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British Muslims urge IS captors to 'see the errors of their ways'

More than 100 Muslim leaders from across the UK have signed an open letter calling for the release of British aid worker Alan Henning.

The letter, printed in The Independent, is also supported by the Muslim Council of Britain which represents more than 500 Muslim organisations:

We, the undersigned British Muslim Imams, organisations and individuals, wish to express our horror and revulsion at the senseless murder of David Haines and the threat to the life of our fellow British citizen, Alan Henning ...

We plead with those holding Alan Henning to see the errors of their ways. To embrace the word of the Quran and accept that what they are now doing constitutes the worst condemnable sin.

– open letter


Ramadan call to prayer tops Channel 4 complaints list

The broadcast of the Muslim call to prayer during Ramadan was Channel 4's most complained about programme last year.

The channel received 2,011 complaints about its 4Ramadan series of programmes, with 1,658 specifically about the call to prayer.

Muslims pray at a mosque in Crawley, Sussex. Credit: Chris Young/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Channel 4's head of factual, Ralph Lee, said the response had shown a "level of Islamophobia" that was "unexpected".

The second most complained about show was Crazy About One Direction, a show following the popular boyband's most devoted fans that received over 1,000 complaints.

US court orders YouTube to take down anti-Islam video

A US appeals court has rejected Google's request to put on hold an order requiring the company to remove an anti-Islamic video from YouTube while litigation around the issue continued, according to Reuters.

“The Innocence of Muslims,” which is no longer viewable on YouTube, was the topic of an international debate over free speech in 2012. Credit: YouTube

The film "Innocence of Muslims" was thought to have stoked violent protests across the Muslim world in 2012. However, a copyright lawsuit was brought by actress Cindy Lee Garcia who said she was duped into appearing in the film.

Google Inc, who is the parent-company of YouTube, took down the video last week, when it first received the order, accompanied by a gag order. In court, it argued that an order to remove the film would violate First Amendment protection of free speech.

'Free school agenda is vital for driving up standards'

The Skills Minister Matt Hancock Credit: ITV News

The Skills Minister has said that the case of a Muslim free school in Derby which faces the prospect of closure unless "swift action" is taken, does not mean free schools are risky.

Matt Hancock told ITV News: "This one school has broken the rules, it's broken its funding requirements.

"We're having robust discussions with it and if it doesn't abide by the rules that are very clearly set out then we will close it.

He added: "But make no mistake. The free school agenda is vital for driving up standards, it's having an effect and it's hugely welcomes in local communities where these schools open

Muslim Free school must take action to avoid closure

The Al-Madinah school in Derby. Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

A Muslim free school in Derby must take "swift action" to address concerns over the way it is run or face the prospect of closure, the Department for Education has said.

The Al-Madinah school re-opened on Monday after being temporarily closed amid reports that girls were forced to sit at the back of classrooms.

It was also claimed that female teachers at the school - which claims a "strong Muslim ethos" - were forced to wear hijabs even if they were not Muslim.

Inspectors from Ofsted have visited the school and are currently completing their report.

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