Friday, 25 June 2010

Blackburn 'jihadis' update British Muslim jailed for "kill Blair" threat, 24 June 2010 "A British-born Muslim who pretended to lead "al Qaeda in Britain" and urged sympathisers to assassinate Tony Blair and Gordon Brown was jailed for five years on Thursday."

Council of Europe resolution

Press Association, European MPs vote against burka ban, 24 June 2010 "The Parliamentary Assembly of Europe's human rights watchdog, the Council of Europe, passed a resolution warning that if governments imposed such a ban they would be denying women "who genuinely and freely desire to do so" their right to cover their faces."

IkhwanWeb, European council votes in favor of niqab, 25 June 2010. "The resolution came as part of a statement on Islam, Islamism and Islamophobia, which also urged European governments to promote the educating of Muslim women, their families and communities alerting them of their human rights and persuading them to take part in both public and professional life."

Muslim Council of Britain

APP, Muslim Council of Britain elects new leadership, 21 June 2010 "The UK’s largest Muslim organisation-The Muslim Council of Britain-has elected a new leadership comprising Secretary-General Farooq Murad, Deputy Secretary-General Dr.Shuja Shafi and Treasurer Haroon Rashid Khan. The new officials were elected at the 13th Annual General Meeting held here on Sunday evening and pledged to make the organisation more vibrant, promote the participation of women and the wider range of Britain’s Muslim communities."

Also see: Muslim Council of Britain, Muslim Council of Britain Elects New Leadership and Pledges to Build Alliances, 21 June 2010

Madeleine Bunting, Comment is Free, Guardian, The MCB's Wonderland election, 18 June 2010 "Imagine an election with only one declared candidate running … and he is not going to win. It may sound like a form of democracy better devised in Alice's Wonderland, but unfortunately it's home grown: this is how the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) is due to decide on its next leader this Sunday."

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Blackburn 'jihadis'

Kim Pilling, Press Association, Independent, Jihadi terror obsession led to pair's conviction, 23 June 2010

"In his online guise he was the freedom fighter who had just returned wounded from the battlegrounds of disputed Kashmir or the committed warrior who had been locked in combat with US forces in Iraq.

"The reality was that Kanmi sent most of his messages from the more tranquil setting of Blackburn Central Library."

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

No entry for Naik and Phillips, Muslim Preachers, Zakir Naik & Bilal Phillips, Denied Entry into UK, 23 June 2010, "The Internet Muslim Community has been buzzing with reports of Dr Zakir Naik being denied entry into the UK. Dr Zakir Naik was scheduled to host his Famous Peace Conference in the UK this year but was denied a visa on the accusation of him being a supporter of terrorism."

Tuesday, 22 June 2010


Asharq Al-Awsat, Islamist Denounce UK Prison Insistence on Inmate's Wife Removing Niqab, 22 June 2010, "A number of London-based Islamists have expressed their anger at the insistence of British prison that the wife of leading fundamentalist Omar Mahmoud Abu-Omar, alias Abu-Qatada, who is known as Bin Laden's ambassador, and the spiritual guide of the Al-Qaeda Organization in Europe, remove her Niqab before being allowed to visit him, despite the existence of fatwas that say it is Islamically permissible to do so."

Opinion on Islamic banking, Banking by Sharia rules is a 'big flop', 22 June 2010 "Muslim leaders have backed comments by a leading Islamic finance expert who said Sharia-compliant banking had been a "huge flop" in the UK.

"Junaid Bhatti, part of the team which set up the Islamic Bank of Britain (IBB), which has one of its eight branches in Leicester, said Islamic products had been wrongly marketed by banks, which had over-emphasised the religious aspect."

Clearly, as this article notes, there are many other opinions on this subject.

Shaykh Amer Jamil, Imams urged to condemn domestic abuse, 22 June 2010 "Shaykh Amer Jamil, right, the country’s most prominent and respected Muslim thinker, is to meet every imam in Scotland over the coming months. Jamil will ask the imams to tell their congregation about Islam’s stance opposing domestic violence, and give the clerics advice on dealing with the police ...

" ... Jamil has also campaigned against the dangers of forced marriage, terrorism and ‘DIY Islam’ – incorrect versions of the religion learned over the internet often with a hardline twist."

Darul Uloom Chislehurst

Edna Fernandez, Daily Mail, Inside the Muslim Eton: 20 hour days starting at 3.45am with the aim of producing Muslim elite of leaders, 20 June 2010

"Deobandi Islam had spread and, in some cases, fused with a new violent political ideology. It is a long way from the wind-swept wilds of Peshawar to leafy Chislehurst

"But inside the Kent-based school, the religious ideology remains, even if the rhetoric is moderate by comparison.

"I had come to spend the day at the Eton of Islam. Why the comparison?

"Because Darul Uloom is about creating an Islamic elite who will rule the Muslim world. It is about offering a classical education and its very name inspires awe among the Muslim community."

Read more about the author of the piece here:

Friday, 18 June 2010

'Halal' 'bacon substitute'

BBC News, Coventry farmer defends bacon substitute for Muslims, 17 June 2010 "A Coventry farmer has insisted he is reacting to demand from traders in trying to give Muslims a taste of pork by producing bacon-style rashers from halal-slaughtered turkeys.

"Rod Adlington's attempts to imitate the meat, which Muslims cannot eat because of their religion, has seen a Muslim scholar voice concerns that it could lead to people eating real bacon from pork."

'One Law for All Campaign', Hundreds expected for Sharia law rally, this weekend, 17 June 2010 "Hundreds of activists will take to the streets of London this weekend in a major demonstration against Sharia law.

"The rally, organised by the One Law for All Campaign, will be held from 2pm to 4pm at Richmond Terrace, in Whitehall, opposite Downing Street, SW1."

Details of the campaign One Law for All are here. Their report Sharia Law in Britain, written by Maryam Namazie, can be downloaded here. I haven't read this report yet.

So far, I haven't picked up reactions to this from the Muslim Council of Britain or the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal - to name but two organisations that would have an interest in this subject. I shall be monitoring coverage this weekend.

There's more information on the report's author here: Maryam Namazie (blog);; Maryam Namazie: Wikipedia

Amir Khan profile

CNN, Amir Khan: Fighting stereotypes, 16 June 2010 "Being a Muslim and being a Pakistani a lot of people are going to bring that issue up. I'm flying the flag for Britain and Pakistan, I'm proud to be British and British Pakistani, and I think there's a lot of people, Muslim people, just like me."

Anti-troop protests

Nile Gardiner, Telegraph, British Muslim leaders must condemn Islamist anti-troop protests, 15 June 2010 opinion piece, linked to Daily Mail, Into the jaws of hate: Soldiers' parade marred by Muslim extremists and far-Right, 16 June 2010

Naik banned

AFP, Govt bans Indian Muslim preacher: report, 17 June 2010 "The government has banned a radical Indian preacher, who claimed that "every Muslim should be a terrorist," from entering the country, a paper reported on Friday.

"Zakir Naik, a 44-year-old television preacher, had been due to give a series of lectures in London and northern England but new Home Secretary Theresa May decided to bar him, said the Daily Telegraph."

Surveillance 'bagged'

Guardian, Birmingham stops Muslim CCTV surveillance scheme, 17 June 2010 "A project to place two Muslim areas in Birmingham under surveillance has been dramatically halted after an investigation by the Guardian revealed it was a counterterrorism initiative.

"Bags are being placed over hundreds of cameras which were recently installed in the neighbourhoods of Washwood Heath and Sparkbrook, to reassure the community that their movements are not being monitored until a public consultation takes place."

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Young. British. Female. Muslim

Sarah Harris, Times Online, Young. British. Female. Muslim., 29 May 2010 "Thousands of young British women living in the UK decide to convert to Islam - here are some of their stories" Just found this interesting article, containing 'convert' stories.

Under surveillance

Paul Lewis, Guardian, UK monitors suspected radicals as part of European surveillance project, 8 June 2010 "Confidential documents reveal how an initiative to gather data on "radicalisation and recruitment" in Islamic terrorist groups has been expanded to incorporate other organisations."

Faith Matters: Developing Diversity Directory

Henry James Foy, Guardian, 'Women-friendly' mosques directory launched, 9 June 2010 "A directory of the 100 most "women-friendly" mosques in England is launched today, claiming to be "the start of the process to broaden and deepen the engagement of Muslim women in British mosques"."

For further information, see Faith Matters,in particular their Developing Diversity Directory (pdf).This is an extensively researched guide to mosques in the UK, which looks like being a valuable research resource. 

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Book announcement:: 'Muslims in Britain'

Sophie Gilliat-Ray, Muslims in Britain: An Introduction, Cambridge University Press "Archaeological evidence shows there was contact between Muslims and the British Isles from the 8th century. Beginning with these historical roots, Sophie Gilliat-Ray traces the major points of encounter between Muslims and the British in subsequent centuries, and explores Muslim migration to Britain in recent times. Drawing upon sociology, anthropology, politics, and geography, this comprehensive survey provides an informed understanding of the daily lives of British Muslims. It portrays the dynamic of institutions such as families, mosques and religious leadership, and analyses their social and political significance in today's Britain. Through the study of the historical origins of major Islamic reform movements, it draws attention to the religious diversity within different Muslim communities, and sheds fresh light on contemporary issues such as the nature of religious authority and representation. It also considers British Muslim civic engagement and cultural life, particularly the work of journalists, artists, sports personalities, and business entrepreneurs."

There are some extracts available through the above site, and also on Amazon.  I look forward to reading this book in due course. 


Alan Travis, Guardian, Muslim prisoners 'treated as potential terrorists', 8 June 2010 "The report, published today, is based on interviews with 164 Muslim prisoners in eight prisons and young offender institutions, combined with prisoner surveys and inspection reports over the past three years. The number of Muslims in prison in England and Wales has soared in recent years from 2,513, or 5% of the prison population, in 1994 to 6,571 or 8% in 2004 and to 10,300, more than 12%, on the latest figures."

Also see:

Observer, Belmarsh inmates plotted to behead guard on video, 6 June 2010

Modern Muslims? Identities, Tradition and Change

Symposium: Modern Muslims? Identities, Tradition and Change

Venue: Rathbone Lecture Theatre, Eleanor Rathbone Building, off Myrtle Street, Liverpool

9 June 2010 1-5 pm

Online info from the University of Liverpool (suggest you check with organisers for details).

Sessions to include

Ron Geaves: Negotiating Foreign Policy: An Historical Analysis of Loyalties, Identities, and Citizenship Models Amongst British Muslims

Phillip Lewis: Hamlet Without the Prince - Whatever
Happened to the 'ulama in the Study of Muslims in Britain?

Seán Mcloughlin: Towards a Cosmopolitan Islamism? Generation, Culture, Class and UK Reformism in Transition

Also plenary discussions.

I received this info at short notice - it sounds like a good event.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Exploring Islam Foundation

Jane Dougall,, Campaign Launched To Improve Image Of Islam, 7 June 2010 "A campaign to improve the image of Islam has been launched after an opinion poll found that more than half of British people associate the religion with extremism and terrorism."

The YouGov poll results are here

Also see the