Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine

October 2011
COVER STORY ISLAM IN THE WEST THE MUSLIM WORLD OBSERVATIONS MEDIA COMMUNITY ROUND UP MEDICO-ETHICAL ISSUES EDITORIAL LETTERS ANALYSIS FEATURE ISLAMOPHOBIA MANNERS AND ETIQUETTE SOUL TALK QURAN SPEAKS TO YOU UNDERSTANDING QURAN HADITH ILLUMINATES THE PATH OUR DIALOGUE ENTREPRENEURSHIP MATRIMONIAL UPDATE GLOBAL AFFAIRS LIFE AND RELATIONSHIP TRAVELOGUE CHILDRENS CORNER SCHEDULE FOR DISCOVER YOURSELF WORKSHOP
ZAKAT Camps/Workshops Jobs Archives Feedback Subscription Links Calendar Contact Us

ISLAM IN THE WEST

Canadian PM Accused of Targeting Islam
Ottawa
Canadian Opposition has accused Prime Minister Stephen Harper of using the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks for political gain. To the NDP (New Democratic Party), the Prime Minister is sowing division on the eve of the 10th anniversary. And to the Liberals, Mr. Harper is trying to look tough by musing about changing the anti-terrorism laws.
The Prime Minister also vowed to bring back two controversial clauses in the Anti-terrorism Act, parts of which expired in 2007. One clause allowed police to arrest suspects without a warrant and hold them for three days without charges if they believed a terrorist act had been committed; the other clause allowed a judge to compel a witness to testify in secret under penalty of jail if the witness refused. The act was passed in 2001 in reaction to the terrorist strikes on New York and Washington, but the controversial clauses expired in 2007.
Dutch Town Sounds Call to Prayer
Doetinchem
The Dutch town of Doetinchem sounded a call to prayer on September 4 as part of an inter-religious service during a local festival. The call joins the ringing of church bells and precedes a service led by Muslim, Catholic and Protestant leaders. Event organizer Joop Sars notes that festival organizers wanted to demonstrate that the town is a tolerant space where diverse communities live and confirm their faiths side by side.
Catholic School in the Netherlands May Ban Headscarves
Amsterdam
An appeal court has ruled that a Catholic secondary school in the city of Volendam may ban pupils from wearing Islamic headscarves. As an independent school, the college is permitted to set standards to uphold its values, so long as the rules are applied consistently. The case arose when a student, Imane Mahssan sought permission to wear a headscarf to the school; when banned from attending lessons, her father took the case to the Equal Opportunities Commission. While the EOC ruled in Mahssan’s favour, a magistrate in Haarlem disagreed: the appeals court has confirmed the judgement in favour of the school. Mahssan, it ruled, knew before joining the independent school that it was a Catholic educational institution and thus “should have realized” that her headscarf would be problematic.
Anti-Islam Meeting Prohibited in France
Moselle
The prefecture of Moselle prohibited a right-wing anti-Islam group’s meeting on September 11. The New Popular Right (NDP or La Nouvelle Droite populaire) essentially protests against Islam. The 2010 event only drew twelve participants.
Positive Change in Perception of British Muslims
London
An unexpected benefit of the recent riots in Birmingham, which culminated in the deaths of three young Muslim men, is a change in the ways in which British Muslims are viewed by society. According to Dr. Chris Allen, expert on Islamophobia at the University of Birmingham, the Muslims’ response to the deaths have changed the way Muslims are portrayed in the media – from a negative to a more positive light. Most notably, prejudice towards Muslim communities, which resulted from a negative portrayal in the media, was turned on its head by Tariq Jahan’s reaction to the death of his son, which has helped to end the riots in the city (as reported). The BBC reports that following survey with Birmingham’s Muslims about the riots, Dr Allen concluded that ‘Muslims felt the world now had a better understanding of them’.
Australian Muslims have new grand Mufti
Melbourne
Australia’s Muslim community has a new spiritual leader after the Australian National Imams Council (ANIC) elected a Melbourne-based scholar as its grand Mufti. Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohamed, who was born in Egypt, has been appointed to the position after a unanimous vote from imams in Sydney last fortnight. Council spokesman, Sheikh Mohamad Saleem says, Dr Mohamed was voted, following the resignation of the previous grand mufti, Sheikh Fehmi, due to bad health. Dr Abu Mohamed attained a PhD in Islamic Studies from Al Azhar University in Cairo and has been in Australia for around 20 years.