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Austria Plans to Close Mosques, Expel Imams

Chancellor announces crackdown on 'political Islam'

(Newser) - Austria's government said Friday that it's closing seven mosques and plans to expel imams in a crackdown on "political Islam" and foreign financing of religious groups. Chancellor Sebastian Kurz says the government is shutting a hard-line Turkish nationalist mosque in Vienna and dissolving a group called the... More »

'Unprecedented' Step Taken by Imams on UK Terrorists

More than 130 Muslim religious leaders pen letter slamming 'reprehensible actions'

(Newser) - As England continues to flesh out the details of two terror attacks there over the past two weeks, one group has taken what BuzzFeed calls an "unprecedented" stand against the perpetrators. More than 130 imams and other Muslim religious leaders from "diverse" backgrounds across the UK have penned... More »

Cops Nab Suspect in Queens Imam's Murder: Sources

Sources say gunman was arrested Sunday night after ramming cop car

(Newser) - The man suspected of gunning down an imam and his friend outside a Queens mosque has been arrested, sources tell the New York Daily News . Police would not confirm the suspect was in custody but the Daily News says he was busted Sunday night after he rammed an unmarked police... More »

NYPD Hunts Suspect in Brazen Murder of Imam

Imam, friend were gunned down in broad daylight Saturday as they left prayers

(Newser) - New York City police have released a sketch of the suspect they say fatally shot the leader of a mosque and a friend as they left afternoon prayers. Police say witnesses described the shooter of 55-year-old Imam Maulama Akonjee and 64-year-old Thara Uddin as a man with a medium complexion,... More »

After Boy Mishears Imam, a Severed Hand, an Arrest

15-year-old Pakistani boy cuts off own hand after being called 'blasphemer'

(Newser) - It was a simple misunderstanding of a question asked by a holy man, but it cost a 15-year-old Pakistani boy his hand, and landed an imam under arrest. Imam Shabbir Ahmed was giving a sermon at a mosque in Punjab province, reports al Jazeera , when he asked his congregation who... More »

Tip From Imam Foiled Canada Terror Plot

2 men planned to derail passenger train: RCMP

(Newser) - Yesterday, Canadian authorities said they foiled an alleged terrorist plot —the "first known al-Qaeda plan of attack that we’ve experienced," one detective says—and they have a Toronto imam to thank for the bust. More than a year ago, the still-anonymous imam told authorities he was... More »

Girl Accused of Blasphemy Granted Bail in Pakistan

First such case to see bail offered

(Newser) - Following extensive court arguments in Pakistan today, a girl accused of burning pages of the Koran has been granted bail. A minorities activist group has agreed to pay the $10,000 bail fee, CNN reports. A lawyer for the Christian girl, called Rimsha, held that she has a low IQ... More »

Imam Arrested for Framing Disabled Girl for Blasphemy

Witnesses say cleric tore Koran, put pages in girl's bag

(Newser) - A Muslim cleric was arrested today for framing a blasphemy accusation against an 11-year-old Christian girl who reportedly suffers from Down syndrome, reports Reuters . Witnesses said the cleric tore pages from a Koran and put them in the girl's bag, which led to the original outrage and charges against... More »

Islamist Website: Kill This Rapper, and We'll Pay $100K

But Shahin Najafi denies 'O Naqi' is insulting to Islam

(Newser) - Most rappers hope their songs will be a hit—not make them the target of one. That's the situation facing Shahin Najafi, an Iranian rapper living in Germany who's accused of having "grossly insulted" an important Shi'ite Muslim religious figure in one of his songs. He... More »

Benetton Yanks Pope-Imam Kiss Ad

...within an hour of Vatican complaint

(Newser) - Well, so much for that: Just hours after its debut, an ad featuring a PhotoShopped pope kissing a top Egyptian imam was yanked. The controversial ad, part of clothing company Benetton’s latest head-turning campaign , was released yesterday and quickly pounced on by the Vatican. "It shows a serious... More »

NYPD Spied on NYC's Muslim Anti-Terror Partners

Undercover cops infiltrated moderate mosques

(Newser) - Moderate Muslim leaders who joined New York City's fight against terrorism were placed under surveillance by the NYPD because of their religion, the AP finds after reviewing secret documents it obtained. Reda Shata, an imam who decried terrorism, invited the FBI and NYPD to speak at his mosque, and... More »

Limbaugh: Obama Is an 'Imam-Child'

Shaving top tax cuts turns Rush apoplectic over 'economic ignoramus'

(Newser) - Right-wing trumpet Rush Limbaugh absolutely tore into President Obama yesterday, calling the commander in chief a "jackass," an "economic ignoramus," and an "idiot," over his support for extending the Bush tax credits to all but the top 2%. Obama said at a speech before... More »

Ground Zero Imam, Wife Getting Death Threats: Police

Cops confirm Daisy Khan's statement yesterday

(Newser) - Hours after Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf's wife told ABC's This Week she and her husband had received death threats, police confirmed that the couple behind the Park51 Islamic center (or " ground zero mosque ") have indeed been threatened. It "began several weeks ago," a police spokesperson... More »

Judge: Ground Zero Imam Is a Slum Lord

He's ordered to fix dangerous violations in Jersey apartment building

(Newser) - The imam behind the Ground Zero Muslim prayer center has been ordered by a judge to fix decrepit conditions in a New Jersey tenement he owns, which has no hot water, faulty hallway lights, no working fire alarms, and bedbug and cockroach infestations. Union City officials charged Imam Feisal Abdul... More »

Stewart Skewers Fox Mosque Hysteria

'Daily Show' host compares media to distractable dogs

(Newser) - Jon Stewart took on everyone's favorite controversies last night : would-be Koran-burner Terry Jones, and the imam behind the so-called "Ground Zero mosque." (Or, as Stewart called it, the "community center of death.") He noted that when the imam issued his warning that moving the Islamic... More »

Election Season to Blame for Mosque Uproar: Imam

Feisal Abdul Rauf wants peace

(Newser) - Why all this controversy over the so-called Ground Zero mosque? The imam behind it thinks he knows. "There is no doubt that the election season has had a major impact upon the nature of the discourse," he tells an Abu Dhabi-based newspaper. Numerous conservative candidates are indeed opposing... More »

Malaysia Swoons Over Hotttest Imam Reality Search

They sing, gather corpses in new program

(Newser) - They're young, tall-ish, dark and handsome and they've captured the hearts of Malyasian TV viewers mesmerized by their quest to be declared the nation's hottest up-and-coming imam. Contestants on the new reality show Young Imam are judged by one man— the former grand mufti of Malaysia's national mosque—and are... More »

US Denies Brits Warned About Detroit Bomber

Downing Street made a mistake, White House says

(Newser) - The UK government made "a mistake" when it claimed that British intelligence about the Detroit bombing suspect was passed on to US authorities in 2008, says a White House source. Gordon Brown's office also seemed to be backpedaling from yesterday's claim that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was included on a... More »

Hasan Asked Cleric When Jihad Was OK

'I can't wait to join you' in the afterlife, accused shooter wrote in email

(Newser) - Before he allegedly opened fire at Fort Hood, Nidal Hasan told a radical Islamic cleric that he couldn’t wait to drink nonalcoholic wine with him in the afterlife, according to one US official. Hasan exchanged 18 emails with Anwar al-Awlaki, who authorities believe is an al-Qaeda recruiter. In them,... More »

Feds Point Fingers in Hasan Missteps

Fort Hood blame game begins

(Newser) - The FBI and the Pentagon are fighting off accusations that someone dropped the ball on Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hasan. Department of Defense officials say that the FBI never notified them that Hasan had been in contact with extremist imam Anwar al-Aulaqi, while the FBI's defenders say that his... More »

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