Islam

How political Islam got the public vote

By Martin Bright, October 28, 2010

Political Islam or Islamism, as it is sometimes known, has finally entered the mainstream of British politics. The election of Lutfur Rahman as Mayor of Tower Hamlets, the new government's decision to send a minister to attend Islam Channel's Global Peace and Unity conference, and the news that Tony Blair's sister-in-law has converted to Islam, demonstrate that a radical strain of totalitarian Islam has become acceptable to a significant proportion of the political classes.

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Fear over Islamist Tower Hamlets mayor

By Martin Bright and Simon Rocker, October 28, 2010

Senior Jewish figures have raised concerns over the election of a controversial Muslim politician as mayor of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

Lutfur Rahman was dropped as the Labour Party's official candidate after evidence was produced of irregularities in the nomination process and links to the radical Muslim group Islamic Forum Europe.

He then stood as an independent and last week trounced Labour rival Helal Abbas, although only a quarter of the electorate turned out to vote. He will now preside over the Olympic borough's £1 billion budget.

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EDL trio charged after Speakers Corner scuffle

By Jessica Elgot, October 26, 2010

Three English Defence League demonstrators have been charged with affray and public order offences after a scuffle with Muslim hecklers at Speakers Corner.

Shortly after their demonstration on Sunday outside the Israeli Embassy in Kensington, EDL supporters made their way to Hyde Park where Rabbi Nachum Shifren, the so-called "surfing rabbi" from California , gave a short speech.

The rabbi had earlier called Muslims “dogs” and told the EDL “We will never surrender to the sword of Islam."

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Ofcom rejects complaint againt Channel Four investigation into Islamic group

By Simon Rocker, October 25, 2010

The television watchdog Ofcom has rejected complaints against an investigation into an Islamic group broadcast by Channel Four’s Dispatches earlier this year.

The programme, presented by journalist Andrew Gilligan, looked at the Islamic Forum for Europe which it described as a “fundamentalist” group that had “secretly infiltrated” the Labour party and was “exerting influence” over Tower Hamlets Council in East London.

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Naik takes UK ban to the High Court

By Jessica Elgot, October 22, 2010

An Islamic preacher who said Jews were the "staunchest enemies" of Muslims should be allowed into the UK, the High Court heard this week.

Dr Zakir Naik, an Indian-based Islamic activist, was banned from entering the UK by Home Secretary Theresa May in June this year, two days before a planned speaking tour. This week, Dr Naik took the Home Office to the High Court for a judicial review, heard by Mr Justice Cranston.

Announcing the ban in June, Mrs May cited a 2007 speech by Dr Naik about Muslims and Jews as an example of Dr Naik's extreme views.

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Mosque attack part of tit-for-tat policy

By Nathan Jeffay, October 14, 2010

Who were the arsonists at Beit Fajar, and why would anybody want to torch a Palestinian mosque?

The obvious answer is that it was an act of hatred, akin to when antisemites desecrate Jewish cemeteries in Europe: it is simply a bubbling over of the contempt that some settlers have for Palestinians.

In all probability, however, the attack was not an expression of anti-Arab anger but rather a show staged by extremist settlers to communicate a specific message to the Israeli authorities. The Beit Fajar mosque was essentially caught in the crossfire.

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Rabbis replace Korans damaged in West Bank

By Nathan Jeffay, October 14, 2010

Just over a week ago, residents of the Palestinian West Bank village of Beit Fajar witnessed a strange spectacle. Six settler rabbis arrived, greeted city elders, and made their way to the mosque.

Settlers rarely enter Palestinian areas, both because of concern for their safety and because they are not welcome. But the rabbis and the
village elders felt that special times call for special measures.

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Jews back Muslim marriage visa challenge

By Simon Rocker, October 14, 2010

A Muslim couple's legal challenge to the rules on marriage visas is being supported by the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations.

The Court of Appeal will hear a claim next week that it is unfair to stop foreign spouses from outside the European Union coming to Britain if they are under 21.

In November 2008, the last government raised the minimum age for marriage visas from 18 to 21, as a way to deter forced marriages.

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The English Defence League and the surfing rabbi

By Marcus Dysch, October 14, 2010

An American rabbi will join an extreme right-wing anti-Islamic-fundamentalist group in a protest outside the Israeli Embassy in London next week.

Rabbi Nachum Shifren, from California, said he was supporting the English Defence League because he opposed multiculturalism, and promised to act with "full force" against shariah law.

But his plans have been roundly criticised by Jewish community organisations. The Community Security Trust said that Jews who believed they could shape the EDL, or find shelter in the group, were "utterly deluded".

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Wanted: mosque to host Shoah play by Muslim

By Robyn Rosen, September 21, 2010

A Muslim director has spoken about his failed attempts to perform at mosques a Holocaust play, which he claims "will unite communities to stand up to hate and extremism".

Nic Careem, a self-declared "Zionist-Muslim", spoke about his plans as he announced a special performance of James Still's award-winning play, And Then They Came For Me - Remembering The World Of Anne Frank, in aid of the Disasters Emergency Committee's (DEC) Pakistan flood victims appeal.

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