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Imam Sajid Islamophobia Recommended Reading

Recommendations. It recommends in particular that they should:

  • take the lead in promoting a public debate on integration and other issues relevant to ethnic minorities that avoids polarisation, antagonism, and hostility among communities;
  • take steps to counter the use of racist and xenophobic discourse in politics;
  • oppose publicly and vigorously all manifestations of Islamophobia;
  • review a number of policies in the light of the prohibition of direct and indirect racial discrimination.

For Further reading see the following:

Imam Dr Abduljalil Sajid’s “Islamophobia: A new word for an old fear.” 9 June 2005.Available at : http://pressthat.files.wordpress.com/2007/09/islamop.pdf

For Anti-Semitism Runnymede Trust published a report (1994) “A Very Light Sleeper: the persistence and dangers of anti-Semitism” (London: Runnymede Trust) – (1997) Islamophobia: a challenge for us all (London: Runnymede Trust) For a summary of the 1997 report, see here

http://www.runnymedetrust.org/publications/pdfs/islamophobia.pdf

For the follow-up report from 2004, 'Islamophobia: Issues, Challenges, and Action', see here

http://www.insted.co.uk/islambook.pdf

Islamophobia: issues, challenges and action Published by Trentham Books 2004

http://www.insted.co.uk/islambook.pdf

 

A report by the Commission on British Muslims and Islamophobia

Chaired by Dr Richard Stone

Research by Hugh Muir and Laura Smith

Editor: Robin Richardson

Adviser: Imam Dr Abduljalil Sajid

 

What is Islamophobia? « Anti Islam: FAQ – 99

islamphobia.wordpress.com/introduction/what-is-islamophobia/

25 May 2011 – [Imam Dr Abduljalil Sajid: One of the members of the Runnymede Trust's ... A clinical psychologist offers his thoughts on Islamophobia to CNN's .... The views of few extremists, with their own doctrines are rejected by majority.

http://islamphobia.wordpress.com/introduction/what-is-islamophobia/

 

Hostility towards Islam and Muslims has been a feature of European societies since the eighth century of the Common Era. It has taken different forms, however, at different times and has fulfilled a variety of functions. For example, the hostility in Spain in the fifteenth century was not the same as the hostility that had been expressed and mobilised in the Crusades. Nor was the hostility during the time of the Ottoman Empire or that which was prevalent throughout the age of empires and colonialism. It may be more apt to speak of ‘Islamophobias’ rather than of a single phenomenon. Each version of Islamophobia has its own features as well as similarities with, and borrowings from, other versions.” [Imam Dr Abduljalil Sajid: One of the members of the Runnymede Trust's Commission on British Muslims and Islamophobia which published the famous 1997 report]

A  clinical psychologist offers his thoughts on Islamophobia to CNN’s Errol Barnett, watch video>>>>

The term ‘Islamophobia’ has only very recently been coined, as recent as the mid-1990s. It is one of a whole range of expressions that has grown out of the ‘politically correct’ ethos of the 1990s. The spirit of multiculturalism and pluralism was the climate that enabled the birth and circulation of the term. But unlike other terms born at this time it has not become household currency; Muslim organisations alert to discrimination against Muslims appear to be the only users of the term, and there has been no shortage of occasions to use it.

But it is not merely another in the range of fashionable words made up in the West during this period – such as PC or ‘politically correct’ itself. The wholly negative attitude towards Islam in the West has a very long history and has a palpable feel more than ever at the moment. Islamophobia is alive and well.

The mass media, popular culture and the leading forces in world politics are all mostly hostile to and in their representations of Islam and Muslims. The evidence for this is ample and can be demonstrated by reference to reportage on Islam in the British press for instance. If you are a Muslim reading this in Britain you will need little demonstration, however. Everyday experience is sufficient. The Runnymede Trust document on British Muslims and Islamophobia (released in 1998)* contains numerous examples from the media and other evidence while also being a comprehensive account of the problem in British society. It is a commendable Report that governments and civic groups in Europe and North America should learn from and produce similar Reports on their situation. But issuing a Report does not change a bad situation. Thus the depiction of Muslims and Islam has seen no change since then.

However, the term ‘Islamophobia’ does not adequately express the full range and depth of antipathy towards Islam and Muslims in the West today. It is an inadequate term. ‘Phobia’ is Greek for dread or horror. In the light of the present discussion, the term xenophobia – the original word on which Islamophobia is based – simply means fear of foreigners or dread of strangers. Attitudes and policies towards Muslims in Britain and Europe have a mixture of dread (phobia) and outright racism. Thus attitudes towards Muslims combine fear and active hostility. Islamophobia does not capture this marriage of fear and hostility, of dread and discrimination, of horror and harassment.

A more accurate expression would be ‘anti-Islamic racism’ for it combines the elements of dislike of a religion and active discrimination against the people belonging to that religion. The discrimination is racist because it is based on the belief that no matter what such a person does s/he will never be an acceptable to or in the West. But if there is still little awareness of and sensitivity to ‘Islamophobia’ then ‘anti-Islamic racism’ stands even less of a chance of widespread usage and acceptance in the mainstream media and among politicians. But the struggle is as much over discourse as over actual experience and therefore no effort should be spared to focus on every aspect of what some may call Islamophobia and others anti-Islamic racism.

[Written exclusively for Salaam by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Islamophobia: a challenge for us all. Report of the Runnymede Trust Commission on British Muslims and Islamophobia, 1997.  Source:http://www.salaam.co.uk/maktabi/islamophobia.html]

What is Islamophobia?

http://www.loonwatch.com/2010/08/islamophobia-what-islamophobia/

Islamophobia/Racism

I have heavily used both UK Islamophobia Commission and EU reports for this paper.

For further information contact:

1) “Islamophobia: a Challenge for Us All”, published in November 1997 Uniting Britain Trust C/O The Stone Ashdown Trust, 4th floor, Barakat House, 116-18 Finchely Road, London NW3 5HT

2) “Islamophobia: Issues, Challenges and Action” published on 21 June 2004  from Trentham Books, Westview House, 734 London Road, Oakhill, Stoke on Trent ST4 5NP

 

Islamaphobia has been defined as irrational hostility towards Islam and therefore, fear or dislike of Muslims that may result in discrimination and marginalisation. There is official acknowledgement that Muslims as a consequence of their identity often experience discrimination, prejudice, and stereotypes that can often be said to be institutional. This evidence is highlighted by several studies including:

  • The Runnymede Trust Report in 1997 - ‘Islamophobia a challenge for us all’
  • Home Office report - ‘Religious Discrimination in England and Wales’ (2001)
  • Islamophobia: issues, challenges and action - ISBN 1 85856 317 8  Price £12.99  92 pages  2 June 2004 published by Trentham Books Research by Hugh Muir and Laura Smith Editor, Robin Richardson,  Adviser, Imam Dr. Abduljalil Sajid
  • Open Society Institute - ‘Muslims in the UK: Policies for Engaged Citizens’ 2005

 

Further to this, the Commission for Racial Equality defines ‘institutional racism’ as “organisational structures, policies and practices which result in ethnic minorities being treated unfairly and less equally, often without intent or knowledge”. The above reports indicate that the areas where the greatest degree of discrimination is likely to be encountered in are education, employment and media. Ethnicity data provides very clear statistics for Pakistanis and Bangladeshi Muslim communities who are suffering deprivation in all aspects of life: education, employment, housing, healthcare, and access to justice. An updated report in 2004 continues to highlight these disadvantages.

The attacks on the World trade centre in New York on 11 September 2001 and in London in July 2005, the war in Iraq and the ongoing instability in the middle-east have led to growing anti-Islamic or anti-Muslim sentiments in Britain with grave consequences for the public services of our society. The expression of ones religious faith, in particular the Muslim faith has acquired a new dynamic. In the light of these developments, the principals of social cohesion and harmony need to be restated and reaffirmed.

Islamaphobia fuels extremism, says report
(Filed: 02/06/2004)

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/06/02/uislam.xml&sSheet=/portal/2004/06/02/ixportaltop.html

Growing Islamophobia in Britain in the wake of the September 11 attacks could lead to a dangerous backlash of riots and extremism a new report has said.

A think-tank Commission on British Muslims and Islamophobia has found that there have been more attacks on individuals and mosques in the UK following the al-Qa'eda attacks in America.

Exclusion from public life has fostered a feeling of not belonging in Britain among some Muslims, particularly the young. This could lead to a time bomb of ill-feeling, the report.

According to the BBC, the report also criticised public bodies for failing to tackle institutional Islamophobia although schools and hospitals are more sensitive to Muslims' needs.

Dr Richard Stone, commission chairman and former adviser to the Stephen Lawrence inquiry, claimed key recommendations of the commissions first report in 1997 had been ignored.

He said: "There is now renewed talk of a clash of civilisations and mounting concern that the already fragile foothold gained by Muslim communities in Britain is threatened by ignorance and intolerance."

However, Muslim organisations were praised for positive progress since the 1997 report and the Government has been given some credit for moves on religious discrimination.

Dr Abduljalil Sajid, an imam and adviser to the commission, claimed some elements of the UK are "institutionally Islamophobic", according to the BBC.

"These communities need help and want to be proud to be British. But government and public bodies are not backing up words with actions," he said.

Islamophobia to create 'timebomb of extremism'
By Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1132169,00.html

A TIME BOMB of extremism could result from the rising Islamophobia created by September 11, according to a report published yesterday.

A commission into Islamophobia in Britain speaks of the ill-feeling planted in the Muslim community and calls for a growing climate of prejudice and hostility to be tackled soon if explosive consequences are to be avoided.

The report, by the Commission on British Islamophobia, set up by the Runnymede Trust in 1996, cites the verbal and physical attacks on Muslims in public places, attacks on mosques, the desecration of Muslim cemeteries and negative stereotyping of Muslims in political and other debate.

It also claims that Muslims experience discrimination in employment and calls for more to be done to combat the “disproportionate” poverty and social exclusion affecting the Muslim community.

The report says that Islamophobia is exacerbated by a high proportion of refugees and asylum-seekers being Muslims.

It adds: “The cumulative effect of Islamophobia’s various features . . . is that Muslims . . . feel that they are not truly accepted, let alone welcomed, as full members of British society. On the contrary, they are seen as ‘an enemy within’ or ‘a fifth column’ and they feel that they are under constant siege.”

The study found that attacks on individuals and mosques increased in Britain after 9/11. Exclusion from public life fostered a feeling of not belonging among some Muslims, particularly the young.

While acknowledging that schools and hospitals have become more sensitive to the needs of Muslims, the report criticises public bodies for failing to tackle institutional Islamophobia.

The report is a successor to Islamophobia: A Challenge For Us All, published in 1997 and launched at the House of Commons by Jack Straw, then the Home Secretary. The new report, Islamophobia: Issues, Challenges and Action, says that not enough progress has been made in tackling the problem since the earlier report.

The report, researched and written in the most part by Hugh Muir, a journalist on The Guardian, and Laura Smith, until recently a journalist on the Evening Standard now studying for a masters degree at the London School of Economics, states: “Time bombs are being primed that are likely to explode in the future. Both Muslim and non-Muslim commentators have pointed out that a young generation of Muslims is developing that feels increasingly disaffected, alien and bitter.

“It’s in the interests of non-Muslims as well as Muslims, therefore, that Islamophobia should be rigorously challenged, reduced and dispelled. The time to act is now.”

The number of racially aggravated offences for less serious wounding recorded by police in England and Wales rose from 2,687 in 1999-2000 to 4,351 in 2002-03; racially aggravated harassment from 10,758 to 16,699; and racially aggravated criminal damage from 4,275 to 4,491.

British media promotes Islamophobia, says EU
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard – The Telegraph

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2002/05/24/nxeno24.xml&sSheet=/portal/2002/05/24/ixport.html

The European Union's race watchdog yesterday accused a wide range of British commentators, politicians and media of helping to foster an upsurge in anti-Islamic feeling after the terrorist attacks of September 11.

In its report, Islamophobia, the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia said the biggest rise in violent attacks had taken place in Britain, Holland, Sweden, and most of all Denmark.

Women wearing the hijab, the Muslim headscarf, had been insulted, spat at, beaten and even raped in a wave of attacks across the EU, causing many to stop wearing the garment in public. In Britain, an Afghan taxi driver was paralysed from the neck down after being attacked with a bottle in a dispute over September 11

Examples of Islamophobia

We find statements by religious, polital leaders and the media that incite Islamophobia. I'm going to give you some; otherwise we wind up talking in very true but gerneral statements. And I think we need to hear the actual words, because these are the words that people, who are in churches, people who are watching the media, hear. And if they don't have a context within which to place them, they will draw us out of conclusions. While George Bush and Tony Blair may distinguish between Islam and extremism, Franklin Graham tells us that "Islam is a very evil religion. All the values that we as a nation hold dear, they don't share those same values at all ... these countries that have the majority of Muslims." You might think of Franklin Graham as an individual, but if you are in the Muslim world, you know that Franklin Graham gave the invocation at the first inauguration of president Bush, that Franklin Graham a year and a half later was asked to speak on Good Friday at the Pentagon. That sends a signal. Pat Robertson: "This man [Muhammad] was an absolute wild-eyed fanatic, he was a robber and a brigand. And to say that these terrorists distort Islam ... they are carrying out Islam. I mean: This man [Muhammed] was a killer and to think that this is a peaceful religion is fraudulent." Benny Hinn at a pro-Israel rally: "This not a war between Arabs and the Jews, this is between God and the devil." And there are many others.

Rep. C. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA): "Just turn (the sheriff) loose and have him arrest every Muslim that crosses the state line" (to Georgia law officers, November 2001) (http://www.visalaw.com/03feb1/17feb103.html)

Ann Coulter: "We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity." (http://www.nationalreview.com/coulter/coulter091301.shtml)

Robert Kilroy-Silk: "Muslims everywhere behave with equal savagery. They behead criminals, stone to death female - only female - adulteresses, throw acid in the faces of women who refuse to wear the chador, mutilate the genitals of young girls and ritually abuse animals" http://www.fact-index.com/r/ro/robert_kilroy_silk.html

Jean-Marie Le Pen: "These elements have a negative effect on all of public security. They are strengthened demographically both by natural reproduction and by immigration, which reinforces their stubborn ethnic segregation, their domineering nature. This is the world of Islam in all its aberrations." (http://www.fpp.co.uk/online/02/04/Haaretz_LePen.html)

Jerry Vines: "Christianity was founded by the virgin-born Jesus Christ. Islam was founded by Mohammed, a demon-possessed paedophile who had 12 wives, and his last one was a 9-year-old girl." (http://www.biblicalrecorder.org/content/news/2002/6_14_2002/ne140602vines.shtml )

Little Green Footballs: "Refugee camp my tuchus!! Centre of terror and genocide, maybe, but no refugee camp. Is this part of the area the UN is bleating that it can't feed? I hope so. If every subhuman piece of excrement in the Rafah non refugee camp dies slowly and painfully of starvation, I'll have a great Passover" (http://www.littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=10437)

Michael Savage: "I think these people [Arabs and Muslims] need to be forcibly converted to Christianity ... It's the only thing that can probably turn them into human beings." [05/12/03] (On his radio show The Savage Nation)

Institutional Islamophobia

The failure of race equality organisations and activists over many years to include Islamophobia in their programmes and campaigns appears to be an example of institutional intolerance.

Perceptions of Islam as a threat: Some columnists' views

"At least as dangerous"

"Muslim fundamentalism is at least as dangerous as communism once was.  Please do not underestimate this risk ... at the conclusion of this age it is a serious threat, because it represents terrorism, religious fanaticism and exploitation of social and economic justice." (Willi Claes, Secretary General of NATO Television interview reported by Inter Press Service, 18 February 1995)

"Chief threat to global peace"

"Muslim fundamentalism is fast becoming the chief threat to global peace and security as well as a cause of national and local disturbance through terrorism.  It is akin to the menace posed by Nazism and fascism in the 1930s and then by communism in the 1950s." (Clare Hollingsworth, defence correspondent International Herald Tribune, 9 November 1993)

"Different civilisation"

"The underlying problem for the West is not Islamic fundamentalism.  it is Islam, a different civilisation whose people are convinced of the superiority of their culture and are obsessed with the inferiority of their power." (Samuel Huntington, Harvard University The Clash of Civilisations and the Remaking of World Order, 1996, page 217)

'There will be wars'

We do not know who primed and put the Oklahama bomb in its place;  we do know that they were, in the fullest meaning of the word, fanatics.  Unlike most of us, they do not in the least mind being killed;  indeed, they are delighted, because they believe that they are going to a far, far better place … Do you realise that in perhaps half a century, not more and perhaps a good deal less,  there will be wars, in which fanatical Muslims will be winning?  As for Oklahama, it will be called Khartoum-on-the-Mississippi, and woe betide anyone who calls it anything else *(Bernard Levin, columnist The Times, 21 April 1995)*(Muslims had in fact no responsibility for the Oklahama bombing.)

Muslims are a threat to our way of life

"All Muslims, like all dogs, share certain characteristics. A dog is not the same animal as a cat just because both species are comprised of different breeds. An extreme Christian believes that the Garden of Eden really existed; an extreme Muslim flies planes into buildings - there's a big difference." (July 25, 2004)

Muslims are a threat to our way of life
Author By Will Cummins (Telegraph Jul 25, 2004)

http://www.sport.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2004/07/25/do2504.xml

A Tory platform hostile to Islam

Do the Tories not sense the enormous popular groundswell against Islam? Charges of "racism" would inevitably be made against the party but they would never stick. It is the black heart of Islam, not its black face, to which millions object. The Conservatives would be charged with cynicism and expediency: look who would be talking!

But unlike the "Nazi-Soviet Pact" that the feminist, pro-gay Left has forged with Britain's Muslims, a Tory platform hostile to Islam would be neither incongruous nor immoral. An anti-Islam Conservative Party would destroy the BNP as quickly as Margaret Thatcher despatched the National Front in 1979 when she warned that, unless immigration was curbed, Britain would be "swamped" by "an alien culture". Infinitely more is at stake now. The Tories must confront Islam instead of kowtowing to it, Will Cummins, The Daily Telegraph , 18 July 2004

Certain characteristics

All Muslims, like all dogs, share certain characteristics. A dog is not the same animal as a cat just because both species are comprised of different breeds. An extreme Christian believes that the Garden of Eden really existed; an extreme Muslim flies planes into buildings - there's a big difference.Muslims are a threat to our way of life, Will Cummins The Daily Telegraph, 25 July 2004

Highly indignant

The Crusades – for which the Pope has apologised to Islam (he did so again last week), rather as an old lady might apologise to a mugger for trying to retrieve her purse – were simply an attempt by medieval Christians to get their homelands back. Spain, Sicily, and parts of the Balkans were recovered. Palestine wasn't, though the Muslim colonisers there – who are no more "native" to the Holy Land than the European Jews who removed them – were largely ejected in 1948. It goes without saying that today's Muslims – who, unlike today's Westerners, are very proud of their history of imperialism – are highly indignant at being parted from this stolen property.Dr Williams, beware of false prophets, Will Cummins, The Daily Telegraph, 4 July 2004

Forced themselves on us

A virulent hatred of Muslims can no more be racism than a virulent hatred of Marxists or Tories. Nobody is a member of a race by choice. Such groups are protected from attack because it is unfair to malign human beings for something they cannot help. However, nobody is a member of a community of belief except by choice, which is why those who have decided to enter or remain within one are never protected. Were such choices not open to the severest censure, we could no longer call our country a democracy.… A society in which one cannot revile a religion and its members is one in which there are limits to the human spirit. The Islamic world was intellectually and economically wrecked by its decision to put religion beyond the reach of invective, which is simply an extreme form of debate. By so doing, it put science and art beyond the reach of experiment, too. Now, at the behest of Muslim foreigners who have forced themselves on us, New Labour wants to import the same catastrophe into our own society. "We must be allowed to criticise Islam", Will Cummins, the Daily Telegraph, 11 July 2004

Mr. Will Cummins writes distorting facts about Islam in Sunday Telegraph;
"…three of the four schools of Islamic law enjoin faithful Muslims to murder anyone who wishes to leave the faith, thus limiting every Muslim's freedom of action", he wrote in an article published on 11th July, 2004 entitled "We must be allowed to criticise Islam." In his most recent article entitled "Muslims are a threat to our way of life" published on Sunday Telegraph 25th July 2004, Mr. Will Cummins compared 'Muslims to dogs' and called Britain 'Islamo-fascist'. His previous articles explicitly incite religious hatred, 'All but an infinitesimal minority of our Muslims are peaceable and law abiding' he stated in the article of Sunday Telegraph 18th July 2004".

We learnt that Sunday Telegraph writer was in fact the Press officer of the British Council - the agency who has been working to promote Britain within Muslim World and was celebrating diversity of British culture. This fact was revealed by the Guardian last week, the author of a number of poisonous articles against Islam and Muslims which appeared in the Sunday Telegraph in recent weeks, is indeed Harry Cummins, Press Officer of the British Council. Writing under the pseudonym "Will Cummins", Harry Cummins compared Muslims to Dogs and argued that it is Islam's 'dark heart' rather than its 'dark face' that people should fear. For an individual with such appalling views and racist tendencies to be occupying a prominent position in the British Council, which promotes Britain and its culture to the Arab and Muslim world, is repulsive. Will Cummins, seems to relish making vitriolic statements about Muslims.

"Do the Tories not sense the enormous popular groundswell against Islam? Charges of "racism" would inevitably be made against the party but they would never stick. It is the black heart of Islam, not its black face, to which millions object." (Sunday Telegraph July 18, 2004)

"Now, at the behest of Muslim foreigners who have forced themselves on us, New Labour wants to import the same catastrophe into our own society." (Sunday Telegraph July 11, 2004)

"Christians are the original inhabitants and rightful owners of almost every Muslim land and behave with a humility quite unlike the menacing behaviour we have come to expect from the Muslims who have forced themselves on Christendom, a bullying ingratitude that culminates in a terrorist threat to their un-consulted hosts." (Sunday Telegraph July 4, 2004)


I believe that these sentiments are clearly designed to provoke readers of the Sunday Telegraph into hating British Muslims and their faith. This ignoble endeavour is, of course, utterly at odds with the purpose and mission of the British Council which is to encourage understanding and build ties between different peoples.

You can read some of Will Cummins writings in the Telegraphs

1.. "The Tories must confront Islam instead of kowtowing to it"
http://www.opinion.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2004/07/1
8/do1802.xml&sSheet=/opinion/2004/07/18/ixopinion.html

2.. Will Cummins articles can be downloaded from the following links
"Muslims are a threat to our way of life
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml;sessionid=D5P01UD5EORIDQFIQMGS

M54AVCBQWJVC?xml=/opinion/2004/07/25/do2504.xml&secureRefresh=true&_requestid=133718

3.. "We must be allowed to criticise Islam"
http://www.opinion.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2004/07/1
1/do1102.xml
4.. "Dr Williams, beware of false prophets"
http://www.opinion.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2004/07/0
4/do0401.xml

5. Sunday Telegraph Anti-Islam Columnist: A British: Council Employee

http://www.aljazeerah.info/News%20archives/2004%20News%20archives/August/1%20n/Sunday%20Telegraph%20Anti-Islam%20Columnist%20A%20British%20Council%20Employee.htm

An article by Anthony Browne was published in weekly Spectator (24 July 2004)
Spectator Cover Story : The Muslims are Coming

www.gnxp.com/MT2/archives/002455.html?entry=2455 - 101k
http://www.virtuosityonline.org/portal/modules/news/article.php?storyid=1082

Spectator magazine (UK) 24 July 2004 has a lead article by Anthony Browne, a well known London Times journalist, arguing that: "Islam really does want to conquer the world. That's because Muslims, unlike many Christians, actually believe they are right and that their religion is the path to salvation for all".

We are absolutely stunned that a mainstream journalist can get away with sparking such religious hatred. Anthony Browne's cover article in the Spectator 24/7/04 (see below) prompted the following ignorant reaction illustrating for the umpteenth time the consequences of the unfair portrayal of Islam within the media:

"…a demonstrative, indulgent, obsessive, hateful, judgmental religion that leads by religious inspiration POLITICALLY… judicially perverse, teaching wife battery, death by a 1000 cuts, beheading, (often of innocent bystanders), demeaning of women, the hatred of Israel, and the west who stands in the way of a war with Israel. The 6th day war, the denial of Jews a homeland, suicide bombers, a prophet-leader who bedded a 9 year old girl....(Mohammad)"

The article incited this hatred by comparing Islam's teachings to Hitler's behaviour, and to add insult to injury, Times journalist Anthony Browne arrogantly states:

"There's no plot… Islam really does want to conquer the world. That's because Muslims, unlike many Christians, actually believe they are right, and that their religion is the path to salvation for all."

Nobody who is in the influential spotlight of the media should be able to get away with comments that, time and again, add fuel to the fires of anti-Muslim hatred.

• Anthony Browne's ignorant and inflammatory article relies on misinformation from notorious Islamophobes such as Bernard Lewis (Spectator 24/7/04).

• If Islam is as bad as he portrays it, why would thousands of Westerners be freely choosing to convert to Islam, as he mentions?

• Anthony Browne's belief in freedom of religion was preached 1400 years ago in the Qur'an: "Let there be no compulsion in religion" (The Holy Qur'an 2:256)

• The Holy Qur'an also teaches: "God does not love the aggressors" ( The Holy Qur'an 2:190).

• It is only natural that people should want to share what they believe is beneficial with others – whether this is Christianity, Islam or Atheism. Indeed many British churches run 'Alpha courses' for this purposes, and Jehovas Witnesses offer their message door to door.

• Anthony Browne seems unaware of the fact that Christian missionaries operate freely in many Muslim countries across Asia and Africa – Bangladesh being just one example. The restrictions imposed by tyrannical regimes such as the US- and UK-supported Saudi royal family are completely un-Islamic.

• Browne also seems unaware that the 1988 Education Act requires that Religious Education and Collective Worship in state schools must be "mainly Christian".

• Is Anthony Browne implying that because Muslims allegedly want to "take over the world" that the "persecution and mass murder" of Muslims would be justified?

"The hooded hordes will win"

"You can be British without speaking English or being Christian or being white, but nevertheless Britain is basically English-speaking, Christian and white, and if one starts to think that it might become basically Urdu-speaking and Muslim and brown, one gets frightened and angry … Because of our obstinate refusal to have enough babies, Western European civilisation will start to die at the point when it could have been revived with new blood.  Then the hooded hordes will win, and the Koran will be taught, as Gibbon famously imagined, in the schools of Oxford.  (Charles Moore, editor of The Spectator 'Time for a More Liberal and "Racist" Immigration Policy', The Spectator, 19 October 1991).

Islam wants the whole world to Submit

Islam means "submission" (not "peace") and it is the aim of Muslims ("those who have submitted") to make the whole world submit. The teaching seems not to envisage the idea of Muslims as a minority, except as a temporary phenomenon. The best that non-Muslims - in Britain that means Sikhs and Hindus, as well as Jews and Christians - can hope for is that they be treated as "dhimmis", second-class citizens within the Islamic state.

Islam is not an exotic addition to the English country garden
By Charles Moore (Telegraph: 21/08/2004)

A very evil, wicked religion

Islam is, quite simply, a religion of war… [American Muslims] should be encouraged to leave. They are a fifth column in this country. Why Islam is a Threat to America and the West by Paul Weyrich and William Lind

We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. We weren't punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officials. We carpet bombed German cities, and killed civilians. That's war. And this is war. Columnist Ann Coulter, National Review, 13 September 2001

Muslims pray to a different God …Islam is a very evil and wicked religion … Franklin Graham (son of Billy Graham), speech on NBC Nightly News, November 2001

They want to coexist until they can control, dominate and then, if need be, destroy … I think Osama bin Laden is probably a very dedicated follower of Muhammad. He's done exactly what Muhammad said to do, and we disagree with him obviously, and I'm sure many moderate Muslims do as well, but you can't say the Muslim religion is a religion of peace. It's not.

Rev Pat Robertson, founder of Christian Coalition, CNN, February 2002

Islam is a religion in which God requires you to send your son to die for him. Christianity is a faith in which God sends his son to die for you. John Ashcroft (US Attorney General), Los Angeles Times, 16 February 2002

Muhammad was a demon-possessed paedophile…Allah is not Jehovah… Jehovah's not going to turn you into a terrorist that will try to bomb people and take the lives of thousands and thousands of people.Rev Jerry Vines, past president of the Southern Baptist Convention, speaking at the Convention in June 2002

Noose

Was world communism ever such a threat as militant Islam now is? If Islam were to draw a noose about the world, could it be resisted, would its political and economic consequences be worse, would its dominion last longer than the half-century of communism after the Iron Curtain dropped?'  Brian Sewell, Evening Standard

Oppressive darkness

Call me a filthy racist – go on, you know you want to – but we have reason to be suspicious of Islam and treat it differently from the other major religions … While the history of the other religions is one of moving forward out of oppressive darkness and into tolerance, Islam is doing it the other way round.  Julie Birchill, The Guardian

Treachery and deceit

Orientals… shrink from pitched battle, which they often deride as a sort of game, preferring ambush, surprise, treachery and deceit as the best way to overcome an enemy… This war [in Afghanistan] belongs within the much larger spectrum of a far wider conflict between settled, creative, productive Westerners and predatory, destructive Orientals. John Keegan, The Daily Telegraph, 8 October 2001

Blind, cruel faith

Islamist militancy is a self-confessed threat to the values not merely of the US but also of the European Enlightenment: to the preference for life over death, to peace, rationality, science and the humane treatment of our fellow men, not to mention fellow women. It is a reassertion of blind, cruel faith over reason.

Samuel Brittan: The Financial Times, 31 July 2002

Fifth column

We have a fifth column in our midst… Thousands of alienated young Muslims, most of them born and bred here but who regard themselves as an army within, are waiting for an opportunity to help to destroy the society that sustains them. We now stare into the abyss, aghast. Melanie Phillips, Sunday Times, 4 November 2001

When the Runnymede Trust Commission on Islamophobia published a consultation paper in 1997 it quoted from an article by a prominent journalist. Islam was once, he had said, 'a great civilisation worthy of being argued with'. But latterly it had degenerated into 'a primitive enemy fit only to be sensitively subjugated'.  Seeing him quoted in this context, the journalist immediately published a defiant response. He entitled it 'I believe in Islamophobia' and concluded: 'To worry about contemporary Islam is not mad. It would be mad to do otherwise.' (Peregrine Worsthorne, Sunday Telegraph, 3 February 1991)

Islamophobia is plague of Europe

BY HAMZA A. BAJWA The Muslim Weekly London 22 - 28 DEC 2006

http://www.themuslimweekly.com/fullstoryview.aspx?NewsID=A1D10132B3210065CF8441F1&MENUID=TOPNEWS&DESCRIPTION=Front%20Page%20News

Islamophobia is on the rise across Europe as Muslims suffer widespread discrimination, physical attacks and verbal abuse, a new European Union report has revealed.


The detailed report from the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia, the first of its kind, presented a host of examples ranging from mosque vandalisation to suspected racist murders in Germany and Spain.


But the study has claimed that Muslims could do more to help by calling on leaders to strengthen policies on integration, and on Muslims to "engage more actively in public life".


It also highlighted the lack of reliable data, pointing out that only one country - the United Kingdom - publishes criminal justice data which specifically identify Muslims as victims of hate crime.


"The disadvantaged position of Muslim minorities, evidence of a rise in Islamophobia and concern over processes of alienation and radicalisation have triggered an intense debate in the European Union," Beate Winkler, director of the Vienna-based group which compiled the study, wrote.

 

The Muslim population of the EU is estimated to be around 13m, around 3.5 per cent of the total.


The report cited hundreds of reported cases of violence or threats against Muslims since 2004, including vandalism against mosques and centres and abuse of women wearing Islamic headscarves.


Examples of physical attacks cited was that of a Somali family in Denmark that were set upon by a gang carrying baseball bats emblazoned with swastikas and racist slogans, and a case of pork fat being smeared on a mosque in Italy.


In Ireland a man was beaten up by thugs after calling him "bin Laden" while a bogus email in Denmark outlined fake primary school reforms to help migrant children.


A maths question read: "Jamal has an AK47 with a 30-shot magazine. If he misses 6 out of 10 shots and he wants to hit each cup 13 times, how many cups can he shoot before he needs to reload?"


In the Netherlands there was a significant jump in incidents following the murder in 2004 of Theo Van Gogh who made a controversial film criticising Islam.


In Greece in February 2005 Europe's oldest mosque in Europe, at Poliskio village in Xanthi, was damaged by gunshots. In the same month in Spain Azzouz Housni, a Moroccan farm labourer, was killed at El Ejido in Almería in what migrant groups described as a racist attack.


The report said that Muslims "experience various levels of discrimination and marginalisation in employment, education and housing" and are "vulnerable to manifestations of prejudice and hatred in the form of anything from verbal threats through to physical attacks on people and property".


A non-governmental UK organisation recorded more than 50 cases of violence against Muslim property, including places of worship in 2004-5, and more than 100 cases of verbal threats and abusive behaviour.


"Muslims feel that acceptance by society is increasingly premised on 'assimilation' and the assumption that they should lose their Muslim identity," Winkler wrote.


Since the September 11 attacks in the US many Muslims feel "they have been put under a general suspicion of terrorism," she added.


A view supported by the dozens of polls and case studies in the 117-page report.


"A question I have heard many times is: 'When are you going back?' I say: 'I was born in Rotterdam so where would I go?' It's a really painful question and makes you feel like a foreigner," a Dutch Muslim woman said in the survey.


It found that Muslims frequently found themselves worse off than other religious groups.


"Available data shows that European Muslims are often disproportionately represented in areas with poorer housing conditions, while their educational achievement falls below average and their unemployment rates are higher than average."


It found that Muslims frequently found themselves worse off than other religious groups.

Interviewees also agreed that Muslim women who wore headscarves found it hardest to get jobs, saying many employers feared they would drive away customers.


The report urged EU policymakers to fully apply anti-discrimination directives, mandate diversity training for police, ensure school classes are ethnically integrated, and encourage balanced media coverage to avoid stigmatising Muslims.

 

Increase in Islamophobic attacks in EU

http://www.muslimnews.co.uk/paper/index.php?article=1973 By Saajida Mehrali

Whereas there is no doubt that attacks on Jews and Muslims have increased in the EU over the past few years, there is controversy surrounding who is committing them. The National Consultative Commission on Human Rights lays the brunt of the blame of anti-Semitic attacks with people ‘of Arab-Muslim origin’ but the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC) disagrees.

In a recently published report, the EUMC claims, “the largest group of the perpetrators of anti-Semitic activities appears to be young, disaffected, white Europeans.” The mention of “young Muslims of North African or Asian extraction” appears rather as an after-thought, in the Report’s summary.

Amir Zaidan, Director of the Islamic Religious Studies Institute in Vienna, is pleased that the Report is, as he sees it, eradicating evil towards Muslims. He said, “It is very important to have such reports produced. Muslims are just as much the victims of racism as Jews.”

However, Jewish leaders have accused the EU of veiling the true extent of anti- Semitic attacks that are carried out by young Muslims. They claim that the Report has “astounded experts” by asserting that neo-Nazi and racist groups are responsible for the majority of Jewish persecution over the last two years.

They also say that the headline findings are not the same as those detailed in the body of the Report, where many of the 193 attacks on Jewish buildings in France in 2002, are “ascribed to youth from neighbourhoods sensitive to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, principally of North African descent.”

Attacks on Muslims have also increased in the EU and especially in France, where the police have been accused, by a new report released by Amnesty International, of mistreating Muslims.

Director of Amnesty International UK, Kate Allen, said, “People have been racially abused, beaten and even killed by the police in France. Yet the French judicial system is failing to investigate and punish human rights abuses by police officers.” Both reports suggest that enough is not being done to monitor and control the Islamophobic and anti-Semitic attacks and call for a more rigorous approach in order to “bring those responsible to justice”.

Annual Report 2004 - National Consultative Commission on Human Rights Anti-Semitism Report - European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC) France: New Report Reveals Racist Abuse With Impunity By French Police, Amnesty International

Attacks on Jews and Muslims soar in France

The Muslim Weekly London Issue No: 072 Date: 25 - 31 March 2005

The number of racist, anti-Semitic and xenophobic attacks in France soared by nearly 90% last year, according to a report presented to the government on Monday, reaching the highest level so far recorded.

The National Consultative Commission on Human Rights said in its annual study that 1,565 threats and acts of violence against mainly Jewish and Muslim victims were registered in 2004, compared with 833 the previous year.

The report said anti-Semitic acts represented more than 60% of all the incidents recorded: 970 compared with 601 in 2003, mostly committed by people "of Arab- Muslim origin". But threats and attacks against Muslims, mostly committed by far- right supporters, also more than doubled to 595 last year, compared with 232 in 2003. The report also noted that the incidents appeared to be getting increasingly violent: 369 "major acts" - causing actual physical harm to people or property - were reported, an 83% increase on 2003. The number of attacks on Jewish and Muslim cemeteries and places of worship rose from 46 to 65, and racist and anti-Semitic violence in schools rose by 20%.

http://www.themuslimweekly.com/newspaper/viewfullstory.aspx?NewsID=TW00002302

European Muslims are stigmatised by populist rhetoric

Posted on 2010-10-28 09:19

http://commissioner.cws.coe.int/tiki-view_blog_post.php?postId=99

 

European countries appear to face another crisis beyond budget deficits – the disintegration of human values. One symptom is the increasing expression of intolerance towards Muslims. The Swiss referendum banning the building of minarets was no exception: opinion polls in several European countries reflect fear, suspicion and negative opinions of Muslims and Islamic culture.

 

These Islamophobic prejudices are combined with racist attitudes – directed not least against people originating from Turkey, Arab countries and South Asia. Muslims with this background are discriminated in the labour market and the education system in a number of European countries. There are reports showing that they tend to be targeted by police in repeated identity controls and intrusive searches. This is a serious human rights problem.

 

Recent elections have seen extremist political parties gaining ground after aggressively Islamophobic campaigns. Even more worrying is the inertia or confusion which seems to have befallen the established democratic parties in this situation. Compromises are made which tend to give an air of legitimacy to crude prejudices and open xenophobia.

 

Public opinion response: limit religious freedom of Muslims

 

When the German President Christian Wulff in a recent speech confirmed the obvious, that Islam – like Christianity and Judaism - is part of the national context, this was seen as controversial. One newspaper reported that two thirds of the population disagreed.

 

A more ambitious survey initiated by Friedrich Ebert Stiftung showed that 58 per cent agreed that “religious practices for Muslims in Germany should be seriously limited”. Though not totally clear, this statement appears to reject freedom of religion for one group – Muslims.  The broad support for this opinion is a bad sign.

 

Interestingly, there were huge regional differences in the responses to the survey. In the eastern part of the country – with a much smaller Muslim population - support for the statement was as high as 76 per cent. Distance and ignorance tend to increase suspicions.

 

Politicians should not ride the populist wave

 

This appears to be a general phenomenon: lack of knowledge feeds prejudices. Political leaders have on the whole failed to counter Islamophobic stereotypes. Of course, this became more difficult after the terrorist attacks in New York, Madrid, London, Amsterdam and also Beslan and Moscow. However, the emotions caused by these horrible crimes called for systematic efforts to establish a distinction between the evildoers and the overwhelming majority of Muslims. These efforts were rarely made.

 

Neither has sufficient priority been given to analysing what makes some people listen to hateful propaganda against Muslims. Part of the explanation appears to be the same ignorance, fear and frustration which have caused bigotry against Roma and immigrants in general. We have learnt that minorities are sometimes turned into scapegoats by people who feel alienated and ignored by those in power.  It is important to seek full explanations.

 

President Wulff was of course right: Islam is already part of our culture. Muslims in Europe – including the approximately 1.6 million Muslims in the United Kingdom, 3.8 million in Germany, 5 million in France and 15-20 million in Russia - contribute to our economies and societies. They belong. Most of them are in fact born in these countries, the majority are not particularly religious and very few can be characterised as Islamists.

 

Bigotry is not part of European values

 

The diverse groups of Muslims are now blamed by politicians in some countries for not “assimilating”. However, integration is a two-way process based on mutual understanding. Anti-Muslim bigotry has in fact become a major obstacle to respectful relationships. Indeed, the Islamophobic atmosphere has probably been a factor enabling extremists in some cases to recruit young and embittered individuals who lack a sense of belonging.

 

Instead of discussing such problems seriously, we have had a debate about methods to penalise women wearing the niqab and to prevent the building of minarets. This is hardly the way to give depth to our European values.

Thomas Hammarberg

Norway attacks: Utøya gunman boasted of links to UK far right

Anders Brehing Breivik took part in online discussions with members of the EDL and other anti-Islamic groups

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jul/23/norway-attacks-utoya-gunman?intcmp=239

Mark Townsend in Sundvollen, Peter Beaumont and Tracy McVeigh

guardian.co.uk, Saturday 23 July 2011 18.59 BST

Article history

 

Anders Brehing Breivik, the man accused of the murders on Utøya and the bomb in Oslo, claimed to have links to far right groups across Europe. Photograph: Getty

Anders Behring Breivik, the man accused of the murder of at least 92 Norwegians in a bomb and gun massacre, boasted online about his discussions with the far-right English Defence League and other anti-Islamic European organisations.

The Norwegian prime minister, Jens Stoltenberg, said Norwegian officials were working with foreign intelligence agencies to see if there was any international involvement in the slaughter. "We have running contact with other countries' intelligence services," he said.

Breivik was arrested on Utøya island where he shot and killed at least 85 people, mostly teenagers, at a youth summer camp for supporters of Norway's Labour party after bombing Oslo's government district just hours before. Dressed as a police officer, he ordered the teenagers to gather round him before opening fire. Survivors described how dozens of people were mown down. The massacre led to the largest death toll ever recorded by a single gunman on the rampage.

Ida Knudsen, 16, said she had been in a group of 100 who had initially run from the killer, but that was reduced to about 60 as the gunman pursued them. Eventually she was one of 12 who climbed into a boat and escaped.

Another survivor, 15-year-old Mattori Anson, described how he fled into a cabin with 40 other teenagers. They blocked the door and the killer tried to get inside. "Then he began shooting at the door." Eventually he gave up and the occupants all survived.

With the entire island a crime scene, officers were still combing the shoreline on Saturday and boats were searching the water for more bodies amid fears the toll could rise further. Police were continuing to investigate whether there had been a second gunman on the island.

The disclosure of Breivik's claimed links with far-right organisations came as details continued to emerge about the rightwing Christian fundamentalist and Freemason behind Norway's worst postwar act of violence.

It was revealed that the 32-year-old former member of the country's conservative Progress party – who had become ever more extreme in his hatred of Muslims, leftwingers and the country's political establishment – had ordered six tonnes of fertiliser in May to be used in the bombing. While police continued to interrogate Breivik, who was charged with the mass killings, evidence of his increasingly far-right world-view emerged from an article he had posted on several Scandinavian websites, including Nordisk, a site frequented by neo-Nazis, far-right radicals and Islamophobes since 2009.

The Norwegian daily VG quoted one of Breivik's friends, saying that he had become a rightwing extremist in his late 20s and was now a strong opponent of multiculturalism, expressing strong nationalistic views in online debates.

Breivik had talked admiringly online about conversations he had had with unnamed English Defence League members and the organisation Stop the Islamification of Europe (SIOE) over the success of provocative street actions leading to violence.

"I have on some occasions had discussions with SIOE and EDL and recommended them to use certain strategies," he wrote two years ago. "The tactics of the EDL are now to 'lure' an overreaction from the Jihad Youth/Extreme-Marxists, something they have succeeded in doing several times already."

Contacted by email, the EDL had not answered.

The latest disclosures came as the Norwegian prime minister, Jens Stoltenberg, flew by helicopter to a hotel in the town of Sundvollen – close to the island of Utøya – where many survivors were taken and where relatives converged to reunite with loved ones or identify their dead.

"A whole world is thinking of them," Stoltenberg said, his voice cracking with emotion. He said the twin attack made Friday the deadliest day in Norway's peacetime history. "This is beyond comprehension. It's a nightmare. It's a nightmare for those who have been killed, for their mothers and fathers, family and friends."

Buildings around the capital lowered their flags to half-mast while people streamed to Oslo cathedral to light candles and lay flowers. Outside, mourners began building a makeshift altar from dug-up cobblestones. On Saturday the Queen wrote to Norway's King Harald to offer her condolences and express her shock and sadness.

Breivik's Facebook page was blocked, but a cached version describes a conservative Christian from Oslo. The profile veers between references to lofty political philosophers and gory popular films, television shows and video games. The account appears to have been set up on 17 July. The site lists no "friends" or social connections.

International 'Islamophobia' Conference

by Andrew Harrod and Sam Nunberg
Breitbart September 28, 2013

http://www.legal-project.org/4191/international-islamophobia-conference-promotes

https://mail.google.com/mail/?shva=1#inbox/1416b9263c1ee918

Objective observers should be rightfully concerned by the "International Conference on Islamophobia: Law & Media" held by the Turkish government's Directorate General of Press and Information (DGPI or BYGEM in Turkish) and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) this past September 12-13 in Istanbul's Grand Tarabya Hotel. Conference participants substantiated all too many threats emanating from various Muslims and their allies, calling into question their respect for free speech and freedom of expression.

The conference website defined "Islamophobia" according to the Greek suffix phobia as a "groundless fear and intolerance of Islam and Muslims." By "culminating in hate speech and attitudes towards Muslims," this phobia is "detrimental to international peace." There should be "recognition of Islamophobia as a hate crime and Islamophobic attitudes as human rights violations."

In Istanbul, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reiterated his well-known meme (see here and here) that "Islamophobia" as a "kind of racism" is a "crime against humanity." "No monotheistic religion," Erdoğan elaborated, "adopts, supports, permits or leads terror."

"If Christianity and Judaism cannot be mentioned with terrorism," Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arinç seconded in his remarks, "then our noble religion Islam cannot be defamed this way either." Arinç discerned the main cause of "Islamophobia" in the belief that "Islam and democracy are not compatible," yet "Muslims are democrats in essence."

Representing the OIC's 57 Muslim-majority states (including "Palestine"), a fellow Turk, OIC Secretary General Dr. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, reprised themes from the OIC'slongstanding attempts to restrict criticism of Islam. Ihsanoglu decried the "exploitation....of freedom of speech."

The conference's first session featured internationally renowned Islam scholar and regular Islamist apologist John Esposito. Esposito cited "irrational fear" being behind "anti-Sharia legislations" in the United States. Turning toward Egypt, Esposito criticized those who "think it is legitimate to overthrow a democratically elected government."

Joining Esposito on the panel to compare anti-Semitism with "Islamophobia" was Norman Gary Finkelstein. The Jewish child of Holocaust survivors, Finkelstein has a long record of comparing Israel to Nazism and supporting groups such as Hezbollah while having his views of fellow Jews celebrated among anti-Semites.

Nathan Lean appeared at the conference as well. Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Jeffrey Taylor has criticized Lean's recent "maladroit, bungling critique" of atheist Richard Dawkins as an "Islamophobe." Bête noir among Lean's ilk, Islam scholar Robert Spencerhas likewise condemned various sloppy errors in Lean's public correspondence. Spencer has also condemned Lean as a "stalker" for threatening to release publicly supposed pictures of Spencer's home and family.

Joining Lean on a panel were American and Iranian professors Stephen Sheehi and Saied Reza Ameli. During a 2011 visit to the University of Florida, Sheehi had defined "Islamophobia" as merely being a "hatred of brown people." Ameli, meanwhile, was afounder and leading member of the United Kingdom's Islamic Human Rights Commission(IHRC), a "radical Islamist organization" in the assessment of Israel's Stephen Roth Institute for the Study of Contemporary Anti-Semitism and Racism.

The self-proclaimed Turkish "Marxist academic" Ali Murat Yel and his American colleagueHatem Al Bazian were also in Istanbul. Yel has praised Erdoğan's ruling AKP party for having "paved the way for…a democratic society" in Turkey despite Islamist concerns. "The West," Yel has also opined, "may come to appreciate the Muslim experience of both Andalusia and the Ottoman past in dealing with their religious minorities." The "outspoken anti-Zionist" Bazian, meanwhile, has in the past stated notoriously genocidal Islamic hadith against the Jews.

Turkish academic Bülent Şenay oversaw the conference declaration drafting. In a 2010 presentation to the Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Senay deemed "Islamophobia" as "today…the strongest form of hate crime," extending to the "psychological terror" of "cultural terrorists." Şenay condemned "hate speech…targeting all the tenets and adherents of Islam…under the banner of the freedom of expression." Additionally, "hate crimes originate from hate speeches," Şenay argued in another 2010 OSCE presentation. Şenay is the founder of the European Muslim Initiative for Social Cohesion (EMISCO), an entity prominent in the past for seeking OSCE opposition to "Islamophobia" speech (see here, here, and here).

Dahlia Mogahed rounded out the conference participants. This Esposito protégé and Obama Administration appointee has had numerous associations with MB-linked groups in the United States. She has also downplayed the extent of violent extremism among Islamists globally as well as the dangers of sharia.

Distinguishing between "legitimate criticisms…and hate-filled or irrational criticisms" was for BYEGM Director General Murat Karakaya in the conference final statement a "fundamental question." Yet the conference did not inspire the confidence that freedom of expression was a consideration in the discussion, particularly in light of host country Turkey's own harsh treatment of irreverence towards freedom of expression (see here andhere). The Istanbul agenda is yet another example of Islamists seeking to internally codify blasphemy under Sharia.

Andrew E. Harrod serves as a Legal Clerk for The Legal Project, an activity of the Middle East Forum. Sam Nunberg serves as Director of The Legal Project.

Study shows 'demonisation' of Muslims

Press Association The Guardian Wednesday November 14 2007

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2007/nov/14/pressandpublishing.religion

A "torrent" of negative stories has been revealed by a study of the portrayal of Muslims and Islam in the media, according to a report published yesterday.

Research into one week's news coverage showed that 91% of articles in national newspapers about Muslims were negative. The London mayor, Ken Livingstone, who commissioned the study, said the findings were a "damning indictment" of the media and urged editors and programme makers to review the way they portray Muslims.

"The overall picture presented by the media is that Islam is profoundly different from and a threat to the west," he said. "There is a scale of imbalance which no fair-minded person would think is right." Only 4% of the 352 articles studied were positive, he said.

Livingstone said the findings showed a "hostile and scaremongering attitude" towards Islam and likened the coverage to the way the left was attacked by national newspapers in the early 1980s. "The charge is that there are virtually no positive or balanced images of Islam being portrayed," he said. "I think there is a demonisation of Islam going on which damages community relations and creates alarm among Muslims."

Among examples in the study was a report which claimed that Christmas was being banned in one area because it offended Muslims, which researchers said was "inaccurate and alarmist". The report said that Muslims in Britain were sometimes depicted as a threat to traditional British values, and the coverage weakened government attempts to reduce extremism. The report is an amalgam of research projects individually prepared by members of a panel. Some research, examining published newspaper articles and reporting the experiences of Muslim journalists, involved Hugh Muir, of the Guardian.

http://www.london.gov.uk/gla/publications/equalities.jsp#commonground

The search for common ground - Muslims, non-Muslims and the UK media November 2007
The Search for Common Ground is a major new study looking into the portrayal of Muslims by the UK national media. Commissioned by the Mayor, and produced by nine independent authors the report looks at the way in which the national press has reported on Muslims and Islam during the year 2006.

The search for common ground report PDF
The search for common ground report RTF

http://www.london.gov.uk/view_press_release.jsp?releaseid=14474

The search for common ground executive summary PDF
The search for common ground executive summary RTF

http://www.london.gov.uk/gla/publications/equalities.jsp#commonground

‘Islamophobia Worst Form of Terrorism’
Siraj Wahab, Arab News

http://www.arabnews.com/?page=4&section=0&article=96276&d=17&m=5&y=2007

ISLAMABAD, 17 May 2007 — Foreign ministers of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) yesterday expressed grave concern at the rising tide of discrimination and intolerance against Muslims, especially in Europe and North America. “It is something that has assumed xenophobic proportions,” they said in unison.

Speaking at a special brainstorming session on the sidelines of the 34th Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers (ICFM), the foreign ministers termed Islamophobia the worst form of terrorism and called for practical steps to counter it.

The ministers described Islamophobia as a deliberate defamation of Islam and discrimination and intolerance against Muslims. “This campaign of calumny against Muslims resulted in the publication of the blasphemous cartoons depicting Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in a Danish newspaper and the issuance of the inflammatory statement by Pope Benedict XVI,” they said. During a speech in Germany last year, the Pope quoted a 14th Century Christian emperor who said the Prophet had brought the world only “evil and inhuman” things. The Pope’s remarks aroused the anger of the whole Islamic world.

“The increasingly negative political and media discourse targeting Muslims and Islam in the United States and Europe has made things all the more difficult,” the foreign ministers said. “Islamophobia became a source of concern, especially after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, but the phenomenon was already there in Western societies in one form or the other,” they pointed out. “It gained further momentum after the Madrid and London bombings. The killing of Dutch film director Theo van Gogh in 2004 was used in a wicked manner by certain quarters to stir up a frenzy against Muslims,” the ministers pointed out. Van Gogh had made a controversial film about Muslim culture.

The OIC foreign ministers deplored the misrepresentation in the Western media of Islam and Muslims in the context of terrorism. “The linkage of terrorists and extremists with Islam in a generalized manner is unacceptable,” they said. “This is further inciting negative sentiments and hatred in the West against Muslims,” they said. The ministers also pointed out that whenever the issue of Islamophobia was discussed in international forums, the Western bloc, particularly some members of the European Union, tried to avoid discussing the core issue and instead diverted the attention from their region to the situation of non-Muslims and human rights in the OIC member states.

The foreign ministers said prejudices against Islam were not helping the situation. “Because of Islamophobia, millions of Muslims in the Western countries, many of whom were already underprivileged in their societies for a variety of reasons, are further alienated and targeted by hatred and discrimination.”

The selective application of the existing legal frameworks and anti-discrimination and anti-blasphemy laws in Western countries also came in for criticism. “They are being applied in a selective manner when the victims are Muslims,” the ministers said.

The ministers also noted the many praiseworthy initiatives to bring together the West and the Muslim world such as the EU-OIC Forum of 2002, Dialogue Among Civilizations, Alliance of Civilizations and various other interfaith dialogue meetings. “However, it remains a fact that anti-Islamic sentiments are being fanned in the West with the implicit and explicit support of racist anti-immigrant and ultra-right political parties and certain media outlets.”

The ministers agreed that in Europe there was a need to enhance efforts to promote greater understanding and awareness of Islam. “In the Muslim world, endeavors have to be made to dispel misperceptions about the West and to promote democracy, human rights and good governance.”

According to OIC’s European observers, the taking over of the European Union presidency by Slovenia in 2008 will augur well for Muslims. “Because Slovenia has declared that intercultural dialogue will be among the first four priorities of its EU presidency, it has accordingly set up a task force to implement the ‘European Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008’ program.” The OIC observers said the Slovenian minister of foreign affairs had already invited the OIC secretary-general to Ljubljana before or during the Slovenian EU presidency to discuss possible joint projects.

At the end of the session it was decided to shortlist reputable Muslim and non-Muslim think tanks, academics and NGOs in the US and UK and other leading European countries for cooperation in monitoring and countering anti-Islam campaigns. The ministers said Muslim think tanks and NGOs in the Western countries should be encouraged and urged to develop closer contacts with their non-Muslim counterparts and to remain engaged in regular contact and dialogue. They felt the international media should be properly cultivated to motivate them to be more responsible in carrying out their responsibilities.

OIC Statement on Islamophobia (29 February 2008)

The OIC Group requests the Secretary-General to publicly express his unequivocal opposition to all acts of Islamophobia, and to declare that no government ...
www.oicun.org/articles/83/1/OIC-Statement-on-Islamophobia-29-February--2008/1.html - 28k -

UN Statement on Islamophobia (29 February 2008)

New York

http://www.oicun.org/articles/83/1/OIC-Statement-on-Islamophobia-29-February--2008/1.html

UN resolution on Islamophobia

The French Organization against Islamophobia (CCIF) said earlier this year that during ... Islamophobia: Education for Tolerance and Understanding seminar. ...
archives2005.ghazali.net/ html/un_resolution_on_islamophobia.html - 23k - Cached - Similar pages

http://archives2005.ghazali.net/html/un_resolution_on_islamophobia.html

April 12, 200 UN Calls for Combating Anti-Islam Campaigns

GENEVA, April 12, 2005 – The United Nations Commission on Human Rights adoptedtoday a resolution calling for combating defamation campaigns against Islam and Muslims in the West.

The measure, put forward by Pakistan on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), was voted for by 31 countries and 16 against, with five abstentions and one delegation absent.

“There was a growing trend of defamation of Islam and discrimination faced by Muslims and the people of Arab descent in many parts of the world,” Pakistan 's UN envoy, Masood Khan, told the commission.

Khan cited a series of attacks against mosques in different parts of the world. “Stereotyping of any religion as propagating violence or its association with terrorism constitutes defamation of religion. It unfortunately breeds a culture of hatred, disharmony and discrimination,” he stressed.

The French Organization against Islamophobia (CCIF) said earlier this year that during the period from October 2003 to August 2004, 26 cases of verbal and physical assaults on Muslims, 28 cases of vandalism and attempted arson targeting mosques, and 11 cases of desecration of Muslim graves have been registered. The CCIF also listed a considerable number of internet sites spreading anti-Muslim propaganda.

“Very Deep Campaign”

Cuba's delegate Rodolfo Reyes Rodriguez said Islam has been the subject of “very deep campaign of defamation.” “All you have to do is look at the films which have come out of Hollywood the last few years,” he said.

The resolution, however, was rejected by the United States and the European Union as “unbalanced” for what they termed failure to address problems suffered by other religious groups.

“This resolution is incomplete inasmuch as it fails to address the situation of all religions,” Leonard Leo, a member of the US delegation, said in a speech.

The Netherlands , speaking for the EU, also said it regretted that the 25-nation bloc EU had been unable to agree on a “more balanced” joint text with the pan-Muslim organization. “Discrimination based on religion or belief is not confined to any one religion nor to any one part of the world,” said Dutch ambassador Ian de Jong.

A recent report released by the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF) said that Muslim minorities across Europe have been experiencing growing distrust, hostility and discrimination since the 9/11 attacks.

On January 13, 2005 UN Secretary General Kofi Annan called for halting harassment and discrimination against Muslims, that have been on the rise in the West since the 9/11 attacks.

“Since the September 11 attacks on the United States , many Muslims, particularly in the West, have found themselves the objects of suspicion, harassment and discrimination,” Annan told the Confronting Islamophobia: Education for Tolerance and Understanding seminar.

“Too many people see Islam as a monolith and as intrinsically opposed to the West,” he said. “Caricature remains widespread and the gulf of ignorance is dangerously deep.”

On April 19Canadian Muslim Forum (CMF) and Muslim Council Of Montreal (MCM) issueda joint statement expressing disappointment regarding Canadian government’s vote against a UN resolution about combating Islamophobia. “It is with great disappointment and frustration to hear that Canada has voted against an important United Nations resolution  which seeks to protect the rights of Muslims and stem the tide of Islamaphobia in the world,” they said. (Media reports)

Read UNHRC Press Release on the UN resolution against Islamophobia:
http://www.unhchr.ch/huricane/huricane.nsf/view01/F5FAD16BD4CDAFE5C1256FE1006B4504?opendocument

Kofi Annan’s Plain Talking on Combating Iaslamophobia

http://www.pakistanlink.com/Editor/12312004.htm
Kofi Annan has at long last spoken, boldly and grittily, as becomes the Secretary General of the United Nations. Addressing a seminar at the UN Headquarters in New York , he did not mince words to censure the current tide of Islamophobia plaguing the West.

“When a new word enters the language, it is often the result of a scientific advance or a diverting fad. But when the world is compelled to coin a new term to take account of increasingly widespread bigotry, that is a sad and troubling development. Such is the case with Islamophobia,” Annan observed.

The Secretary General’s address entitled “Confronting Islamophobia: Education for Tolerance and Understanding,” was part of a UN-sponsored series on “Unlearning Intolerance.” The first seminar in the series, “Confronting Anti-Semitism: Education for Tolerance and Understanding,” was held on June 21.

Spurning restraint and inclined to calling a spade a spade, Mr Annan spoke with rare perspicacity: “Islam’s tenets are frequently distorted and taken out of context, with particular acts or practices being taken to represent or to symbolize a rich and complex faith.

“Some claim that Islam is incompatible with democracy, or irrevocably hostile to modernity and the rights of women. And in too many circles, disparaging remarks about Muslims are allowed to pass without censure, with the result that prejudice acquires a veneer of acceptability.” True.

As stated in these columns earlier, a flurry of insinuations against Islam have become almost a norm of daily life in the US . Day in and day out, misguided commentators and right-wing observers provide fresh proof of unfeigned disdain for Islam with remarks that are caustic and biting and have a telling effect - both on the naive non-Muslim viewers as well as followers of the faith. Not surprisingly, a recent Cornell University survey reveals nearly half of all Americans interviewed believe the US government should restrict the civil liberties of Muslim Americans!

The name of Islam has been sullied, wantonly and willfully, as newscasters lay undue stress on a select group of words - Islam, Qur’an, Muslims, terrorists, Islamists, and more regrettably, Muhammad - in their display of a singular contempt for Islam.

“No one should underestimate the resentment and sense of injustice that members of one of the world’s great religions, cultures and civilizations felt as they looked at unresolved conflicts in the Middle East, the situation in Chechnya and the atrocities against Muslims in the former Yugoslavia ,” said Annan. And so saying, the UN Secretary General seemed to identify the root cause of the present seething unrest in the Muslim world.

“But we should remember that these are political reactions - disagreements with specific policies. All too often, they are mistaken for an Islamic reaction against Western values, sparking an anti-Islamic backlash,” Annan seemed to furnish a convincing explanation. And here a restatement of what we have written in these columns:

How did an average Muslim perceive the United States of America in the pre-September 11 period? A country to envy and despise? A bulwark of Christianity? A sworn enemy of Islam? Undisputed leader of the West on a collision course with the Ummah?

The answer to all such questions is in the negative. Despite many misgivings about US foreign policy and Washington ’s ambivalent posture on crucial issues such as Palestine and Kashmir, Muslims have been generally appreciative of America - a country on the march.

I have vivid recollections of my childhood impressions of the United States . The stagecoach winding its way on a dusty trail, eager prospectors panning for gold, the rush for California, and entrancing characters - Buffalo Bill, Daniel Defoe, Kit Carson, Monte Hale, Lone Ranger, Hopalong Cassidy, Lash Larue, Rocky Lane, bounty hunters et al. - stalking the ‘Wild West’.

With time, I came to identify the US as the epitome of anything and everything quintessential with its glittering Ivy colleges that were soon to be the focus of all our pursuits. Not many of us could make it to Cornell or Harvard. But the unrivalled excellence of American institutions continued to exercise a magnetic pull on professionals, including the men in the khaki, who were keen to avail of an opportunity to train at Fort Benning or West Point . A closure exposure to American academics and Nobel Laureates had a singularly beneficent influence on my formative years. Professors Donald Glaser, Nicholas Negroponte, Hofstadter, Michael Moravscik et al. were fine human beings. Their wives seemed to complement their values.

Come September 11 and the scene dramatically alters. The media churns out story after story to suggest that Islam and the West are on a collision course! There is a concerted effort to lend credence to Huntington ’s ‘Clash of Civilizations.’ A negative perception of Islam is aired day in and day out through newspapers, TV, radio, and films. We are more than familiar with the ridicule that Chuck Norris, Bruce Willis, Denzel Washington and a host of others hurled on the Muslim world without the slightest call of compunction.

Which brings us to the oft-debated debate: Are Islam and the West on a collision course? Professor Ralph Braibanti, an eminent scholar who has been on the faculty of Duke University since 1953, makes the incisive point in his illuminating essay Islam and the West: Common Cause or Clash? published by the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Georgetown University . An excerpt: “The ecumenical decree of Vatican Council II, Nostra Aetate (In Our Times) 1965 was a stunning repudiation of an attitude towards Islam regnant for more than half a millennium. It erased in a few poetically elegant sentences the imagery in Dante’s characterization of Mohammed as seminator di scandalo e di scima. Its newly sensitive appraisal of Islam eclipsed the somewhat less felicitous but more potentially powerful final sentence of paragraph 3: ‘On behalf of all mankind, let them [Muslims and Christians] make common cause of safeguarding and fostering social justice, moral values, peace and freedom [et pro omnibus hominibus justiciam socialem, bona moralia necnon pacem et libertatem communiter tueuntur et promoveant].’

“This is clearly an exhortation to act. The errors of the past were acknowledged, animosities were to be forgotten, and points of agreement between the two religions were portrayed without animus or condescension,” writes the erudite professor.

Nostra Aetate unequivocally spelled out the religious affinity between Muslims and Christians: “Upon the Muslims, too, the Church looks with esteem [respicit]. They adore [adorant] one God, living and enduring, merciful and all-powerful, Maker of Heaven and earth and Speaker to men. They strive to submit wholeheartedly even to His inscrutable decrees, just as did Abraham, with whom the Islamic faith is pleased to associate itself. Though they do not acknowledge Jesus as God, they revere [venerantur] him as prophet. They also honor [honorant] Mary, his virgin mother; at times they call on her, too, with devotion. In addition they await the day of judgment when God will give each man his due after raising him up… Although in the course of the centuries many quarrels and hostilities have arisen between Christians and Muslims, this most sacred Synod urges all to forget the past and to strive sincerely for mutual understanding. On behalf of all mankind, let them make common cause of safeguarding and fostering social justice, moral values, peace and freedom.”

Viewed in this context, the visit of Pope John Paul to the Ommayad Mosque in Damascus on May 6, 2001, was an event of singular importance. He was the first Pope to set foot on a mosque and his message on the momentous day was truly befitting for the occasion: religious conviction was never a justification for violence. The Pontiff who gave a new dimension to Judeo-Christian ties with his visit to Rome ’s synagogue in 1985, said it was now time to open a new chapter in relations with the Muslims. “For all the times that Muslims and Christians have offended one another, we need to seek forgiveness from the Almighty and to offer each other forgiveness…Better understanding will surely lead to a new way of presenting our two religions, not in opposition as has happened too often in the past, but in partnership for the good of the human family,” he said.

The Pope’s initiative could not have been better timed. Indeed, Islam, Christianity, and Judaism are three Abrahamic religions whose followers have a lot in common. Blissfully, there are several shining examples of Muslim and Christian communities demonstrating a spirit of co-existence and mutual accommodation. The Christian population in Jordan , for example, barely makes up three percent of the country’s total, yet it has been treated with love and respect by the Muslim majority. The late King Hussain and Crown Prince Hassan bin Talal made sustained strivings to ensure a spirit of harmony to bring the believers of the two faiths closer. The Royal Institute of Inter-Faith Studies established in 1994 has hosted several conferences and published insightful books, including Prince Hassan’s Christianity in the Arab World.

The year 1995 saw the establishment of the largest mosque in Europe in close proximity of the Vatican as a testimony of an attitudinal change between followers of the world’s two major faiths. Another significant event took place on September 12, 1997, when the Supreme Pontiff and Prince Sultan, the Second Deputy Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia , met in Rome .

Quite a few other developments testify to the wholesome change. The establishment of the Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations of Selly Oak Colleges in Birmingham, England; the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding of Georgetown and publication of its journal Islam and Muslim-Christian Relations; the publication of Islamochristiana by the Vatican’s Pontificio Istituto di Saudi Arabia; the strivings of UMA, AMA, CAIR, ISNA, and ISOC, recent PBS documentaries ‘Islam: Empire of Faith’ and ‘Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet’ provide fresh proof of this trend.

The Oxford lecture by the Prince of Wales in 1993 was further indicative of the change. Prince Charles affirmed, “Islam can teach us today a way of understanding and living in the world which Christianity itself is poorer for having lost.” Two years later, the Prince reaffirmed this view in a televised comment when he said that he would prefer to have the Crown’s title “Defender of the Faith” changed to “Defender of Faith.” He specifically mentioned Islam as one of the faiths of Britain .

In his Iftar party address at the White House in the post 9/11 period, President Bush rightly remarked: “Islam is a religion that brings hope and comfort to more than a billion people around the world. It has made brothers and sisters of every race. It has given birth to a rich culture of learning and literature and science. Tonight we honor the traditions of a great faith by hosting this Iftaar at the White House…We see in Islam a religion that traces its origins back to God’s call on Abraham. We share your belief in God’s justice, and your insistence on man’s moral responsibility. We thank the many Muslim nations who stand with us against terror. Nations that are often victims of terror, themselves…”

Muslims, Christians, Jews and followers of other faiths, have to act in unison to arrest the current decline of civilization so as to make the world a more livable place. Islam and the West are on a coalition course and any suggestions of collision are simply misleading. Let’s be seized of our religious affinities and spurn unwarranted animosities.

OIC and Combatting Islamophobia: OIC foreign ministers condemn terrorism, discrimination against Muslims

Posted May 17th, 2007 by Indian-Muslim

http://www.twocircles.net/2007may17/oic-foreign-ministers-condemn-terrorism-discrimination-against-muslims.html

ISLAMABAD, May 17 (Xinhua) -- Foreign ministers of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Thursday adopted the "Islamabad Declaration," condemning the boggy of Islamophobia and discrimination against Muslims.

"We condemn the growing trend of Islamophobia and systematic discrimination against the adherents of Islam. We call upon the international community to prevent incitement to hatred and discrimination against the Muslims and take effective measures to combat defamation of religions and acts of negative stereotyping of people based on religion, belief or ethnicity," the declaration said.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri read out the declaration at the concluding session of the three-day conference,chaired by Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukt Aziz.

"We request the Secretary General to continue the OIC initiatives to effectively counter Islamophobia through discussions and debates at various international fora," it said.

The declaration condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations committed by whomsoever and wherever, express sympathy to the victims of terrorism and denounce efforts to link terrorism with any religion, theology or culture.

"We reaffirm our commitment to strengthen mutual cooperation in the fight against terrorism through, inter alia, mutual exchange of information, capacity building assistance and by addressing the root causes of terrorism such as unresolved conflicts, continued suppression and marginalization of peoples and denial of the right of peoples to their self-determination in situations of foreign occupation," it said.

The declaration emphasized the need for greater coordination among OIC countries in responding to the challenges of terrorism. "We support the establishment of an international center for counter terrorism," it said.

The declaration commended the concept of Enlightened Moderation to combat extremism and terrorism, resolve international disputes, conflicts and injustices affecting Islamic countries and peoples, to promote tolerance and harmony in accordance with the real values of Islam.

"We emphasize that inter-civilizational dialogue based on mutual respect and understanding amongst peoples should be effectively used for promoting human welfare and progress and for strengthening international peace and security, tolerance and global harmony," it said.

The declaration emphasized the importance of early restoration of peace and stability in Iraq.

"We support the continuing efforts for promoting national reconciliation among all the Iraqi people, addressing the causes of violence and terrorism, preserving the inviolability of Iraq's sovereignty, territorial integrity and national unity, accelerating the capacity of the Iraqi security forces, and securing the earliest possible withdrawal of foreign forces from Iraq," it said.

OIC:  ‘Islamophobia Worst Form of Terrorism’

17 May 2007 ... The ministers described Islamophobia as a deliberate defamation of Islam ... According to OIC’s European observers, the taking over of the ...
www.arabnews.com/?page=4&section=0&article=96276&d=17&m=5&y=2007 - 40k - Cached - Similar pages

 

'Islamophobia' a threat to world security, say Muslim states

Posted March 13th, 2008 by Mudassir Rizwan

http://www.twocircles.net/2008mar12/islamophobia_threat_world_security_say_muslim_states.html By ANTARA News/AFP

Dakar : The world's Muslim countries warned Thursday that an "alarming" rise in anti-Islamic insults and attacks in the West has become a threat to international security.

The Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) called on Europe and America to take stronger measures against 'Islamophobia' in a report prepared for a summit of the group's 57 members in Dakar on Thursday and Friday.

The report by a special OCI monitoring group said the organisation was struggling to get the West to understand that Islamophobia "has dangerous implications on global peace and security" and to convince western powers to do more.

Islamic leaders have long warned that perceptions linking Muslims to terrorism, especially since the September 11, 2001 Al-Qaeda attacks on the United States, would make Muslims more radical.

OIC leaders have expressed renewed concern following events such as the publication in Denmark of cartoons lampooning the Prophet Mohammed and a plan by the Dutch far-right wing MP Geert Wilders to release a film calling the Koran holy book "fascist".

The OCI report said Islam had faced attacks since it was created "but in recent years the phenomenon has assumed alarming proportions and has become a major cause of concern for the Muslim world."

The monitoring group called on Europe and North America to do more, through laws and social action, to protect Muslims from threats and discrimination and prevent insults against Islam's religious symbols.

Muslim States warn against Islamophobia

Posted March 13th, 2008 by Mudassir Rizwan

http://www.twocircles.net/2008mar13/muslim_states_warn_against_islamophobia.html

By IINA

Dakar : The world’s Muslim countries warned today that an “alarming” rise in anti-Islamic insults and attacks in the West has become a threat to international security. The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) called on Europe and America to take stronger measures against ‘Islamophobia’ in a report prepared for the two-day Summit of the group’s 57 members in Dakar today. The report by a special OCI monitoring group said the organization was struggling to get the West to understand that Islamophobia “has dangerous implications on global peace and security” and to convince Western powers to do more.

Islamic leaders have long warned that perceptions linking Muslims to terrorism, especially since the Sept. 11, 2001 Al-Qaeda attacks on the United States, would make Muslims more radical.
OIC leaders have expressed renewed concern following events such as the publication in Denmark of cartoons lampooning the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) and a plan by the Dutch far-right wing MP Geert Wilders to release a film calling the Holy Qur’an “fascist.” The monitoring group called on Europe and North America to do more, through laws and social action, to protect Muslims from threats and discrimination and prevent insults against Islam’s religious symbols.

Muslim religious leaders say violence no answer to anti-Islam attacks

Posted April 1st, 2008 by Mudassir Rizwan

http://www.twocircles.net/2008apr01/muslim_religious_leaders_say_violence_no_answer_anti_islam_attacks.html By IINA

Cairo : Several Muslim religious leaders and scholars believe that neither violence nor a boycott of Western goods is the right answer to a perceived surge in an anti-Islam campaign. "The West knows very little about Islam and its principles. So the best way to reverse the so-called Islamophobia is to enter into a dynamic dialogue with the West," said Abdul Sabour Chahin, a noted Muslim scholar. "We have to let the non-Muslims get exposed to the genuine tenets of Islam so as to learn about its tolerance and moderation," Gulf News quoted him as saying.

Chahin, a professor of Islamic studies at Cairo University, was speaking a few days after Dutch Member of Parliament Geert Wilders angered Muslims around the world by releasing his anti-Islam film Fitna. The 15-minute documentary, posted on the Internet last Thursday, accuses Quran of inciting violence. "Officially, Egypt, a predominantly Muslim country of 76 million, greeted the Dutch film with condemnation. "Fitna hurts the feelings of more than one billion Muslims around the world," the Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmad Aboul Geit said. "The film reflects deep ignorance of Islam's principles," he added. In 2006, Muslim Egyptians reacted angrily to the publication in Danish newspapers of cartoons lampooning the Prophet Mohammad (Peace be upon him).

A campaign calling for a boycott of Danish goods was also mounted. No such reaction is reported this time. "Violent demonstrations will lead to nothing, but to clashes between the protesters and the local police," warned Chahin. "This would just reinforce the negative stereotyping of the Muslims in the West." Agreeing, Suad Saleh, a prominent Muslim TV preacher, called for ignoring the Dutch film altogether. "The Muslims should react in a way becoming of their religion as a faith of peace," Saleh told the independent newspaper Al Masri Al Youm. "Violence will give foes of Islam the chance to assault it time and again." Egypt's top Muslim cleric, however, roundly criticized Wilders' film and demanded that the Dutch government ban it. "We cannot remain silent," , the Sheikh of Al Azhar Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi was quoted as saying in the local press. "Stop it or the results would be disastrous."

A delegation from a Dutch non-government association visiting Egypt last week said Dutch law guaranteed freedom of speech. "Legally, it is difficult to prevent the release of a film in the Netherlands," Bas Plaisier, head of the delegation, told reporters in Cairo. "What we can do is to ask Wilders to use freedom of speech in a way that does not hurt or insult people," added Plaisier, who is the Secretary-General of the Protestant Church in the Netherlands.

On the other hand, Dr. Al Mourtadha al-Muhatwari, a religious scholar and professor of Islamic Law and Legislation at Sana’a University said: “Unfortunately, the Arab and Muslim world bears the burden of guilt because of bad images and debasement through the actions of (a few) Muslims. These Muslims tempt the West to trample our dignity however they want, and do nothing to encourage in those of other faiths the belief that a pride in the history of Islam remains.” He called for the Muslim world to boycott those states that are defaming Muslims and their beliefs. He also urged these countries to stop their abuse of the Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) in conduct and practices.

Al-Muhatwari said, “We must come back to our religion. The boycott is what we can do now and is binding on all Arab and Muslim leaders who commit to stand firm against them.”

Al-Muhatwari added that these insulting incidents and the defamation of religions are inciting violence and terrorism all over the world. Meanwhile, the Dutch foreign minister met ambassadors from Muslim countries in Amsterdam yesterday to try to cool tempers over a film by a Dutch lawmaker critical of the Quran and ask for protection for Dutch citizens and property. Geert Wilders, leader of the anti-immigration Freedom Party, launched his short video on the Internet on Thursday, mixing images of Islamist bombings with quotations from the Muslim holy book, prompting a stream of condemnation from the Islamic world.

But reaction to the film was more restrained compared with the violence in 2006 that followed the publication in Europe of cartoons lampooning the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), when more than 50 people were killed in riots in Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

"I am pleased with the muted reactions that we have received so far from the Muslim world," Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen said in a statement. "But the rhetoric in some countries shows that we need to remain alert." Verhagen said he had told the ambassadors from 26 countries, including Iran and Indonesia, that the film in no way reflected the views of the Dutch government and called on the diplomats to make sure that Dutch interests abroad were protected. "We are aware of the concerns and feelings in the international Muslim community about this film. But injured feelings should never be an excuse for aggression and threats," he said. "Let us keep a cool head and warm relations."

EUMC Website

http://eumc.europa.eu/eumc/index.php?fuseaction=content.dsp_cat_content&catid=3fb38ad3e22bb&contentid=4582d9f4345ad

http://religionresearch.org/martijn/2006/12/18/eumc-reports-on-discrimination-and-islamophobia-in-the-eu/
Two reports on Discrimination and Islamophobia in the EU are published. First of all:

The report: Muslims in the European Union: Discrimination and Islamophobia PDF

eumc.europa.eu/eumc/material/pub/muslim/Manifestations_EN

 

The Study: Perceptions of islamophobia: PDF

http://eumc.europa.eu/eumc/material/pub/muslim/Perceptions_EN.pdf

 

Islamophobia: A new word for an old fear

File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - View as HTML
September 2004 at Brussels. I am pleased to learn from MCB Central Working Committee member Imam Dr. Abduljalil Sajid that he will be attending as an ...
www.osce.org/documents/cio/2005/06/15198_en.pdf - Similar pages - Note this

 

Educating Against Islamophobia - Q-News July 2006, Issue 367

And unlike other lessons learnt in classrooms, which are forgotten quickly because they are disconnected from the real world, anti-Islamophobia education is ...
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What are the Real Reasons behind the Rising of Islamphobia?

The UN Secretary General, Mr. Kofi Annan noted in his Address to the seminar on "Confronting Islamophobia: Education for Tolerance and Understanding: ...
merforum.com/viewart.php?artid=133 - 30k - Cached - Similar pages

Published in Journal of In-service Education, 2005 Islamophobia ...

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Published in Journal of In-service Education, 2005. Islamophobia: Issues, Challenges and Action. A report by the Commission on ...
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Educational experts call for action to stem Islamophobia’

There is increased racism and a worrying rise in Islamophobia. Citizenship education is about overcoming the barriers to equality...it is about protecting ...
www.innovations-report.de/html/berichte/gesellschaftswissenschaften/bericht-27621.html - 37k - Cached - Similar pages

Muslims in the European Union: Discrimination and Islamophobia

The report covers Muslims in the European Union: Discrimination and Islamophobia, published presents available data on discrimination affecting Muslims in employment, education and housing. Manifestations of Islamophobia range from verbal threats through to physical attacks on people and property. The report stresses that the extent and nature of discrimination and Islamophobic incidents against European Muslims remain under-documented and under-reported. The EUMC report recommends therefore that Member States improve the reporting of incidents and implement measures to counter discrimination and racism more effectively. The report also includes initiatives and proposals for policy action by EU Member State governments and the European institutions to combat Islamophobia and to foster integration.

Firm political leadership is needed to ensure equal treatment of all Europeans, whatever their background. This includes:

* Implementing EU legislation and adequately resourced equality bodies;
* Recording and policing Islamophobic incidents;
* Implementing social integration and inclusion policies for migrants and minorities,
* Granting equal treatment in employment;
* Improving educational achievement;
* Ensuring equal access to housing;
* Encourage European Muslims to engage more actively in public life (e.g. in political, economic, social and cultural institutions and processes).

And second:

Perceptions of discrimination and Islamophobia

The Report Muslims in the European Union: Discrimination and Islamophobia is accompanied by a study on Perceptions of discrimination and Islamophobia, which is based on in-depth interviews with members of Muslim communities in ten EU Member States. This study provides a snapshot of the opinions, feelings, fears, frustrations, and also the hopes for the future shared by many Muslims in the EU.

“Integration is a two-way process. Many European Muslims acknowledge that they need to do more to engage with wider society. At the same time European political leaders must make a stronger effort to promote meaningful intercultural dialogue and tackle racism, discrimination and marginalisation more effectively, said EUMC Director Beate Winkler.

Some notes about the Dutch situation here, but first of all a general remark. The EUMC reports are usually quite good and also these two reports are very interesting. It would be wrong however to say anything conclusive about the state of Muslim integration in Europe, because one has only looked to the perspective and experiences of Muslims. Although this is a valid endeavour in itself, it is one sided.

With regard to the first report and the current Dutch situation the following is important. However the report is subjective because it is based upon experiences of Muslims and, in my view a lot is taken to be signs of discrimination and Islamophobia, it is not necessarily important that these experiences are true. The report itself acknowledges this:

As an illustration, the Dutch study on migrants experiences of racism and xenophobia, conducted on behalf of the EUMC, reveals a relationship between the amount of
discrimination perceived by migrant groups and their integration in Dutch society
(expressed through their feeling of belonging to the Netherlands, their socialising
habits and opportunities). Those groups that feel most discriminated against, e.g.
Turks, Moroccans and Surinamese, are also the groups that seem to be least
integrated and/or most isolated in Dutch society. According to the survey, these same
groups also socialise less often with Dutch people, and display the strongest sense
of belonging to the country of origin of their parents. The study raises an interesting chicken and egg issue: Do higher rates of discrimination lead to a feeling of isolation and lack of integration, or does a lack of integration make migrants more vulnerable to discrimination?

It means that people base their actions upon these experiences; true or false does not matter. The chicken and egg debate is an important one but also a dangerous one. Blaming Muslims for discrimination because they are supposedly not well integrated, can lead to a legitimization and even naturalization of discrimination. When it is argued that Muslims cannot integrate because of their religion and it is therefore self evident that they are discriminated against, discrimination becomes a natural result of the proces of integration. It builds the essentialist construction of unbridgeable differences between us and them and renders institutional and other forms of racism invisible and unchallenged.

The second report is very interesting concerning feelings and experiences of islamophobia. Striking is that many of interviewees show how the Muslim community is struggling at the moment and how young people feel frustrated not only by non-Muslims but also by the slow changes in their own communities. Consider the next quotes:

Even among participants for whom religion is an important part of their identity
there is also a need to be seen as more than just Muslim: The main question is, if you are a Muslim or a non-Muslim. So, everything is focussed on being a Muslim. They don’t care if I am a teacher or a father or grandfather, if I have children. The first thing
, which is important to them, is the fact that I am a Muslim. So they want to know what kind of a Muslim I am. ˜Are you a liberal Muslim?Are you fundamentalist? (Male, Netherlands)

During the focus group interviews young Muslims were asked what they thought were the key issues facing young Muslims that mosques were not addressing. Among the issues identified were questions around everyday interactions and activities, relationships, and sexuality, crime and drugs. Young respondents from the Netherlands raised issues about relationships with Dutch people, at work or at school. “For example, when you are a working woman, it raises different questions about how to talk with men or how to behave around men and women and how to join in parties at work or dinner. If you ask them to a general imam – because in a traditional way the woman does not work – they don’t have the answers to that kind of question.” (Young male, Netherlands) “You have to come up with the answers yourself and go through many conflicts; external conflicts with the people around you, as well as internal conflicts.” “I think that the imams are not capable of giving the right answers, so they defend themselves by saying ‘No, according to our tradition and culture you should not even think about joining a dinner or a party or whatever’. But they don’t realise that when you don’t do this, that you are becoming a solo person, a single person who is not joining the group so you will never enter that group. (Young male, Netherlands)

This shows what I said in the beginning, the participation of Muslims in European societies is not only a matter of dealing with non-Muslims (and cases of discrimination and islamophobia) but also of intra-group issues. Things are certainly improving; mosques are opening up for young people but it goes very slow and every now and then they take one step forward and two steps back. It is necessary that the national umbrella organizations, local mosques speeden up the process and this should be supported by the state on a national and local level.

[PDF] MUSLIMS IN THE EUROPEAN UNION

File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat
Muslims in the European Union - Discrimination and Islamophobia. 7. Executive Summary. History and structure of the Report. A key finding of all EUMC work ...
eumc.europa.eu/eumc/material/pub/muslim/Manifestations_EN.pdf - Similar pages

Education

Poor levels of educational achievement are another factor in the discrimination faced by European Muslims. In several Member States where a notable part of the migrant population consists of Muslims (e.g. Denmark, Germany and France), migrants and descendants from third countries show lower educational completion rates and attain on average lower qualifications than the majority population. OECD PISA studies on migrant student performance show that non-native born pupils have much lower literacy scores than native pupils. Particularly in countries where the educational and socio-economic status of migrant families – many with Muslim background – is comparatively low, the performance gaps between students with and without migrant backgrounds tends to be larger. With regards to the provision of religious education, Member States follow different approaches. These include formal secular religious education; cross-curriculum teaching of Islam; separate Islamic teaching provided within or outside the state school context. Muslim communities also provide supplementary classes in Islamic religious instruction, but there is concern over the practice of inviting Imams from third countries without formal qualifications and little, if any, understanding of the local social and cultural context.

http://eumc.europa.eu/eumc/index.php?fuseaction=content.dsp_cat_content&catid=3fb38ad3e22bb&contentid=4582d9f4345ad

ECRI General Policy Recommendation N°8 on combating racism while fighting terrorism
ECRI Annual Report 2005
Islamophobia and its consequences on young people
(Council of Europe publication, .pdf format)

http://www.eycb.coe.int/eycbwwwroot/HRE/eng/documents/Islamophobia%20report/Islamophobia%20final%20ENG.pdf
Muslims in the European Union: Discrimination and Islamophobia
(EUMC report, .pdf format)

http://eumc.europa.eu/eumc/material/pub/muslim/Manifestations_EN.pdf
Perception of Discrimination and Islamophobia - voices from members of Muslim communities in the European Union
(EUMC report, .pdf format)

http://eumc.europa.eu/eumc/material/pub/muslim/Perceptions_EN.pdf

Muslims in the European Union Discrimination and Islamophobia AN EUMC Report

http://eumc.europa.eu/eumc/material/pub/muslim/Manifestations_EN.pdf

Highlights of EUMC Report “Muslims in the European Union ...

File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat
discrimination against Muslims and of Islamophobic incidents in the EU. ... The EUMC identifies Islamophobia and its manifestations on the basis of ...
fra.europa.eu/fra/material/pub/muslim/EUMC-highlights-EN.pdf - Similar pages - Note this

http://eumc.europa.eu/eumc/index.php?fuseaction=content.dsp_cat_content&catid=3fb38ad3e22bb&contentid=4582d9f4345ad

http://eumc.europa.eu/eumc/material/pub/muslim/Manifestations_EN.pdf

http://fra.europa.eu/fra/material/pub/muslim/EUMC-highlights-EN.pdf

Highlights of EUMC Report

“Muslims in the European Union: Discrimination and Islamophobia”

 

http://fra.europa.eu/fra/material/pub/muslim/EUMC-highlights-EN.pdf

http://eumc.europa.eu/eumc/index.php?fuseaction=content.dsp_cat_content&catid=3fb38ad3e22bb&contentid=4582d9f4345ad

"Muslims are discriminated against in Europe"

http://eumc.europa.eu/eumc/index.php?fuseaction=content.dsp_cat_content&catid=3fb38ad3e22bb&contentid=4582d9f4345ad

[22/01/07] European Muslims have met a more hostile social climate since 11 September 2001. The murder of a Dutch film director and the fatal bombings in Madrid and London have further exacerbated prejudices and fuelled more incidents of hostility and aggression. Islamophobia is a widespread phenomenon all over Europe, as findings by the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC) and the Council of Europe Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) demonstrate. These warning signals must be heard and effective political action taken.

Interview studies indicate a growing feeling of bitterness and alienation among Muslims in Europe. One woman in Austria, quoted by EUMC, said this:

“We face Islamophobia in daily life: small incidents, small things. For example, somebody jokes or comments with another, but in a very loud voice, so you have to listen, ‘Oh, somebody who wears a headscarf has no business in this country.’ Or somebody walks his dog and says ‘Fass!’, which means ‘Catch!’, to a Muslim. You try and not let these things get to you but some days they wear you down.”

Unfortunately, such harassment appears to be widespread. I have heard of similar tendencies during my missions in the past months. Non-governmental organisations have also reported more serious incidents of hate crimes targeting Muslims – ranging from verbal threats to physical attacks on persons or property.

Islamophobia is certainly not a new phenomenon in Europe. One indication lies in reports over several years of the difficulty Muslim communities experience in a number of cities in obtaining permission to build a mosque for themselves.

However, it is clear that the US-inspired “war on terror” has worsened the situation considerably for Muslims in Europe, as indicated by ECRI in its country monitoring reports. The global fight against terrorism has resulted in political discourse affected by racism and xenophobia, including anti-Muslim sentiment. In addition, police actions – including repeated ID controls and intrusive searches – have to a large extent been targeted at Muslims or people looking as if they originate from Arab or South Asian countries.

This, in turn, has been interpreted by some right-wing extremists as an encouragement to their xenophobic propaganda while, at the same time, Muslims have felt further victimised. This side-effect of the anti-terrorism policy needs to be corrected as a matter of priority.

The recent EUMC report focused on the situation in the member states of the European Union and tried to assess the more structural aspects of the discrimination. It concluded that many Muslims face unfair treatment in employment, education and housing in EU countries. Young Muslims in particular meet barriers to social advancement:

• Discrimination testing in the United Kingdom and France has shown that persons with Muslim names or originating from countries with a Muslim majority are much less likely to be invited for a job interview. The unemployment rate among Muslims in several EU countries is clearly higher than for people of other religions.

• Available statistics also indicate that Muslims are disadvantaged in the education system; achievements in school are poorer than for other groups. This may partly be caused by factors other than those related to religion – for instance, unemployment, poverty, language and immigration status – but clearly contributes to a vicious circle of social marginalisation.

Housing is another problem. Migrants, including those from predominantly Muslim countries, generally have poorer and more insecure living conditions than others. This, in turn, affects education and employment possibilities.

Tendencies towards discrimination also exist in some of the European countries outside the EU. I got a reminder of this myself when I visited a mosque in Kiev recently which had not been allowed to erect a minaret for the reason that people in the neighbourhood might react negatively. Also, negative sentiments in parts of Russia against Caucasian people appear to be a dangerous mix of ethnic and religious prejudices.

Manifestations of Islamophobia within European societies have taken the form of persisting prejudice, negative attitudes, discrimination and sometimes violence. ECRI has also regretted in its reports the inaccurate portrayal of Islam on the basis of hostile stereotyping, the effect of which is to make this religion seem like a threat.

Laws against discrimination as well as complaints procedures now exist in most countries. However, it is not always easy for individuals in minority groups to claim their rights in cases of discrimination. There is a need for support initiatives.

One such project is the co-operation in the United Kingdom between London’s Metropolitan Police Service and non-governmental groups, including the Forum against Islamophobia and Racism (FAIR). This initiative seeks to combat crimes against Muslims, to give assistance to victims and to enhance the capacity of the police to monitor Islamophobia.

In order to meet these prejudices on a broader front, education systems should offer more factual knowledge about Islam (and other religions). The importance of teaching about “other” religions has been stressed repeatedly during the seminars the Council of Europe organised with the participation of religious leaders.

One positive example is Luxembourg, where a special course is given to final year pupils on inter-faith dialogue and the human values of different religions. This is the spirit with which further efforts must be made to put an end to Islamophobia. - Thomas Hammarberg

Link:
ECRI General Policy Recommendation N°8 on combating racism while fighting terrorism
ECRI Annual Report 2005
Islamophobia and its consequences on young people
(Council of Europe publication, .pdf format)

http://www.eycb.coe.int/eycbwwwroot/HRE/eng/documents/Islamophobia%20report/Islamophobia%20final%20ENG.pdf
Muslims in the European Union: Discrimination and Islamophobia
(EUMC report, .pdf format)

http://eumc.europa.eu/eumc/material/pub/muslim/Manifestations_EN.pdf
Perception of Discrimination and Islamophobia - voices from members of Muslim communities in the European Union
(EUMC report, .pdf format)

http://eumc.europa.eu/eumc/material/pub/muslim/Perceptions_EN.pdf

Muslim chaplain claims discrimination at Manchester Airport

Muslim chaplain’s anger at airport ‘discrimination’

http://www.themuslimweekly.com/newsdetails/fullstoryview.aspx?NewsID=BDA4ED16AF356C190B681DC5&MENUID=HOMENEWS&DESCRIPTION=Archives

A Muslim Chaplain from Liverpool claims "discriminatory" interrogation is happening on a regular basis at Manchester Airport.

Adam Kelwick, from Wavertree, said he was stopped and questioned for two hours on arrival at the airport as he returned from a Middle Eastern business trip on Wednesday, the third time this has happened since the introduction of the Terrorism Act in 2006. He claims officials searched his lap top, phone, asked for his bank account pin number and put a string of questions to him.
The chaplain, who carries out charity work in the city to aid social cohesion, claims other friends and colleagues have complained about similar experiences.  He said: "Some people I know would rather tolerate the congestion of the airports in London, rather than put up with the unreasonable questioning and discrimination at Manchester.
"I was ordered to remove all my items from my baggage piece by piece and was then taken into a small room and asked questions like ‘what is your mother’s date of birth?’ and ‘what school did you go to?’.
"It has happened a few times before at the airport but never when travelling from Liverpool or London.
"It is ironic, I was travelling in traditional Muslim dress, but an international terrorist isn’t going to fly around the world with a beard and a gown on.
"It is discriminatory and unfair. The first time it happens you think ‘OK, this is helping to deal with terrorism’ so I don’t mind, but for it to happen on a regular basis is unnecessary."
During the interview, Mr Kelwick said he was treated with courtesy and professionalism, and he blames the issue on unjust laws, central Government’s misunderstanding of local Muslim communities and poor training of airport officials.
Mr Kelwick claims the interview ended when he was told he could leave, without any charge or further questioning. He claims that interrogation of this type is part of the reason young Muslims become radicalised. He added: "I am working hard in Liverpool to involve people more in community life, increase opportunities and break down barriers between people of different backgrounds.
"More government support is needed to combat extremists, rather than having airport officials picking on Muslims just for show". Greater Manchester Police were unavailable for comment.

AFP: Islamophobia began with end of Cold War, OSCE meeting hears

9 Oct 2007 ... The conference will turn its attention Wednesday to possible solutions to the problem of Islamophobia, chiefly in the areas of education and ...
afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5gAJozmM27m9lVJUjeE0ohdh3Iwug - Similar pages - Note this

http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5gAJozmM27m9lVJUjeE0ohdh3Iwug

Islamophobia began with end of Cold War, OSCE meeting hears

 

Amr Mussa (C) speaks to the press on Oct 9, 2007

CORDOBA, Spain (AFP) Oct 9, 2007 — Islamophobia gathered pace in the West with the end of the Cold War, long before the September 11, 2001 attacks against the US, participants at a two-day OSCE conference that began in Spain Tuesday said.

"After the end of the Cold War, certain people took Muslims and Islam to be the new scapegoat and enemy," Mustapha Cherif, an expert on Islam at the University of Algiers, told AFP on the sidelines of the gathering.

"But after the senseless act of September 11, this has been amplified," added Cherif, who is known for his commitment to battling religious hatred.

Delegations from the 56 nations that make up the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) are taking part in the conference in the southern Spanish city of Cordoba on the topic of intolerance toward Muslims.

Spain currently holds the rotating presidency of the OSCE, which promotes human rights, democracy and conflict prevention in Europe, North America and Central Asia.

Arab League Secretary-General Amr Mussa told the gathering that after the end of the Cold War, "conservative extremists in certain Western circles" needed to find a new enemy.

"We can't live in stability and security if some are perceived as first class citizens and others second class citizens. This has to disappear," he added.

Studies by the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia have found anti-Muslim behaviour and attitudes have risen since 2001, said Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos.

"Without a doubt, international terrorism has fueled this phenomena," added Moratinos who is chairing the gathering.

Muslims in Europe face discrimination when it comes to employment, education and housing, said Ioannis Dimitrakopoulos, the head of research and data collection at the Vienna-based European Fundamental Rights Agency.

"In the area of employment there is evidence that Muslims generally have a higher unemployment rate," he said.

For example in Ireland according to the 2002 census 11 percent of Muslims were unemployed compared to a national average of 4.0 percent, he said.

In Britain the unemployment rate for Muslims, for both men and women, is also higher than that for the general population, especially among those between the ages of 16 and 24, he added.

"In the area of education there is evidence that Muslim pupils tend to have a lower level of education achievement," Dimitrakopoulos added.

The conference will turn its attention Wednesday to possible solutions to the problem of Islamophobia, chiefly in the areas of education and the media.

"The conclusions which will be presented (on Wednesday) will include specific instruments, mechanisms for follow-up and especially a greater sensitization" of the phenomena, said Moratinos.

Cordoba was chosen as the host for the conference as the city, with its eighth century mosque, is a symbolic venue of centuries of coexistence in the Iberian peninsula between Christians, Jews and Muslims.

The city hosted a similar OSCE conference on anti-Semitism in 2005.

Islamophobia on the rise in the Netherlands - Expatica

A European human rights watchdog says Islamophobia is gaining ground in the Netherlands, with Muslim minorities facing increasing violence and ...
www.expatica.com/nl/life_in/feature/Islamophobia-on-the-rise-in-the-Netherlands.html - 70k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

Islamophobia on the rise in the Netherlands 13/02/2008

http://www.expatica.com/nl/life_in/feature/Islamophobia-on-the-rise-in-the-Netherlands.html

A European human rights watchdog says Islamophobia is gaining ground in the Netherlands, with Muslim minorities facing increasing violence and discrimination. A report released on Tuesday by the European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) not only says that Islamophobia has increased, but it also decries the tone of the debate about ethnic minorities in general within Dutch politics and media.

The report is not totally negative. The ECRI concedes that progress has been made in a number of the fields highlighted in its previous report in December 2000. The Netherlands has become party to several international instruments that are relevant to combating racism and racial discrimination. Work is underway for the establishment of a network of professional local anti-discrimination bureaus throughout the country.

Efforts have been intensified to record and counter discrimination within the criminal justice system. Independent research to monitor racism and racial discrimination nationwide has been commissioned and will be carried out regularly. Attention has also been given to the disadvantaged position of members of ethnic minorities on the labour market, and measures have been taken to tackle racial discrimination in access to places of entertainment.

The main criticisms:
But the ECRI says that a number of recommendations made in its December 2000 report have not been implemented, or have only been partially implemented. It says that, partly as a consequence of a number of national and international events, the tone of Dutch political and public debate around integration and other issues relevant to ethnic minorities has experienced a dramatic deterioration since that report, resulting in a “worrying polarisation between majority and minority communities”. Targeting the ethnic minority population only, the integration policies adopted since ECRI's last report have not reflected an idea of integration as a two-way process. Anti-Semitic, Islamophobic and other racist materials on the Internet have continued to increase.
Recommendations
In this report, ECRI recommends that the Dutch authorities take further action in a number of areas. It recommends in particular that they should:

  • take the lead in promoting a public debate on integration and other issues relevant to ethnic minorities that avoids polarisation, antagonism, and hostility among communities;
  • take steps to counter the use of racist and xenophobic discourse in politics;
  • oppose publicly and vigorously all manifestations of Islamophobia;
  • review a number of policies in the light of the prohibition of direct and indirect racial discrimination.

"Accurate report"

Wasif Shadid, Professor of Intercultural Communication at Tilburg University here in the Netherlands, told Newsline's Dave McGuire that the ECRI report is an accurate reflection of what's happening:

"It's true what is said in the report. The debate about integration is a cacophony. It's not dealing with relevant aspects, and they are only shouting and looking for failure of integration by the minorities themselves, and not by society at large."

The report criticises the Freedom Party and its leader Geert Wilders for saying extreme things, but it also criticises the mainstream parties for not reacting and countering it with another point of view. Professor Shadid agrees:
"Yes, this is the problem, that it is tolerated and other political parties in the country are working with him [Wilders] instead of boycotting him as an extreme right political party".

"Romantic idea"

But Professor Shadid believes that the ECRI's suggestion that integration should be a two-wayprocess in the Netherlands is too idealistic:

"This is an old idea, which means that the migrant has to adjust to Dutch society, and Dutch society has to adjust to the cultures of the minorities. But in fact, this is more a romantic idea than a reality. We know from our research that in reality integration is a one-way process."
Professor Shadid believes there's just far too much discussion of Islam in the Dutch press and even in parliament: "Everything in Islam is criminalised the last ten years. Everything concerning Islam is discussed daily in the newspapers and in the parliament. 150 MP's are spending days discussing banning the burka, which is worn by a maximum of 50 persons of Islamic background."
Wider problem of racism
The report says anti-Semitism is also on the rise in the Netherlands, and cites the increasing use of the word Jew as an insult. Professor Shadid feels that this demonstrates there's a wider problem of racism, not just in the Netherlands but all over Europe:

"I think the whole matter of Islamophobia or anti-Islam feelings in Europe in general, is a cover for racism in general...it is directed towards all foreigners in the country, and all other ideologies - Islam, Judaism and Hinduism. It is a fiction to think that those extreme right parties only direct their negative attitudes towards Islam and Muslims."

"Muslims are discriminated against in Europe"

http://www.coe.int/t/commissioner/Viewpoints/070122_en.asp

[22/01/07] European Muslims have met a more hostile social climate since 11 September 2001. The murder of a Dutch film director and the fatal bombings in Madrid and London have further exacerbated prejudices and fuelled more incidents of hostility and aggression. Islamophobia is a widespread phenomenon all over Europe, as findings by the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC) and the Council of Europe Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) demonstrate. These warning signals must be heard and effective political action taken.

Interview studies indicate a growing feeling of bitterness and alienation among Muslims in Europe. One woman in Austria, quoted by EUMC, said this:

“We face Islamophobia in daily life: small incidents, small things. For example, somebody jokes or comments with another, but in a very loud voice, so you have to listen, ‘Oh, somebody who wears a headscarf has no business in this country.’ Or somebody walks his dog and says ‘Fass!’, which means ‘Catch!’, to a Muslim. You try and not let these things get to you but some days they wear you down.”

Unfortunately, such harassment appears to be widespread. I have heard of similar tendencies during my missions in the past months. Non-governmental organisations have also reported more serious incidents of hate crimes targeting Muslims – ranging from verbal threats to physical attacks on persons or property.

Islamophobia is certainly not a new phenomenon in Europe. One indication lies in reports over several years of the difficulty Muslim communities experience in a number of cities in obtaining permission to build a mosque for themselves.

However, it is clear that the US-inspired “war on terror” has worsened the situation considerably for Muslims in Europe, as indicated by ECRI in its country monitoring reports. The global fight against terrorism has resulted in political discourse affected by racism and xenophobia, including anti-Muslim sentiment. In addition, police actions – including repeated ID controls and intrusive searches – have to a large extent been targeted at Muslims or people looking as if they originate from Arab or South Asian countries.

This, in turn, has been interpreted by some right-wing extremists as an encouragement to their xenophobic propaganda while, at the same time, Muslims have felt further victimised. This side-effect of the anti-terrorism policy needs to be corrected as a matter of priority.

The recent EUMC report focused on the situation in the member states of the European Union and tried to assess the more structural aspects of the discrimination. It concluded that many Muslims face unfair treatment in employment, education and housing in EU countries. Young Muslims in particular meet barriers to social advancement:

• Discrimination testing in the United Kingdom and France has shown that persons with Muslim names or originating from countries with a Muslim majority are much less likely to be invited for a job interview. The unemployment rate among Muslims in several EU countries is clearly higher than for people of other religions.

• Available statistics also indicate that Muslims are disadvantaged in the education system; achievements in school are poorer than for other groups. This may partly be caused by factors other than those related to religion – for instance, unemployment, poverty, language and immigration status – but clearly contributes to a vicious circle of social marginalisation.

Housing is another problem. Migrants, including those from predominantly Muslim countries, generally have poorer and more insecure living conditions than others. This, in turn, affects education and employment possibilities.

Tendencies towards discrimination also exist in some of the European countries outside the EU. I got a reminder of this myself when I visited a mosque in Kiev recently which had not been allowed to erect a minaret for the reason that people in the neighbourhood might react negatively. Also, negative sentiments in parts of Russia against Caucasian people appear to be a dangerous mix of ethnic and religious prejudices.

Manifestations of Islamophobia within European societies have taken the form of persisting prejudice, negative attitudes, discrimination and sometimes violence. ECRI has also regretted in its reports the inaccurate portrayal of Islam on the basis of hostile stereotyping, the effect of which is to make this religion seem like a threat.

Laws against discrimination as well as complaints procedures now exist in most countries. However, it is not always easy for individuals in minority groups to claim their rights in cases of discrimination. There is a need for support initiatives.

One such project is the co-operation in the United Kingdom between London’s Metropolitan Police Service and non-governmental groups, including the Forum against Islamophobia and Racism (FAIR). This initiative seeks to combat crimes against Muslims, to give assistance to victims and to enhance the capacity of the police to monitor Islamophobia.

In order to meet these prejudices on a broader front, education systems should offer more factual knowledge about Islam (and other religions). The importance of teaching about “other” religions has been stressed repeatedly during the seminars the Council of Europe organised with the participation of religious leaders.

One positive example is Luxembourg, where a special course is given to final year pupils on inter-faith dialogue and the human values of different religions. This is the spirit with which further efforts must be made to put an end to Islamophobia. - Thomas Hammarberg

Hate against Muslims

Tuesday January 11, 2005 The Guardian

http://www.guardian.co.uk/letters/story/0,,1387271,00.html

Kenan Malik (What Hate? G2, January 7) makes the not uncommon mistake of equating Islam with race. They are not the same. A recent Open Society Institute report found that "Muslims in the UK are more likely to face discrimination based on religion rather than race". The BNP has in recent years switched its strategy for fear of being prosecuted under our incitement to race hate laws from targeting racial groupings to explicitly targeting British Muslims as a faith group. Malik omitted any mention of the riots of 2001 and the key role the BNP's Muslim-baiting played in them, and his C4 documentary criticises the government's proposals to close this loophole in our legislation and prohibit incitement to religious hatred.

Islamophobia is not confined to the far right. Last summer, the BBC conducted a survey in which fictitious applications were made for jobs using applicants with the same qualifications and work experience, but different names. A quarter of the applications by the candidates with traditionally English sounding names were successful in securing an interview, but only 9% of applicants with Muslim names. The mainstream media have also played a key role in

fomenting this prejudice against Muslims. Islamophobia is a myth only if you choose to look the other way. Inayat Bunglawala Muslim Council of Britain

'Flames of hate' correction, by Inayat Bunglawala

The Editor Evening Standard

21st May 2005 Dear Sir,

http://www.mcb.org.uk/letter101.html

Your provocative front page story “Flames of Hate” (Evening Standard, 20th May 2005) incorrectly stated that the demonstration last Friday outside the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square was organised by the Muslim Council of Britain. We hope you will correct this at the earliest opportunity and give the correction a similarly high profile placing as your original story.

The Muslim Council of Britain has since received numerous hate messages via email from people who have evidently misled by the Evening Standard story. There are also some incendiary internet discussions going on about the MCB which were kicked off by your inaccurate story. See the following link as an example: http://www.pardonmyenglish.com/archives/2005/05/the_irrational.html

We, once again, urge the Evening Standard to take extra care when reporting such incidents and ensure that they do not serve to demonise the mainstream Muslim community.

The Muslim Council of Britain shall be raising this incident with the Commission for Racial Equality and the Mayor of London to discuss the implications of the Evening Standard's often sensationalist coverage of Muslim affairs for community relations in London.

Yours faithfully,

Inayat Bunglawala, Secretary, Media Committee, The Muslim Council of Britain

Boardman House, 64 Broadway, Stratford, London E15 1NT

http://www.mcb.org.uk/letter103.html#sample

MCB letter to London Mayor Ken Livingstone

http://www.mcb.org.uk/letter103.html

Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London, Greater London Authority, City Hall, The Queen's Walk London SE1 2AA

Dear Mayor,

The Muslim Council of Britain has for some time now been seriously concerned by the often provocative and sensationalist style of reporting of Muslim affairs in the London paper, Evening Standard, and, more importantly, the effect their reporting is having on community relations in our capital city and in shaping attitudes towards Islam and British Muslims.

On Friday 20th May 2005, in its final edition, the Evening Standard ran an incendiary front-page story 'Flames of Hate' about a demonstration outside the US Embassy that day in Grosvenor Square in protest at the reported desecration of the Holy Qur'an by US soldiers in Guantanamo Bay. The story was accompanied by a large photograph of some youths - presumably Muslim - burning the US flag. We understand that the peaceful demonstration was apparently hijacked some hooligan-type elements who proceeded to chant offensively violent slogans and burn the US flag and an effigy of the US President George Bush. The Evening Standard story - written by Luke David - incorrectly stated on its front page that the demonstration was organised by the Muslim Council of Britain. This was categorically not the case. In addition, the story gave the readers of the Evening Standard no indication at all as to how many people were involved in demonstration and made no effort whatsoever to make any distinction between the rabble-rousing elements and the mainstream Muslim community who were understandably deeply hurt by the reports about the desecration of the Holy Qur'an by US soldiers. The Evening Standard apparently also made no attempt to contact representative Muslim organisations and incorporate their quotes criticising the offensive sloganeering and flag-burning in order to help add some balance to their story. In any case, we are quite disturbed that the Evening Standard printed this minor (and quite inaccurate) story on its front-page - where it could be guaranteed to help stir yet more anti-Muslim reaction.

The Muslim Council of Britain has since received numerous threatening and hate messages via email and telephone from people who have evidently read the misleading and, we believe, inciteful Evening Standard story. We enclose a sample of the emails we have received at the end of this letter.

As you know, there is already a very unhealthy anti-Muslim climate in this country spurred on by irresponsible reporting in some sections of the media as well as by far right elements. We sent the attached letter of correction to the Evening Standard on early on Sunday afternoon urging them to print a swift and prominent correction. Regrettably, the Evening Standard did not publish it until Thursday 26th May 2005 and even then it was a very small item on their letters page - it certainly could not be

compared with the effect that its front page story would have had on the Standard's readers.

Since the Evening Standard story was published, other anti-Muslim individuals and groups have repeated the incorrect allegation that the MCB organised the demonstration outside the US Embassy on Friday 20th May. For an example see the following from the official website of Melanie Phillips, the well-known right-wing columnist and Islamophobe:

http://www.melaniephillips.com/diary/archives/001222.html

"Two further points stand out. Taking part in this display of treasonous incitement were people who had been detained in Guantanamo and are now at large. And among the organisers of this revealing hate-fest were the Muslim Council of Britain and the Muslim Parliamentary Association of the UK -- organisations which we are told represent 'moderation' and, in the case of the MCB at least, vilifies anyone who dares talk about 'Islamist violence'. Now we can see what this actually means -- and how the police, government and prosecuting authorities have decided to respond to this declaration of war on our society by looking the other way."

We urge you, as the Mayor of London, to take this matter up with urgency to help ensure that community relations are not harmed by this kind of confrontational reporting. You have an admirable record of working for better relations between the many different communities that make up our capital city and we hope you will help us to ensure that no one is allowed to endanger the harmony we enjoy in London.

For your information the Muslim Council of Britain shall also be raising this matter with the police, the Press Complaints Commission and the Commission for Racial Equality.

Yours sincerely,

Inayat Bunglawala, Secretary, Media Committee, The Muslim Council of Britain

Boardman House, 64 Broadway, Stratford, London E15 1NT

http://www.mcb.org.uk/letter103.html#sample

May 20, 2005

Moderate Muslims: A Figment of Your Imagination

http://www.pardonmyenglish.com/archives/2005/05/the_irrational.html

Outside the Unites States Embassy in London today a protest rally organized by the supposedly moderate Muslim Council for Britain and the Muslim Parliamentary Association of the UK featured chants of, "kill George Bush" and "George Bush you will pay with your blood - you will pay with your head."

This is London.com reports that the crowd burned an effigy of Tony Blair on a crucifix and then set fire to the Union Jack and Stars and Stripes flags.

One wonders if some of the pathetic apologists for Muslim / Islamic terrorists and terror who frequent the comments section of this site would care to enlighten us once again about how "moderate Muslims" would never condone this sort of depraved behaviour.

Once again, it is quite clear that these supposed "moderate Muslims" are exceedingly few and far between. In fact, I would suggest that one is more likely to discover Santa Claus riding a unicorn through a magical forest in Israel with flowing streams of milk and honey before a real live "moderate Muslim" could ever be found.

It would really be nice to see these reprobates come to New York City and try to stage a "hate rally" like this. They would find out very quickly why the NYPD is called New York's Finest. "Hate Rallies" like the aforementioned are tolerated in some European countries because these vile miscreants know there will be no sanction levied against them. They smell weakness like a mouse smells cheese.

How nice. Once again, would someone please explain the reason we do anything for these wonderful people.

Let us wait patiently for the "moderate Muslims" to step up and condemn this despicable display. This, just as they did in condemning the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Oh wait, they never did. My mistake.

Led by a man on a megaphone, they chanted, "USA watch your back, Osama is

coming back" and "Kill, kill USA, kill, kill George Bush". A small detail of police

watched as they shouted: "Bomb, bomb New York" and "George Bush, you will pay,

with your blood, with your head."

Demonstrators in Grosvenor Square, some with their faces covered with scarves,

waved placards which included the message: "Desecrate today and see another 9/11

tomorrow."

One of the protesters called for the release of radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza. He

shouted: "Your so-called democracy will fall under the sword of Allah. The day of

judgment is coming."

The demonstration coincided with protests across the world. On the West Bank 2,500

Palestinians streamed out of mosques shouting "Death to America". In Calcutta, India,

protesters burned, spat and urinated on the US flag. And in Somalia thousands

chanted anti-US slogans.

As Voltaire wrote; Fanaticism is to superstition what delirium is to fever and rage to anger....the man who supports his madness with murder is a fanatic....Once fanaticism has corrupted a mind, the malady is almost incurable....I have seen some whose eyes got inflamed, their limbs trembled, madness disfigured their faces and they would have killed anyone who contradicted them....Even the law is impotent against these attacks of rage; it is like reading a court decree to a raving maniac....They are certain that the spirit with which they are filled is above the law, that their enthusiasm is the only law they must obey....What can we say to a man who tells you that he would rather obey God than men, and that he is sure to go to heaven for butchering you?

Indeed, what can one say?

Posted by William at May 20, 2005 07:15 PM Moderate Muslims: A Figment of Your Imagination:

OK it’s absurdly late here so I’ll make this short.

The event was organised by the Muslim Council of Britain, but that doesn’t mean the approved of everyone who turned up. Some people turn up and hijack a demonstration sometimes – fact of life. If the BNP (our local racists) go to Euro Disney and start shouting racist comments this doesn’t mean Disney is a British racist organisation.

I’ve done a very quick look around the web and the only people I could find describing the MCB as moderate were other right wing American blog sites. It was a very quick look around so I hope someone else can find a source for this which knows this organisation a little better.

As I say it was a very quick look but I did go to the MCB website you can find it here. If you have a look at the library section and check out the entry under Tue 11 Sep 2001 you will find this statement by the MCB.

Comments

MCB expresses total condemnation of terrorist attacks

The MCB stands shoulder to shoulder with remarks made by our Prime Minister Tony

Blair. Our thoughts and prayers are with all the innocent victims, their families and

communities.

We convey our deepest sympathies to President Bush and the people of America. No

cause can justify this carnage. We hope those responsible will swiftly be brought to

justice for their unconscionable deeds.

As the British Muslims come to the full realisation of these most awful events, which

they condemn wholeheartedly, they too are beginning to feel a huge sense of fear.

Terror makes victims of us all, it is beyond reason. Terror on this scale must not be

compounded by knee-jerk reactions that would make victims of other innocent

peoples of the world. This would only add to the devastation caused.

o when you say Let us wait patiently for the "moderate Muslims" to step up and condemn this despicable display. This, just as they did in condemning the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Oh wait, they never did. My mistake.

Your mistake was to not bother doing even minimal research. I found this within 10 minutes of reading this post. I don’t know if the MCB is moderate or not, but if they aren’t moderate then even the extremists were condemning 9/11 on this occasion.

Oh and a week later you’ll find this in the library

Posted by wandering_brit     at May 20, 2005 10:51 PM

The MCB did not organise the event, it was mistakenly named as an organiser by the Evening Standard who are to issue a retraction.

Posted by MCB Media Officer at May 23, 2005 09:35 AM

Actually this protest was not organised by the MCB as you have incorrectly stated, the protest was organised by a legitimate Muslim group but was hijacked by a miniscule vocal group who have clashed with the majority Muslim community in the UK especially over the recent elections, so there is an important distinction. I also disagree with your reference to 'moderate Muslims' im afraid in Islam there is no such thing either you are a Muslim or your not you cant pick and choose we believe the Holy Qur’an is the literal word of God, and if you are a Muslim you must accept it all, but Islam also warns us against extremism. In the UK Muslims account for 3% of the population yet more Muslims attend Friday prayer than do Christians on Sunday, you have changed your bible beyond recognition unlike the Holy Qur’an which is in its original state, we do not compromise the word of God unlike you who chop and change to suit mans desires and lusts. In Islam it is forbidden to harm the holy scriptures of other religions simply because we believe some aspects to be true e.g. the story of the lives of the prophets Moses, Josep, Abraham, etc, etc. We respect your books but you do not respect ours which we will not tolerate. Muslims do not hate Americans but we are against your double standards in international affairs e.g. supporting tyrants in the Middle East and illegal occupations in Israel, your governments hatred for Islam and Muslims is unfortunate. However you must be aware that you cannot do anything about it we fear no one we fear nothing except God. If you can understand that one man with nothing except faith who lives in a cave can bring you (so called super power) to your knees then you will understand the power of

On 18th September a delegation of British Muslim community leaders met the US

Ambassador William S. Farish to express their horror and sympathy for the innocent

victims of last week's terrorist outrages in New York and Washington. -

British Muslim Leaders Visit US Embassy -

"No cause can justify this carnage. We hope those responsible will swiftly be brought

to justice for their unconscionable deeds. As British Muslims come to the full

realisation of these most awful events, which they condemn wholeheartedly, they too

are beginning to feel a huge sense of fear. Terror makes victims of us all, it is beyond

reason," said MCB Secretary-General, Mr Yousuf Bhailok.

the word of God which is the Holy Qur’an, which millions of Muslims all over the world memorise by heart who are known as Hafez al-Qur’an. It is the most read holy scripture in the world it is read everyday five times a day in every corner of the world. Respect our scriptures like we respect yours, we want justice and equality in the world and we want to live in peace, but you want Empires and Crusades.

As for your NYPD "New Yorks so called finest" where where they on 9/11?

Posted by UK Muslim at May 21, 2005 11:29 AM

I live in the West due to the same reason that Western governments are raping and pillaging and propping up dictators and preventing the spread of democracy and freedom, Economics. The only difference is, is that we pay our taxes employ people in businesses contribute to society to improve our communities. I’ll do you a deal if you give the land back to the native Indian tribes I will think about going back to the land of my grand parents who were invited to come to the UK. There are many good people in the West who fight injustice with us just look at the people of Britain millions of us marched together for justice as someone who went to a Catholic school I have great respect for people of the book not everyone in the West is evil, by the way many of the Brits on these various marches like to buy and wear OBL & Mullah T-Shirts he’s more popular then the fool in the White House.

You should listen to your new MP for Bethnal Green he shares similar views so do the thousands of Muslims who voted for him and ousted the pro-Zionist Oona King just listen to their speeches and interviews. There is only one Islam the basics are all the same and the fundamentals cannot be cherry picked therefore there is no such thing as moderates. I am not just dismissing Hindus; I am talking about actual facts which “Indian background” can deny until the cows come home (sorry no pun intended)

Female Baby Killers http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4173597.stm Urine Drinkers http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_1383293.html

Sati Urban Legend? Medieval Period BULL!!! http://www.navhindtimes.com/stories.php?part=news&Story_ID=05205 http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/004200505131651.htm

War Like World War I & II, Use of Atomic Bombs, Imperialism well you know all the rest!

US Army rapists http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,3604,1335105,00.html http://alternet.org/story/18481/

If you don’t respect my thoughts fine but you should know the facts! I suggest you go and speak to the people of Bethnal Green again. We as in the global community, of the Ummah.

Lies forbidden in Islam http://www.islamonline.net/fatwa/english/FatwaDisplay.asp?hFatwaID=86538

As for lying the Western leaders have lied so much in the past few years they have begun to believe their own lies that is sad. (please read the links)

Posted by UKMuslim at May 23, 2005 08:53 AM

Are Muslims new Jews of the current century?

“Muslims are the new Jews” says London Times - Opinion – by India Knight

Sunday Times London 15 Oct 2006   http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,24390-2404281,00.html

India Knight

Very little makes sense in this business about Jack Straw, Muslim women and veils. Aishah Azmi, a teaching assistant from Dewsbury, Yorks, was last week suspended for refusing to take her veil off in class - she was allowed to wear it everywhere else at school, but, rightly to my mind, was told by her local education authority that her pupils, who are mostly learning English as a second language, needed to see her mouth when she taught. This seems entirely sensible.

The rest of the whole sorry 'debate' is anything but.

The white, male former foreign secretary said the veil was a “visible statement of separation and of difference”, and that he asks women who visit his surgery to remove it. And nuns? Does he demand to see their hair, too? It’s open season on Islam — Muslims are the new Jews. And the idea that Straw’s divisive statement should not only be tolerated but adopted on all sides, as it has been with a kind of bullying relish, troubles me.

Especially since 7 July 2005, it has become acceptable to say the most ignorant, degrading things about Islam. And then we all sit around wondering why young Muslim men appear to be getting angrier and more politicised, or why “westernised” young Muslim women whose mothers go bare-headed are suddenly, defiantly, opting for the full-on niqab-style veil that leaves only a slit for the eyes.

I am particularly irked by ancient old “feminists” wheeling out themselves and their 30-years-out-of-date opinions to reiterate the old chestnut that Islam, by its nature, oppresses women (unlike the Bible, eh,?) and that the veil compounds the blanket oppression.

In their view all Muslim women are crushed because they can’t wear visible lipstick or flash their thongs. Does it occur to these idiots that not necessarily everyone swoons with admiration at the fact that they have won the freedom to dress like 55-year-old slappers?

That perhaps there exist large sections of our democratic society, veiled or otherwise, who have every right to their modesty, just as their detractors have every right to wear push-up bras?

But I’ll get to that in a minute. I should start by saying that my mother was born in Pakistan of a Hindu mother and a Muslim father. She was convent-educated and went on to marry two Catholics (not at the same time). I therefore — unlike some “offended” Wasp commentators — know what I’m talking about, a) because of my endless “aunties”, and b) through spending much of my childhood in India and Pakistan. Given the mish-mash of my ancestry, religious bigotry brings me out in hives. And what we are witnessing is religious bigotry of the most shameful kind. The words used in the context of the veil debate — “strange”, “spooky”, “weird”, “offensive”, “creepy”, “wrong”, “evil-looking”, “sinister” — are not words a civilised society should use about other human beings.

People are made uncomfortable by all sorts of things: I find shaven-headed, tattooed men unpleasant, especially if they’re drunk. I’m not mad keen on hooded gangs of youths at three in the morning. Facial piercings hurt my eyes.

My former husband and I once went to look at a house we were thinking of buying in a Jewish Orthodox bit of London. As it happened we were the only non-Orthodox people on that bit of pavement that morning. I noticed a group of Hassidim were walking around us in a peculiar way. “They’re avoiding our shadows,” the estate agent said, “because we’re unclean.” I didn’t think much of that, either.

But we all need to coexist peaceably. The fact that I find the man in Camden market with bolts through his face, or the Orthodox woman dressed in a drab sack and wearing a bad wig, as “weird” — weirder, actually — than a woman dressed in black with only her eyes showing is neither here nor there.

I don’t expect they think much of me, either. But I would have to be deranged, or consumed with hatred, to attribute random demerits to them on the basis of their physical appearance. A lot of people are made uncomfortable by disability, for instance — but because they live in a civilised society they don’t say it.

Imagine if Straw had said, “There are an awful lot of autistic people in my constituency. I tell them to look me right in the eye, otherwise I can’t help them.” Would there not be an outcry? I’m sorry to equate Islam with disability, but I am doing so because an observant person’s religion is as integral a part of them as their genetic make-up.

Oppressed women are everywhere: there’s probably one living in your street. She may be a Muslim wearing a veil, or a white woman whose husband beats her. She may be covered from head to toe, dressed like a librarian, or fond of micro-skirts. She may be your mother or your sister. She may be you — regardless of how you dress, what you believe or where you come from. And that is the point. Unhappy, abused people come in all colours, shapes and sizes. It is absurd to suddenly, appoint ourselves moral arbiters, and decree, very loudly, that a piece of fabric is an indicator of an unhappy, down-trodden life.

Happy people come in all formats too. The concept of the men hanging out together while the women “work” in the kitchen may seem peculiar to a non-Muslim — though not that peculiar, given that a less formalised version of the same thing happens whenever you have friends round — but I’ve been to many memorable, jolly parties where gangs of Muslim women ate, gossiped and laughed together without seeming overwhelmingly oppressed, or indeed, oppressed at all.

My experience of Muslim life is not that it is the patriarchal nightmare of legend, but that women are powerful, vocal and iron-fisted beneath their velvet gloves. This is a subjective viewpoint: I am not claiming that every Muslim woman in the world is gloriously carefree. They aren’t (who is?), and I am particularly offended by Straw’s comments because the women Straw described are by and large first-generation immigrants — ie, poor working-class women trying to get on with their lives.

I wonder why none of the army of instant experts has pointed out that, by and large, middle and upper middle-class Muslim women do not veil themselves unless they have the misfortune to live in a country that insists on it.

So Straw and his acolytes — the self-appointed sisterhood among them — are picking on the women who are most voiceless and least able to defend themselves. They should be ashamed.

EVER WONDER WHY?

 

 

 

Why a Jew can grow his beard in order to practice his faith

 

But when Muslim does the same, he is an extremist and terrorist!

 

 

 

Why a nun can be covered from head to toe in order to devote herself to God

 

But when Muslimah does the same she is considered oppressed

 

 

 

When a western women stays at home to look after her house and kids she is respected because of sacrificing herself and doing good for the household?

 

But when a Muslim woman does so by her will, they say, "she needs to be liberated"!

 

 

 

Any girl can go to university wearing what she wills and have her rights and freedom?

 

But when Muslimah wears a Hijab they prevent her from entering her university!

 

 

 

When a child dedicates himself to a subject he has potentials.

 

But when he dedicates himself to Islam he is considered hopeless!

 

 

 

When a Christian or a Jew kills someone his religion is not mentioned, but when Muslim is charged with a crime, it is Islam that goes to trial!

 

 

 

When someone sacrfices himself to keep others alive, he is noble and all respect him.

 

But when a Palestinian does that to save his son from being killed, his brother's arm being broken, his mother being raped, his home being destroyed, and his mosque being violated -- He gets the title of a terrorist! Why? Because he is a Muslim!

 

 

 

Whenever there is a trouble we try to find and solution to it and generally accept any solution?

 

But if the solution lies in Islam, we refuse to take a look at it.

 

 

 

When someone else drives a car in a bad way no one blames him.

 

But when any Muslim makes the same mistake - people say "Islam is the reason"!

 

 

 

Without looking to the traditions of Islam, people believe what the newspapers say.  But question is what the Quran says!

 

 

UK Census 2011 Numbers of Muslims

Over 240,000 people highlighted an 'other religion' on their census form. How many spiritualists, Jedi Knights or wiccans are there? It turns out the number of Jedi has more than halved over the last decade, with 176,632 in the latest figures, down from 390,000 in 2001. Get the full breakdown by scrolling down the page
• Download and explore the data

http://www.muslimnews.co.uk/paper/index.php?article=6082

 

England and Wales Muslim population has almost doubled in a decade, according to official 2011 Census data released on December 11.

 

The number of respondents who identify themselves as Muslim has grown from 1.55 million to 2.7 million (or 4.8% of the population), an increase of 1.15 million from 2001 to 2011.

In the last decade there have been significant increases in the Muslim populations in Manchester (over 100,000), Birmingham (plus 96,000), Bradford (plus 55,000) and most of the inner London boroughs, notably Newham (plus 64,000), Tower Hamlets (plus 58,000) and Haringey (plus 52,000).

Tower Hamlets remains the local authority district with the greatest proportion of Muslims - 34.5%; in 2001 this percentage was 36.4, possibly an indication of outwards migration.

In contrast the number of Britons identifying themselves, however loosely, as Christians is down 13 percentage points to 59 per cent, the number of Christians fell from 37.3 million to 33.2 million.

Religion is declining, those identifying themselves as having no religion has increased by 10 percentage points from 15%, 7.7 million people, in 2001, to 25%, 14.1 million, last year.

For the first time in history, the proportion of “White British” people living in the capital has fallen below one in two.

London is incredibly ethnically diverse, with four London boroughs, Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster, Brent and Newham - having majority populations of people who have been born overseas, while 37% of Londoners overall were born outside the UK.

Only 45 per cent of Londoners now say they are White British, down from 58 per cent at the last Census in 2001. More than one in three people in London are now foreign-born - and a quarter hold a non-UK passport.

The total population of England and Wales rose by 3.7 million since 2001 to 56.1 million.

 

Religious Grouping

2011

2011 % of population

2001

2001 % of population

# increase

% increase

Baha'i

5,021

0.0090%

4,645

0.0089%

376

7.49%

Buddhist

247,743

0.442%

144,455

0.278%

103,288

41.69%

Christian

33,243,175

59.28%

37,338,458

71.75%

-4,095,283

-12.32%

Hindu

816,633

1.46%

552,241

1.06%

264,392

32.38%

Jain

20,288

0.036%

15,132

0.029%

5,156

25.41%

Jewish

263,346

0.470%

259,927

0.499%

3,419

1.30%

Muslim (Islam)

2,706,066

4.83%

1,546,626

2.97%

1,159,440

42.85%

No religion

14,097,229

25.14%

7,718,169

14.83%

6,379,060

45.25%

Other

211,116

0.376%

127,205

0.244%

83,911

39.75%

Sikh

423,158

0.755%

329,358

0.633%

93,800

22.17%

Zoroastrian

4,105

0.0073%

3,738

0.0072%

367

8.94%

No response

4,038,032

7.20%

4,010,658

7.71%

27,374

0.68%

 

 

 

1.             2011 Census data on religion and belief

 

1.1         On 11 December the Office of National Statistics (ONS) released the second of five sets of data from the 2011 Census, including data on religion in England and Wales. The data was gathered by a voluntary question “What is your religion” in the same format as the 2001 question. This means that the two sets of data (2001 and 2011) are directly comparable, although there are many circumstantial factors affecting the statistics, such as an increased rate of self-identifying with various groups.

 

1.2         Key points in the data on religion include a decrease in the number of people identifying as ‘Christian’ from 37.3 million to 33.2 million, representing a 12.3% drop in real terms and a drop from 72% to 59% of Census respondents. All other groups in this category have registered a growth in numbers of people identifying with them.  The Muslim population increased from 1.5 million to 2.7 million, an increase of 42.85%, making up 5% of Census respondents, increasing from 3% in 2001. Those who identified as non-religious increased from 7.7 million to 14 million - an increase of 45.25% in real terms and an increase from 15% to 25% of Census respondents.

 

1.3         The data on religion are set out in the table below.  The figures given are for England and Wales and have next to them the percentage of total respondents in those countries. The 2001 figures and respondent percentages have been included for comparison as well as the numerical and percentage increase/decrease between the two sets of figures.

 

On 14 December 2012 04:16, Serena Hussain <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> wrote:

 

These are exciting times for Census geeks like me. For anyone interested in a comprehensive study on the 2011 Census data on religion, I will be conducting a follow up to my 2001 Census study - Muslims on the Map: A National Survey of Social Trends in Britain (published by IB Tauris). 
 
I have already started to map the change of Muslims and other faith groups in the UK.  Other than telling us that the numbers have increased (this is no revelation - Muslims had the youngest demographic profile of all groups in 2001, and the highest proportion of dependent children - accounting for the increase in the most part) as more Census output is released it will be possible to examine changes in the characteristics of groups, such as family formation but also prison figures and those in care homes, the increase in the proportion of Muslim women in full time paid employment, whether groups have become more upwardly mobile in terms of the neighbourhoods they move to when they change address, or the kinds of industries they now work in, for example. 
 
The final release phase for the data is planned to take place between July and October 2013. 
 
Best wishes,
 
Serena

Dr Serena Hussain

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. http://www.geog.ox.ac.uk/staff/shussain.html

Dr Serena Hussain Senior Visiting Research Associate University of Oxford
South Parks Road, Oxford, UK


Member of the Transformations: Economy, Society and Place research cluster Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.,

Religion in England and Wales 2011 Key points

Despite falling numbers Christianity remains the largest religion in England and Wales in 2011. Muslims are the next biggest religious group and have grown in the last decade. Meanwhile the proportion of the population who reported they have no religion has now reached a quarter of the population.

In the 2011 Census, Christianity was the largest religion, with 33.2 million people (59.3 per cent of the population). The second largest religious group were Muslims with 2.7 million people (4.8 per cent of the population).

14.1 million people, around a quarter of the population in England and Wales, reported they have no religion in 2011.

The religion question was the only voluntary question on the 2011 census and 7.2 per cent of people did not answer the question.

Between 2001 and 2011  there has been a decrease in people who identify as Christian (from 71.7 per cent to 59.3 per cent) and an increase in those reporting no religion (from 14.8 per cent to 25.1 per cent). There were increases in the other main religious group categories, with the number of Muslims increasing the most (from 3.0 per cent to 4.8 per cent).

In 2011, London was the most diverse region with the highest proportion of people identifying themselves as Muslim, Bhuddist, Hindu and Jewish. The North East and North West had the highest proportion of Christians and Wales had the highest proportion of people reporting no religion.

Knowsley was the local authority with the highest proportion of people reporting to be Christians at 80.9 per cent and Tower Hamlets had the highest proportion of Muslims at 34.5 per cent (over 7 times the England and Wales figure).  Norwich had the highest proportion of the population reporting no religion at 42.5 per cent.

Get all the tables for this publication in the data section of this publication .

Changing picture of religious affiliation over last decade

http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/census/2011-census/key-statistics-for-local-authorities-in-england-and-wales/rpt-religion.html#tab-Changing-picture-of-religious-affiliation-over-last-decade

The largest religion in the 2011 Census for England and Wales was Christianity with 33.2 million people (59.3 per cent  of the population). Muslims were the next largest religious group with 2.7 million people (4.8 per cent  of the population).

14.1 million people in England and Wales said they had no religion, around a quarter (25.1 per cent ) of the population.

Of the other main religious groups: 817,000 people identified themselves as Hindu (1.5 per cent of population); 423,000 people identified as Sikh (0.8 per cent ); 263,000 people as Jewish (0.5 per cent ) and 248,000 people as Buddhist (0.4 per cent ).

240,000 people (0.4 per cent ) identified with religions which did not fall into any of the main religious categories1. The most common groups were Pagan and Spiritualist,  accounting for 57,000 people and 39,000 people respectively. Some of the other higher reporting groups included Mixed Religion with 24,000 people, Jain with 20,000 people and Ravidassia with 11,000 people.

The religion question was the only voluntary question on the 2011 census and 7.2 per cent  of people did not answer the question.

Muslim States warn against Islamophobia

Posted March 13th, 2008 by Mudassir Rizwan

http://www.twocircles.net/2008mar13/muslim_states_warn_against_islamophobia.html By IINA

Dakar : The world’s Muslim countries warned today that an “alarming” rise in anti-Islamic insults and attacks in the West has become a threat to international security. The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) called on Europe and America to take stronger measures against ‘Islamophobia’ in a report prepared for the two-day Summit of the group’s 57 members in Dakar today. The report by a special OCI monitoring group said the organization was struggling to get the West to understand that Islamophobia “has dangerous implications on global peace and security” and to convince Western powers to do more.

Islamic leaders have long warned that perceptions linking Muslims to terrorism, especially since the Sept. 11, 2001 Al-Qaeda attacks on the United States, would make Muslims more radical.
OIC leaders have expressed renewed concern following events such as the publication in Denmark of cartoons lampooning the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) and a plan by the Dutch far-right wing MP Geert Wilders to release a film calling the Holy Qur’an “fascist.” The monitoring group called on Europe and North America to do more, through laws and social action, to protect Muslims from threats and discrimination and prevent insults against Islam’s religious symbols

Europe and Hostility towards Islam: Islamophobia
by Ekrem Dumanl Saturday 21 May 2005

http://muslimvillage.com/story.php?id=2187
Source: Zaman.com

http://www.zaman.com/include/yazdir.php?bl=columnists&alt=&trh=20050519&hn=19708

At the latest Council of Europe summit which was held on May 16-17, 2005 and attended by 46 countries, a decision was made to fight hostility toward Islam. Turkey played a significant role in that Warsaw summit decision. One day before the decision was made, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan made a speech in which he pointed out the rapid spread of hostility toward Islam in the West and warned of the likely damages it would bring.  The Council of Europe declaration includes several important details. For instance, the concept of 'hostility toward Islam' is addressed in the declaration in this way: "We fiercely condemn Islamophobia and anti-Semitism particularly under the blanket of any form of intolerance and discrimination based on gender, race and religious beliefs..."

It is a significant detail that Islamophobia is mentioned along with anti-Semitism. According to the outcome of the meeting, hostility toward Islam is to be monitored just as anti-Semitism is and anti-Islam activities are to be included in the Council's reports. The unit that monitors crimes based on racism and discrimination, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), is to report on countries where anti-Islamism is on the rise. The Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) is to assist relevant units of the Council of Europe in preparing these reports... For the Council of Europe to encourage efforts to build dialogue among religions and cultures carries a great deal of significance. Inter-faith and inter-cultural dialogue does not mean the annihilation or transformation of one culture or religion by another as some ignorant agitators believe. On the contrary, the sort of dialogue that occurs among followers of different faiths allows participants to appreciate the richness of their own culture and religion while working to understand the "other's." Bigots that do not appreciate the richness of their own culture and religion always prefer fighting and disputes...

The Council of Europe's decision to fight anti-Islamism and to activate its internal units for implementation of the sanctions is an effort to remove a danger that has gradually come to be felt quite deeply in recent years.  The September 11th terrorist attacks poisoned the lives of all Muslims like a nightmare. Such an atmosphere has emerged that every Muslim was accepted to be a terrorist. But, Islam just even as a word means peace and well-being in itself. It was an historic mistake to link a religion, which in its essence contains love for Allah, and corollary love and mercy for mankind, with global violence. Despite the reality that marginal groups exerting violence have not seen a general acceptance in any Islamic countries, and even met with hatred in most of them, Muslims all over the world are treated like criminals. In fact, these violent groups harm Muslims the most...

Negative Western generalizations about Muslims based on prejudice unfortunately only managed to force some Muslims into radicalism. In general, Muslims already believed that the West was applying double standards to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Adding to this common belief were the September 11th disaster and the subsequent occupation of Iraq as well as the publication of photos and images that truly disturbed Muslims there, all of which paved (and continue to pave) the way for deepening rage in the Islamic world...

The Council of Europe made the right decision at the right time, because following the end of the Cold War, the most serious threat facing the world is a clash of civilizations (or, one could say, a clash of religions).  The first signs of this threat have been seen. These signs prove what a big disaster waits on our doorstep if action is not taken. It is best to rebuild cultural bridges as a precaution.  Europe has grabbed at the chance to change its anti-Islamic image among Muslims by signing such a decision. This is also important, because the more negative judgments there are regarding Islam's image in the West, the worse the West's image becomes in the Islamic world. Well-intended steps toward world peace cannot be one-sided. In this regard as well, the decision by the Council of Europe is of historic importance.

Genocide of Muslims

Afghanistan

Palestine

Kashmir

India

Kossovo

Lebanon

Bosnia Herzegovina

Iraq

Chechnya

China

Russian Federation

Others

The first major Holocaust of Muslims took place on Friday, 15 July, 1099 in Jerusalem by the Crusaders. Please remember July 15 as the worldwide Muslim's Holocausts and Genocide Remembrance Day. Please organize rallies and programs on 15 July to educate and inform citizens of the world about the atrocities committed against Muslims.

Major Holocausts and Genocide of Muslims

  1. Crusaders killed more than half million Muslims during and after occupying Jerusalem.
  2. Gangis Khan and his forces killed more than a million Muslims during the occupation of Iraq and neighboring areas.
  3. Thousands of Muslims were killed / forced to change religion by Spanish Crusaders in South America
  4. More than a million Muslims were killed / displaced by Spanish and other European extremists during the rebellion against the Ottoman Empire.
  5. More than 3 million Muslims were killed / displaced by the European colonial powers during and after the occupation of Muslim countries after World War I and II.
  6. More than 5 million Muslims were killed / displaced by Tsars of Russia

10.  More than a million Muslims were killed / displaced by Communist Government of Russia

11.  More than 1.5 million Muslims have been killed in China, Cambodia, Vietnam, and other Far East countries since the world war II

12.  More than half million Muslims have been killed / displaced in Burma since World War II

13.  More than half million Muslims have been killed in India and Kashmir since 1947

14.  More than half million Muslims were killed by Serbs and Croats in Bosnia during early 90s.

15.  More than 100,000 Muslims were killed in Kosovo and Albania during mid 90s.

16.  More than 5 million Muslims have been killed / displaced in Palestine since 1948

17.  More than 5 million Muslims were killed / displaced by the Russian occupation of Afghanistan

18.  More than one million Muslims children died from malnutrition in Iraq during the US/UN embargo on Iraq during 1990s.

19.  Currently, hundreds of thousands of innocent Muslim civilians have been killed by the American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan

References:

  1. H.G. Wells, “A Short History of the World,” Penguin Books, 1949
  2. “Chambers Dictionary of the World History,” Chambers, 1994.
  3. G. C. Kohn, “Dictionary of the Wars,” Doubleday, 1987.
  4. Erna Paris, “The End of the Days,” Lester Publishing, 1995.
  5. David Brownstone and Irene Franck, “Timelines of the War,” Cittle, Brown and    Company, 1994.
  6. A. Hourani, “A History of the Arab Peoples,” Harvard University Press, 1991.
  7. Roland Oliver and J. D. Fage, “A Short History of Africa,” 1968.
  8. J. Burne, Editor, “Chronicle of the World,” Longman, 1989.
  9. N. Davies, “Europe, A History,” Pimilico, 1997.

10.  P. Hitti, “History of the Arabs,” Mcmillan, 1990.

11.  T. Pakenham, “The Scramble For Africa,” George Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1997.

12.  J. A. hammerton, “The Outline History of the World,” The Amalgamated Press Ltd., 1993.

13.  Cox, George, W, The Crusades (1886); Laffan, R.G.D (ed. and trans.), Select Documents of European History 800 - 1492, (1929)

Note: Anyone who will be able to prove that the above mentioned numbers of Muslim casualties are wrong, will be rewarded .

Ending Islamophobia Muslim Weekly London 24 - 30 NOV 2006

http://www.themuslimweekly.com/fullstoryview.aspx?NewsID=E093CE770C98BFD55F959F80&MENUID=EDITORIAL&DESCRIPTION=Editorial

It was heartening to find so many accounts this week of Britain’s sense of fairness and justice being exemplified. Their ready support in joining their fellow Muslim Britons and defending their right to freedom of religion, while standing against the rise of Islamophobia, was exemplary.

We had that very impressive Rally in London on Monday where so many people from all walks of life gathered together to support the aforementioned right.

Then we had the research conclusions of the two Manchester academics who declared that there was no evidence to suggest that the proportion of people charged was any greater in areas with large Muslim populations. They also warned that branding such areas as "terrorism hotbeds" was both inaccurate, created prejudice and fear, and immensely damaging – "It’s just a fantasy", they said.

Well of course, we have known that; but that’s been the general trend recently; that is, to dish out unsubstantiated information in relation to Islam and Muslims – that’s freedom to offend for you in the absolute sense.

We also had the Islamophobia event where 650 delegates gathered for the People’s Assembly in central London. There a very heart warming but powerful push was issued by Chris Nineham from the organisers Stop the War coalition. He said: "Every Stop the War group in the country needs to take up our statement against Islamophobia."

Again Manchester University was involved to stem the tide of Islamophobia when the Student Union voted for a motion against the fascist group BNP, as well as against an amendment enabling the banning of Muslim groups on campus.

Another poll conducted by Ipsos MORI on behalf of the Greater London Authority revealed that three quarters of Londoners supported the right for all to dress in accordance with their religious beliefs.

Stop demonising Muslims

Ken Livingstone BY HAMZA A. BAJWA

http://www.themuslimweekly.com/fullstoryview.aspx?NewsID=A9D9093ABB29086DD62FE519&MENUID=TOPNEWS&DESCRIPTION=Front%20Page%20News

An end to Islamophobia and the beginning of a step towards building a new national coalition to defend freedom of religion was the call of all those present at Monday’s public rally.

The two speakers, Mayor of London Ken Livingstone and the former Labour MP, Tony Benn, in true oratory fashion delivered powerful speeches addressing attendees representing all of the main political parties, different faiths, trade unions and peace movements, in a rally co-organised by the British Muslim Initiative (BMI) and Liberty.

Livingstone told hundreds who attended the event at the Westminster Methodist Central Hall: "Over recent weeks we have seen a demonisation of Muslims only comparable to the demonisation of Jews from the end of the nineteenth century."

He added: "As at that time, the attack on Muslims in reality threatens freedoms for all of us, which took hundreds of years to win - freedom of conscience and freedom of cultural expression. Every person who values their right to follow the religion of their choice, or none, should stand with the Muslim communities today."

Present also were representatives from the Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat, Respect and Green Parties, as well as speakers from the Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Sikh faiths including delegates from trade unions, the anti-war movement and the world of media and arts.

Referring to a poll conducted last week which showed that 94% of Londoners supporting freedom of thought and speech as long as it was extended to everyone, the Mayor said: "People do not come half way across the world to Britain to live separately. They come to Britain to be part of the society. London is perceived as a city where you can be yourself as long as you do not interfere with others."

The poll also showed that 76% of Londoners said the government had no right to tell them how to live their lives; 98% said Muslim women had a right to cover their heads; while 93% said Jews had the right to wear the skull cap and 92% said Christians had the right to wear a small crucifix.  Meanwhile, Tony Benn described a school attended by his grandchildren which has 77 nationalities.

"This is the UN – if we divide these children on the grounds of religion we are planting the seeds of hatred," he said.

Kate Hudson, Chair of the Campaign For Nuclear Disarmament, declared the Iraq war was "an international disaster which has left 500,000 dead". "The hysteria is designed to deter British Muslims from political participation and exercise of their democratic rights in the UK. They have the right to demand an end to this illegal war and future illegal wars and incursions," she said.

Conservative MP for Beaconsfield and Shadow Attorney General, Dominic Greive, said that values of freedom and tolerance under pin the British way of life.

He criticised the 90-day detention without trial procedure, the introduction of ID cards and attempts to fetter freedom of speech. "The country is going through a period of change: change is difficult and multiculturalism is difficult. Tolerance and freedom enable a country to flourish and people made a choice to tolerate those with whom they disagreed," he said.

Labour MP for Dagenham, Jon Cruddas, said politicians needed to "transcend the debate about the veil" but instead "tackle economic insecurity, poor housing and health provision and unemployment".

While Salma Yaqoob, vice-chair of Respect, described the debate on Muslim integration as a smoke screen to cover up the failure of the war on terror.

Liberty Director Shami Chakrabarti said that the struggle for democracy in Britain was built on the struggle for religious freedom.

Anas Altikriti, spokesman for BMI who chaired the event, said afterwards: "The line-up said it all. Muslims do not stand alone in facing the barrage of racist attacks levelled against them, nor do others of any faith or of thought who see what is dear to them being systematically disparaged and compromised. Despite the broad spectrum from which the speakers came from, the message was almost one and the same: the people of this country will not stand by and watch the Muslim community or any other, be attacked, vilified, demonised or marginalised by a minor sector laden with either ignorance or racist tendencies, or possibly both."

He added: "It was fascinating to see that almost all the speakers touched on the problem we all faced with politicians and the policies we have both at home and overseas in creating the present climate and exacerbating the problems faced by Muslims and many others and allowing the extreme-right and the racist elements in society ground to spread their rhetoric and deeds of hate."

BMI hope the rally would "serve as a first step towards holding a conference by end of January from which a new broad and far reaching formal coalition will emerge to defend freedom of religion and culture and tackle the problem of Islamophobia".

Islamophobia: Making Muslims the Enemy

12/01/2008 08:54:15 AM GMT

http://www.islamonline.com/news/newsfull.php?newid=77966

In their new book, Islamophobia: Making Muslims the Enemy, coauthors Peter Gottschalk and Gabriel Greenberg explore a largely unexamined phenomenon (more)

In their new book, Islamophobia: Making Muslims the Enemy, coauthors Peter Gottschalk and Gabriel Greenberg explore a largely unexamined phenomenon – the “deeply ingrained anxiety” some Westerners, and especially Americans, experience when considering Islam and Muslim cultures.

Peter Gottschalk, professor of religion at Wesleyan University in Connecticut and the author of Beyond Hindu and Muslim, says that in times of crisis, such as the 1979 Iranian hostage situation or the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington, the long-simmering resentments and suspicions “inherited along with a European Christian heritage, manifest themselves.”

Professor Gottschalk and his former student Gabriel Greenberg explore those anxieties through the political cartoon, the print medium with the most immediate impact.

In prejudices such as racism, sexism, and more recently Islamophobia, Peter Gottschalk says there are historical conditions that enable certain groups to feel an antagonism toward another group that seem to “justify” that antagonism.

Speaking with host Judith Latham of VOA News Now’s Press Conference USA, he explains that such attitudes form a “constantly reaffirming, re-substantiating perspective.”  Gabriel Greenberg notes, for example, that from the time of the Crusades, Islam was experienced by surrounding cultures as a “competitor.”

Some of the things many non-Muslim Americans today tend to associate with Islam are characteristics that are “negatively valued” Professor Gottschalk says, such as terrorism, the oppression of women, and associations with “Arabs” or the Middle East.

FURTHER LINKS

End growing anti-Muslim prejudice, EU report urges http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,721281,00.html

Terrorism increases attacks on Muslims in Europe http://www.timesonline.co.uk/newspaper/0,,174-305774,00.html

Download Report http://www.eumc.eu.int/publications/terror-report/index.htm

Appendix

The Archbishop of Canterbury and Shari‘ah storm and its consequences 1 March 2008

 

 

 

 

On Friday 8th February 2008 The Archbishop of Canterbury touched an extremely raw nerve and paid an extremely heavy price in suffering an unprecedented barrage of vilification normally reserved for the country’s Muslim communities. In a lecture on “Civil and Religious Law in England”, Dr Rowan Williams dared to float the idea that some role for Islamic arbitration could be recognised within the secular legal system. His core aim, he said, was to “to tease out some of the broader issues around the rights of religious groups within a secular state.” But it did not prevent an ensuing wave of mass hysteria in the media and from certain politicians, deliberately misrepresenting his views.

 

The events following the Archbishop of Canterbury’s crucial mistake of making an intellectual speech with the word “Shari’ah” in it to an audience that included The Daily Mail amongst its members resembled the knee-jerk reaction more characteristic of men. The deliberate misjudgment of the delicately nuanced utterances of the Archbishop spiraled so scarily out of control that you just know someone somewhere had unsavoury fantasies of a crucifixion. The minute he said “Shari’ah” it was too late for poor Dr Rowan Williams. Cue the clich’s of hysterical reporting and scare-mongering. No one is pretending to really understand the entirety of what Dr Williams was addressing: the depths of the complex issues that evoked memories of echoing and dimly lit University lecture theatres couldn’t even be fully grasped by an ordinary journalist, so no one will ever know why The Daily Mail thought they had a good chance.

 

The Archbishop of Canterbury finds himself the focus of almost every newspaper after his comments saying Sharia law in the UK was "unavoidable". The Guardian records the criticism from "across the political spectrum", and the Daily Telegraph says he is caught in a "fierce row" after the comments. The Daily Express goes as far as saying Dr Williams stands accused of surrendering to Muslim extremists. The Sun is direct as ever: "What a Burkha!" is its front page headline.

The row sparked by the Archbishop of Canterbury's comments on Shari’ah law triggers analysis inside the papers. The Mirror explains its literal meaning - "pathway to water" - while the Daily Star describes Sharia law as a "savage religious code of conduct". The Guardian says although brutal punishments have become a potent symbol of Sharia, they are not adopted everywhere in the Islamic world. It says Muslims adopt Sharia in varying degrees, as a matter of conscience.

The Sun describing the primate as a “dangerous threat to the nation, who handed al-Qaida a victory.” The Express claimed that he had “surrendered to fanatics.” Even the BBC news deceptively showed images of Muslims being flogged in a Muslim country as commentary on the speech was being analysed.  In his speech the Archbishop spoke of the way in which the term Shari’ah is not only misunderstood, but is the focus of much fear and anxiety. He also warned that sensational reporting of opinion polls clouded the issue. The unsurprising response attacking Muslims and Islam was articulated as if it was Muslims who wanted their own law, a parallel system. Not only did Dr Williams not advocate a parallel system of Shariah law, but Muslims were vilified for something that someone else did not say. From The Daily Telegraph front page headline “Adopt sharia law in Britain”; The Times “Archbishop argues for Islamic law in Britain”; The Independent’s two page headline “Archbishop of Canterbury warns sharia law in Britain is inevitable” with a photograph of Muslim women in the niqab to The Sun’s front page carrying the headline “What a burkha” and a woman in niqab giving the two-fingered salute and The Daily Express front page headline “Muslim laws must come to Britain”, the media not only responded to something that wasn’t, they made sure they portrayed Muslims in a derogatory manner while they were at it.

When the media discuss Jewish rabbinical courts, the Beth Din, which are already established, there is simply no parallel to this kind of reaction. However, among the choristers of vilification some should have known better. The Prime Minister’s Spokesperson said, “Our general position is that Sharia law cannot be used as a justification for committing breaches of English law, nor should the principles of sharia law be included in a civil court for resolving contractual disputes.” Tory Party’s Minister for Community Cohesion and Social Action, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, said, “All British citizens must be subject to British laws developed through Parliament and the courts.” Labour MP for Birmingham Perry Barr, Khalid Mahmood, said, “What part of Sharia law does he want? The sort that is practised in Saudi Arabia’Muslims do not need special treatment” Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg, said, “Equality before the law is part of the glue that binds our society together. We cannot have a situation where there is one law for one person and different laws for another.” Head of the Catholic community in England and Wales, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, said, “When people come into this country they have to obey the laws of the land. The laws of this country don’t allow forced marriages or polygamy.” And Shaista Gohir, a member of the Government created National Muslim Women’s Advisory Group was quoted on BBC News on Line saying she did not believe there was a need for Shari’ah courts because the majority of Muslims do not want it.

Commentary in The Times even lamented the loss of Christian Sovereignty. One columnist started off on the premise that the Archbishop was wrong to call Britain a secular country, when in fact, the whole point of his speech was to emphasise the exact opposite (which leaves you wondering whether even 2 per cent of our journalists even bothered to read the speech). She then went on to lament the loss of Anglican Church sovereignty that was slowly being encroached by a growing pluralism, to the extent of undermining the monopolistic authority of the current State religion. This echoed the Bishop of Rochester’s second most stupid statement of the year: that British law was based on Judeo-Christian values, and only those values. A far cry indeed from the Archbishop’s claim that modern liberal democratic law was based on the values of all three Abrahamic faiths.

Archbishop of Canterbury said about the need to explore accommodating aspects of Muslim principles and laws (the heterogeneous collection of texts and forms of reasoning that we call shari’ah) within UK law is relevant to the task of multiculturalising citizenship. He was thinking about how the work of the existing Shari’ah Councils which adjudicate on personal and civil matters such as marriage and divorce might be extended and given legal recognition in the way that their Jewish equivalents have enjoyed for decades or longer. He was quite clear that this was not a matter of separate or parallel legal systems for the Shari’ah tribunals would not be able to go against UK laws, both on specifics such as divorce but also on individual and human rights in general. The decision to go to such Muslim adjudication services has of course to be voluntary by both parties and above all the Archbishop rightly emphasised the importance of gender equality in these contexts. These courts would not have the power to punish or fine individuals and so they have nothing to do with criminal justice but only with civil matters.

Many people wilfully or otherwise misunderstood Archbishop Rowan’s position and thought that he was sanctioning the stoning of adulterers, hand-chopping for theft and beheadings for apostasy. Even some of those who recognise that he was not doing so still argue that his intentions here are not relevant for by granting anything to Muslims in this regard he will encourage extremists and unreasonable demands and we will all be sliding down a slippery slope to a Talibanisation of British law. This is scare-mongering on a large scale. To not discuss and concede what is reasonable because someone else might later demand something unreasonable is irrational. It is a kind of political demonisation that may appropriately be called anti-Muslim racism. Not only must such a proposal be considered on its own merits but there is wisdom in discussing and implementing proposals on a gradual basis so one can see how they work in practice and lessons can be learnt. This is not just a matter of pragmatism and practical wisdom. It flows out of the ethics of multicultural citizenship, the imperative to seek the inclusion of marginal groups through dialogue, a commitment to seek mutual understanding and find accommodation. Some of Dr Williams’s fellow Church leaders complained about his erudition, saying that it wasn’t befitting of clergy or of a public figure. Some of the more intellectual media waxed philosophical and said that the Archbishop should have been a bit more tactful and that this was public suicide. But the Archbishop did not only challenge the feral beasts of the simplistic media hacks, he dared to be erudite in a public atmosphere that is so averse to critical debate. If anything, we need to bring erudition to the general public, not stuff it into a University lecture theatre where only the privileged few have access to it. The Archbishop was not only visionary like a true leader, but withstood the barrage of enemy arrows, like a true hero.

The Archbishop’s speech at the Royal Courts of Justice was addressing a largely theoretical politico-legal debate theoretically. He left many open ended questions, in fact, the whole speech was a bunch of questions concerning how pluralism can be brought into a new age, where, instead of sticking to a stringent post- enlightenment paradigm of jurisprudence, the law should be a dynamic dialogue between all stakeholders, until a mutual understanding and equilibrium can be reached that allows for different views within the boundaries of enshrined universal principles that everyone can agree on. Unfortunately, this wasn’t understood the first time, so the Archbishop’s website had to translate it into ‘English.

The Archbishop’s speech was not about Islam. It wasn’t even about religion. It was about how a lot of different people can live together so everyone is happy - to oversimplify it drastically. Given that the most fervent minority offshoots of today are religious groups (and not football fans), and given that Islam is the largest minority religion in the UK, the speech inevitably used religion, and Islam more specifically, as a case in point of how to balance different minority views in our endless quest for universalism.

The Archbishop got the attention of the world with his heroic daring, especially countries like France. But as the ultra-secular states looked on with amusement, they were hubristically unaware that the Archbishop was at least a century ahead of their childish militant atheism. Some pessimists may have taken issue with what seemed like an almost sickeningly utopian vision from Archbishop. But no matter how soppy, the last thing such depth of vision from such an important public and spiritual figure could ever be is unhelpful.

If there are any lessons to be learnt, they are that the demonisation of Muslims in the current climate is so widespread, it is impossible to have a serious debate about virtually any issue concerning them, let alone about equal rights or integration. It is no wonder Muslims felt beleaguered when this speech came in the same week of suspicions about the reported police bugging of Muslim MP, Sadiq Khan, and the Government’s ceding to ban 81-year old Islamic scholar Yusuf al-Qaradawi from entering the UK after previously having encouraged him to come to counter al-Qai’da propaganda. An Associate Editor of The Guardian, Seumas Milne, suggests, When politicians and newspapers denounce preachers of hate, it increasingly sounds as though theya rre talking about themselves.

Religious Communites and Secular Laws:

In a considered and thoughtful speech the archbishop added "We already have in this country a number of situations in which the internal law of religious communities is recognised by the law of the land as justifying conscientious objections in certain circumstances."

Dr Williams made a number of astute points about the issue that in normal times would give everyone food for thought and perhaps initiate a considered debate on the topic of civil law.  The problem is we aren’t living in “normal times”.  Prepare for lots of ominous warnings about beheadings, limb amputations and stoning and the thin end of the wedge in the gutter press.  The argument is simply too nuanced for their Editors.

Shari’ah is already here in the form of products and services such as sharia-compliant mortgages and food.  Secular law has already been altered to accommodate them.  They provide additional choice to consumers and give the suppliers new opportunities - a rare win-win situation.

The Archbishop alluded to Beth Din courts that are already established in the UK allowing British Jews an option to choose religious law in certain civil law matters instead of secular common law.  In effect the Bishop was arguing why Muslims can’t have the same.  Dr Rowan has a case but there are more powerful counter arguments.

Firstly this type of debate plays into the hands of the far-right and their fellow travellers in the Zionist community who are only too willing to portray British Muslims as a dangerous fifth column alien to British values and harbouring hostility to its citizens.  Who are these Muslims demanding this law?  Well hardly anyone actually although some Muslims are more keen than others to contribute to the debate.

There is also the thorny issue of community cohesion.  There are problems with some Muslim communities in Britain living an insular existence and not integrating easily.  A separate civil legal system could make the issue of integration more difficult.  There has been a lot of talk about values lately when discussing the issue of “British identity”.  The legal system is one of the key elements of a shared value system.  It should be applied equally to everyone and without prejudice.  Exceptionalism would promote an “us and them” attitude and increase resentment to Muslims even further.

Another additional issue is one of sanction.  Although the debate focuses on civil law the practical issue of sanction still arises.  How would judgements by Sharia courts be enforced if a party failed to comply?  Who would pay for those courts?  Islam has several schools of thought.  Which one should have Sharia courts?

Lastly a contentious but little debated issue is that Muslims that emigrated to Britain came here in the knowledge that sharia law does not operate in Britain and they came here anyway and have managed to live their lives without the need for its establishment.  How many Muslim countries actually operate a proper system of sharia law?  How can we expect a non-Muslim country to do something Muslim countries have not managed to? There are more pressing issues facing Britain’s Muslims.

Dr Williams said an approach to law which simply said "there's one law for everybody and that's all there is" was dangerous. Under English law, people may devise their own way to settle a dispute in front of an agreed third party as long as both sides agree to the process.

Sharp questions lead to sharp answers. In all our communities there is misinformation, ignorance and fear of that which is little known. Occasional suspicion readily deepens into a rut of distrust, which can lead to anxiety and antagonism; so ends all hope of understanding between communities and mutual appreciation.

Two organisations have come together to generate discussion with a quite different dynamic. The Temple Church in the heart of legal London and the Centre of Islamic and Middle East Law (CIMEL) at the School of Oriental and African Studies in the University of London are sponsoring a series of lecture-discussions on Islam in English law. The sponsors are telling every ticket-holder that an important part of the series is the opportunity for people from different backgrounds to meet. “Please make the most of this opportunity, from this first evening, by introducing yourself to those sitting around you,” they say.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, launches the series this Thursday with a foundation lecture on civil and religious law in England. The discussions are part of the 2008 Temple Festival, a year-long mix of music, art, drama, history and law events to mark the 400th anniversary of James I granting the Inner and Middle Temples freehold of their land.

English law and Islamic law differ in principle and in application. English law has been shaped in large part by the principles and history of Christian culture, but acknowledges no duty of obedience to any revelation, scripture or doctrine ascribed to God. In current practice, it attends closely to the rights and freedoms of the individual and protects them against curtailment from the state or from corporate power.

It is the prime duty of all Muslims to follow, as much as they are able, the traditions of Islamic law, which include the principles imparted by Allah to the Prophet Muhammad. Islamic law has tended to protect and strengthen the community in which, it is intended, the individual can then live a devout, good and ordered life.

The English court system aims to free litigants – and especially, vulnerable litigants – from the pressure that people powerful in a local community can bring to bear; Islamic councils draw strength from the insights that local and personal knowledge can offer.

English family law does not accept the validity of decisions of the many Islamic Shariah Councils that have grown up; there is vigorous debate as to whether it should. Intolerant actions of militant Islamists have affected the debate on the exercise of human rights – an issue behind the question of the validity or morality at Guantanamo Bay.

At times the two systems have seemed in direct conflict. In 2001, the European Court of Human Rights in relation to the European Convention on Human Rights declared that Islamic law “clearly diverges from convention values, particularly with regard to its criminal law and criminal procedure, its rules on the legal status of women and the way it intervenes in all spheres of private and public life in accordance with religious precepts”.

In 2001 the European Court of Human Rights stated that Sharia clearly diverged from the human rights values enshrined in the European Convention. In 2005 concerns about human rights and women's rights led to a storm of protest in Canada, when the attorney-general of Ontario proposed to adopt Sharia-based law to settle Muslim family disputes over divorce and child custody. The proposal was quashed on the grounds that there should be one law for all Canadians, amid fears that Islamic tribunals could lead to discrimination against women.

The claim cries out for discussion. We too readily imagine two incompatible and impermeable systems of law squared up for conflict with each other. But it is a matter of genuine disagreement how wide or deep is the gulf between the two systems – and both are evolving.

The series on Islam in English law is not designed to reach clear, prescriptive answers to all the questions that its speakers will raise. It is meant to be a forum for the discovery, on all sides, of people, ideas and ideals that seem alien and threatening.

Last month, when Dr Williams spoke in the House of Lords on religious hatred and religious offence, he talked of an “argumentative democracy” in which, quite apart from the law’s sanction, public controversy should not be debased – or effectively silenced – by thoughtless and (even if unintentionally) cruel styles of speaking and acting.

The setting for the rest of the series is significant. The Temple Church was built in 1185 by the Knights Templar, who was vital in the Crusades to the viability of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem. In past centuries it represented the gulf between Christendom and Islam; the sponsors are now using it to help to heal the divisions it was built to foster.

They have just installed a window in the church to mark the anniversary, bearing the motto of James I: “Blessed are the peacemakers.” That is what the sponsors, through honesty and courtesy and without delusion, hope to be.

Finally, you would not think from media reports that Muslims constitute less than three per cent of the population. Most Muslims are heartily sick of being in the spotlight.

It seems as if we are suffering more from Muslim-mania - an unhealthy obsession with all things Islamic, and a paranoid fixation with looking at the world from behind a veil. Muslims make up about 3 per cent of the population yet we seem to be obsessed with them.

Stop demonisation of Muslims and hatred of Islam

Father Madigan says: "The greatest shame of the last century was the killing of millions of Jews by Christians conditioned by their own long tradition of anti-Semitism and seduced by a virulently nationalist and racist new ideology.

"The last 15 years in Africa have seen millions of Christians slaughtered in horrendous civil wars by their fellow believers. A Catholic missionary is dozens of times more likely to be killed in largely Catholic Latin America than anywhere in the Muslim world."

British arm of the Society of Jesus, a leading Jesuit scholar says: "Let us not be misled into thinking either that Muslim-Christian conflict is the world's greatest conflict, or even that war is the most serious threat to the human future." Father Dan Madigan SJ, founder of the Institute for the Study of Religions at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome and member of the Vatican's Commission for Religious Relations with Muslims, says history shows that Islam is by no means the greatest threat to mankind.

'Legal pluralism', is the law's own brand of multiculturalism.  It means a legal system which allows other culturally specific legal systems to operate within it. Religious and ethnic minority courts are already a reality in the UK.

The issues

  • Britain has many minority communities that are not Christian, and some of them believe that they should have their own religious courts or institutions to make decisions according to their customs and traditions.
  • Not all the members of Britain's minority communities belong to, or want to be ruled or guided by, religious institutions.
  • Some religious groups already have some form of court system which operates alongside the mainstream legal system, such as the Jewish Beth Din and the Islamic Sharia Council.
  • Within minorities there are different interpretations of religious law, so the rulings of one court or council may not be recognised by another. This is why, for example, in a recent case a woman who converted to Judaism through a Beth Din in Israel was not recognised as Jewish by a Beth Din in Britain.
  • In an ICM poll of British Muslims carried out in February 2006, 40% said they would support the introduction of Sharia in predominantly Muslim areas of Britain.
  • Women and other vulnerable members of minority communities are often disadvantaged by traditional forms of mediation, since they have less choice about whether or not to submit to their rulings.

Many members of minorities prefer to resolve conflicts in religious courts rather than 'washing their dirty linen in public' in a mainstream court where they might be exposed to hostility or be misunderstood.

Will Muslim populations in the West succeed in ending the tradition of one law for all, replacing it with the concept of "legal pluralism"? Here and there, official and unofficially, Islamic law, the Shari'a, is making advances. In Italy, for example, hudud punishments have included the cutting of limbs by vigilantes acting on behalf of unofficial qadis.Polygamous marriages are making headway in many countries. Survey research has found considerable interest among British Muslims to the Shari'a into Britain. Here are the results of four different surveys in the period 2004-07:

  • Back Shari` a court to settle civil cases among Muslims, so long as penalties do not break the law: 81 percent.
  • Support there being areas of Britain which are pre-dominantly Muslim and in which Shari'a Law is introduced: 61 percent.
  • Prefer to live under Shari'a law: 60 percent.
  • "If I could choose, I would prefer to live in Britain under Shari'a law rather than British law": 88 percent.

This is one of the most profound issues to face Western societies.

 

Sympathy and anger as faithful judge their leader

Russell Jenkins, Simon de Bruxelles and Fiona Hamilton

The Times February 11, 2008

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article3346338.ece

Macclesfield

The faithful who gather at St Peter’s Church in Macclesfield are accustomed to praying for the hungry, the hurt and the lonely – but less often for their own Church leader.

The Rev Graham Turner, the team rector, believed that the beleaguered Archbishop of Canterbury was in need of spiritual comfort yesterday and included him in morning prayers.

“When something is said or reported, may we listen before judging and consider before making our response,” he urged.

Top of Form

Bottom of Form

“We pray for Archbishop Rowan that he may be wise in how he responds to the present crisis and that his much needed voice may not be silenced. May we be led towards a more generous society that welcomes the contribution of others.”

The word Sharia did not pass the Mr Turner’s lips. It did not have to; everybody knew what he was talking about. It was the main topic of discussion beside the kitchenette hatch where parishioners gathered for coffee after the service. Most spoke of their confidence in the wisdom of the Archbishop, but a few raised concerns about the handling of such a contentious issue by Lambeth Palace and one called for Dr Williams to be sacked.

St Peter’s Church could not be branded liberal or evangelical, one parishioner said. It could stand as a microcosm for the Church of England in the shires. Peter Jones, 57, a retired civil servant, said: “A lot of people are jumping on the bandwagon for political and religious reasons. He did not mean [the jurisdiction of Sharia] to be taken to extremes. He does not want this country to become an outpost of al-Qaeda.”

A significant number expressed concern that the debate had been handled poorly, not least by the Archbishop’s staff. Colin Jones, 64, was alone among the congregation in his conviction that Dr Williams had overstepped the mark and must go. “I question sometimes even whether he is a Christian. He is trying to love everybody and trying to do the right thing but he does not understand what he is talking about,” he said.

Bath

There was confusion and disappointment at Bath Abbey. But none of the worshippers at morning Communion felt that Dr Williams should step down. One half of the congregation believed that the primate had been grievously misrepresented. The other would have liked to roast him.

The Rector, the Rev Edward Mason, said that the Archbishop’s speech was “unfortunately opaque” but suggested that it was because he was addressing an audience of 1,000 lawyers. He said: “I am very sorry that someone who raises serious questions about the role of religious belief in modern society is ridiculed and disparaged. We want to sum up what this man is saying in six words and, if we can’t, we do it anyway. It would be a tragedy not just for the Church, but for the country, if he were forced to resign because of this.”

The view from the pews was less sympathetic. Sylvia Evans said: “I think what he said was wrong.” Margaret Dewey, who has worshipped at the abbey since 1951, said: “I was shocked by what he said. I have a friend from Qatar. He would not dream of suggesting anything like that. If you go to live in another country, you live by its rules – you don’t try to impose your own.”

Dr Williams’s failure to anticipate the reaction caused as much surprise as what he said, which many in the congregation admitted they were still unclear about.

Southwark

Worshippers at Southwark Cathedral were told that Dr Williams did not want Islamic law to apply to them.

In a letter handed to every member of the congregation at the Sunday service Dr Tom Butler, the Bishop of Southwark, wrote: “The Archbishop made it clear that he was not calling for Sharia to be applicable to non-Muslims, nor was he advocating the introduction of its punitive sanctions.”

Dr Butler said: “I remain to be convinced of the incorporation of Sharia or any other nonChristian religious law into the English legal system as it would raise many serious practical difficulties.”

Although support for Dr Williams may have been strong within the cathedral, the mood beyond its walls was markedly different.

 

Archbishop of Canterbury Was Right

Imam Feisal Abdul-Rauf's blog on Sharia:
http://ent.groundspring.org/EmailNow/pub.php?module=URLTracker&cmd=track&j=191849299&u=1937879

The Archbishop of Canterbury is right that sharia must be accepted and understood, but his quiet voice is getting drowned out in all the hysteria

The recent and controversial call by Dr. Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, primate of the Church of England and spiritual leader of 80 million Anglicans, for incorporation of Sharia law into British law will not be the last utterance in favor of Islamic law. Nor should it be. The addition of Sharia law to "the law of the land", in this case British law, complements, rather than undermines, existing legal frameworks. The Archbishop was right. It is time for Britain to integrate aspects of Islamic law.

Sharia law is unequivocally clear that Muslims who live as minorities in non-Muslim majority communities are required to abide by the law of the land. That doesn't prevent British Muslims from practicing aspects of Sharia that don't conflict with British law, or from seeking changes in British law. The Archbishop's assertion was forward thinking, recognizing that increasingly diverse Britain will be better off, not worse, with coordinated legal frameworks that guarantee more, not fewer, adherents to its legal system. There are three reasons to believe this will be the case.

First, the increased integration of Sharia law would merely sanction and improve upon what is already occurring: western Muslims practicing Sharia law without violating western law. British Muslims, for example, freely practice Sharia law pertaining to worship: praying five times daily, giving to charity, fasting during the month of Ramadan, and traveling to Mecca to perform the Haj, or pilgrimage.

Second, the integration of Sharia law would provide some modicum of equilibrium among Jewish law, Christian law and Islamic law. British law, as the Archbishop well knows, is derived from a Judeo-Christian ethic and provides the Church of England with special status. Ushering in aspects of Sharia law would acknowledge Britain's new inhabitants, of increasingly Muslim variety, and assemble an aggregated legal framework that represents all three Abrahamic traditions, Jewish, Christian and Muslim. By doing so, Britain would ensure that Muslims stay engaged, not isolated or estranged, and assume active ownership in civic participatory duties and responsibilities.

Third, Sharia principles are already providing benefits to British society, for example in the economic sector. Interest-based loans are prohibited in Islamic law, and so, as a result, many major banks, including Citibank, HSBC and others, have developed Sharia-friendly policies. The result is better business for Western banks and more investment by resource-rich emirates from Gulf States. The same, in theory, could apply to the socio-political sector. The set of laws sought by some British Muslims would only improve upon existing practice by requiring Muslim fathers to provide child support for children in cases of divorce, for example, and by ensuring that spouses and children are not disinherited from estates.

These are just some of the reasons that Archbishop Rowan's remarks make sense. But in case some of the skepticism that has greeted the remarks is due to a lack of familiarity with Sharia law itself (and perhaps the incorrect belief that it threatens civil and human rights, particularly women's rights), I will close with a brief tutorial.

Sharia law shares the Judeo-Christian ethic, namely the top two commandments of loving God and loving your neighbor, upon which, says Jesus, hangs all the law and the prophets. Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, a preeminent Muslim legal scholar, is very clear about the parameters of Sharia law: "Every rule which transcends justice to tyranny, mercy to its opposite, the good to the evil, and wisdom to triviality does not belong to the Sharia". Thus, any aberration of this is false implementation. As any legal practitioner knows, misapplication of the law, even when well intentioned, can happen in myriad ways. And when we misapply the law, we breed injustice.

Just as Western law is now being stretched thin and distorted to justify torture in the war on terrorism, so too can Sharia law be stretched and distorted to justify tyranny and injustice. Better then to bring in the believers so that one can monitor and help manage their systems of jurisprudence than ignore and isolate their guiding principles. That is what Archbishop Williams was suggesting. And wisely so; Britain is no longer simply guided by a Western law born of Judeo-Christian ethics. Its makeup is now much more diverse, and so to must be its moral measurements.

Editor's Note: Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is the chairman of the Cordoba Initiative, an international multi-faith organization, and author of What's Right With Islam: A New Vision for Muslims and the West.

Archbishop says law 'must protect religions'

By Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent

Last Updated: 2:10am GMT 31/01/2008 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2008/01/30/nchurch130.xml

 

`Lord Carey comments on sharia controversy

ITN - Sunday, 10 February 2008 -  07:26 am

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/itn/20080210/tuk-carey-comments-on-sharia-controversy-dba1618_1.html

The Archbishop of Canterbury's predecessor has said Rowan Williams is "horrified" at the hostile reaction to his comments on sharia law.

Dr Williams preached at a memorial and thanksgiving service on Saturday, but said nothing about the row and calls for him to resign.

He is thought likely to do so during his address to the General Synod in London on Monday.

A statement on his website said he had made no proposals for sharia, and "certainly did not call for its introduction as some kind of parallel jurisdiction to the civil law".

His predecessor Lord (George) Carey has criticised Rowan Williams, accusing him of overstating the case for accommodating Islamic legal codes - but said he should not be forced to quit.

Writing in the News of the World, Lord Carey said: "His conclusion that Britain will eventually have to concede some place in law for aspects of sharia is a view I cannot share.

"There can be no exceptions to the laws of our land which have been so painfully honed by the struggle for democracy and human rights.

"His acceptance of some Muslim laws within British law would be disastrous for the nation."

But Lord Carey also defended the Archbishop saying: "This is not a matter upon which Dr Williams should resign. He is a great leader in the Anglican tradition and he has a very important role to play in the Church.

"He has my full support. I telephoned him to say this to him and to tell him he is in my prayers. I understand he is horrified by what has happened."

Lord Carey said the public debate that has been sparked by Dr Williams' comments might have the positive effect of ensuring that the country's existing sharia councils operate under British law.

The General Synod has powers to hold emergency debates over matters of concern within the church but church sources said these were very rare and there was no indication the Archbishop's position would be discussed at Monday's meeting.

At least two Synod members have called for Dr Williams to go and he has faced criticism from leading bishops, secular groups and government figures.

The Archbishop has been defended by some Church figures.

The Bishop of Hulme, the Rt Rev Stephen Lowe, said he was appalled at the "knee-jerk" reaction to a serious piece of academic work.

Archive

Friday, February 8, 2008

EUMC Website

http://eumc.europa.eu/eumc/index.php?fuseaction=content.dsp_cat_content&catid=3fb38ad3e22bb&contentid=4582d9f4345ad

http://religionresearch.org/martijn/2006/12/18/eumc-reports-on-discrimination-and-islamophobia-in-the-eu/
Two reports on Discrimination and Islamophobia in the EU are published. First of all:

The report: Muslims in the European Union: Discrimination and Islamophobia PDF

eumc.europa.eu/eumc/material/pub/muslim/Manifestations_EN

 

The Study: Perceptions of islamophobia: PDF

http://eumc.europa.eu/eumc/material/pub/muslim/Perceptions_EN.pdf

 

Islamophobia: A new word for an old fear

File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - View as HTML
September 2004 at Brussels. I am pleased to learn from MCB Central Working Committee member Imam Dr. Abduljalil Sajid that he will be attending as an ...
www.osce.org/documents/cio/2005/06/15198_en.pdf - Similar pages - Note this

 

Educating Against Islamophobia - Q-News July 2006, Issue 367

And unlike other lessons learnt in classrooms, which are forgotten quickly because they are disconnected from the real world, anti-Islamophobia education is ...
www.q-news.com/367-Educating.html - 31k - Cached - Similar pages

 

What are the Real Reasons behind the Rising of Islamphobia?

The UN Secretary General, Mr. Kofi Annan noted in his Address to the seminar on "Confronting Islamophobia: Education for Tolerance and Understanding: ...
merforum.com/viewart.php?artid=133 - 30k - Cached - Similar pages

Published in Journal of In-service Education, 2005 Islamophobia ...

File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - View as HTML
Published in Journal of In-service Education, 2005. Islamophobia: Issues, Challenges and Action. A report by the Commission on ...
eprints.worc.ac.uk/175/1/IslamophobiaReview

JIE.pdf - Similar pages

 

Educational experts call for action to stem Islamophobia’

There is increased racism and a worrying rise in Islamophobia. Citizenship education is about overcoming the barriers to equality...it is about protecting ...
www.innovations-report.de/html/berichte/gesellschaftswissenschaften/bericht-27621.html - 37k - Cached - Similar pages

 

Bibliography

All Party Parliamentary Group APPG on Islamophobia on Tuesday 12 October 2010 UK Parliament

Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Ansari, Humayan (2004,) ‘The Enemy Within’: Muslims in Britain since 1800, London: Hurst

Al-Shaikh-Ali, Anas (2009) Public opinion and political influence: issues in contemporary popular fiction, in Wanda Krause ed, Citizenship, Security and Democracy: Muslim engagement with the West, London: Association of Muslim Social Scientists, pp 47–70

Allen, Chris (2010) An Overview of Key Islamophobia Research, Manchester: National Association of Muslim Police http://www.amnesty-polizei.de/d/wp-content/uploads/Muslime+Polizei.pdf

Bevelander, Pieter and Jonas Otterbeck (2008) Young people's attitudes towards Muslims in Sweden, Journal of Ethnic and Racial Studies, 28 August

Cameron, David (2011) Speech at Munich Security Conference, 5 February

http://www.number10.gov.uk/news/pms-speech-at-munich-security-conference/

Cummins, Will (2004) Muslims are a threat to our way of life, The Telegraph, 25 July http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/personal-view/3608849/Muslims-are-a-threat-to- our-way-of-life.html

Field, Clive (2007) Islamophobia in contemporary Britain: the evidence of the opinion polls, 1988–2006, Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, vol 18 issue 4, pp 447–77

Field, Clive (2012) Revisiting Islamophobia in contemporary Britain, 2007-10, in Marc Helbling ed, Islamophobia in the West: measuring and explaining individual attitudes, London: Routledge, pp 147–61

Garton Ash, Timothy (2005), What we call Islam is a mirror in which we see ourselves, The Guardian, 15 September http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/sep/15/iran.religion

George, Claire (2011) ‘This idiotic man’: sharia law and the Archbishop of Canterbury, in Julian Petley and Robin Richardson eds (2011) Pointing the Finger: Islam and Muslims in the British media, Oxford: One World Publications, pp 201-20

Helbling, Marc ed (2012) Islamophobia in the West: measuring and explaining individual attitudes, London: Routledge

Hitchens, Peter (2004) ‘I’ll say it while they still let me: Islam is a threat to us all’, Mail on Sunday, 11 July 2004.

13House of Commons Communities and Local Government Committee (2010) Preventing Violent Extremism: sixth report of session 2009–10, London: The Stationery Office

Hitchens, Peter (2004) I’ll say it while they still let me: Islam is a threat to us all, Mail on Sunday, 11 July 2004.

Insted consultancy (2011) Has multiculturalism failed?

http://www.insted.co.uk/has-multiculturalism-failed.pdf

Keegan, John (2001) In this war of civilisations, the West will prevail, The Daily Telegraph, 8 October

Kumar, Deepa (2012) Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire, New York: Haymarket Books

Kumar, Deepa (2010) Green scare: the making of the new Muslim enemy, Dissident Voice, 17 April http://dissidentvoice.org/2010/04/green-scare-the-making-of-the-new-muslim- enemy/

Moore, Kerry and Paul Mason, Justin Lewis (2008) Images of Islam in the UK: the representation of British Muslims in the national print news media 2000-2008, Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/jomec/resources/08channel4-dispatches.pdf

Lean, Nathan (2012) The Islamophobia Industry: how the Right manufactures fear of Muslims, London: Pluto Press

Majid, Munir (2012) 9/11 and the Attack on Muslims, Selangor, Malaysia: MPH Publishing Morey, Peter and Amina Yaqin (2011) Framing Muslims: stereotyping and representation

after 9/11, Cambridge, Massachusetts and London: Harvard University Press

Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (2011) Guidelines for Educators on Countering Intolerance and Discrimination against Muslims: addressing Islamophobia through education, Warsaw: Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights

Parekh, Bhikhu (2008), A New Politics of Identity: political principles for an interdependent world, Basingstoke: Macmillan

Rokeach, Milton (1960) The Open and Closed Mind, New York: Basic Books

 

Websites for Further Research

http://www.oic-oci.org/

http://eumc.europa.eu/eumc/material/pub/muslim/Perceptions_EN.pdf

http://eumc.europa.eu/eumc/material/pub/muslim/Manifestations_EN.pdf

=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/europe/2005/muslims_in_europe/default.stm

http://www.oic-oci.org/english/article/wps06-27.pdf

http://www.oic-oci.org/english/article/OSCE-ODIHR.pdf

http://www.oic-oci.org/english/article/human.htm

 

9/11 As History: www.familiesandwork.org/911ah/911ashistory.html

From this site, 16 lesson plans can be downloaded directly.  The lesson plans are for all grade levels, and use the 9/11 terrorist attacks as a foundation for activities around empathy, safety, action, values, and more.

America Strikes Back?  Critical Media Literacy in Times of War:

http://www.tandl.vt.edu/Foundations/mediaproject/

This site discusses different media representations of the same event and illustrates how ‘facts’ change depending on the body reporting them.  The site is divided into two sections: one on the war on terror, and the other on the Gulf war in Iraq, both of which encourage questioning the media to examine political biases.

American – Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee: www.teachingtolerance.org

This site offers teachers ready to use resources and lesson plans on Arab equity, stereotypes, culture and society.  The activities will increase awareness in schools, present positive images, detail Arab history, and even list English words that have Arabic origins.

An Anti-racism approach to Dealing with the Terrorist Attacks in the US:

www.ctf-fce.ca/en.issues.docs/press/mentorfinal.PDF

This PDF file is a letter from the Muslim Educational Network, Training and Outreach Service (MENTORS) to principals and teachers that addresses how to deal with the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The letter outlines anti-harassment and peace strategies, as well as lists ways to facilitate dialogue within the school.

Council on Islamic Education: www.cie.org

The Council on Islamic Education is a non-profit organization that aims to increase awareness and critical thinking of American youth around issues of religious and cultural diversity.  This site has resources for teachers including books on Muslim holidays, which can be ordered through the Council.

Effort to ban head scarves in France sets off culture clash: http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2004-02-03-head-scarves_x.htm

This is a short article about the banning of religious symbols in French public schools.  The debate sparks racist and religious dialogues, and is relevant to Canada in considering Canada’s own stance on separation of church and state.

Electronic Resources on Diversity: www.scu.edu/SCU/Programs/Diversity/esources.html

Site gives history and geography of Islam, as well as links to political and cultural associations concerned with diversity.

Forum Against Islamophobia and Racism – FAIR: www.fairuk.org

FAIR is a British organization that presents recent news articles, resources and fact sheets that could be used for research as well as for use in the classroom.  Challenges Islamophobia by providing information about Islam culture.  Click on ‘Islam Awareness’ to find packaged in PDF format that outline awareness activities for communities and schools.

Islamophobia on campuses and the lack of provision for Muslim students: www.fosis.org.uk/docs’islamophobia_lack_of_provisions.pdf

This file offers a post-secondary, British perspective to Islamophobia in the education system, but provides a detailed outline of what Islamophobia looks like, and mentions some ways in which educational institutions fail to be inclusive.  The end of the article makes recommendations for schools such as providing prayer facilities and recognizing dietary requirements of a diverse population.

Letter from MENTORS: www.ctf-fce.ca/en/issues/docs/press/mentorfinal.PDF

This PDF file is a letter from MENTORS (Muslim Education Network) to principals and teachers that discusses an anti-racist approach to dealing with terrorist attacks in the US.  The letter emphasizes the role of educators in sending truthful messages to staff and students.

Newspapers in Education: http://nieonline.com/detroit/index.cfm

Click on the required grade level to access lesson plans that use newspaper articles and current events to teach social justice and awareness.  The Washington Post has numerous activities for all grade levels that teach media literacy regarding the September 11 attacks.

Ontario Human Rights Commission: www.ohrc.on.ca

See policy on Creed and the Accommodation of Religious Observance.

Social Justice Resources Center: http://edpsychserver.ed.vt.edu/diversity/index,cfm

On this site a keyword search can be done to locate journal articles and web resources on a variety of social justice topics.

Tolerance in the News: www.tolerance.org/news/article_tol.jsp?id=273

This article contains definitions and principles of Islam.

Tolerance Organization: www.tolerance.org

Described as online destination for people interesting in dismantling bigotry and creating communities that value diversity. Provides news items, information for activists, resources for teachers, and educational games and resources for young children.

Toronto District School Board:  www.tdsb.on.ca

Provides access to board guidelines and policy documents. From home page, search for “Religious Accommodation”: you will be taken directly to the pdf document Guidelines & Procedures For the Accommodation of Religious Requirements, Practices, and Observances (TDSB, 2000). For other equity-oriented resources, go the home page and click boardroom. From pull down section select policies and then select alphabetical index of policies. In particular, see information on the Fran Endicott Equity Centre, which houses a collection of equity focused resources.

Toronto Muslims: www.torontomuslims.com

Site contains numerous articles on religious accommodation and commentary on public versus private education.

UK ‘Islamophobia’ rises after 11 September: http://news.bbc.co.uk/l/hi/uk/2223301.stm

A BBC News Online article that discusses the increase in anti-Islamic violence in the UK following the September 11 attacks.

 

Understanding the Context of 9/11 and its implications: An Educational Resource: https://courseware.vt.edu/users/mboler/projects/main.htm

This educational resource includes an annotated bibliography on media literacy, and information about US-Arab relations and discrimination.  The web Bibliography is excellent because it lists online curriculum resources aimed specifically at teaching awareness and critical thinking.

 

15 November 2013

Imam Sajid

 

 

IMAM Dr Mufti Abduljalil SAJID

The Muslim Council for Religious and Racial Harmony UK

The Brighton Islamic Mission,

20 Wilberforce Close Tollgate Hill West Sussex RH11 9TD (UK)

Tel: +44 (0)1293 201359 Mobile: +44 (0) 7971 861972 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.