Friday, 25 February 2011

Law student convicted

The case of Mohammed Gul:

The Independent, Law student convicted over terror videos, 24 Feb 2011 "One charge related to an internet forum and four charges to 29 videos posted on YouTube in 2008."

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

'From Mosque to YouTube'

I gave a paper tonight at the University of Cardiff, 'From Mosque to YouTube' on UK Muslim online activities. The paper was part of the Centre for the Study of Islam in the UK public lecture series. Further lectures in the series are listed here

Monday, 21 February 2011

"British gay Muslims seek Islamic weddings"

BBC News - British gay Muslims seek Islamic weddings, 20 Feb 2011 "British gay Muslims are joining the global fight for equality and seeking gay Islamic marriage. The BBC's 5 live Investigates speaks to one couple about their 'nikah' - a Muslim matrimonial contract - and asks how they balance their sexuality with the Islamic faith."

Links to a 5 Live radio programme, which will be available to download.

UK's Muslim soldiers ‘fighting extremists not Muslims'

BBC News - UK's Muslim soldiers ‘fighting extremists not Muslims', 21 Feb 2011

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Universities failing to fight extremism, says watchdog | Education | The Guardian

The Guardian, Universities failing to fight extremism, says watchdog, 18 Feb 2011 "The government's counterterrorism watchdog believes Britain's universities are reluctant to deal with radicalisation on campus and says a report by vice-chancellors that rejects demands to ban controversial speakers is "weak""

I've not seen the report yet (preoccupied with Libya). Here's the link

Universities UK, Freedom of speech on campus: rights and responsibilities in UK universities

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Chris Allen's blog

Bigmouth Strikes in Vain is "'Islamophobia'" author Chris Allen's blog, and is a useful resource for commentaries and perspectives on related issues.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Channel 4 documentary 'Lessons in Hate and Violence'

Channel 4, Dispatches, Lessons in Hate and Violence "Dispatches goes undercover to investigate allegations that teachers regularly assault young children in some of the 2,000 Muslim schools in Britain run by Islamic organisations.

"The programme also follows up allegations that, behind closed doors, some Muslim secondary schools teach a message of hatred and intolerance.

"The programme is presented by reporter Tazeen Ahmad.

"Dispatches: Lessons in Hate and Violence will not be available on 4oD at this time, due to an ongoing police investigation concerning subjects featured in the programme."

That's unfortunate, for those of us who missed watching it last night (assuming it would be available on-demand via 4oD). There's a brief official clip here, and various parties have put clips onto YouTube as well.

Some reaction can be found here:

Darul Uloom Islamic High School & College, Official Press Release of Darul Uloom Islamic High School regarding the Channel 4 Dispatches Programme, 15 Feb 2011 "No school can claim to be immune from incidents that require remedial action. What we have demonstrated repeatedly, is that our procedures have dealt with contraventions in the past, and will continue to do so. These actions have included expulsions of students, and dismissals of staff, as long as six months ago. Nevertheless, we will be carrying a full and comprehensive investigation into all the matters arising out of this programme, and where necessary we will take proper action."

Muslim Council of Britain, MCB Responds to Channel 4 Dispatches Documentary: One Incident of Child-Abuse is One Incident Too Many, 14 Feb 2011 "The Muslim Council of Britain does not believe that the abuse of children in madrasah and mosque-based education is a widespread phenomenon in Britain and we believe that the vast majority of British mosques hold the health and safety of children to be of utmost importance, following true Islamic teaching and British law."

"However, as far as we are concerned, one incident of child-abuse is one incident too many. Our community must work together to root out any such behaviour in our precious institutions."

Daily Mail, 'Muslim preacher', 59, arrested over alleged assault on children at mosque featured in Channel 4 documentary, 15 Feb 2011 "Head teacher Mujahid Aziz said the school had been misrepresented."

Josh Halliday, Guardian, Channel 4 denies it 'unfairly targeted' Islamic school | Media | 14 Feb 2011 "Lessons in Hate and Violence, made by independent producer Hardcash, investigates allegations that some teachers in Islamic schools regularly assault young children and teach a message of hatred and intolerance. West Yorkshire police earlier on Monday arrested one man in Keighley in connection with footage due to be aired tonight."

BBC News Birmingham, Dispatches Islamic school to complain to Ofcom, 15 Feb 2011

'A muddled debate' (op-ed)

Irfan Husain,, A muddled debate, 9 Feb 2011: "The grim reality in our globalised world is that ideas, prejudices and ideologies now jostle for attention on our computer screens. Gullible youngsters are easily influenced by stirring messages and promises of martyrdom and glory. Cynical preachers use the Internet to groom people thousands of miles away to commit vicious acts of terrorism, ruining the lives of victims and perpetrators, while they remain a safe distant away from the scenes of the crimes." opinion piece

Monday, 14 February 2011

Mohammed Junaid Babar

Guardian, Jihadi who helped train 7/7 bomber freed by US after just five years, 13 Feb 2011 on the front page of the Guardian print-edition today

"An American jihadist who set up the terrorist training camp where the leader of the 2005 London suicide bombers learned how to manufacture explosives, has been quietly released after serving only four and a half years of a possible 70-year sentence, a Guardian investigation has learned."