Tag Archives: religion

Sri Lanka counter terrorist operation ongoing

The blasts in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday April 21 killed at least 290 people and left hundreds more injured. Search and rescue, victim identification have been carried out along with a counter-terrorist operation. The US Embassy in Colombo launched an ALERT, asking everyone to “remain vigilant, and report any suspicious activity to authorities immediately”.

  • There were six suicide bombers involved in the explosions. So far, 24 suspects have been arrested in connection to the attacks.
  • The FBI and Interpol are among the global agencies who are stepping in to assist the investigation.
  • The Sri Lanka government may have had information about the attacks prior to the bombings. A minister claimed that US and Indian governments had warned of “something terrible,” but it’s unclear if any action was taken.
  • More victims’ names and faces are emerging, among them 30 foreigners.

Niqab wear as ‘human right’

A panel of independent experts, monitoring states compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, said France had 180 days to report back about actions it had taken to restore rights of wearing niqab.

France’s ban on the niqab has been ruled a violation of human rights, The UN Human Rights Committee said, explaining that it has put Muslim women and risks “confining them to their homes.

In a landmark ruling the UN moved to support wearers of the full-body Islamic veil and ordered French authorities to repay two citizens convicted for wearing niqabs in 2012.

The committee issued a statement clarifying that France had failed to make the case for its so-called ‘burqa ban‘ and ordered it to review the legislation.

EU mobilises €25 million to defeat radicalisation in prisons

Attending the the Conference on Radicalisation in Prisons  Commissioner Vera Jourová in charge of Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality put forward proposals to minimise the risk of terrorist attacks, tackling  the “root of the problem” – the radical extremist political ideology, but the same time to distinguish it from Islam as religion.

“Radicalisation can take many forms and nobody has a “monopoly on it”, whether it is Islamist extremists, or Right-wing extremists or others” – Vera Vera Jourová said, adding that she does not believe that getting to the bottom of the problem can be done by governments alone. “The response needs to come from all levels, national and local. Teachers, social services, prison staff, local communities can do a lot to prevent spreading the poison of radicalisation” – Jourová continued.

However the EU can help to step in where the EU-wide response can be effective, and mobilise the practitioners, exchange of best practices and ideas and mobilise funds.

The first, and utmost the improving the exchange of information sharing about those Europeans who are coming back from fighting in conflict areas are of particular importance and the reform of the Schengen Information System will help EU government to exchange the information faster and better.

The Internet which is used by dangerous extremists to identify vulnerable men and spread the venom of radicalisation. The Orlando attacker is the case in point, as the evidence suggests he was radicalised over the Internet and was acting alone, Jourová reminded.

To address this problem the Commission will propose further recommendations on what is expected from the Internet companies in terms of removing terrorist content in social media.

 

Secondly, to tackle radicalisation more widely, the EU can help to mobilise practitioners, create platforms for exchange and mobilise funds. That is why the Commission is supporting the Radicalisation Awareness Network Centre of Excellence, where expertise of local practitioners is connected to each other.

The Commission has mobilised €25 million for the next 4 years to help this Network to fulfil its mission. Overall in the EU budget  €314 million are dedicated to anti-radicalisation projects until 2020.

ECJ ruling against headscarf

mulim women

The European Court of Justice (ECJ)  in Luxembourg decided in favor of a Belgian firm which had a rule barring employees who dealt with customers from wearing visible religious and political symbols may not have discriminated against a receptionist dismissed for wearing a headscarf.

From now onwards the compainies in the EU got a green light on demotivating  their staff from wearing Islamic headscarves and other visible religious or political symbols under certain conditions, the European Union’s top court ruled to big relief of those standing for secular societies.

The Open Society Justice Initiative, a group footed by the philanthropist George Soros, said the ruling weakens the guarantee of equality” established by  the EU non-discrimination laws.”