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.
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
Education bosses have played down claims that Bradford schools are to be the focus of new targeted inspections in the wake of the Trojan Horse row.
There are reports that Whitehall officials are planning to carry out snap inspections at the city amid concerns that the problems found in Birmingham schools could be repeated elsewhere in the country. Claims that Muslim governors were attempting to take over state schools in Birmingham has led to a series of inspections by the Government, the local council and Ofsted.
Ofsted placed five schools in Birmingham in special measures and said a “culture of fear and intimidation has taken grip” in some schools. A separate report by former counter terrorism chief Peter Clarke said there was evidence of an “aggressive Islamist agenda” being pursued by some schools in the city
Now a national newspaper has said that Bradford is to be the focus of new inspections by both Ofsted and officials from the Department for Education (DfE). However Ofsted said it was not aware of any plans to carry out snap inspections in Bradford and Bradford Council’s executive member for schools Coun Ralph Berry said the DfE had not raised any specific concerns about the city.
Germany’s biggest newspaper, Bild, was forced to climb down over the weekend after a highly critical and controversial comment piece which attacked Islam as a barrier to integration appeared in its Sunday sister paper.
“I don’t believe in God, but at the same time Christianity, Judaism or Buddhism don’t bother me. Only Islam bothers me more and more,” wrote Nicolaus Fest, vice editor-in-chief of the Bild am Sonntag newspaper in the editorial published on Sunday.
Fest then laid out why Islam’s “criminality,” “murderous contempt” and “honour killings” did not belong in Germany, in comments which prompted a raft of hostility online against the Axel Springer-owned tabloid. “I’m bothered by the considerably disproportionate criminality of youths from Muslim backgrounds,” wrote Fest. “I’m bothered by Islam’s murderous contempt for women and homosexuals. I’m bothered by forced marriages, ‘justices of the peace,’ ‘honour killings.’”
All this, wrote Fest, was making Islam “a barrier to integration” – something which should be weighed up when assessing claims for asylum and visa applications to Germany. “I don’t need any imported racism and I don’t need anything else Islam stands for,” he concluded.
The short piece, which by Monday morning had been shared over 9,700 times on social media, quickly drew harsh criticism of the paper by politicians calling it racist and calling for the paper to apologize to the estimated 4.3 million Muslims in Germany.
An Israeli spokesman has confirmed that offensive images featuring European national icons were sent from his embassy’s official social media accounts.
Dublin was not the only city to come into the Israeli propaganda sights. A montage of pictures also showed the Mona Lisa in Paris wearing a niqab and carrying a rocket launcher. Michaelangelo’s David was shown in Arab headgear and wired up as a suicide bomber with a warning to Italy, while Copenhagen’s Little Mermaid was shown holding a gun.
The Israel In Ireland Facebook and Twitter accounts have been blasted for sharing the series of controversial posts.
An embassy spokesman told the Irish Sun: “Yes they were sent from the official Facebook but they were taken down, I don’t know why. Often things get deleted for space reasons but it wasn’t taken down because of any complaints.”
But disgusted online viewers called on the Government to take decisive action.
One said: “Feckin’ Facebook has taken more action against Israel in Ireland than our own Govt! Useless, spineless cowards. Further disgusting imagery from the Israeli Embassy in Ireland @IsraelinIreland.” Another fumed: “A disgusting piece of propaganda incitement attempt by @IsraelinIreland – embassy in Dublin. Simply disgusting. #GazaUnderAttack.”
An Islamic charity with a base in Bradford has been told that its bank account is being shut down, although it has yet to be told why. Now Bradford West MP George Galloway says he will “demand” to know the reason that HSBC has decided to shut the account of the Ummah Welfare Trust.
The registered charity, which has an office on Manningham Lane, believes HSBC has taken the action because some of the money it collects goes towards humanitarian projects in Palestine. It was this week given notice that its accounts were being shut in two months’ time. Although the account closure is not expected to hit the charity too hard, members feel it was morally wrong, and are calling for a boycott of the bank.
The trust had its account with Barclays bank shut in 2008.
Shoyeb Mayat, of the Bradford office, said: “We have no idea why they made this decision. We are in the middle of our busiest time for donations. During Ramadan we get 70 per cent of the donations we get each year.”
The group provides emergency relief in 20 countries across the world, including Pakistan, Palestine and India. It said the money goes towards providing medicine and grants to vulnerable people and children whose families have been killed or injured.
Kalgoorlie-Boulder will have police on stand-by on Monday night when anti-mosque campaigners are expected to protest while Council debates a controversial proposal.
The Facebook page “Stop the mosque in Kalgoorlie Boulder” has created an event – “voice your objections to the proposed mosque” – urging supporters to attend council at 7pm to protest the proposed mosque.
“Stand up for Australia and stop this abhorrent proposed mosque in Kalgoorlie!,” the event invitation says. “Every man and his dog head to the Kalgoorlie town hall at 7pm to voice our outright objections to this vile mosque!”
Reports and comment from Islamophobia Watch 21-27 July 2014
Jim Dowson, the brains (and money) behind the far-right Britain First group, has resigned from the organisation and indeed from political life generally.
In a rambling resignation letter posted on the Britain First website, Dowson announces “my retirement from all political activities forthwith and my withdrawal from Britain First with immediate effect”, a decision that he attributes to “recent political and personal events and family health issues”.
In an accompanying statement, Britain First asserts that the state “persecution” Dowson has suffered in Northern Ireland has been exacerbated by a media campaign instigated by Hope Not Hate (described, bizarrely, as “the biggest far-Left group in the country”) that has sought to “portray James as the ‘evil genius’ behind the ‘far right’ in Britain”.
But another of Dowson’s motivations for leaving the organisation would appear to be his disapproval of the “mosque invasions” that Britain First has been carrying out over the past few months:
“The media have put him under enormous pressure recently regarding our invasions of mosques across Britain and understandably this has forced Jim to distance himself from these activities, notwithstanding the fact that these mosque invasions have cause considerable exposure of issues such as Muslim female genital mutilation, second class treatment of women, extremism and grooming gangs.”
Even Dowson, it seems, is embarrassed to be associated with a gang of thugs who think it’s brave to barge into places of worship and harass elderly Muslims.
A small group of eight people from the racist, far right “Party For Freedom” held a protest outside Woolworth’s supermarket in Marrickville on July 26. They were objecting to a sign saying “Happy Ramadan” the store had put up earlier in the week.
The Party for Freedom is a newly formed group that grew out of the white nationalist Australian Protectionist Party. It campaigns against multiculturalism, wants to “halt Muslim and third world immigration”, encourage “culturally compatible migrants” especially from Europe and North America, and wants Australia to withdraw from the UN refugee convention.