Monthly Archives: May 2010

  The Jewish Chronicle prints a story in this week’s edition on the letter sent by ENGAGE to the new Education Secretary, Rt. Hon. Michael Gove (pictured), on Zionism forming part of the governing ethos of state funded Jewish faith schools.

The article states:

‘A Muslim campaign group has written to the new Education Secretary Michael Gove to object to state-aided Jewish schools promoting Zionism.

‘Mohammed Asif, the chief executive of Engage, said he was “more than a little surprised” to see Zionism included as part of the ethos of several Jewish schools.

‘Mr Asif cited a number of Jewish schools professing explicit support for Zionism, including Manchester’s King David High School, Broughton Jewish Cassel Fox Primary in Salford, and Simon Marks Jewish Primary School in Hackney, north London.

‘He wrote that he understood the Jewish nature of the schools, but that he would “contest the place of Zionism in the school’s governing ethos”.’

  Douglas Carswell MP for Clacton has a question tabled at Prime Minister’s Questions next week.

It will be the first question ever asked to David Cameron in his capacity as Prime Minister.

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Amnesty International has released its report on the state of human rights across the globe in 2010. The report contains disturbing inadequacies in human rights protection in Europe.

The report states:

‘Member states of the EU continued to block a new regional directive on non-discrimination, which would simply close a legal protection gap for those experiencing discrimination outside of employment on the grounds of disability, belief, religion, sexual orientation and age.’


‘A climate of racism and intolerance in many countries fuelled ill-treatment of migrants, and helped to keep them and other marginalized groups excluded from society, blocking their rights to access services, participate in government and be protected by the law. The marginalization was heightened in 2009 by fears of the economic downturn, and accompanied in many countries by a sharp rise in racism and hate speech in public discourse. The endorsement by Swiss voters in November of a constitutional ban on the construction of minarets was an example of the dangers of popular initiatives transforming rights into privileges.’
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    Ofcom has upheld a complaint of unfair treatment made by Islam Channel relating to BBC Radio 5’s breakfast programme in September 2009 which included a discussion on whether ‘Britain’s foreign policy was likely to lead to terror attacks in the future.’ 

According to Ofcom, the ‘…programme featured a number of callers who gave their views as to whether Britain’s presence in Afghanistan and Iraq was likely to lead to further terrorist attacks in Britain. One of the callers said that a lot of radicalised Muslims had cable television with access to Middle Eastern channels, which contributed to their radicalization. The presenter, Nicky Campbell, said he had watched mainstream British Muslim channels “where the notion that the CIA perpetrated 9/11 has gone unchallenged”. Ed Husain, a guest on the programme, who was described as a “former radical Muslim” who now campaigned against extremism, then said:

“…there’s a channel here and I’ll name it, Islam Channel, Sky 813, when suicide bombings occur, they refer to them as human operations, taking the sting out of the issue, partly funded by Saudi Arabia…”’

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    In an exclusive interview with Islam Channel on Friday 21 May 2010, Secretary of State for Security Baroness Neville-Jones signaled radical proposals for a shake up of Anti-terror laws and a complete review of the controversial Prevent programme.

Baroness Neville-Jones said the government will champion the core values of equality and fairness. The Minister said she recognises the importance of rebuilding bridges with the Muslim community.

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  It emerged today that the English Defence League (EDL) are discussing the prospect of holding a demonstration in Walsall next month. The location of their protest remains unclear, though some reports indicate it may be outside a mosque.

This week, the EDL was featured in a BBC Three programme,Young British and Angry’ (aired: Wednesday 19 May 2010) in which Ben Anderson met with young men across the country in an attempt to understand their motivations for joining the EDL.

In spite of the organisation’s claim that it is not racist or anti-Muslim, the programme revealed a different picture.

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  Details have emerged today of the coalition deal struck between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats in what has been described as a ‘historic document in British politics.’ Speaking at the unveiling of their coalition policy programme, the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, said that the 34-page agreement hinged on three key notions: Freedom, Fairness and Responsibility.

The following is a breakdown of some of the coalition’s key stated policies.

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    Yesterday’s decision by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (Siac) that two Pakistani students allegedly involved in an al-Qaeda plot cannot be deported to their home country, Pakistan, has ignited a debate on human rights and civil liberties.

The Home Office circulated a factsheet (click here to read) shortly after the decision and this morning held a briefing on the judgement in which senior Whitehall sources outlined their conviction that the two individuals concerned, Abid Naseer and Ahmed Faraz Khan, were engaged in alleged terrorist activity.

The ruling and the government’s subsequent response have raised a number of issues.

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    ENGAGE has written to Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Education, about voluntary-aided faith schools and the active promotion of a political ideology within their ethos.

Read the ENGAGE letter here.

    Two Pakistani students who were arrested in major counter-terrorism raids, but later released without charge, have today won their appeals against deportation.

Abid Naseer and Ahmed Faraz Khan, both 23, were among 11 men who were arrested in April last year as part of Operation Pathway on suspicion of planning a bomb attack on targets in Manchester.

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