Labour MP David Lammy authored a report which found a surge in the Muslim prison population and found lack of data on why this population has surged. The report was commissioned by David Cameron in 2016. There has been a 50% rise in the share of prisoners who are Muslim in only ten years. Muslims are only 5% of the overall British population but 15% of the prison population.
Lammy notes that the trend is difficult to trace back to its origins because data is not collected on the religious identities of defendants while still in trial. So, it is unclear if the disparity arises in arrests or in sentencing.
Equality and Human Rights Commission chairman David Isaac stressed that the lack of explanation should signal that “we need more transparent data published.”
Dr Zubaida Haque, a researcher for the think tank The Runnymede Trust, said terror convictions cannot account for the size of the rise. Dr Haque also raised concern about Islamophobia within the prison system and in the criminal justice system more broadly.
The right-leaning, British, foreign-affairs think tank, the Henry Jackson Society, published a report on foreign funding of Islamist Extremism. The report is summarised below.
The UK government’s 2015 Counter-Extremism Strategy acknowledged the role of foreign funding of Islamist extremism. In 2017, the UK formed a commission for countering extremism which did research on funding of extremism but has kept its findings secret, leading to a lack of publically available information.
Foreign funding to promote Islamic extremism in the UK has gone to religious institutions which host extremist preachers and distribute extremist literature. There is also concern about Islamist material in British independent (private) schools from the right-wing, Saudi, Salafi-Wahabi tradition.
Saudi Arabia has actively promoted its Wahabi version of Islam, including through providing funding to Muslims in Western countries. In the UK, there are two major institutions that help distribute Wahabi ideas, the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) and the Muslim World League (MWL). Both organisations have hosted speakers affiliated with the controversial political organisation (sometimes labelled ‘terrorist group’), the Muslim Brotherhood. Bookshops linked to Saudi-funded mosques may also be distributing Salafist literature.
Full scholarships to the University of Medina encourage British young Muslims, hoping to become religious leaders, to go to this Wahabi institution instead of to South Asian seminaries.
The report concludes with a critique of British government policy. The UK is said to be doing less than other European countries, as reports of funding risks have not been published nor has there been a clear response to them. It is suggested that the UK could criminalise funding to certain institutions or funding from particular countries.
Key Points: The most significant anti-Islam action of the 2014 midterm election, Alabama’s Amendment 1, was approved by voters. Alabama is the eighth state to approve a law intended to vilify Islam. The measure was inspired by Islamophobe David Yerushalmi’s American Laws for American Courts legislation, which stigmatizes Muslims as a group from which the US needs protection. In Alabama, two organizations – Christians against Amendment One and the Christian Coalition of Alabama – organized opposition to the measure citing its threats to international adoptions, marriage law and religious liberty.
A Harris poll conducted prior to the election found that “just over half” of Americans would not vote for a Muslim candidate. However, observed usage of Islamophobic rhetoric on the campaign trail was present, but significantly down, from the 2010 midterm election.
Prior to election day, Republicans in New Hampshire modified their state party platform, signaling their intent to push a legal measure intended to vilify Islam. While Republicans were overwhelmingly responsible for pushing anti-Islam prejudice during the election, three separate incidents in 2014 showed that the party will, at times, act against Islamophobia.
The use of Islamophobic discourse to exploit voters’ fears remains an acceptable component of political campaigns. The overall effectiveness of employing such tactics remains in doubt.
As in the 2010 midterm election, Republicans were responsible for the overwhelming majority of anti-Islam electoral prejudice. Outside of an electoral setting, however, the party held some public officials accountable for employing anti-Muslim prejudice in 2014.
This brief on the presence of Islamophobia in the 2014 election offers only a snapshot of major highlights and does not purport to be a complete record. (CAIR)
The terrorist threat in the Netherlands remains ‘substantial’, according to the latest threat report from the Dutch counter terrorism body NCTV. The risk remains at this level due to ongoing concerns about residents traveling to Syria to engage in armed conflict. NCTV says some 100 Dutch nationals have so far travelled to Syria, of whom some 70 remain in the country.
Childline, a charity organization that offers services to children and teenagers, has released a report documenting various issues facing young people in the UK. Among the problems that they face are racist and Islamophobic bullying, which are on the rise.
In Western Europe, religious fundamentalism is not a marginal phenomenon but a trend. This is the conclusion of a German study whose results were presented last week in Berlin at WZB, a center for research in the social sciences.
This comparative study between Muslims of Turkish or Moroccan origin and Christians is based on a survey conducted on about 9,000 people in six European countries, including Germany and France.
44% of Muslims polled believed in a return to the origins of Islam and that the rules dictated by their religious beliefs are more important than those of the country in which they live. Contrastingly, in the Christian population this was the case for only 4%.
To determine the extent to which Muslim and Christian fundamentalists are considered hostile to the other groups, the researchers asked them whether they agreed with the following three statements :
“I do not want to have a homosexual friend”
“You just cannot trust Jews”
“Western countries want to destroy Islam / Muslims want to destroy western culture”
The results of the survey showed that 60% of Muslims and 13% of Christians did not like the idea of having a homosexual friend. Muslims who do not trust Jews were 45% compared to 9% of Christians.
About 25% of Christians think that Muslims want to destroy western culture, while 45% of Muslims are convinced that Western countries want to destroy Islam.
In the conclusion, the study’s author, sociologist Rudd Koopmans, emphasizes, however, that the results should be relativized: “We must not forget that Muslims are a relatively small minority in western Europe. Considered in a relative manner, the levels of fundamentalism and hostility are certainly higher among the Muslims, but in absolute terms the Christian fundamentalists are just as numerous.”
1) Seven out of ten Spanish jihadists become radicalized in Spain (homegrown terrorists).
2) They are concentrated in Madrid, Catalonia, Valencia and Ceuta.
3) It takes four to five years to become terrorists.
How are jihadist terrorists radicalized in Spain ? How long does it take them ? Where does this happens? These are some of the answers offered by the Real Instituto Elcano in an investigation that has just been published and signed by experts Fernando Reinares and Carola García-Calvo, who have been assessing Islamist terrorism cases from 1996 to 2012 .
The most striking finding of the report is that radicalization has become a “native” phenomenon in Spain: seven out of ten of those who become jihadists do it on Spanish territory. In terms of age, radicalism has greater impact on those under 30 years with individuals in their twenties being the most vulnerable.
However, it is not a widespread phenomenon throughout Spain. 90 per cent of Salafi radicalization cases have been recorded in particular in Madrid, Valencia , Catalonia and Ceuta, places where there is a large Muslim community.
During the research, the authors found a singularity of the ‘ Spanish ‘ phenomenon compared to other countries, as for example in the UK : most cases of recruitment and radicalization does not occur in places of worship, like mosques or Islamic cultural centers, but in private homes.
Once the individual begins the process of radicalization, which is “not irreversible” says the report of the Instituto Elcano, it takes between four and five years before he or she starts acting.
In what concerns the number of women participating in Jihadist activities in Spain, the report offers no indication.
Jocelyne Cesari, Religion and Diasporas: Challenges of the Emigration Countries, INTERACT RR 2013/01, Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, San Domenico di Fiesole (FI): European University Institute, 2013.
Using the theoretical framework of transnational studies and sociology of religion, this paper identifies the most significant factors that influence the religious dimensions of the emigration countries: the majority or minority status of the migrant group in the receiving countries as well as the pre-existing level of politicization of religion in the sending countries. It shows that the interactions of sending and receiving countries take place in religious terms in a broader transnational space including deterritorialized religious and political actors.