Muslim woman told to ‘get out of the country’ by an abusive teenage boy

A Muslim woman was abused and told to ‘get out of this country’ by a teenage boy when out walking in London.

The woman was crossing a major road near a supermarket on June 14 when the incident occurred.

The perpetrator shouted, “F**king Muslim, get out of this country” at her, despite being on the phone at the time of the incident, the Muslim woman turned to the boy and replied: “Excuse me, this is my country as much as it’s yours”.

Tell MAMA reported the incident to the Metropolitan Police on her behalf for intelligence.

She also consented to have her story told anonymously.

The woman added that the perpetrator was with another boy of a similar age who said nothing, nor did he challenge the abuse, adding that he soon ran from the scene shouting further abuse which was unable to discern.

Our previous annual report found that over half of reports (54 per cent) offline constituted ‘abusive behaviour’. The abuse is verbal or non-verbal in spaces that occupy the day-to-day lives of Muslims, including public areas, on transport networks, in the workplace, or when out shopping.

Data published by the Home Office last year found that hate crimes are a disproportionate (89 per cent) issue of public order offences and violence against the person.

You can get advice from our confidential and free helpline on 0800 456 1226. Or through our free iOS or Android apps. Report through our online form. Or contact us via WhatsApp on 0734 184 6086.

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Categories: News, verbal abuse, Xenophobia

Putting the Muslim Bogeyman to bed: The “Ummah” must open its eyes

The shahadah – the testimony of faith in Islam – states that Allah is (the only) God and that Muhammad is His Messenger. This is one of the five foundational pillars of Islam, along with fasting the month of Ramadan, undertaking the holy pilgrimage (hajj), giving Zakat (obligatory charity) and offering salat (daily prayers).

By declaring this and accepting the Qur’an as the message of God given through Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), we acknowledge the six articles of faith. We declare that:

  • Allah as the One and Only God
  • The angels
  • Allah’s books (e.g. Qur’an)
  • Allah’s prophets (e.g. Muhammad (pbuh))
  • The Day of Judgement
  • The unknown and pre-destiny

If you believe in these articles then you are Muslim. But there is a large group of Muslims -around 25,000 here in the UK – that are predominantly shunned, ignored, discriminated against and denied the right to be recognised as Muslims. Who? The Ahmadiyya Muslim community.


There is no God but Allah (the One God) and Muhammad (pbuh) is His Messenger

La ilaha ilAllah, Muhammad al Rasool Allah

There is no God but Allah (the One God) and Muhammad (pbuh) is His Messenger

Love for all, acceptance by none

Ahmadi Muslims are known for their motto: Love for all, hatred for none and are an incredibly peaceful group dedicated to interfaith and charity work. However, they are shunned by the mainstream Muslim community as many scholars have declared them to be “non-Muslim”.

Now I’m no scholar but I know the fundamentals of Islam and I keep an open mind. The myth that declares Ahmadi Muslims as non-Muslim is based on the wrongful assumption that they believe that their caliph is a prophet, when Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is declared as the Seal of the Prophets in the Holy Qur’an.

Well I have spoken to Ahmadi Muslims and would like to clarify:

  • They do believe that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is the Final Messenger/Prophet
  • They do not believe that their caliph is a Prophet but instead the Mahdi/Messiah (redeemer) who has come to reform Islam

In any case, they believe in the shahadah and the six pillars of faith and regardless of the above: they do not deserve to be shunned and excluded.

From isolation to persecution

I’ve spent time in many interfaith circles and often witnessed great diversity within Christian and Jewish circles. Whilst there is great diversity in Islam, such diversity is not often recognised or “tolerated”.

The dangers of excluding an entire group of Muslims are far-reaching. Firstly, this give a negative perception to outsiders and whilst we’re not here to simply please others, there is a gross contradiction between propagating interfaith relations when there is a lack of intrafaith unity within the Muslim community itself.

The more worrying issues however are two-fold. Firstly, they highlight a tendency to propagate a discourse around a singular “true Islam” without recognition or room for diversity of belief. This in itself is dangerous and can and does lead to extremism. It mirrors those who monopolise a faith according to one’s own beliefs despite evidence or beliefs stating otherwise.

Secondly, this actively promotes the exclusion and “othering” of Ahmadi Muslims. “Othering” leads to violence and the tragic murder of Asad Shah in Glasgow in 2016 exemplifies this. This was an explicitly religiously motivated attack towards an Ahmadi Muslim by a Sunni Muslim. For this to happen here in the UK is quite frankly terrifying. Please let us not slide into the murky reality of normalised religiously aggravated discrimination and the violation of human rights in countries such as Pakistan – a nation with the worst example government sanctioned persecution of the Ahmadiyya community.

In Pakistan, Ahmadi Muslims are expressly and legally forbidden from calling themselves Muslims. If an Ahmadi Muslim makes the azan (gives the call to prayer), recites from the Qur’an in public or greets people with Assalam aleykum and is found guilty, then could not only face three years in prison but more shockingly also the death penalty according to current blasphemy laws. Thankfully no such executions have yet taken place.

Here in the UK, I have spoken to Ahmadi Muslims who have recounted the abuse that their fellow brothers face in Pakistan and it is here in the UK and USA that many are taking refuge and bringing up new generations in peace and safety. For such intolerance and quite frankly bigotry to spill over onto British soil is heartbreaking. Only recently a historic Ahmadi mosque was desecrated by a mob in Pakistan, not that long after an Ahmadi billboard here in the UK was removed after a backlash from non-Ahmadi Muslims. Yet the lack of mainstream coverage of the “controversy” in the media was shocking. No one wanted to talk about the double standards at play here. Freedom of belief and speech is for all, yet the reactions received seem to show a different concept of freedom – a selective right for only “approved minorities”.

Here we can see that “othering” and discrimination leads to the abuse of human rights including the right to free speech, freedom of religious practice and even the right to life. Whilst no doubt, 99% of British Muslims from outside of the Ahmadiyya community wish no harm and simply disagree with Ahmadi teachings, the community as a whole still refuses to acknowledge that they are Muslim. No one can force belief or a certain teaching on another person but what harm is there in “agreeing to disagree”? Ahmadi Muslims pray daily to Allah and follow the Qur’an. They are Muslims, whether quite frankly everyone else likes it or not.

Furthermore, whether they are “Muslim” or not is no one’s business but Allah’s. So I ask the non-Ahmadi Muslim community (to which I belong): when will this “bogeyman” be called out for what it is? When will “the Ummah” – billions of Muslims across the world in fact – open their eyes and acknowledge that this bogeyman is in fact an invented “otherised” demon reflective of our own community and the intolerance, simmering hatred and indifference within?

So, let’s put this bogeyman to bed and instead welcome our brothers and sisters, showing love for all hatred for none – without exception.

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Categories: News

Far-right group targets famous statues in ‘ban the burqa’ protest

Activists from the far-right identitarian movement Generation Identity covered various female statues in the UK and Ireland over the weekend, calling for a ban on the burqa.

The group covered statues of women with makeshift niqabs in London, Manchester, Bath, Folkestone, Canterbury, Edinburgh, Belfast, and Dublin. Signs which read ‘Is this the future you want?’ were placed on each statue.

Local Muslims condemned the stunt in Belfast, with Naomi Green of the Belfast Islamic Centre arguing that the ‘dangerous stunt’ was proof of their ‘paranoid nonsense’ about Muslims and Islam. She added that the group sought to cause division where none had existed before.

Deprived of a voice on Facebook, Generation Identity continues to use Twitter without much censure, a tweet about its latest stunt gained hundreds of retweets and ‘likes’.

Generation Identity

Credit: @GID_UKIRE

The platform has been slow to respond to criticism and has, in recent months, suspended the accounts of more high-profile users from the far-right.

Facebook confirmed to the i newspaper that it had permanently banned the group, citing its policy on extremist content but Twitter has not taken a similar stance despite the fact that the @GID_England account tweeted last year, “Islam rears it’s ugly head in Barcelona, many innocents injured or dead. Reconquista now more important than ever. #BarcelonaTerrorAttack.”

The Reconquista (reconquest) reflects a dark period of Spanish history, where the crown sought to violently expand its empire by reclaiming parts of the Iberian Peninsula from Muslim hands. This conflict gained religious papacy in the eleventh and twelfth centuries and morphed into a crusade against Islam. As the historian, Joseph Callaghan argues, there was a continuation of ‘territorial aggrandisement’ throughout twelfth-century Spain. Others point out how the ideology of the reconquest united the Iberian Christians against a fragmented Muslim leadership.

The forced expulsion of Jews by the Spanish crown in 1492 was repeated centuries later with the expulsion of 300,000 Moriscos – Muslims who had nominally converted to Christianity after the surrender of Granada in 1492, after more than a century of discrimination and marginalisation which included the banning of the Arabic script by royal decree in 1508. For Dr Elizabeth Drayson, at the University of Cambridge, the completion of the Reconquista had “ended seven centuries in which Christians, Jews and Muslims had, for the most part, lived peacefully and profitably together.”

Some have also questioned the historiography which surrounds the reconquest in Spain. But the radical and far-right are often guilty of creating their own historiography in an effort to reshape public memory by placing certain events in a modern and misleading narrative about Islam and Europe. So, it should come as no surprise that Generation Identity sought to link this historical event and anti-Muslim violence and discrimination to the modern era.

Generation Identity’s use of food banks and stunts aim to occupy a space in a far-right scene where the likes of Tommy Robinson and the leadership of Britain First are in prison. The proscription of National Action (and its affiliates) along with the jailing of its key members for criminal offences has also created a vacuum for neo-Nazi groups like the System Resistance Network to occupy. Ukip, meanwhile, has accepted the membership of individuals linked to the so-called ‘alt-right’ and ‘alt-light’, a marked shift from the outwardly Islamophobic posturing of the party under the leadership of controversial MEP Gerard Batten, who continues to argue that Islam is a ‘death cult’. Some are concerned that the far-right will seek to re-organise around the ‘Free Tommy’ movement

Generation Identity in the UK and Ireland has a small base benefits from slick social media and ease of media coverage about its activities. Others have been critical about the coverage of Generation Identity in the Sunday Times last month, with the print edition wrongly using the headline, ‘Heil Hipsters’.

The Home Office has denied entry to four activists from Generation Identity. One member, however, who remains banned from entering the UK, Tore Rasmussen, has now found a base in Dublin, Ireland, according to a report in the Times. On June 12, Rasmussen tweeted, “You can’t make this sh*t up; Inbreeding is now the number one killer of Pakistanis in London.” He used the hashtag ‘#CulturalEnrichment’ to attack multiculturalism. This ironic use of the hashtag is popular among the broader far-right online to chastise multiculturalism and demean marginalised groups as inherently violent or culturally menacing.

An online petition, made by the Generation Identity, makes the racialised and offensive claim, “Eventually, you would be able to mistake some places In the UK for areas of Saudi Arabia or Iran.”

The ideology of Generation Identity is rooted in ethnopluralism. In short, this old idea rejects multiculturalism and instead favours segregation along ethnic and cultural lines through geographic distance, in the belief that mixing of groups will result in cultural extinction – hence their obsession with the ‘great replacement’. This belief is grounded in the construction of various threats to their group identity, which is reliant upon not just the ‘othering’ of Muslims and refugees, but in its rejection of political elites and institutions like the European Union, believing that such entities hinder their ethnopluralist aspirations.

A key aim of ethnopluralism, as argued by other academics, is one of expulsion, which may explain their obsession with a racialised framing of demographics under the hashtag ‘#StopTheGreatReplacement’. Others argue that ideas around ‘ethno-identity’ are replacing traditional concepts of nationalism.

Again, activists claim the group is not opposed to individual Muslims, citing that it remains hostile to the nebulous concept of ‘Islamification’ or ‘Islamisation’. But again, other activists shatter this claim, with some using social media to blame Muslims for child sexual exploitation.

The concerning restrictions on religious freedoms when it concerns the niqab or burqa have expanded to other parts of Europe in recent months. Denmark, Norway, and now the Netherlands now have some form of public ban.

This provocative series of stunts from Generation Identity aims to reframe an ongoing debate, a debate the current government has always rejected, with Theresa May, who said last year: “what a woman wears is a woman’s choice”. And to boost its media profile despite its small base of support. The nature of the co-ordination, however, in this latest series of stunts is concerning.

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Categories: Burqa, Far Right groups, Generation Identity, News, Niqab

Polish embassy ‘funded far-right speakers’ at UK event

The Polish Embassy in London part-funded an event that gave a platform to right-wing extremists in the UK, a BBC Newsnight investigation has found.

The embassy helped to finance a book fair in Slough in 2017, which included speakers from Poland well-known for promoting hate speech in their country.

Experts have questioned whether such speakers should be allowed into the UK.

Click here for more details.

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Categories: Press articles on matters of faith

Man in MAGA hat made anti-Islam remarks on London Underground

A man in a “Make America Great Again” hat went on an anti-Islam rant and threatened a fellow passenger on a London Underground train.

The incident took place on June 13 at around 08:43 GMT.

The witness, who is not Muslim, contacted Tell MAMA to report the incident and agreed to have his story told anonymously.

He stated that the incident began when he asked the man if he was ‘wearing one of those hats?’ to which the man replied, “yes, it’s great isn’t it?”, adding that it “looks better than a burqa, doesn’t it?”.

The witness then retorted that he would rather see him a burqa and returned to reading his book.

But the perpetrator then began to rant about Islam and Muslims, which included the statement, “it’s not just America that’s getting sick of Islam.” The witness added that the rant about Islam continued for several minutes in a ‘gleeful’ manner, according to the witness.

Upon leaving the train, the man in the “Make America Great Again” hat threatened the witness, who retorted in a ‘heated’ manner, but no physical violence took place, and the witness soon left the station.

The perpetrator is described as being a white male, in his 30s to 40s, who spoke with a southern English accent.

The witness declined to report the incident to the police but wanted to raise awareness by reporting to Tell MAMA.

It can be difficult to witness or experience racism or a hate crime which is why there are free and impartial guides to assist.

To report incidents to the British Transport Police text 61016 or call 0800 40 50 40.

You can get advice from our confidential and free helpline on 0800 456 1226. Or through our free iOS or Android apps. Report through our online form. Or contact us via WhatsApp on 0734 184 6086.





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Categories: hate crime, London Underground, MAGA, News, TFL

Saudi women gear up for new freedom as driving ban ends

Women will hit the roads in Saudi Arabia on Sunday with the lifting of the world’s last ban on female drivers, long seen as an emblem of women’s repression in the conservative kingdom.

The move, ordered last September by King Salman, is part of sweeping reforms pushed by his powerful young son Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who aims to transform the economy of the world’s top oil exporter and open up its cloistered society.

“We are ready, and it will totally change our life,” said Samira al-Ghamdi, a 47-year-old psychologist from Jeddah, one of the first Saudi women to be issued with a driving license.

The lifting of the ban, which for years drew international condemnation and comparisons to the Taliban’s rule in Afghanistan, has been welcomed by Western allies as proof of a new progressive trend in Saudi Arabia.

But it has been accompanied by a harsh crackdown on dissent, including against some of the very activists who previously campaigned against the ban. They will sit in jail as their peers take to the road legally for the first time.

Saudi women with foreign licenses only began converting them earlier this month, so the number of new drivers is expected to remain low at first. It will be some time before others learning to drive at new state-run schools are road ready.

And some women still face resistance from conservative relatives. Many accustomed to using a private driver say they are reluctant to take on the Muslim kingdom’s busy highways.

“I definitely won’t like to drive,” said Fayza al-Shammary, a 22-year-old saleswoman. “I like to be a princess with someone opening the car door for me and driving me anywhere.”

Concerns that women drivers will face abuse in a country where strict segregation rules usually prevent women from interacting with unrelated men prompted a new law last month with jail and hefty fines for sexual harassment.

The Interior Ministry plans to hire women traffic police for the first time, but it is unclear when they will be deployed.


The decision to lift the ban in the tightly-controlled Muslim kingdom – where once-forbidden cinemas and concerts have also returned – is expected to boost the economy, with industries from car sales to insurance to reap returns.

It should also encourage more women into the workforce and raise productivity, if only modestly at first.

Auto companies have seized the moment with theatrical ads marking the end of the ban, and private parking garages designated “ladies” areas with pink signage.

Social media is also celebrating with tweets like #You_Will_Drive_and_the_People_Are_With_You. Some reactions have been more derisive or expressed concern about social impacts.

Much of the kingdom’s overwhelmingly young population supports Prince Mohammed’s reforms, but many Saudis fear their speed could provoke a backlash from religious conservatives once seen as dominant.

Activists and diplomats have speculated that the arrests of more than a dozen women’s rights advocates over the past month were aimed at appeasing conservative elements or at sending a message to activists not to push demands too far.

The crown prince’s modernisation efforts have won praise at home and abroad, but he has also provoked unease with an anti-corruption purge last year, when scores of royals and top businessmen were detained at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Riyadh. Most were freed after reaching settlements with the government.

Even with the end of the driving ban, Saudi Arabia remains one of the most restrictive countries for women, who need permission from legally mandated male guardians for important decisions such as foreign travel and marriage.

Activists have already begun campaigning to end the guardianship system, which has been chipped away at slowly over the years. Prince Mohammed declared in an interview earlier this year that he believes men and women are equal.

But veteran Saudi activist Hala Aldosari says women remain second-class citizens and criticised the crown prince’s “piecemeal approach” as serving the interests of the elite at the expense of women from more restrictive families.

“Worst of all will be if these small-scale reforms, and the silencing of feminists, slow the momentum for pushing the Saudi regime into making more meaningful change,” she wrote in a U.S. newspaper this week.


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Categories: Crown Prince, Driving Ban, Female ban on driving, News, Prince Mohammed, Saudi Arabia, Saudi Women

Sting blasts leaders as ‘cowards’ over migration crisis

British singer and actor Sting called world leaders “half men and cowards” on Saturday for their inability to solve the refugee crisis.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has already played down expectations of a breakthrough at hastily-arranged talks among EU leaders on Sunday on the migration dispute dividing Europe and threatening her own government.

Austrian Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache said on Saturday he expects a chain reaction across the European Union if Germany closes its borders to refugees.

Migration policies in the U.S. have also been in the spotlight.

“Thank God for Greece because you have shown the way,” said Sting, whose real name is Gordon Sumner, at an Amnesty International event in Athens.

“You have shown how to treat refugees when other people are building walls. When children are being taken from their mothers and put in cages, you are acting with compassion and generosity and commonsense,” he said.

“Because our so-called leaders, a sad parade of half-men, cowards, have not got the solutions … Once again Greece has shown us how to be civilized.”

Nearly a million refugees passed through and got support from Greece in 2015, as the country was dealing with its own major financial crisis.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday abandoned a policy of separating migrant children from their parents on the U.S.-Mexico border, after images of youngsters in cages sparked outrage at home and abroad.

Sting told Reuters the family separation policy was “brutal” and “barbaric”.

The former frontman for The Police was in Athens for two concerts as part of world tour.

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Categories: Europe, Greece, Italy, leaders, News, refugees, Singer, Sting, U.S.

Muslim man called ‘p*ki b*stard’ in a threatening tirade by a racist motorist

A Muslim man was called a ‘p*ki b*stard’, threatened with violence, and had his car damaged by a racist motorist.

The incident took place on June 10 at around 13:12 GMT on a busy Hertfordshire road.

Speaking to Tell MAMA anonymously, the man confirmed that he and his family were initially stuck in traffic when the incident occurred.

When traffic began to briefly and slowly move, he was delayed by only a few seconds as his wife had left the vehicle to get some air.

Despite the brief delay, a man in a red van began shouting at him to ‘pull over’ amid more general abuse.

The red van driver was then able to get directly behind the Muslim family’s car when the traffic eased as several cars had switched lanes.

A man then exited from the passenger’s side of the red van and continued to shout abuse, as he moved closer, he hit the roof and the driver’s window ‘very hard’ and kept repeating: “”You p*ki b*stard, come out I’ll show you who is stronger here, you scumbag, go back you f****** p*ki” before returning to the van.

The Muslim man’s young daughter was in the car throughout the incident which caused her and the family great upset and fear. He described how the attack ‘horrified’ him and had left him ‘shaken’.

Hertfordshire Police are investigating the incident.

The Muslim man added that the man had caused a rather ‘large’ dent in his car.

In 2016, Tell MAMA verified 38 reports (6 per cent) of Islamophobic and anti-Muslim incidents on roads and highways.

The perpetrator is described as being a white male, in his 30s to 40s, with a heavy-set build.

You can get advice from our confidential and free helpline on 0800 456 1226. Or through our free iOS or Android apps. Report through our online form. Or contact us via WhatsApp on 0734 184 6086.




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Categories: hate crime, Hertfordshire, News

European human rights court rejects appeal by Norwegian mass killer

The European Court of Human Rights rejected on Thursday an appeal by Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik who says his near-isolation in prison amounts to inhuman and degrading treatment.

Breivik, who has legally changed his name to Fjotolf Hansen, killed 77 people in a car bombing in central Oslo and shooting spree on Utoeya island in 2011, the worst act of violence in the Nordic country since World War Two.

The Strasbourg-based court “rejected the application as inadmissible for being manifestly ill-founded”, according to a ruling by a committee of three judges.

“The decision is final,” it said.

Breivik, an anti-Muslim right-wing fanatic, says his near-isolation in a three-room cell violates a ban on inhuman or degrading treatment and a right to privacy and family life under the European Convention on Human Rights.

Oslo district court agreed with him in a 2016 ruling, but it was overturned by an appeals court in March 2017. Norway’s Supreme Court declined to hear his appeal in the case.

Norway says that draconian measures, including hundreds of strip searches and no contact with other inmates, are justified for an unrepentant 39-year-old far-right extremist who could be attacked by other prisoners.

Breivik is serving Norway’s longest sentence — 21 years with the possibility of an extension. His only contacts are lawyers and professionals such as guards and health workers.

Breivik’s lawyer was not immediately available for comment.


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Categories: Anders Brievik, Fjotolf Hansen, human rights, News

Italian interior minister wants census of Roma communities

Italy’s new government plans to carry out a census of the Roma community with an eye to kicking out anyone staying in the country illegally, Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said on Monday.

“Unfortunately we will have to keep the Italian Roma because we can’t expel them,” Salvini, who is head of the far-right League, told television station Telelombardia.

Salvini set off a storm in Europe last week when he refused to let a charity ship carrying more than 600 mainly African migrants dock in Italy.

Spain eventually took in the boat, with Salvini saying Italy would no longer automatically take in boat migrants, who have used Libya as a springboard in recent years to seek a richer, safer life in Europe.

Turning his attention to another group that has often been the target of League ire, Salvini said his ministry was looking at “the Roma question” and wanted to see “who, and how many” there were.

Tens of thousands of Roma, also known as “gypsies” and “nomads”, live across Italy, many in squalid shantytowns on the outskirts of major cities and on the fringes of society.

Salvini’s comments drew an immediate barrage of criticism, with the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) saying his call revived memories of “ethnic cleansing”.

In a subsequent statement, Salvini said the government had no intention of setting up a separate archive for the Roma or taking finger prints, but wanted to protect Roma children who were barred from going to local schools by their parents.

He added that he wanted to check how European Union funds aimed at helping marginalised communities were being spent.


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Categories: Census, Government, Italy, News, Salvini