David Goodhart of Prospect would have us believe that Islamophobia is an “exaggeration”, and smacks of Muslims’ victim culture. Kenan Malik has asked: “Does Islamophobia really exist? Former MP Paul Goodman (Quilliam Foundation supporter, Co-Editor of Conservative Home) declares “The non-Muslim majority has no reason to beat itself up in a frenzy of liberal guilt…For some Islamist organisations, Islamophobia is less a testing problem than a rhetorical device to delegitimise criticism”.
Well, here are the facts….fighting talk leads to abuse and fighting in the streets…and possibly even worse.
And where are our civil society leaders (with the exception of trade union activists), the faith leaders, the Goodhart/Kenan Malik litterati, and the overnight ‘Islamic experts’ not doing more to face down the mounting xenophobia? Why, in the words of the Muslim Council of Britain, this ‘lacklustre’ response?
Let us hope they start noting the signals such as the reports from Bob Lambert and his colleagues at the European Muslim Research Centre, University of Essex.
Thanks to Mark Hendrick, Labour MP for Preston, for initiating an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons on 3rd November 2010 on the problem of Islamophobia
let up hope the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Islamophobia raises the profile of this blight;
THE CLUMSY ACTIONS & STATEMENTS,
THEN THE MOCKING, ALARMIST TALK
AND FINALLY THE ABUSE, PHYSICAL DAMAGE, VIOLENCE
THE CLUMSY ACTIONS & STATEMENTS
10th June 2010
A council has apologised after it issued an advert for a “female, white and non-Muslim” driver to take a disabled child to school.
Northamptonshire County Council said it was launching an investigation after it issued the advert to private taxi companies…
The advert stated: “The contractor must provide the escort. Please note that the escort must be female, white and non-Muslim.”
9th April 2010
Apparently the Army has been using replica mosques during shooting training exercises! Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain found this astonishing given recent hostilities towards mosques: “Over many months mosques in this country have been at the forefront of anti-Muslim hate campaigns, vandalism and even arson attacks. This totally unacceptable and worrying practice of using replica mosques as firing targets plays into the very hands of those on the far-right who take aim at mosques.”
12th March 2010
“Philip Hollobone, Conservative MP for Kettering, told the Commons: ‘This is Britain. We are not a Muslim country. Covering your face in public is strange, and to many people both intimidating and offensive’.”
THE MOCKING, ALARMIST TALK & INTIMIDATION
16th April 2010
“Dressed in a burkha and fishnet stockings and brandishing an alcopop, this is BNP parliamentary candidate Charlotte Lewis as she lets her hair down at a Halloween party.
The pictures were posted on Miss Lewis’ Facebook page where she also posted racist messages, including one calling for foreign ‘Paki’ criminals to be executed….”
29th May 2010
“…-right activists are planning to step up their provocative street campaign by targeting some of the UK’s highest-profile Muslim communities, raising fears of widespread unrest this summer…EDL spokesman Guramit Singh says its Bradford demonstration ‘will be huge’. He adds: ‘The problem with Bradford is the security threat, it is a highly populated Muslim area. They are very militant as well. Bradford is a place that has got to be hit’.”
20th May 2010
“A spokesman for the EDL[English Defence League] said the group would be protesting over a proposed new mosque in Walsall on June 19.http://www.birminghammail.net/news/top-stories/2010/05/20/english-defence-league-discussing-walsall-demonstration-97319-26480564/”;
14th May 2010
BNP: “The Conservative Party has taken a giant leap forward in its plans to complete the Islamification of Britain with the appointment of Pakistani-origin Sayeeda Hussain Warsi as their new chairman…”
5th May 2010
Melanie Phillips: “We have something in common’, said the New York taxi-driver to me after I had given him the address in the city where I was going. ‘The same bastards want to hurt your country and mine’.”
BBC reports that South East Cambridgeshire’s Labour candidate John Cowan has been suspended for Islamophobic comments – after allegedly saying on an internet forum that he would not want any children of his to marry a Muslim.
BNP election statement, 23rd April 2010: “there should be absolutely no further immigration from any Muslim countries, as it presents one of the most deadly threats yet to the survival of our nation”.
Former Archbishop Lord Carey, 11th April 2010: “The Muslim voice is very strong, so politicians and others are scared of it. We can only deduce that the hostility aimed at her [Mrs Chapman, who was told by an employment tribunal that wearing a cross was not a mandatory requirement of her faith] is because she is a Christian.”
Melanie Phillips’s blog, 23rd March 2010: “…as Gordon Brown marches dutifully in lockstep with Obama in the common cause of delegitimising Israel in order to throw it to the genocidal Islamic wolves.”
Reported in the Daily Mail: “Conservative MP [for Kettering] Philip Hollobone said wearing the garment was the religious equivalent of ‘going round with a paper bag over your head’….’There are large numbers of immigrant women [sic] who will not be able to integrate into the British way of life if they cover themselves up.’ …
He said: ‘This is Britain. We are not a Muslim country. Covering your face in public is strange and to many people both intimidating and offensive’.”
‘Islamophobia on Tour: Wilders comes to Britain’, The Independent, 6th March 2010: ” the 46-year-old leader of the Freedom Party Geert Wilders] told a tense and sometimes heated press conference that Islam was a ‘fascist ‘ and that the Prophet Mohamed was ‘a mass murderer, a barbarian and a pedophile’. He said: ‘I have nothing against Muslims, but I have a problem with the Islamic ideology, which I believe is a totalitarian ideology to be compared with other totalitarian ideologies like communism or fascism. I believe Islam is a violent and dangerous religion and even a retarded culture. I think we should stop the Islamisation of our society. Islamism and democracy are incompatible. The more Islamism we have, the more freedom we will lose and this is something worth fighting for….’ Mr Wilders’ film Fitna, an Arabic word meaning ‘strife’, is an incendiary anti-Islamic piece of propaganda …
He was invited to Britain by Lord Pearson, the leader of the UK Independence Party, and the cross-bencher Baroness Cox.”
Daily Express UK News headline, 25th Feb 2010:
FURY [sic] AS COUNCIL ‘SECRETLY HIRES POOL TO MUSLIMS’
However in the body of the article this ‘fury’ on a women’s-only slot seems to be based on a rather low-key dissenting voice: “John Fareham, Tory group leader on the council, said:’If it ís done when other people want to use the pool I don’t think that creates cohesion.”
MEP Nigel Farage commenting on the proposal for a purpose-built mosque in Camberley: ‘I am appalled at such an idea. Many fear it could pose a grave security risk.’
Nick Francis in the Sun, 15th Feb 2010: “In traditional Islamic headgear, Asian ex-gang member Amir poses with his sword and issues the stark warning: ‘Britain’s underworld belongs to the Muslims’….Through Islam, he says, they have numbers which cannot be matched, and rival gangs are being forced out by ruthless Islamic criminals who only deal with each other….In 2007 white schoolboy Henry Webster was beaten with a hammer by a huge gang of Asian pupils calling themselves the Asian Invasion. The 15-year-old pupil at the Ridgeway School in Wroughton, Wilts, was left brain-damaged…The Sun discovered that most of Britain’s prisons are dominated by Muslim gangs…”
Damien Davis MP’s comments on 28th Jan 2010 after the sentencing of Bilal Khan, “..there are some sensitive issues here, but there do seem to be some people in some communities who don’t respect women’s rights at all and who – if I may say, without necessarily saying that this is the case on this occasion – who have imported into this country barbaric and medieval views about women and that is something that also needs to be addressed.”
“Nigel Farage, the former UKIP party leader, will announce tomorrow [17th Jan 2010] that the party believes the fabric of the country is under threat from Sharia and that forcing women to conceal their identity in public is not consistent with traditional Britishness.”
Former Archbishop Carey in The Times, 7th Jan 2010: “…the idea that Britain can continue to welcome with open arms immigrants who immediately establish their own tribunals to apply Sharia, rather than make use of British civil law, is deeply socially divisive. The last thing any of us want is ghettos. And while we don’t expect groups to assimilate, there must be a willingness on their part to integrate with the rest of British society…But what I am saying is that those who seek to live in this country recognise that they are coming to a country with a Christian heritage and an established Church. Just as we should expect immigrants to subscribe to democratic principles, abide by our laws, speak English, support freedom of speech and a free press, so they should also respect the Christian nature and history of our nation with its broad, hospitable Establishment.”
Cardinal Miloslav Vlk, Archbishop of Prague, 7th Jan 2010: “”Unless the Christians wake up, life may be Islamised and Christianity will not have the strength to imprint its character on the life of people, not to say society…Europe has denied its Christian roots from which it has risen and which could give it the strength to fend off the danger that it will be conquered by Muslims, which is actually happening gradually…At the end of the Middle Ages and in the early modern age, Islam failed to conquer Europe with arms. The Christians beat them then. Today, when the fighting is done with spiritual weapons which Europe lacks while Muslims are perfectly armed, the fall of Europe is looming.”
Damian Thompson in the Daily Telegraph, 6th Jan 2010: “Good old George Carey! I never thought I’d write those words, since he talked so much nonsense when he was in office, but in recent years his contacts with the evangelical world have opened his eyes to the shared anti-Christian agenda of multiculturalists and Muslims”.
Con Coughlin in the Daily Telegraph, 30th December 2009: “…For the sad truth is that we now live in a country where we appear to be more concerned with defending the rights of radical extremists to express themselves than protecting the rights of ordinary, law-abiding citizens to live in peace and security….But then the fact that a foreign, radical Islamist student is allowed to conduct himself in this manner is symptomatic of how Britain has completely lost all sense of proportion in confronting the modern menace posed by Islamic extremism. Rather than denying extremists the platform to promulgate their hateful doctrines, the authorities bend over backwards to afford them freedom of speech.”
Dimbleby: Why is Islam a wicked and vicious faith?
Griffin: Because it treats women as second class citizens. Because it says that a woman victim of rape should be stoned to death for adultery; and because it orders its followers to be harsh with those of the unbelievers who live near to them; and it ordains as a religious duty the murder of Jews as well as other non-Muslims. That’s in the Qur’an there’s no point shaking your head.
BBC Question Time 22nd October 2009
‘I’m so sick and tired of hearing Nationalists talk of killing Muslims, or blowing up mosques, of fighting back. Only to see these acts of resistance fail to appear. The time has come to stop the talk and start to act.’
Martyn Gilleard, BPPís Goole branch organiser, sentenced in June 2008
‘In Manchester we were able to demonstrate, despite the best efforts of the media to downplay the significance of what took place, that there are thousands of people who are prepared to stand up and say that Islamic extremism has no place in Britain, and that British values are something of which to be proud, not ashamed.’ EDL Website www.englishdefenceleague.org
…At EDL events,skinheads have raised Nazi salutes and other EDL supporters have chanted racist slogans such as ‘I hate Pakis more than you’
Guardian, 12/9/09 Sept 2009
“Last week Amis was called a racist. I saw him speak at the ICA last month. Was his negativity about Islam technically racist? I don’t know. What I can tell you is that Martin Amis is the new Abu Hamza.
To recap, Amis was called a racist because he said Muslims were backward, violent, homophobic, paranoid, boring, retarded and stupid. Hitchens said no, he’s conducting a ‘thought experiment’.”
“Children as young as 13 are displaying signs of Islamophobia and are voicing their support for the British National Party, researchers have found. Young teenagers are increasingly saying they have negative views towards Muslims and do not want Islamic culture expressed in the classroom. The study of 1,500 students aged 13 to 24 was presented at the annual conference of the British Psychological Society in Manchester”. Maxine Frith writing in The Independent, 2nd April 2005
THE ABUSE, PHYSICAL DAMAGE & VIOLENCE
29th May 2010
Cunthorpe’s Muslim community leaders have expressed their outrage after 11 Muslim graves in Brumby Cemetery were vandalised for the second time in 21 months and the third time in four years.
14th May 2010
Ian Davison was jailed for 10 years for “producing a chemical weapon, preparing for acts of terrorism and having terror handbooks.” At the trial it was revealed that Davison “was in contact with a Nazi in Serbia and the pair discussed poisoning water supplies used by Muslims.” Davison’s son received a two-year sentence for his supporting role.
17th April, 2010
“Three men were arrested after a pig’s head was thrown into a car park of mosque on April 17. Worshipers called police after a car drove past Langley Green Mosque and a pig’s head was slung over the fence…”
Source: The Muslim News, 28 May 2010, page 11
10th April, 2010
“Vandal carried out two attacks in one night on a Manchester mosque on April 10….the vandalism is the latest in a series of Islamophobic attacks on the mosque in Liverpool Road, Eclles….’at about 2 am….two men got into the grounds. One is on film throwing bricks which had been taken from a wall of a neighbouring building…”
Source: The Muslim News, 28 May 2010, page 1
4th April, 2010
“Police were searching for a gang of 20 Derby men after an attack on a Muslim couple on a train to Nottingham. Abida Malik said the men called her and her husband Asif Ahmed terrorists. One man put Mr Ahmed in a headlock saying he was making a citizen’s arrest…Abida Malik, who wears the hijab – or headscarf – was travelling home after a wedding in Leicester with her husband”.
Source: The Muslim Weekly, Friday 16th April 2010, page 3
3rd April 2010
“About 2,000 members of the English Defence League (EDL) descended on Dudley town centre in the West Midlands to demonstrate at plans for a new mosque.
Some of the protesters broke out of a pen in a car park, breaking down metal fences and throwing the metal brackets at officers, who were armed with riot shields and batons.”
Around 2,000 Anti Islamic English Defence League (EDL) members, protesting against the plans of building of a mosque in Dudley, West Midlands on April 3, chanted, ìif you build your f@king mosque, we’ll burn it down’ and other anti-Muslim slogans.
20th March 2010
A scuffle began outside the Oddfellows Arms in Oldham Road, Middleton, at about 11.30pm on Saturday. Witnesses said EDL supporters were behaving aggressively and abusing customers. …The first man was white, about 5ft 6in tall, in his late teens or early 20s, with a chunky build. He had short black hair and was wearing a blue EDL T-shirt with ‘No Surrender Al-Qaeda’ and an England badge on the front.
March 18/19 2010
Twenty to thirty Muslim graves were vandalised in a Leeds cemetery on March 18/19. The Muslim community in the area said the attacks were Islamophobic. ìI was annoyed and upset when I heard about the desecration of the graves. I asked myself why anyone would do this,î Chairman of al-Hassan Education Centre, Akhlaq Mir, told The Muslim News.
‘It was an Islamophobic attack as only the Muslim section of the cemetery was damaged. The Christian section was left untouched,’ Mir argued.
[Salaam Blog 4th May]
9th March 2010
Racist’s Ricin plot
The Home Office and the Department for Communities & Local Government were quick to propound their escalator theory on how Muslims get radicalised; but it is ‘racist talk to ricin’ which should be their pressing concern
Other neo-Nazi convictions:
Terence Robert Garvan, a BNP gold member, was jailed after an arsenal of weapons was found at his home. “Gavan told police he was a BNP member and letters to him from BNP, as well as a copy of its magazine Hope and Glory, were found at his home.” [December 2009]
Neil Lewington, a white supremacist, was imprisoned for preparing acts of terrorism in July 2009: he had written of ‘ìtargeting and attacking Pakis’.
Martyn Gilleard was jailed for bomb-making in 2008. He had written: ‘I am so sick and tired of hearing nationalists talk of killing Muslims, of blowing up mosques, of fighting back, only to see these acts of resistance fail to appear. The time has come to stop the talk and start to act.’ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/2193160/Nazi-sympathiser-Martyn-Gilleard-jailed-for-16-years.html
27th Feb 2010
“A Newbury based imam was so routinely subjected to Islamophobic and racial abuse by local youths that he suffered from insomnia and depression. ”
On February 15, a teenager was convicted for his part in an incident on April 20, 2009.”
24th Jan 2010
“Seventeen people were arrested at an English Defence League (EDL) rally in Stoke-on-Trent after trouble broke out….Its members waved placards proclaiming ‘Patriotism is not racism’ and ‘Terrorists off our streets’.”
23rd Jan 2010
“POLICE have arrested a bus driver who allegedly called a woman passenger a Muslim terrorist and asked her if she had put a bomb on his bus. An investigation was launched by First Buses in Leeds after Turkish-born Hatice McGraffin, 29, claimed a driver made the inflammatory remarks as she boarded her bus on Thursday morning.”
29th December 2009
“CRADLEY Heathís Muslim community is appealing for help after its mosque was burnt to the ground by arsonists.
A fire engulfed the Cradley Heath Mosque and Islamic Centre in Plant Street on Boxing Day destroying the building and the religious countless books inside.
It is the second time in five years that the building has been targeted by arsonists and police are hunting the culprits.
The West Midlands Fire Service first reported that the blaze on Plant Street had destroyed ‘industrial units’ in Plant Street but when the smoke cleared it became obvious the building was a mosque.
The mosque was a thriving part of the community with 400 worshipers using it and classes of children being taught there.
29th December 2009
“An envelope containing suspicious white powder was sent to Dewsbury MP and Communities Minister, Shahid Malik…[he] has been targeted by the extreme right in the past. In June 2008 far-right supporters posted a video clip featuring BNP leader Nick Griffin and a shot of Malik covered in blood with the message telling minister not to ‘mess with the big boys’.”
30th November 2009
“A father and son were attacked by a man
carrying a hammer in a mosque car park in
Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester.
The incident took place on November 30 at
5:30pm as the two victims aged 55, 29 were
walking to their car where they were randomly
assaulted. They were sprayed in their faces with a substance and then hit with a hammer.
Both the victims were taken to hospital
suffering from head injuries.”
27th November 2009
In Swindon – Javed Ashraf’s account: “I was buying a pint of milk from a garage. It was about 1.45 am and I saw three guys pass me. I did not take much notice of them but then I heard them shout ‘Hey Paki’. I was then hit from behind and fell unconscious.”
…More than 20 gravestones were pushed over in the latest attack at Southern Cemetery [Manchester], which police are treating as a hate crime. Officers say they believe the crime is racially motivated because only Muslim graves were targeted. The vandalism is thought to have happened sometime between Friday, November 20 and Monday, November 23 .
…over the past week Muslim students at City University (London) have been the target of a series of attacks culminating with three Muslims being stabbed on St. John Street in the immediate vicinity of the University after being surrounded by over 30 youths. Attacks earlier in the week left three students requiring hospitalisation for severe facial and head injuries as they were set upon by the gang shouting Islamophobic and racist abuse including statements like “Get those Muslims” and “Paki” being used repeatedly; they were subjected to a series of projectile missiles, including bricks, metal poles and sign posts.
53), of Palmerston Road, Peterborough, appeared before Sunderland Magistrates’ Court yesterday after an incident in the early hours of Friday…. Prosecutor Nicci Horton told the court that the offence was so serious it could only be dealt with at Newcastle Crown Court.
Peterborough Today, 20 October 2009
Blackburn imam killed in arson attack – Lancashire Police have appealed for witnesses, in locating three men seen at the scene of a suspected arson attack which left a father of three dead. Police said it was still investigating the cause and possible motive for the attack.
41- year-old local Imam Abdullah Mohammed died from the blaze which ripped through his family house in London Road, Blackburn, in the early hours of October 21.
Mohammed died from smoke inhalation, his wife Aysha, 39, daughter Siddiqah, 14, and 9 year-old son are seriously ill in hospital.
Two BBC [Panorama] reporters of South Asian origin who lived for eight weeks on a housing estate in Bristol, posing as a married Muslim couple with limited English, were racially abused more than 50 times, a documentary will show tonight…Using secret cameras, Rahman and Khan filmed themselves being abused regularly, both for their race ñ “Paki” was a common term of abuse ñ and over their religion, with a number of jibes used related to terrorism, including “Taliban” and “jihad…”.
Six Metropolitan Police officers go on trial, accused of racially assaulting and abusing Muslim teenagers and then engaging in a cover-up. Prosecution and Kingston crown court told a jury that one officer said: “They needed to [be] dealt with. We are like vigilantes…
Channel 4 News, 12 October 2009
ìThe entrance of a Cheshire mosque was vandalised in the late hours of October 3. Trustees of Cheadle Mosque in Wilmslow Road, Heald Green, say two electric lights and concrete slabs were broken and discarded, they also say the letter box was taken off the wall.î
Muslim News, November 2009
A teenage Muslim student was killed after he and his friends were attacked by a gang of drunken racist thugs, a court heard yesterday. Al-Majed, who was days from returning to Qatar after studying English here, was chatting with fellow foreign students outside a kebab shop when a group of young white men and women allegedly began taunting them. …Rockett and Quinn later told police that Mohammed’s friends had started the midnight fracas and claimed the students were a gang who were “trying to turn all the kids into Muslims”.
Daily Mirror, 22 September 2009
Mass brawls broke out between Muslim and white groups on the streets of Swansea on the eighth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Around 60 people were understood to have been involved in the two connected incidents outside Swansea City Mosque on St Helen’s Road and Sin City nightclub on Friday night. South Wales Evening Post, 13 September 2009
Youths have attacked a man outside a mosque in the same London suburb where an OAP was allegedly murdered by youths as he left a mosque.
… One of the youths assaulted him with a weapon, a Metropolitan Police spokesman said.
BBC News, 10 September 2009
“What good is an academic centre on these kinds of issues? The EMRC [European Muslim Research Centre, University of Essex] has taken a first step towards highlighting problems which Muslims are facing on a daily basis. We’ve looked at cases like that of Yasir Abdelmouttalib. Six years ago Yasir, a young Moroccan, was nearly killed while waiting to take a bus from Willesden to Regent’s Park in London. Dressed in traditional Islamic white robes to go to his Friday prayers, this young PhD student was minding his own business, when he was set upon by a gang. After a “barrage of spitting”, the gang attacked him and one gang member beat his head with a street broom so badly that his brain was dislodged and his skull had multiple fractures. Yasir was left in a coma for three months.
What had Yasir done to deserve these injuries? He had no political cause. He wasn’t protesting, he wasn’t trying to make any point in wider society. He was a young man, waiting for a bus so he could pray. So what made it OK to beat a man’s brains out for no good reason?”
European Muslim Research Centre
The EMRC study provides seven detailed case studies of serious anti-Muslim hate crimes:
– Neil Lewington, a violent extremist nationalist convicted in July 2009 of a bomb plot
– Terence Gavan, a violent extremist nationalist convicted in January 2010 of manufacturin (179)