- Spain: Five Acquitted Over Madrid Train Bombings
- Gaddafi Son Arrested for Violence in Swiss Hotel
- Italy: UN Official Deplores ‘Criminalising’ of Immigrants
- Immigrants: Barroso, EU and Italy Will Cooperate
- Manila, Muslim Rebels Reach Deal on Homeland
- Morocco Handpicks Preachers for Europe
- Saudi Arabia: Shia Imam Calls for Funds to be Sent to Iran
- Domes and Minarets? Not in My Backyard, Say an Increasing Number of Germans
- Bosnia: R. Srpska, Muslims Oppose New Anthem and Symbol
- Norway: New Guide to Dialect Jungle
Thanks to JG, Insubria, C. Cantoni, Steen, TB, and all the other tipsters who sent these in. Details are below the fold.
– – – – – – – – –
IMMIGRATION: LIBYA MUST EXECUTE AGREEMENT WITH ITALY, MARONI
(ANSAmed) — ROME, JULY 16 — “We must insist that Libya allows the implementation of the agreement signed with the Italian government”, Interior Minister Roberto Maroni said, answering during question time in Parliament, to a point of order raised by the Lega party and remarking that “only through agreements” with other countries “we will stop illegal immigration”. The Interior Minister explained that currently Italy “has bilateral agreements with 30 states, 14 of which facing the Mediterranean. And there are ongoing negotiations for a further 14 agreements, including Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Ghana, Niger and Senegal, the countries which are more important for us”. “But the most important agreement is the one with Libya, because the greatest flow of illegal immigrants of various nationalities comes from there,” Maroni added.
Italy: UN official deplores ‘criminalising’ of immigrants
Rome, 11 July (AKI) — The United Nations’ children’s charity, UNICEF, on Friday reiterated its opposition to the Italian government’s move to fingerprint Gypsies and clamp down on illegal immigration.
“We are totally opposed to the fingerprinting of Roma Gypsy children,” said Roberto Salvan, director of UNICEF in Italy.
“This census of Roma Gypsy children contravenes the UN’s Convention on the Rights of the Child.”
Salvan was one of the speakers at a debate at the Foreign Press Association in Rome entitled ‘Anti-immigration measures. What future for immigrants in Italy?’
IMMIGRANTS: BARROSO, EU AND ITALY WILL COOPERATE
(AGI) — Rome, 15 July — “We have complete confidence in democratic principles in Italy, where there is a great humanitarian tradition and one of solidarity,” stated President of the Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, responding to questions on Italian policies towards immigration and the Rom. Barroso added: “The European Commission is studying the compatibility of every new national regulation with the EU Treaty. The problem of immigration is a European problem: how to integrate immigrants and defend ourselves from criminality. I believe that a solution will be found within European principles, because there is an excellent relationship between the Italian Government and the EU Commission. With the French presidency of the EU we will be able to find a Europe-wide policy for immigration. I am sure that a solution will be found according to the great humanitarian and Christian tradition in Italy and, I can say, also in Europe.”
Manila, Muslim rebels reach deal on homeland
ZAMBOANGA CITY: Philippine negotiators and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebels reached an agreement yesterday on the issue of ancestral domain, a breakthrough in the seven-year old peace talks aimed at putting an end to more than four decades bloody fighting in Mindanao.
Philippine peace adviser Secretary Hermogenes Esperon said both panels have agreed on the deal at the end of meeting late yesterday in Malaysia, which is brokering the negotiations.
“The issue on the ancestral domain is finally settled and we now go to the final peace talks where all previous agreements will be formally signed. We have informed President Gloria Arroyo about the progress of the talks and she is very elated,” Esperon said.
‘Ladies man’ gets tit for ‘tat’
HAFR ALBATEN: If you are a guest worker in Saudi Arabia, it’s probably not a great idea to get a tattoo on one of your visits back home that says “Lady Hunter … KSA.” According to a local daily, a Filipino worker in his 30s was arrested by the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice after a Saudi Electricity Company employee noticed this “tat” on the guy’s arm, tailed him back to his residence, then informed the religious police. The man had gone to pay his electrical bill at a local SEC office. The SEC teller noticed the tattoo and interpreted the arm ink to be an advertisement to “the ladies” that the bearer of the tattoo was a real “ladies man,” interpreting the tattoo to be an open invitation to have an illicit affair — which is illegal in Saudi Arabia. Things got worse for the guy when the commission discovered upon searching his house that he had various pictures of Filipina women that were working in an area hospital. The man now faces deportation, where he will be forced to change his tattoo to say: “Lady Hunter … Republic of the Philippines.”
Morocco handpicks preachers for Europe
Morocco is to send more than 170 preachers throughout Europe from September until Ramadan to protect its citizens from extremist speeches, the government said Wednesday.
The decision follows a request from King Mohammed VI.
The 167 men and nine women have been given the task of “answering to the religious needs of the Moroccan community abroad, to protect them from any speeches of an extremist or irregular nature and shelter them from fanaticism and extremism,” according to a government statement.
Saudi Arabia: Shia imam calls for funds to be sent to Iran
Riyadh, 15 July (AKI) — A Shia imam in Saudi Arabia has declared his support for Iran and called on supporters to send money to the country to help it fight against the United States and Israel.
“We stand by Iran and we will do everything to support this country,” said Shia imam Namer Baqer al-Namer during a sermon he gave at the Imam Hussein mosque in the eastern village al-Awamiya on Friday.
The sermon was published on the imam’s Internet site on Tuesday.
DOMES AND MINARETS? Not in My Backyard, Say an Increasing Number of Germans
The planned construction of over 180 mosques in Germany is mobilizing right-wing xenophobes but also an increasing number of leftist critics. They fear the Muslim places of worship will facilitate the establishment of a completely parallel society.
Responding to public pressure, architects reduced the size of a controversial mega-mosque planned for the city of Cologne.
The issue at hand wasn’t the construction of a missile base or a new nuclear power plant. Yet the media reported “turmoil” and an “enraged” audience in a school auditorium in Ehrenfeld, a district of the German city of Cologne. The mood was almost comparable to that of the protest gatherings once held against nuclear missiles or reactors.
THE VEIL: RELIGIOUS/HISTORICAL FOUNDATIONS AND THE MODERN POLITICAL DISCOURSE
By Nazli Rizk
For an observer of the Muslim social scene during the past thirty years, it is notable that the hijab in its different forms-from the headscarf to the nikab (full covering)-became the prevailing mark of Muslim women, not only in the Muslim world, but also among Muslim communities all over the world. Confined in the beginning to some few states in the Arabian Peninsula, the veil has systematically propagated, as to acquire the attributes of a symbol. In Egypt, the tendency sporadically sprouted in the 70s, first on a small scale, then it gradually and exponentially spread, to include all classes of society. Now, it would not be preposterous to venture that a majority of Egyptian women are donning the veil in one of its forms. What religious, social, economic and political forces converged to create and sustain such a phenomenon? And from the women’s point of view, what considerations, urgencies dictated their adoption of the veil? Are women becoming more pious, more religious, more aware of their duties as Muslim than their grandmothers who had cast off their veils, last century?
Is the veil a sign of the revival of a pristine age—the age of the Prophet and his Companions, as propounded by the Salafeya thinking?
BOSNIA: R. SRPSKA, MUSLIMS OPPOSE NEW ANTHEM AND SYMBOL
(ANSAmed) — SARAJEVO, JULY 17 — The Muslim MPs of Republika Srpska (RS, the entity with Serbian majority in Bosnia) have announced that they will appeal to the Constitutional Court of RS for the matter of the anthem and symbol of the new entity, deemed nationalistic and discriminatory, approved last night by the Parliament of Banja Luka. The news was released by news agency Fena. The coat of arms with the two-headed eagle supported by a lion, the Muslim MPs said, is almost the same as the one which was declared in 2006 by the Bosnian Constitutional Court “in contrast with the constitutional principle on the equality of the constituent populations” of Bosnia. On that occasion the Constitutional Court imposed on the Bosnian Serbs to modify not only the symbol but also the anthem, that of Serbia, in order for the two symbols to equally represent Serbians, Croatians and Muslims.
Spain: Five acquitted over Madrid train bombings
Madrid, 17 July (AKI) — Spain’s highest court on Thursday cleared four people found guilty of crimes related to the 2004 Madrid train bombings, including the man suspected of masterminding the attack.
The Supreme Court overturned the conviction of the four who were among 21 people convicted last year of the attacks, which killed 191 people in March 2004.
In Thursday’s ruling, three men were cleared of being members of a being members of a radical Islamist cell and a fourth was cleared of trafficking explosives.
Asylum seekers overwhelm immigration authorities
The number of people applying for asylum in Norway has more than doubled so far this year, putting extraordinary pressure on the already over-burdened immigration agency UDI (Utlendingsdirektoratet).
The lines are always long when immigrants need to deal with UDI.
TURKEY: AKP CLOSURE CASE ENTERS ITS FINAL STAGE
(ANSAmed) — ANKARA, JULY 17 — The head of Turkey’s Constitutional Court said yesterday the report on the merits of the case against the ruling AKP had been submitted and distributed to court members. The submission of the rapporteur’s non-binding report is the final step before the chairman announces a date to debate the case.
Norway: New guide to dialect jungle
A Norwegian language instructor at one of the country’s top universities has come to the aid of frustrated foreigners when they’re confronted by dialects.
Åsta Øvregaard, who’s on the faculty at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Norges Teknisk-Naturvitenskapelige Universitetet, NTNU), earlier has criticized her fellow Norwegians’ “lack of ability to normalize their language,” not least when they come in contact with foreigners
Telling the Truth is Islam Bashing?
by Amil Imani
I am bombarded by hate and threats by the Allah-fearing fanatics, simply because I speak the truth about Islam. If telling the truth about Islam is Islam bashing, then mea culpa.
Question: Does Islam get a pass because it is a religion? Who says Islam is a religion? Millions do? What is the evidence? The words of masses of brainwashed carriers of the Islamic virus, transmitted to them by their parents, are worthless as evidence. What counts is the irrefutable fact that this creed, claimed to be the one and only religion of Allah, has been and continues to be a source of great suffering for non-Muslims as well as the ignorant masses of Muslims themselves.
Gaddafi son arrested for violence in Swiss hotel
A son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has been arrested by Swiss police after being accused of assaulting staff at a Geneva hotel, Swiss media reported Thursday.
Hannibal Gaddafi, 32, was arrested at the five star Hotel President Wilson on Tuesday after two maids accused him of hitting them, Radio Suisse Romande reported.
Prosecutors seek 5-year prison terms for high-ranking police
(ANSA) — Genoa, July 17 — Prosecutors on Thursday asked a Genoa court for total sentences of over 100 years in a trial for police brutality at the G8 summit in 2001.
Charges against 28 police officers who took part in a violent raid at a school used as sleeping quarters by anti-globalisation protestors include grievous bodily harm, planting evidence and wrongful arrest.
Three people were left comatose and 63 had to be taken to hospital after being beaten by police, who burst into the Diaz school in riot gear and arrested 93 protesters, including British, French, German and other non-Italian nationals.
Iran nuclear: Focus — Supreme Leader closes ranks with hardline President
Rome, 17 July (AKI) — (by Ahmad Rafat) — Little more than 24 hours ahead of talks on Iran’s nuclear programme taking place on Saturday in Geneva, the country’s Supreme Leader has declared his support for hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s anti-US stance.
“No-one intends to cross the red line,” Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei (photo) stated, referring to uranium enrichment.
But more importantly, Khamenei expressed his full support for Ahmadinejad’s position on Iran’s nuclear programme.