Hatred of Muslims Is Rampant in Britain
ᴅʀ ʜ.ᴀ. ʜᴇʟʟʏᴇxʀ @hahellyexr, 20191217
“Islamophobia Is Boris Johnson’s Problem Now”
Hatred of Muslims is rampant in Britain — and the prime minister and the Conservatives have contributed to making it socially acceptable. my latest in @ForeignPolicy
Islamophobia Is Boris Johnson’s Problem Now
Islamophobia has been mainstreamed in a way never seen before in modern Britain. And it could get worse. (foreignpolicy.com)
“No one thought that such a massacre could take place in tolerant New Zealand, but it did. In the U.K., the security services have already warned the public that the far-right has attempted to carry out its own massacres, going so far as stockpiling equipment to bomb a mosque.”
A third of terrorist plots in the U.K. since March 2017 have come from the far-right, and far-right extremists are arguably more energized by anti-Muslim bigotry than anything else. Before Britain has its own Christchurch massacre, Johnson is going to have to do much more.”
Corbyn faced legitimate accusations about failures to address anti-Semitism properly and effectively. Johnson has the same responsibility for Islamophobia – but far less attention has been given in our national conversation. It’s dangerous to keep that as the norm.
Considering that reported hate crimes against Jews in England and Wales doubled in 2018 to 2019 as compared to the previous year (1,326 compared to 672), anti-Semitism is plainly an issue that needs to be addressed by the Labour Party and U.K. society as a whole.
In the same period from 2018-2019 almost 3 times as many hate crimes (3,530) were committed against Muslims, accounting for almost half of all hate crimes against religious groups in the U.K.—yet attention to that issue has been paltry in comparison to anti-Semitism claims.
And when it comes to anti-Muslim sentiment, it isn’t just that there is a problem with Islamophobia among Tories. After all, the current prime minister once wrote that “Islamophobia—fear of Islam—seems a natural reaction” and insisted that “Islam is the problem.”
More recently, a number of Conservative Party officials have been suspended over Islamophobia, but the Tories seem unwilling to sufficiently address Islamophobia within the party. And It isn’t just in the Conservative Party: it’s much more widespread throughout British society.
In-person hate crimes against Muslims from 2016 to 2017 increased by 30%; in 2018, “Punish a Muslim Day” letters were sent to Muslims; mosques have been attacked, including when a van plowed into a group of pedestrians who had been worshipping at a London mosque in 2017.
Indeed, the problem of Islamophobia is more dire today than after the 9/11 attacks or the 2005 London train and bus bombings. Shortly before the Dec. 12 election, an ICM poll surveyed voters about their attitudes toward Muslims. The numbers are shocking.
When it came to Conservative voters, 37% admitted to viewing Muslims in a negative light, 55 % said that there should be a reduction in the number of Muslims entering Britain, and a staggering 62 % said they agreed with the statement that Islam threatens the British way of life.
Numerous complaints about Tory officials and activists’ behavior and rhetoric toward Muslims have been lodged. In 2018, no less than a former chairperson of the Conservative Party, Sayeeda Warsi, declared that the Tories had to form an inquiry into Islamophobia.
When it comes to British voters more generally, the poll reported that 26 % view Muslims in a negative light, 41 % said that there should be a reduction in the number of Muslims entering Britain, and 45 % agreed with the statement that Islam threatens the British way of life.
I have researched extremist Islamists for much of my career. I’ve received threats from extremist Islamists many times for my work—sometimes for arguing that these extremists pose a threat to the U.K. or that they are a menace to Muslim communities worldwide.
But it isn’t extremist Islamists whom the poll asked about. It asked about Muslims in general & Islam as a religion. When almost half of voters according to the ICM view Islam—not extremists, not radicals, but just Muslims—as a threat, Britain has a grave problem to reckon with.
The increasing prevalence of Islamophobia is the result of 3 factors. The first is the statements from political figures who engage in Islamophobia. The second factor is the existence of a well-documented network. The third factor is the mainstreaming of hateful views.
As the researcher Tom Kibasi pointed out last month: “It is hard to avoid the conclusion that many in the British media dismiss Islamophobia because they believe Islamophobes have a point.” Too few have been willing to confront this issue. On the contrary.
Underestimating this kind of threat to the social cohesion of our societies is not an option we should countenance. That kind of attitude led to the widespread notion Jews in Europe posed a threat in the early 1900s and a systematic scapegoating of them that led to the Holocaust.
That lack of seriousness brought about the demonization of Bosniaks in the 1990s, which led to the genocide of Bosnian Muslims. And the toleration of that sentiment two decades ago paved the way for a disgraceful gesture to be made last week by the Nobel Committee.
The Nobel Prize is meant to signify recognition of the greatness of its recipient. But on Dec. 10, the Austrian author Peter Handke was given that prize—the same Handke who denied the Bosnian genocide. He was granted the Nobel Prize with a handshake from the Swedish king.
11:41 AM · Dec 17, 2019·Twitter Web Client
THE VIEW FROM THERE
‘This Is a Stain on the Nobel Prize Organization’
A conversation with Riada Asimovic Akyol, a Bosnian writer based in Washington D.C., about new Nobel laureate Peter Handke, who receives the prize on Tuesday.
BY AMY MACKINNON | DECEMBER 9, 2019, 5:38 PM
Peter Handke and the power of denial
What is behind the decision to award a genocide denier a Nobel Prize?
by Emir Suljagic
10 Dec 2019
Handke, in other words, was not an aberration in the 1990s; he was one of many others in the political mainstream with an identical agenda.
Handke’s genocide denial is the logical political extension of the ignorance and the indifference of the rationalisations by UN and Dutch officials I witnessed in 1995.
Denial is part and parcel of the process that sets the context for genocide in the first place.
No, the outside world did not just stand by during the Bosnian genocide. It actively rationalised and negated our experience, and what is more, it continues to do so.
Die Stunde der falschen Empfindung
Die Stunde der falschen Empfindung – wie der Dichter Peter Handke in die Falle der grossserbischen Ideologie tappte und keinen Ausweg mehr fand
Andreas Breitenstein 06.12.2019
Man kommt nicht umhin, es als Skandal zu empfinden, wie sehr sich Peter Handke in seiner grossserbischen ideologischen Verblendung mit seinen abwegigen Sichtweisen an den Schwächsten des Krieges vergangen hat.
(One cannot avoid feeling that it is a scandal how much Peter Handke has done wrong ( misbehaved ), in his great-Serbian ideological blindness, with his devious views against the weakest of the war.)