German court bans mosque’s outdoor call to prayer

Mosque in Germany

A rainbow shines above the minaret of the DITIB Mosque in Kehl, southwestern Germany 

BERLIN (REUTERS) – A mosque in northwest Germany may no longer broadcast its Friday midday call to prayer by loudspeaker for now after a local court upheld a challenge by a couple who live nearly 1km away.

The Gelsenkirchen administrative court found that the town of Oer-Erkenschwick had not assessed the local Muslim community’s request properly in 2013, but a court spokesman said on Friday (Feb 2) that this did not prevent the mosque making a new application for a permit for the prayer calls.

The local Christian couple had argued that the call to prayers violated their own religious rights.

Anti-Muslim sentiment and support for anti-immigration policies are growing in many parts of Germany after the influx of well over a million migrants from Iraq, Syria and other mostly Muslim countries, beginning in 2015.

Huseyin Turgut, a senior official with the affected mosque, said the court’s decision was disappointing.

“The call to prayer lasts for two minutes, just around 1pm, but only on Fridays,” he said. “We’ve never had any complaints and we have German neighbours who are much closer – just 10 metres away.”

The town’s administration could not immediately be reached for comment.

(Source / 04.02.2018)

Austria’s parliament bans full-face veil in public

The provision, part of a larger integration package, means those wearing the veil in public will be fined $166.

The provision is part of a larger 'integration' law [File: The Associated Press]

The provision is part of a larger ‘integration’ law

Austrian members of parliament have approved a new bill which bans garments that fully cover the face of women – the latest restriction for the country’s Muslim population.

The provision, adopted on Tuesday night, was backed by both ruling parties and means that people wearing full-face veils in public will be subject to 150-euro ($166) fines starting in October.

The measure was first announced by Austria’s coalition government in January as part of wider proposals aimed at countering the rise of the far-right, anti-Islam Freedom Party.

Farid Hafez, political scientist at the University of Salzburg and editor of The European Islamophobia Report, said the ban was just the latest move imposing restrictions on Muslims. In 2015, Austria, home to some 600,000 Muslims, passed a bill requiring imams to be able to speak German.

“This is another example of the far right becoming the hegemonic force in the public discourse,” he told Al Jazeera.

READ MORE: What the hijab means to me

The ban is part of a larger package which also forbids the distribution of the Quran and requires all migrants in Austria to participate in an “integration” year during which they take classes to learn German and ethics considered customary in Austria.

That measure is targeted at refugees and asylum seekers viewed as having a good chance of remaining in Austria.

“It will definitely empower people who have just arrived here to get acquainted with society more,” Hafez said.

“But at the end of the day, what is needed is access to the labour market. Austria has one of the most restrictive labour markets in Europe and this has not fundamentally been changed.

“So it sounds good, but the real improvement is still lacking,” he said.

Sebastian Kurz, Austria’s Federal Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, is the man behind the new legislation

Asylum seekers are also expected to perform unpaid public work under the new law – a proposal, supporters say, that is designed to make migrants better suited for the Austrian labour market.

Migrants refusing to take part in the integration courses or public work will see their welfare benefits cut.

The nationwide ban on full-face veils comes on the heels of a European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling in March, which stated that employers are entitled to ban staff from wearing visible religious symbols, a decision Muslims said was a direct attack on women wearing hijabs at work.

“The court could and should have seized the opportunity to put a halt to the multiple discriminations faced by Muslim women and protect their fundamental rights, but they chose not to,” Kim Lecoyer, president of Belgium-based Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights, told Al Jazeera in reaction to the ECJ ruling.

(Source / 19.05.2017)

Italy: Muslims protest against religious discrimination


On Friday, hundreds of Italian Muslim prayed near Rome’s Colosseum to protest at the closure of mosques and other places of daily five-times prayers. The prayer demonstration was staged in protest to government’s closure of five make-shift prayer halls recently.

Rome-based Dhuumcatu Association which sponsored the protest said in a statement on its Facebook page: “We are sick of the criminalization of our places of worship. There are no relevant regulations, and we cannot invent solutions independently of the authorities.”

Many Italian Muslims suspect local authorities are responding to a climate of Islamophobia, created and fueled by Zionist groups especially after the recent Mossad false flag operations in France, Germany, and other European nations.

Jewish press and bloggers claimed it as another Zionist victory against Muslims for opposing the Zionist regime.

Italy, like the US, UK, Germany and France, is also controlled by country’s powerful Jewish Lobby.

Islam is not recognized as a ‘religion’ in Catholic-majority Italy even though it’s the second most practiced faith with 2.2 million (3.7% of country’s total population) followers in the country. The Italian anti-Muslim hatred goes back to late 9th century when Muslims conquered most part of Sicily and ruled it until 1072 CE. This past history has been exploited by the Zionist controlled Vatican.

On May 3, 2016, European Islamophobia Report (EIR) was presented at the European Union (EU) parliament in Brussels. The aim of its authors, leading experts in the field from all over Europe, is to “analyze trends in the spread of Islamophobia in various European states.” For 2015, 25 states have been analyzed – the results prove the most of Europeans have returned to their medieval Dark Age.

Emran Feroz, an independent journalist based in Afghanistan says hating Muslims and Islam is a good politics in the West (here).

Throwing a pork head, or sometimes even a grenade, on a mosque. Assaulting a Muslim woman who wears a head scarf. Demonstrating against the building of a mosque or against the local supermarket which sells Halal food. Incidents like these are happening on a daily basis in 21st century Europe,” he said.

According to PEW 2016 Spring Survey, anti-Muslim culture exist in almost every European nation with Hungary (72%) toping the list – followed by Italy (69%), Poland (66%), Greece (65%), Spain (50%), Netherlands (35%), Sweden (35%), France (29%), Germany (29%), and UK (28%).

Pakistan-born British socialist writer, author, and film-maker explains the Western Islamophobia below.

(Source / 25.10.2016)

British bank closes account of pro-Palestinian charity

Bank anti Palestine

A major British bank closed the account of a prominent pro-Palestinian charity

A major British bank has closed the account of a prominent pro-Palestinian charity in a move described as politically-motivated and Islamophobic. Protests have been held in several UK cities against the Co-operative Bank’s decision to close the Friends of Al-Aqsa account.

(Source / 23.01.2016)

Muslim Americans stand together against hate crimes

Attacks on Muslims in the US have tripled in recent months. In Dearborn, Michigan, the large Arab-American community is pulling together

Muslims in Dearborn, Michigan

Hate crimes against Muslim Americans and mosques have tripled in the US since attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California, with dozens in a month, according to an analysis for theNew York Times.

Muslims in the US’s largest Arab-American community say they have felt the rise in tension.

In Dearborn, Michigan, where 30 percent of the 95,000 population are Arab-American or of Arab descent, residents blame Donald Trump, a Republican presidential hopeful, and mainstream media for propagating the notion that Muslims are linked to terrorism.

Many Arab travellers also complain about unlawful detainment and enhanced screening upon their arrival by the US customs and border protection.

Mayor John B O’Reilly of Dearborn calls on Arab-Americans to stand together and insist on their rights as Americans.

MEE spoke to residents in the city.

(Source / 14.01.2016)

Israeli forces shoot dead 13-year-old Palestinian

An Israeli soldier aims his weapon during clashes with Palestinians following the funeral of a Palestinian man in the center of the West Bank town of al-Khalil (Hebron), October 10, 2015. (Photo by AFP)

An Israeli soldier aims his weapon during clashes with Palestinians following the funeral of a Palestinian man in the center of the West Bank town of al-Khalil (Hebron), October 10, 2015

Israeli forces have gunned down a 13-year-old boy during clashes south of the city of al-Bireh as clashes continue between Palestinian demonstrators and Israeli troops in the occupied West Bank, medics say.

Ahmad Sharaka was shot in the neck with a live round near the city of Ramallah in central West Bank on Sunday, medics said.

Another Palestinian was shot in his leg with live fire during the protest in the al-Balu area of southern Bireh, while another was shot with rubber-coated steel bullets.

Two others reportedly suffered excessive tear gas inhalation.

Israeli bulldozers had reportedly removed large objects in the area, in order to remove cover for Palestinian protesters.

Israel injures 55 Palestine students 

According to other reports from the occupied Palestinian territories on Sunday, at least 20 students were injured, including eight by live ammunition, in Khaddoury College, located in the West Bank city of Tulkarem.

Reports said that one of the wounded students was in critical condition.

In a separate incident on the same day, at least 35 students suffered injuries during clashes with Israeli forces that took place in front of a college of al-Quds University in Abu Dis in East al-Quds.

It was reported that the soldiers fired dozens of rubber-coated steel bullets, live rounds, gas bombs and concussion grenades during the clashes.

There has been growing confrontation between Israelis and Palestinians over the past weeks.

Palestinians gesture toward Israeli soldiers in the West Bank town of Tulkarem, October 8, 2015

The tensions were triggered by the Tel Aviv regime’s imposition on August 26 of sweeping restrictions on entries into the compound of the al-Aqsa Mosque in East al-Quds and Israeli settlers’ repeated stormings of the mosque.

The Palestinian Authority’s Committee for Prisoners’ Affairs said in a statement released on Saturday that Israeli forces have nabbed at least 650 Palestinians since the beginning of October.

On October 8, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein expressed extreme concern over the escalation of tensions in the occupied territories, urging an end to the violence. The official also warned about the rising number of Palestinians being injured by live ammunition, rubber bullets and tear gas used by Israeli forces.

(Source / 11.10.2015)

Shocking moment hijab-wearing girl is attacked from behind and knocked to the floor unconscious as police reveal huge rise in hate crimes against Muslims


  • Tasneem Kabir, 16, was knocked unconscious as she walked to college
  • Her attacker, Michael Ayoade, was jailed for four years after pleading guilty
  • It is an example of the Islamaphobic offences that are on the rise in London
  • Around 60 per cent of victims are women who wear a headscarf or hijab

This shocking video shows the moment a 16-year-old girl wearing a hijab was struck in the head in an unprovoked attack on an east London street.

Tasneem Kabir suffered broken teeth and a smashed lip after she was hit by Michael Ayoade, 34, as she walked to college in Plaistow, Newham, on the afternoon of November 13, 2012.

He was arrested after police released CCTV footage of the horrific attack, which showed Ayoade jogging away from the scene as Miss Kabir lay unconscious on the ground.

Vicious: CCTV footage shows Michael Ayoade, 34, following teenager Tasneem Kabir

Strike: Ayoade hit the teenager in the back of the head, knocking her unconsious

Vicious: CCTV footage shows Michael Ayoade, 34, following teenager Tasneem Kabir (left) before striking the teenager (right) in an unprovoked attack as she walked to college in east London on November 13, 2012

Brutal: The video showed Ayoade jogging away from the scene, leaving Miss Kabir unconscious on the ground

Brutal: The video showed Ayoade jogging away from the scene, leaving Miss Kabir unconscious on the ground

Ayoade, who is originally from Nigeria, was jailed for four years in February 2013 after pleading guilty to two ‘vicious’ attacks on Tasneem and another young woman.

Miss Kabir’s assault is an example of the Islamaphobic attacks being investigated in Inside Out London Special, which will be aired on BBC London tonight.

It comes as police revealed there has been a sharp rise in the number of hate crimes against Muslims in the capital, with women who wear a headscarf or hijab accounting for some 60 per cent of victims.

The 13-second video of Miss Kabir’s attack shows the victim walking near the Black Lion pub in High Street, Plaistow, before Ayoade jogs up behind her and punches her in the head.

She immediately falls to the pavement, where she was left lying unconscious.

Ayoade had followed the teenager, who is 5ft 5in, for around 800 metres before he struck. The security camera also captures him fleeing the scene.

Islamaphobic attacks are becoming increasingly common in the capital, police figures reveal.

There was a 70 per cent increase in the number of attacks recorded between July 2014 and July this year compared with the previous 12 months, according to the Metropolitan Police.

Caught: Ayoade was arrested and later jailed after police released CCTV footage of the horrific attack

Caught: Ayoade was arrested and later jailed after police released CCTV footage of the horrific attack

But some London boroughs saw figures more than double. Merton witnessed the biggest increase, rising 262 per cent from eight to 29.

Meanwhile, nine crimes were reported in Richmond-upon-Thames, compared to just one in the previous year.

Fiyaz Mughal, from Tell Mama, an organisation with monitors Islamophobic incidents, said around 60 per cent of victims are women who wear a headscarf or hijab.

He told the BBC: ‘We also realised quite early on that women who wear niqab, the face veil, suffered more aggressive incidents – there was something about the face veil that in a way brought out the worst in the perpetrator.’

The Metropolitan Police attributed the increase part to a willingness of victims to report crime and an awareness of police staff in being able to identify those particular offences.

Worrying: Miss Kabir's assault is an example of the Islamaphobic attacks that are on the rise in the capital

Worrying: Miss Kabir’s assault is an example of the Islamaphobic attacks that are on the rise in the capital

The force said events around the world and holy days can also ‘influence a rise in hate crime incidents’ as more officers are on patrol and victims may be more likely to report crime.

Commander Mak Chishty said: ‘We will not tolerate hate crime and take positive action to investigate all allegations, support victims and arrest offenders.

‘Victims of hate crime must be assured that they will be taken seriously by the police.

‘We have more than 900 specialist officers across London working in our community safety units who are dedicated to investigating hate crime.

‘We are always seeking ways to increase reporting and work with a number of third party reporting sites so that victims who feel unable to approach police direct can report crime to non-police organisations and individuals.

‘Victims of hate crime can in addition now report online on the Met’s website. No one should suffer in silence, so please report hate crime to us as soon as possible so we can act.’


Attacked on her way home: Meanha Begum

Attacked on her way home: Meanha Begum

Teenager Meanha Begum was subjected to an Islamaphobic attack as she walked home one evening with a friend.

The 18-year-old, who was brought up in east London, wears a Niqab – a veil that leaves only the eyes uncovered – and said she has become used to being insulted over the way she dresses.

Hers is one of the stories that is told in tonight’s episode of BBC Inside Out London.

Recalling the night she was attacked, she said a woman approached her and a friend.

‘She was saying: “What are you doing here, we don’t trust you, you need to get that off your face”.

‘She pulled my face veil down and pushed me to the floor. She then turned on my friend and started punching and kicking her.’

Ms Begum said there were several witnesses but that no one came to their aid. Some even laughed and turned their backs, she said.

‘I felt disappointed and heavy hearted,’ she added. ‘Just because of the way I dress people don’t think that I’m worth rescuing.’

Mother-of-two Joni Clark is another Muslim woman who has spoken to the BBC about her experience of discrimination.

On one occasion, a man threw a lit cigarette at the 22-year-old as she was waiting to cross the road with her sons.

Ms Clark said the abuse she suffered on the street was so bad that she decided to move her family from Penge, south east London, to Whitechapel – an area known for its large Muslim community.

She said: ‘People always say Muslims isolate themselves and we don’t mix with others but actually it is others who don’t want to mix with us.’

Hasina Khan was spat at by a stranger during a ‘humiliating’ assault in a Bristol shopping centre.

She was on her way to work when a man approached her and remembers him ‘saying something about “your people killing Christians in the Middle East”.’

The 36-year-old told BBC Inside Out London that it is ‘predominantly women’ that are getting attacked but ’the majority of women don’t report the incidents’.

‘They just accept that’s the sort of society they are living in at the moment,’ she added.

Targeted with her children: Mother-of-two Joni Clark

Spat at on the street: Hasina Khan

Targeted with her children: Mother-of-two Joni Clark, left. Hasina Khan, right, was spat at by a stranger

(Source / 07.09.2015)


Muslim mother ‘attacked for wearing hijab’ as she went to collect children from London primary school

‘Racist attack’: the woman was allegedly set upon in south London (file image)

Police are investigating after a group of women allegedly ripped off a Muslim mother’s hijab during a “racist” attack as she went to collect her children from school.

The young mum was allegedly set upon by three women “for wearing a headscarf” as she walked towards private Islamic primary school Al-Khair in south London.

She was going to collect her two young children on Thursday when a number of women started “shouting and hurling abuse”.

They allegedly asked if she was hot in the headscarf – before yanking it off and punching her.

The mother, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Standard: “They pulled my headscarf off and started punching and kicking me.

“One was dragging my head down while the others were hitting me.

“They were being so racist and using derogatory terms.”

She said she was left with whiplash and chunks of hair missing, but suffered no significant physical harm and the London Ambulance Service was not called.

Derby Road, where the incident is said to have happened

The alleged attack in Derby Road, Croydon, close to the school, only stopped when another parent jumped in, according to police.

Officers were called to the scene at about 3pm. Two women, aged 18 and 35, were arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated assault.

They were taken to a police station before being bailed to return at a later date. Officers continue to investigate, Scotland Yard said.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “We take any offence seriously. We have made two arrests in connection with our ongoing investigation.”

Any witnesses or anyone with any information, who has not already spoken to police, can call officers in Croydon via 101.

(Source / 05.06.2015)

Muslim woman discriminated on United Airlines flight

The White House had invited Tahera Ahmad during last March's Women's History Month.

The White House had invited Tahera Ahmad during last March’s Women’s History Month

An American Muslim woman says she is the victim of religious discrimination after a United Airline flight attendant denied her an unopened can of Diet Coke because it could be used as a “weapon.”  

In a post on her Facebook account on Saturday, Tahera Ahmad, a Muslim chaplain and director of interfaith engagement at Chicago’s Northwestern University, described how she was denied an unopened can for security reasons, while another passenger sitting next to her was freely handed one.

“She then brought the man sitting next to me a can of unopened beer,” wrote Ahmad, adding “so I asked her again why she refused to give me an unopened can of Diet Coke?”

“We are unauthorized to give unopened cans to people because they may use it as a weapon on the plane,” Ahmad recalled the flight attendant answering her.

“So I told her that she was clearly discriminating against me because she gave the man next to me an unopened can of beer.”

According to the 31-year-old woman, asking passengers to come into her defense bear no fruit and she was even told to “shut the f*** up” by a passenger.

A United Airlines plane

Meanwhile, the US firm has stated that the matter was a “misunderstanding.”

“The in-flight crew met with Ms. Ahmad after the flight arrived in Washington to provide assistance and further discuss the matter,” a United Airline spokesman said on Sunday.

“Additionally, we spoke with Ms. Ahmad this afternoon to get a better understanding of what occurred and to apologize for not delivering the service our customers expect when traveling with us. We look forward to having the opportunity to welcome Ms. Ahmad back.”

According to a Northwestern University news release, Ahmad has been invited to a Ramadan meal by US President Barack Obama.

The White House had invited her during last March’s Women’s History Month and recognized her achievements.

(Source / 31.05.2015)

Three Muslim women abused by Romanian woman on Barcelona train

Three Muslim women abused by Romanian woman on Barcelona train

Three Moroccan women are reported to have been insulted and assaulted by a Romanian national inside a Barcelona metro train in an alleged Islamophobic attack.

According to Spanish newspaper El Periodico, the incident took place last week when Hoda Bourrouhou (19-year-old), Safaa Esamsi (19) and Ferdaus Oulad (20), originally from the city of Tetouan, northern Morocco, were the victims of a racist attack by a Romanian woman inside a metro train in Barcelona.

The Romanian woman, believed to be in her 40s, reportedly insulted the three Moroccan young women by calling them “whores”.

According to the testimony of Houda Bourrouhou, a student of political science and public management, the Romanian woman said “You, the veiled, do not look at me!

As she was getting ready to get off the tube, she allegedly threw a bottle of water on one of the students before punching another. Meanwhile, one of the two men accompanying the aggressor also hit one of the girls in the shoulder as well as the neck.

The victims said that none of the passengers in the subway intervened although some of them recorded everything that happened with their mobile phones.

Police are said to have launched an investigation into the matter. The three victims are believed to have received medical care.

(Source / 12.04.2015)