Tackling militant Islamism means also confronting its non-violent forms

Sept 11

By Elham Manea

#Islamism #Extremism #HopeNotHate #Radicalisation #GMABlog

The call is often from a worried teacher. They are noticing changes in students from immigrant backgrounds. Before, they defined themselves by nationality, as Kosovars, Bosnians or Turks, now they say they are Muslims. Before, they took part in art classes, now they insist their religion prohibits art. Then there’s a second change: these young men and women start to talk of a war against Islam that targets Muslims – targets them.

When I listen, I remember myself as a 16-year-old, the daughter of a diplomat from a secular family, coming back to my home country, Yemen, after four years in Morocco. It was 1982 – a period that saw the mushrooming of Islamist ideology in North Yemen. I was fascinated by a religious group led by a charismatic young woman of 17. The group met in the schoolyard. I would later learn it was part of a strong Islamist movement that saw Salafists work hand-in-hand with the Muslim Brotherhood.

The sessions were fascinating. Our leader explained about the love of God. The moment we enter into Islam, she said, all our sins are washed away and we become equal. The fate of those who are not Muslims was never mentioned. She told us that we could be better people if only we embraced the message of Islam – the true Islam, not the corrupted form of our society. For a teenage girl, lacking direction, the message was mesmerising, and I embraced it wholeheartedly.

The changes in me were gradual. It started with language. Instead of greeting others with ‘good morning’ or ‘good evening’, I used only the salute of Islam: ‘assalamu alaikum’, peace be upon you. Later I would learn that this salute is only reserved for Muslims. “Do not use it with non-Muslims,” I was told.

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The foolish fear of Islamization? – Germany and the PEGIDA movement

PEGIDA

By Rebecca Gebauer

#multiculturalism #Islam #Germany #PEGIDA

Watching the recent wave of anti-Islamic demonstrations by a group called PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the Occident) in Dresden, Germany, I cannot help but wonder how it can be that up to 17,500 people feel motivated to protest against the ‘Islamization of Europe’. One should think that Germany, being the country with the worst history of fascism, racism and deadly persecution, should know better than that.

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Brutal murder of Christian couple shows how dangerous Pakistan is for minorities

Press Release

For Immediate Use

Brutal murder of Christian couple shows how dangerous Pakistan is for minorities

Global Minorities Alliance, a human rights charity which fights for minority communities the world over, has condemned the brutal murder of a Christian couple in the Punjab region of Pakistan following allegations of blasphemy.

Shahzad Masih and Shama Bibi, a married couple with four children, were beaten and then burnt alive in a brick kiln where they worked yesterday (4 November) after they were accused of desecrating the Quran by a co-worker.

According to the Pakistan Christian Post, mosque loudspeakers in Kot Rada Kishan, Kasur district of Punjab, were used to call a Muslim mob together to ‘teach a lesson to the blasphemers’. After the mob had beaten the couple and burnt them alive, other Christians in the area fled fearing for their safety.

pakistan-injustice-blasphemy-law

The news of the attack came on the same day that the Prince of Wales called on faith leaders not to remain silent over the worldwide suffering of religious minorities, and described the persecution of Christians around the world as an ‘indescribable tragedy’.

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