Wednesday, 29 September 2010

'Terrorists of London'

Tariq Alhomayed, Asharq Alawsat, Terrorists of London, 29 Sep 2010 "Of course I do not mean that everybody who grows a beard should be monitored, but what is important is to monitor and track anybody who issues a fatwa inciting hatred or murder. This is because incitement is more dangerous than murder; the actions of somebody who fires a bullet ends when he pulls the trigger, however somebody inciting hatred and terrorism is capable of recruiting new terrorists everyday which would see the situation further destabilize and innocents being targeted, including British citizens. If the British are not too concerned with regards to the threat that this represents to the Arab or Islamic world, is it reasonable that they are unconcerned about the safety of their own citizens?"

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Quilliam Foundation report

Quilliam Foundation, New Quilliam report published, 27 Sep 2010 press release. " ... Quilliam publicly launched its latest report, Cheering for Osama, a major new study of Arabic-language jihadist websites. The report is based on an 18-month study of around twenty Arabic-language pro-jihadist web forums. Among these are prominent sites such as ‘al-Faluja’, ‘al-Hisba’ and ‘Medad al-Suyuf’, all of which are regularly used by al-Qaeda, its affiliate groups and their supporters to distribute pro-jihadist statements, propaganda videos and ideological tracts."

Links to:

Mohammed Ali Musawi, Cheering for Osama: How jihadists use internet discussion forums, Quilliam Foundation, 2010 [pdf]

I haven't read this report yet.

Zakir Naik

Telegraph, Anti-terror chief tried to secure UK entry for Muslim preacher, 27 Sep 2010

"Britain's counter terrorism chief said he would “put himself on the line” to secure entry to Britain for a radical Muslim preacher, days before he was over-ruled by Theresa May, The Daily Telegraph can disclose."

Monday, 27 September 2010

RC Primary school 'to convert'

The Independent, Catholic primary school set to convert to Islamic faith, 25 Sep 2010 "A Roman Catholic primary school in the heart of an Asian community in Lancashire looks set to become the first in the country to convert to an Islamic faith school."

Friday, 24 September 2010

Quilliam Foundation

Manchester Evening News, Ed Husain to join US Council for Foreign Relations, 24 Sep 2010 "British based counter-terrorism think Tank, Quilliam’s co-founder and co-director, Ed Hussain is to join the US Council of Foreign Relations (CFR) as a senior fellow."

Qur'an burning incident

Press Association/Guardian, Six held over suspected Qur'an burning, 23 Sep 2010

""The arrests followed the burning of what are believed to have been two Qur'ans in Gateshead on 11 September," the spokesman said. "The incident was recorded and a video placed on the internet."

"In a video posted on YouTube, six young men in hooded tops and scarves can be seen pouring petrol on a book and setting it alight, before burning another."

Thursday, 23 September 2010

English language centre at al-Azhar

Heba Saleh,, Islamic scholars cross cultural divide, 21 Sep 2010

"An English language centre at the Egyptian university, established with British support, offers tuition to students in all five departments of the Faculty of Islamic Studies. This forms the centrepiece of a partnership between Britain and Al-Azhar, aimed at bolstering the university’s international reach and reinforcing its moderate interpretation of Islam."

Leeds: Muslim graves vandalised

Jonathan Brown, Belfast Telegraph, Racists smash Muslim graves in Leeds, 22 Sep 2010 "It is the second time this year that vandals have desecrated Muslim graves at the multi-faith Harehills Cemetery in the city. The attack left families deeply distressed after motorcycle tyre marks were scored deep into freshly dug grave-tops and beer cans were strewn around the newly created site, which contains 100 Islamic burial plots.@

'Halal Britain'

Mail Online, Halal Britain: Schools and institutions serving up ritually slaughtered meat, 20 Sep 2010 "Halal meat is being routinely served at some of Britain’s most popular sporting venues, pubs, schools and hospitals without the public’s knowledge, it has emerged."

Book: "Secret Affairs: Britain's Collusion with Radical Islam", Mark Curtis: Britain and the Muslim Brotherhood, 22 Sep 2010 "British journalist Mark Curtis's recently released book "Secret Affairs: Britain's Collusion with Radical Islam" tells the story of the West’s so-called “war on terror,” which Curtis says is nothing but a product of the foreign policies of dominant Western powers. Curtis also explains the long history of the West’s, particularly Britain’s, collaboration with Islamist groups and its involvement in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kosovo and Egypt."

I haven't seen this book yet.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Event - Ways forward for UK Counter-Terrorism: Community & Academic Perspectives

I've just received this notification for an event which takes place tonight (17 Sep) in London. Enquiries should be directed to the organisers, and not to myself:

WAYS FORWARD FOR UK COUNTER-TERRORISM: Community & Academic Perspectives

Anas Altikrti
CEO, The Cordoba Foundation

Dr Marie Breen Smyth
Director, Centre for The Study of Radicalisation and Contemporary Political Violence (CSRV), Aberystwyth University

Dr Robert Lambert
Co-Director, European Muslim Research Centre

Dr Nafeez Ahmed
Director, Institute for Policy Research & Development

Azad Ali
Chair, Muslim Safety Forum

Jamie Barlett
Head, Violence & Extremism Programme, Demos

Junaid Ahmed
Executive Member, Islamic Forum of Europe

Nearest tube: Aldgate East / Whitechapel

Organised by The Cordoba Foundation with European Muslim Research Centre - Exeter University.
Supported by Islamic Forum of Europe



Kim Sengupta, Independent, UK extremists are travelling to Somalia to train, says MI5 chief, 16 Sep 2010 "British Muslim extremists are increasingly switching from Pakistan to Somalia to receive training in militant camps with the aim of carrying out attacks in this country, according to the head of MI5."

AlJazeera - Live coverage: Pope in the UK

AlJazeera - Live coverage: Pope in the UK

Event: 'Nations of the Sea, Maritime Connections in the Archaeology of Wales and Qatar'

Event announcement: "Nations of the Sea , Maritime Connections in the Archaeology of Wales and Qatar will be held in the National Museum of Wales, Cathays Park , Cardiff on the weekend of September 25th to 26th. This international cultural conference will be attended by speakers and participants from Qatar and the Arab world and from Wales and Europe . The conference look at the same issues in different countries and aims to gain new insights into understanding coastal and maritime archaeology. In addition to the academic section of the conference there will be a series of talks and films aimed at the interested general public. Interested parties should contact Andrew Petersen at the following email address;"



Thursday, 16 September 2010

'Love in a Headscarf', Love in a Headscarf: Muslim Bridget Jones"It took Shelina Zahra Janmohamed ten years of fixed blind-dates to find Mr. Right. An arranged marriage? Poor thing. A tradition that is “oh so old-fashioned,” and “uncool,” and receives instant sympathy. But guess what, Shelina’s story is anything but a misery memoir. Love in a Headscarf is an uplifting, honest, and, for a change, humorous account of a British Muslim woman in search of “the one.” It was recently launched in India and is currently number 2 on the bestseller list."

She also writes the blog Spirit21

Report: 'Muslim Networks and Movements in Western Europe'

Tom Heneghan, Reuters, Low support for radicalism among European Muslims, 15 Sep 2010
"Support for radical Islamist groups is low among European Muslims and some leading groups with overseas roots are now cooperating with local governments and encouraging Muslims to vote, according to a new report."

Here's the report's main page: Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, Muslim Networks and Movements in Western Europe, 15 Sep 2010

The full PDF report is here Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, Muslim Networks and Movements in Western Europe [PDF]. The primary researcher was Peter Mandaville.

I haven't read the report yet.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Papal visit

Mona Siddiqui, Telegraph, Pope visit: This visit can help Muslims find a place in a hostile continent, 11 Sep 2010 "On one level, it is not significant at all; this is just another state visit by a leader who just happens to be both the head of a state and the head of a faith. But religious leaders always have the potential to do great harm as well as great good. As a Muslim who has been involved in Christian-Muslim interreligious work for some years, I know that what the Catholic Church, and Pope Benedict in particular, have said and done with respect to the Islamic faith will keep many in the inter-religious world watching keenly."

Saturday, 4 September 2010

"Reading Arabic 'hard for brain'"

BBC News - Reading Arabic 'hard for brain', 4 Sep 2010 "The University of Haifa team say people use both sides of their brain when they begin reading a language - but when learning Arabic this is wasting effort."

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Ramadan radio

Every year I check in on the UK radio stations offering Ramadan output. Here are a few selections:

Radio Ramadan Edinburgh offers a podcast and smartphone listening option.

TeesFast FM - Radio Ramadan has a Facebook page with schedules.

Listing of Ramadan stations

Radio Ramadhan Glasgow are letting kids on the air, and also have a youth programme.

Ramadan education advice

Hena Zuberi, Back to School: Ramadan in Public School, 31 Aug, 2010 written from a North American perspective, but some interesting links/advice nevertheless

Op-ed on Blair book

Mehdi Hasan, New Statesman, Fisking Blair's chapter on Iraq, 1 Sep 2010

I haven't read all this commentary on Tony Blair's new book (or the 66 - so far - comments yet). Other opinions are available...

Shafilea Ahmed

BBC News, Parents held over death of Shafilea Ahmed, 2 Sep 2010


Peter Mandaville, Daily Star Lebanon, Rap emerges as an added form of Muslim expression and mobilization, 30 Aug 2010 "Listening to South Asian Muslim teenagers in the post-industrial British city of Bradford, one can understand how Islamic faith and American hip-hop music have come to coexist. Searching for music that reflects their own experiences with alienation, racism and silenced political consciousness, many teens, even some quasi-religious groups, have turned to the urban music of black America."

Refers to Mecca2Medina, an early Muslim rap group in the UK. I still have their 12" vinyl releases (anyone remember vinyl records?).

This article was originally in YaleGlobal Online

Protest in Bradford

AP, Far-right protesters clash with police in UK, 30 Aug 2010 "A right-wing group that opposes what it calls the spread of Islam in Britain clashed with riot police in northern England on Saturday, throwing bottles, rocks and a smoke bomb at authorities. The demonstration by the English Defense League occurred in Bradford, a city with one of the country's largest Pakistani and Muslim communities."