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  1. #21
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    Jan 2007


    Niqabs don’t stop women, people do

    By Rahla Khan Saudi Gazette

    IT was with a sickening, all-too-familiar pang that I read the story, “Woman wearing veil asked to leave Italian museum”, about a niqab-wearing Muslim woman who was asked to leave Venice’s Ca’ Rezzonico museum, which houses 18th-century Venetian art, because she refused to take off her niqab while in the building. I also wear the niqab. And there have been many times when I was deliberately excluded and denied entry into places and positions because of the niqab.

    It strikes me as hugely ironic that this niqabo-phobia (for want of a better word) thrives in the West, the self-styled champion of personal choice and human liberty. Does anyone else see the dichotomy and the glaring hypocrisy?

    Tony Blair called the niqab “a mark of separation” and the judicial system of his country promptly came down hard over a British woman, Ayesha Azmi, who wanted to work in a public school while wearing a veil, dismissing her with a paltry compensation for “damages.”

    French Minister Fadela Amara called the niqab “a prison”, “a straitjacket” while justifying the denial of a French citizenship to Faiza Silmi, a Moroccan woman married to a French citizen, on the grounds that her veil is not conducive to integration in French society and her “radical” practice of Islam was incompatible with French values like equality of the sexes.

    Does anyone else see who’s doing the straitjacketing, who is preventing these women from integrating in society? Each time these women move out of their comfort zone to participate in society, who is turning them away? It is not the niqab which is preventing these women, it is people.

    In the case of the Muslim woman, who was turned away at the Italian museum, it was an “overzealous” security guard who felt threatened by her veiled presence, although she was with her husband and children and had previously cleared security when she entered the building.

    People often invoke the bogey of “security concerns” to justify their opposition of niqab-wearing women and their presence in public places.

    I can only direct these people to the words of historian and political commentator Timothy Garton, who wrote at the height of the Jack Straw-niqab controversy (when the British MP said he would ask veiled women constituency members coming to his office to take off their veils to foster “better communication”): “The most tiresome argument in this whole debate is that the niqab makes white, middle-class English people feel “uncomfortable” or “threatened”. Well, I want to say, what a load of whingeing wusses.

    Threatened by drunken football hooligans or muggers - that I can understand. But threatened by a woman quietly going about her business in a veil? As for uncomfortable: myself, I feel uncomfortable with a certain kind of pink-faced Englishman wearing crimson braces, a white-cuffed pinstriped shirt and a bow tie. Their clothing is a fair predictor of the views that will come out of their mouths. But I don’t ask them to take off their braces.

    [...]Why shouldn’t they (wear veils in public places)? What skin is it off your nose? As our society becomes more diverse, we will have to become more tolerant of diversity. We need to make a triage between the fundamentals of a free society on which we cannot compromise, matters that are properly the subject of intercommunal negotiation, and third-order issues best left to time and the quiet tides of social adaptation. Free speech belongs in the first category; the veil in the last.”

    Having been at the receiving end of senseless partisanship and prejudice so often, I don’t believe the situation for veiled women is going to get better in the West. All I can hope for, is for more people to see who is being unreasonable and stubborn in such a scenario. It’s not who they think.

  2. #22
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    Jan 2007


    Bus firm accused of thinly-veiled racism

    A WOMAN wearing a Muslim headscarf was told by a bus driver to take off her "mask" because it was against the law to wear it on board.

    Australian-born mother of two Khadijah Ouararhni-Grech was wearing the pink floral headscarf known as a niqab when she tried to board the HillsBus vehicle at Merrylands Rd, Greystanes.

    "As I was stepping on to the bus, the driver said: 'You can't get on the bus wearing your mask'," Ms Ouararhni-Grech told The Daily Telegraph yesterday.

    After politely telling him that the niqab was not a mask, he insisted, saying: "Sorry, it is the law."

    She said a number of passengers witnessed the incident.

    "I told him it wasn't the law and he said 'You have to show me your face'," she said.

    "There were others present, there was a lady with a baby who was also disgusted about the discrimination that was brought upon me.

    "I was just going to visit my mum. I was born here in Parramatta. I'm Maltese and I'm Muslim because I choose to be Muslim.

    "I said to him 'There's no difference between me and that lady sitting there who chooses to not wear what I'm wearing'."

    After a heated discussion that lasted more than five minutes, the driver allowed Ms Ouararhni-Grech to travel on the bus.

    HillsBus, Sydney's largest private bus company, has confirmed it is investigating Tuesday's incident. It is yet to contact Ms Ouararhni-Grech.

    "At HillsBus we take complaints seriously and we value our record of customer service," a spokesperson said yesterday.

    "We received the complaint on Tuesday and an internal inquiry is now under way.

    "Until the matter is investigated it would obviously not be appropriate to offer further public commentary."

    The HillsBus driver in question was yesterday approached by The Daily Telegraph for an explanation but denied the incident took place.

    Ms Ouararhni-Grech said she wanted the bus company to improve driver education, rather than punish the driver. "I'd just like to change his attitude, I just want him to be educated on the subject," she said.

    "I'd be more than happy to go to the company with my sheikh and educate these people about what this exactly is and our beliefs and the reason why."

    A HillsBus source said drivers had the power to deny passengers access to a bus if they believed they were intoxicated or could pose a threat to other passengers.

    Drivers are also trained to search around and under their vehicles and how to evacuate a vehicle quickly if the need arises.

  3. #23
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    Jan 2007


    Hijab in Michigan Courts


    (WASHINGTON, D.C.) - A prominent national Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization today called for clarification of a new administrative rule adopted by Michigan’s Supreme Court that, if broadly interpreted, might allow judges to demand that witnesses remove religious head coverings during testimony in their courtrooms.

    SEE: State Court: Judges Can Dictate Witnesses' Attire - http://www.freep.com/article/20090617/NEWS06/90617030/1008/NEWS06

    The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said that forced removal of religiously-mandated attire such as an Islamic headscarf, or hijab, would violate the constitutional right to religious freedom and would contradict President Obama’s recent statement in support of the right to wear hijab.

    In his address to the Muslim world earlier this month in Cairo, President Obama stated: “[F]reedom in America is indivisible from the freedom to practice one's religion…That is why the US government has gone to court to protect the right of women and girls to wear the hijab, and to punish those who would deny it.”

    “Michigan residents of all faiths need clarification as to whether they will be forced to remove their religious attire in order to appear in a state court,” said Dawud Walid, executive director of CAIR’s Michigan chapter.

    He said the newly-adopted rule, if interpreted broadly, could also be used against Jews, Sikhs, Christians, and members of other faiths who wear religious head coverings.

    The new rule, which was adopted in response to a case involving a Muslim woman, states: “The court shall exercise reasonable control over the appearance of parties and witnesses so as to (1) ensure that the demeanor of such persons may be observed and assessed by the fact-finder, and (2) to ensure the accurate identification of such persons.”

    Two Michigan Supreme Court judges opposed the new rule, saying there should be an exception for religious attire.

    SEE: Civil Rights Commission Opposes Proposed Court Rule on Courtroom Attire

    Walid added that CAIR has consistently defended the right of Muslim women to wear headscarves in the workplace, in schools, in courtrooms, and as customers in public venues such as banks. CAIR chapters in Oklahoma and Minnesota recently helped block proposed legislation that would have prohibited wearing hijab in driver’s license photographs.

    SEE: Okla. Muslim Takes Driver’s License Photo with Hijab

    SEE ALSO: Credit Union Regrets Muslim Woman's Treatment

    CAIR, America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization, has 35 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

  4. #24
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    Oregon Bill Reinforces Ban on Muslim, Sikh, Jewish Teachers

    (WASHINGTON, D.C., 7/16/09) - A prominent national Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization today joined America’s Sikh community in expressing concerns about legislation awaiting the governor’s signature in Oregon that purports to broaden religious freedom, but would prohibit teachers from wearing religiously-mandated attire such as an Islamic head scarf, or hijab.

    The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said a section of the “Oregon Workplace Religious Freedom Act” states:

    “No teacher in any public school shall wear any religious dress while engaged in the performance of duties as a teacher. A school district, education service district or public charter school does not commit an unlawful employment practice under ORS chapter 659A by reason of prohibiting a teacher from wearing religious dress while engaged in the performance of duties as a teacher.”

    SEE: Sikhs Protest School Exemption in Oregon Religious Freedom Bill (Oregonian)

    National Sikh Organization Rejects 'Gaping Hole' in Oregon Discrimination Bills
    The End of an Era to Keep Religious Identity Out of Public Schools

    “This legislation forces Muslims, Jews, Sikhs, and others to choose between their faith and entering the teaching profession,” said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. “Those who wear religiously-mandated attire are not proselytizing; they are practicing their faith, a right guaranteed by the Constitution. Concerns about religious neutrality in schools can be adequately addressed through professional codes of conduct.”

    He said the legislation also raises the question of whether a Christian or Jewish teacher wearing a prominent cross or Star of David would face removal from his or her teaching position.

    “Would this legislation prohibit a Mennonite teacher from wearing a bonnet?” asked Hooper. “Who will determine what is religious attire and what is a personal fashion choice.”

    He said a Muslim teacher who is a cancer survivor might be prohibited from wearing a scarf following hair loss from chemotherapy.

    Hooper added that the Oregon legislation contradicts President Obama's recent statement in support of the right to wear hijab.

    In his June address to Muslims worldwide, President Obama stated: "[F]reedom in America is indivisible from the freedom to practice one's religion...That is why the U.S. government has gone to court to protect the right of women and girls to wear the hijab, and to punish those who would deny it."

  5. #25
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    Good News: Oklahoma Anti-Hijab Bill Dismissed

    (OKLAHOMA CITY, OK, 4/7/09) - The Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-OK) today commended state senators for dismissing a controversial bill (HB 1645) that would have prohibited Islamic head scarves, or hijabs, on driver’s licenses photographs and photo IDs.

    For background, see:
    Oklahoma Muslims Asked to Challenge Anti-Hijab Legislation

    State Senate Sub-Committee on Transportation dropped the bill last week after recognizing it did not have the backing of constituents who believed it violated First Amendment rights. The Senate Judiciary Committee also dropped the billafter realizing that the Department of Public Safety currently has a policy that allows for religious exemptions on driver’s licenses photographs.

    Federal and military IDs also allow a religious exemption.

    SEE: CAIR-OK: Religious Headcovering Bill (Video)

    “We thank Oklahoma lawmakers for their leadership and courage in standing up for religious pluralism and the First Amendment. We appreciate their recognition of the contributions that all faiths make to the great state of Oklahoma and we look forward to continuing to work together for all Oklahomans,” said CAIR-OK Executive Director Razi Hashmi. He added that some 600 letters opposing the draft legislation were sent to lawmakers by Oklahomans of all faiths.

    SEE: CAIR-OK: Ignorance is the Enemy (Tulsa World)

    Hashmi said many people believe the bill was introduced in reaction to CAIR-OK's successful resolution of a dispute over a Muslim woman's right to wear hijab in her driver’s license photo.

    SEE: Muslim Woman Takes Driver's Photo with Head Scarf (Video)

    According to a 2004 CAIR review, most states - with the exception of Georgia, Kentucky and New Hampshire - have addressed religious accommodation concerns. Five states - Arkansas, Mississippi, Kansas, Missouri, and Maine - recognize some religious practices, while the other 42 states have adopted more inclusive approaches to religious accommodation policies.

    SEE: Religious Accommodation in Driver's License Photographs

    CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 35 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

    CONTACT: CAIR-OK Executive Director Razi Hashmi, 405-248-5853, E-Mail: rhashmi@cair.com; CAIR-OK Chairperson Lobna Hewedi, E-Mail: lhewedi@cair.com; CAIR-OK Operations Coordinator Tariq Ahmad, E-Mail: tahmad@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726, E-Mail: ihooper@cair.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, E-Mail: arubin@cair.com


    Know the law regarding Hijab and Driver's Licenses in your state:


  6. #26
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    Default School bans Muslim mother from parents' evening for wearing veil

    School bans Muslim mother from parents' evening for wearing veil

    04th April 2009

    A mother was barred from a parents' evening at her son's school as she was wearing a veil.

    The 34-year-old was turned away on security and safety grounds after arriving in clothes which covered every part of her body except her eyes.

    The incident in Blackburn follows a furore over comments by the area's MP Jack Straw about women who cover their faces.

    Mr Straw, now Justice Secretary, said in 2006 that veils could make community relations harder as they were a 'visible statement of separation and difference'.

    In the latest controversy last week, the mother of one was furious after being told that visitors' faces should be visible at all times.

    She insisted that her religion should not affect her access to Our Lady and St John Catholic Art College, a mixed school for 11 to 16-year-olds where she was also a pupil. The woman, who lives in Blackburn, said: 'I don't like going to the school anymore because I leave crying.

    'I can understand that people should be identified but I am just a normal person, trying to lead a normal life. Why should how I dress make a difference?'

    Police were called to the school when she refused to remove her niqab or leave the premises.

    Her wearing of the veil prompted a change of school policy after another parents' evening in 2007.

    'I got told not to go into the hall because I was wearing a veil,' said the mother. 'I explained I was willing to take the veil off in front of female teachers but not the male teachers.'

    School rules requiring hoodies and crash helmets be removed to gain entry were amended to include full-face veils after this.

    The woman added: 'This week at parents' evening, I signed in and saw two teachers in the library as I was not allowed in the main hall.

    'Then I was asked by a member of staff whether I was aware of the school's policy on identification. My son enjoys going to the school and has settled in. I am in a strange situation where I can't see how he is progressing or even go to drop him off inside.

    'If I had been told this was their intended policy, then maybe I would not have considered sending my son to the school.'

    Anjum Anwar, head of Woman's Voice, an advice group for Asian woman in Lancashire, has been working with the mother and school to try to find a solution.

    She said: 'We had hoped that the situation would have been resolved.

    'We are saddened to hear this young lady is still not given access to participate in her child's education because of her faith.'

    Headteacher Colette Gillen said it was important for parents to discuss their children's progress with staff.

    She has offered to set up one-to-one meetings between the mother and teachers in her office.

    'While this would be acceptable, the difficulty would be if a number of ladies wearing veils were free to wander the corridors or rooms,' said Mrs Gillen.

    'It would not be feasible to monitor who is who.'

    Mrs Gillen pointed to the Ofsted report rating the school as 'outstanding' for its community cohesion, care and guidance.

    Mr Straw yesterday refused to comment

  7. #27
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    Islamophobe US clinic denies Muslim doctor right to wear hijab

    A medical clinic in Dallas, Texas has sparked controversy after saying a Muslim doctor applying for a job cannot wear her headscarf if hired.

    Dr. Hena Zaki of Plano, Texas said Friday that she was shocked to find a no-hat policy at the CareNow clinic extended to her hijab.

    "He interrupted the interview and said he didn't want me 'to take this the wrong way,'" Zaki said. "Like an FYI."

    The 29-year-old doctor has called for an apology and a change in CareNow's policy.

    The Council on American-Islamic Relations has criticized the no-hijab policy, calling it "a blatant violation" of federal law.

    "It's obvious it's a blatant violation," said the council's civil rights manager, Khadija Athman. "It's a very straightforward case of religious accommodation. I cannot see any undue hardship on the part of the employer to accommodate to wear a head scarf."

    CareNow Chairman Tim Miller, however, has refused to apologize, saying in a statement that there is nothing wrong with the policy, which, according to him, 'does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, religion, or national origin'.

  8. #28
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    21° 30' N, 39° 10' E


    "The prejudice displayed at Bacon Academy is proof enough that education about world cultures cannot be ignored," he said. "The misunderstood are feared and hated."
    I think the name of the school says it all.

  9. #29
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    Clinic Apologizes for Telling Muslim Doctor She Can't Wear Headscarf

    (Fox News, of all places)

    Monday, November 02, 2009

    Oct. 30: Dr. Hena Zaki applied for a job at a North Texas medical clinic and says officials told her she couldn't wear her traditional headscarf.

    DALLAS — A suburban Dallas medical clinic has apologized to a Muslim doctor for telling her during a job interview that she would not be allowed to wear her headscarf while at work.

    Dr. Hena Zaki of Plano said Friday that she was shocked when officials at CareNow, which operates 22 clinics in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, told her in person and later by e-mail that a no-hat policy extended to her hijab.
    Zaki had been on a tour of a CareNow clinic in Allen, Texas, two weeks ago when she said the regional medical director told her he didn't want her to be surprised about the policy during orientation.

    "He interrupted the interview and said he didn't want me to take this the wrong way," Zaki said. "Like an FYI."

    Zaki demanded an apology and a change in CareNow's policies to accommodate expressions of religious belief — "whether it be a turban or facial hair."

    On Friday, CareNow President Tim Miller told the Associated Press: "I would apologize for any misunderstanding, definitely ... but I don't really feel like there is anything that we did that is wrong and our policy is wrong."

    The next day, as reported by MyFoxDallas/Fort Worth, Miller wrote in a statement:

    "We apologize to Dr. Zaki for the misunderstanding. We will clarify our policy, and will continue our ongoing sensitivity training."

    "Care Now has made religious accommodations for employees in the past," he said, adding that the company is interested in "sitting down with Dr. Zaki and discussing a job."

    CareNow says it does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, religion or national origin when making employment decisions. The Civil Rights Act requires companies to make accommodations for employees' religious beliefs.

    Zaki, who's searching for her first job after recently finishing her residency at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, has worn her headscarf since age 14 and said other places she's worked have not had a problem with it.

    "It's not a hat," she said. "It's not sports memorabilia."

    Click here for more from MyFoxDallas/Fort Worth.
    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

  10. #30
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    France Will Oppose But Not Ban Burqas - Deputy

    November 13, 2009

    PARIS (Reuters) - France will issue recommendations against full face veils but not pass a law barring Muslim women from wearing them, a leading backer of a legal ban said on Friday.

    Andre Gerin, chairman of a parliamentary inquiry into use of full face veils in France, reluctantly ruled out a ban one day after President Nicolas Sarkozy repeated his conviction that "France is a country that has no place for the burqa."

    France banned Muslim headscarves in state schools in 2004 following a similar inquiry and looked set to bring in an outright ban on veils coverings the whole face, such as burqas or niqabs, when it launched the panel last June at the request of Gerin, a Communist deputy from Lyon.

    But at its weekly hearings, legal experts, local officials, Muslim leaders and even some militant secularists have told the deputies on the panel that a ban could be anti-constitutional, counterproductive and impossible to enforce.

    Gerin, who denounces the head-to-toe veils as "walking coffins," told Europe 1 radio: "We'll end up with recommendations ... not a law in itself against the burqa, maybe a symbolic law, a law of liberation (of women)."
    Backing off from a complete ban, he said the panel might propose "radical measures" to ban full face veils in municipal hospitals and other public institutions, but gave no details.

    France, whose five million Muslims make up Europe's largest Islamic minority, has been criticised in the Muslim world for considering a burqa ban. French Islamic community leaders have warned against passing a law that would stigmatise Muslims.


    Scepticism about a ban grew after a police report said only 367 women in France wore such veils, which are common in Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia but not in the North African countries where most Muslim immigrants to France came from. Another estimate spoke of about a thousand such veils.
    The veil inquiry coincides with Sarkozy's plan for a public debate about immigration and national identity due to culminate in a conference just before regional elections next March.

    The opposition Socialist Party accuses him of stirring up the issue to poach anti-immigration voters from the far-right. Winning those voters away from the National Front party was a key to Sarkozy's election as president in 2007.

    Gerin said the panel was studying a possible ban on all face coverings in public, an approach experts also cast doubt on.

    "We can't impose a state of permanent control on citizens," legal expert Remi Schwartz told the panel. "That would mean everyone should be identifiable at all times, which would make public space into a vast zone of video surveillance."

    Law professor Denys de Bechillon challenged Gerin's argument that full facial veils broke French law because they violated women's rights and dignity.
    "Isn't the heart of a woman's dignity found in the exercise of her free choice and her freedom, even if that includes wearing a burqa if she wants to?" he asked.

  11. #31
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    Default Muslim woman 'abused' over dress

    Muslim woman 'abused' over dress

    A Muslim woman was asked by a Christian hotelier if she was a terrorist and a murderer because she was wearing Islamic dress, a court has been told.
    8 December 2009

    Ericka Tazi told Liverpool magistrates she faced a tirade of abuse from Benjamin Vogelenzang and his wife Sharon, at their hotel on Merseyside.
    She said it was because she was wearing a hijab head covering and gown.

    Mr and Mrs Vogelenzang deny using threatening, abusive or insulting words which were religiously aggravated.

    Members of campaign group The Christian Institute demonstrated in support of the couple outside the court.

    Mrs Tazi, who converted to Islam 18 months ago, spent a month at The Bounty House Hotel on Church Avenue, Aintree, Liverpool, while attending a course at Aintree Hospital.

    Clothes 'mocked'

    Prosecutor Anya Horwood told the court Mr Vogelenzang, 53, called the prophet Mohammed a "warlord" and likened him to Saddam Hussein and Hitler.

    And his 54-year-old wife told Mrs Tazi her Islamic dress represented "oppression" and was a form of "bondage", the court heard.

    Mrs Tazi had worn European dress during her four-week stay, but the row flared after she came down on her last day in traditional Islamic dress.
    She said Mr Vogelenzang asked her "Why are you wearing those clothes?" and began laughing at her, the prosecutor told the court.

    Ms Horwood said the hotelier then began to discuss his Christian faith but became angry - at which point his wife joined in.

    He asked me if I was a murderer, if I was a terrorist
    Ericka Tazi, hotel guest
    Mrs Tazi walked away but was followed by Mr Vogelenzang, who was acting like "a whirling dervish", repeatedly asking her if she was a "terrorist".

    Giving evidence, Mrs Tazi told the bench that dressing in her hijab seemed to "trigger something" in the hotelier.

    The 60-year-old, who suffers from fibromyalgia and lives with chronic pain, said: "He just couldn't accept the way I was dressed.

    "He asked me if I was a murderer, if I was a terrorist. I'm a 60-year-old disabled woman, I couldn't understand where it was coming from, it was shocking to me."

    Mrs Tazi said Mr Vogelenzang followed her into the dining room "flailing" his arms and "jumping up and down".

    She added: "Sharon came running in, she was shouting 'you started this with your dress' and she was pointing in my face and I was frightened at this stage. I was absolutely traumatised by it all."

    Beatles fan

    Later that night Mrs Tazi contacted Merseyside Police. When detectives questioned the couple they claimed they had been sharing their "faith views".

    Mrs Tazi told Hugh Tomlinson QC, for the defence, that she was not trying to make a statement by wearing the hijab and denied having robust arguments about religion with other guests.

    She told him she tried "many religions" before converting to Islam when she married.

    Mrs Tazi said: "My journey has been a long, long journey, it was a very difficult decision to wear these clothes... I'm a normal Warrington girl who liked the Beatles."

    Guests at the hotel told the court that Mrs Tazi was left distraught by the row.

    Pauline Tait, 52, a committed Christian, described it as "a very upsetting and volatile exchange".

    Another guest, Shirley Tait, said she was in her bedroom when she heard Mr Vogelenzang shouting the words "Nazi" and "warlord".
    The case was adjourned until Wednesday.



    The prejudice, intolerance, islamophobia and bigotry in Europe is sickening!

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    Yob who yanked off Muslim woman's headscarf ordered to pay her £1,000 compensation

    By Daily Mail Reporter - 16th December 2009

    A thug who ripped off a Muslim woman's headscarf as she passed him in the street says he's 'ashamed' of what he did.

    Stephen Ard was handed a 16-week jail sentence, suspended for a year, after he admitted a charge of religiously aggravated assault.

    Leicester magistrates also ordered him to pay his victim £1,000 compensation after hearing he was drunk at the time of the incident which took place in October in the Highfields area of the city.

    His victim Rehana Sidat told the court she felt 'invaded' by the attack and is still scared to walk the streets alone.

    Ard, 29, walked free after writing a letter of apology to the court. He said he felt 'ashamed and embarrassed' by his behaviour.

    Miss Sidat, 28, was walking to her job at a drop-in centre for people with learning difficulties when her attacker suddenly snatched the veil - also called the niqab - from her face.

    She said Ard's actions had left her 'emotionally and psychologically' hurt.

    Remembering the incident she told the court: 'A white youth was walking towards me. He was looking straight ahead so I didn't think anything of it.

    'It was only when he got a bit nearer and a bit too close that I tried to move away. It was then that he pulled my veil off and said: 'Get that off.'

    'He was angry, so it was really quite shocking. He kept walking, so I said: 'How dare you?' He stopped, turned around and said: 'I do dare.''

    English-born Ms Sidat, who has worn a niqab for 15 years, said she hoped victims of similar race-hate crimes would come forward.

    She added: 'I was born in this country and love this place. I just want to be treated like everyone else and have the same rights as everyone else.

    'There's nothing to fear - we're human beings, like everybody else. We're participating in our communities, just the same as everybody else out there.'

    Ard, who is from Leicester, was also ordered to carry out 150 hours of community service.

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    UNESCO chief wants to ban the burqa

    By Frank Renout - 15 October 2009

    Irina Bokova will be officially installed as UNESCO's new director today. It's the first time that the UN organisation for education and science and culture has had a woman, or an East European, in the top job. The new UNESCO Chief wants to encourage dialogue but isn't afraid to say what she thinks.

    Bulgaria's Irina Bokova has big ambitions: she wants to encourage dialogue between Muslims, Jews and Christians and increase respect and tolerance between different groups. But in an interview with Radio Netherlands World she immediately tackles a controversial issue and takes a stand against the burqa, the traditional Islamic garment that completely covers a woman's face and body. She says:

    "Personally I'm against the burqa. Some women can't even see properly. It denigrates women, causes problems and gives women the feeling that they are not equal to men."


    The brand new UNESCO chief isn't afraid to speak her mind. As far as Ms Bokova is concerned, the all-encompassing garment worn by some Muslim women does no good at all, especially now that more and more burqa-clad women are appearing on the streets of Western Europe. The UNESCO head says that burqa-wearers must become more self-confident and more self-aware:

    "I think UNESCO needs to make a really big effort and focus on education, education, education for Muslim women. I think this should be the number one priority. It's the only way to gradually change the mentality and the praxis for these women. It doesn't serve women's rights to say, I'm in favour of this, I'm against that. We have to do something and I think that through the transformation of society, we can change it.”

    Her outspoken comments are remarkable given UNESCO's calls for tolerance and mutual understanding. But Ms Bokova sees the burqa, especially in Western Europe, as a clash between cultures that has to be solved. And her solution is: the burqa has to go.

    Irina Bokova was chosen to chair the UN cultural organisation over Egypt's Farouq Hosni. Many considered him the favourite for the post, but in the end - perhaps due to his controversial anti-Semitic comments - he was not elected.

    'Nothing to do with Islam'

    The burqa and other types of face-covering veil such as the niqab are also controversial in the Muslim world. Recently, the Egyptian Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar University, Muhammad Tantawi, shocked the entire Muslim world by publicly condemning face-covering veils. When visiting a secondary school he walked up to a girl wearing a niqab, ordered her to take it off and snapped at her: "That niqab has absolutely nothing to do with Islam. I know more about Islam than you and your parents!"


    The 57-year-old Bulgarian, who has been Sofia's UN envoy to UNESCO since 2005, grew up in an elite family under Bulgaria's repressive Communist regime. Her father was editor-in-chief of the state-run newspaper. As a young woman, Irina studied in Moscow, joined the diplomatic corps and represented the Communist government. And now, as UNESCO's director, she must defend free speech and freedom of the press. She sees no contradiction here, even though she previously served a repressive regime, the last 20 years have proven that she is a democrat.

    "I have distanced myself from the former regime. I also worked very hard to ensure Bulgaria's entry into the European Union and NATO. I lobbied very hard to convince people that it was a good thing for Bulgaria."

    Bureaucratic moloch

    Ms Bokova will face a number of challenges over the next four years, including breathing new life into the UN organisation that has almost 200 members and an annual budget of more than 201 million euros. Critics have frequently accused UNESCO of being a bureaucratic moloch that wastes money. She promises:
    "The first thing I'm going to do is set up an internal commission to reduce bureaucracy."

    Ms Bokova says UNESCO needs to be more flexible. At the moment, coordination between the various departments is poor and it needs improvement. She plans to cut the bureaucracy by about ten percent and a number of office jobs will go. She'd rather the money goes to concrete projects and programmes, to countries and people that really need it.


    She wants to encourage dialogue with Muslims, so she starts by attacking the burqa; the veiling the women of Prophet's (salallahu alyahi wasalam) household wore. She has never worn a burqa yet she thinks she knows how it feels to wear a burqa?! You will never see a burqa wearing women to be not self confident or self-aware, yet these problems are too common in the women dress to show off; they are constantly seeking others' approval with their dressing for men!

    They are ok with choosing a communist, despite their hate for communism, when it comes attacking Islam. Obviously, their hatred for Islam is greater than their hatred for communism. They know that one clown puppet (Tantawi) has already came out against Islam/niqaab and they didn't want to get another puppet from the same country to attack Islam, so they thought if they picked a woman from (Netherland) a different country then people won't notice this attack on Islam/Niqaab.

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    Women who wear burkas and niqabs on the street in France face fines of £700 (anti-islam/islamophobe)

    By Daily Mail Reporter - 08th January 2010

    Women who wear Islamic veils in public in France face a £700 fine under strict new laws being proposed.

    The amount could be doubled for Muslim men who force female members of their family to cover their faces.

    Jean-Francois Cope, president of Nicolas Sarkozy’s ruling UMP Party, said the legislation was intended to protect the ‘dignity’ and ‘security’ of women.

    He is set to file the draft law in the National Assembly after Mr Sarkozy said veils were ‘not welcome’ because they intimidated non-Muslims.

    ‘We want a ban in public areas,’ said Mr Cope, making it clear the veil would not be allowed in public buildings, or on the streets of France, home to five million Muslims.

    He added: ‘The wearing of the burka will be subject to a fine, probably of 750 euros’.

    The fine would apply to ‘all people on the public street whose face is entirely covered’.

    Mr Sarkozy has called burkas ‘a sign of subservience that imprison women’, while immigration minister Eric Besson described them as ‘an affront to national identity’.

    Allah's Apostle (salla lahu alayhe wa salaam) said: Allah said: 'I will declare war against him who shows hostility to a pious worshipper of Mine. And the most beloved things with which My slave comes nearer to Me, is what I have enjoined upon him; and My slave keeps on coming closer to Me through performing Nawafil (praying or doing extra deeds besides what is obligatory) till I love him, so I become his sense of hearing with which he hears, and his sense of sight with which he sees, and his hand with which he grips, and his leg with which he walks; and if he asks Me, I will give him, and if he asks My protection (Refuge), I will protect him; (i.e. give him My Refuge) and I do not hesitate to do anything as I hesitate to take the soul of the believer, for he hates death, and I hate to disappoint him." [Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 76, Number 509], Hadith Qudsi 25

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    UKIP vows to ban the burka to win over working class voters

    By Daily Mail Reporter - 16th January 2010

    The UK Independence Party is to launch a controversial bid to woo voters by unveiling a policy to ban the Muslim burka and the niqab.

    The party backs the view that the burka, the cloak that covers Muslim women from head to toe, and the niqab, a veil covering the head, are an affront to British values.

    UKIP hopes the policy, which is already being considered by a string of European countries, will broaden its appeal and connect it with white working class voters.

    The party hopes to make further electoral gains after winning the second largest share of the vote in last June's European elections.

    Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage will announce tomorrow that the fabric of British society is under threat for Sharia law and concealing women's faces in public is not compatible with traditional British freedoms and values.

    Mr Farage, who stood down last year to fight the Buckingham seat of Parliamentary Speaker John Bercow at the general election, told The Times: 'UKIP has always been good at showing what it is against, but we are now trying to demonstrate to voters how an independent Britain would be governed.

    'I am going to be talking about Britishness, about the national identity and the genuine threat that Sharia law poses.

    'Alarm bells should have sounded when the Archbishop of Canterbury said that the adoption of Sharia law in the UK was unavoidable.'

    Mr Williams made his comments in February 2008, when he said Muslims did not necessarily relate to the British legal system and should not have to choose between 'the stark alternatives of cultural loyalty or state loyalty'.

    UKIP, which as yet has no seats in Westminster, says the two items of clothing have no basis in Islam and only act to encourage gender inequality. They are the first national party to call for an outright ban.

    The policy decision comes after French President Nicolas Sarkozy began attempts to outlaw full veils on state premises including public transport.

    Danish Conservatives in the country's coalition government have also demanded a ban on the burka and the niqab in public. And in October 2009 the Muslim Canadian Congress called for similar measures.

    UKIP leader Lord Pearson of Rannoch added: 'We are taking expert advice on how we could do it.

    'It makes sense to ban the burka, or anything which conceals a woman’s face, in public buildings. But we want to make it possible to ban them in private buildings.

    'It isn’t right that you can’t see someone’s face in an airport.

    'We are not Muslim bashing, but this is incompatible with Britain’s values of freedom and democracy.'

    The party plans to build towards an election footing with further announcements over the next two months on transport, healthcare, welfare and tax.

    Specific pledges already include increasing the defence budget by 40 per cent and bringing back grammar schools.

    The Muslim Council of Britain said most women who wear the burka do so out of choice.


    Verily! As for those whom the angels take (in death) while they are wronging themselves (as they stayed among the disbelievers even though emigration was obligatory for them), they (angels) say (to them): "In what (condition) were you?" They reply: "We were weak and oppressed on earth." They (angels) say: "Was not the earth of Allâh spacious enough for you to emigrate therein?" Such men will find their abode in Hell - What an evil destination! (An-Nisa 4:97)

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    Italy moves towards emulating France on burqa ban

    By Deepa Babington - Jan 29, 2010

    ROME (Reuters) - Italy may soon seek a ban on full-face Muslim veils, drawing on debate in France where President Nicolas Sarkozy has described the burqa as unwelcome and legislators are considering a vote to outlaw or restrict it.

    Equal Opportunities Minister Mara Carfagna has said the Italian government will quickly follow in France's footsteps, breathing new life into four draft bills on burqas already circulating in parliamentary committees.

    "I completely agree with the French initiative, which I think will push other European countries and hence, also Italy, to enact laws on this issue," Carfagna said this week.

    "This is about a sacrosanct battle to defend the dignity and rights of immigrant women. A law is being studied that would ban the use of a burqa and niqab, which are not religious symbols -- that's not us saying it, but the top religious authorities of the Islamic world, like the imams of Cairo and Paris."

    Her comments came after a French parliamentary panel this week urged the National Assembly to pass a resolution denouncing full Muslim face veils and then vote on the strictest law possible to ban women from wearing them.

    Critics see the Burqa, a full veil with a slit for the eyes, as a symbol of the subjugation of women.

    In Italy, the initiative has drawn strong support from the far-right, anti-immigrant Northern League party in Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's conservative government, though some opposition figures have also applauded the move.

    In deeply Catholic Italy -- where a European court ruling against crucifixes in classrooms sparked a national uproar -- a few small northern towns have already tried to ban burqas with local decrees, though some of those were later annulled.

    The ban initiative also looks to have the backing of most Italians. A poll by the SWG polling group showed 71 percent of Italians were in favour of a ban on full face veils.


    Still, like in France, the issue has provoked sharp debate in Italy over whether a new law is needed, with leftist politicians and even some in Berlusconi's coalition questioning whether legislation could end up being counterproductive.

    "I'm convinced the burqa is a prison and a form of male dominance," said leftist senator Vittoria Franco. "Having said that, I think it's wrong to ban it because it would be an abstract intervention that would not help emancipate women."

    Others say wearing a burqa or a niqab -- a face veil with an eye opening -- is already illegal under a 1975 anti-terrorism law that bars appearing in public with a masked face.

    But conservative lawmaker Souad Sbai, who has proposed amending the 1975 law to specifically include the words "niqab" and "burqa", says a clear message needs to be sent to dissuade young immigrant Muslim women from taking up face veils.

    "If we don't ban it now, tomorrow we'll have lots of women walking around in a niqab," Sbai, who is of Moroccan descent, told Reuters. "Each day the number of women wearing it rises. Just go to Brescia, Bergamo or Milan or any market, They are full of women wearing them."

    She says more than 1,000 women in Italy wear full face veils, though Ahmad Gianpiero Vincenzo, head of the Italian Muslim Intellectuals group, says not more than 100 women do.

    Muslim groups in Italy say they advise women against wearing face veils, but that enacting a new law on it is either unnecessary or could constitute an attempt to legislate personal choice.

    Either way, burqa wearers are unlikely to get much done in Italy, says a reporter from La Repubblica newspaper. Going undercover in a niqab, she recounted not being allowed to borrow library books and being asked to leave local government offices.

    "Walking around Milan inside a burqa is like walking under water," she wrote in the left-leaning newspaper.


    If it’s not one islamphobe oppressive regime it’s another, Europe seems to be full of these bigots.

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    Italian town introduces burka ban

    Sun Jan 31, 2010

    While France moves a step closer to banning the full Islamic veil, in Italy the anti-immigration Northern League is also pushing a bill to outlaw the burka in public places. One Italian town in…

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    One in three Britons wants total ban on wearing a burka

    By Daily Mail Reporter - 01st February 2010

    A third of Britons want to see an outright ban on the burka, according to a poll.

    And two thirds believe it should be illegal to wear a burka in places such as banks and airports.

    France has been considering a ban on the burka and the issue has caused controversy when it has been raised in the UK.

    A ComRes poll of 1,000 people for today’s Independent found that six out of 10 oppose a ban on wearing it in all public places.

    Some 52 per cent disagreed with the proposition that there should be no legal restrictions on wearing a burka, while 43 per cent agreed.

    Asked whether it should be illegal to wear a burka in any public place, 36 per cent agreed and 59 per cent disagreed. Some 64 per cent believe that it should be illegal to wear a burka in places such as banks and airports, while 33 per cent disagree.

    Around 60 per cent said schools should be allowed to prevent teachers wearing burkas.

    The most striking variation of opinion is by age. Only 15 per cent of 18-24 year-olds believe that the burka should be banned in any public place, compared to 57 per cent of over-65s. Women are more opposed to restrictions than men.

    UKIP is the only British party to call for a total ban, after the BNP called for it to be banned in schools.

    Nigel Farage, who leads UKIP’s 13 MEPs in Brussels, claimed that burkas were a symbol of an ‘increasingly divided Britain’.

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    Immigrants wanting to settle in France to sign a 'no burka' contract

    By Ian Sparks - 09th February 2010

    Immigrants should sign a 'no burka' contract before being allowed to live in France, the country's families minister has said.

    It would be added to an 'integration agreement' that all newcomers already have to commit to, which also bans forced marriages and polygamy.

    Nadine Morano said: 'Equality between men and women is a fundamental principle of French society.

    'This applies to polygamy, forced marriages, female mutilation and the full-face veil.'

    Her proposal came at a government conference yesterday following a three-month debate on national identity.

    Last month a government committee said women who wear the garment should be barred from using public transport and outlawed from public buildings like schools and hospitals.

    But the official inquiry by a group of MPs stopped short of recommending a total ban of the garments, saying they should still be allowed in private homes.

    The committee's head Andre Gerin said a full ban could enflame Muslim tensions and drive some to extremism.

    Such a move could also backfire as it was likely to be challenged by the European Court of Human Rights, he said.

    But he added: 'We are recommending that all women must show their faces when entering public institutions or boarding public transport and keep their face uncovered throughout their presence there.

    'Failure to do so should result in a refusal to deliver the service demanded.'

    Ms Morano has the backing of many prominent MPs in her call to have immigrants who wear burkas banned from staying in France.

    French interior minister Brice Hortefeux said in December that both women who wear veils and their husbands should be 'systematically refused' French residents' permits.

    And President Nicolas Sarkozy has branded face veils 'a sign of debasement' and said they were not welcome in France.

    The burka is a full-body covering worn largely in Afghanistan with a mesh screen over the face, and the niqab is a full-body veil with slits for the eyes.

    Only around 5,000 women among France's five million strong population wear the garments.

    France already passed a law in 2004 forbidding students and staff from wearing veils and other religious symbols in schools as part of a drive to defend secularism.

    This month Switzerland voted to ban minarets on mosques across the country. In September a French mother was banned from wearing a 'burkini' swimsuit at her local swimming pool.

    Carole, a 35-year-old Muslim convert, was told by the manager of pool in Emerainville, near Paris, that the garment was 'inappropriate' on hygiene grounds.

    The woman said she bought her burkini for £40 during a holiday in Dubai, adding: 'I was told that it would allow me the pleasure of bathing without showing off my body, which is what Islam recommends.'

    She is now taking her local council to court on the grounds that the ban was not a hygiene issue but a political issue.

    The French parliament will vote on a partial or complete ban within several months and the proposals could come into force by the end of the year.


    We must respect Muslim rights if we want Islamic countries to respect our rights, warns French Catholic Church as it speaks against burka ban

    By Mail Foreign Service - 01st February 2010

    The French Catholic Church warned Paris today against banning Muslim full-face veils.

    It said France must respect the rights of its Muslims if it wanted Islamic countries to do the same for their Christian minorities.

    Bishop Michel Santier, the top French Catholic official for inter-religious dialogue, said very few women in France wore full veils and Muslim leaders agreed it was not obligatory in Islam.

    A parliamentary commission last week urged the National Assembly to pass a non-binding resolution condemning full veils and then work out a law banning them.

    Deputies say a total ban may not be legal but certain limits could be approved.

    If Paris passed a law, Santier said, 'the result could be the opposite of what is desired and lead to a reaction that increases the number of women wearing this garment.

    'The French, including the Catholics among them, should not let themselves be gripped by fear or a "clash of civilisations" theory,' he said in a statement calling for distinctions between the majority of peaceful Muslims and a minority of radicals.

    'If we want Christian minorities in Muslim majority countries to enjoy all their rights, we should in our country respect the rights of all believers to practice their faith.

    'A dialogue in truth among believers will help us go beyond mutual mistrust. The path will be long and hard,' he said.

    The Vatican has long pointed to the rights of Muslim minorities in Western countries when pressing Muslim countries to allow more religious freedoms for Christian minorities there.

    French Jewish leaders have also expressed concern about a veil ban and Santier regretted that the parliamentary commission did not invite Christian or Jewish leaders to give their views during the six-month-long hearings, which ended in December.

    Claude Gueant, a top aide to President Nicolas Sarkozy, said on Sunday he doubted a total ban would be legally possible.

    French police say about 1,900 women wear the full veils, known as burqas although almost all are Arab-style niqabs showing the eyes.

    Critics say they must be outlawed as an insult to women's rights and a sign of Islamic radicalism.


    That seems like only reasonable thing to do now, ban all to muslim country without a burka/niqaab and state all living in Muslim lands will have to do niqab or face fines and deportation. Maybe these bigot kuffars will learn than.

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    'Racist' school bus drivers 'refusing to stop for young Muslim girls who are wearing the hijab'

    By Carol Driver - 2/26/2010

    School bus drivers have been accused of racism after failing to stop for pupils wearing Muslim hijabs.

    Young girls have claimed they are being bullied on board for dressing in the traditional veil which covers the head.

    To avoid trouble, ‘cowardly’ drivers are allegedly ignoring pupils who wait at bus stops wearing the headscarf.

    Following a police investigation, officers will now be drafted on to board the buses to protect the students from ‘racist’ taunts of other passengers.

    The problems centre on Merseytravel and pupils attending West Derby's Holly Lodge Girls' College in Merseyside, where 10 per cent of the 11,274 11 to 18-year-old students are from ethnic minorities.

    Members of the Muslim community said the issue was a long-running one.

    Amina Ismail, who works at Liverpool John Moores University, was approached by the victims.

    She said: ‘They said people driving past were being abusive because they were wearing the hijab.’

    Ms Ismail said bus drivers refusing to stop were ‘cowardly’ and that ‘they should not push their own personal prejudices on young people’.

    She urged people to ‘see past the scarf or skin colour and look beyond this’.

    Holly Lodge has previously won praise from Ofsted for its ‘promotion of equality and diversity’.

    Headteacher Julia Tinsley said: ‘There have been a small number of cases where ignorant people have directed racist comments at our pupils while they are on buses.

    ‘It is completely unacceptable and very upsetting for those involved and we have provided support to those affected.

    ‘We welcome the assistance from Merseyside police in tackling the mindless minority who think it is acceptable to make racist comments.’

    Merseyside police has produced an action plan to prevent any further incidents, including looking at how victims can pass on anonymous information.

    A spokesman said the force was committed to tackling racism, adding: ‘We will be putting police community support officers on public buses during the periods these incidents are happening to reassure passengers and deter would-be offenders.

    ‘CCTV will be routinely checked following allegations of any criminal offence.’

    However, Colin Carr, regional adviser for Unite - whose members include bus drivers - said he would be surprised if they were failing to stop.

    ‘The union would condemn this kind of action, and equality and diversity is something we promote across the spectrum,’ he said.

    Merseytravel said it condemned ‘all acts of racism’ and, after probing the claims, has ‘now drawn up an action plan to deal with and prevent any further incidents’.


    Such ignorant bigots shouldn’t even be allowed public jobs if they are going to impose their narrow minded prejudicial ignorance on little kids.


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