Kebab shop bombed, mosques attacked in France after Charlie Hebdo killings

French Muslim

France’s leaning towards Islamophobia is sharply increasing.

Muslim places of worship in two French towns were fired upon overnight, leaving no casualties, prosecutors said on Thursday. Three blank grenades were thrown at a mosque shortly after midnight in the city of Le Mans, west of Paris. A bullet hole was also found in a window of the mosque.

In the Port-la-Nouvelle district near Narbonne in southern France, several shots were fired in the direction of a Muslim prayer hall shortly after evening prayers. The hall was empty, the local prosecutor said. An explosion at a kebab shop near a mosque in the eastern French town of Villefranche-sur-Saone on Thursday morning also left no casualties. Local prosecutors have described it as a “criminal act”.

France is on edge following the deadly assault by heavily armed gunmen on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday that left 12 dead. No link has yet been established between the attacks.

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Ben Affleck defends Muslims on US TV talk show

Hollywood A-lister Ben Affleck has delivered a spirited defence of Muslims worldwide on a TV talk show hosted by a fellow liberal with little time for the Islamic faith. Affleck, well known for his progressive views, was promoting his latest film “Gone Girl” on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” when the conversation turned towards Islam. “Islam at the moment is the mother lode of bad ideas,” said fellow guest Sam Harris, a philosopher who claimed that 20% of the world’s Muslims are either jihadists or Islamists, according to “a bunch of poll results”.

Oscar-winner Affleck recoiled at the broad-brush portrayal of the world’s second-biggest faith. “So you’re saying that Islamophobia is not a real thing,” snapped the actor, who tackled the 1979-81 Iran hostage crisis in his 2012 political-thriller “Argo”. Read the rest of this entry »

Muslim scholars make the theological case against the Islamic State

isis

More than a hundred Muslim scholars and leaders from around the world released an open letter addressed to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Wednesday, telling the self-proclaimed caliph, in no uncertain terms, that the group’s use of Islamic scripture is illegitimate and perverse.

The document, which was issued in Arabic and English on the website Letter to Baghdadi and is embedded below, begins with a list of practices employed by the Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL) that its authors say are explicitly forbidden by Islam. They include torture, slavery, forced conversions, the denial of rights for women and children, and the killing of innocents.

The letter emphasizes that Baghdadi’s claims to a caliphate spanning eastern Syria and western Iraq are void.

“Who gave you authority over the ummah [Muslim people]?” the letter asks. “Was it your group? If this is the case, then a group of no more than several thousand has appointed itself the ruler of over a billion and a half Muslims. This attitude is based upon a corrupt circular logic that says: ‘Only we are Muslims, and we decide who the caliph is, we have chosen one and so whoever does not accept our caliph is not a Muslim.’ “

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