Al Jazeera

Aid effort for Syria suffers as UK authorities put squeeze on charities and volunteers

London, England — British authorities are harassing and obstructing individuals and Islamic charities delivering life-saving supplies to Syria, even as the government leads tributes to a British taxi driver murdered by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) after joining an aid convoy to the country

Alan Henning, who was the only non-Muslim member of a group of volunteers travelling into Syria when he was abducted last December, has been widely lauded as a humanitarian hero in the days since he became the fourth western hostage to be killed in a series of ISIL beheading videos.

David Cameron, the British prime minister, described Henning as “a kind, gentle, caring and compassionate man who had simply gone to help others”, while Nick Clegg, the deputy PM, called him “a man moved to selflessly help those most in need”.

Yet Muslim volunteers travelling to Syria for the same reasons, including Henning’s friends and companions, say they have faced suspicion, questioning and the threat of arrest on their return to the UK, while charities say their efforts to raise money and deliver ambulances and aid are being disrupted.

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CNN

Wasted, weary and wary: The ‘wildlife’ of Shoreditch

“The satire just staggers up the street,” says Dougie Wallace of his latest collection documenting the revellers and the casualties, the trendsetters and the fashion victims, and other assorted human wildlife stalking the concrete jungle of Shoreditch.

'Shoreditch Wildlife' captures diversity and contradictions on the streets of East London [Photo courtesy Dougie Wallace]

‘Shoreditch Wildlife’ captures diversity and contradictions on the streets of East London [Photo courtesy Dougie Wallace]

The East London neighbourhood has long been synonymous with hedonistic nightlife, gritty urban authenticity and hipster colonisation.

The Scottish photographer, who specialises in expressive social documentary, arrived there from Glasgow 15 years ago and has been on safari at the parties and on the streets ever since.

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Al Jazeera

Muslims in Danish ‘ghetto’ say promises broken as mosque saga rumbles on

Aarhus, Denmark – Muslims living in one of Denmark’s most deprived housing projects say they are being marginalised and made to feel unwelcome in their own community amid fears that their 14-year fight for a mosque could be derailed by political wrangling over an ambitious regeneration plan for the area.

Residents in Gellerup, a suburb of Aarhus, Denmark’s second city, have been campaigning since 2000 for the right to build a mosque in their neighbourhood. They say it would serve not only the needs of a growing Muslim population but also as a “beacon of hope”, a bulwark against extremism and a symbol of their acceptance as Danish citizens.

But their aspirations have been repeatedly stalled by political opposition to the project. Now those behind the latest proposal say that promises made by politicians and city officials that a fresh application to buy land for a mosque would be treated favourably have been broken following objections by right-wing parties on the local council.

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