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Monday, July 31, 2006

Harvard Returns Sikh Student’s Kirpan

From an email sent by the Sikh Coalition:
Harvard University has returned a Sikh student’s kirpan as a result of the Sikh Coalition’s intervention. The student, Navdeep Singh, had voluntarily given his kirpan to a University administrator who requested that the administration be able to keep it while the university determined whether he would able to wear it on campus. The student’s kirpan was returned to him within hours after the Coalition’s intervention.
Tags: Sikh, kirpan, Harvard, religious freedom.

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Thursday, July 27, 2006

Mosque window smashed in Loughborough

A Mosque in Loughborough, Leicestershire was vandalised in the early hours of Friday June 16. An object was thrown at one of the windows at 5:50am leaving the mosque with £70 worth of repairs.

A spokesman for the police told The Muslim News, “There is nothing to suggest this was a mindless act of criminal damage/vandalism.” [Link]
Tags: mosque, Loughborough, vandalism.

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2 years of thefts baffled mosque

Over two years as many as nine teenagers broke into and stole money from the Islamic Center of Naperville, but the teens were motivated by greed, not racial or religious intolerance, police and mosque officials said Wednesday.

Four 18-year-olds were arrested last week, and police intend to obtain arrest warrants for five more teens within the week for burglarizing the mosque in the 400 block of Olesen Drive, Lt. Dave Hoffman said Wednesday.

"Kids were going in and getting money when they needed it," Hoffman said. [Link]
Tags: mosque, Chicago, burglary.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Muslims on front line as racism rises across EU

Racism, xenophobia and far-right extremism are on the rise across Europe, according to a comprehensive survey which found that Muslim communities face mounting discrimination and prejudice.

The report, by non-governmental organisations in 20 EU countries, criticises governments for losing interest in the battle against racism, and says the political reaction to terrorist attacks has made life harder for ethnic minorities.

The inquiry by the European Network against Racism highlights a trend towards “increased tolerance for discriminatory behaviour particularly against immigrants and Muslims”. It adds that “a lack of political will to address racism is sometimes evident and disturbing”. [Link]
Tags: racism, Europe, Muslims.

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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Update: Vandalism at Sikh Temple in Oregon

Recent vandalism at the Sikh temple has left many in Salem angry and shaken, and the organization trying to educate people about who they are and why they are not a threat.

People who worship at the Dashmesh Darbar Sikh Temple on Oakhill Ave SE in South Salem say the violent and destructive acts committed against their building over the weekend amounts to more than a hate crime, they say it was an act of terrorism.

The desecration of the former Lutheran church is definetely not the first hate crime acted out against a Salem religious organization, it has happened more than once at Temple Beth Shalom, the Synagogue in North Salem, and other locations.

Police say that while it is alarming and concerning, it is not something that happens frequently in the capitol city.

Investigators say a 4-foot flag with the Khanda, the symbol of the Sikh faith was burned by the vandals. The flag was on a pole located behind the Temple[.] [Link]
Tags: vandalism, Sikh, temple.

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Monday, July 24, 2006

Maine Attorney General files civil rights charges in mosque incident

A second legal complaint filed against the man accused of rolling a frozen pig's head into a Lewiston mosque is raising the question: Will there be a third?

Thursday's decision by the Maine Attorney General's Office to prosecute Brent Matthews of Lewiston on civil rights violations has mosque members hoping that the federal government will follow.

Local prosecutors at the Androscoggin District Attorney's Office first charged Matthews, 33, with the misdemeanor crime of desecrating a place of worship.

The state, in its civil lawsuit filed Thursday in Superior Court in Auburn, claims Matthews broke the law because his alleged action targeted Somali and Muslim residents and was motivated by bias based on "race, color, ancestry, national origin and religion."

The complaint pointed out that Matthews has admitted rolling the pig's head into the mosque on July 3, calling it a joke. It also said Matthews has demonstrated anti-Somali bias. He displayed an anti-immigrant bumper sticker on his car, according to the Maine Attorney General's Office, although Matthews' lawyer disputes that. [Link]
Tags: Maine, Attorney General, mosque, pig, immigration.

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Sunday, July 23, 2006

Muslims 'boycott' Glasgow airport

Muslim business travellers are boycotting Glasgow airport, according to a leading Scottish figure.

Bashir Mann, from the Muslim Council of Great Britan, complained of heavy-handed and humiliating searches by anti-terrorist police officers.

Dozens of executives have said they are no longer prepared to fly from Scotland and are using Manchester instead.

Strathclyde Police said it was looking at training to raise awareness of cultural and religious sensitivities.

Mr Mann said: "I'd never experienced anything like that before in Scotland.

"This was a show of sheer discrimination, victimisation of certain sections of the community in Scotland."

Glasgow businessman Mohammed ashraf said it was "undignified" to be stopped and questioned.

"After being through all the checks that normal people go through, at the last moment you are stopped again and asked questions as everybody else passes you by," he said. [Link]
Tags: Muslim, Glasgow, airport, discrimination.

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Religious flag's burning called a hate crime

A flagpole at the Dasmesh Darbar Sikh Temple in South Salem was uprooted and the flag was burned Saturday morning in what temple members called a hate crime.

Members found the remains of the flag about 6 a.m. The 4-foot-tall flag had a Khanda, the primary symbol of the Sikh faith, printed on it.

The flagpole had been removed from a stump on the back of the property, in which it was anchored, and brought just outside the temple's chain-link fence, where it was set ablaze.

Flowers also were ripped out, and a nonworking bike was thrown to the opposite side of the property.

Temple President Bahadur Singh said there have been no other incidents since the temple was established in October. He said that the community has been supportive of the group. [Link]

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Indian Muslims angry over being target of police

Angry Indian Muslim leaders claim their community is the target of a witch hunt by police investigating the Mumbai train bombings last week which killed 183 people and wounded 800.

They say Muslims are being targeted by authorities, who have rounded up hundreds of people for questioning from different parts of the country, although police deny Muslims are being singled out. [Link]

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Friday, July 21, 2006

Fat Nick gets 15 years

A white man accused of pummeling a black man over the head with a baseball bat was sentenced to 15 years in prison Monday in a hate-crime case that focused on the defendant’s use of the n-word before the attack.

Nicholas Minucci, 20, who faced up to 25 years in prison, was convicted last month of second-degree assault as a hate crime for the 2005 attack in Howard Beach....

“Nicholas Minucci has exhibited a history of violence and intolerance,” the prosecutor, Mariela Herring, told the judge....

Weighing against Minucci [were] two violent youthful offender convictions, including a hate crime from 9/11 when he shot a paint ball at a Sikh man about to go into a temple and pray for World Trade Center victims.
Additional background information is available here.

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Thursday, July 20, 2006

Fears of a violent local backlash

THERE is rising concern among counter-terrorism officials and community leaders that the carnage in Lebanon could inspire a violent response in Australia. [Link]

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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Oxford Attacker Convicted

An alcoholic thug who tore off a Sikh man's turban in Oxford has been convicted of racially aggravated assault.

Kenneth Pollard, 56, of Speedwell Street, Oxford, denied the attack on Rattandeep Singh Ahluwalia, 26, from India, but was found guilty after a trial on Monday.

Tim Boswell, prosecuting at Oxford Magistrates Court, said: "The turban was torn off with such force it pulled some hair out of Mr Ahluwalia's head.

"Mr Pollard threw the turban on the ground and left the scene."

Mr Boswell said the incident, on May 28, was caught on CCTV and Pollard was arrested a few days later.

At the time, the Oxford Mail reported how up to 40 onlookers did nothing as the turban was torn off.

Mr Ahluwalia, giving evidence in court, said... "I heard someone shouting across the road. There was a man copying my body movements.

"After a while he came across the road, looking in my face, shouting and saying things I tried to ignore."

Mr Ahluwalia said he thought Pollard had gone when he felt him grab his turban.

He said: "It is the most embarrassing thing for a Sikh to have their turban taken off in front of unknown people.

"He had said to me 'you are a Paki, then he said, 'no you are a Hindu'."....

When asked why he ripped the turban from Mr Ahluwalia's head, he said: "It was temper, it was a reaction."

Jane Malcolm, defending, asked Pollard: "When you took Mr Ahluwalia's turban off did you think it was in any way racist?"

Pollard said: "No, not at all."

Pollard admitted he had drunk a bottle of port or wine and a couple of pints of beer that day.

He said: "I am an alcoholic. That (amount of drink) might sound a lot, but that would just make me joyful. I wasn't drunk." [Link]

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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

London cops cleared in subway shooting

British prosecutors Monday declined to seek criminal charges against two London police officers who shot and killed a Brazilian electrician last year after mistakenly identifying him as a suicide bomber.

Prosecutors said there was insufficient evidence to prosecute the two officers, who were not publicly identified. But they said they would seek lesser charges against the Metropolitan Police as an organization for failing to safeguard the "health, safety and welfare" of Jean Charles de Menezes, 27. A conviction on that offense carries an unlimited fine for the department but no suspensions or other punishment for any individual, prosecutors said. [Link]

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FBI looks into hate crime in Indiana

The FBI is investigating recent vandalism at a northwestern Indiana mosque as a possible hate crime

Last week, Muslim-American leaders of the Michigan City Islamic Center called the $8,600 damage to their mosque, which serves about 150 families, a “systematic hate crime.”

“We take these cases very seriously,” said Wendy Osborne, a spokeswoman for the FBI in Indianapolis.

On July 2, Porter County police received a report of bullets shot into the center’s copper dome, leaving six holes. Also, two glass doors, 10 windows and a spotlight were vandalized, possibly by a BB gun, according to a police report.

The center’s groundskeeper told police a sign also had a swastika carved into it, but an officer said he could not make out the symbol through the scratch marks. The letters “KKK” are clearly yet crudely scratched into the sign. [Link]

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Media blamed for Islamophobia

UK Muslims blame Islamophobia on the portrayal of their religion in the media, a survey has revealed.

The research found that 40% of Muslims blamed anti-Islamic feelings on the media, while 74% of non-Muslims blamed Islamophobia on the 9/11 bombings....

The report by Shaista Gohir, from online forum Muslim Voice UK, stated: "The Muslim-West relations have become increasingly strained due to a string of events such as the September 11 attacks in 2001, the Afghanistan war in 2002, the Iraq war, the London bombings in 2005 and the Danish cartoon row.

"In this current climate, it is essential to gauge Muslim and non-Muslim attitudes with a view to resolving differences."

The research found that both sides agree that Muslims and non-Muslims "don't understand each other" but have different concerns about the cause of the culture clash. [Link]

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Monday, July 17, 2006

Muslims Fearful of Backlash in Mumbai

From the BBC:
Hundreds of Muslims have been questioned by police in the Indian city of Mumbai following last week's serial bombings.

Suspicion has fallen on the Lashkar-e-Toiba, a Kashmiri militant group based in Pakistan, as well as radical Islamic groups based in India prompting the security agencies to concentrate their inquiries on the city's Muslim community for any leads.

This has created a growing sense of uneasiness among the city's four million Muslims, who have come out in strength to condemn the attacks.

Mumbai has a history of tensions between the city's Muslim minority and Hindu majority, although initial fears of a backlash targeting the community have proved unfounded.
From the Telegraph (UK):
As blame for the bombings falls on extremist Islamic groups within India, bringing the spotlight of suspicion to bear on the city's Muslim population, families of Muslims killed in the blasts are silently coming to terms with their grief....

In mosques, Friday prayers were dedicated to the victims and the condemnation of the blasts has been unequivocal. No display of anti-Muslim rancour has so far surfaced, but in a majority-Hindu country, Muslims remain scared of a backlash or police harassment.
From PBS:
Forensic experts have confirmed the bombs were left on luggage racks and all had timers, though they've yet to identify the explosive.

Many people have already made up their minds where blame lies. This protest in Delhi today. The home ministry has suggested it was the work of Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Pakistan-based terror outfit fighting Indian rule in Kashmir, working with a local, banned Islamic group.

Amid the grief here, there is impatience for results, but there is a danger of a serious backlash if the police are heavy-handed in Mumbai's Muslim communities.

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Friday, July 14, 2006

Rajinder Singh Khalsa: Two Years Later, Sikh Reflects On Attack

Rajinder Singh Khalsa lay on the ground praying to God as the next man’s foot exploded into his face, opening another wound. Silently, he pleaded for the punches and kicks to stop, for the pain to end. The five men beat him viciously outside of Villa Russo’s Restaurant in Richmond Hill because of the turban on his head. He suffered a nose fracture, temporary loss of vision in his left eye, and was left on the ground unconscious.

July 11 marked the anniversary of the date that Khalsa, now 51, endured the racially motivated beating. It is now two years later, and the five men were all dealt prison sentences, ranging from five days to two years. Three of the men were also ordered to serve community service with the Sikh temple.

“I requested the judge to give them a little less punishment and give them community service,” Khalsa said a Sunday gathering in Richmond Hill’s Gurudwara Ramgharia Sikh Society of America temple. “They should come and serve in the Sikh temple. They should be educated about the Sikh religion, and know why we wear this turban. This turban is a sign of respect. I feel when they come with us and serve, they will feel the blessing of God. When we pray for us, we pray for all, especially those boys.”

Khalsa, meanwhile, has carried on with his life. His vision is still poor and he frequently suffers from neck pains. Through his faith in Sikhism and support from the community, he has been able to maintain his spirit.

“I am healing better than other people because we do yoga,” he said. “All the Sikh people are devoted to me. When I was recovering (after the beating), it was raining. There was a big line in front of my home because people wanted to see me. The Channel Fox 5 television crew was there, and they were showing that line in the rain. The community was praying for me.”

Last year at this time, Khalsa announced that he filed a civil suit against his attackers, making him the first Sikh hate crime victim to do so. On Saturday, Khalsa was contacted by Allstate Insurance, which had been providing homeowners’ insurance to three of the men. Allstate informed Khalsa that they would not cover the suit because the men engaged in an intentional violent act of crime.

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Thursday, July 13, 2006

Sikh Employee Unwilling Poster Boy For Transit Authority Dress Code

A Sikh transit authority employee has unwillingly emerged as the poster boy for the very dress code he says violates his religious freedom.

The station agent, Trilok Arora, 68, and four other agents sued the Metropolitan Transit Authority last year over its requirement that they wear an MTA logo on their turbans.

Regardless, the MTA has recently issued a brochure describing the dress code that includes a photo of Mr. Arora sporting an MTA-branded turban, according to court filings....

Since May, employment attorneys for the Department of Justice — which filed its own lawsuit against the dress code — have sent four letters to federal court protesting the transit authority's use of Mr. Arora as a model for the logo-laden turban.

Mr. Arora's lawsuit alleges that the MTA is lax about enforcing its dress code prohibiting employees from wearing Yankees and Mets caps, but targets Sikhs to hassle them about their religious headwear. His lawyers claim that the MTA has no right to place its "corporate brand" on the religious garments of its employees.

"This is beyond obnoxious," an attorney for Mr. Arora, Amardeep Singh, said of the recent dress code bulletin. "The MTA is thumbing it right in your face by showing you just how well it can make you violate your religion," Mr. Singh, legal director of the Sikh Coalition, said. [Link]

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Bombay rises in defiance from bomb carnage

India's financial capital emerged bloodied [officially known as Mumbai], battered but unbowed yesterday after terrorist bombs planted on trains killed 183 people and injured more than 700....

Extra police were deployed throughout the city, particularly at Hindu temples and mosques, to prevent the kind of Hindu-Muslim sectarian backlash that has followed such attacks in the past. [link]

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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Avoiding the backlash: The blasts in Mumbai are a challenge to Indian secularism

The seven bomb blasts that took place in Mumbai towards evening on July 11 - or 7/11 as it will surely be referred to from now on - were hardly the first terrorist attacks on India....

How will India react to such terrorism? Alas, the chances are high that it will play into the terrorists' hands. What the perpetrators would most like is for backlashes to take place against Muslims in India, and for a vicious circle of violence to then begin that brings them easy recruits and funding. These vicious circles of violence, "action and reaction" as Narendra Modi, the chief minister of the Western-Indian state Gujarat, once called them, are all too common....

There are now two challenges that now lie ahead of [Indians].

One is the obvious one that India's law-enforcing agencies face, to act pro-actively and nimbly to outsmart terrorists who can strike anywhere and at any time. The other is for civil society, which must refrain from the temptation of giving a religious dimension to such terrorism, regardless of the communal biases that sections of it may nurture.

If these challenges cannot be met successfully, things may well unravel, and the country that began in frightening communal violence may be consumed by it. [Link]

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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Mosque Incident Highlights Need For New Multicultural Office

Governor Baldacci says Maine is no place for discrimination or harrassment. As he spoke at the opening of the new state Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Governor responded to a crime committed in Lewiston last week.

Police say Brent Matthews has admitted to rolling a frozen pig's head into a mosque last Monday night, during a crowded prayer service.
Police say Matthews told them he did it as a joke.

But Somali community leaders say it was highly offensive, and so does Maine's governor.

"An attack on anyone's house of prayer is an attack on all of our houses of prayer," said Baldacci. "All that's necessary for us to do is not quietly stand by, but standing as one, as citizens of this state, to say we will not tolerate this kind of behavior," Baldacci said. [Link]

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Monday, July 10, 2006

Osama's images a trouble for American Sikhs

A constant bombardment of images of Osama bin Laden has compounded trouble for American Sikhs who faced racial hatred in the wake of al-Qaeda attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001, a Washington-based Sikh advocacy group said today.

Sikh Council on Religion and Education (SCORE) chief Rajwant Singh cited a survey his group had carried out in Washington on the levels of awareness among Americans about their understanding of the faith.

"We found that nine out of 10 educated Americans identified Sikhs with Muslims," Singh, currently in India to garner support for an international Sikh forum, told PTI. [Link]

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Comments by Tory Politician on Muslims "Offensive and Divisive"

The Australian Government has spelt out bluntly what it expects of its ethnic minority communities and we in the UK should do the same," [Sir Nicholas] Winterton wrote. "They should stop politicising dress, such as wearing the hijab and burkha, they should learn English, they should not return to their homelands to get a spouse, cease forced marriages and accept once and for all that the United Kingdom is not, and never will be, an Islamic state."

The director of the local Racial Equality Council, Shantele Janes, said her office was extremely concerned by the article. "We are appalled that someone in his position would be so irresponsible as to make the comments he did, contributing to the climate of hostility towards Muslims in the UK," she said.

The Conservative Party Central Office is also distancing itself from Winterton's comments, calling them his own personal views and not those of the party. [Link]

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Friday, July 07, 2006

2003 shooting of Sikh unsolved

The headline in the May 21, 2003, edition of The Arizona Republic read, "Sikh shooting called hate crime."

The story began: A Sikh man was shot Monday night in north Phoenix in what authorities are calling an unprovoked hate crime.

Avtar Singh Cheira, a 52-year-old truck driver who lives in Phoenix, was shot twice by men in a red pickup near Ninth Street and Bell Road, police said. The Indian immigrant, who has lived in the United States for 18 years, was wearing a turban as he waited for his family to pick him up from work about 9:20 p.m.

"I heard that voice say, 'Go back to where you belong to,' and at the same time I heard that shot," Cheira said Tuesday (May 20, 2003) at a Valley hospital, where he winced with pain each time he moved his legs....

Summary: Cheira, now 55, said that the shooting put him in the hospital for about 10 days and that he was unable to work for nearly three months. He relied on friends, family and the Valley Sikh community to lend him money to cover truck and house payments while he was out of work....

Cheira incurred more than $100,000 in medical expenses from the attack and carries nearly $3,000 in debt after the majority of the expenses were forgiven because of his inability to pay.

Cheira has since moved to a gated community for more safety, and said to this day he worries about his family's safety.

With no arrests in the joint Phoenix police-FBI investigation and a $20,000 reward for information still uncollected, Cheira said he feels that the case has been forgotten....

Investigators: FBI Special Agent Deborah McCarley and Phoenix police Detective Jerry Oliver.

What bothers McCarley most about the case: "These types of crimes don't affect just one individual," she said. "This also has an impact on that community, that minority group."

How you can help: Anyone with information is asked to call the Phoenix FBI at (602) 279-5511. Anonymous tips can also be made to Silent Witness at 1-800-343-TIPS. [Link]

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7/7 Anniversary: How London Carried On

When four bombs exploded in London a year ago today, for a moment it seemed as if life would never be the same again. But what's really changed? The city quickly got back to normal; the government didn't get the support it wanted for its clampdown on terror suspects; our multiracial society is still thriving....

[F]ears of a dramatic change in non-Muslim attitudes to Muslims [did not] materialise. A recent survey by the Pew Global Attitudes Project found that 63% of non-Muslim Britons have a favourable opinion of Muslims, barely down on the 2004 figure. Those attitudes were more positive than in the US, Germany or Spain. To illustrate the contrast, two years after the Madrid bombings, only 29% of Spaniards have a benign view of Muslims. In Britain, less than a third said they viewed Muslims as violent, compared to 60% in Spain and 45% in the US.

That may not be how it feels. British Muslims, indeed British Asians generally, speak of extra tension in their lives, to add to the anxiety caused after September 11. Many say they are eyed suspiciously, especially on trains and buses. Young Asian men joke that they know better than to travel with a rucksack. [Link]

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Thursday, July 06, 2006

'7/7 has brought us closer together'

It was a sledgehammer blow to Britain's multi-cultural society - yet a Welsh Muslim leader believes July 7 has brought us closer together.

Saleem Kidwai, secretary of the Muslim Council of Wales, gave the Echo an exclusive interview to mark the first anniversary of the London bombings.

He believes the chasm of suspicion that grew between Muslims and non-Muslims following the attacks has started to close....

'There has been a better understanding of each other, and Muslim and non-Muslim communities have been brought closer together,' he said. 'There was a change after September 11 to some extent. But because this attack was on home ground, we have felt it's even more important that we understand and value each other.' [Link]

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Research studies race attitudes

Researchers at Glasgow University have been studying how the majority of Scots feel about people who live in Scotland but who are "not like them".
They used social attitude data to gauge "street-level prejudice" among majority Scots, a group that excludes Muslims, English immigrants and their partners.

They concluded that there was less Anglophobia than Islamophobia.

More than half thought a "true Scot" had to be born in Scotland but only 16% thought a "true Scot" had to be white....

The findings, published by the Scottish Centre for Social Research, show that 49% of those polled held negative rather than positive views of Muslims.

The comparable figure for English immigrants was 38%.

Behind the headline figures, there is a wealth of apparently contradictory attitudes.

More than 60% of majority Scots thought there should be a law outlawing discrimination against both Muslims and English. [Link]

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Wednesday, July 05, 2006

ENSAAF Welcomes its New Advisory Council

The Advisory Council is comprised of a broad range of experienced human rights advocates who will guide ENSAAF in implementing its mission:

Brad Adams is the Executive Director of the Asia Division of Human Rights Watch (HRW). HRW is the largest human rights organization based in the US and protects the human rights of people around the world.

Rajvinder Singh Bains is a Punjab & Haryana High Court attorney with over two decades of human rights litigation experience. He is the lead attorney of the Khalra trial team.

Sandra Coliver is a Senior Legal Officer at the Open Society Justice Initiative an operational arm of the Open Society Institute founded by financier George Soros that promotes the rule of law and human rights worldwide.

Matt Eisenbrandt is the Litigation Director at the Center for Justice & Accountability (CJA). CJA works to hold human rights abusers accountable through lawsuits brought under universal jurisdiction laws.

Carla Ferstman is the Director of Redress. Redress helps torture survivors obtain justice and reparations.

Ram Narayan Kumar is the Director of the South Asian Orientation Course in Human Rights and Peace Studies, a program of the South Asian Forum for Human Rights (SAFHR). SAFHR promotes human rights, peace, and democracy in the region.

Smita Narula is the Faculty Co-Director at the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice (CHRGJ), based at NYU School of Law. The CHRGJ focuses on issues related to global justice and emphasizes research productivity in all aspects of its work.

Vasuki Nesiah is a Senior Associate at the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ). ICTJ assists countries pursuing accountability for past mass atrocities or human rights abuse.

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Tuesday, July 04, 2006

7/7: A Year Later

Today, as Americans celebrate the anniversary of its independence, British Prime Minister Tony Blair began to evaluate his nation's response to homegrown Islamic fundamentalism after the terrorist attacks of July 7, 2005. Mr Blair
said British Muslims are not confronting the ideas that fuel terrorism, after one of his lawmakers criticized the government's response to last year's attacks on London.

In the anniversary week of the July 7, 2005, bombings when four British Muslims killed 52 people in suicide attacks on London's transport network, Sadiq Khan, a Muslim lawmaker in Blair's Labour Party, said the government had not done enough to engage with Britain's Islamic community.

"The problem is not that the government hasn't acted," Blair told a committee of lawmakers in Parliament today. "The problem is that we're not having a debate of a fundamental enough nature within the community, where the moderate majority go and stand up against the ideas of these people, not just their methods."
These comments come on the heels of a poll of British Muslims in which
Sixteen per cent of [respondents], equivalent to more than 150,000 adults, believe that while the attacks were wrong, the cause was right.

But the poll also revealed a stark gulf between this group and the majority of British Muslims, who want the Government to take tougher measures against extremists within their community.
With respect to a backlash against Muslims in Britain in the year following the attacks, the Times of London has this to say:
The predictions were wrong. British society, and London in particular, rose above crude revenge. Politicians, faith groups and ordinary citizens reached out to the Muslim mainstream in support, sharing their bewilderment and supporting them in the painful selfexamination of why their faith had bred such violence. There were some isolated hate crimes, but no general spiral into communal violence and entrenched hostility.

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About DNSI

The Discrimination & National Security Initiative (DNSI) is a research entity that examines the mistreatment of minority communities during times of military action or national crisis.

More Info:
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The Blog

Why a Blog?
The purpose of this web-log is to offer news and commentary in a fluid, dynamic format while our more substantive reports are forthcoming.

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