Former Malaysia PM Mahathir refuses to apologise for France attack comments

Former Malaysian leader Mahathir Mohamad defends his widely condemned comments on attacks by Muslim extremists in France, saying that they were taken out of context as he criticised Twitter and Facebook for removing his posts.

The 95-year-old sparked widespread outrage when he wrote on his blog on Thursday that “Muslims have a right to be angry and kill millions of French people for the massacres of the past”.

Twitter removed a tweet from Mr Mahathir containing the remark, which it said glorified violence, while France’s digital minister demanded the company also ban Mr Mahathir from its platform.

“I am indeed disgusted with attempts to misrepresent and take out of context what I wrote on my blog,” Mr Mahathir said in a statement.

He said critics failed to read his posting in full, especially the next sentence which read: “But by and large Muslims have not applied the ‘eye for an eye’ law. Muslims don’t. The French shouldn’t. Instead the French should teach their people to respect other people’s feelings.”

He said Twitter and Facebook removed the posting despite his explanation, and slammed the move as hypocritical.

“On the one hand, they defended those who chose to display offending caricatures of Prophet Mohammed … and expect all Muslims to swallow it in the name of freedom of speech and expression,” he said.

“On the other, they deleted deliberately that Muslims had never sought revenge for the injustice against them in the past”, thereby stirring French hatred for Muslims, he added.

On Twitter, however, that sentence was not deleted. A staff member for Mr Mahathir said the entire posting was removed by Facebook.

Facebook Malaysia said in an email that it removed Mr Mahathir’s posting for violating its policies, adding: “We do not allow hate speech on Facebook and strongly condemn any support for violence, death or physical harm.”

The comments by the two-time prime minister were in response to calls by Muslim nations to boycott French products after French leader Emmanuel Macron described Islam as a religion “in crisis” and vowed to crack down on radicalism following the murder of a French teacher who showed his class a cartoon depicting the prophet of Islam.

His remarks also came as a Tunisian man killed three people at a church in the southern French city of Nice.

The US ambassador to Malaysia, Kamala Shirin Lakhdir, said on Friday that she “strongly disagreed” with Mr Mahathir’s statement, adding in a statement: “Freedom of expression is a right, calling for violence is not.”

Mr Mahathir has been viewed as an advocate of moderate Islamic views and a spokesman for the interests of developing countries.

At the same time, he has pointedly criticised Western society and nations as well as their relationships to the Muslim world, while he has been denounced in Israel and elsewhere for making anti-Semitic remarks.

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Categories: Emmanuel Macron, France comments, Malaysia Pm Mahathir, News, Nice

New arrest by French investigators probing church attack in Nice

Detectives investigating an attack by a Tunisian man who killed three people in a Nice church have a second suspect in custody, as France heightens its security alert amid religious and geopolitical tensions around cartoons mocking the Muslim Prophet Muhammad.

Tunisian anti-terrorism authorities have opened an investigation into an online claim that the attack was staged by a previously unknown Tunisian extremist group.

Muslims held more anti-France protests across the Middle East and beyond on Friday, while mourners placed flowers, messages and candles at the entrance to the Notre Dame Basilica in the French Riviera city where Thursday’s knife attack took place.

The attacker, Ibrahim Issaoui, was seriously wounded by police and taken to hospital in life-threatening condition, authorities said. Anti-terrorism prosecutors in France and Tunisia are investigating.

The new suspect is a 47-year-old man believed to have been in contact with the attacker the night before the attack, according to a judicial official.

A substitute prosecutor at the Tunisian anti-terrorism prosecutor’s office, Mohsen Dali, told the Associated Press a claim of responsibility came in an online post saying the attack was staged by a group called Al Mehdi of Southern Tunisia, previously unknown to Tunisian authorities.

The victims included 55-year-old Vincent Loques, a father of two who was the church’s sacristan, in charge of its holy objects, according to local broadcaster France-Bleu.

Another was a 44-year-old mother of three from Brazil named Simone who had studied cooking in Nice and helped poor communities, France-Bleu said.

In an interview broadcast on Friday with Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya TV, the attacker’s mother said she was shocked by the events.

She said she was surprised to hear her son was in France and had no idea what he was planning. “You don’t know the French language, you don’t know anyone there, you’re going to live alone there, why, why did you go there?” she said she told him over the phone when he arrived.

His brother told Al-Arabiya that Issaoui had informed the family he would sleep in front of the church, and sent them a photograph showing him at the cathedral. “He didn’t tell me anything,” he said.

A neighbour said he knew the assailant when he was a mechanic and held various other odd jobs, and had shown no signs of radicalisation.

France’s anti-terrorism prosecutor said the suspect is a Tunisian born in 1999 who reached the Italian island of Lampedusa, a key landing point for migrants crossing in boats from North Africa, on September 20, and travelled to Bari, a port city in southern Italy, on October 9. It is not clear when he arrived in Nice.

Tunisians fleeing a virus-battered economy make up the largest contingent of migrants landing in Italy this year. Italian media reported that from Lampedusa, where Issaoui was one of 1,300 arriving migrants on September 20, he was placed with 800 others on a virus quarantine boat in Puglia.

After the two-week quarantine, he received a notice that he was being expelled from Italy for illegal entry and was given seven days to leave the country, according to Milan daily Corriere della Sera.

Italy’s interior minister confirmed the suspect was ordered to leave Italy on October 9. Luciana Lamorgese said he was not flagged by either Tunisian authorities or intelligence agencies.

The attack was the third in less than two months that French authorities have attributed to Muslim extremists, including the beheading of a teacher who had shown caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in class after the images were re-published by satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

The images deeply offended many Muslims, and protesters burned French flags, stomped on portraits of President Emmanuel Macron and called for boycotts of French products at demonstrations in Pakistan, India and Afghanistan.

Mr Macron said he would immediately increase the number of soldiers deployed to protect French schools and religious sites from around 3,000 to 7,000. Schools remain open during a nationwide lockdown that started on Friday to stem the spread of coronavirus, but religious services are cancelled.

Nice imam Otmane Aissaoui condemned the “terrible act of terror, of savagery, of human insanity that plunges us into sadness, shock and pain” which had again put French Muslims in the spotlight.

The attacker “hit brothers and sisters who were praying to their lord”, he told the Associated Press. “It’s as if a mosque was touched… I am deeply Christian today.”

Read more: Students helped killer find teacher who was beheaded, says French prosecutor

French leader decries terrorist attack against teacher

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Categories: Charlie Hebdo, Emmanuel Macron, France terrorist attack, Ibrahim Issaoui, Macron, News, Pakistan, Tunisian national

Gardaí investigate after the far-right target mosque

Gardaí (Irish police) are investigating after a far-right group holding a banner targeted Ballyhaunis Mosque on October 20, after a member of the public alerted the police, Tell MAMA can reveal.

The group responsible, Siol na hÉireann, is based in Donegal under the leadership of Niall McConnell, which, as revealed in an extensive investigation in the Irish Times, is not a political party but a private, for-profit business.

The so-called “anti-Sharia Law” protest appeared across their social media platforms, with over 5,000 views on YouTube. Throughout the video, worshippers are filmed in the background exiting the mosque. Similar agitations targeted local butchers with conspiratorial claims about halal meat in Ireland.

Ballyhaunis has been described as one of the most diverse towns in Ireland.

A failed politician, having gained just 580 votes in April, Niall McConnell was called a racist in graffiti which appeared in Derry’s Creggan Estate, as the local press reported on his homophobic comments about Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar.

McConnell uses social media to host discussions with neo-fascists from across Europe, including the Noua Dreapta (New Right) of Romania and the German neo-Nazi NDP party. The thumbnail for the YouTube stream with the leader of the New Right includes multiple flags bearing the white supremacist Celtic Cross symbol (which had been on the party’s previous logo as, in 2015, the Romanian government banned Holocaust denial and the promotion of the fascist Legionnaires’ Movement, the New Right revere its founder Corneliu Codreanu).

Gonzalo Martin Garcia of the far-right Democracia Nacional in Spain has appeared on two live streams with McConnell.

Other guests on his YouTube channel include E. Michael Jones, a notorious antisemitic Catholic author, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

In April, he hosted a webchat with Nick Griffin, former leader of the far-right British National Party (BNP) and Jim Dowson, a notorious far-right activist who founded Britain First and a central pillar in the Christian militant group Knights Templar International, and financial backer of the BNP. Dowson, was, himself, involved in the short-lived, far-right, loyalist group the Protestant Coalition which had also targeted refugees in Nothern Ireland after the controversial flag protests in Belfast years earlier. Dowson was given a suspended sentence in 2015 for participating in loyalist flag protests in Belfast.

For Nick Griffin, who has maintained a verified Twitter account since December 2009, appears a long history of posting sectarian,anti-Catholic slurs on Twitter, with one such tweet in 2012 resulting in a police investigation.

McConnell also spoke alongside Griffin in a live stream with the chairman of the Europa Terra Nostra group, Dan Eriksson, “a stalwart of the Swedish Nazi scene,” and the self-identified Italian fascist Roberto Fiore, of Forza Nuova (who sits with Nick Griffin, Gonzalo Martin Garcia and others on the leadership board of the Alliance for Peace and Freedom).

On April 26, McConnell interviewed the independent-listed, but Golden Dawn-affiliated MEP Athanasios Konstantinou. In December 2019, McConnell appeared at an ultranationalist, far-right event hosted in the European Parliament hosted by Konstantinou, featuring notable neo-fascist and neo-Nazi groups, including the Alliance for Peace and Freedom which was titled, “Christianity and the Shaping of Europe,” demonstrating how these connections were not just online.

The event logo (L) appears on the screen below Niall McConnell’s speech, and on the right (R), is the image used to promote the event in the EU Parliament on December 11, 2019.

McConnell gave a speech in the session which included inflammatory statements like “war to the death, on top with, the jihadi Islamists the Zionist elites have imported into our cities and towns”.

Siol na hÉireann made headlines for harassing Fr Stephen Farragher in a viral video in August, accusing the priest of ‘heresy’ for involving two Muslim men in the final blessings of Mass on April 3, at St Patrick’s Church in Ballyhaunis.

The video, which gained over 42,000 views on YouTube, included anti-Muslim and Islamophobic statements from Niall McConnell, who called the Muslim men “foreign, satanic cultists”. In response, Fr Farragher told the far-right protesters: “Everyone who acts with integrity and justice is welcome at the mountain of the Lord.”

Siol na hÉireann’s use of online petition also targeted the historic use of Croke Park for an interfaith Eid socially-distanced Eid celebration, gaining thousands of signatures.

The group has attached itself to broader anti-mask protests in Dublin and with older and vulnerable communities shielding or self-isolating during the Covid-19 pandemic, the group uses its branding and propaganda under the auspices of “Irish food aid”. In some examples, stalls related to this food aid include members distributing their far-right newspaper.

Some within the yellow vest movement have since distanced themselves from McConnell’s movement.

After deleting his YouTube account in May, David Icke would later appear on McCconnel’s YouTube channel on August 26.

As part of its investigation, Tell MAMA has also flagged, where appropiate, the content of concern with social media platforms.




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Categories: Far Right groups, News

Two arrested over wartime killing of 78 civilians

Two people have been detained in Bosnia on suspicion of taking part in the killing of at least 78 civilians during the 1992-95 war.

The two men were apprehended in Banja Luka, the main town in the Bosnian Serb-run part of the country, according to the prosecutor’s office.

They are suspected of crimes against humanity over the June 1992 killings in the north-western village of Velagici.

Bosnian Serbs slaughtered imprisoned Bosniak civilians, who are mainly Muslims, outside the school building with automatic weapons.

The victims’ bodies were later driven away in trucks and dumped in a mass grave that was exhumed in 1996.

More than 100,000 people died during the war in Bosnia, which erupted when Bosnian Serbs rebelled over the country’s independence from the former Yugoslavia and moved to carve up a mini-state of their own, expelling Bosniaks and Croats from the territory.

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Categories: Arrested, Banja Luka, Bosnia, Bosniak, News, Velagici

Pope names first black American cardinal

Pope Francis has named 13 new cardinals, including Washington DC Archbishop Wilton Gregory.He will become the first Black US prelate to earn the coveted red hat.

In a surprise announcement from his studio window to faithful standing below in St Peter’s Square, Francis said the churchmen will be elevated to a cardinal’s rank in a ceremony on November 28.

Francis asked for prayers so the new cardinals “may help me in my ministry as bishop of Rome for the good of all God’s faithful holy people”.

The selection of Gregory won praise from LGBTQ advocates in the United States, days after Pope Francis grabbed headlines for voicing support for civil unions for gay couples.

Other new cardinals include an Italian who is the long-time papal preacher at the Vatican, the Rev. Raniero Cantalamessa, a Franciscan friar; Kigali Archbishop Antoine Kambanda; Capiz Archbishop Jose Feurte Advincula, and Santiago Archbishop Celestino Aos.

Another Franciscan who has been elevated is Friar Mauro Gambetti, in charge of the Sacred Convent in Assisi.

The Pope, when elected in 2013, chose St Francis of Assisi as his namesake saint and earlier this month the pontiff visited the hill town in Umbria to sign an encyclical, or important church teaching document, about brotherhood.

Mr Gambetti was so surprised that at first he thought the Pope was joking when he heard he was named, convent spokesman the Rev Enzo Fortunato said.

He quickly pledged to “put himself at the service of humanity at a time so difficult to us all”, including offering compassion to the needy.

In a reflection of the Pope’s stress on helping those in need, especially the poor, Francis also named the former director of the Rome Catholic charity, Caritas, the Rev Enrico Feroci, to be a cardinal.

The prestigious Washington archdiocese traditionally brings elevation to cardinal’s rank so the appointment of Mr Gregory, 73, last year by the Pope had positioned him to be approached for the honour.

When Mr Gregory headed the Atlanta diocese earlier in his career, he wrote positively in a column about his conversations with Catholic parents of LGBTQ children.

An advocate for LGBTQ Catholics, Francis DeBernardo, said choosing Mr Gregory for a cardinal’s post signals Francis wants “LGBTQ people to be part of the church, and he wants church people to respect them”.

Mr DeBernardo linked the appointment to Francis’ recently reported comments supporting civil unions for same-sex couples.

He also praised the elevation to cardinal’s rank of a Vatican bishop who comes from Malta, a tiny, traditionally Catholic nation which has made significant progress in LGBTQ civil rights and protections in recent years.

Mr DeBernardo was referring to Mario Grech, 63, who serves at the Vatican as secretary general of the Synod of Bishops office and who formerly headed the diocese on the Maltese island of Gozo.

Nine of the new cardinals are younger than 80 and thus eligible to elect the next pontiff in a secret conclave.

No details were immediately given by the Vatican about the formal ceremony to make the churchmen cardinals, especially in view of travel restrictions involving many countries during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Others receiving the honour include Monsignor Marcello Semeraro, an Italian serving as prefect of the Vatican office that runs the saint-making process; Bishop Cornelius Sim, apostolic vicar of Brunei; the Italian archbishop of Siena and nearby towns in Tuscany, Augusto Lojudice; the retired bishop of San Cristobal de las Casas, Monsignor Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel, and an Italian former Vatican diplomat, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi.

Read more: Pope Francis apologies for having to be socially distant from flock

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Categories: Black American cardinal, Franciscan, Franciscan Priest, News, Pope, Washington DC Archbishop Wilton Gregory

Children among dead in Kabul bombing

A suicide attack in Afghanistan’s capital has killed at least 10 people and wounded 20 others, including schoolchildren, the interior ministry said.

The explosion struck outside an education centre in a heavily Shiite neighbourhood of western Kabul.

Interior ministry spokesman Tariq Arian said the attacker was trying to enter the centre when he was stopped by security guards.

No group claimed immediate responsibility for the bombing.

The Taliban rejected any connection with the attack.

An Islamic State affiliate claimed responsibility for a similar suicide attack at an education centre in August 2018, in which 34 students were killed.

Within Afghanistan, IS has launched large-scale attacks on minority Shiites, whom it views as apostates.

The US signed a peace deal with the Taliban in February, opening up a path towards withdrawing American troops from the conflict.

Earlier on Saturday, a roadside bomb killed nine people in eastern Afghanistan after it struck a minivan full of civilians, a local official said.

Ghazni province police spokesman Ahmad Khan Sirat said a second roadside bomb killed two policemen, after it struck their vehicle that was making its way to the victims of the first explosion.

He added that the bombings had wounded several others, and that the attacks were under investigation.

No-one immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks.

The provincial police spokesman claimed the Taliban had placed the bomb.

Read: Thirteen killed, over one hundred injured in Afghanistan car bomb blast

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Categories: Afghanistan, Ghazni province, Islamic State, News, Taliban

Risk of being exposed to Covid-19 ‘100 times greater than four months ago’

The risk of being exposed to Covid-19 is now 100 times greater than it was four months ago, the Department of Health has warned.

Deputy chief medical officer Dr Heather Burns appealed for people to stay at home and adhere to public health guidance as the country’s incident rate exceeded 300 per 100,000 population for the first time since the onset of the pandemic.

Dr Burns said: “The 14-day incidence was at three per 100,000 at the end of June, today it is 302 per 100,000 population.

“The risk of you being exposed to Covid-19 is now 100 times greater than it was four months ago.

“Please limit your risk by staying at home and following public health advice.”

She added that the positivity rate in schools is 2.8%, compared with 13% in the general public, which supports the position that schools are not prime environments for the spread of the disease.

It comes as a further 1,066 cases of Covid-19 were confirmed by the Department of Health on Thursday.

Three more deaths linked to the virus were also reported.

Over the past 14 days, 14,404 cases have been notified to the Department of Health.

The five-day moving average is now 1,160 cases per day.

Among cases notified in the last 14 days, the median age was 31.

Some 69% of the cases were in people aged under 45 and 8% were in people aged 65 and older.

The latest public health data found a total of 116,640 tests have been conducted over the past seven days. The positivity rate is 6.9%.

There were 313 patients with Covid-19 in hospital as of 2pm on Thursday, including 37 patients with the virus in critical care units.

Dr Burns said there were 649 new outbreaks notified in the week up to October 17, 71% of which were in private houses, 29% in other locations.

Six additional outbreaks in nursing home and community hospitals were confirmed. There are now 33 current outbreaks in these settings with 451 linked cases.

She said the latest figures also showed the number of deaths had continued to increase.

In the first three weeks of October there have been 60 deaths, 24 of which are linked to nursing home outbreaks.

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said the country was now at Level 5 restrictions because the disease is at “very serious levels in our country and posing a significant risk to public health”.

He reiterated his plea for anyone who had tested positive, or anyone who was awaiting a test or a test result, to self-isolate.

Dr Holohan asked everyone else to behave as if they are a close contact of someone with the virus, even if they are not, so that they limited interactions with others.

“We’re in effect asking everyone else to behave as though they are a close contact,” he said.

“In all circumstances other than for essential reasons to stay at home for the six-week period.

Asked at a briefing about the breakdown in the HSE’s contact tracing system, Dr Holohan said: “We’re not going to contact trace our way out of the scale of exponential growth we’ve experienced. We’ve had significant amount of infection occurring and very, very rapid increases in that over the period.”

He added that the HSE had done a “very significant job” in putting the system in place and that the “best defence against transmission of the disease” was people’s individual behaviour.

Dr Holohan said the system was challenged by the “scale of the infection that we have” and with cases heading to between 1,200 and 1,500 cases a day “it was a large burden of infection”.

He also said that as long as there is high transmission in the community, it will be impossible to protect nursing homes despite all the measures taken.

“It is simply not realistic to expect that we will protect nursing homes while we have the scale of infection spreading as it is in our population,” he said.

Professor Philip Nolan said the reproduction number was between 1.3 and 1.4 nationally.

“Our collective goal now is to suppress transmission of the virus and bring our case numbers to manageable levels,” he said.

“If we work hard together to get the reproduction number to 0.5, we should succeed in reducing cases to below 100 a day in six weeks’ time.”

He added that it was an “absolutely realistic target” and an “essential target” to get the reproduction number below one.

Prof Nolan also said the difference between this surge and the onset of the pandemic was that the “vast majority” of cases of coronavirus in the community were being detected, compared with earlier this year.

He said in March and April, only one in three cases were being detected.

Prof Nolan said they were catching milder and asymptomatic cases now and in a younger cohort who were less likely to be admitted to hospital and less likely to die, but he said they did not know the long-term effects they would suffer.

He added it was very important that these cases were detected because otherwise people unknowingly infect others.

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Categories: Coronavirus, COVID, COVID-19, Department of Health, News, Virus

850,000 families in the UK are struggling with the cost of food – charity says

One in seven parents of school children who are not receiving free school meals are struggling with the cost of food, a survey suggests.

At present, broadly only children from households earning less than £7,400 before benefits are eligible for free school meals. The Children’s Society fear that this threshold means many low-income families who miss out are struggling.

The charity polled 1,002 parents of state school children aged 5-16 in the UK in September.

Seven out of 10 parents (711) surveyed said that their oldest child did not receive free school meals.

These parents were estimated to spend an average of £21.54 on breakfast, lunch and snacks for their eldest child at school over a week.

One in seven of these respondents said they have been struggling with the cost of food during the school day since their child has returned to school following Covid-related closures.

If these figures are extrapolated to reflect the UK population, the Children’s Society estimates, it could mean 885,000 children are living in families who are struggling.

40% of respondents said they had cut down on food they bought for themselves in order to pay for school meals, while a fifth had borrowed money from friends and family.

17% said they had delayed making gas and electricity payments, while 5% said they had used a foodbank and 5% said they had borrowed from a commercial lender.

Overall, one in six parents said they were worried or very worried about covering the cost of meals and snacks for their children throughout the school year.

Mark Russell, Children’s Society chief executive, said: “No one likes the idea of a child going hungry, but we know that right now there are children across the country who are. We also know that the pandemic has only made the situation worse.

“The current threshold for free school meals is too low, it leaves many hard-working families, who earn just slightly above the cut off, but often still living in poverty, having to find the money to cover their child’s food during the school day.

The charity is calling for free school meals to be extended to all children whose families receive universal credit, and for the temporary extension to children in families with no recourse to public funds to be made permanent.

Richide, from London, said: “It helps a lot when they eat at school, they even have a free breakfast, they can go to school from 8 o’clock and have a free breakfast, so it’s only dinner I have to worry about. It makes a big difference to the shopping, what you have to spend on food.”

Another parent said: “I tell my kid to make sure they eat all their school meals as it may be the only meal they have. I often have nothing to eat and any food I do have I give to my kid as they only get one meal a day – I don’t have a meal many days.”

A Government spokesman said: “These findings are based on a survey of a tiny proportion of families. Official statistics show there are 200,000 fewer children living in absolute poverty since 2010.

“The Government has responded to the extraordinary challenges presented by the pandemic with an enormous package of support for families and children, including the unprecedented furlough and self-employment schemes – at a cost of £53 billion – to protect more than 12 million jobs.

“We have supported the most vulnerable by injecting an extra £9.3 billlion into the welfare safety net, as well as giving councils an additional £63 million to help families in financial difficulties with targeted interventions. Meanwhile, Free School Meals already support the learning of 1.4 million students from the lowest income families.”

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Categories: 000 families, 850, Children's Society, Cost of Food, Food poverty, free school meals, News

Muslim child bullied for homemade lunches until parents complain

Staff at a primary school in east London intervened to stop the racist bullying of a young Muslim girl who was mocked for their homemade lunches after her parents raised concerns, Tell MAMA can reveal.

To protect their identity, we are not disclosing the name of the school or the identities of those impacted, but Tell MAMA can confirm that during lunchtimes, a group of mainly white students would cover their noses at the Muslim child’s meals that included rice and curry, causing her much distress and embarrassment, until she informed her parents of the situation, who, in turn, informed staff.

They agreed to have their story told to raise awareness after being made aware of the bullying late last month, adding that, following discussion with staff, the bullying students will no longer be able to interact with their child.

In response to growing concerns about anti-Muslim and Islamophobic bullying in schools, both primary and secondary, Tell MAMA created tailor-made safety tips for young people, and PDF versions are free to download.

Polling of 1,000 six to 15-year-olds revealed that just over one-in-three (32 per cent) of children had heard someone be racist at school, a figure that rises by the time they reach the age of thirteen to 52 per cent.

Although the polling did not control for ethnic background, it did, however, show that children living in diverse cities were more exposed to racism.

Earlier this year, the BBC reported that exclusions for racist behaviours in primary schools in England had risen by 40 per cent.

Advice on talking to children about racism from practitioners and experts appears on UNICEF, Barnado’s, the BBC and others.

Anti-bullying charities also publish supportive guidance about racist bullying and the statutory rights that underpin the issue.

Various Tell MAMA annual reports have included anonymised case studies where schools have and have not addressed bullying or discriminatory practices when we have advocated on behalf of service users.

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: bullying, News

Students helped killer find teacher who was beheaded, says French prosecutor

The 18-year-old suspected killer of a French teacher who showed caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in class paid students to help him identify the victim, France’s terrorism prosecutor has said.

Prosecutor Jean-Francois Ricard said a 14-year-old and a 15-year-old are among seven people who appeared before an investigating magistrate on accusations of complicity in murder in relation with a terrorist undertaking, and criminal conspiracy.

The suspect in Friday’s killing of teacher Samuel Paty, who was attacked and beheaded near Paris, offered students at the school 300 to 350 euros (£267 to £311) to help him pick out, Mr Ricard said during a news conference on Wednesday.

“The investigation has established that the perpetrator knew the name of the teacher, the name of the school and its address, yet he did not have the means to identify him,” the prosecutor said.

“That identification has only been possible with the help of students from the same school.

“That’s why the anti-terrorism prosecutor’s office has decided to prosecute two under-18 minors whose implication in the identification of the victim for the killer has appeared to be conclusive.”

A terror investigation is under way into Mr Paty’s killing.

Authorities have identified the killer as Abdoullakh Anzorov., an 18-year-old Moscow-born Chechen refugee who was later shot dead by police.

The surviving suspects also include a student’s father who posted videos on social media that called for mobilisation against the teacher and an Islamist activist who helped the man disseminate the virulent messages, which named Mr Paty and gave the school’s address, Mr Ricard said.

Two more men are accused of having helped the attacker by accompanying him when he bought weapons including a knife and an airsoft gun that were found near the 18-year-old’s body, according to the prosecutor.

Another suspect had close contacts with the attacker and endorsed radical Islamism, Mr Ricard said.

The French government issued an order on Wednesday morning to dissolve domestic militant Islamic group the Collective Cheikh Yassine.

Government spokesman Gabriel Attal said it was “implicated, linked to Friday’s attack” and was used to promote anti-republican hate speech.

Other groups will be dissolved “in the coming weeks” for similar reasons, Mr Attal said.

Named after an assassinated leader of the Palestinian Hamas, Collective Cheikh Yassine was founded in the early 2000s by an Islamist activist who is among the seven people accused of being accomplices to the attacker.

Mr Attal also confirmed the government ordered a mosque in the north-east Paris suburb of Pantin to close for six months.

It is being punished for relaying the angry father’s message on social media.

Authorities say it has long had an imam following the Salafist path, a rigorous interpretation of the Muslim holy book.

A national memorial event is scheduled to be held Wednesday evening in the courtyard of the Sorbonne university.

Read More here: French militant group and mosque to close after killing

Suspect in French beheading was Chechen in origin

Demonstrations across France to mark the killing of Samuel Paty

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Categories: Abdoullakh Anzorov, France, militant Islamic group, News, Prophet Muhammad, Samuel Paty