Religious Organizations De-Escalate Tensions Around Islam

8 March 2012

A research project by members of the University of Amsterdam has concluded that religious organizations provide a source of de-escalation in tensions around Islam in the Netherlands. Commissioned by the justice ministry’s Scientific Research and Documentation Centre (WODC), the project studied five cases of criticism of Islam in western countries, including the Swiss minaret ban (2009), the anti-Islam film Fitna (2008), the Danish cartoon affair (2005-2006). Researchers analyzed the public reactions of Islamic, Christian, Jewish, Hindu and Buddhist organizations and their leaders. Researcher Gerard Wiegers commented that in their responding to these instances of criticism, “the original and inventive approach of some Islamic organizations has pleasantly surprised us.”

New Book: Islamophobia: The Challenge of Pluralism in the 21st Century

Islamophobia has been on the rise since September 11, as seen in countless cases of discrimination, racism, hate speeches, physical attacks, and anti-Muslim campaigns. The 2006 Danish cartoon crisis and the controversy surrounding Pope Benedict XVI’s Regensburg speech have underscored the urgency of such issues as image-making, multiculturalism, freedom of expression, respect for religious symbols, and interfaith relations. The 1997 Runnymede Report defines Islamophobia as “dread, hatred, and hostility towards Islam and Muslims perpetuated by a series of closed views that imply and attribute negative and derogatory stereotypes and beliefs to Muslims.” Violating the basic principles of human rights civil liberties, and religious freedom, Islamophobic acts take many different forms. In some cases, mosques, Islamic centers, and Muslim properties are attacked and desecrated. In the workplace, schools, and housing, it takes the form of suspicion, staring, hazing, mockery, rejection, stigmatizing and outright discrimination. In public places, it occurs as indirect discrimination, hate speech, and denial of access to goods and services.

This collection of essays takes a multidisciplinary approach to Islamophobia, bringing together the expertise and experience of Muslim, American, and European scholars. Analysis is combined with policy recommendations. Contributors discuss and evaluate good practices already in place and offer new methods for dealing with discrimination, hatred, and racism.

http://www.oup.com/us/catalog/general/subject/ReligionTheology/Islam/?view=usa&ci=9780199753659

Table of Contents
Foreword Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary General of the Organization of
Islamic Conference
Introduction John L. Esposito

THE CONTEXT OF ISLAMOPHOBIA

1. Ibrahim Kalin, “Islamophobia and the Limits of Multiculturalism”
2. Jocelyne Cesari, “Islamophobia” in the West: A Comparison Between
Europe
and America”.

CASE STUDIES

3. Sam Cherribi: Islamophobia in Germany, Austria and Holland
4. Tahir Abbas, “Islamophobia in the UK: Historical and Contemporary
Political and Media Discourses in the Framing of a Twenty-First century
Anti-Muslim Racism
5. Mohamed Nimer, “Breaking the Vicious Cycle of Islamophobia and
Anti-Americanism”
6. Sherman A. Jackson, “Muslims, Islam(s) and Race in America”

MANIFESTATIONS

7. Sunaina Maira, “Islamophobia and the War on Terror: Youth,
Citizenship,
and Dissent”
8. Juan Cole, “Islamophobia and American Foreign Policy”
9. Anas Shaikh Ali, “Islamophobic Discourse Masquerading as Art and
Literature: Combating Myth through Progressive Education”
10. Kate Zebiri, Orientalist Themes in Contemporary British Islamophobia
11. Peter Gottschalk and Gabriel Greenberg, “From Muhammad to Obama:
Caricatures, Cartoons, and Stereotypes of Muslims”

Arab League in Netherlands faces fines for cartoons

Thu Dutch branch of the European Arab League should be fined for publishing a cartoon implying that Jews invented the idea that six million people died in the holocaust, according to the public prosecution department. The comments refer to the cartoons published on the EAL’s website four years ago in response to the Danish cartoons depicting Mohammed. The prosecution department made the comments Thursday, suggesting that the EAL be fined one thousand Euros and that Dutch representative Abdimoutalib Bouzerda face an additional five hundred Euros.

Politician uses Muhammad cartoon as Facebook profile

Ulf Erik Knudsen of the right-wing Fremskrittspartiet (Frp) uses the infamous cartoon of Kurt Westergaard on his Facebook account.

“I use it as a sign of sympathy with someone that’s been threatened by forces that wants to limit our freedom of speech,” Knudsen says.

Muslims protest Danish cartoon, German film on Islam

Hundreds of Muslims took out a silent procession here last evening to condemn the derogatory depiction of Prophet Mohammad in a Danish paper, and a German film showing Islam in bad light. Carrying banners and placards reading “Down with Denmark, Germany and Israel”, the protesters marched down the street demanding that the government convey their sentiments to the three countries through diplomatic channels. There have conspiracies to disgrace Islam. First the film titled ‘Fitna’ that depicts Quran in bad light and secondly the republication of derogatory cartoons of Prophet Mohammad. The Muslim community is extremely hurt by these actions. So, we have taken out a silent procession to voice our concerns. We hope the authorities would carry the message to those who are carrying out such actions,” said Abdul Latif Khan, a cleric.

Denmark: Denmark: Royal Library will not display Mohammed cartoons

Denmark’s national library will house the cartoon images of the prophet Muhammad that provoked violent riots throughout the Islamic world two years ago. The Royal Library has declared the drawings to be of historic value, and is trying to acquire them for preservation purposes. It has agreed to take possession of the caricatures on behalf of the museum of Danish cartoon art, and negotiations with the artists of the 12 cartoons are said to be at an advanced stage. We are not interested in an exhibition, we are interested in them being kept safe for future generations because they have created history in Denmark said Jytte Kjaergaard, a spokeswoman for the library.