MAJOR UK SUPERMARKET PULLS RAMADAN CALENDAR LISTING
Morrisons, one of the UK’s largest grocery stores, has removed a Ramadan calendar that listed the location of Al-Aqsa Mosque as being in Israel. The supermarket giant removed the calendar less than 24 hours after a campaign was initiated by pro-Palestinian group Friends of Al-Aqsa. In a statement, the FOA said: “Al-Aqsa is in East Jerusalem and has been under illegal occupation by Israel since 1967. The third-holiest site in Islam is frequently subjected to violent raids by the Israeli occupation forces as well as Israeli settlers.” Earlier, the FOA launched a social media campaign encouraging individuals to get in touch with David Potts, the chief executive officer of Morrisons, urging him to take action over the calendar product.
COURT BACKS TWITTER’S TEMPORARY BAN ON ISLAMOPHOBIC TWEET
The Supreme Court of Spain backed Twitter’s decision to temporarily block the account of Vox party for hate speech. The social media platform decided to block the far-right party from tweeting for eight days in early 2021 during the party’s electoral run in Catalonia. In one of the tweets related to its “Stop Islamisation” campaign, Vox shared the inaccurate statistics that Muslim immigrants make up just 0.2% of the population in Catalonia, but were responsible for 93% of crimes committed. After Twitter blocked the party’s account for inciting hatred against Muslims, Vox decided to take Twitter to court. Now, more than a year later, the Supreme Court threw out Vox’s case. The court’s main argument for backing Twitter’s decision was that Vox agreed to the rules of the social media platform when it opened the account.
GREECE’S DISCRIMINATORY POLICY TOWARDS ITS MUSLIM MINORITY
Greece’s discriminatory policy towards its Muslim Turkish minority violates its obligations under European Union law, a European political party said. In a letter to the European Commission, the president of the European Free Alliance (EFA), Lorena Lopez de Lacalle, asked about the steps they would take to ensure that Greece’s Muslim Turkish minority can exercise their right to education without compromising their religious duties, the EFA said in a statement. The letter, which was sent to European Commissioner for Equality Helena Dalli, expressed the party’s concern about a recent decree banning minority primary schools in the regions where most of Greece’s Muslim Turkish minority is concentrated from closing to allow their students to attend prayers, according to the statement.
PALESTINIANS PROTEST FRENCH STATEMENTS ON JERUSALEM
Palestinians staged a rally in the Gaza Strip to protest statements by French Prime Minister Jean Castex in which he declared Jerusalem as “the eternal capital of the Jewish people.” “Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Palestine,” reads a banner waved by protesters during the rally organised by the Palestinian group Hamas in the western city of Khan Younis. “Castex’s remarks were part of the continuing bias of French and Western decision-makers to the Israeli occupation,” Hamas leader Mushir al-Masri said. “The Western policy can’t give Israel legitimacy on the land of Palestine,” he said. Castex claimed during a gala dinner hosted by the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions (CRIF) that “Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish people.”
MUSLIM SCHOOLBOY MADE TO HALT PRAYING BY TEACHER
A 12-year-old Muslim schoolboy was left “terrified” after a teacher at a secondary academy in London allegedly grabbed him and forced him to stop praying. Thaher Tarawneh asked for an alternate quiet corner at Ark Soane Academy in Acton after the prayer room was closed, but was allegedly told this was “not a religious school.” Instead, the boy and some of his classmates decided to pray outside. As some other pupils left the playground, he claims a staff member abruptly told him “To stop at once”, “manhandled” him and grabbed his blazer, which he was standing on as a prayer mat. He was sent home and made to sign a false statement in which staff substituted words like “grab” with “guided.” The family is currently discussing withdrawing their son from school.
BANGLADESHI-AMERICAN CLOSE TO BE FIRST MUSLIM WOMAN ON BENCH
US President Joe Biden has nominated a Bangladeshi-American civil rights lawyer to serve as the country’s first Muslim female federal judge. If confirmed as district judge for the Eastern District of New York, Nusrat Jahan Choudhury would become just the second Muslim judge, as well as the first Bangladeshi-American, to sit on a federal bench in the US. The 46-year-old emerged as the top choice among Muslim American advocates last summer for the federal court post vacated by Judge Joseph F Bianco, who was appointed as a Court of Appeals judge. Choudhury will next face a confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee in a process which has not been kind to American Muslims.
LIVERPOOL MOSQUE WINS COMMUNITY OUTREACH AWARD
Liverpool’s Al-Rahma Mosque in Toxteth won a prestigious award for its extensive outreach work last year. The mosque, which is managed by the Liverpool Muslim Society, has been given the award for ‘Best Outreach Service’ in the British Beacon Mosque Award. The ‘Best Outreach Service’ award category recognises programmes developed by mosque leadership or teams. The Awards were created to highlight the role mosques and Islamic centres play in their local communities. The initiative encourages institutions to strive for excellence in a variety of ways including youth outreach, management, leadership, and mosque maintenance. Consideration is given to how they reach out to communities from outside their normal users, such as inviting communities into the mosque for programmes or activities. Al-Rahma Mosque was awarded for its work in combating the spread of the Covid-19 virus in the community and the efforts it has made to maintain contact with the community and provide vital support and leadership during the pandemic.
MARIAM WINS NSW LOCAL WOMAN OF THE YEAR 2022 AWARD
Marking the International Women’s Day, the NSW Local Women of the Year awards were announced by the NSW Government at the International Convention Centre (ICC), in Darling Harbour, Sydney. Mariam Latifi, an educator, published author and CEO of ‘Gift of Knowledge’ was chosen as the Londonderry Woman of the Year 2022. Mariam organises and leads the Elara Playkiddies Marsden Park Playgroup, offering support to parents in the Marsden Park and Melonba community and also volunteers with many community groups and organisations in her local community. The NSW Women of the Year Awards recognise and celebrate the outstanding contribution made by women across NSW. The NSW Local Women of the Year are chosen by Members of Parliament and are recognised for their contribution to their local community.