A Month of Islam and Multiculturalism in Britain: July 2017

July 1. Two men, both aged 21, one from Leicester and one from Birmingham, were arrested at Heathrow Airport on suspicion of terrorism offenses after arriving on a flight from Turkey. Two days earlier, a 21-year-old woman was arrested, also on suspicion of terrorism offenses, at the same airport, as she arrived on a flight from Istanbul. In May, a 30-year-old man was arrested at Heathrow, on suspicion of preparing for terrorist acts after he stepped off a plane from Istanbul.

July 2. Sahnoun Daifallah, a 50-year-old Algerian chemist, sentenced to nine years in prison for contaminating supermarket food with his own excrement, avoided deportation for seven years. Daifallah came to Britain in 1999 and was granted refugee status two years later. In May 2008, he used a weed killer spray bottle to contaminate food with a mixture of urine and feces at several supermarkets in Gloucestershire. Damage to the businesses was estimated at £700,000 ($900,000). Daifallah was told he would be deported in 2010, but apparently bureaucratic incompetence has kept him in immigration custody since February 2013. The 54 months he has spent in detention have cost British taxpayers around £155,000 ($200,000), not including his legal bills which have added at least another £100,000.

July 2. A new report — “The Missing Muslims: Unlocking British Muslim Potential for the Benefit of All” — concluded: “It is of great importance that British-born imams, who have a good understanding of British culture and who fluently speak English, are encouraged and appointed in preference to overseas alternatives.” The 18-month inquiry — commissioned by Citizens UK, a community organizing charity, and chaired by former Attorney General Dominic Grieve MP — was set up to examine ways in which the participation of Muslims in the public and community life, outside of their own faith groups, might be improved. Imams were told they must take a “stronger stance” against persecution of others, including Jews, Christians and other Muslims. “The Commission has heard a great deal about the need for better leadership within the UK’s Muslim communities,” the report said. “The management committees of the UK’s mosques need to better understand, and respond to, modern British life.”

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