14 I WORLD NEWS
Passion Islam I June 2010
Lawmakers in Australia’s most populous state voted against banning the burka, with one accusing the Christian MP who moved the bill of stigmatizing Muslims, as city authorities in Brussels banned a protest against a ban against wearing the full-face Islamic veil in public.
Fred Nile, of the right-wing Christian Democrats Party, urged the New South Wales parliament to vote in favor of banning the full Islamic veil for security reasons and to “set women free from domination of males.”
But his bill was quashed in the
state’s upper house by 26 to three votes, with the center-left Labor and more radical Greens parties condemning it as racist.
Australia lawmakers vote down burka ban
“There is no urgency in spreading further fear and hatred in our community,” said Islamic Labor MP Shaoquett Moselmane. Nile’s real intent was “stigmatizing an entire community,” added Greens MP John Kaye.
It follows heated public debate sparked earlier this month by calls from conservative national Senator Cory Bernardi for a ban on the burka, which he claimed was “emerging as the preferred disguise of bandits and ne’er-do-wells.” Bernardi’s comments, prompted by the use of the Islamic veil in an armed robbery in Sydney, led both Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and his opposition counterpart Tony Abbott to declare that such a ban was not current policy.
The US House of Representatives has endorsed President Barack Obama’s plans to give Israel over $200 million for an anti-missile system.
US House backs Israel missile aid bill
The lawmakers have overwhelmingly supported the bill that gives Obama a free hand to fund Israel’s plans for deploying
a controversial short-range missile system called the “Iron Dome.” The House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman has described the vote as an important step. Howard Berman says Washington must make sure its most important ally can defend itself.
Israel completed tests on its Iron Dome missile system in January. It is planning to integrate the
Muslims make up about 1.7
percent of Australia’s heavily Christian population of 22 million.
Germany’s Largest Mosques Opens
A new mosque that is one of the largest in Germany was officially opened in Berlin’s Kreuzberg quarter, which has a strong Turkish presence.
system into the army. White House spokesman
Tommy Vietor said that Washington recognizes Israel’s need to have such a system.
News of the representatives’ support for the bill comes as US envoy George Mitchell wraps up his Middle East visit without making any progress in “proximity talks” with the Israeli and Palestinian sides.
The mosque, which can hold around 1, 000 people, is part of a complex that media reports said cost around 10 million Euros (12.5 million dollars) to build and was entirely financed by private Lebanese and Palestinian donors. The mosque is topped by a glass dome and four small minarets, and is part of a six-storey, 5,000- square-metre building that includes commercial and social centres and a library.
Germany’s largest mosque can accommodate 2, 500 people and is in the city of Mannheim in the west of the country.
The construction of mosques in Germany has prompted debate -- as it has in other European countries -- notably among the extreme right.
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