about the burqa on cif to get us all riled up.

I would not describe myself as a "patriotic male" nor do I wish to "persecute a religious minority" I do however have a big problem with the burqa/niqab as I see it as a symbol of female repression.

For every woman who wants to wear it here there are far more in countries such as Afghanistan where it is simply not safe for women to leave the house uncovered, or where it can only be removed on the husband's say so.

Also, in Western societies it is possible for women to be intimidated into wearing it and they are unlikely to be in a position to be able to admit this. So until it can be used world wide purely by women who freely chose to do I will always be against it.

lynxeffect - 90 BNE
The face covering is not required in Islam. It is a cultural thing. The whole religious freedom thing doesn't even apply here.

Londonhongkong - 87 BF ###
One additional point - a lack of a UK-wide law banning full-veils will mean individual institutions (schools, unis, hospitals, govt offices) will have to take these decisions. This will leave them open to pressure ranging from organised protests to threats of violence.

As can be seen with Birmingham Met uni recently, some will cave into these. This is one of the reasons for a campaign against a UK-wide law, because you can now target and take down institutions one-by-one. All this will do is increase animosity and strife.

diviani - 86 BF
The niqab and the burka should be banned.

Yosserian - 84 DC DS
No, you don't have to abide by majority values, you can put yourself outside them. But then why the hell should you be surprised if people view you as having put yourself outside those values? And be upset when people when people react to you differently because you have? Or they reject your rejecting society?

platform3 - 79 BF ###
[In fact, of the 354 women "controlled" for covering up in the first year of the French ban, all said it was their own decision to do so.]

And a lot of victims of domestic abuse say it was entirely their fault for provoking their partners. Do you genuinely think all those women freely chose to wear the burqa or that some may have felt compelled to through fear of the consequences from their family and community if they didn't.

Backtothepoint - 76 N ###
Ms Ramdani, I don't know whether you ever lived in an area with a high proportion of working-class North Africans. I lived in such an area in the Paris region for over 25 years, until last year.

If you ever talked to the women of the generation of Algerians, Moroccans and Tunisians who fought to gain a certain freedom (to go out and work, not to cover their heads, to be able to live their lives without seeking permission from their father, husband or even son before doing anything), you'd know they were terribly disappointed by the reappearance of the hijab headscarf in the 90s and are now utterly distressed by the sight of young women wearing the full veil.

It's depressing for them, offensive to all men - implying that we can't control ourselves if we see a woman's face - and utterly degrading for the women concerned - far more of an objectivisation of women than page 3 of the Sun, reducing them as it does to anonymous objects in society.

[In fact, of the 354 women "controlled" for covering up in the first year of the French ban, all said it was their own decision to do so.]

Really? You astound me. Forced to wear it by the men who own them, do you think for one second that they'd say anything else? If they were ready to speak out, they wouldn't be wearing a full veil, now would they?

I've know quite a few young women who have rebelled. Forced to wear certain clothing by father or husband, or even confined to their flat and forbidden to go out, they've finally had enough and fled, risking violence and ostracism. Only then do they speak out about what was done to them.

All in all, I think you understand absolutely nothing about what's going on today in the community you were apparently born into.

Should there be restrictions on wearing the niqab? - five-minute video debate.

Columnists Nabila Ramdani and Joan Smith discuss whether any restrictions should apply to the wearing of the Islamic full-face veil (niqab) in public. Is Britain on the way to a French-style ban? Is the matter one of national importance? Or are the number of people wearing the niqab in Britain too small for it to be a serious concern?

22 top recommended comments selected from a total of 1112 comments.

Johnny_Boy_GB - 861 BNE
1. The veil is not a religious requirement of Islam - but a cultural one.

2. Even if it was religious - that should not trump laws, customs or plain common sense.

3. In a Court Case - a Jury, Judge and lawyers need to see the face and reactions of a defandant (and witnesses). It is their best interest.

4. Some professions wearing of a veil would not be appropriate eg for teachers, doctors. Women who are wearing the veil are excluding themselves from these professions.

5. It is obviously not suitable for airport security. Wearers would have to show their face when asked by officials.

6. If the veil is allowed in cases where it's not suitable why not crash helmets? Why not a Klu Klux Klan outfit? Some people may feel these are part of their 'culture'?

7. Isn't the reason, women wear veils and headscarves the belief that men will have uncontrolled sexual urges if they see an attractive woman? Isn't this an insult to men?

8. Isn't there a contradiction between wearing the veil and having eye make-up or wearing and headscarf andfull facial make-up? It's quite common to see those.

9. Does perceived "religious belief" trump other beliefs or make a particualr religion immune from rules applicable to everyone else?

10. In a "debate" on the veil isn't it the case that many feel criticism of the veil is "Islamophobic" and "racist".

Having said all that, there's not many who wear the ful veil face in the UK - so "problems" are quite rare. Still that doesn't mean it shouldn't be discussed.

7billion - 700 BF
Well done France.

Istanbullian - 580 BF
Of course the niqab should be banned in public.

It is demeaning towards women, a health issue if worn in extreme heat and can be used in crime. The Quran does not say women must wear it.

Idontwishtooffend - 429 BF
Would I be allowed to go about my business in society with a balaclava on 24 hours a day?

If not, then the answer is yes, there should be restrictions on wearing a Niqab.

godforbidowright - 429 BNE
It strikes me as an entirely anti-social outfit, not credibly based in faith. Anyone who entirely conceals themselves becomes intimidating - look at the way we've responded to hoodies in recent years? Why should these hardliners get any special treatment?

godforbidowright - 343 TF BNE
It strikes me as bizarre that we let people get away with all sorts of things in the guise of religion. Wearing this thing is not a credible way to conduct oneself - certainly in any formal capacity.

Its tantamount to waving a big middle finger up to secular society.

SouthLodge - 295 BNE TF
Places where the veil should not be allowed:

Airports, Banks, Train Stations, Trains, Shopping malls, Bus stations, Buses, Schools, Hospitals, Doctors' surgeries, Courtrooms, Churches, Synagogues. Anywhere which is at risk of terrorist atrocities

Places where it should be allowed:

At home, indoors. Mosques

The veil is a pre-islamic phenomenon which is required only by extreme versions of islamic practice. Its increasing use here is a direct result of Saudi sourced finance for wahhabist preachers. It is a political, not a religious, phenomenon.

It is increasingly worn by passive aggressive muslim women making a political point and as such it is fair game for political (as opposed to merely doctrinal) dispute.
It should not be banned outright, only severely limited as to its permitted use.

mrW_C_FIELDSesq - 283 BNE
Since its not in the Quran ..the excuse Its my religion falls flat on its face.

.... it should be banned on the grounds of hiding ones identity.

Go in a bank ...a doctors or police station wearing a balaclava ski mask ..youd soon get grappled and police called if you refused to unmask.

It also is used by dominating men as an excuse to control their wives...its just one more excuse for religious nutters to control women.
ban it.

nystagmus4u - 229 BF
Only one restriction needed, ban it.

poppy23 - 206 BF
[This should not even be a subject of debate--what a woman wears is her business and choice.]

Actually, that is not the case in the UK, nor has it ever been. Try walking down the street topless and see how far that argument gets you with the police.

poppy23 - 162 BF
We keep hearing people saying "It would be illiberal to tell people what they can and cannot wear". Why do these people not criticise Islam for this very reason?

Guileless - 142 BF
Why is this inane subject such a dilemma?

Just ban it outright. It doesn't represent anything British and it is profoundly distressing to many people including young children.

I blankly refuse to acknowledge anybody with this Islamic garment on.

studio1reggae - 133 DS DC BNE
I do not like the idea of the niqab. When I see a woman in the street covered head to toe in a burka/hijab and niqab I find it off putting, isolating and difficult to approach with a seemingly obvious statement of non-inclusion.

I for one do not agree talking to someone when you could only see their eyes, as their facial features are covered up.If people say it racist and Islamaphobist then I don't know how that could be when you just want to see who you are talking to. Wear it at home or in the street, but not think it should be worn in jobs which involves interaction/ communication, court or elsewhere.

poppy23 - 124 BNE
[Should we ban the skullcap; crosses; blacksabath t-shirts; orange buddhist robes?]

None of these cover the face. We banned the balaclava from certain areas because it hides a person's identity.

[And so it is with the niqab. Only racists think it should be banned]

Feminists in Muslim countries have long opposed the veil. Are they racist?

bailliegillies - 123 BNE
I think that a shopkeeper, bank/PO worker, local authority/government worker anyone who has to deal with the public on a daily basis should have the right to ask them to remove the veil because we have a tradition in Britain of doing our business face to face and not behind screens or masks.

If they want us to respect their traditions then they to must respect ours, especially if they choose to live here.

Billybagel - 105 DS DR
[But I would ask why you feel so threatened and fearful by it.]

This is always the get-out clause in almost any Guardian discussion, isn't it? No, I'm not 'fearful' of a woman wearing a niqab (although I may be a little apprehensive of the totalitarian doctrine that they are advertising). I just don't want to have anything to do with them, because they're making it as plain as day that they don't want to have anything to do with me.

Istanbullian - 101 BNE DR
Religion was created by man to control man and the niqab is another control over women.

Religion is not for public consumption but for personal choice.
Men have been known to wear niqab to commit crime. Niqab is used to hide identity.

godforbidowright - 73 BNE
Secular society requires a degree of both tolerance and compromise. Wearers of this garment are offering neither of these things.

londonhongkong - 71 BNE
Did you seriously write about 'demonising Islam'? On a day like today?

I don't think people demanding that others, a tiny minority, respect the norms and culture of a country is demonising anything. The followers of Islam seem to be doing a pretty good job of 'demonising' it without anyone else's help.

bailliegillies - 70 DR BNE
I don't think it should be restricted but I think that the argument that it is a religious requirement should be debunked.

I also think that when a wearer is facing someone conversing and doing business, asking for help either from a business or from authorities they should remove the veil so that people can see and verify who they are as we have a history and tradition in Britain of seeing each other face to face.

Stieve - 65 BF GP
Yeah, nice one Guardian- show a gorgeous woman with piercing BLUE eyes and nicely plucked eyebrows, tastefully lit to "illustrate" the niqab. The reality is very different 99.99% of the time.

Women in Saudi Arabia suffer from skin problems and vitamin deficiencies due to not being allowed to have the sun on their skin.

Mesomorph - 60 DR BF
By banning the niqab, we would be saying that whatever your medieval religion may preach, or whatever your tribal customs might say, this country holds men and women equal.

That is a principle worth defending, and those who disagree are free to either suck on it or go elsewhere.

24 October 2013

More than half of Brits want full face veil banned - 81% support ban in schools, courts or hospitals

An exclusive ComRes poll for Channel 4 News showed that more than half of the public believe women should not be allowed to wear the niqab in public - with 55 per cent backing an outright ban similar to the one in France.

An even greater proportion, 81 per cent, say they support a ban on wearing the niqab in certain public places, such as schools, courts or hospitals.

Controversy has dogged the niqab in recent weeks. In September, a college in Birmingham was forced to drop a ban on Muslim face veils after a Channel 4 News report, but in the same month a judge ruled that Muslim women must remove the full face veil to give evidence.

However, he said that women would be allowed to wear the niqab when facing trial, and called on parliament to provide a definitive answer. [Channel 4 ] Read more

Niqab Ban Supported By More Than Half Of Britons, According To Channel 4 News Poll

More than half the British public think that Muslim women SHOULD NOT be allowed to wear the niqab in public. A ComRes opinion poll for Channel 4 found that 56% of respondents said they opposed the wearing of the full face-veil, while 55% said they would support a national ban, similar to legislation that was passed in France in 2010.

The niqab, which only shows the eyes of the wearer, has been the subject of intense debate in the UK, particularly over whether it should be permissible to wear the covering when giving evidence in court. The poll asked whether the niqab should be banned in public places, such as courtrooms, schools and hospitals, with 81% saying they would support such a ban. [The Huffington Post UK] Read more

15 October 2013

Danes: We are too tolerant of Muslims

After numerous heated debates over whether Muslims are imposing their culture upon Denmark, poll shows most think too many concessions are made for the minority.

The public debates over banned Christmas trees, halal meat at schools and cashiers wearing headscarves appear to have made the Danish population more wary about giving their Muslim neighbours cultural concessions.

According to a new survey by market researcher TNS Gallup, carried out for Berlingske newspaper, every third non-Muslim Dane is under the impression that Denmark is too tolerant of its Muslim minority population. [The Copenhagen Post] Read more

25 September 2013

Many young Britons do not trust Muslims, poll finds

Some 27% of the thousand 18 to 24-year-olds questioned said they did not trust them, while fewer than three in 10 (29%) thought Muslims were doing enough to tackle extremism in their communities.

A similar proportion of the young people polled (28%) said the country would be better off with fewer Muslims and almost half (44%) felt Muslims did not share the same values as everyone else.

The BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat survey was carried out by the pollsters Comres in June after the soldier Lee Rigby was murdered in the street in Woolwich, south east London, in May. [] Read more

Quarter of young British people 'do not trust Muslims'

More than a quarter of 18 to 24-year-olds in Britain do not trust Muslims, a BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat poll suggests.

Of the 1,000 young people questioned, 28% said Britain would be better off with fewer Muslims, while 44% said Muslims did not share the same values as the rest of the population.

Some 60% thought the British public had a negative image of Muslims.

An adviser on anti-Muslim hatred said the findings suggested young people needed to mix more. [BBC] Read more

04 August 2013

This is Why - Part 9

A continuous survey of the causes of “Islamophobia” covering the many things Islam and Muslims do and say that puzzle or repulse non-Muslims. (Conflicts in Muslim countries and terrorism are excluded.) See here for explanation of survey.

July 2013

5 injured in clashes at burka riot outside Paris
About 250 people hurling projectiles clashed with police firing tear gas west of Paris, in apparent protest over enforcement of France’s ban on Islamic face veils.

No compromise on individuals mocking religion
The communication and multimedia ministry will not compromise with those who insult or mock religion on social websites.

An exceptional act of courage
.... all religious minorities have been made into second class citizens.

Aceh, increasing intolerance against Christians: 17 house churches closed

Norwegian woman who reported being raped in Dubai is jailed for 16 months

Taliban's letter to Malala Yousafzai: this is why we tried to kill you

"Let America And Britain Hate The Caliphate; Let Britain, America, And The Entire West Go To Hell, Because The Caliphate Is Coming, Allah Willing"

Pakistani man given life sentence on blasphemy charge, despite lack of evidence

Malaysia's 'Galloping Islamization'
In Malaysia, the tone of the anti-Christian campaign has become shriller.

More Hatred and Extremism at the East London Mosque

Popular U.S. Imam: Constitution Inferior to Sharia

Muslims’ threats to stab pork eating UK prisoners

Muslim extremists kill our priests, burn our churches and kidnap our women: How Egypt's Arab Spring dream descended into a nightmare of religious hatred

Building bridges in Australia: Ads against "Islamophobia" use fabricated George Bernard Shaw quote praising Muhammad

Women-only tennis sessions launched in Blackburn

The Myth of Spain's Islamic Golden Age

Saudi to expel foreigners disrespecting Ramadan

Bedford dad beat kids while forcing them to read Koran

Temporary marriage becomes popular among young UK Muslims

Venstre to unhappy Muslims: "Find somewhere else to live"
Muslims who show no interest in adopting Danish values ought to think about why they settled in Denmark in the first place, the immigration spokesperson for leading opposition party Venstre argued in an opinion piece published in Politiken newspaper today.

Christian Convert Tried in Tehran

Muslim TV station fined for allowing contributor to incite murder
.... Earlier this year Dr Malik said that he was dissatisfied with Ofcom's ruling because there were cultural differences that Ofcom does not understand.

Muslim television channel fined after preacher of hate incited murder live on air

Iranian swimmer Elham Asghari: 'My 20km record has been held hostage'
.... no matter how Islamic my swimming gear, it was unacceptable," she told the Guardian. "They said the feminine features of my body were showing as I came out of water.

Former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt Says Problem of Immigration Concerns "Foreign Cultures Marked by Islam"

Iranian hardliners apoplectic over Shakira Confederations cup shot
.... in Iran, the few seconds of a woman with bare arms and a revealing top broadcast on national television for the first time prompted furious debate.

Beheading of Catholic priest in Syria highlights fears over arming opposition

The boy killed for an off-hand remark about Muhammad - Sharia spreads in Syria

The East London Mosque: A Place For Hate
.... you could have heard the Friday sermon being delivered by a hate preacher who has been banned from Sheffield Hallam university. Assim al-Hakeem teaches that apostates must be killed.

June 2013

Turkey – Erdogan Global Twitter Conspiracy
.... There is now a scourge that is called Twitter. The best examples of lies can be found there. To me, social media is the worst menace to society.

Blasphemy convict: Aasia Bibi’s appeal at least two years away

Lynching of Shiites in Egypt follows months of negative rhetoric

Saudi Arabian Women's Conference... With Not A Female In Sight

Saudi police stop wedding in park
.... A source in the Commission said the wedding was stopped because it violated local traditions as the bride was not covering her face and the groom was holding her hand and hugging her sometimes.

Good news: "Behead Those Who Disrespect Our Prophet P.B.U.H" has a Facebook page!

Muslim prison numbers soar as staff warn of Islamic “gang culture” in jails

The dark side of the force
.... wife-beating is permissible after the failure of all other means of persuasion. In such circumstances, a husband may beat his wife “lightly with his hands, avoiding her face and other sensitive areas.

Syria: 'I saw rebels execute my boy for no more than a joke’

Violence and Context in Islamic Texts
Islam forbids the killing of innocents. The key question, then, is what constitutes "innocence" in Islam? According to some Muslim authorities, to disbelieve in Allah is to be guilty of the crime of committing disbelief…[which is] worse than slaughter.

Preacher Who Backs Wife-Beatings Let Into UK

Religious oppression rises despite Arab Spring

Egypt's Coptic Christians say they are 'no longer safe'

Christians Sentenced to Prison as ‘Moderate’ Comes to Power in Iran
They had been arrested in February 2012, when police raided their house-church meeting.

Vets in animal welfare call over halal meat

NY Times 'Model Muslim' Endorses Sharia for America
.... Taken aback by the blunt response, the interviewer made sure he understood correctly, asking, “So you would like to see Sharia law in place of the Constitution?”.

Taliban peace talk plans lead Afghan women to fear loss of rights

Christendom's Greatest Cathedral to Become a Mosque
These include the fact that Turkey's Hagia Sophia museum is on its way to becoming a mosque.

Egyptian Muslim Leader to Pope: Declare Islam a Religion of Peace

Free Speech Goes Down in Defeat Down Under
Student newspaper members at Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra have recently learned the hard way how various Muslims do not accept criticism and condemnation like adherents of other faiths.

Aberdeen taxis ‘refusing guide dogs’ on board
AN investigation has been launched into claims that taxi drivers in Aberdeen are refusing to allow guide dogs into their cars on “religious” grounds.

Islamic states frown on Islam-opposing paragraphs of UNHCR violence against women resolution
Islamic member states of the United Nations Council for Human Rights (UNHCR) rejected on Friday paragraphs violating the Islamic law in the council's resolution on the elimination of all forms of violence against women.

Magistrate questions whether Islamic woman should wear full-face burqa in Brisbane court
A MAGISTRATE has questioned whether a Saudi woman appearing in court should have been allowed to wear "a full burqa'' or face covering, telling her "this is an Australian court".

“If you criticize Islam, you will suffer consequences
When Islam or the Prophet Muhammad are criticized or vilified, the whole Islamic world may get into an uproar. Islamic leaders worldwide are seeking to make any negative comment about their religion criminalized.

Mob Attacks Afghan Doctor and Female Patient
A mob attacked an Afghan medical doctor and his female patient, stoning the doctor after the two were discovered in his private examining room without a chaperon.

Palestinian Islamists are cleansing the Holy Land of Christians
.... five Church Schools ("two Catholic and three Christian") are under threat in Gaza because of the ruling party Hamas’s intention to extend their Muslim Brotherhood-inspired version of Islam. Their edict, which forbids the education of boys and girls together, will mean that the schools must close down because of lack of space and staff.

German author in hiding after receiving Islamist death threats

Egyptian Christian Teacher Convicted of Blasphemy, Receives 14K Fine

Christians face being driven from the Middle East

Egyptian author appeals for protection following Islamist threats
A Germany-based Egyptian author has requested protection from Egyptian authorities after ultra-conservative Islamists in Egypt declared him an "apostate" and launched an online campaign calling for his death.

Afghan parliament upholds right to marry children
Afghanistan’s parliament has rejected a measure that would have barred men from marrying girls younger than 16, saying the proposal ran counter to Islamic ideology.

.... guest speaker at City University Islamic Society event
.... from my angle it does make perfect sense” (on the death penalty for apostasy in the context of an Islamic state).

Muslim hate monitor to lose backing
A controversial project claiming to measure anti-Muslim attacks will not have its government grant renewed after police and civil servants raised concerns about its methods.

‘Sharia’ sets off alarms in Canada. Here are the facts
.... But in Pakistan, Jordan, Egypt, Malaysia, Afghanistan and other countries, more than two out of three Muslims who say shariah should be the law of the land “favour the death penalty” for those who convert to another religion.

Newcastle to SELL Cisse if his religion forbids him from wearing lender's logo
.... Cisse informed the club several weeks ago that he does not want to wear the branding on Newcastle United’s shirts next season because of his beliefs as a Muslim.

Afghanistan: Women in parliament receive threats - from fellow lawmakers

Iran's barbaric new laws
Iranian lawmakers have legislated stoning as part of the new Islamic penalty law. The decision, taken by the Guardian Council after nine months’ examination of the draft proposal, means that stoning has now moved from Islamic to State law.

Iran bans dog-walking in public and warn animals could be 'arrested' if caught outside

Edinburgh Pupils Denied Mosque Visit Over Parent's Fears Of 'Hate'
Children due to visit a mosque in Edinburgh as part of an educational visit have been pulled out of the trip by parents worried about "hate" being preached inside.

Saudi Women More Educated Than Men Are Wasted Resource
When Saudi recruiter Tariq Alkahily interviews female job applicants, one of the first questions they usually ask is: Will I be required to mix with men at work?

Woolwich and the dark underbelly of British Islam
.... Uncomfortable though it is for some, we need to examine the dark underbelly of what goes on in some of our mosques. True, the vast majority of British Muslims would never associate themselves with Islamism.

A new study shows that many problems stems from Muslims trying to force their beliefs on others at work

Tony Blair: There is a problem within Islam, but not a problem with Islam

Tony Blair Discusses Lee Rigby Murder, Says There Is A Problem Within Islam

Egyptian Christian lawyer convicted of blasphemy
An Egyptian court has convicted a Coptic Christian lawyer in the southern province of Assiut on charges of blasphemy and sentenced him to one year in prison with hard labor.

May 2013

University introduces "blasphemy law" for fear of Muslim violence
The Australian National University (ANU) has apparently banned the satirisation of Islam for fear of inciting violence and creating a backlash.

The BBC and its bias towards pro-immigration lobby: Report accuses 'left-wing Corporation of downplaying violence by Islamists'

The East London Mosque Poses As Moderate While Hosting Extremists

Working women should be molested: Saudi writer
.... use of the hashtag harass_female_cashiers, to press for Saudi women to be forced to stay at home to protect their chastity.

Cartoon satirising Islam pulled from student newspaper website

The Problem of Muslim Leadership
A murderer kills a young father while yelling "Allahu akbar" and it's got nothing to do with Islam?

Islamists attack Turkey "kissing protest"
ISLAMIST EXTREMISTS attacked a group of kissing couples who locked lips in a Turkish metro station to protest a morality campaign by the authorities in Ankara.

Swedish Multiculturalism Goes Awry
.... a predictable consequence of Sweden's failed model of multiculturalism, which does not encourage Muslim immigrants to assimilate or integrate into Swedish society.

Dutch anxiety over ‘Sharia triangle’ police no-go area in The Hague

Woolwich slaughter: sorry, MCB, but this *is* a school of Islam
.... The MCB needs to acknowledge that Sunni Islam contains the malignant ideological strand of Salifism. They must own it, condemn it, and seek to reform it.

Outrage After Sharia Court Allows Rapist to Marry His 13-year-old Victim

Blasphemy: ‘Prisoners say I deserve to die’
“Other women prisoners say that I deserve to die because I’m a blasphemer,” a woman, accused of defiling two copies of the Holy Quran.

Ruling party member calls for the ‘annihilation of atheists’ on Twitter, sparking controversy
.... He also argued that “insulting Islam could not be considered freedom of expression”.

Turkish-Armenian scribe sentenced to 13 months for blasphemy in blog post

Twitter Will Damn Your Soul, Warns Saudi Religious Police Boss

Man refuses to stand for magistrate
Mohammad Issai Issaka refused to stand up in court claiming it was against his religion.

Two maids get 10 years, 1,000 lashes for sorcery

Afghan blow to women’s rights
Religious MPs objected to .... maintaining the legal age for women to marry at 16, the existence of shelters for domestic abuse victims and the halving of the number of wives permitted to two.

Does Islamic law, Sharia, have a place in American courts?
A lot of state legislatures don't think so and there is a movement to ban its application in domestic courts, state and federal.

Bangladesh Bloggers Face Constant Death Threats Since Government Labeled Them 'Atheist'

Blasphemy Charges Becoming New Weapon Against Egyptian Christians

The Oxford sex ring and the preachers who teach young Muslim men that white girls are cheap

Muslims Demand Germany "Make Islam Equal to Christianity"

Muslim Council Worker Sacked for Refusing to Shake Hands with Female Supervisor

Preaching by extremists and discrimination through segregation has become widespread trend at UK universities equality group claims

I do... for now. UK Muslims revive temporary marriages
There is no difference between mut'ah marriage and prostitution. There is a time limit on the marriage, and the mahr given as a gift [from the man to the woman] is the equivalent as a payment to a prostitute.

Extremist Islamist leaders preaching to UK students, says study

Sharia law used in the United Arab Emirates to jail Australian woman after she was gang-raped

Saudi Jails Man For Helping Woman To Convert - 300 Lashes

Egypt: Teacher accused of blasphemy

Muslim teens not exempt from swim lessons
Integration of foreigners is more important than their religious beliefs .... The court denied a 14-year-old girl from a strict Muslim family in Aargau the right to dispensation from school swim class.

Tunisian Muslim cleric: "Our goal is to instate the shari'a, and regain Andalusia and Jerusalem," and conquer Rome

Nepali teacher detained in Qatar on blasphemy charge

If only Hitler had finished them off
.... the Jews have never respected, for a single day, any international agreement or treaty that they signed.

Coptic schoolteacher detained for 'insulting' Islam in Egypt's Luxor

We need answers to the doubts and distrust raised by call for sharia law
.... Some men are choosing not to marry through the civil law process, because it makes divorce simpler and does not enable a woman rightly to claim her share of the assets at the time of divorce [Yorkshire Post].

The mass exodus of Christians from the Muslim world

France struggles to fight radical Islam in its jails

Sharia in UK: Women Pressured to Stay in Abusive Marriages

Of the 15 worst violators of religious freedom in the world, 10 are Islamic states

Danish researcher compare religious texts of 10 biggest religions and concludes: Islam is the most violent religion

62% of Turkish Men Support Wife Beating

Sharia councils: unjust, unequal and consequence of failed integration policies

Muslims back Islamic law, disagree on meaning
.... the more experience Muslims had with living with "a narrow, rigid form of sharia," the less supportive they were of it, Jamal said. "In counties that have less experience you find widespread support," she said.

Saudi school to punish female student hugs with therapy, religious education
.... document allegedly issued by an all female university warning them to not “hug” each other or they would face being transferred to a mental examination by the school.

April 2013

Eye Gouging and Paralyzing: Saudi Arabia's Tribal Justice

Stoning Returns as Punishment

Libyan Religious Leader Calls For Gender Segregation

Fear and fundamentalism as the 'modesty police' patrol Gaza

Morocco’s Islamist prime minister warns criticism of Prophet Muhammad ‘not acceptable’

Sharia in action in Iran: 850,000 female children are married

52% Of Canadians Distrust Muslims, According To Latest Poll

Tunisia: upholding of blogger's seven-year jail sentence for 'insulting Islam' condemned

Violence in Islam: The heart of the matter

Secrets of Britain's Sharia Councils
.... women reveal they have suffered domestic violence ignored by these councils as campaigners say it is time to tackle the parallel legal system which can run counter to British law.

Saudi Arabia Reaffirms Ban on the Building of Non-Muslim Places of Worship

Hamid Karzai orders ban on 'un-Islamic' shows on Afghan TV

Islamophobia is a government priority. What about Islamism?
.... Muslims from Birmingham are being sentenced for attempting to detonate a set of rucksack bombs and carry out ‘Mumbai-style’ attacks in the UK.

Eighty Lashes for Drinking? Egyptian Court Ruling Puts Sharia in the Spotlight

Toronto court rules woman must remove niqab to testify

Is Jemima Khan using relativism to defend polygamy?

Britain's Sharia Courts: "You Cannot Go Against What Islam Says"

Greece pulls nude Olympic statutes after Qatar wanted to cover ‘members’ with black cloth

Leaving Islam is not a crime
Morocco’s High Council of Ulemas (the highest government religious institution headed by the King) has issued a fatwa decreeing the death penalty for Moroccans who leave Islam.

Beware of LGBT and freedom of religion movements, Muhyiddin tells Muslims
.... “There are parties who are becoming more strident in demanding freedom of religion without limits, including the right for Muslims to become apostates,” he said.

Islam Is More Dangerous Than Other Religions, Radicals Aren’t Just Fringe Element

The violent Quran
The Quran does not have a single verse encouraging love towards those outside of Islam. But there are 493 passages that either endorse violence or talk about the hatred of Allah for the infidels, meaning all non-Muslims.

Morocco’s High Council of Ulemas’s Death Sentence Fatwa on Apostates Sparks Controversy

Women to blame for earthquakes, says Iran cleric

Egyptian bride ordered to pay £5,000 compensation to groom because she had secret surgery to restore her virginity

Tunisian Salafists Storm Female Student Hostel to Stop Dancing

Inquiry launched after Islamic group holds segregated lecture (University of Leicester)

Veil fury as students forced to show faces
.... were shocked when they were confronted by male proctors demanding they remove their face veils for identification before being allowed to enter the examination room.

After cathedral clash, Copts doubt their future in Egypt

Cleric defends medieval punishments and decrees opposing Khamenei is 'evil'

Bradford Council for Mosques in talks over Shariah court
Muslim leaders in Bradford want to set up a “robust and transparent” Islamic court in the city to set a good example for other towns and cities in the UK to follow.

Sharia courts putting women at risk
The courts, which issue rulings according to Islamic law, have been found to be giving Muslim women advice which experts warned may place them in danger.

Inside Britain's Sharia courts
Ayesha .... told me her husband .... had been imprisoned for his violent behaviour. She and her children had injunctions against him, and yet when she went to Dewsbury Sharia Council for a divorce, they still wanted the couple to meet for mediation.

Toronto dad upset he's not allowed to watch daughter's swim class
“I spoke to a staff member and she told me that it’s because of Muslim women, that we’re not allowed to look at them or whatever,” Chris, 38, told the Toronto Sun Friday. “I don’t think religion has a role to play in a public pool”.

Pigs can't fly - Qantas bans pork on in-flight menu to respect Islam
QANTAS has removed pork from its in-flight menu on flights to and from Europe as a result of its partnership with Middle Eastern airline Emirates.

Paralysis or blood money? Skewed justice in Saudi Arabia

Muslim dad’s court threat over Keighley nursery meal
A Muslim father is threatening to take his child’s nursery to court after he claims it allowed the three-year-old to eat ham and other non-halal meat.

UK students given booklets claiming, "every Muslim should be a terrorist" authored by banned Islamic hate-preacher

Halal meat served in three-quarters of council-supported schools in Waltham Forest

Pakistan Anti-Christian Violence Injures 18

Bangladesh arrests three atheist bloggers

MP demands action over shocking contents of Islamic letter on Halifax schooling
A “COMPLETELY inappropriate” letter warning parents that a meeting was “more serious than death” has been sent out by an Islamic group.

March 2013

Saudi Arabia 'may end' Twitter user anonymity

Amputation for theft added to draft penal code
The draft penal code bill has been amended to include punishments as prescribed in the Quran, such as amputation for theft.

How Egypt's radical rulers crush the lives and hopes of women

British teacher faces a year in jail for having lunch with married man in Abu Dhabi

Muslim headwear stirs complaint at Northwest Indiana charter school

'Arrest the atheists who insulted Islam!' Tens of thousands of Muslim activists hold prayers on streets of Bangladesh capital to call for new blasphemy laws against bloggers

Two-thirds of humanity suffers from ‘Islamophobia disease’: Turkey’s religious head
"Islamophobia has become an illness in the hearts of two-thirds of humanity. We are facing different kinds of challenges against Islam,” Görmez said in a meeting with religious officials in the western province of Izmir.

Saudi Arabia ‘threatens to ban’ Skype, WhatsApp, other instant messaging apps

Pakistan ‘Blasphemy’ Girl Facing Prison; Mother Death Sentence

Topless Tunisian protestor deserves a stoning, says Islamist chief
.... head of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice in Tunisia, called for the unnamed girl to be whip-lashed one hundred times in punishment. Then, fearing that he might be going easy on the nude feminist ..... decided on stoning instead.

The Muslim Brotherhood has shown its contempt for Egypt's women
Last week, Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood issued a strongly-worded statement unabashedly rejecting the draft UN declaration calling for an end to all forms of violence against women.

Egypt's Islamists warn giving women some rights could destroy society

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood says UN document on violence against women violates Islamic rules

UCL adopts sharia law for public debate, separating women from men

Alleged blasphemy: Mob burns scores of Christian homes in Lahore

Belgian Man Sentenced to 4 Months in Jail for Tearing Koran

Lifting the veil on London's stylish hijab wearers
.... I have to say, that for people who are trying to not show physical beauty, they're all very tarted up.

Burkinis to help Muslim Swedes take the plunge
The small Swedish town of Emmaboda has vetoed a petition to introduce women-only hours at the municipal swimming pool, and instead wants to start selling burkinis to its observant Muslim female bathers.

Egyptian Muslim Scholar Says Christian Copts Will Pay Jizya

Gaza marathon: UN cancels race over Hamas ban on women

Australia: No room for Sharia law in multicultural society
ISLAMIC law and polygamous marriages will be denounced as forever unacceptable in Australia in a bipartisan parliamentary report that will define what multiculturalism means for our nation, and state there must be only "one law for all".

February 2013

Staff to target Islamic College of South Australia on scarfs
THOUSANDS of school workers are being urged to protest directly to an Islamic school that threatened to sack non-Muslim female staff if they did not wear a headscarf.

Sudan man's foot, hand 'amputated' by court order

Reading University cancels “kill gays” Islamist preacher

Christians grow anxious in "100 percent" Islamic Sudan

Council of mosques calls for boycott of school meals
The Lancashire Council of Mosques (LCM) has called for a blanket boycott of all school meals provided by Lancashire County Council.

Maldives girl to get 100 lashes for pre-marital sex
A 15-year-old rape victim has been sentenced to 100 lashes for engaging in premarital sex, court officials said.

Nearly half Saudi women are beaten at home
.... or other family members at home and many of them are hit by sticks and head cover, according to a university study published in local newspapers on Tuesday.

How did modern Islam become so intolerant?

‘Prostitutes’: Saudi cleric insults recently-appointed female Shura members
A controversial Saudi cleric used Twitter to publicly insult the recently-appointed female members of the Shura Council.

Imprisoned American says Iranian captors 'waiting for me to deny Christ'

Horror expressed over multi-faith school’s failure to ‘ensure the integrity’ of halal-only food
YES, you read that right. ALL pupils attending Moseley School in Wake Green Road have to be fed only food acceptable to Muslims.

OIC coming back with another attempt to stamp out free speech
Getting the go-ahead from the Cairo Islamic Summit, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has been actively trying to get the "denigration of religions" recognized as a criminal offence, according to a top official.

Orthodox patriarch opposes plan to make Hagia Sophia a mosque

Dinner lady sacked for serving Muslim children with non-halal meat at multi-faith school
A dinner lady has been sacked for accidentally serving non-halal meat to Muslim students at a multi-faith school.

Islam is an ideology because it aims for an Islamic state and wants to impose Islamic Sharia law on all of us

When An Arab Denounces The Arabs For Their Backwardness, Etc. What Is It He Can't Say?
.... Look behind their denunciation of "the Arabs" to what they are really semaphoring: a denunciation of Islam

Lebanese women take on Muslim judges who call rape a 'marital right'

"Homosexuals would be executed" says Islamist speaker at campus event

OIC gears up to get denigration of religions criminalized
Getting the go-ahead from the Cairo Islamic Summit, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has been actively trying to get the denigration of religions recognized as a criminal offense, according to a top official.Death threats to UK's top Muslim MP who voted for gay marriage

Iran confiscates Buddha statues to stop promotion of Buddhism
An Iranian newspaper is reporting that government authorities are confiscating Buddha statues from shops in Tehran to stop the promotion of Buddhism in the country.

Libya arrests 4 foreigners suspected of trying to spread Christianity in Muslim nation

Three churches attacked with petrol bombs in Indonesia

Islamists denounce Valentine’s Day as an excuse for forbidden sex, ban gift-buying in Indonesia

Muslim man who claimed religion allowed him to hit wife
Shamshu Miah, 58, of Alexandra Road, Llandudno, struck his wife three times after she did not get him a cigarette.

Non-Muslim staff told to wear headscarves in Adelaide
An Islamic College in Adelaide has threatened to dismiss its non-Muslim female staff if they don't wear headscarves, as critics say it's wrong to compel women to identify with a religion they don't practice.

Gore, Current silent as cleric affirms death penalty for leaving Islam on Al-Jazeera
Aides to former Democratic Vice President Al Gore have failed to respond to a recent Al-Jazeera TV broadcast, in which a top imam affirmed the death penalty for anyone who quits Islam.

Sharia Law: Extremism the Government Ignores

Islamist Censorship Charges On - Now sharia advocates are trying to stop the use of the word “Islamist”

"Women cause rape upon themselves" says Egyptian Human Rights Committee

Preachers of hate on British TV: what they said that broke the broadcasting rules
.... What Ofcom ruled: “In Ofcom’s view it is potentially offensive for any service to broadcast comments suggesting that it is acceptable to apply a 'penalty’ and kill any individual for renouncing their faith.

Egypt court suspends YouTube over anti-Islam film

Secular Tunisians fight back after murder of opposition leader

Sharia Law Swallowing Indonesia
.... Indonesian Aceh province authorities recently launched an initiative, despite opposition from human rights activists, to ban women from straddling motorcycles when riding behind a man.

Is violence a sign of Islam's strength or its weakness?
.... the apostasy law reinforces Islam’s truthfulness and perfection, and respect for ‘freedom of worship’ demands that non-Muslims must grant Islam the right to use violence against apostates.

A day after fatwa, Kashmir's all-girl band calls it quits
Kashmir lost its only all-girls rock band on Monday as its three teenage members decided to call it quits, a day after the Grand Mufti issued a fatwa terming singing as un-Islamic and asked them to abandon it.

Two Children to be Tried for Insulting Islam in Egypt as Anti-Christian Hostility Escalates

New Hijab Controversies Looming in Europe

January 2013

“Deep Down, Muslims Feel That They Have Failed”
In the following interview from Der Spiegel, a Pakistani nuclear physicist gives a lucid account of the state of Islam in the 21st century.

Qaradawi: “If They [Muslims] Had Gotten Rid of the Apostasy Punishment Islam Wouldn’t Exist Today”
Yusuf al-Qaradawi, Spiritual Guide to the Muslim Brotherhood and popular Al-Jazeera television personality has once again aired his Sharia-compliant views on apostasy.

Muslim patrols could become more prevalent and more violent, warns anti-extremist
His comments follow incidents in which groups of Muslim vigilantes, dubbing themselves 'Muslim Patrols' have approached Londoners and demanded they behave in an Islamic way by not drinking.

Mufti's threats over civil marriage in Lebanon
In an extraordinary fatwa yesterday, the Grand Mufti of Lebanon threatened to excommunicate any member of parliament or government minister who supports the legalisation of civil marriage.

'I feel like a stranger where I live’
"When you go swimming, it’s much healthier to keep your whole body completely covered, you know.” The Muslim lady behind the counter in my local pharmacy has recently started giving me advice like this.

Saudi vice police order shops who employ men and women to put up segregation walls to keep them apart

‘Admitting you are a secularist can get you killed in Pakistan’

Iran unveils new finger-amputating machine ahead of announcement of increasingly severe punishment of thieves

Iran sentences American pastor Saeed Abedini to 8 years in prison
.... the prosecutor outlined charges that Abedini undermined the Iranian government by creating a network of Christian house churches and that he was attempting to sway Iranian youth away from Islam.

Radical Muslims try to get their message across
Coming after attacks on women wearing “revealing” clothing and homophobic violence, it’s hard to escape the conclusion that a small minority of young Muslims don’t want any part of the tolerant, liberal society into which they were born.

Fewer than one in four people believe Islam is compatible with British way of life

East London Mosque condemns homophobia, yet advertised four anti-gay speakers last month alone

Islam: 74% of French say it's an 'intolerant' religion

Lego Accused Of Racism Amid Claims Jabba's Palace Resembles Istanbul's Hagia Sophia Mosque
A Turkish community in Austria has accused Lego of racism amid claims a model from its Star Wars range resembles a renowned mosque.

Man gets 5 years for insulting Islam on Facebook

Saudi police stop woman from driving car even though she'd taken over from her husband who had fallen ill

Homophobic 'vigilante' video appears online
A video has appeared online showing men shouting homophobic abuse at another man in east London, telling him to "get out of here" as "it is a Muslim area".

New report: Iranian Christians denied basic rights

Iran Resorts to Hangings in Public to Cut Crime

Police investigation launched after footage of ‘Muslim patrols’ in Tower Hamlets emerges online

Raised on Hatred
.... All over the Middle East, hatred for Jews and Zionists can be found in textbooks for children as young as three, complete with illustrations of Jews with monster-like qualities.

Where are the Healthy Gender Relations in the Muslim Community?

Election is banned in Islam: Saudi scholar
A well-known Saudi Islamic scholar has issued a new fatwa (edict) saying holding elections for a president or another form of leadership is prohibited in Islam.

Family Jailed In Egypt For Becoming Christian

Iranian single women might need father's permission to go abroad

Saudi clerics protest against appointing women to advisory body

Hate Crime Stats Deflate 'Islamophobia' Myth

Turkey's science state council halts publication of evolution books
The Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey (TÜBITAK) has put a stop to the publication and sale of all books in its archives that support the theory of evolution, daily Radikal has reported.

The Muslim theory of evolution
Belief in evolution remains a minority position in virtually all Muslim societies around the world today.

Wife-beating: "My husband said it's okay, he told me the Koran says it's okay"

Extremists attend more than 200 university events
These statistics demonstrate that the presence of extremist preachers on campus is not a figment of people's imaginations, but a serious issue that universities cannot afford to be complacent about.

"Democracy is Forbidden in Islam"
.... they believe that democracy is in contradiction with Islam's concept of the sovereignty of Allah's law. They argue that Islam and democracy cannot go together, and they are obviously right, especially if one considers the experiences of people living under Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Plan for Muslim housing enclave in Sydney suburbs
AN interest-free housing project aimed at the Muslim community and boasting 100 per cent halal housing has sparked a major row, with critics labelling it a discriminatory plan that could lead to a Muslim enclave.

Domestic violence campaign targets Scottish Muslims
A new campaign asking Muslim men and women to speak out against domestic violence is being launched in Scotland.

How Muslims Created Islamophobia

Mother jailed for beating son to death for failing to memorise Qur'an

Democracy, Elections are Forbidden in Islam: Salafist Leader
The Jordanian leader of the hardliner Salafi Jihadi current said that democracy in its concept as "ruling of the people by the people" is in contradiction with Islam's concept of the sovereignty of God's law.

In 2012, sharia enforcement continued to spread around the world
.... part of a longer term pattern of increasing Islamisation that has been happening since the late 1970s and which has continued in 2012.

Media urged to drop use of term "Islamist"

Misleading, deceptive #MyJihad ads hit San Francisco
.... the principal meaning of jihad throughout Islamic history and in Islamic law is armed struggle against unbelievers to subjugate them as inferiors under the rule of Sharia. The four schools of Sunni Muslim jurisprudence are clear about jihad.

In the Middle East, the Arab spring has given way to a Christian winter

French magazine sparks another controversy over Mohammed cartoons

What do we mean by Islamism?
.... .... I once heard a leader of the Muslim Council of Britain declare that he could not condemn or call for the outright abolition of lapidation – the stoning to death of women who sleep with a man not their husband – because to do so would be to go against the teaching of the Qur’an.

Is Islam compatible with democracy?
It appears civil law is not sufficient for this Islamist who prefers Islamic punishment, thus reflecting a mentality whose logical conclusion is cutting hands for stealing and stoning for adultery.

December 2012

Extremism unchecked in schools, secret briefing reveals
.... behind closed doors there are concerns about 118 “socially conservative” independent faith schools - the vast majority of them Muslim - where pupils may be encouraged to cut themselves off from mainstream society.

Women shy about lifting the niqab
.... When you wear it [niqab] for a long time it becomes a part of you.

In the name of morals and Sharia, media freedoms may contract

Muslim mob attacked Christian worshipers on Christmas Day in Islamabad

Harsh Sharia punishments meted in Mali
Authorities in northern Mali are ordering severe punishments, including cutting off limbs and public whippings, under Sharia law, human rights activists say.

Egyptian Cleric Threatens Egypt's Copts with Genocide

Iran bans flights during Islamic call to prayer

Stop demanding religious equality, says ex-Fatwa Council chief
Non-Muslims should drop their demand to use “Allah” for their gods as the Arabic word is fundamental to Islamic belief and therefore exclusive to Muslims.

Youcef Nadarkhani re-arrested on Christmas Day
.... the Pastor was re-arrested on Christmas Day and returned to Lakan Prison in Rasht, where he spent almost three years on death row.

Saudi detains dozens for "plotting to celebrate Christmas"

Saudi writer Turki al-Hamad arrested over tweets

Is Evolution Less Problematic For Muslims Than For Christians?
.... look at us today. How far Muslims have fallen! How sad! Today, the overwhelming majority of Muslim nations are not trailblazers in the sciences, but simply dumb consumers.

Christianity 'close to extinction' in Middle East

No merriness here: mosque puts fatwa on Christmas
The religious ruling, which followed a similar lecture during Friday prayers at Australia's biggest mosque, was posted on its Facebook site on Saturday morning.

Pakistan mob burns man accused of desecrating Koran

Saudi Arabia: Website Editor Facing Death Penalty

Mob justice: Alleged blasphemer lynched in front of police

Muslim family taking Thornton Heath Greek Orthodox school to High Court over hijab ban

Avoid wishing ‘Merry Xmas,’ insist Indonesian conservative Muslims

Putin Opposes Headscarves in Russian Schools

Theocracy in the UK…
.... It is simply true that Islam has remained far more open to totalistic interpretations than other faiths, and I do not think Muslims would dispute this.

Top court rules judges may order witnesses to remove niqab

France: Santa's School Visit Cancelled Because of Boycott Threats From Muslim Families

Noor TV up for Ofcom sanctions after presenter preaches that those showing disrespect to Mohammed should be killed

Philly security firm sued over Muslim head scarf

Turkey to Make Islam Part of University Entry Exams
.... The head of the Turkish body which oversees placement tests and university admissions has announced that it will soon include religious questions in its placement tests.

Egypt: "The judges have a burning desire to instate shari’a laws regarding Islamic hudud punishments" -- stonings, amputations, lashings

Debate on Islam and evolution postponed after revolt by student societies
Organisers behind a British conference on Islam and evolution say they nearly had to cancel the event after receiving a torrent of opposition from Muslim students.

Turkish broadcaster fined for insulting Prophet Muhammad

Netherlands 'halal homes' ignite religious row
.... Some right-wing politicians have been stirring up public opposition, warning that anyone asking for such modifications should "leave for Mecca".

Kuwait introduces death penalty for ‘cursing God and prophets’

Rema Begum became distressed after her lifestyle was exposed to her Muslim parents
A former British Library manager who jumped to her death from a rooftop City restaurant was the victim of a Facebook stalker who exposed her westernised lifestyle to her strict Muslim parents, an inquest heard today.

The seven countries where the state can execute you for being atheist
.... All seven establish Islam as the state religion.

Raped but drunk in the UAE means women fined

Blasphemy case creates turmoil in "moderate" Algeria - Ruling on jail term for Christian delayed again
.... Krimo was sentenced in 2011 to five years in jail and fined about $2,500 after being accused by a Muslim shopkeeper of handing a Christian CD to a man on the street.

French Muslim groups sue magazine over cartoons
Two Muslim groups are suing the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo after it published inflammatory cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.

Schools trash chocolate mousse tainted with pork

The Islamization of universities in Iran is causing the fast erosion of freedom of education

No Muslim woman as receptionist, says fatwa

Mother Sara Ege Guilty Of Murder Of Son Yaseen, 7, Beaten To Death For Not Learning Koran

Rejected: the mosque plan that grew so big it attracted the wrong sort of crowd

Turkey fines Simpsons for blasphemy

Row over halal meat in Lancashire schools
The county council has approved the serving of halal meat from animals which have been stunned before they're killed. But the Lancashire council of mosques says the stunning process means the meat is not suitable for Muslim children.

In northern Mali, music silenced as Islamists drive out artists

November 2012

Anti-Shiite violence rises in Pakistan as Islam’s sectarian divide moves beyond the Middle East

Muslims Pressing for Blasphemy Laws in Europe

Saudi cleric under fire for labelling waitresses as ‘prostitutes’

Muslims who said Muslims free to choose religion must repent – Chief Imam

France and the veil – the dark side of the law
[A COMMENT] I totally disagree with much of this article, as a Muslim woman raised in a European country but by liberal parents. The enemy of Muslim women is fundamentalist Islam, pure and simple.

Saudi King Opens Religious Tolerance Center in Europe to 'Spread the Message of Islam'

"Obey The Prophet, Even If He Tells You To Kill"
Qaradawi made this declaration, missed in the West, two years ago on his popular Arabic program.

'Radical' Muslim Cleric Abu Usamah's Brunel University Speech Prompts Student Protest
.... The cleric was apparently filmed saying: "Whoever changes his religion from al-Islam to anything else kill him in the Islamic state.

Extremists threaten mutilation and death for seized ‘homosexuals’

How Christians and Muslims can marry – the official guide
We were shocked by how divisive and underhanded some Muslim clerics were.

Muslims threaten churches in W. Sumatra

Nigeria: Four Killed in Kano 'Blasphemy' Riot

Muslim radio station fined for saying gay people should be tortured
Ofcom upheld two complaints from listeners about Leeds based Radio Asian Fever after presenter Rubina Nasir hit out at homosexuality and mixed faith marriages.

Iraq’s unveiled women face rising crackdown
Iraqi women who do not wear the Islamic headscarf, commonly known as the hijab, are increasingly coming under crackdown as conservative Islam gradually permeates the Iraqi political scene.

Electronic tracking: new constraint for Saudi women

Pair jailed for alleged Dubai taxi romp

Converting Denmark into a Muslim Country

Calling for Killing on Peace TV...

Wacky Saudi preacher sparks Swiss dispute
.... The sheikh is alleged by critics to have made anti-Semitic remarks, insulted homosexuals and the Danish people and offered advice on wife-beating.

Opposing Sharia Law Is a Defence of the Rights of Muslims
.... The first point to make is that sharia law .... does not tolerate dissent or difference or individual rights.

Muslim leaders must re-brand religion for 21st Century Britain
.... Far from merging with local communities, many seem to have decided as an act of defiance to live and dress as if still in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Somalia or the Middle East.

Muslim N.J. judge accused of imposing Sharia law on Family Court

Iran Deputies To Mull Draft Law Restricting Women's Right To Travel

Islamic Sharia Law Comes to Great Britain

Blasphemy charges: Man gets death sentence in Chitral

Customer sues Muslim barber for refusing to cut her hair

Montgomery County declines to close schools on Islamic holidays

Radical Clerics Seek to Legalise Child Brides
.... He went on to protest proposed laws protecting women from violence, warning that if allowed to pass husbands could be prosecuted for beating their child brides or forcing themselves upon them.

Germany: Muslims Impose Pork Bans in State Nurseries and in Rental Contracts

‘Canada will burn praise Allah’: Vandals deface Toronto war memorial on Remembrance Day

‘Destroy the idols,’ Egyptian jihadist calls for removal of Sphinx, Pyramids

40 Islamists file lawsuit accusing ElBaradei of 'insulting sharia'

French nationalists protest in Paris against radical Islam, allege Muslims won't integrate

"Belgium Will Become an Islamic State"

Blasphemy laws are darkening Pakistan's skies
.... The shooting children in the head, killing them with acid, arresting disabled children and arson is an exclusively Islamic response.

Toronto Islamic school will not face charges over anti-Jewish curriculum: police

No exceptions: one law for all
The idea of it being ‘voluntary’ is laughable as many women are not aware of their rights and feel pressurised to go to the sharia council.

The Muslim Brotherhood are turning into Leninists in Islamist dress

Singapore’s Muslim marriage courses under fire
... attendees allege that male students are encouraged to beat wives who refuse to submit to sex, while female students are taught that if they refuse sex with their husbands angels of Allah would curse them.

Pakistani Taliban target female students with acid attack