Legislative elections: The Collective Against Islamophobia(CCIF )founder candidate in Sarcelles

 

Samy Debah, who founded the Collective Against Islamophobia in France in 2004, quietly left the organization in March. “I have never been loyal to a single political party. Since I’ve become an official candidate, activists from leftist parties have approached me but I declined.” His candidacy is expected to prompt debate, since the association has documented Islamophobic attacks within the last several years from the right and extreme right, but also by Manuel Valls when he was prime minister.

Debah hopes to mobilize voters in the 8th district of Val d’Oise, which has seen high voter abstention rates. In the 2012 legislative elections abstention rates reached 57.38%. He has openly rejected any forms of communitarianism, stating, “I am Muslim and French and I see it often.” His candidacy is a test, as voters are accustomed to Tariq Ramadan and Marwan Muhammad. This time, it’s Samy Debah who has emerged as a viable candidate.

 

 

Regional elections: National Front fails to win any regions

The National Front (FN) on Sunday night failed to win a single region, after leading in six of 13 French regions in the first round of regional elections one week earlier.

There will be no further nationwide elections in France until the May 2017 presidential contest. Sunday’s poll was seen as a rehearsal for 2017.

The FN claims to be France’s “first party” and often leads in the first round, as it did on December 6th, with 27.8 per cent of the vote. But unlike the ruling socialist party (PS) and Nicolas Sarkozy’s conservative “Les Républicains” (LR), the FN has no allies or reserve voters to bolster its score in the run-off.

Exit polls showed the FN’s leader, Marine Le Pen, won 42 per cent of the vote in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie region, compared to 58 per cent for the LR candidate Xavier Bertrand. Le Pen thanked her voters “for rejecting intimidation, infantilisation and manipulation” by the socialist government.

Prime minister Manuel Valls had warned of a risk of “civil war” if the FN won the elections. He called on socialists to vote for LR candidates in the three regions where the FN looked likely to win, and where LR was ahead of the PS in the first round. Sarkozy refused to reciprocate, reiterating his policy of “neither nor” – neither FN nor PS.

With left-wing support, the LR appears to have won seven of 13 regions, while the PS won six. The socialists held 21 of 22 regions under the previous system.

Ms Le Pen said the “worryingly irresponsible” rhetoric of Valls and the socialist speaker of the National Assembly Claude Bartolone showed “the dangerous drift of a dying regime,” that a “campaign of calumny and defamation” was “decided in the golden palaces of the republic and carried out in a servile way by those who live off the system”.

She noted that the FN’s score in the second round of regional elections rose from 9.17 per cent in 2010 to 30 percent on Sunday, “confirming as EU and departmental elections showed the inexorable rise of the FN, election after election”.

Marion Maréchal Le Pen lost the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region to the LR candidate, Christian Estrosi, a close ally of Mr Sarkozy, by 45 to 55 per cent.

In Alsace-Champagne-Ardennes-Lorraine, Marine Le Pen’s right-hand man, Florian Philippot lost with 36.4 per cent of the vote to 48.8 per cent for the LR candidate Philippe Richert. Jean-Pierre Masseret, the socialist candidate who defied Valls’s order to withdraw from the race, won only 15.2 per cent.

Valls said voters “responded to the very clear, very courageous appeal of the left to block the path of the extreme right, which won no region”. The results were a lesson to politicians “to end little political games, invective, sectarianism”, he said. Le Pen said the results proved “the secret ties between those who pretend to oppose each other but in reality share power without ever solving your problems”.

Dutch Muslim organization wants ban on demonstration Pro-Patria

The Contact Organization for Muslims and Government (CMO) has emphatically requested the Mayor of the Dutch city of Gouda Milo Schoenmaker to forbid a demonstration by the extreme right organization Pro Patria (English: For the Fatherland). The CMO stated it has received many phone calls by concerned Muslims. Spokesperson Yassin Elforkani said a counter-demonstration was also planned.

Mayor Milo Schoenmaker has decided to allow the Pro Patria demonstration. The extreme right organization stated it is combating Muslim extremist through these demonstrations.

“After the announcement that the demonstration will take place we received a lot of phone calls from Muslims who fear an escalation will take place. I’ve already seen a flyer with a call for a counter-demonstration,” Elforkani said. “It might also be that the action group Identitair Verzet (English: Indentitary Resistance) will take part in the demonstration. The activists belonging to this extreme right group occupied a Dutch mosque earlier this month (http://www.volkskrant.nl/binnenland/moslimorganisaties-bang-na-bezette-moskee-leiden~a3847209/).

“We are very much for the freedom of expression but we are worries about the societal tensions. Therefore we ask the Mayor to take his responsibility,” the spokesperson said. The municipality has announced it is waiting for an official request by the CMO.

Mosques afraid of wave of violence from extreme right groups

After members of the extreme-right group Identitair Verzet [Identitair Resistance] shortly occupied the Al Hijra mosque in the city of Leiden, the Contact Body Muslims and Government (CMO) is afraid for an escalation of anti-Muslim violence.

CMO, representing 80% of the Dutch mosques takes the incident very serious, says spokesperson Yassin Elforkani. There have been incidents before, but this was the first time that an action was committed and coordinated by a ideological driven group. There are moreover signs that more actions will follow.

Dutch extreme right group organizes anti-Islam demonstration

Pro Patria, a Dutch extreme right group, announced to yet again take to the streets to demonstrate for the freedom of speech and against fundamentalistic Muslims. The organization will hold a “March for Freedom” on Saturday 28 February. The extreme right group says it wants to call upon Dutch political figures to “defend our freedoms.” “Looking away is no longer an option,” Pro Patria writes on her Facebook page.

In August 2014 Pro Patria organized a similar demonstration in the multicultural neighborhood Schilderswijk in The Hague. This resulted in a confrontation with (Islamic) youth. Shortly after the incident the Mayor of The Hague Jozias van Aartsen announced a temporary ban on demonstrations in residential areas of The Hague. The leadership of Pro Patria is thought to consist of members of various extreme right groups that are active in the Netherlands or have been in the past.

In praise of … the Maryam Centre

A month after a mosque in north London was destroyed in an arson attack, it is heartening to see that East London Mosque in Whitechapel is expanding. When it gets fully under way, the Maryam Centre will offer a range of projects and services for women in the community – a prayer hall, counselling, and a gym – as well as house a school and a visitor centre for non-Muslims. The centre will make the mosque very much more than just a provider of religious services. With 25,000 worshipers attending a week, and that is outside Ramadan, the mosque has already become a key hub for the community. Its original purpose in 1910 was as a place of worship for sailors and travellers who came to Tower Hamlets. It took most of the last century to establish a permanent base in Whitechapel. Today it is the living and growing answer to those on the extreme right who vilify mosques as the home of fundamentalists.

The Perception of Muslims in the German Media: Heavy on the Clichés

A recent study shows that Muslims are often negatively portrayed in the German media. Is this really the case? The research indicates that this trend has been in evidence since 9/11. Klaudia Prevezanos has the details

For years, the terms “doner murders” and “Turkish mafia” were used by German media in reports about a series of attacks that resulted in the murder of nine Turkish and Greek immigrants. In November 2011, it emerged that the murders were probably committed by an extreme right-wing terror cell calling itself the National Socialist Underground, or NSU.

For Semiya Simsek, the daughter of the first victim, these are “thoughtless, cynical and racist” terms. She has written a book about the murder of her father, Enver, titled Schmerzliche Heimat (Painful Homeland). “Now everyone realizes that these are racist terms, but that wasn’t the case back then,” she says today, referring to the conduct of the media since it became clear that the killers were driven by right-wing motives and that the murders were not related to criminal activities within the victims’ families. The NSU trial is set to begin on 6 May 2013 in Munich.

Two elderly Muslims attacked on their way to morning prayers

News Agencies – May 7, 2012

 

Two elderly Muslims were beaten up on their way to the mosque in the northern town of Amiens. The attack occurred when the two victims, ages 70 and 71, were on their way to morning prayers.  They were accosted by two men with short haircuts who said they were part of the extreme right.  The men were admitted to the hospital with injuries to their legs and ribs.

Men are overrepresented on the anti-Islam websites

According to the new report from the newspaper Klassekampen (The Class Struggle, a left-wing Norwegian daily newspaper) single, childless and low-educated men over the age of 65 are overrepresented on the anti-Islam websites.

Klassekampen had used the analysis software “Alexa” to investigate eight anti-Islam websites including Gates of Vienna, Jihad Watch, Bryssel Journal, Islam Watch and Atlas Shrugged. According to the newspaper’s statistics people over the age of 65 are overrepresented on all of the sites. Here, men clearly dominate and most of them were not educated beyond the primary level.

Few of the site visitors have children, and most of those who visit these sites do so from their homes and from work. The statistics presented by the newspaper are well in line with the political landscape that dominates the European extreme-right parties, notes the journalist and author of “The Hate against Muslims”, Andreas Malm. “There is an obviousl dominance of older men, often unemployed, who can feel abandoned by the society seeking explanations and someone to blame”. Malm adds, “A typical conspiracy theoretician is older, lone man obsessed with a particular question (e.g. Muslim presence in the country etc.) and thus attracted to various anti-Islam conspiracy theories floating online.” His analysis is supported by Tor Bach, the chief editor of the website Vespen (the Wasp, a monitoring extremism site in Norway). “These group of older people have certain common traits.” He continues “firstly, their primary characteristic is that they feel suspicion against the entire society and the democratic system. Secondly, they hold a firm belief that someone will hurt them “. He is reluctant to generalize too much; nevertheless he maintains the notion that these men are angry and frustrated people who feel neglected when their opinion is not heard.

Sentenced for a blog article about Muslims

4 April 2012

A former leading member of the Swedish Democrats – SD (an extreme right party with 20 seats in the Swedish Parliament) from Örebro was sentenced for “incitement to hate”. The sentence is based on a blog article which he wrote two years ago about Somali and Muslim immigrants. He wrote, among other things, that “the men sit at home and chew drugs while conspiring against the unbelievers”, as reported by Nerikes Allehandas online edition (Örebro local daily newspaper).

The man, who has since been expelled from the party (SD), argued in his defense that few people have even read his blog article. Nevertheless, the district court’s opinion is that he was guilty by posting such article online.