News in Brief: Muslim populations by country: how big will each Muslim population be by 2030?
- Muslim populations by country: how big will each Muslim population be by 2030?
Muslim populations around the world - and their size in 2030 - have been calculated by a respected US thinktank. See what the data says
Scores dead in Iraq bomb blast
At least 48 killed after car bomb hits funeral ceremony in Baghdad's predominantly Shia Muslim neighbourhood of Shuala.
Banned scholar Zakir Naik to address Oxford Union by satellite
Muslim scholar to take part in discussion with debating society despite exclusion order imposed by Theresa May in June
An Indian Muslim scholar who is banned from entering Britain is to address the Oxford Union via satellite link, in a direct challenge to the home secretary, Theresa May.
Zakir Naik, who was placed under an exclusion order last summer, has been invited by the debating society to take part in a discussion in two weeks' time on the theme of religious tolerance.
The invitation has angered May and could provide an awkward dilemma for the Conservative party. The former shadow home secretary Chris Grayling promised to ban the use of satellite technology to broadcast the views of excluded Islamist preachers based abroad.
Naik, who founded the global satellite channel Peace TV, was the first Muslim preacher to be banned by the coalition government when he was stopped from entering the country in June.
The Mumbai-based television evangelist was invited weeks ago to take part in the debate with academics and students. Thames Valley police have been advising the union on how to conduct the meeting.
Naik told the Guardian he was delighted by the invitation. "This gives me the perfect opportunity to show the British people my true views rather than the distorted and false grounds cited by the home secretary," he said.
He has argued that he is a moderate and is currently involved in an appeal court action to have the order lifted.
Peace TV has a huge following in the Muslim districts of Mumbai, Naik's native city. Naik has been named as the third most popular spiritual guru in India.
In a letter highlighting the reasons for his exclusion, May quoted Naik's assertion that "all Muslims should be terrorists" as one example of his unreasonable behaviour. He claims the statement was taken out of context and that he was referring about the right to "terrorise" thieves.
Another passage quoted by the home secretary is said to come from a 2006 lecture, in which Naik said of Osama bin Laden: "If he is fighting the enemies of Islam, I am for him." Naik claims the lecture was given in 1998, before the September 11 attacks.
Batman’s New Side-Kick Attracts Snide Comments In USA
Interest In Batman’s Nightrunner
Batman, the comics detective superhero, is attracting attention in some quarters in the USA. Or rather, it is his new side-kick who is. But not because of any heroic deeds. It is because Nightrunner, as this Algerian side-kick is called, is a Muslim. So who are so interested in him? Right-wing bloggers, it seems. But why? After all, Nightrunner is a crimefighter, not a criminal. His keen sense of justice was instilled in him by his devout mother. Ironically, it is this upright side of him that is said to fuelling comments about him.
Comments About Nightrunner
Avi Green, writing on the Astute Bloggers website, which features advertisements for right-wing US causes, says, “How about that. Bruce Wayne goes to France where he hires not a genuine French boy or girl with a real sense of justice, but rather, a ‘oppressed’ minority”.
The Angry White Dude blog comments that “Nightrunner the Muslim sidekick will have strange new powers to bury women to their waists and bash their heads in with large rocks”.
Significance Of Comments
Describing such comments as being part of a right-wing hate machine, Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) explained, “This is part of a phenomenon in which any time something to do with Islam or Muslims is viewed in a positive light or even just a way that seems to portray Muslims as part of normal society, it is attacked by these right-wing bloggers and hate-mongers on the internet”. Andy Khouri, associate editor at Comics Alliance, a comic book blog owned by AOL, agrees that it is a racist reaction, though he thinks it might be a reaction of more than the fringe.
However, Warner Todd Huston, a rightwing blogger on Publius Forum, rejected charges of racism. He sees the choice of an Algerian Muslim as sidekick to Batman as political correctness run amok. To him it would have been more natural to have picked a country’s own national to be its “savior”—-ie, an Algerian sidekick would have been suitable for an Algerian Batman, but not for a Batman from elsewhere.
Think About It
Should the race or religion of a hero’s assistant attract attention? Is there a racist element to the comments about Nightrunner? If so, is there a big message for the USA about race relations?
Robert Fisk: A new truth dawns on the Arab world
Leaked Palestinian files have put a region in revolutionary mood
The Palestine Papers are as damning as the Balfour Declaration. The Palestinian "Authority" – one has to put this word in quotation marks – was prepared, and is prepared to give up the "right of return" of perhaps seven million refugees to what is now Israel for a "state" that may be only 10 per cent (at most) of British mandate Palestine.
And as these dreadful papers are revealed, the Egyptian people are calling for the downfall of President Mubarak, and the Lebanese are appointing a prime minister who will supply the Hezbollah. Rarely has the Arab world seen anything like this.
To start with the Palestine Papers, it is clear that the representatives of the Palestinian people were ready to destroy any hope of the refugees going home.
It will be – and is – an outrage for the Palestinians to learn how their representatives have turned their backs on them. There is no way in which, in the light of the Palestine Papers, these people can believe in their own rights.
They have seen on film and on paper that they will not go back. But across the Arab world – and this does not mean the Muslim world – there is now an understanding of truth that there has not been before.
Anti-government rallies hit Yemen
Tens of thousands of people, inspired by events in Tunisia, protest in Sanaa to demand President Saleh's resignation.
China puts Urumqi under 'full surveillance'
Xinjiang city which saw ethnic violence in 2009 now watched by tens of thousands of cameras, says state media
Yemen protests urge leader's exit
Thousands of students, activists and opposition groups stage anti-president protest at Sanaa University.
Sri Lanka's evicted Muslims return to their original places in Jaffna
Over 5,000 Sri Lankan Muslims evicted by the Tamil Tiger terrorists two decades ago from their homes in Jaffna peninsula have been resettled in their original places, the Defence Ministry reported.
Quoting the Government Agent of Jaffna Mrs. Imelda Sukumar, the report said those displaced have been resettled in their original places in Jaffna, Chavakachcheri, and Welani.
The forcibly evicted Muslims have been living with their relatives or in the displaced camps since 1990s.
According to the Government Agent, an assessment had been carried out to develop infrastructure facilities such as water, health and sanitation before the returnees were resettled in their original places.
Most of the returning Muslims belong to the fishing and agricultural sector and there are some more who are waiting to come back, she has added.
Iran's nuclear setback
We investigate the computer virus thought to have set Iran's nuclear programme back by years.
Algerian democracy rally broken up
Several injured as police disperse 300 people who defied a ban and attempted to demonstrate in capital, Algiers.
Four shot dead in Albania clashes
Four people killed and dozens injured in extensive anti-government clashes with police outside PM's office in Tirana.
Lebanon's Jumblatt backs Hezbollah
Druze leader's decision deals a blow to caretaker PM Saad Hariri's effort to form a new government.
Jordanians stage price protests
At least 4,000 people take to the streets to condemn poor economic policies and call for the government to step down.
The U.S. role in Gulet Mohamed's detention
Qatar and Turkey end Lebanon talks
Qatar and Turkey suspend mediation efforts in Lebanon after Saudi opts out and warns of worse times ahead.
WikiLeaks: US advised to sabotage Iran nuclear sites by German thinktank
As Stuxnet cyber attack pinned on US and Israel, US embassy cable reveals advice to use undercover operations
Report suggests that Israel tested worm linked to Iran atom woes.
Al-Turabi arrested in Khartoum
Opposition leader arrested by government security forces from his home after calling for a 'popular revolution'.
Puntland shuns Somali government
Autonomous region says it is breaking away from the federation until 'legitimate' one is put in place.
China prosecuted hundreds over Xinjiang unrest
Courts have tried 376 people for involvement in August violence that left six dead and 15 injured
Self-immolations across north Africa follow suicide in Tunisia
After death of Muhammad Bouazizi, aggrieved citizens set themselves on fire in Egypt, Algeria and Mauritania