Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Islam in Europe: News in Short


Fired for racist remarks - Diana Brälye (34), a police agent, was fired for writing racist posts on her blog. She referred to Pakistanis as "Fucking Perkers" (Perker = derogatory term for Pakistanis) in a post in February, 2008, when schools all over the country were being set on fire. She intends to appeal the decision. (DA)

More violent men getting treatment - In recent years more and more men of immigrant or refugee background have been getting treatment for domestic violence says the national Dialog Mod Vold (Dialog against Violence) organization. According to its director, about 15% of the 499 men getting treatment are of non-Danish background, and the numbers are going up. this is the result of close cooperation between the organization and the police. In the psychological counseling organization Alternativ til Vold (Alternative to Violence) in Roskilde, on the other hand, less than 1% of the 40 men they treat are from ethnic minorities. The reason, they say, is that it's a big taboo to seek help. About half of the women in women's shelters were born abroad. 80% came to Denmark as part of family reunification, refugees, immigrants or asylum seekers. (DA)


Mosque desecrated - a mosque in the Melilla enclave was desecrated on Constitution Day (Dec 6) with graffiti saying "Viva Franco", "No Moors" and "One, Great and Free" (Franco motto) etc. This is the first time in years that a religious building has been attacked in Mellila. (ES)

Mosques too small - The mosques of Valencia are too small to accommodate the worshipers. In the past four years the number of Muslims doubled, and the current mosques are too small. Expansion plans have been frozen due to the crisis, the donations from the worshipers don't even cover ongoing expenses. In addition they face resistance from local municipalities. (ES)


Catholic church to mosque - The Sundsvall Islamic association rented the former Catholic church and will be making it into a mosque beginning next year. The current mosque is a 'cellar mosque' and does not have room for the faithful, which during holidays can get up to 700 people. (SV)

Saddam's helper - An update to this story. The man is Muhamed Kemal Abed (57). He says he was offered asylum in the US, but declined because he thought it unthinkable to live in a country that "occupied and ruined Iraq". (SV)


Metro attack - Herbert Raat, an Amstelveen local councillor (VVD), had a fight in the metro last week by three Moroccan girls. On his blog he says he saw a older man cursed and attacked by several girls of around 16. When the man got up and tried to ward them off, one of them began to shout that they're Moroccan and 'don't give a damn about this country'. When he tried to intervene, he was pushed and spitted on. On his blog he says that it's inconceivable that he had to fight in the metro with three girls. (NL)

Brochures on Islam - The Islam contact group of the Council of Churches prepared two brochures to help municipal councillors better understand Islam. One is about the Islamic perspective of evil which was created after the creation of the world. It is based on a 'Koran circle' and it suggests making more such meetings. The second is about the Christians and Muslims reading the Bible and the Koran together. The brochures were presented in the Rotterdam Islamic University. The day was opened by prof. dr. Ahmed Akgunduz who said that all believers - Muslims, Christians and Jews, should unite against the increasing secularization of the Netherlands (NL).

Moroccans complaining about Moroccans - Moroccan mothers asked the mayor of Culemborg to do something about the trouble caused by Moroccan youth. They say several older youth make it impossible for the younger children to play in the local schoolyard. According to the mayor this shows the diversity of Moroccans, "People always speak about 'the' Moroccan community, but it doesn't exist at all." Following tensions between the Moroccan and Moluccan communities, the municipality started talks with people from both groups. The mayor says that when he speaks in a Turkish mosque, he knows he reaches most of the Turkish community, but when he speaks in a Moroccan mosque, he knows that he doesn't reach most of the group. The mosque is also tired of the negative image of trouble-causing youth, on which they have no control. (NL)

United Kingdom

Charity organizes Muslim festival - JAN Trust, a Haringey women’s charity, organized a festival to celebrate "the diversity of British Islam". (EN)

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