Mabda Report 10.04.11

Hijab and Muslim women under attack…

Irene Zempi, from the Department of Criminology at the University of Leicester, is conducting postgraduate research into the victimisation of veiled Muslim women and their experiences as direct victims of Islamophobia in the streets of Leicester

Irene said: "My study is looking into the experiences of veiled Muslim women in order to raise awareness about the 'true' nature of Islamophobia that they face, and the consequences of the abuse and intimidation veiled Muslim women and their communities have to go through."

"It is worrying that in a liberal democratic society such as Britain, Islamophobia is accepted and even expected. It is necessary to point out that Islamophobia is a new form of racism. As Baroness Warsi said in her speech at the University of Leicester about the 'cancer of Islamophobia': 'When people get on the tube and see a bearded Muslim, they think "terrorist" ... when they hear "Halal" they think that sounds like "contaminated food" ... and when they walk past a woman wearing a veil, they think automatically "that woman is oppressed"'."

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American Islamic groups are once again finding themselves on the defensive

A hearing held by Republican Congressman Peter King last month drew massive protests from critics for its stated aim of investigating "the radicalization of American Muslims."

Many of the anti-Islam speakers at that hearing were featured at another such hearing, held by New York State Senator Gregory Ball.

All in the name of national defense. Every country has some -- the US more than most. But when links are made between terrorism and radical Islam -- say criics -- that's a slippery slope indeed.

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Sarkozy's Debate Targets Muslims

Guéant's government has chosen a period of unprecedented tension and volatility in the Arab world to launch a debate about the negative influence of Islam on French society. As his own pilots attack Libya with a ferocity so far not displayed by other coalition members, President Nicolas Sarkozy will settle down on Tuesday to watch the epic discussion unfold at a Paris hotel.

The debate will nominally be about the changing nature of the French model secular society, but don't be fooled by the grand euphemisms. If such a subject can be discussed by Sarkozy's lieutenants without further references to assorted "Muslim-related problems", then "collateral damage" has nothing to do with civilian body counts.

A whole catalogue of perceived horrors will be discussed, ranging from halal meat in schools to those prostrate worshippers blocking boulevards in major cities because there aren't enough mosques to go round. All will be described as distinctly Muslim factors that "violate" republican values.

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French Interior Minister Accused of Islamophobia

The interior minister Claude Guéant has been accused of Islamophobia and dishonoring France after saying the growing population of Muslims in the country "poses problems".

His comments were made on the eve of a debate within his party, the UMP, on Islam and secularism in France. The debate, organized by party leader Jean-François Copé, is itself controversial, with many party figures finding excuses not to attend, including Prime Minister François Fillon.

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While Islam is being attacked and Islamophobia being prompted, others are on the defensive striving to find ways to show the world “Whyislam”:

ICNA S. California Thanks Community for Support

Introducing various ICNA projects in the fields of outreach, education and social services, Yasir Shah, the ICNA chapter president of Southern California said “One thing for sure, is that Islamophobia is on the rise.”

This year’s banquet was unique, as it not only raised funds for ICNA’s flagship and most popular project, WhyIslam, but also for its social services department ICNA Relief and its educational institution the Islamic Learning Foundation.

The audience was treated to an insightful and educational panel of scholars: Shuyukh Mustafa Umar, Abul Haitham and Junaid Kharsany. Lauren Booth, the sister-in-law of Tony Blair- former UK prime minister, shared her experience with Islamophobia in the early stages of her journey, which led to her conversion to Islam six months ago.