Thursday, 16 January 2014

Teen felt ‘degraded’ after teacher backed aikido student’s request to avoid touching females on religious grounds

A Nova Scotia high school student is asserting she was reduced to “second-class citizenship” after her Halifax aikido school followed provincial human rights law and accommodated a male student’s religious request not to touch his female classmates.

“I felt degraded, discriminated against, I felt like a woman in the 1950s,” said Sonja Power, 17, a former student at Halifax’s East Coast Yoshinkan Aikido, a school operated out of the city’s Lakeside Community Centre. “We wouldn’t allow someone using their religion to discriminate against someone’s race, so why would they use it to discriminate against somebody’s gender?”

Ms. Power, a resident of the Halifax suburb of Upper Tantallon, NS, had been a student at East Coast Yoshinkan since the age of six.

In the spring of 2012, Ms. Power, then 15, was just on the verge of earning her aikido black belt when she said a man enrolled at the school and told its owner that, for reasons of his Islamic faith, he was not allowed physical contact with women.

The request would not have been noticed in a pottery class or a fencing course, but Aikido — like any martial art — is uniquely physical. The ultimate effect, said Ms. Power, was that sessions were suddenly being divvied up by sex.

The school’s sensei (teacher), “would put all the women on one side and then offer a side for the Muslim man so there wouldn’t be any problems,” she said.

And when it came time for the customary end-of-class handshakes, “he would shake hands with all the other men in the dojo, but he wouldn’t even come over and look at the women … he just ignored us,” said Ms. Power.

The man also refused to bow, apparently telling the dojo’s sensei that he only bowed to Allah. Bowing is a big part of the Japanese martial art, and aikido students are expected to regularly bow to classmates, the sensei and the front wall of the dojo, which is traditionally adorned with portraits of aikido’s pioneers.

‘I felt like a woman in the 1950s’
Along with her mother, Ms. Power said she approached the sensei with her concerns about the new environment, but was told that it was the student’s religious right. “[The sensei] told us to get used to it,” said Michele Walsh, Ms. Power’ mother.

Aiming to complete her training, Ms. Power nevertheless stayed in the school for another five months, but said her breaking point came when the male student began distributing religious literature.

In July of 2012, said Ms. Power, the student handed out copies of Islam; From darkness to light a booklet written by Toronto-based Islamic author Suhail Kapoor.

Several passages stuck out for the 15-year-old. “[When] a woman chooses to show her body in one form or another, the message is only one: she wants attention and possibly much more,” it reads. The booklet also authorizes husbands to administer a “light strike” to their wives in cases of “serious moral misconduct.”

“I couldn’t go to the same dojo with someone who thinks that way,” said Ms. Power.

“I thought why would someone’s religion — something that they choose to follow — trump my gender, which is something that I was born with?”

Steve Nickerson, a fifth degree black belt and the owner and sensei of East Coast Yoshinkan Aikido, wrote in an email to the National Post that although he met the student’s request to avoid physical contact with women, the student “interacted, without physical contact, with women in my classes each week as part of our regular program.”

As for the bowing, Mr. Nickerson said the request was made respectfully and was “very easy to accommodate.”

“I believe every person should have an equal opportunity to participate in recreational activities and I would not deny this student access to my classes,” he wrote, noting that he made the accommodation with the confidence that it would not be “disadvantaging any other person’s participation in my classes.”

The decision, he said, was supported by both the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission and the Halifax Recreation Administration, which operates Lakeside Community Centre.

Both informed him that the steps he took were “prudent, lawful and correct,” wrote Mr. Nickerson.

Lisa Teryl, a lawyer for the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission, was unable to comment on the aikido case specifically, but acknowledged the stickiness of weighing the “competing rights” of gender equity versus religious beliefs.

“In the fabric of Canadian society, [gender segregation] isn’t something that, in a secular sense, we support … we generally see it as a bad thing,” she said.

‘Why would someone’s religion — something that they choose to follow — trump my gender, which is something that I was born with?
At the same time, she said, the law requires reasonable accommodation of religious views, which are generally given much higher consideration than mere matters of personal preference.

“If it doesn’t cost us to the point of undue hardship, then we need to try to … support them, and not have them feel persecuted for their deeply-held belief,” she said.

The Halifax Regional Municipality, operators of Lakeside Community Centre, similarly acknowledged a tricky gray area in cases of competing rights.

“[Sometimes] the exercise of human rights by some individuals can come into conflict with human rights entitlements of others,” wrote Halifax recreational coordinator Peter Jollimore to the National Post, adding that “often, such conflicts can be resolved by simple dialogue between the affected parties.”

Amir Hussain is a theology professor at Los Angeles’ Loyola Marymount University and wrote his thesis on Toronto Muslim communities.

Speaking to the National Post, he called the student’s requests an unusual interpretation of mainstream North American Islam, but said “it could well be that this person feels that this is what their religion is demanding.”

Said Mr. Hussain, “in Islam, you’re supposed to respect your teachers. You’re not supposed to bow down to other gods, but the sensei isn’t your god.”

Best comment of that article:

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Raped in front of son and told by attacking boyfriend: 'I'm Muslim and you must obey me'

A MAN pinned his girlfriend down and raped her in front of their baby son, and told her she must obey him because he was a Muslim, a court was told.

The Mail has decided not to identify the rapist, who is in his early 20s, so his relationship with his victim can be revealed.

She was 16 when they met, but he began beating her three months into the relationship and raped her at her home in Hull in May last year.

The victim, who gave evidence at Hull Crown Court via video link, said she had not reported the rape at the time because she did not understand such a thing could happen in a relationship.

“I didn’t understand it was rape at the time,” she said. “I didn’t understand until I told a friend.”

She later said: “I thought rape was to go outside and somebody grabs you.”

Defence barrister Mumin Hashim said she must have been traumatised by the attack.

“I was,” she said. “I was really scared and I was hurt inside. Not physically, it broke my heart because I didn’t think he would do that.”

After the rape, which lasted between 20 and 30 minutes, the man kissed her, told her he loved her, and fell asleep, while she got up to see to the baby, who was crying.

The rapist, who now lives in Buckinghamshire, was also convicted of assault occasioning actual bodily harm after repeatedly banging his partner’s head against the dashboard of a car.

He was also convicted of two other assaults on her.

The court was told that while the teenager was pregnant with their son, he was thousands of miles away marrying his cousin in an arranged marriage in South Asia.

When he returned, he settled in Buckinghamshire and began fortnightly visits to his son and partner in Hull, during which time he also got another woman in Buckinghamshire pregnant.

Mr Hashim asked why, after having time to reflect on the relationship, the victim did not seek help.

She replied with four words: “Young and scared. Immature.”

In tearful evidence, she said despite knowing about his marriage to another woman, she still hoped he would come back to have a normal family life with her and their child.

She said: “I just wanted him to come back because I wanted my little boy to have what I never had, which was a mum and a dad.”

The victim’s mother told the court why she thought her daughter had not ended the relationship sooner.

“She wanted this fairytale story where mummy and daddy were together,” said the victim’s mother. “I told her it wasn’t always like that.”

Outlining the victim’s evidence at the start of the case, Michele Stuart-Lofthouse, prosecuting, described how the man “became violent, hitting her and telling her he was a Muslim and she should do as she was told.”

Mr Hashim said the only reason the allegations had been made was because the woman feared the man would seek custody of the child.

The man denied ever being violent or abusive towards his victim, and told the court he still loved her.

He was convicted on all counts by a jury and was jailed for a total of five and a half years.

The man was ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for life and is also subject to a ten-year restraining order, preventing him from contacting the victim.

Judge Simon Jack told him: “She depended on you and relied on you for affection and support and you took advantage of that to get what you wanted from her and returned little but contempt.”

Monday, 13 January 2014

Muslim Man sells His 7-Year-old Daughter for Goats and food items

SHIBEGHAN: A father sold his minor daughter to a 35 years old man in return for some animals and food items, officials said Thursday.

The sale of Ghancha Gul, 7, in northern Jawzjan province drew denunciation from human rights campaigners, attorneys and law-enforcement officials.
Officials of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) condemned the act as an outrage and blamed provincial authorities for failing to prevent it.

Ewaz Ali Sabiri, an AIHRC official, said Ghuncha Gul was sold to Asadullah -- a drug addict -- by her father in return for 200 kilograms of wheat, 70 kg of rice, two goats, a donkey and some other goods.

Sabiri said Asadullah later secretly arranged tied the knot with the girl. He has been arrested but the Imam who solemnised the marriage is yet to be detained.
Salamat Azami, another AIHRC official, promised to do all he could to resolve the issue if the provincial government failed to deal with it.

Meanwhile, the provincial attorney office said the issue had been addressed to a large extent and they would update the rights watchdog on the progress made. (PAN)

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Islamic Cleric Bans Women from Touching Bananas, Cucumbers to Avoid ‘Sexual Thoughts’

In a ridiculously repressive and absurd proposal, an Islamic cleric residing in Europe has said in a ruling that women should not touch or be anywhere close to bananas and cucumbers, in order to avoid sexual thoughts.

An unnamed sheikh was quoted in a religious publication, el-Senousa News, as saying that if a woman wished to eat cucumbers or bananas, it should be sliced into pieces, preferably by her husband or father, before she eats them. Egyptian English news site Bikya Masr reported the proposal. According to the report, the sheikh has also added carrots and zucchini to the list of apparently immoral and blasphemous fruits and vegetables.

The sheikh was also asked if simply holding these vegetables, while out shopping, would be harmful for women. He replied that it was a matter between God and women.

Unsurprisingly, the sheikh's comment has become a target of online mockery, with a flurry of comments denouncing the Islamic repression of women. Many of the commentators are Muslims themselves, who have expressed their anger against the cleric for making Islamic religious practices appear unreasonable.

Islamic clerics of Saudi Arabia have been in the headlines recently when they spoke out against lifting the driving ban on women. The argument in that case suggested that all women will lose their virginity by indulging in pre-marital sex due to the mixing of genders (which, it is feared, will occur if women were allowed to drive).

The scholarly report by the clerics of Majlis al-Ifta al-Aala, the country's highest Islamic council, warned there would be no more virgins in the country within 10 years of lifting the ban because driving will lead to a surge in prostitution, pornography, homosexuality and divorce.

The declaration urging the driving ban on women was closely followed by another ludicrous proposal - one requiring women to cover their eyes.

According to existing Sharia laws, Saudi women are required to cover themselves from head to toe, with a long black cloak called the abaya, except for their eyes.

However, Saudi Arabia's Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice found that even women's eyes could sometimes be too attractive for men and drafted a new proposal, which states that women with tempting eyes need to cover them.

Muhammad - witness of a woman equal to half of that of a man

Sahih Bukhari Volume 3, Book 48, Number 826 :
The Prophet  said, "Isn't the witness of a woman equal to half of that of a man?" The women said, "Yes." He said, "This is because of the deficiency of a woman's mind."
Source (authentic Muslim webiste)

Muhammad believed that the witness or testimony of a women (anything that a women says) in the court of law or any where else her testimony is equal to half of that of a man.

For example:
A women is raped and she or any of her female friend goes to the court then what the woman says against the man will be equal to half of what the man says.

Today also in many strict Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia which do not give women equal rights follow this.
Norwegian woman who reported being raped in Dubai is jailed for 16 months 

Mohammad also said majority of people in hell are women 

Sahih Muslim

The Prophet  said, "O women folk! You should give charity and be diligent in seeking Allah's forgiveness because I have seen (i.e., on the Night of the Ascension to the highest heavens) that dwellers of the Hell are women." A woman amongst them said: "Why is it that the majority of the dwellers of Hell are women?" The Prophet replied, "You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands. In spite of your lacking in wisdom and failing in religion, you are depriving the wisest of men of their intelligence." Upon this the woman asked: "What is the deficiency in our wisdom and in our religion?" He replied, "Your lack of wisdom can be well judged from the fact that the evidence of two women is equal to that one man. You do not offer Salat (prayer) for some days and you do not fast (the whole of) Ramadan sometimes, it is a deficiency in religion."

Muhammad said women should ask for forgiveness because majority of people in hell are women.
Then a woman  asked "Why is it that the majority of the dwellers of Hell are women?"

Muhammad replied because you curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands.  In spite of your lacking in wisdom and failing in religion, you are depriving the wisest of men of their intelligence.

Then the woman asked "What is the deficiency in our wisdom and in our religion?"

Muhammad replied - Your lack of wisdom can be well judged from the fact that the evidence of two women is equal to that one man. You do not offer Salat (prayer) for some days and you do not fast (the whole of) Ramadan sometimes, it is a deficiency in religion."

 Sahih al-Bukhari
Once Allah's Messenger  went out to the Musalla (to offer the prayer) o `Id-al-Adha or Al-Fitr prayer. Then he passed by the women and said, "O women! Give alms, as I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-fire were you (women)." They asked, "Why is it so, O Allah's Messenger ?" He replied, "You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you. A cautious sensible man could be led astray by some of you." The women asked, "O Allah's Messenger ! What is deficient in our intelligence and religion?" He said, "Is not the evidence of two women equal to the witness of one man?" They replied in the affirmative. He said, "This is the deficiency in her intelligence. Isn't it true that a woman can neither pray nor fast during her menses?" The women replied in the affirmative. He said, "This is the deficiency in her religion."

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Indian girl abducted raped and killed

On 7 June, 2013, a 20-year-old college student was abducted, gang-raped and murdered in Kamduni, near Barasat, about 20 km from Kolkata. The victim, a second year BA student of Derozio College, was walking home along the Kamduni BDO Office Road in the afternoon, when she was abducted and taken inside a factory where she was gang raped by at least nine men. After raping her, the perpetrators tore apart her legs up to the navel, slit her throat and dumped her body into a nearby field. Eight of the nine accused have been arrested.

Again most of the accused rapists turn out to be from the religion of peace
Ansar Ali
Saiful Ali
Noor Ali
Bhutto Molla
Enamul Molla
Amin Ali

Monday, 6 January 2014

Muslim family makes teen wear burqa to cover broken nose, bruises

A Muslim teenage girl has been removed from her New Zealand home after authorities discovered she was being severely beaten by relatives who made her wear a burqa to cover up her injuries.

Police in the Auckland area believe the unidentified girl, 15, suffered a broken nose, damaged teeth, and other injuries at the hands of at least one family member over several months, according to a report in the New Zealand Herald. Members of the family’s Muslim community allegedly knew about the abuse and helped conceal it. 

After enduring the facial injuries, police say the girl was kept home from school. A friend who was anxious about the girl’s absence asked around the community and learned of the abuse, prompting her to call police.

"The case was brought to police attention when a school friend of the girl was made aware of the abuse and was able to borrow a cell phone from another child at a neighboring school to call 111(911)," child protection officer Detective Sarah Boniface told the Herald.

 "The girl was not able to get access to a phone herself," Boniface said.

When officers visited the victim’s home in November, she was allegedly told by family members to cover up with a burqa, leaving only her eyes exposed. The girl usually only wore a head scarf.

Police believe that family members were instructed to lie to investigators about the abuse, and felt their own safety threatened.

"At this stage it is clear that a number of members of the community were aware of the extent of the abuse and did not seek medical assistance for her injuries or alert authorities,” Boniface said. "This included people who were in positions of trust and who should have been relied upon to provide help."

Child, Youth and Family services removed the girl from her home and placed her in "secure care" with another Muslim family.

No charges have been filed yet, although police say arrests are likely.

"Maybe the family members were trying to hide it, but I don't think the community would condone anything like that,” said Javed Khan, acting president of the Federation of the Islamic Associations of New Zealand.

“We are subject to the laws of the country and follow the laws of New Zealand. Anything like that is not accepted here. It has nothing to do with Islam or the religion. It's more to do with a cultural thing ... It could just be the family," he said.

Police Detective Jim Gallagher praised the bravery of the school friend who called police. "When you know about a child that possibly could be at risk, then that warrants you making it your business. If you do nothing, then no one will ever know. It's a child's life you're gambling with if you don't report it."

Thursday, 2 January 2014

A Muslim owned by an ex-Muslim

A Muslim asks a question - "why do you want war with the Muslims when you know your not gonna win"

An ex-Muslim  Ken Younous replies-
"Israel has single handedly kicked your asses and handed them back to you on a platter -- not one, but several times. In fact, this has been the outcome of every single war you have fought against Israel, except one -- the Lebanese war -- which ended in a tie. If the small country of lone Israel can take on Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan all at once and come out the winner repeatedly, what do you think the outcome would be if the religion of peace went to war with the world? Picture an army of mentally retarded chimpanzees wielding sticks and rocks going up against armored tanks and jets and surface to air missiles. The analogy isn't too far wide of the mark."
Ken Younous

Muslim students married mentally handicapped women so they could stay in the UK

Muslim students married mentally handicapped women 'so they could stay in the UK' - but now one has been deported while another fights for his 'human right' to family life with his baby

    Both women were married in Muslim ceremonies
    But disabilities meant they 'did not have the capacity' to consent to marry
    Stepfather of one of the women was paid £20,000 'in consideration'

Two Pakistani students married mentally handicapped British women so they could stay in the UK with one being deported but the other now claiming he has a human right to family life with his young son, High Court judges have heard.

The first man, who is in his 20s, began a relationship with a woman in her late teens two months after exhausting his rights of appeal.

They were married in a Muslim ceremony in June 2012, but last month the judge declared that marriage a sham and the man was deported.

The second man, who is in his 30s, married a woman, also in her 30s in a Muslim ceremony in late 2011 about six weeks after his application to stay in the UK was refused by immigration authorities.

An anonymous informant had called to tell officials that the woman's stepfather had received £20,000 'in consideration' of that marriage.

The woman became pregnant 'almost immediately' and gave birth to a son in the summer of 2012.

The man is now demanding to stay in the UK, basing his claim on his right to family life enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights.

But in both cases, it has been claimed that the women's disabilities meant they did not have the capacity to consent to marriage.

Details have emerged in written rulings published on a legal website following separate hearings in the Court of Protection in London. Judges said no-one involved in either case could be named.

In the first case, a local authority had asked Mr Justice Keehan to make rulings about whether the teenager had the mental capacity to make decisions about her life - including the capacity to decide about entering into a 'contract of marriage'.

He said social workers became aware that she had begun a relationship with a Pakistani man in his 20s.

Local authority officials and police had warned that the man might commit an offence because the woman was unlikely to have the capacity to consent to sex and marriage.

Nevertheless the couple had 'entered into a purported Islamic marriage ceremony' at the man's home about 18 months ago.

Mr Justice Keehan said the man had arrived in the UK to study in 2009 but an application to stay was refused after an immigration tribunal concluded that he had submitted forged documents and attempted to deceive officials.

'His rights of appeal were exhausted in June 2011,' said the judge. 'It is in this context that he began a relationship with (the woman) in August 2011.'

The judge said that days after the marriage ceremony the man had claimed asylum because 'he feared he would be killed by his family who disapproved of his marriage to a white British woman'.

He said the man had been refused asylum and deported in August 2012.

Mr Justice Keehan concluded that the woman had the capacity to consent to sexual relations but said she did not have the capacity to enter into a marriage contact. And he ruled that the wedding ceremony she had been involved in was a 'non-marriage'.

In the second case, a local authority had asked Mrs Justice Parker to make decisions about whether the woman in her 30s had the capacity to consent to marriage and sexual relationships.

'A Muslim marriage, not recognised in this jurisdiction, was performed between them,' said Mrs Justice Parker.

'An anonymous informant had telephoned to state that the (woman's stepfather) had received £20,000 in consideration of the marriage.'

She said six weeks earlier the man's application to stay in the UK following the expiry of a two-year student visa had been refused.

He had subsequently applied for 'leave to remain on the grounds of his marriage'. The judge said 'immigration proceedings' were 'as yet unresolved'.

The judge concluded that the woman lacked the capacity to consent to sexual relations and lacked 'sufficient understanding' to consent to marriage.

Mrs Justice Parker said the man was basing a claim to remain in the UK on his right to family life enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights.

'The reality is that he is now relying on his married and fatherhood ... in support of his claim to remain,' said the judge. 'So, the reality is that whatever his original motivation, (the woman) is being used.'

She added: '(The man's) position is bound to be self- serving.'

Mrs Justice Parker said the case had been about the woman - not her son. She was told that man wanted stay in England with the baby. She said plans for the little boy's care would need 'rigorous evaluation'.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Volgograd suicide bomber a Muslim woman

Suicide bomber in Russia was a female convert. The bomb that went off at a train station in Volgograd on Sunday was no less powerful than 10 kilograms of TNT. 14 people were killed include a child.
The suicide bomber who set off a 10kg TNT charge today in the southern Russian city of Volgograd had officially been identified as Oksana Aslanova, a 26-year-old Tabasaran national from Turkmenistan, the Voice of Russia's source reports.

An explosion rocked the railway station in Volgograd at 12:45 Moscow Time on Sunday, December 29th . According to the latest reports, 14 people were killed and dozens injured. One of the current version of events, the terrorist attack was carried out by Oksana Aslanova from Daghestan but that information needs to be confirmed,” the source said.

The woman was married to a militant warlord who was killed during a recent special operation. She was married several times. Investigators are searching for the relatives of Dagestani bandits suspected of masterminding terrorist attacks in Central Russia.
Read more:


Parents of 'Volgograd Train Station Bomber' Pleaded for His Return (Video)

The Volgograd train station bomb that killed at least 17 people on Sunday was set off by a Russian man from the nearby region of Mary El who had converted to Islam and joined Dagestani militants, officials said.

The suspect, identified as Pavel Pechyonkin, worked as a paramedic with an ambulance service but left home in 2011 and joined Dagestani militants after converting to Islam and changing his name to Ansar Ar-rusi.

In response to his parents' video appeals for him to come home, Pechyonkin posted his own video online this spring, saying he was following God's will and would not turn back.

"I have come here only to make Allah pleased with me, to earn heaven," he said in the video.

In a plea by his parents recorded in March, his father, Nikolai, admonished his son to "drop those weapons" before he would become a "terrorist."

"Do all Muslims go around with weapons?" the father said in the video. "You are the only one so stubborn. What harm have people done you? […] You are going to kill children."

His mother, Fanaziya, said that she was also a Muslim, and pleaded with her son that he should abstain from using violence.

"What kind of the Koran…" she said, apparently too pained to finish the sentence, before finding the strength to continue: "I don't believe that Allah has ever said that one must kill people."

"Pasha, I'm appealing to you — please come back," she said. "Imagine, what is happening to me now, how I am feeling. …I'm not living, I'm in hell."

"Imagine that somebody were to kill your parents, how would that make you feel? Why are you turning children into orphans?" she said.

For the video recorded message from Pavel's parents, click here.

In his response, Pechyonkin told his parents that initially their "tears had saddened" him, but that he had then decided he would not be swayed.

"I didn't want to watch your appeal, I thought that it would weaken me, that it would make me softer," he said, adding that he had "no intention" of turning back.

"Why should we follow those Christian commandments, when Allah, may he be glorified, urges us to fight those kafirs [unbelievers]," he said. "Why shouldn't we leave their children orphaned?"

He also brushed off his mother words that the Koran does not instruct believers to kill.

"I am not inventing anything from the Koran, I am reading," he said.

"You say that a man has no right to kill," he said. "Those kafirs have occupied radio and television, and they are making the kind of religion that they need for the Muslims. They are trying to convince you that a man can't do this."

After their initial video appeal in March, Peshyonkin's parents followed their son to Dagestan in September, to search for him and record another videotape with a plea for his return. That second appeal found no response, a law-enforcement official said.
"He's our son, no matter what he's like, he's still our son," his mother said in the September video. "Pavlik, I am appealing to you — please come back, we are ready for anything, just come back."
"Law enforcement bodies have told us that there's no blood on your hands [...] They will hold you for two, maybe five, hours, and you will go home together with us," his mother said.
The identity of the suicide bomber could be confirmed through DNA analysis using a blood sample from the elder Pechyonkin, the official said.

No More Mosques in Moscow; By Order of the Mayor

The mayor in Moscow, Russia, has made another controversial move not a couple of months  on the heels of Russia banning the Qur’an. Despite the overcrowding in the city’s four mosques, they have decided that they will not build one more mosque in the city.

In an interview with Komsomolskya Pravda, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin stated that there are about 2 million non-resident workers in Moscow. The workers who are dominantly Muslim from South Central Asia, are central to the economy of Moscow. He stated that they  ”could not manage without them”.

Despite this fact, he stated that the majority of the city’s non-resident workers come from outside the city of Moscow. As such, to build mosques to cater to people who were not residents of Moscow was not warranted. The people are not citizens therefore do not have the right to be catered to, according to Mr. Sobyanin.


Russian court bans Qur'an translation

While Geert Wilders and assorted online provocateurs may like to talk about banning the Qur'an as an extremist text, few take the idea seriously. Except in Russia, perhaps, where on 20 September, a court in the Russian city of Novorossiysk banned a translation of the holy book of the world's 1.2 billion Muslims.

To be fair, it is one of several available in the country. This version, the work of an Azeri theologian named Elmir Kuliyev, was declared illegal for promoting extremism through "statements about the superiority of Muslims over non-Muslims"; "negative evaluation of persons who have nothing to do with the Muslim religion"; "positive evaluation of hostile actions by Muslims against non-Muslims", and also, it was argued, inciting violence.

Unsurprisingly, the ruling – which automatically places Kuliyev's Qur'an on a nationwide blacklist – outraged many Russian Muslims. Russia's influential Council of Muftis denounced the verdict, and Kuliyev has one month to appeal. The ban is baffling, as the Russian authorities have little to gain by antagonising 15% of the population, including huge chunks of the republics of Tatarstan and Bashkortostan, never mind the restive republics of the Caucasus. Could it just be a case of an incompetent court gone rogue? Perhaps, but another major Muslim organisation has endorsed the verdict. Geraldine Fagan, an expert on religion in Russia, reports that "a representative of the All-Russian Muftiate – a rival to the Council of Muftis – defended the ruling against Kuliyev's translation of the Qur'an … From a theological point of view, Farid Salman maintained, Kuliyev's works 'correspond with the views of the "Salafi" school, not with [the] Islam that is traditional for Muslims of Russia'."

Could it be – as Fagan suggests – that "long-standing rivalries between Russian Muslim organisations may lie beneath state moves against Kuliyev's work"?

Maybe; however, Kuliyev's Qur'an is only one of over 2,000 publications Russian courts have added to the ministry of justice's blacklist since the law On Counteracting Extremist Activity was passed in 2002. All works by Nazis and Fascists are banned, while a cursory inspection reveals that many ultranationalist, antisemitic and jihadist texts have also been proscribed. Mussolini's tedious autobiography has actually been "doubled-banned" – although it was already illegal under the 2002 law, recently a publishing house named Algoritm published it anyway, and so a Krasnoyarsk court declared it extremist again. Works by Goebbels and Nazi ideologue Alfred Rosenberg have received similar treatment.

No doubt a lot of the forbidden books are extreme, although whether banning them makes any difference is another matter – after all, the Tsarist censor prohibited Lenin's writings, and look how that ended. Meanwhile, critics of the law object that many publications have been unfairly blacklisted.

For instance, Scientologists were upset when in 2012 a Moscow court banned the works of L Ron Hubbard for inciting extremism, on the grounds that the author of Battlefield Earth sought "to form an isolated social group whose members are trained to perform their functions generally aimed against the rest of the world". In this instance Russian attitudes are very close to those in France and Germany, where the governments also view Scientology with suspicion.

Other bans are more controversial. As if in a warm-up exercise for the Qur'an ban, last year a Russian court prohibited over 60 Islamic books, including classic hadith collections, while Jehovah's Witness texts – not normally identified with extremism – have also been blacklisted. In February this year a Kaliningrad court banned works by the Turkish theologian Said Nursi, who is apparently considered so dangerous that 13 people have received criminal sentences for possession of his writings, according to Geraldine Fagan.

Even the texts of minorities who are practically nonexistent in Russia risk proscription – last year, the Bhagavad Ghita narrowly escaped the blacklist, even though this Hindu text had originally been translated into Russian in 1788 and has been published numerous times since.

And yet even as the blacklist swells, one category of extremist publication is strikingly absent: books by and about the mass-murderer Joseph Stalin. So popular are these books that Eksmo, Russia's largest publisher, once ran two series – Stalinist and Stalin Renaissance – to satisfy demand. A cursory glance at Eksmo's catalogue reveals that there are still numerous decidedly pro-Stalin books still on their list, including Stalin: 20th Century Manager, whose author denounces the "propaganda" of perestroika-era critics, Stalin Before the Court of Pygmies and Marshal Stalin: Creator of a Great Victory. And why isn't Lenin's Tasks of Revolutionary Army Contingents banned? In this pamphlet, the great revolutionary advocates storing up acid to pour on the police, as well as inciting other forms of violence against the enemies of the proletariat.

Of course the absence of Lenin or Stalin from the blacklist is easily explained: there are still many people in Russia who endorse their rule – according to a 2012 survey, 42% of Russians polled named Stalin as one of the country's most prominent historical figures. Any judge who felt inclined to ban their works would face immense public opposition.

It is neither strange nor surprising, then, that vaguely worded laws against extremism should be inconsistently applied, or targeted at minority groups too weak to fight back. Russia is hardly the only country guilty of this, and the idea that people should be allowed to read and decide for themselves what is extreme is increasingly unpopular worldwide. Nevertheless, Russia does seem to have gone farther than most non-theocracies in empowering state functionaries to freely lob all sorts of texts on a blacklist. Soon, thanks to the vaguely defined "anti-gay propaganda" law and another vague law that prohibits offending religious feelings, even more publications will surely be banned.

The Qur'an case is interesting however, because it is so offensive to a large and long-established minority that is hardly voiceless in the country. I'd wager that it will be overturned as Vladimir Putin values stability highly. Then again, Russia can always surprise you. As for the Scientologists, well – sorry guys, you're just out of luck.

China strikes hard against Muslim trouble makers

Eight Uighur headbangers met their virgins when they firebombed a police station and attacked the police with knifes. I guess they didn’t get the memo about not bringing a knife to a gun fight:

Chinese police kill eight in Xinjiang ‘terrorist attack’

(Reuters) – Chinese police shot dead eight people during a “terrorist attack” in the western region of Xinjiang on Monday, the government said, raising the death toll from violent clashes there to at least 35 since November.