Syria bans niqab from universities

Regime fears face-covering Islamic veil poses threat to country's secular identity

Woman in Muslim attire 

Niqabs such as this will not be seen in any Syrian university once the country's new measures come into force. Photograph: Jonathan Hordle/Rex Features

Syria has banned the face-covering Islamic veil from the country's universities to prevent what it sees as a threat to its secular identity, as similar moves in Europe spark cries of discrimination against Muslims.

 

Council forces schools to rearrange exams and cancel lessons to avoid offending Muslims during Ramadan

Ramadan 

Schools are being urged to rearrange tests, cancel swimming lessons and stop sex education to avoid offending Muslims during Ramadan.

Head teachers in Stoke-on-Trent have been issued with the guidance for treatment of Muslim pupils who may still be fasting when the new term starts in September.

But critics dismissed the advice as ‘over-zealous’ bureaucracy and said all pupils would be forced to miss out on activities as a result.

AL QAEDA ON STRIKE Cool

From our correspondant 

Muslim suicide bombers in Britain are set to begin a three-day strike on Monday in a dispute over the number of virgins they are entitled to in the afterlife. Emergency talks with Al Qaeda have so far failed to produce an agreement.

 

Tory MP launches first legal bid to ban burka in Britain

By Kirsty Walker

A Tory MP has launched a legal bid to ban Muslim women from wearing burkas in public places.

Philip Hollobone has tabled a private members' bill which would make it illegal for anyone to cover their face in public.

Mr Hollobone has previously likened full face veils to 'going round with a paper bag over your head'.

PHILIP HOLLOBONE 

Copts battle everyone’s fight

 

Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images

Pope Shenouda III (C), the 117th Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria and Patriarch of the Holy See of St. Mark, stands with Coptic archbishops.

By Jacky Habib

A new grassroots movement among the Coptic Diaspora was established in Washington this past weekend. Almost 100 Coptic Christian community organizers from around the globe gathered to discuss religious freedom in the Middle East and future lobbying efforts for the rights of Egypt’s Coptic people.

Blogger

Arrested for Being Christian Preachers at Dearborn Arab Festival 2010

It cannot be said that we were arrested for causing a disturbance, because we did not approach anyone, rather everyone with whom we spoke first approached us. It cannot be said that we were harassing anyone, because the moment anyone said "stop talking to me", we would stop talking to them. And it cannot be said that we were spreading hate speech, because we said virtually nothing about Islam at all. On the contrary, we repeatedly affirmed our love for all Muslims. Whenever I was asked "Why would you love me?" I said "Because Jesus loves you, and he told me to love you."

Reuters 

 Kosovo terror suspect wanted in U.S. released

(Reuters) - A European Union judge in Kosovo has released from detention a Kosovo Albanian man wanted on U.S. terrorism charges but he must report to police twice a week, an EU mission spokeswoman said on Friday.

Bajram Asllani, 29, was arrested on Thursday by Kosovo and EU police after U.S. prosecutors in North Carolina accused him of providing material support to terrorism suspects and conspiring to kill and hurt people abroad.

BBC

Plastic bags to be put over Birmingham 'terror cameras'

 Street scene showing the surveillance cameras

A consultation will be held over the use of the cameras

Q&A: Birmingham 'terror cameras' Reaction to surveillance cameras

A surveillance operation in parts of Birmingham with large Muslim populations has been halted after it was revealed the move was linked to counter terrorism.

Catholic Culture 

Christians must rise to the challenge of Islam, says Italian cardinal

The murder of Bishop Luigi Padovese in Turkey is a reminder of the dangers facing Christians in Turkey and elsewhere in Europe, said Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi at a Mass for the slain prelate in his native Milan.

Cardinal Tettamanzi said that Italian Catholics need “to heed the cry—or better, the lament” from Turkey after the death of Bishop Padovese. The man who has confessed to the killing of the bishop, a driver who was placed in the bishop’s service by Turkish security officials, shouted “Allah akbar” after the assault, giving rise to the belief that the killing was arranged by Islamic extremists.

Remarriage debate sparks fear among Egypt’s Copts

Middle East Inside



Pope: The church will not accept anything that goes against the Bible

Protests, sermons have multiplied in recent days, denouncing state´s meddling in business of Coptic Orthodox Church.
By Christophe de Roquefeuil – CAIRO

“They want to empty Egypt of Copts,” exclaims Girgis Guebrail about a court order that the Coptic church must remarry divorcees, seeing it as an attack on minority Christians in the predominantly Muslim country.

Is Obama starting to prod Egypt on human rights?

Many human rights and democracy activists in the Middle East are disillusioned with Obama's lack of action. But Egypt's acceptance today of 21 human rights recommendations after a visit by Vice President Biden may signal a shift.

By Kristen Chick

  

Egypt presented a rosy picture of its human rights credentials today, promising to implement most of the recommendations made by the UN Human Rights Council as part of a quadrennial review process.

Egypt, which had accepted 119 of the council's 165 recommendations in February, agreed to another 21 after Vice President Joe Biden had publicly urged it to implement the recommendations on a visit here earlier this week. They included those calling for better treatment of religious minorities, changes in its penal code to bring it into line with the UN Convention Against Torture, and the establishment of a fully independent electoral commission.

  

Campaign Launched To Improve Image Of Islam

  •  

    Jane Dougall, Sky News reporter

A campaign to improve the image of Islam has been launched after an opinion poll found that more than half of British people associate the religion with extremism and terrorism.

Muslims hope the campaign will boost their religion's image

"Inspired by Muhammad" aims to promote Islam as a faith which contributes positively to British society.

Coptic Pope Rejects Egyptian Court Ruling on Remarriage of Divorcees

(AINA) -- The head of the Coptic Church in Egypt has rejected a court ruling that orders the church to allow divorced Copts to remarry in the church. In a press conference held on Tuesday June 8, Pope Shenouda, reading from the statement issued by the Holy Synod's 91 Bishops including himself said "The Coptic Church respects the law, but does not accept rulings which are against the Bible and against its religious freedom which is guaranteed by the Constitution." He went on to say "the recent ruling is not acceptable to our conscience, and we can not implement it."

AP
    
Women protest as French Cabinet gets veil ban bill

PARIS — One runs her own company, another is a housewife and a third, a divorcee, raises her children by herself. Like nearly 2,000 other Muslim women who freely wear face-covering veils anywhere in France, their lives will soon change and they are worried.

Catholic school girl who refused headscarf for mosque trip labelled a truant

A Roman Catholic schoolgirl has been labelled a truant after she refused to wear a headscarf during a compulsory trip to a mosque.

Amy Owen, 14, and fellow girl pupils at a Catholic secondary school were told to cover their heads and wear trousers or leggings out of respect for their Muslim hosts.

But when her mother objected, saying she did not want her daughter to 'dress as a Muslim', she received a sternly worded warning letter from the headmaster saying she had no choice.

BBC 

UKIP makes 'ban the burka' call  

 

The leader of UKIP has said the Islamic veil, the burka, should be banned as it represents fear and is a security risk.

Speaking in a phone-in on BBC 5 live, Lord Pearson said there was a "problem" within Islam because some people used the Koran to justify terrorist acts.

Home 

ADMIN COURT SUSPENDS MOHAMMED HEGAZI CONVERSION

 mohamed the christian

The administrative court ruled today to suspend a lawsuit filed by 27-year-old Christian convert Mohamed Hegazy by which the latter had hoped to change the religion listed on his national ID card from "Muslim" to "Christian." Judges ruled to suspend the case until a ruling was issued on a 2009 Constitutional Court case that challenged the constitutionality of Article 47 of the Civil Code, which allows citizens to change their names and religions on official documents

House Members Press White House to Confront Egypt on Forced Marriages

By Joseph Abrams

Seventeen members of Congress are pressing the State Department to act on the "grim reality" faced by Coptic Christian women in Egypt, who frequently are coerced into violent forced marriages that leave them victim to rape and captive slavery.

PR Newswire: news distribution, targeting and monitoring 

Congressional Members Urge State Department to Address Forced Marriage, Forced Conversion of Coptic Women and Girls in Egypt

WASHINGTON, April 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Eighteen Members of Congress, from both parties, expressed "concern over continuing reports of abductions, forced marriages, and exploitation of Coptic women and girls in Egypt".

Writing on the 16th of April to Ambassador Luis CdeBaca, Director of the State Department's Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Office, the Members noted that they had received disturbing reports documenting "a criminal phenomenon that includes fraud, physical and sexual violence, captivity, forced marriage, and exploitation in forced domestic servitude or commercial sexual exploitation, and financial benefit to the individuals who secure the forced conversion of the victim."

 

NHS relax superbug safeguards for Muslim staff... just days after Christian nurse is banned from wearing crucifix for health and safety reasons

Surgeons washing hands before operation 

Muslim doctors and nurses are to be allowed for religious reasons to opt out of strict NHS dress codes introduced to prevent the spread of deadly hospital superbugs.

The Department of Health has announced that female Muslim staff will be permitted to cover their arms on hospital wards to preserve their modesty.


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