Bensonhurst, Brooklyn: Hate crime cops investigating anti-Muslim fliers

Bath Beach anti-Muslim flierThe NYPD’s Hate Crimes unit is looking to identify the person who distributed anti-Muslim fliers in at least one of the Shore Haven apartment buildings near Cropsey Avenue and 21st Avenue in Bath Beach, according to Councilman Mark Treyger’s office.

The fliers were found throughout the building this week, showing a hateful message calling Muslims “the second holocaust” and claims “USA hates you”. There is what appears to be a woman in a burka inside a “No” symbol, and there is also an abundance of exclamation points.

“I am disgusted and saddened to hear of this hateful act in our community. There is absolutely no place for this type of hatred, especially in a city and borough as diverse and tolerant as ours. My thanks to the 62nd Precinct for their quick response and thorough investigation of this heinous act,” said Treyger in a statement.

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Nazi graffiti on Muslim prayer room in Nièvre

La Charité-sur-Loire graffiti

Nazi graffiti was discovered on Saturday morning on the walls of a building used as a prayer room for the Muslim community at La Charité-sur-Loire (Nièvre) , according to statements by the Cosne-sur-Loire police on Sunday.

Swastikas, SS insignia and the words “Fuck the Arabs” were inscribed in white paint on the walls of an old garage in the town, according to the same source, confirming a report in the regional newspaper Le Journal du Centre .

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Anti-Semitic incidents, vandalism of mosques persist in Bulgaria – US state department report

BULGARIA-POLITICS-RELIGION
Ataka thugs assault worshippers at Sophia mosque in May 2011

Religious groups in Bulgaria complained that the government had failed to consistently enforce protection of religious freedoms, while abuses such as anti-Semitic incidents and vandalism of mosques and other places persisted, the United States state department noted in its annual religious freedom report.

Reports of intolerance by security services and local authorities continued, the state department report for 2013, released on July 29 2014 said. There were reports of societal abuses and discrimination based on religious affiliation, belief, or practice, the report said. “Discrimination, harassment, and general public intolerance of some religious groups remained a persistent problem. Anti-Semitic incidents and vandalism against mosques and places of worship persisted.”

A number of religious groups complained that the government did not consistently enforce legal and policy protections of religious freedom, the report said.

Many Muslim leaders continued to complain of harassment from the security services, saying that the national security services brought in members of the community for questioning as a form of intimidation and to create conflict within the community.

Jehovah’s Witnesses also reported harassment from the local police in Kyustendil, claiming that on November 21, about 20 police officers entered the Kingdom Hall during the congregation’s meeting and checked the identity cards of those present. The officers did not offer any explanation for their actions.

A trial in Pazardjik District Court of 13 Muslim leaders continued during the year. The defendants had been charged, in 2011, with participating in an illegal organisation; spreading anti-democratic, pro-Sharia ideology aimed at undermining the rule of law and basic human rights; and preaching intolerance and hatred of other religious groups during Friday sermons. The Chief Mufti’s office continued to maintain the innocence of the defendants and labelled the proceedings an attack on religious freedom.

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‘Trojan Horse’ inquiry: Clarke report based on uncorroborated smear, anecdote, hoax, chatroom gossip and neoconservative assumptions

Letter in today’s Guardian:

The new secretary of state for education, Nicky Morgan, makes various pledges following the “Trojan horse” reports on Birmingham schools. Several of her pledges are valuable. The basis for them, however, is unsound. Peter Clarke’s report is not “forensic”, as Nicky Morgan claims (Report, 22 July), but a biased mix of uncorroborated smear, anecdote, hoax and chatroom gossip.

It reflects neoconservative assumptions about the nature of extremism; ignores significant testimony and viewpoints; implies the essential problem in Birmingham is simply the influence of certain individuals; discusses governance but not curriculum; ignores the concerns and perceptions of parents and young people; and is unlikely to bear judicial scrutiny.

The Trojan horse affair has done much damage in Birmingham, both to individuals and to community cohesion. Political leaders have key roles in the urgent process of restoration and support for curriculum renewal. Alas, they will not be much helped by the official reports of Clarke, Ian Kershaw and Ofsted.

They will, though, be helped by the unique strength and goodwill of people in Birmingham itself.

Tim Brighouse, Gus John, Arun Kundnani, Sameena Choudry, Akram Khan-Cheema, Arzu Merali, Robin Richardson, Maurice Irfan Coles, Gill Cressey, Steph Green, Ashfaque Chowdhury, Ibrahim Hewitt, Baljeet Singh Gill, Arshad Ali, S Sayyid, Massoud Shadjareh, Abdool Karim Vakil and Tom Wylie

Bolton: racists scrawl anti-Islamic graffiti on Ironman triathlon route

Ironman racist graffitiRacist vandals scrawled anti-Islamic graffiti on part of the route used for Bolton’s Ironman event.

The words – which were described as “vulgar and racist” – were found on Rivington Road, an area that made up part of the bike route, written alongside messages of support for the Ironman contestants taking part in the race on Sunday, July 20.

Police are now hunting for those responsible for the messages, which included claims “Muslims mutilate the innocent”.

The graffiti is believed to have been on the road during the event, one athlete said. Ironman bosses have said they were “shocked” to see the offensive words but stressed it had nothing to do with the competition or anyone taking part.

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Joplin’s Muslims rejoice in mosque’s reopening

Joplin Islamic Center

Two years ago, Muslims here were mourning the loss of their mosque, a place of worship the close-knit community was forced to surrender after an arsonist burned it to the ground during the holy month of Ramadan.

This Ramadan was different.

On Monday, families gathered for the first time at a brand new, $2 million mosque to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, a religious holiday observed by Muslims worldwide, which marks the end of the holy month.

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Kalgoorlie-Boulder council approves mosque during fiery meeting

The City of Kalgoorlie Boulder approved the construction of a mosque in the inland city during a heated council meeting on Monday night, passing the motion six votes to four.

Acting mayor Allan Pendal said it was clear from the start of public question time the issue would be hotly contested, with what he described as a “vocal minority” clearly opposed to the planned construction of the mosque on Park Street in the suburb of Williamstown.

An alternative motion was put forward during the meeting that would have seen the application sent back to the council’s all-purpose committee to seek more information. The vote on that motion was deadlocked at 5-5, with Cr Pendal using his casting vote, as presiding officer, to defeat the motion. The original motion was then moved and passed 6-4.

Cr Pendal said the council was bound to judge the application on planning grounds, something he believed the anti-mosque supporters couldn’t comprehend.

“It was the biggest council meeting I’ve seen in nine years, we couldn’t actually fit everyone in the council chambers,” he said. “There was strong representation against the item. They were very vocal but they couldn’t seem to understand that we couldn’t judge the application on political or moral or religious grounds. This was a planning decision and they didn’t understand that despite me explaining it to them five or six times.”

He said the heckling of the anti-mosque group reached its peak during the debate of the item and at several points descended into abuse of council.

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Torygraph discovers ‘jihad on dogs’

Under the headline “Commonwealth Games Scottie dogs ‘disrespectful to Muslims’”, the Telegraph reports that the use of Scottish terrier dogs to lead teams around Celtic Park in the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last Wednesday has been criticised by “Malaysian politicians and religious leaders”. (In the Daily Mail‘s version of the story, the critics are elevated to “Malaysian officials”.)

The criticisms quoted were in fact raised by two individuals – one the leader of a minor political party and the other of an extremist movement – and it looks like their objections were not so much to the use of dogs as such but rather to reports that the dog supposed to be leading the Malaysian team refused to move and had to be carried by a team representative.

The Telegraph article helpfully explains: “Many Muslims refuse to have direct contact with dogs, which are considered by some to be ‘unclean’ in Islamic culture. Some overseas Muslim groups have reportedly previously called for a jihad on dogs.”

The article concludes: “A Glasgow 2014 spokesman said: ‘Glasgow 2014 have received no complaints from the Commonwealth Games Associations of the competing nations and territories following the Opening Ceremony’.”

So, another anti-Muslim story concocted out of nothing.

For the background to the “jihad on dogs” nonsense, see here and here.

Muslim school targeted by far right will open in September

EDL Portsmouth protest
Members of the EDL and other far-right factions battle with police during a protest against the Madani Academy last August

An open day will be held for families interested in sending their children to a controversial Muslim school. The Madani Academy in Portsmouth is holding the event on Sunday. It is inviting prospective students along ahead of its official opening, which it hopes will be before September.

But last summer, demonstrations led by the English Defence League were held outside the venue in opposition to it opening. And there was outcry later in the year after a pig’s head was stuck on a spike on the back gates.

As reported in The News, the academy will be based at Merefield House, on the corner of Lake Road and Fratton Road. The people behind the academy won a bid to buy the building off Portsmouth City Council for £750,000. The management team said the site was the right one given its central location in the city and the fact it has a car park. They raised the £300,000 deposit for the building and the rest will be paid off in stages.

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Fury over ‘Muslim only’ rental advert as landlords fuel ghetto culture

That was the headline to a report in yesterday’s Daily Star Sunday (the headline has since been amended to remove the reference to “ghetto culture”, although this remains in the article itself).

The inflammatory subheading, which suggests that there is a connection between adverts for rooms to rent and violent extremism, reads “Homes are being illegally advertised for rent to ‘Muslims only’ yards from where soldier Lee Rigby was killed.”

The Star even included photos of the adverts, without bothering to blank out the phone numbers, with the predictable result that the English Defence League has been encouraging its supporters to ring up and harass the Muslim landlords.

See Steve Rose, “An insight into the Daily Star exclusive on ‘Muslim only’ rental ads”, Tell Mama, 28 July 2014

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