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On air: Are Muslims always under attack?

Alicia Trujillo Alicia Trujillo | 13:50 UK time, Thursday, 22 April 2010

southpark.jpgWHO'S ONLINE FROM WHYS?: Ros, Alicia, John Joe, Chloe, Claudia, Sarah & Mark


1701, Krupa: If you haven't managed to see the clip from South Park yet you can see it here.

1459, Ros: Two links from david on Newshour. Both on Southpark. Vancouver Sun and CNN.

1455 Alicia: just spoke to Aliza who lives here in London wears a hijab and jilbab, says that islamophobia exists and because of this muslims are under attack, not all the time but it has been growing since 9/11.She will be joining us on the programme.

1425, Ros: If you're in a rush here are the five reasons we're asking this question - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. If you're Muslim, do feel a constant stream of criticism and ill-feeling towards you and your faith? And if you're not, do you think Muslims receiving a disproportionate amount of antagonism?

1313, Ros: Katie's commented on my facebook page that some Muslims deserve be criticised.

A radical Muslim group has warned the creators of the American television programme South Park that they could face violent retribution for depicting the prophet Mohammed in a bear suit.

Abu Talhah al-Amrikee posted on the website RevolutionMuslim.com :

"they have outright insulted the religious leader" and "We have to warn Matt and Trey that what they are doing is stupid and they will probably wind up like Theo Van Gogh for airing this show. This is not a threat, but a warning of the reality of what will likely happen to them."

In Belgium today the parliament will vote on whether to become the first European country to impose a full ban on wearing a burqa and other islamic veils. Leen Dierick, of the Belgian parliament's interior affairs committee, says:

"The point is not outlawing religious freedom, but public security and the need to show one's face in public."

But Salma, a 22-year-old in Belgium, says she fears being targeted for wearing the niqab and is often harassed on the streets for it. She says:"If you forbid the niqab, you deprive that person of their right of expressing themselves".

This is a similar story to Najwa Malha a 16 year old who was banned from a school near Madrid, for violating the dress code by wearing a hijab. "I feel totally discriminated against".

The list continues, yesterday the French President Nicolas Sarkozy said he should submit a bill to parliament on a ban on veils "in all public places".

This idea has been criticised not just by muslim groups but also by human rights organisations, Judith Sunderland from Human Rights Watch says:

"At a time when Muslims in Europe feel more vulnerable than ever, the last thing needed is a ban like this, treating pious Muslim women like criminals won't help integrate them."

So is it that Muslims are under attack because of the way they dress? is it about a community closing in on itself and rejecting national values like the french government spokesman says? or in the case of South Park that humour and relgion don't mix?

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