Austria Bans Foreign Funding for Islamic Groups

islam-law-austria 2

A mosque is pictured in the Tyrolean village of Telfs in western Austria October 2, 2014. Austria called on Thursday for standardised German-language translations of the Koran and moved to prohibit foreign funding of Muslim organisations on its soil in a draft law aimed in part at tackling Islamic extremism. The bill will overhaul a 1912 law governing the status of Austrian Muslims, prompting concern from a major local Islamic body, which saw it mirroring widespread mistrust of Muslims. REUTERS/DOMINIC EBENBICHLER

The Austrian parliament yesterday passed a law which bans foreign funding for Islamic organisations and demands that any group claiming to represent Austrian Muslims use a standardised German translation of the Quran, casting religious freedoms in Austria “back a hundred years”, according to Turkey’s leading Muslim cleric.

german quran Capture

The controversial reforms were added to an existing law that made Islam an official religion in Austria in 1912, and are partly aimed at tackling Islamist radicalism. However, while the law gives Muslims more legal security by protecting religious holidays and training for imams, it also bans foreign funding for mosques and for imams from countries such as Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

The law also requires Austria’s 450 Muslim groups to demonstrate a “positive approach toward society and the state” to continue receiving official licensing. There are around 560,000 Muslims in Austria, approximately 7% of Austria’s 8.6 million inhabitants.

Austria’s integration minister, Sebastian Kurz, spoke of his desire ahead of the vote to create an “Austrian-style Islam.” He told the BBC on Wednesday that the reforms would stop certain Muslim countries using financial means to exert “political influence” in Austria.

Austria’s integration minister, Sebastian Kurz

“What we want is to reduce the political influence and control from abroad and we want to give Islam the chance to develop freely within our society and in line with our common European values,” he said.

The reaction from Austrian Muslim communities has been less than enthusiastic. Some groups have commented that the new law is unfair as international support is still permitted for the Christian and Jewish faiths. “The attempt to create an ‘Austrian-style Islam’ ignores the need for fostering religious diversity and mutual respect,” the Vienna-based Turkish Islamic Union said. “It turns the Islam law into a security law.”

Turkey’s leading Muslim cleric, Mehmet Gormez

Turkey’s leading Muslim cleric, Mehmet Gormez, has decried the bill as “a 100-year regression,” and argued that no complaints have ever been lodged over Turkish funding for imams in Austria. Others said that compared to other European countries, there has been no extremist violence in Austria, and relations are generally good between communities.

Enes Bayraklı, a foreign affairs specialist and an academic at Istanbul’s Turkish-German University, told Daily Sabah that: “A paranoid fear is being instilled in society. Muslims in Austria have never engaged in terrorism or extremism in Austria thus far. Taking into consideration the peaceful atmosphere in Austria, the government’s purpose seems to be nothing but an engineering and social manipulation project.”

However, some aspects of the law have been welcomed. The law will set up a university-level education programmes for imams in Austria, and Muslims will be given the right to receive spiritual guidance from Islamic clerics when working in hospitals, retirement homes, prisons and in the armed forces. Muslims in Austria will also have the right to halal meals in those institutions as well as in public schools, and will be allowed to miss work on Islamic holidays.

On Tuesday, public broadcaster ORF reported that a recent poll showed that 58% of Austrians believed that “radicalization” of Muslims had increased and 41% feared terrorist attacks. It is estimated that around 200 people from Austria – including women and children – have gone to Syria and Iraq to join jihadist militias.

source: Newsweek

Report: No Casualties in Paris Bus Explosion

A bus caught fire in Paris, France on Thursday evening, local time. The incident happened in the La Garenne-Colombes area. The fire is not being called an act of terrorism. No casualties were reported. 

While some locals who saw the incident said the bus caught fire, others said it exploded. One person who tweeted photographs of the fire said they first heard a boom: 

Source: www.newsweek.com

See on Scoop.itUNITED CRUSADERS AGAINST ISLAMIFICATION OF THE WEST

*Videos* Pakistan victim seeks justice after online gang rape video

Sadia says the public nature of her ordeal has left her unwilling to leave her home

There are no official figures available for how many women are raped in Pakistan.

Most do not go to the police, and they never tell their families because they are so ashamed.

When a young Pakistani woman was gang raped in a remote village, she kept silent. But then a video of the rape began circulating online and via mobile phone. As BBC Urdu’s Amber Shamsi reports, little appears to have been done to stop web users from sharing the video.

Sadia (not her real name) had thought that if she kept quiet, it might protect her from the humiliation of being known as a rape victim.

But in the days or weeks after, two versions of her ordeal began to circulate online – one lasted five minutes, the other 40 minutes.

The video showed her being raped by four men, one by one, while she pleaded for mercy. It spread rapidly through the towns and villages of Punjab.

“It was my elder brother who first told me about the video. He saw it and recognised Sadia, then came to me,” Sadia’s father says.

“She felt too ashamed to tell me because I’m her father. If her mother had been alive, I’m sure my daughter would have told her.”

They then reported the rape, and it was easy to find the alleged culprits in that small community.

ZERO is the conviction rate for rape cases in Pakistan in the past 5 years!

‘Sharing’ the rape

It was shared largely through Bluetooth and clips have reportedly made it on to social media websites such as Facebook.

It can still be shared. Pakistan does not have the laws to stop this from happening.

Sadia lives in a typical Pakistani village, with mud homes surrounded by fields of sugarcane and small vegetable gardens.

She is 23 but she looks much younger. Since her mother died, she has been a surrogate mother to her younger siblings.

Sadia is nervous as she speaks, clasping and unclasping her hands, breaking down and re-composing herself.

She says she was on her way to the market to buy her sister’s school uniform when she was bundled into a car and threatened with a gun. She claims the four men in the car took her to a house and raped her while filming the act on a mobile phone.

“After I begged and pleaded with them, they beat me even more,” she says. “They said to me that if I don’t listen to them and do what they want, they’ll show everyone the video, put it up on the internet, that they would hurt my brothers and sister.

“I didn’t care about myself but I didn’t want my siblings’ future to be in jeopardy because of me. That’s why I didn’t tell anyone.”

She is acutely aware the video is now being watched widely.

“A lot of people are watching this video for fun, they see it as something interesting.”

Cyber crime laws

When I came face to face with the four accused men in the police station where they were being held on remand, they hung their heads to avoid our gaze. They are currently in jail and the trial is under way.

Four suspects in custody

The four suspects are in custody, and their trial has begun

As well as being prosecuted for gang-rape and kidnap, they have also been charged with distributing pornography for which the penalty is three months in jail.

The video is still online although police say they have been trying to get it removed. As far as the gang-rape is concerned, police say that with the video, the case is strong

But this is also a story that underscores how Pakistan’s legal system has been unable to keep pace with rapid changes in society and technology.

Lawyers specialising in cyber crime say there is no specific law to force websites to take down the video, and a lack of political will and manpower means this could still be some way off.

A comprehensive cyber-crime ordinance was allowed to lapse four years ago before it could become law.

So local police and federal agents adopt a piecemeal approach when confronted with a crime like the filming and sharing of a video containing sexual violence and invoke laws pertaining to sexual harassment, defamation or criminal intimidation or basic clauses on violation of privacy gleaned from an old law called the Electronic Transactions Ordinance (ETO).

Under a new cyber-crime law (yet to be enacted by parliament), the punishment for distributing sexually explicit material will be three years – whether or not it involves violence which is dealt with under separate laws – and violation of privacy is also three years

A deputy director-general with the central Federal Investigation Agency which covers cyber crime, Shehzad Haider, says he gets about 12 to 15 cases of private videos of a sexual nature being uploaded a month – by jilted lovers and blackmailing gangs – and the numbers appear to be increasing.

“The law which was allowed to lapse was very effective because it was detailed and made the job of prosecution much easier,” says Mr Haider. “We make do with the ETO because we have no choice.”

Sadia has no choice either. She is now house-bound because of the shame of the public nature of her ordeal. She used to be a primary-school teacher and had been in further study.

“Some of my college professors visited me and encouraged me to complete my studies,” she says.

“They say I should put it behind me, but I can’t. Not until the men are punished.”

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How the crime came to light: Tahir Imran Mian, Social Media editor, BBC Urdu

“I have something to share with you and I hope the BBC can help the victim.” That was the message attached to a video from a reader of the BBC Urdu Facebook page.

It is one the biggest and most followed pages in Pakistan and a huge number of people reach out to us for help. We are often sent graphic material, but I felt numb after seeing the shocking video so decided to investigate.

After a few phone calls and conversations, it dawned on me that people were watching and sharing this. I then found that many men in the area where the attack took place thought it was “fun” to share and watch the video.

There are several closed groups on Facebook where men can share images. Those who have access to tools and technology can take it further and blackmail victims. A mobile phone with a camera is cheap and so are the opportunities it provides to many who knowingly or unknowingly record their videos and then share them.

The victim often ends up being the one stigmatised.

Pakistan’s gang-rape victim Mukhtaran Mai

But one woman was forced to go public and is now still seeking justice after all but one of her attackers have been released from jail.

In 2002, Mukhtar Mai, a rural Pakistani woman from a remote part of the Punjab, was gang-raped by order of her tribal council as punishment for her younger brother’s alleged relationship with a woman from another clan. Instead of committing suicide or living in shame, Mukhtar spoke out, fighting for justice in the Pakistani courts-making world headlines. Further defying custom, she started two schools for girls in her village and a crisis center for abused women.

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Pakistan’s gang-rape victim Mukhtaran Mai /Fabrice Coffrini—AFP

“I remember everything. It’s not something I can forget – it’ll always be a part of my life. It happened in 2002. I remember every single thing, even the time it happened.

I was sitting at my parent’s house, and they chose me to go and apologise for what my brother had done. I lament that they chose me, but I didn’t want this to happen to any of my sisters either.”

“I tried to commit suicide twice after the incident because I felt like I wasn’t getting any justice. What happened to me is another form of honour killing.

Honour is a toxic word. Honour is only for men here, it’s not for women, who are always to blame in any given situation. The owner of a woman’s honour is a father, brother, father-in-law.

A girl doesn’t even have her own home: first it’s her father’s home, then her husband’s home and then ultimately her son’s home.

What happened to me is part and parcel of our system. It says that there is a difference between a son and daughter: one is better than the other.

It starts from the mother. When something is cooked, food is first given to the son and father, and if there’s any food left over they’ll give it to the daughter.

Men and women both have rights, God gave both rights, but it’s all about lack of awareness, false traditions created by society, no law. And if there are laws, they are not implemented. Girls are killed for choosing their own partners for marriage.

And they never get justice because the killer is the father and the prosecutor is the mother – this is the system and it’s a vicious cycle. Why doesn’t a woman ever get justice – is a woman not a human being?

After 12 years, I am still going through appeals to the courts to get justice. The court says you need four witnesses – well I have the whole village as witnesses – but it boils down to the mindset of men in this patriarchal society.”

Mukthar Mai.

Mukhtar Mai set up schools for girls in her village with compensation money she received for her ordeal

The biggest problem is feudalism and the fact that people don’t get justice. When there is no hope of getting justice, then people go to village elders because the police aren’t listening to them.

And the elders will make the same decisions as the decision that was made for me.

These traditions need to end: the world is moving forward, and we seem to be standing in the same place.

Things have not improved; the only difference is that women have started asking for their rights. The media has helped a lot.

A woman never used to raise her voice or leave her house, but now a woman goes out, goes to courts, goes to meet lawyers. She is seen everywhere but there is still no justice.

Since my incident in 2002 there have been no similar events in my village. There has been a shift. The feudal authorities used to make decisions, but now there is no council the way there used to be.

Now the policemen make that decision. Even child marriages have been controlled. When I used to leave the village and come back I would find out that some girls from my school as young as nine had been forced to get married.

But now we have even stopped some weddings from happening.

source: BBC NEWS

IS militant ‘Jihadi John’ named as Mohammed Emwazi from London

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British IS executor “Jihadi John”

The masked Islamic State militant known as “Jihadi John”, who has been pictured in the videos of the beheadings of Western hostages, has been named.

The BBC understands he is Mohammed Emwazi, a Kuwaiti-born British man in his mid-20s from West London, who was known to UK security services.

They chose not to disclose his name earlier for operational reasons.

Emwazi first appeared in a video last August, when he apparently killed the American journalist James Foley.

He was later thought to have been pictured in the videos of the beheadings of US journalist Steven Sotloff, British aid worker David Haines, British taxi driver Alan Henning, and American aid worker Abdul-Rahman Kassig, also known as Peter.

In each of the videos, the militant appeared dressed in a black robe with a black balaclava covering all but his eyes and top of his nose.

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Analysis: Dominic Casciani, BBC News
We don’t know when the British or the American security services worked out that the masked man in the killing videos was Londoner Mohammed Emwazi.

But we do know that he was a “person of interest” to MI5 going back to at least 2011 because he features in semi-secret court cases relating to extremism overseas and back in the UK.

Nobody in official security circles is going to comment on what they know and why they know it.

Emwazi has been previously described as a member of a network involving at least 13 men from London – and at least two of them were subjected to house arrest control orders or T-Pims. One absconded. The chances of Emwazi ever returning to the UK are vanishingly small.

@BBCDomC

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Speaking with a British accent, he taunted and threatened Western powers before holding his knife to the hostages’ necks, appearing to start to cutting before the film stops.

Last month, the militant appeared in a video with the Japanese hostages Haruna Yukawa and Kenji Goto, shortly before they were killed.

BBC News special correspondent Lucy Manning says Emwazi is understood to be around 27 years of age.

Friends of Emzawi told the Washington Post that he was raised in a middle class area of West London and studied computer programming at the University of Westminster.

Our correspondent says it is believed he was known to security services in the UK and the US before leaving for Syria and was linked to a man with connections to the jihadist militant group al-Shabab, in Somalia.

The Washington Post said he was believed to have travelled to Syria around 2012 and later joined Islamic State, which has declared the creation of a “caliphate” in the large swathes of Syria and neighbouring Iraq it controls.

British police declined to comment on the reports.

Commander Richard Walton, head of the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command, said: “We have previously asked media outlets not to speculate about the details of our investigation on the basis that life is at risk.

“We are not going to confirm the identity of anyone at this stage or give an update on the progress of this live counter-terrorism investigation.”

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Jihadi John sightings

  • August 2014: Video in which US journalist James Foley is beheaded
  • September 2014: Video in which US journalist Steve Sotloff is apparently beheaded
  • September 2014: Video in which British aid worker David Haines is apparently beheaded
  • October 2014: Video in which British aid worker Alan Henning is apparently beheaded
  • November 2014: Video in which Emwazi is shown killing a Syrian soldier in a mass beheading, which also shows body of US aid worker, Abdul-Rahman Kassig, also known as Peter Kassig
  • January 2015: Video which appears to show the beheading of Japanese hostage Haruna Yukawa
  • January 2015: Video which appears to show the beheading of abducted Japanese journalist, Kenji Goto.
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More on This Story

Al-Qaeda documents uncovered in Osama Bin Laden’s Pakistani compound contained details of planned attack on UK soil, terror trial told

  • Papers presented at trial of Abid Naseer, 28, accused of bomb plots in UK
  • Documents were uncovered during special forces raid on house in 2011
  • Also included plans of attacks across Europe and U.S embassy in Moscow
  • Naseer is alleged to have planned attack on Manchester shopping centre
  • Pakistani national, deported in 2013, denies charges at court in Brooklyn
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The documents, allegedly found at the compound of Osama Bin Laden (left) were presented at the trial of Abid Naseer, 28 (right), who is accused of planning bomb attacks in Manchester, New York and Copenhagen

Plans for an attack on UK soil were found at the Pakistani compound of Osama Bin Laden when it was raided by U.S special forces in 2011, a terror trial has been told.

The Al-Qaeda paperwork, featuring correspondence from senior al-Qaeda operatives, also described planned attacks across Europe and Russia, including plans to bomb a pipeline or the U.S embassy in Moscow.

arndale Capture

Arndale Shopping Centre Manchester

The declassified papers were presented at the trial of Abid Naseer, who is accused of plotting to attack Manchester’s Arndale shopping centre in 2009.

The 28-year-old is alleged to have been at the helm of a British al-Qaeda terror cell that was part of a broader conspiracy ‘to repeat the devastation of 9/11′.

Prosecutors called it one of the most serious terror plots since the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington.

As well as blowing up the Arndale Centre, the terror group planned to set off bombs in the New York subway and at the offices of a Copenhagen newspaper that had published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, it is alleged.

Naseer, a former student in the UK studying English and computer science, denies the charges.

He is being tried in the United States because of the supposed link to the subway. He faces life in prison if he is convicted.

At today’s hearing in Brooklyn, New York, the documents were read to the court by an FBI linguist who translated them from Arabic.

The court was told how the documents discussed a range of al-Qaeda business, from operational tactics to training methods. They also offered suggestions on how to avoid detection by police or secret services, the court heard.

One letter stressed the importance of attacking the U.S. ‘in its heartland’ because it ‘has the most significance’ and ‘cannot be compared’ to an attack outside the country, the court heard.

Naseer, a former student in the UK studying English and computer science, is alleged to have been at the helm of a British al-Qaeda terror cell. He denies the charges

Naseer, a former student in the UK studying English and computer science, is alleged to have been at the helm of a British al-Qaeda terror cell. He denies the charges

The goal of an attack would be ‘to pressure 300 million Americans,’ who vote for their elected officials, to end the nation’s war against al-Qaeda and its goal of establishing an Islamic state, the letters said.

None of the letters mentioned Naseer by name, but the court was told they made a reference to the arrest of an alleged al-Qaeda operative, showing the intentions of the terror group.

Among the documents in the possession of the prosecutors is a letter sent to Bin Laden by senior aide Saleh Al-Somali.

‘We sent a number of brothers to Russia and Britain,’ the letter read, according to federal prosecutor Zainab Ahmad.

Those sent to the UK were given free rein to decide what to do when they got there, the court heard.

Through the letter, Bin Laden was then told things had gone smoothly but that there were concerns over a some terror suspects who had been held by British police, the court heard.

The letter read: ‘We have not ascertained if these had anything to do with us.’

Naseer was first arrested in 2009 in Britain with 11 other men suspected of preparing an attack against the Manchester mall, and was extradited to the United States from Britain in 2013.

The other men were released without charge, but Naseer was arrested again in July 2010 at the request of U.S prosecutors.

Yesterday, five British agents from MI5 gave evidence to the court about their surveillance of the 12 suspects in Manchester and Liverpool as part of what was called Operation Pathway.

They told how they given the suspects codenames – Small Panel, Glass Pendant, Happy Skater and Regional Difference. Small Panel was the name given to Naseer.

The trial continues.

source: Mail Online

Three arrested over child abuse in Rotherham and Sheffield

Three men have been arrested in connection with child abuse in Sheffield and Rotherham.

The trio, aged 21, 23 and 28, were held on suspicion of committing child sexual exploitation offences against underage girls between 2005 and 2009.

The 28-year-old and 23-year-old were arrested in the Hackenthorpe and Arbourthorne areas of Sheffield. The 21-year-old was arrested in Leeds.

The men are currently in police custody and will be questioned by detectives.

At least 1,400 children were subjected to appalling sexual exploitation in Rotherham, by Pakistani Muslim males ,between 1997 and 2013, a report published in August found.

Children as young as 11 were raped by multiple perpetrators, abducted, trafficked to other English cities, beaten and intimidated, the Jay reportsaid.

More on This Story

Related Stories

source : BBC NEWS

*Video* Egyptian Islamist Wagdi Ghoneim on Slaughter of Copts in Libya: Treachery Runs in Christians’ Blood

Wagdy Abd El Hamied Mohamed Ghoneim, shortened to Wagdy Ghoneim. He was imam at the Islamic Institute of Orange County, California. He gave lectures around the world, such as Hongkong, Middle East, etc.

In a statement uploaded to his personal YouTube channel on February 19, Egyptian Islamist, exiled in Turkey, Wagdi Ghoneim ranted against Coptic Egyptians in the wake of the slaughter of 21 Copts in Libya by ISIS. Ghoneim accused the Copts of staging a coup against former Egyptian President Morsi, and stated that “treachery runs in their blood.”

He seems to be unhappy too with some of his fellow Muslims! 

Egyptian cleric in exile Wagdi Ghoneim recently criticized Rachid Ghannouchi, founder of the Ennahda movement in Tunisia, saying that he preferred infidels to Islam. He further said: “The secularists in Tunisia are the filthiest and most stinking secularists I’ve ever seen.” The address was posted on the Internet on October 29, 2014.

Video: Egyptian cleric Wagdi Ghoneim: ‘Democracy is built on principles of heresy. Secularists are filthy.’

Palestinian organizations ordered to pay millions in compensation to US victims

In this July 31, 2002, file photo, workers clean the inside of a cafeteria hours after a bomb exploded at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, killing nine, four of them Americans, and wounding more than 70.

In this July 31, 2002, file photo, workers clean the inside of a cafeteria hours after a bomb exploded at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, killing nine, four of them Americans, and wounding more than 70.

 

A jury in the US has ordered Palestinian authorities to pay millions in compensation to American families for providing material support to terrorists. The case stems from attacks in Israel more than a decade ago.

The New York jury on Monday found the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Palestinian Authority (PA) to have provided material support to terrorists involved in six separate bombing and shooting attacks in Israel between 2002 and 2004. The attacks left 33 people dead and hundreds wounded (archive picture from one of the attacks, at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, shown above).

Israeli rescue workers tend to victims’ bodies from the scene of a Palestinian suicide bombing

The jury in Manhattan ordered the organizations to pay the 10 American families involved in the civil case a total of at least $218.5 million (192.6 million euros) in compensation. That sum could be tripled under the US Anti-Terrorism Act.

“Now the PLO and the PA know there is a price for supporting terrorism,” Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, told the Reuters news agency in an interview following the verdict.

Damages sought in US courts

Another attorney for the plaintiffs, Kent Yalowitz, welcomed the verdict despite it being more than $100 million short of what had been sought.

“This is a great day for our country, it’s a great day for those who fight terror, we’re so proud of our families who stood up,” Yalowitz told reporters.

The case is one of several in which Americans are turning to US courts to seek damages after becoming victims of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The attacks in this case were attributed to Hamas and the al-Aqsa Martyrs brigades, but lawyers for the plaintiffs cited records showing the attackers were kept on Palestinian Authority payrolls and that benefits were paid to the families of those who died committing the attacks.

It remained unclear if and how the defendants would pay, but Darshan-Leitner said the Palestinian Authority’s assets in the US and Israel would be targeted.

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Attorney Kent Yalowitz, representing those affected by attacks in Israel in the early 2000s

Palestinians to appeal

It was expected that the PLO and PA would appeal the verdict.

“The charges that were made against us are baseless,” Palestinian Deputy Minister of Information Mahmoud Khalifa said in a statement, adding that the case was politically motivated towards blocking a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Defense lawyers had argued that the perpetrators carried out the attacks independently.

“There is no conclusive evidence that the senior leadership of the PA or PLO were involved in planning or approving specific acts of violence,” defense lawyer Mark Rochon had earlier told the court. “What they [the attackers] did, they did for their own reasons… not the Palestinian Authority’s,” Rochon had said. The case had languished for years in the courts as defense attorneys challenged the court’s jurisdiction.

Last year a jury in Brooklyn found that the Jordan-based Arab Bank was liable for providing material support to Hamas, which has been blacklisted in the US as a terror organization.

The case comes as the International Criminal Court works through a preliminary investigation into possible war crimes committed in the Palestinian territories.

source: Deutsche Welle

New Islamic law sparks controversy in Austria

The Austrian parliament is expected to pass on Wednesday a law that either strengthens – or weakens – the Islamic religion’s status, depending on whom you talk to. Alison Langley reports from Vienna.

To the ruling coalition, the Islam Law could be a model for other European countries, according to a parliamentary statement by the Social Democrats of Austria and Austrian People’s Party.

For detractors, “Austria once was called a model in dealing with its Muslim population. I hope it can hold, but it’s really questionable,” Carla Amina Baghajati, a spokeswoman for the Islamic Religious Community (IGGOe), told DW.

At issue is an update of a 1912 law introduced by Habsburg Emperor Franz Josef when Austria-Hungary annexed Bosnia & Herzegovina. The rules gave Muslims many of the same rights, like religious education in state schools, as Catholics, Protestants and Jews.

But the Islamic community felt it didn’t go far enough. So a decade ago, they began to push for changes, in part because Protestant and Jewish laws were more exhaustive in their rights. The 100-year old Islamic Law was only a page and a half long. It was also because more and diverse Muslims were moving to the Alpine state.

Growing fast

Islam is the fastest growing religion in Austria. As of 2013, nearly seven percent of the population – 573,876 people – identify themselves as Muslim, up from 338,988 in 2001. In the capital Vienna, 12.5 percent of residents are Muslim.

That group encompasses a large variety of ethnicities and practices. Most Muslims in Austria are Turkish and Bosnians, but there are also many Arabs, Persians and Chechens. Each practices its own form of Islam. Alavis were recognized only in 2010.

There also have been tensions. According to the latest data, 190 people from Austria, mostly Chechens who had been granted asylum, have left the country to fight for extremist groups like the “Islamic State.” Austrian police have detained several minors already this year on suspicion of terrorism-related activities. And, in a high-profile case, two teenaged girls traveled to Syria last April to marry jihadists.

These developments, along with attacks in Paris and Copenhagen, have soured the negotiations for the updated law, Baghajati said.

Carla Amina Baghajaticopyright: privat

Carla Amina Baghajati is concerned about the implications for the Muslim community

“The Islam law has become a security law in the eyes of the public,” she said.

Restrictive measures

As passed through committee earlier this month, the law, among other things, will grant Muslims the right to take off holy days from work without penalty and to receive spiritual guidance while serving in the Army, in prison, in hospitals and care homes. They also will have the right to receive food that recognizes their religion.

But it also will restrict foreign financing of mosques and forbid foreign-funded Imams from preaching in Austria in future. The law would also encourage teaching essential beliefs in German, rather than, as is often the case, in Turkish. And, it reminds Muslims that state law takes precedence over religious beliefs, and reserves the right to revoke recognition of a community if the state believes the group does not follow the law.

“We want an Islam with an Austrian character,” Integration Minister Sebastian Kurz told public broadcaster ORF last October.

But those last two parts in the law are grating to Muslims. No other religious law restricts foreign financing and they point out that the Catholic Church receives funding from the Vatican, Protestants have gotten from Germany and the Jewish community gets some support from Israel and the USA.

Outside influence

“We don’t have the challenge (with other religions) that we have to worry about the influences from foreign nations and for that reason, we have to be a bit stricter about the financing from foreign countries in the case of Islam,” Kurz added.

austria new law Capture

Will the new law alienate Muslims in Austria?

Alexandra Hopf, a spokeswoman for the Social Democratic Party, said one reason for the changes is that throughout the last 100 years, Islam had not become integrated in the country in a way they had hoped.

The government of Turkey continues to finance a large number of Imams, who live in Austria for only a limited period, do not learn German and continue to preach in Turkish, for example.

“There was too much political influence,” Hopf said. “We want to see Imams trained here, to preach in German, to understand our culture.”

Will it work?

The Islamic community said they also objected to wording that state law takes precedence over religious rules, a phrase that does not exist elsewhere. “It’s as if they believe Sharia law will take over Austria,” Baghajati said. “We’ve said over and over in countless statements that we stand for pluralism, rule of law and equality.”

Austrian officials said they are proud of the new law.

“It took a long time,” Hopf said. “It’s been discussed intensively and we are proud of it. We believe it anchors Islam to our nation.”

Baghajati is not as confident. Many Muslim leaders have discussed possibly taking parts of the law to the nation’s constitutional court, but no final decisions have been taken.

“The old law was meaningful to Muslims. It gave us deeply emotional ties to Austria,” she said. “After this new law is passed, I’m not sure if Muslims will still feel the same strong emotional bond.”

SOURCE: Deutsche Welle

French citizens told to get out of Yemen ‘as fast as possible’!

Yemen: Hollande urges release of French woman

Soldiers guard the French embassy in Yemen, which was closed earlier this month. Photo: AFP

President François Hollande has called for the immediate release of a French woman who was kidnapped in Yemen on Tuesday.

Earlier statement from the foreign ministry read: “Unfortunately we can confirm the kidnapping this morning of a French national in Sanaa, who was working for an international organisation.

“The crisis center at the Foreign Ministry is in contact with her family. All our services are mobilized to locate and secure the release of our compatriot.”

The foreign ministry also reiterated that all French citizens should leave the country
“Given the deteriorating security situation in Yemen, we renew our firm recommendation that we made two weeks ago for all our compatriots to leave the country as soon as possible,” the statement said.
On February 11th France called on its 100 or so citizens to leave Yemen and said it would close its embassy over mounting security fears in the country.”Given the recent political developments and for reasons of security, the embassy invites you to leave Yemen temporarily, as soon as possible, by taking commercial flights at your convenience,” said the French embassy in Sanaa.

“This embassy will close, temporarily and until further notice, from February 13, 2015,” added the mission on its website.

France’s move follows similar action by Britain and the United States, which have pulled out their ambassadors as a security crisis grips the country.

Yemen has failed to achieve stability since long-time president Ali Abdullah Saleh stepped down in early 2012 after a bloody year-long popular uprising.

It is battling an Al-Qaeda insurgency and facing a separatist movement in the formerly independent south.

Islamic State ‘abducts 90 Christians in Syria’

Islamic State militants have kidnapped 90 Christians in north-east Syria as the jihadis retreated in the face of a Kurdish counter-offensive, a monitoring group has said.

The reported kidnappings are the latest blow to the Christian presence in the region, heightening insecurity after a video was released by militants claiming allegiance to Isis that purported to show the beheading of 21 Egyptian Copts in Libya.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said 90 Assyrian Christians were kidnapped by Isis near Tal Tamr. There was heavy fighting in the area between Isis and the YPG, the US-led coalition-backed Kurdish militia that beat back an advance on the border town of Kobani last month.

The YPG has launched a counter-offensive to retake Isis-held villages in the north-eastern Syrian countryside.

The rights monitoring group said its sources on the ground had overheard Isis militants on wireless radios refer to the captives as “crusaders”, the same term used by militants to describe the Egyptian Copts apparently killed in Libya.

Map showing Tal Tamr and Hassakeh province in Syria

Map showing Tal Tamr and Hassakeh province in Syria…..Islamic State (IS) has abducted dozens of Assyrian Christians from villages in north-eastern Syria, activists say.

Isis militants have often singled out Christians and minorities for persecution. Thousands of Christians fled Iraq’s Mosul and Nineveh after Isis’s lightning advance last summer, fleeing their ancestral homelands amid reports of forced conversions. Many took refuge in Kurdish-held territories or in Lebanon. The Isis rampage through Iraq’s Nineveh plains cleared Chaldean Christians and other minorities from areas in which they had co-existed for more than 2,000 years

The jihadi group was especially brutal towards the ancient Yazidi minority in Iraq,attempting to starve thousands who were stranded on Mount Sinjar, north-west of Mosul. It also sold many hundreds of Yazidi women into slavery and forced others to marry.

Coalition air strikes had earlier targeted Isis fighters near the Syrian Kurdish stronghold of Qamishli on the Turkish border.

More than 1,600 people, the vast majority of them from Isis, have been killed by the US-led coalition air strikes in Syria, according to SOHR. Many of the jihadi casualties took place in the Kurdish town of Kobani, on the Turkish border, where Isis estimates its losses to be at least 1,400.

source : The Guardian

Two UK servicemen ‘killed by friendly fire’ in Afghanistan

(l-r) Captain Tom Sawyer, of the Royal Artillery, and Corporal Danny Winter, of the Royal Marines

Capt Tom Sawyer, of the Royal Artillery (L), and Cpl Danny Winter, of the Royal Marines (r), died in 2009

Two UK servicemen died in Afghanistan when they were mistakenly targeted with an anti-tank missile in a “friendly fire” incident, an inquest has heard.

Capt Tom Sawyer, 26, from Hertfordshire, and Cpl Danny Winter, 28, of Stockport, died in the explosion in central Helmand in January 2009.

Coroner David Ridley said the missile had been fired by Gurkhas under a Danish commander’s orders.

The pair were killed on a rooftop close to Forward Operation Base Gibraltar.

They were providing fire support for an operation clearing Taliban compounds, north-east of Gereshk, when the incident happened.

It was believed it involved a Javelin anti-tank missile, Mr Ridley said.

The missile itself was fired by former Lance Corporal Premkuma Sherpa, supported by Rifleman Bhaj Kumar Gurung, on the order of the Danish lieutenant, referred to as Soldier A, the inquest heard.

The coroner explained that the British forces had been involved in a joint operation with a Danish battle group.

The Danish soldiers had declined to attend the inquest in Salisbury, Wiltshire, Mr Ridley said, and their evidence would be given by means of witness statements.

Training

Major Robert Taylor, chief instructor in Javelin training for the anti-tank division at Warminster, Wiltshire, at the time of the incident, told the inquest that the weapon’s primary purpose was to defeat enemy armoured vehicles.

He said soldiers had told him that it was also being used as an “anti-personnel weapon” from as early as 2006.

Troops were not given specific training for this, he said, and the training programme had not been changed despite this feedback.

British soldiers in Helmand

British forces faced fierce battles over a number of years in Helmand

He explained the Javelin system had only a single viewfinder, unlike armoured vehicles.

This meant only the person firing the weapon could see the target and commanders would often ask to view the target before the shot was fired.

‘Our hero’

Maj Taylor said the Danish officer who ordered the firing would not have been trained in its use.

He said the weapon was not “user-friendly” to those who were not trained.

“The essential point is the engagement shouldn’t occur unless there is a high degree of confidence that the target is a viable enemy,” he said.

Capt Sawyer, of the Royal Artillery, had been deployed as a fire support team commander attached to Zulu Company, 45 Commando Royal Marines.

Cpl Winter was a specialist mortar fire controller and was serving with the mortar troop of the same company.

Two other members of the patrol were injured in the explosion, which happened on 14 January, 2009.

In a statement released after his death, Capt Sawyer’s family paid tribute to him as “our hero.”

Lt Col Jim Morris, commanding officer, 45 Commando Group, described Cpl Winter as an “exceptional, clear thinking” Royal Marine.

‘Culture concerns’Lt Col Andrew Muddiman, who was based at Forward Operation Base (Fob) Gibraltar, described it as the “wild frontier” as it was surrounded by Taliban hideouts.

The Danish troops were based in the more secure location of Gereshk town.

He said: “The enemy had mined and booby-trapped around the Fob.

“Just by stepping out of the door we risked stepping on something and the Taliban owned the night.”

Lt Col Muddiman said that the British troops had a “good working relationship” with their Danish counterparts although there were some concerns about “different cultures and expectations”.

The inquest, which is to last for two weeks, was adjourned until Tuesday.

More on This Story

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source: BBC NEWS

 

 

[Watch] BOOM! Rudy Giuliani Destroys Obama’s Policies on Islam and Lack of Leadership

Scroll down for videos:

Rudy Giuliani is back in the public eye this past week after speaking at the Iranian-American Community symposium in Phoenix, Arizona earlier this month. The event titled “Countering Islamic Fundamentalism, and a Nuclear-Armed Iran” featured the former New York City mayor who came out blasting President Obama’s handling of Middle East foreign relations.

Speaking with rage at times, Mr. Giuliani hammered the President by comparing him to the way former President Jimmy Carter handled the Iranian hostage crisis stating all it took was for a President Reagan to be “sworn in to get those hostages back.”

A few days after making this fiery speech, Giuliani came out swinging again. This time speaking at a private dinner in Manhattan that featured potential 2016 Republican candidate Scott Walker. His quote “I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America” has made huge waves all over the media of late.

These remarks have provoked criticism from other Republicans such as another potential 2016 candidate, Rand Paul, who said it was a “mistake to question people’s motives. It’s one thing to disagree on policy” said Paul, but Paul isn’t interested in questioning whether or not Obama is a “good or bad American”. And while the President’s foreign policy may be making the U.S. less safe, Paul didn’t think it was a constructive argument to the debate the question of whether or not he is “well intentioned.”

One thing is for sure, Rudy Giuliani can still make waves in the national debate. His remarks are now being discussed all over the web and anyone who is even thinking about running for President in 2016 better be ready to have a response to them.

source: gopthedailydose.com/

Misquotation at the White House: Summit on Violent Extremism Opens With Muslim Prayer – No Other Faiths Represented

Obama Regime Summit on so-called ‘Violent Extremism’ opens with Muslim Prayer – NO OTHER FAITHS represented – even FBI Director was excluded

Imam Sheikh Sa'ad Musse Roble

Imam Sheikh Sa’ad Musse Roble, president of the World Peace Organization in Minneapolis, Minn. (CNSNews.com/Penny Starr)

(CNSNews.com) – A Muslim prayer was recited at the start of the second day of the White House summit on “Countering Violent Extremism,” but no other religious text was presented during the portion of the event that was open to the press.

Imam Sheikh Sa’ad Musse Roble, president of the World Peace Organization in Minneapolis, Minn., recited a “verse from the Quran” following remarks by Obama administration officials and Democratic members of Congress.

And what was the verse?…

Imam Abdisalam Adam of the Islamic Civil Society of America offered a translation of the verses:

“In translation those verses of the Quran mean ‘Whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption in the land, it’s as if he has slain mankind entirely, and whoever saves one life, it’s as if he has saved mankind entirely,’” Adam said.

Really?

Nope!

The full verse is at 5:32 -

Because of that, We decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one – it is as if he had saved mankind entirely. And our messengers had certainly come to them with clear proofs. Then indeed many of them, [even] after that, throughout the land, were transgressors.

It’s originally Jewish.  From Tractate Sanhedrin 37A.

whitehouse summit Capture

sources: CNS News.com / Arutz Sheeva / Yisrael Medad / gopthedailydose.com

The return of Jew-hatred

TOULOUSE, Brussels, Paris and now Copenhagen. The list of European cities where Jews have lately been murdered for being Jews grows longer. It adds poignancy that this should happen in Denmark, which saved most of its Jews from the Nazis by helping them flee to Sweden. There are many smaller outrages, such as the desecration of Jewish graves. And what to make of Roland Dumas, a former French foreign minister, who claims that Manuel Valls, the prime minister, acts under “Jewish influence” because his wife is Jewish?

No wonder Jews in Europe ask themselves questions they hoped had been banished long ago: is it safe to wear a kippah (skullcap), send one’s children to Jewish schools or attend synagogue? And, given the rise of populist and far-right groups, is it time to leave Europe ?

Such worries are understandable, but they need to be put in context. The shooting at the Great Synagogue on Krystalgade does not herald another Kristallnacht. Jews are targets, but so are groups of non-Jews: commuters, off-duty soldiers and, above all, cartoonists. The jihadists are shooting at all Europe’s liberties: not just the right of Jews to assert their identity, but the right of all Europeans to speak about religion, even to give offence. When Israel’s prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, says that he is preparing for “mass immigration from Europe”, he is partly posturing ahead of next month’s election.

To state the obvious, Europe does not have state-sponsored pogroms or discriminatory Nuremberg laws. In western Europe Jews are more integrated than ever; often their real worry is of decline through assimilation. In much of the east, there has been a flowering of Jewish life since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Berlin itself boasts Europe’s fastest-growing Jewish community. The far right in Hungary really is anti-Semitic, but in France and the Netherlands these days populists now abjure anti-Semitism, even as they denounce Muslim migrants.

Moving to Israel may fulfil a religious, cultural or political longing for some Jews—but it is hardly safer. As the Danish chief rabbi rightly put it, emigrating to Israel should be out of love, not fear. European democracies must ensure that this remains so. Given their dire history of Jew-hatred—from the Norwich blood libel in 1144 to the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492 to the Nazi Holocaust—Europeans must be ever-vigilant against any sign of anti-Semitism, whether of the old endemic Christian sort or the newer Islamist variety.

Like all Europeans, Jews must be able to live free from the fear of violence. This means greater protection for Jewish institutions. Security forces must try to protect innumerable soft targets, and these days these almost always include Jews. More broadly, European governments must redouble their effort against jihadists in their midst: better intelligence to identify potential attackers, especially in prisons where criminality meets Islamic radicalism; measures to prevent citizens from joining jihadists in Syria and elsewhere; and policies to deradicalise as many as possible of those who return and to limit their access to firearms and explosives.

The balance of freedoms
The dilemma for European governments is to defend free speech while curbing anti-Semitic hate-speech, particularly when uttered by Muslim minorities that feel themselves to be victims of Islamophobia, often with good cause. A measured public discourse about Israel would help. There are fuzzy but real boundaries between anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism and rightful criticism of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. Jews collectively are not responsible for the actions of Israel; legitimate censure of Israeli occupation policies should not extend to delegitimising Israel as a refuge for Jews. Likewise, it would be wise to distinguish between the faith practised by most Muslims and the jihadist justification of barbarity.

By proximity and make-up of its population, Europe is bound to feel the upheavals of the Middle East. Its task is to show that tolerance can be maintained in the face of bloodshed. The jihadists detest few things more than the sight of European Muslims declaring “Je suis Charlie Hebdo”.

Source: www.economist.com

See on Scoop.itUNITED CRUSADERS AGAINST ISLAMIFICATION OF THE WEST

Organizer of Muslim Synagogue “Peace Ring” Gave “Why I Hate Jews” Speech

A lot of media outlets have fallen for the story of Muslims organizing to protect a synagogue. It’s a great media op scene, but it ignores the fact that synagogues need protection because of Muslim anti-Semitism.

There are a number of myths already  circulating about it. Here’s how a local described the event.

“Well, I was there, and it wasn’t 1000 muslims. It was 1300 people in total of which almost everyone looked like ethnic Norwegians. The people holding hands are media staged – they had barriers in front with an entry checkpoint with 10 guards or so, and allowed a small number of muslims inside together with the Jewish congregation.”

So innermost the synagogue with 50 or so Jews, then this semicircle of 20 or so muslims, then the barriers and guards and police, then a mostly Norwegian crowd.

ring of prorection 2 Capture

He posted this clarifying photo.

The peace ring makes Muslims look good and was co-organized by a Muslim who trafficked in anti-Semitism.

Let’s begin with the media hype.

More than 1,000 people have formed a “ring of peace” outside Oslo’s main synagogue at the initiative of a group of young Muslims.

The event in the Norwegian capital follows a series of attacks against Jews in Europe, including the killing of a Jewish security guard and a Danish film maker by a Muslim gunman in neighboring Denmark last week.

So heartwarming. Muslim anti-Semitism must be some sort of myth. Or the peace ring is.

Several hundred people gathered at a Norwegian synagogue to support Jews at an event which drew praise but also criticism because of an organizer’s anti-Israel and anti-Jewish statements.

But some members of his community said the event was tainted because of anti-Semitic statements that one of its eight organizers made in 2008, and because he said this week that he dislikes people who support Israel.

Ali Chishti confirmed on Saturday in an interview with Verdens Gang, a highbrow Norwegian newspaper, that he delivered on March 22, 2008, in Oslo a speech on the alleged involvement of Jews in planning the 9/11 Twin Towers bombings in New York. The speech’s title was: ”Therefore I Hate Jews and Gays,” the paper reported, though Chishti said he was not the one who came up with the title.

The Jews must have come up with it. Because Ali really, really hated Jews.

“Yes, it was right to let Mohammed Ali Chishti speak at the dialogue meeting on March 22nd, and to let him shout out his anti-Semitic rhetoric. Not only had I read the speach beforehand, I had also prepared the Jewish congregation about its contents. And it was I who asked Chisti to speak of how he and the others shouted “death to the Jews” in the demonstrations.

No, really.

“I hate Jews, and how they operate and I will furthermore elaborate on why I hold such beliefs… It is raised beyond doubt that Jews are in a minority in the world. A very small minority, yet it cannot be disguised that they are among the most powerful. It is NOT wrong to be powerful, but to abuse ones power, to use illegal means, to use unnecessary military power against civilians, and to behave in a arrogant and barbaric manner is in violation of international law and the human rights. It is a fact that during the attacks on the Twin Towers [World Trade Center] 1600 Jews were absent from work. OK, OK, what’s even more suspicious, is how unusually many Jews there were present in Mumbai on the day that Pakistani terrorists struck. How come?”

Notice the “I Hate Jews” part.

Chisti claims that today he no longer believes this stuff and no one wants to let it ruin the good feelings produced by the illusion of the peace ring.

source: FrontPage Mag

What is Halal ?

halal global Capture

Halal is a Quranic word meaning lawful or permitted. In reference to food, it is the dietary standard, as prescribed in the Quran the Muslim scripture. General Quranic guidance dictates that all foods are Halal except those that are specifically mentioned as Haram (unlawful or Prohibited).

The life of a Muslim revolves around the concept of Halal. A Muslim must earn income from Halal sources, be involved only in Halal transactions and consume Halal food and drink.

This is a thinly veiled attempt to promote the spread of sharia in non-Muslim countries. Islamist zeal is exploiting commercial gain as part of its unrelenting mission to conquer the world for Islam. The tactics used in this video are deplorable, twisting the truth and using the worst methods of slick advertising to convince the non-Muslims of the supposed advantage of halal products.

THE BIBLE FORBIDS CHRISTIANS TO CONSUME MEAT THAT HAS BEEN SLAUGHTERED TO IDOLS:

Acts 21:25 As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded … that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication.

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CONCEPT OF HALAL (Islamic Council of Queensland)

Islamic-Council-of-Queensland-Logo

Staying away from Haram for the Muslim, particularly in non-Islamic society is a life-long struggle. But, if a Muslim tries sincerely, Allah Ta’ala makes this effort easy. It is obvious that Muslims should seek an education and training for themselves and for their children. Education of Muslim children cannot be complete if it fails to inculcate in them a strong faith in the superiority of Halal practices.

All foods are made lawful according to Muslim Scripture, The Glorious Qur-an;

O ye who believe! Eat of the good things wherewith We have provided you and render thanks to Allah, if it is He whom we worship (Qur-an Chapter II Verse 172).

The unlawful foods are specifically mentioned in the Glorius Qur-an, in the following verses;

He hath forbidden you only carrion and blood and swine flesh and that which hath been immolated to any other than Allah.. (Quran Chapter II , Verse 173)

Forbidden unto you (for food) are: carrion, and blood, and swine flesh, and that which hath been dedicated unto any other than Allah, and the strangled, and the dead through beating, and the dead through falling from a height, and that hath been killed by the gorging of horns, and the devoured of wild beasts saving that which ye make lawful and that which hath been immolated to idols, and that ye swear by the divining arrows.

“Forbidden to you is anything that dies by itself, and blood and pork, as well as whatever has been consecrated to something besides Allah, and whatever has been strangled, beaten to death, trapped in a pit, gored, and what some beast of prey has begun to eat, unless you give it the final blow; and what has been slaughtered before some idol, or what you divide up in a raffle; (all) that is immoral!” (5:3)

This is an abomination… (Chapter V, Verse 3)

Consumption of alcohol and other methods of intoxication are prohibited to following guidance in Qur-an;

O ye who believe! Strong drinks and games of chance, and idols and divining arrows are only an infamy of Satan’s handiwork, leave it aside in order that ye may succeed (Chapter V, Verse 90).

Meat is the only regulated of the food groups, Not only are blood, pork, and the meat of dead animals or those immolated to other than Allah strongly prohibited, it is also required that the halal animals be slaughtered while pronouncing the name of Allah at the time of slaughter.

Eat of that over which the name of Allah hath been mentioned, if ye are believers in his revelations (Chapter VI Verse 119).

And eat not of that whereon Allah’s name hath not been mentioned, for lo! it is abomination. Lo! The devils do inspire their minions to dispute with you. But if ye obey them, ye will be in truth idolators (Chapter VI Verse 122).

Islam is not a mere religion. It is a way of life with rules and manners governing every facet of life. Since food is an important part of daily life, food laws carry a special significance.

Muslims are expected to eat for survival, to maintain good health and not to live for eating. In Islam, eating is considered to be a matter of worship of God like prayer, fasting, alms-giving and other religious activities.

Muslim eats to maintain a strong and healthy physique in order to be able to contribute his knowledge and effort for the welfare of the society. Muslims are supposed to make an effort to obtain the best quality nutritionally.

It is mentioned in a Hadith that the Du’aa (prayer) of a person is rejected by Allah if his food is haraam. Another Hadith states that Jahannam (hell-fire) is more deserving of the flesh which has been nourished with haraam.

The basic principle is that all things created by God are permitted, with a few exceptions that are specifically prohibited.

To make lawful and unlawful is the right of God alone. No human being, no matter how pious or powerful, may take this into his hands. Falsely representing unlawful as lawful is prohibited. It is unlawful to legalise God’s prohibitions by excuses.

Prohibiting what is permitted by God and permitting what is prohibited by God is similar to ascribing partners with God.

The reason for the prohibition is due to impurity and harmfulness. Good intentions do not make the unlawful acceptable.

That is permitted is sufficient and what is prohibited is then harmful, God prohibited only things that are harmful while providing better alternatives.

HALAL CONCEPT

Within the Islamic religion, a strong emphasis is placed on cleanliness – both spiritually and in the context of food and drink. For a food or drink product to be approved for consumption it must conform to the Islamic dietary laws as specified in the Qur’an, the Hadith (sayings) of the Prophet Muhammad, his Sunnah (tradition) and in the Fiqh (understanding) of the Islamic Jurists: Hanafi, Shafi’, Maliki and Hambali. The Qur’an has numerous injunctions instructing Muslims to choose and consume good and wholesome foodstuffs.

In the selection of food and drink, Islam has laid down three very important guidelines, namely;

  • Whether the consumption of the foodstuff is prohibited by Allah,
  • Whether the foodstuff is obtained through Halal or Haram means, and
  • Whether or not the material is harmful to health.

There are several factors that determine the Halal/Haram status of a particular foodstuff. Amongst others, it is dependent on its nature, how it was processed and where it originated from.

As an example, any pig product is considered Haram because the material itself is Haram. Whereas beef from an animal that has not been slaughtered according to Islamic rites would still be considered Haram.

Also Haram is food that has been stolen or acquired through unethical means. Islam also prohibits the usage of any materials that are detrimental to the spiritual or mental well-being of a person, such as alcoholic drinks and drugs.

The concept of Halal in Islam has very specific motives;

  • To preserve the purity of religion
  • To safeguard the Islamic mentality
  • To preserve life
  • To safeguard property
  • To safeguard future generations
  • To maintain self-respect and integrity.

Islam encourages its followers to choose Halal foods. This awareness is always propagated in Muslim societies and is strengthened by the widespread knowledge extolling the virtues of consuming clean and Halal foods.

Due to advancements in food technology and distribution, Muslims are more exposed to various ingredients and manufactured foods imported into Muslim countries.

The most common of these are food additives, gelatine, emulsifiers and rennet in cheese manufacture. The Muslim community would like to know whether or not the addition, the ingredients or the finished foods contain any Haram substance.

These products can become Halal if the raw materials are Halal and the process is compatible with the Islamic way.

To determine the Halal-Haram status of foodstuffs and other material,

Islam has laid general guidelines on this matter, namely:
  1. All raw materials and ingredients used must be Halal.
  2. Naturally Halal animals such as cattle, goats etc., must be slaughtered according to Islamic rites, the rituals specify that the act must be performed by a mentally sound Muslim, to sever the blood and respiratory channels of the animal, using a sharp cutting tool such as knife.
  3. The Halal ingredients must not be mixed, or come into contact with haram materials such as products from pig or dog during storage, transport, cooking, serving etc.

It must be understood that the production of Halal food is not only beneficial to Muslims, but also to food producers, by means of increased market acceptance of their products.

Manufacturers and exporters of Halal products can receive Halal certification for their products from AFIC.

HALAL

In general every food is considered lawful in Islam unless it is specially prohibited by the Qu’ran or the Hadith. By official definition, Halal foods are those that are:

  • Free from any component that Muslims are prohibited from consuming according to Islamic law.
  • Processed, made, produced, manufactured and or stored using utensils, equipment and/or machinery that have been cleansed according to Islamic law.
Animal Kingdom:

This includes land animals and marine animals. All freshwater and saltwater animals (those which live in water all the time) are permitted unless they are harmful to health.

There is no requirement to slaughter the marine animals.

The Plant Kingdom:

All products derived from plants are lawful for Muslim consumption except when fermented to contain alcohol, or when containing intoxicants or ingredients otherwise harmful to humans.

The Mineral Kingdom:

Generally safe substances derived from mineral or petroleum sources are Halal except those which might become intoxicating or those which pose a health hazard.

Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering in Halal Foods:

Biotechnology and bioengineering have started to reshape the food production, questions are being asked about the permissibility of foods produced using this technique.

Islam is a viable religion for all times and such issues are being reviewed on a case to case basis by the Muslim scholars. Biotechnology covers a wide range of biological science activities and may lead to a large number of different applications for the food industry and our food supply.

Bacterial Fermentation and their products:

Many useful products can be made by having bacteria produce them in fermentation tanks. Muslim religion is concerned with the actual components of these fermentation vats.

Fermentation process has been used to produce cheese, bread, fermented milk, vinegar and many other products for the millennia. Muslims consider the fermentation process to be useful for food production.

It is the use of product thus produced that is permitted or prohibited according to the scriptures.

If purified food chemicals through biotechnological techniques have traditional equivalents that are halal, they are also halal.

Consequently, products such a monosodium glutamate, citric acid and lactic acid are produced through biotechnology are halal provided they are free from prohibited contaminants.

Gene Products (Transgenically Produced Enzymes and Cultures):

Enzymes are widely used as biological catalysis in the food industry.

Some enzyme cultures are used internally in food products like bread and cheese, while other are used in intermediary media to carry out reactions to produce certain food products.

There are two distinct benefits of biotechnology reaped by the food industry;

Firstly by the biotechnology products have improved yields and decreased batch to batch variations in enzyme characteristics compared with those from traditional sources. Consequently, the cost of production for these food ingredients has decreased.

Secondly in some cases where traditional sources of such enzyme culture were unacceptable to Muslim consumers transgenically produced enzymes are permitted for use in the production of Halal foods.

For example bovine rennet produced from calves that have not been slaughtered according to Muslim requirements is not accepted by Muslim. Where as chymosin (the main enzyme found in rennet) produced microbally through transcription from the bovine chymisin gene is universally accepted by Muslims.

Free from contamination while prepared or processed with anything considered Najis (filthy).

HARAM

ACCORDING TO THE CURRENT ISLAMIC THINKING, THE FOLLOWING ARE CONSIDERED NAJIS AND THEREFORE HARAM (UNLAWFUL, PROHIBITED):

  • Swine including all by-products.
  • Insects considered ugly or filthy such as worms, lice, flies, etc.
  • Animals with fangs such as tigers, lions, cats etc,
  • Birds that have talons with which they catch their prey such as owls, eagles, etc.
  • Animals which Islam encourages to kill such as scorpions, centipedes, rats etc,
  • Dogs
  • Animals which Islam forbids to kill such as bees etc.
  • Animals which have toxins, poisons or produce ill effects when eaten such as some fish etc.
  • Amphibian animals such as crocodiles, turtles, frogs etc.
  • Meat (limbs, tails etc.) which have been cut from a live animal.
  • Lawful animals not slaughtered according to Islamic rites. (Fish is exempt from slaughtering).
  • Carrion or dead animals.

PLANT AND THEIR PRODUCTS.

  • Poisonous Plant
  • Intoxicating Plant

LIQUIDS AND THEIR PRODUCTS.

  • Poisonous drinks
  • Intoxicating drinks

OTHER MATTERS AND THEIR PRODUCTS.

  • Faeces and urine
  • Placental tissue
  • Blood

Halal Sources

Products made from the following substances are Halal unless containing or come into contact with a Haram substance

  • All plant and their products
  • Certified Halal meat, poultry, game birds and animals.
  • All water creatures, fish, crustaceans and molluscs.
  • Egg from acceptable birds only.
  • Rennet from certified Halal slaughtered calves
  • Non animal rennet (NAR, culture)
  • Gelatine produced from beef skins and/or bones,
  • Animal ingredients certified Halal

300 jobs under threat at Welsh poultry plant : Why?

Hundreds of jobs are at risk at the 2 Sisters Llangefni chicken processing factory, it has been reported.

Union leaders have been called to a meeting at the 2 Sisters poultry processing plant at Llangefni on Monday to discuss potential redundancies.

Around 800 people work at the site, including a number of agency workers.

The company confirmed some roles were at risk of redundancy as it looked to “simplify” its business to sustain the quality of its products.

Perhaps this has more to to with the fact that in July of 2014 a safety audit of the Welsh chicken factory was ordered by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt following an investigation that uncovered alleged hygiene failings at two processing plants.

Could it be that following the scandal the major retailers cancelled their orders in order to distance themselves from any backlash? Our Food Industry needs to be more carefully monitored especially where Halal meats are concerned.

In fact halal meat production should be banned from the main stream food industry ,after all the UK and Europe are mainly non-Muslim countries .

Why should a minority group in our countries dictate what is available in our supermarkets and on our dinner tables ?

It is high time our governments stopped toadying to Islam and enforced compulsory CLEAR labeling of halal instead of hiding it under a load of confusing EU Numbers!

2 sisters meat Capture

 Many of 2 Sisters products are Halal certified.

A safety audit of a Welsh chicken factory was ordered by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt following an investigation that uncovered alleged hygiene failings at two processing plants last year.

Alleged incidents including a factory floor flooded with the guts of chickens and carcasses coming into contact with workers’ boots and then being returned to the production line, as reported  by the Guardian at that time.

The newspaper said its report, related to allegations at 2 Sisters Food Group, of Llangefni, Anglesey, who supply fresh chicken and chicken for ready meals to supermarkets and farms, along with an abattoir owned by Faccenda, which supplies a supermarket and restaurants.

The newspaper said its report was based on undercover footage, photographic evidence and information from whistleblowers over five months relating to industry hygiene standards to prevent the contamination of chicken with the campylobacter bug.

Campylobacter

Campylobacter is the most common form of food poisoning in the UK. Photograph: Alamy

Following the publication of the evidence, three of the UK’s major supermarkets – Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer – launched investigations into their chicken supplies.

The most recent figures from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) suggested that 65% of raw shop-bought chicken was contaminated with campylobacter, the most common identified cause of food poisoning in the UK with symptoms including diarrhoea and stomach cramps.

Although cooking chicken properly kills the bug, it is responsible for more than 300,000 cases of food poisoning and 15,000 hospitalisations a year in England and Wales.chicken outlets Capture

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2703442/Chickens-picked-floor-washed-filthy-water-sold-supermarket-Investigation-launched-claims-contaminated-poultry-sold-high-street.html

A Tesco spokeswoman said: “Providing safe food is our first priority, so we take these allegations of poor practice against one of our suppliers extremely seriously, and have launched an immediate investigation.

“Customers can be assured that we conduct our own stringent quality checks on fresh chicken received from suppliers before it is placed on shelves, so we can be confident that it meets our very high quality and safety standards.”

M&S said in a statement: “We take food safety very seriously and regularly audit all of our suppliers to ensure they meet our strict codes of practise.

“We do not tolerate any alleged breach of our standards and have launched an immediate investigation into these allegations.

“This is an industry issue that we are working with the FSA on and leading the industry on a comprehensive plan to eliminate campylobacter.

“We’ve provided advice for customers, launched new packaging for chicken and funded trials and projects on reducing campylobacter – all of which is independently monitored.”

A Sainsbury’s spokeswoman said: “Customers rightly expect our food to be of the highest safety standards and can be confident in the safety of products bought from our stores.

“We perform regular independent and in-house checks to ensure these standards are met and are investigating these allegations with 2 Sisters.

“All of our chicken products are labelled with cooking instructions and clear food safety advice.”

AS FOR THE 300 REDUNDANCIES?… MANY OF THE WORKERS MAY NOT EVEN BE IN THIS COUNTRY LEGALLY!(video below:)

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The victim

Julie Wilson believes she contracted camplyobacter after eating chicken. She then developed Guillain-Barré syndrome, an autoimmune disease that can be a rare complication of campylobacter

“I fell ill on a Wednesday evening, within 12 hours of my son experiencing food poisoning. It happened quite quickly after eating a meal. We had very bad stomach cramps and diarrhoea, and felt hot and cold. I couldn’t hold anything in my system, even water.

“I called a doctor after three days. I gave a stool sample and on Sunday evening he rang to say it was campylobacter. I remember picking up the antibiotics and thinking that things would pick up, but they didn’t for me.

“By the following day, I was walking like a puppet. I had strange sensations and I couldn’t place my right foot properly. I thought I had just been lying on my back for too long and had hurt a nerve. The day after that I couldn’t get out of bed. Within the space of 24 hours the feeling of numbness and tingling had gone from my toes to my knees, and in the next 24 from my knees to my hips.

“I was admitted to hospital and they started treatment, but I was already completely helpless. I had double vision and had lost the ability to use my bladder and my hands. I was on a heart monitor and they were checking my chest muscles every four hours, day and night.

“Before campylobacter, I was perfectly healthy. I’d given birth to two healthy boys, I skied, I walked everywhere and I did Zumba classes. I took it all for granted, like most of us do.

“Campylobacter has left me disabled – that’s how people see me as soon as they see my stick. I can’t walk properly – I can’t stand for very long, wear high heels or run. I don’t feel properly from the hips down and my balance is quite impaired. I still go for a walk in the woods, but I have to look down all the time to keep my balance.”

chicken

Two Thirds Of Supermarket Chicken  Contaminated With Campylobacter

An official study published in 2009 found two thirds of all fresh chicken on shelves was contaminated

bon appetit Capture

Why homeless Britons are turning to the Sikh community for food

Two women prepare food

Homeless people in the UK are getting free meals thanks to a centuries-old Sikh tradition. Why, asks Rajeev Gupta.

“We come here because we get food… A hot meal. It’s a luxury for me.” John Davidson is 55 and homeless. He is one of 250 people who have just received a hand-out of hot soup, drinks, chocolate bars and other supplies from the Sikh Welfare and Awareness Team van parked up on the Strand in central London on a cold Sunday evening. The Swat team, as they’re known, park at the same spot every week so a group of volunteers from the Sikh community can hand out vital supplies. Homeless people, who overwhelmingly are not Sikh, patiently wait in line to be served.

People queue up for food

For the volunteers handing out food here, this is more than just good charitable work. For them this is a religious duty enshrined by the founder of the Sikh religion, Guru Nanak, over 500 years ago. At a time of deep division by caste and religious infighting between Hindus and Muslims in India, Guru Nanak called for equality for all and set forward the concept of Langar – a kitchen where donated produce, prepared into wholesome vegetarian curry by volunteers, is freely served to the community on a daily basis.

Today, thousands of free Langar meals are served everyday in Sikh temples throughout the UK. The Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara in Southall, thought to be the biggest Sikh temple outside of India, says it alone serves 5,000 meals on weekdays and 10,000 meals on weekends. Every Sikh has the duty to carry out Seva, or selfless service, says Surinder Singh Purewal, a senior member of the temple management team. “It means we’re never short of donations or volunteers to help prepare the Langar.”

People serving the food

In recent times the Langar meal has acted as a barometer for the state of the economy. After the 2008 recession many Sikh temples reported a surge in the numbers of non-Sikhs coming in for the free Langar meals. It’s now common to see non-Sikhs inside the temple, Purewal says: “We don’t mind it. As long as people show respect, are not intoxicated and cover their heads in line with our traditions, then everyone is welcome.”

The Swat team say they decided to take the concept of Langar outside its traditional setting in temples and out onto the streets when they saw a growing homelessness problem in London. Randeep Singh who founded SWAT says: “When you go to the temple, what’s the message? The message is to help others, help your neighbours. That’s what we are doing.”

source: BBC NEWS

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