Britain First’s Holy War: Home Office condemns ‘anti-Muslim propaganda’ as petition calls for group to be banned

A petition calling for the government to ban anti-Islam group Britain First has prompted a statement from the Home Office condemning those who “seek to spread hate by demonising British Muslims”. More than 12,000 people and an anti-Islamophobia charity have now demanded ministers take action against the Christian conservative group.

The petition accuses Britain First of being an “extremist offshoot of the BNP”, adding: “Via the internet and social media the group spews out anti-Muslim propaganda in order to fulfil their goal of a ‘Holy War’ against the Muslim community in the UK. The UK government must proscribe this party before they achieve their aims.”

“We are a registered political party who campaign for British people to be put first in their own country. We are also a Christian movement who believe that Muslims are victims of a barbaric ideology; our Holy war is not ‘against the Muslim community in the UK’, it is against the extremes of Islam.”

She added that the 2014 comments cited in the petition – in which founding member Jim Dowson is quoted as saying the group was involved in a “crusade” – were outdated as Dowson had left the movement in 2014. Britain First leader Paul Golding revealed today (29 January) that Dowson would be speaking at an upcoming Britain First march in Dewsbury, however, describing him as an “outstanding orator”.

A response to the petition by the Home Office, published on 28 January, said while the government kept the list of proscribed organisations “under review” it would not confirm if it was considering banning Britain First.

But in what appears to be a swipe at the group, the Home Office added: “The government condemns those who seek to spread hate by demonising British Muslims. Those who seek to divide us damage our country by stoking anti-Muslim hatred and deliberately raise community fears and tensions by bringing disorder and violence to our towns and cities.”

Women targeted in rising tide of attacks on Muslims

June 28, 2014

More than half of Islamophobic attacks in Britain are committed against women, who are typically targeted because they are wearing clothing associated with Islam, new data reveals. The figures of anti-Muslim attacks, compiled in the nine months following the murder of soldier Lee Rigby in May 2013, come days after Saudi Arabian student Nahid Almanea was stabbed to death in Essex, with detectives believing that she may have been attacked because she was wearing traditional Islamic clothing.

In a study of calls to the Tell Mama hotline, which records Islamophobic crimes, academics at Teesside University found there were on average two incidents every day over the period. Victims reported a total of 734 incidents to the hotline between the start of May last year and 28 February 2014, broken down into 599 incidents of online abuse and 135 offline attacks – an increase of almost 20% on the same period the previous year. One aspect of the figures indicates an apparent lack of trust in police to deal with Islamophobic incidents, with one in six victims choosing not to report the incident to authorities.

The Teesside report, says more effort is required to foster greater trust between the Muslim community and authorities. “Supporting victims and encouraging them to come forward to report a hate crime remains the highest priority,” the report says. “Alongside addressing under-reporting, authorities should be encouraged to disaggregate hate crimes by strand, and to take seriously the increased incidence of anti-Muslim hate crime.”

The data also revealed that – unlike most incidents of hate crime, which overwhelmingly involve male perpetrators and victims – 54% of the victims of Islamophobia were female. One theory is that Muslim women are more “visibly” Muslim because of traditional clothing such as the hijab or abaya. The figures show that four in five victims attacked in the street or elsewhere were females wearing visibly Muslim clothing; almost the same proportion of alleged perpetrators offline were young, white men.

Overall, the data are in contrast to the trend for hate crime, with government figures showing the number of reported attacks falling. Other findings from the report confirm that a significant number of incidents reported to the hotline involved a link to far-right groups such as the English Defence League. A far-right connection was traceable in almost half of reported Islamophobic online abuse.

Anti-Muslim speakers still popular in law enforcement training

March 12, 2014

 

(RNS) Law enforcement officers in Virginia will no longer receive credit for a counterterrorism course taught by a former FBI agent and anti-Muslim activist after the academy where the course was taught canceled its accreditation the day it was scheduled to begin.

 

Source: http://www.religionnews.com/2014/03/12/anti-muslim-speakers-still-popular-law-enforcement-training/

British Muslims Condemn Anti-Muslim Bigotry Printed in the Daily Mail

February 22, 2014

 

Leading British Muslim and interfaith organisations today wrote to Paul Dacre, the Editor of the Daily Mail condemning an article by columnist Richard Littlejohn that deployed hateful Muslim stereotypes. The column purports to criticise an individual but instead uses slurs commonly found in racist and far-right websites to make its point.

Entitled “Jolly Jihadi’s Outing to Legoland”, the article satirises a community event that is to be held at the theme park, organised through a private group booking. Mr Littlejohn uses hateful tropes to fill his article. Mr Littlejohn jokes that the group, which will in real life have parents and children in attendance, will travel to Legoland in a coach “…packed with explosives stops in Parliament Square. As Big Ben strikes ten, driver will blow himself up”.

As a result of Mr Littlejohn’s article, far-right groups are threatening to turn up at Legoland, thus causing distress to the children present.

The letter is signed by a cross-section of British Muslims. It is in no way a defence of the views attributed to the person Mr Littlejohn criticises, but rather a challenge to our media not to accept such hateful language in our discourse.

 

The letter reads:

Dear Mr Dacre,

We write to express our condemnation of a recent article published by Richard Littlejohn in your newspaper. Entitled “Jolly Jihadi’s Outing to Legoland”, Mr Littlejohn deploys the most hateful stereotypes of Muslims to attack an individual.

Our condemnation is not about the attacks on Mr Haitham al-Haddad: he is perfectly capable of responding to the accusations put to him if minded to do so. Many of us may well disagree with the views attributed to him. Rather, we are speaking out at the insidious and hateful tropes Mr Littlejohn uses for his argument.

Mr Littlejohn may think he is humorous, satirical in fact. But there is nothing funny about inciting hatred. The language he deploys is exactly the same as those used by racists and the far-right. One needs only to peruse the comments below his article online to see the hatred against Muslims Mr Littlejohn has generated.

Would you allow similar hateful stereotypes to be used when writing about other faith or race communities?

Mr Littlejohn may suggest his words of hatred are directed at one figure rather than mainstream Muslims. This is a poor excuse. He accuses one figure of using hate speech by deploying hate speech himself.

As a cross section of Britain’s Muslim community, along with many of our fellow Britons, we state clearly and loudly that Mr Littlejohn’s article is the worst form of bigotry. This goes beyond causing offence. Your newspaper has published an incitement to hate Muslims.

So, we urge you, in the interests of decency and fairplay, to retract Mr Littlejohn’s article and to issue an apology not just to British Muslims, but to your readers and the great British public at large.

Yours,

 

 

Farooq Murad,

Secretary General, Muslim Council of Britain

 

Fiyaz Mughal,

Founder and Director, Faith Matters and Tell Mama

 

Julian Bond

Director, Christian Muslim Forum

 

Steven Derby,

Director, Interfaith Matters

 

Ali Qureshi

Secretary General, Union of Muslim Organisations (UMO)

 

Maulana Sarfraz Madni,

Chairman, Mosques & Imams National Advisory Board

 

Ameena Blake,

Vice-President, Muslim Association of Britain

 

Ali Master,

Council of European Jamaats (COEJ)

 

Saleha Islam

Chief Executive, Muslim Youth Helpline

 

Sufyan G Ismail,

Trustee, Engage

 

Mazhar Khan

Executive Board Member, Muslim Council of Scotland

 

Saleem Kidwai OBE,

Secretary General, Muslim Council of Wales

 

Mohammed Aslam-Ijaz,

General Secretary, Council of Mosques, South London and Southern Counties

 

Abdul Hamid Qureshi

Chair, Lancashire Council of Mosques

 

Ufuk Secgin

Chairman, London Islamic Culture and Recreation Society (LICARS)

 

Ahmed Khelloufi

Executive Director, Muslim Welfare House (London)

 

Mohammed Kozbar

British Muslim Initiative and Finsbury Park Mosque

 

Sheikh Hojjat Ramzy

Chair, Iqra Institute, Oxford

 

Shifa Shahab

Federation of Muslim Organisations Leicestershire

 

Muhammad Jinani

Young Muslim Organisation UK

 

Dr Mohammed Idrees

General Secretary, UK Islamic Mission

 

Ajmal Masroor

London Imam and Director of Barefoot Institute

 

Yusuf Al Khoei

Al-Khoei Foundation

 

Moulana Shahid Raza,

Founding Trustee, British Muslim Forum

 

Sir Iqbal Sacranie

Balham Mosque & Tooting Islamic Centre

 

Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari

Author and Commentator

 

Talha Ahmad

Head of Media, Dawatul Islam UK & Eire

 

Yousuf Bhailok

Trustee /Chair. ‘Al Jamiah Al Islamiyah Darul Uloom Lancashire

 

Rashid Brora

General Secretary, Southampton Medina Mosque Trust Ltd

 

Unaiza Malik

Muslim Women’s Association

 

Muhammad Habibur-Rahman

Chairman, East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre

 

Dilowar Khan

President, Islamic Forum of Europe

 

 

The Muslim Council of Britain: http://www.mcb.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2463:pr-template&catid=40:press-release

RNC chairman calls for official to step down over anti-Muslim, anti-gay posts

January 24, 2014

 

A Michigan member of the Republican National Committee rejected calls to resign Friday after making anti-gay and anti-Muslim remarks.

Dave Agema said he’s made mistakes but pledged to continue to “honor the trust and fulfill the responsibilities to those in the Michigan Republican Party that elected me.” On Jan. 17, Agema published a Facebook post saying, “Have you ever seen a Muslim do anything that contributes positively to the American way of life?” Earlier in the week, he linked to an article about a anti-propaganda law in Russia, saying “Read their law. Common sense in Russia.”
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) made oblique references to Agema’s comments in a Martin Luther King Jr. speech he gave last week, calling for “civility and respect.” The Michigan Catholic Conference also released a statement Friday calling for civility: “In all things political, in present times, there must be a renewed focus on charity.”

He issued a statement hours after RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and Michigan Party Chairman Bobby Schostak called for his resignation.

“For the good of the party, we believe Dave Agema should resign,” Preibus and Schostak said in a joint statement. Last March, Agema posted an article on Facebook with an unsubstantiated claim that gays account for half the murders in large cities. In December, he told Berrien County Republicans that his experience as an American Airlines pilot made him familiar with efforts by gays to get health insurance coverage because of the ravages of AIDS. He also came under fire from the Council on American-Islamic Relations for a Facebook posting this month questioning Muslims’ commitment to charity.
Washington Post:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/01/24/dave-agema-faces-additional-pressure-from-gop-party-leaders-to-step-down/
http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/michigan-gop-official-rejects-calls-to-resign/2014/01/24/316c3340-855c-11e3-a273-6ffd9cf9f4ba_story.html

CAIR Applauds RNC Chair’s Call for Resignation of Anti-Muslim Official

January 24, 2014

 

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today applauded a call by the chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC) for the resignation of a Michigan GOP official who made anti-Muslim and other bigoted remarks. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and Michigan GOP Chairman Bobby Schostak called on Dave Agemato step down as that state’s representative to the RNC.

“We applaud the RNC’s forceful rejection of Dave Agema’s bigotry,” said Corey Saylor, director of CAIR’s Department to Monitor and Combat Islamophobia. “This response to community concerns sends the message that the GOP will not tolerate stereotyping of minority groups.” In 2012, A coalition of 11 major American Muslim organizations called on the Republican Party to reach out to Muslim voters by rejecting anti-Islam bias and discriminatory legislation.
Cair.com: http://cair.com/press-center/press-releases/12343-cair-applauds-rnc-chairs-call-for-resignation-of-anti-muslim-official.html
Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/01/24/dave-agema-faces-additional-pressure-from-gop-party-leaders-to-step-down/

Catsimatidis: Campaign Commercial Star’s Anti-Muslim Rants ‘Wrong’

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — John Catsimatidis says the anti-Muslim rants that reportedly appear on the Facebook page of a retired Port Authority cop featured in one of his TV commercials are wrong, but the Republican mayoral candidate is standing behind the ad’s message.

 

The commercial attacks Joe Lhota, the Republican front-runner, for likening Port Authority officers to “mall cops” during a May forum. Lhota later apologized for the remark.

 

In the Catsimatidis ad, retired Port Authority Detective John Kassimatis delivers the now-famous line: “Mr. Lhota, I’m no mall cop.”

 

UK Independence Party Member Suspended for Anti-Muslim Comments

7 May 2013

 

Tony Nixon, a UK Independence Party (UKip) member from Guisborough who canvassed nearly 800 homes for the party in the most recent election, has been suspended by the UKip for allegedly posting anti-Muslim material on his Facebook page. Mr. Nixon’s page contained a number of anti-Muslim jokes advocating the destruction of Mosques and calling Islam “The Crime Against Humanity.” Mr. Nixon also “liked” right wing groups such as the English Defence League (EDL), saying that the EDL and the UKip are on the same side “in the fight against traitors to Britain.”

 

The UKip did surprisingly well in the recent County Council elections held earlier this month, winning 153 council seats and finishing ahead of the Conservative party candidates in 500 council seats across the country. The party calls for an overhaul of the immigration system in the United Kingdom, advocating a five year freeze on permanent settlement and withdrawal from the European Convention of Human Rights and the European Convention on Refugees. In response to the allegations against Mr. Nixon, the party said, “We do not condone racist or any other inappropriate comments and regard them as totally abhorrent and if anyone else is discovered acting in such an appalling way they will be thrown out of the party.”

 

North Yorkshire police are aware of Mr. Nixon’s alleged comments and are currently investigating the matter.

Anti-Muslim violence on the increase in France

Le Monde

21.03.2013

This year’s annual report on racism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism released by the National Consultative Commission on Human Rights (CNCDH) on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination reveals a notably rise in racist violence in France. After a two year low, 2012 showed a 23% increase in racial violence in the country. 1530 acts of racist, xenophobic and anti-Semitic violence were recorded last year alone, five times more than 20 years ago.

The rise in racist attacks and threats in France can be traced and specified to the rise of anti-Semitic (55%) and Islamophobic attacks (30%). Most of these attacks and threats have taken place in France’s urban and industrial regions such as the Île-de-France, Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Alsace. The CNCDH reasons the geographic distribution of such attacks in the rise of unemployment in traditional industrial regions as well as the social restructuring in the areas. 40% of the victims are of North African origin.

The CNCDH’s head, Christine Lazerges, explains that both, the rise in anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, have very different reasons: whereas the rise of anti-Semitism is connected to the Merah affair, the case of Islamophobia is severely different. According to Lazerges, a larger structural problem can be indicated by the numbers which have been consecutively rising since the last three years. In numbers they might be low but they only show the tip of the iceberg, says Lazerges.

cncdh-racisme-02-basse-def-pdf

Randall Terry Airs Graphic, Anti-Muslim Ad Against Obama In Pennsylvania

A gruesome, anti-Muslim television ad aired Tuesday night in Pittsburgh, insinuating that President Barack Obama is sympathetic to violent extremism in the Middle East.

The ad, first flagged by the liberal group American Bridge 21st Century, was paid for by fringe write-in presidential candidate Randall Terry and aired around the popular 11 p.m. time slot on Pittsburgh’s local FOX affiliate WPHG.

It features a sleeping woman who is struggling through a nightmare. It intersperses graphic images of bloodied corpses and a man being decapitated. A portion of President Obama’s speech in Cairo about bridging the gap between the Muslim and western worlds, and chants of “Allahu Akbar” serve as the background audio in the ad. The woman ultimately wakes up from the nightmare and says, “I can’t vote for Obama again.” The ad ends with Terry on screen saying, “A vote for Obama helps Muslims murder Christians and Jews. I’m Randall Terry and I approve this message.”