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Is the EDL Racist?

This is my first video based blog addressing the many lies that the EDL employ in attempting to deflect criticism and winning wider support. The most strenuously denied accusation is that they are a racist organisation. Whilst anti-Muslim bigotry uses near identical tactics of demonisation, dehumanising tropes and negative stereotypes to classic racism, the excuse that Muslims aren’t a race is too easily deployed as an obstacle in the path of the accuser. For this reason I have only included examples of pure racism in this video. I have also chosen not to include neo-Nazism which would by definition qualify as racist behaviour, as I plan on addressing this in a future blog.

It could be argued that racist language by individuals at 8 demos which have drawn up to 3,000 supporters over a period of 4 years isn’t conclusive proof that the EDL is a racist organisation. I would counter that by saying that leaders, organisers and stewards at demos are required to instruct attendees not to use racist language, which is an unusual request to make of adults in a non-racist organisation. It’s also worth noting that at no point in any of the clips does anybody challenge or question the use of racist language. I would also point out that cameras are not able to capture the words of every demonstrator at every march for the duration of the day.

To bolster my case I have included links below to screenshots taken of EDL members on social networking sites using explicitly racist language. This is just a small sample taken from their reaction to the riots of summer 2011 and the Stephen Lawrence trial.

Click images to enlarge

EDL Riots 2

EDL Riots

EDL Riots 3 EDL Riots 4 EDL Riots 5

EDL Riots 7 EDL Riots 8 EDL Riots 9

EDL Riots 10 EDL riots 11 EDL Riots 13

EDL Riots 14 EDL Riots 15 EDL Riots 16

EDL Riots 17

EDL Riots 18 EDL Riots 19 EDL Riots 6EDL Riots 20

EDL Riots 25

EDL Riots 22 
EDL Riots 23

Again, some EDL sympathisers may argue that this is only two dozen examples from a period of four years where the EDL’s social media pages have attracted up to 100,000 users. I would ask them, why do the EDL seem to attract a disproportionate amount of people who are comfortable using racist epithets and displaying open hostility to people on a purely ethnic basis?

To add a little more scientific weight to my case I will provide some telling results from polls in which EDL members and supporters were asked to answer direct questions.

demos.co.uk files Inside_the_edl_WEB.pdf 1320079341

As the table above shows, as part of the Demos ‘Inside the EDL’ study of 2011, the voting preference of 1,295 EDL supporters was measured. 34% of the participants expressed a preference for the racist BNP, which is 17 times higher than the general population, whilst 14% chose the xenophobic UKIP, which is nearly 5 times higher than the general public.

The slides below are taken from Matthew Goodwin’s ‘Men of Violence? The Drivers of Public Support for the EDL’ study which polled 1,666 members of the general public. 298 were classed as EDL sympathisers, 124 self identified as EDL members, and the remainder were considered neither.

Men of Violence  The Drivers of Public Support for the English Defe... (1)

The slide above shows that those sympathising with the EDL have a clear antipathy towards immigrants, multiculturalism and diversity.

Men of Violence  The Drivers of Public Support for the English Defe... (2)

This slide shows not only an inclination towards ethno-Nationalism but also biological racism. As the slide states, these figures point to a more openly racist inner core to the EDL with a xenophobic circle of sympathisers.

Men of Violence  The Drivers of Public Support for the English Defe...

Perhaps surprisingly, the above slide shows that the primary concern for EDL members and sympathisers is immigration and asylum, not Islam or even ‘militant’ Islam. At least a degree of proportion can be found within the rank of the EDL, as Muslims are beaten into third place by concerns over the economy. It’s not apparent whether concerns with immigration are based on fears regarding unemployment, welfare resources and the economy, or xenophobia and racism. But previous slides may provide an insight.

The next three slides illustrate the factors which are most likely to predict support for the EDL. The methodology is explained first.

Men of Violence  The Drivers of Public Support for the English Defe... (5)

Men of Violence  The Drivers of Public Support for the English Defe... (3)

As far as EDL sympathisers are concerned, by far the strongest indicator of support for the EDL is xenophobia, with an inclination to violence in second.

Men of Violence  The Drivers of Public Support for the English Defe... (4)

Not much needs to be added to the summary of the last slide. The key point worth re-iterating is that the EDL core membership is far more likely to be driven by classic racism and be pro-violence than not only the general public, but also the sympathiser. This would go some way to explaining why the more casual supporters are often oblivious to the extreme hardcore, and are confused by the accusations of racism. They may not actually spend a great deal of time socialising online or attend demos with the EDL, so are therefore less likely to have been exposed to the overt racism as the anti-EDL activist.

Is it possible to claim that the EDL is a racist organisation given the information I’ve presented here? The evidence would suggest that it attracts racists and xenophobes in numbers vastly disproportionate to the general public. It also suggests that the closer the individual identifies themselves with the EDL, the higher the probability is that they hold racist views. Add to this the fact that the leadership have a history of support for the BNP and it’s not surprising that they feel at ease doing this in EDL circles. The fact that the group’s raison d’etre is opposition to a religion practised predominantly by people of Asian, Middle Eastern and African origin provides the perfect cover for racists to be able to vent their hate with slightly amended terminology. Despite the disingenuous mission statement and lip service from the leadership, it’s undeniable that the EDL is riddled with racists and it isn’t a coincidence.

All screenshots used can be found in the link below.

http://twitpic.com/photos/EDLNewsXtra

Links to the full reports used are below.

http://www.slideshare.net/matthewgoodwin1/isdtapva2013

http://demos.co.uk/files/Inside_the_edl_WEB.pdf?1320079341

#ThatsWhyImMuslim Hashtag Hijacked By Casual Racism

As I opened my lap-top yesterday evening and logged into my Twitter account, I noticed that the number one trending topic in the UK was the hashtag #ThatsWhyImMuslim. As is the norm these days, my first thought was “How bad has the hashtag been trolled by ignorant bigots”. When I visited the tag I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was filled with Muslims celebrating positive aspects of their faith, tweeting uplifting and empowering verses from the Quran and generally displaying pride in Islam. There was no sign of divisive or inflammatory sentiments towards other faiths at all as far as I could see. Here’s a small collection:

TWIM 3 TWIM 4 TWIM 5 TWIM 6 TWIM 7 TWIM 8 TWIM 9 TWIM 10 TWIM 11 TWIM 12 TWIM 1 TWIM 2

Unfortunately, as the popularity of the hashtag propelled it into the worldwide trending top ten, it caught the attention of the non-Muslim twittersphere. Some were confused and perplexed as to how a pro-Muslim hashtag could possibly be the top trending topic in Britain. It was only a matter of time before the consternation gave way to casual racism, and the usual stereotyping of Muslims and Islam that has become depressingly familiar. Here’s just a sample:

.  Snidey_UK  on Twitter Twitter   Search    ThatsWhyImMuslim 2 Twitter   Search    ThatsWhyImMuslim 3 Twitter   Search    ThatsWhyImMuslim 4 Twitter   Search    ThatsWhyImMuslim 5 Twitter   Search    ThatsWhyImMuslim 6 Twitter   Search    ThatsWhyImMuslim 7 Twitter   Search    ThatsWhyImMuslim 8 Twitter   Search    ThatsWhyImMuslim 9 Twitter   Search    ThatsWhyImMuslim 10 Twitter   Search    ThatsWhyImMuslim 11 Twitter   Search    ThatsWhyImMuslim 12 Twitter   Search    ThatsWhyImMuslim 13 Twitter   Search    ThatsWhyImMuslim 14 Twitter   Search    ThatsWhyImMuslim 15 Twitter   Search    ThatsWhyImMuslim 16 Twitter   Search    ThatsWhyImMuslim 17 Twitter   Search    ThatsWhyImMuslim 18 Twitter   Search    ThatsWhyImMuslim 19 Twitter   Search    ThatsWhyImMuslim 20 Twitter   Search    ThatsWhyImMuslim 21 Twitter   Search    ThatsWhyImMuslim 22 Twitter   Search    ThatsWhyImMuslim 23 Twitter   Search    ThatsWhyImMuslim 24 Twitter   Search    ThatsWhyImMuslim 25 Twitter   Search    ThatsWhyImMuslim 26 Twitter   Search    ThatsWhyImMuslim 27 Twitter   Search    ThatsWhyImMuslim 28 Twitter   Search    ThatsWhyImMuslim 29 Twitter   Search    ThatsWhyImMuslim 30 Twitter   Search    ThatsWhyImMuslim 31 Twitter   Search    ThatsWhyImMuslim 32 Twitter   Search    ThatsWhyImMuslim 33 Twitter   Search    ThatsWhyImMuslim 34 Twitter   Search    ThatsWhyImMuslim 35 Twitter   Search    ThatsWhyImMuslim 36 Twitter   Search    ThatsWhyImMuslim 38 Twitter   Search    ThatsWhyImMuslim 39 Twitter   Search    ThatsWhyImMuslim 40 Twitter   Search    ThatsWhyImMuslim 41 Twitter   Search    ThatsWhyImMuslim 42 Twitter   Search    ThatsWhyImMuslim 43 Twitter   Search    ThatsWhyImMuslim 44 Twitter   Search    ThatsWhyImMuslim 45 Twitter   Search    ThatsWhyImMuslim 46 Twitter   Search    ThatsWhyImMuslim

I wonder if a hashtag celebrating being Jewish, Black or Gay would attract such overt hatred? It’s possible, but only from a very extreme minority of particularly anti-social trolls. But, as can be seen from the screenshots above, anti-Muslim bigotry is considered acceptable to seemingly normal people of any age or gender, from unprotected accounts, using their own names and photographs. Clear evidence, if any more were needed, that Islamophobia is the only form of bigotry still socially acceptable to such a wide range of people in today’s society.

The Importance Of Checking Your Sources or Tommy Robinson Spreads Neo-Nazi Propaganda

One thing I’ve learnt in my relatively short time blogging and involvement in social network activism, is that the sources one uses, links to or cites, must be reputable, credible and as clean as a whistle. Any debate or argument can be lost in an instant if, in your haste, you provide a source that can be debunked or discredited. I, myself, have been guilty of this in the past, so I now ensure that I know exactly who and what I use to support my case. Their credentials, qualifications and body of work. Any political, religious or personal bias. Any history of controversy or skeletons in the cupboard. Any criticism, refutations or rebuttals. Using sources without doing your homework can leave you open to embarrassment and humiliation, your honesty, morality or integrity being questioned or forever being associated with unpleasant people with unpleasant views. In the cut-throat world of political activism these lapses will be seized upon and used against you at any and every opportunity.

In my experience there are two groups of people that persistently fall into this trap. There is the group that consider themselves to be serious activists, but due to the absurd or extreme nature of their position can only support their case with sources that range from the unreliable, to the dishonest, through to the most hateful, agenda driven bile imaginable. Then there are the eager but naive novices who in their haste to counter a point, discredit an opponent or rally a cause, will unknowingly endorse a source that exposes them to the consequences highlighted in the first paragraph.

In the context of anti-Islamophobia activism there is an unfortunately fine line between what is considered acceptable and unacceptable by the anti-Islam movement in their own propaganda. For politically strategic reasons, just about any accusation or smear can be levelled at the Muslim community using the time honoured techniques and tropes of demonising and dehumanising the ‘other’. But this can be a minefield for the inexperienced or lazy bigot.

The relatively new right wing bandwagon of Islamophobia has subtle but crucial differences to traditional far-right ideology and discourse. Muslims are accused of condoning and practising sexism, homophobia and anti-Semitism as instructed by the Qu’ran and practices of the Prophet Muhammad. The problem for the uneducated Islamophobe, or the younger generation of right wing ‘patriots’ and Nationalists is that their own movement is aligned to, and integrated with many individuals and groups who have traditionally espoused the aforementioned views that they must now appear to find abhorrent.

My attention was caught by a tweet posted on the EDL hashtag by mountforrest, who regularly links to far-right websites, which contained a YouTube video entitled ‘European Race Awakens: A Golden Dawn for Sweden’ (it has now been changed as can be seen below).

Anyone with the slightest knowledge of the concept of race or a passing familiarity with the various peoples of the European continent will immediately have spotted exactly what I did. There is no single ‘European race’. They might also have picked up on the unpleasant echoes of racial theory and Nordicism in the term. With my curiosity piqued I decided to give it a viewing.

This is when I noticed the people who had chosen to retweet (Twitter speak for sharing for the uninitiated) the short film.

In the Twittersphere retweets or RT’s can be interpreted in numerous ways. If unaccompanied by any additional text, elaboration or specific denunciations of said RT, it invariably implies an endorsement of the contents. It’s common practice to stipulate in your bio as to whether a retweet is to be considered an endorsement, especially if that person is in a position of responsibility such as politician, journalist or celebrity.

As can be seen from the screenshot, as well as EDL supporter QueenLareefer and prolific internet troll, racist, homophobe, Hitler worshipper and EDL supporter WeAreTheBrits, EDL leader and British Freedom Party deputy leader Tommy Robinson aka Stephen Yaxley Lennon has also retweeted this video.

The contents of this particular video was footage of what appeared to be two or three groups of Swedish nationalists parading with flags, chasing and attacking what seem to be counter demonstrators. It’s unclear whether these opposition groups are Antifascists, immigrant communities or both.

Despite being familiar with the numerous ‘counterjihad’ groups, various Defence Leagues and far right political parties across Europe, I realised that I didn’t recognise any of the flags or symbols being flown. They didn’t belong to the neo-fascist Swedish Democrats party, the Swedish Defence League, SIOE or any other group involved in anti-Muslim activism. I decided to do some digging to see if my instincts concerning the racist undercurrent of the theme were right. It took a while but this is what I found.

The two flags on display here belong to the Swedish Resistance Movement.

The video footage is poorly lit so here’s a photograph from their ‘Stop the Boer Genocide’ march.

The SMR is a militant Neo-Nazi organisation, who’s leader Klas Lund was a member of the White Aryan Resistance and has served time for manslaughter. The aims of Swedish Resistance Movement is to establish a Nordic government by revolution. The organization says their fight will require bloodshed.

Persons linked to the Swedish Resistance Movement have been involved in several acts of violence:

  • Armed robbery, Sollentuna 1997
  • Theft of weapons from the army in Strängnäs, September 1998
  • Assault and battery of persons of African descent, Stockholm April 1999
  • Assault and battery of homosexuals during Gay Pride in Stockholm, July 1999
  • Assault and battery of ethnic Swedes at Gröna Lund, Stockholm 1999
  • The murder of Björn Söderberg, Stockholm 1999
  • Manslaughter in Skogås new year -2000, Stockholm 1999
  • Three far left activists from the Socialist Justice Party and one conservative youth from the Moderate Youth League were seriously assaulted in Gothenburg 2008

The Swedish Security Service believes the SMR to be the biggest threat to Sweden’s national security.

The flag in the video still above is that of the Party of the Swedes.

They are a nationalist political party which was founded as the Peoples Front by members of the now defunct National Socialist Front.

The party describes its ideology as nationalism based on a biological ground. The political program states that:

1, Sweden should also in the future be Swedish: Only people who belong to the western genetic and cultural heritage, where the ethnic Swedes are included, should be Swedish citizens.

The flag being paraded by the marchers above is that of the aforementioned National Socialist Front.

It became a political party on 20 April 1999, the 110th birthday of Adolf Hitler. Whilst active the NSF demonstrated in Stockholm for the release of Holocaust denier Ernst ZündelThe party had as its main goals the abolition of democracy, the repatriation of immigrants, the implementation of scientific racism and cutting taxes for families with many genetically healthy children.

The flags in the above photo represent the Autonomous Nationalists &Workers Partiesfrom Germany, Poland, Czech Republic and Sweden.

Both groups are major players in Central European far-right extremism.

A high level of militancy is connected with the activities of autonomous nationalists (Menhorn 2008). The AN are a strategic concept, organization and subculture – all three terms are possible for the designation of this phenomenon.”

“The violent actions of right-wing extremist are traditionally propagated at international level. The cult of the American right-wing terrorist group The Order or the Anti-Antifa concept of German origin are examples. In East Central Europe is right-wing extremist violence very strong (Mudde 2005: 275). Various violent activities from other countries have inspired foreign activists in contemporary East and Central Europe, and even transnational participation in them can be seen.  Specific brutal forms of violence, mostly against people from Caucasus and Central Asia and against anti-Fascists, is typical of contemporary Russia, including video shots of executions or activities of racist gangs causing tens of victims. The “Russian Way” is a new popular term in the right-wing scene for the designation of violent struggle with terrorist means. The training by the Russian military veterans of post-Soviet conflicts is also propagated in several East Central European countries (of course not among the nationalists with strong anti-Russian
prejudices, as in Ukraine).”

A popular concept is also vigilantism by paramilitary groups, which is inspired by the Hungarian guard (MG). The main aim of the MG and similar groups in other countries (National Guard – NG and Protection corps of the Worker´s Party – OS DS) is not the direct use of violence (they are unarmed formations), but the public demonstration of force. The real goal is intimidating ethnic minorities (mostly Roma people), who are connected with crime in public discourse (it is influenced by racist prejudices strongly).

A new form of violent activity – mass riot in the problem localities – was presented in the Czech town Litvínov in quarter Janov in Autumn 2008. More than thousand activists (mostly autonomous nationalists and right-wing extremist football hooligans) attacked the police and tried to attack the Roma settlement (Albert 2009). Participants of this riot were not only Czechs, but also Slovaks and Germans. One year later the north Bohemian NS-activists supported the raid of the Slovak community in the Roma settlement in Šarišské Michalany in Slovakia (Nejvyšší správní soud 2010: 6).”

I was now curious to know who was responsible for uploading Nazi propaganda onto YouTube.

Clicking on the appropriately named fasciststateUK’s channel reveals a wallpaper adorned with an immediately recognisable moustachioed man.

A browse through the channel uncovers gems such as these:

As well as fawning tributes to Adolf Hitler, Rudolf Hess and Heinrich Himmler, there is Holocaust denial and revisionism, praise for the BNP and the National Front and videos laughably referring to ‘My Tram Experience’ racist Emma West as the ‘Mother of England’ and ‘England’s Joan of Arc.’ There are also similar videos to the Swedish example posted on twitter charting and celebrating the perceived rise of National Socialism in Greece, Ukraine, Croatia, Romania, Germany, Poland and France.

The channel also hosts seven broadcasts of the a ‘White Network’ radio show hosted by a woman by the name of Carolyn Yeager. The Anti Defamation League gives us the low-down on her.

Carolyn Yeager is a Texas-based neo-Nazi and Holocaust denier who runs her own Web site. The site is filled with racist and anti-Semitic material, as well as essays promoting motherhood and home-schooling.

From April through August 2007, Yeager was the Texas state leader of neo-Nazi American National Socialist Workers Party (ANSWP), a group that descended from the National Socialist Movement, the largest neo-Nazi group in the country. She also assumed the position of Assistant Editor at the ANSWP’s magazine, National Socialist, in July 2007.  In a 2007 profile inNational Socialist, she is quoted as praising Hitler, advocating the supremacy of the Aryan “race,” and claiming that the Jews’ “long-term plan is to drive us off the land and alienate us from our roots so that we will not fight.”  In August 2007, Yeager defected from the ANSWP, which has been inactive since its leader Bill White was imprisoned on charges of threatening and intimidating various perceived enemies.

By 2009, Yeager was writing for The Barnes Review, a Holocaust denial publication published by long-time anti-Semite Willis Carto. In the May/June 2009 issue of the magazine, Yeager co-authored an article, “Who Are the Traitors? Frank Talks Inside the Fuehrer’s Headquarters Revealed by Hitler Confidant Hermann Giesler.” She also authored the book “Auschwitz: The Underground Guided Tour; What the Tour Guides Don’t Tell You at Auschwitz-Birkenau, published by The Barnes Review.  In the book, Yeager claims that Auschwitz was not an extermination camp and that Nazi guards looked after the health of inmates.  Reputable scholars estimate that 1.1 million people, 90% of them Jewish, died at Auschwitz.

To summarise, Tommy Robinson, the leader of the English Defence League and deputy leader of the British Freedom Party, retweeted a video of Swedish Neo-Nazi groups attacking opposition activists. These groups variously promote white nationalism, eugenics, repatriation and violent revolution. Have carried out violent attacks on minority groups, attend paramilitary training camps and openly espouse anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, racist, anti-democratic views. The video itself was uploaded to a channel devoted to the promotion of Nazism, Holocaust revisionism, white power, anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and glorifying Hitler.

This wouldn’t be the first time he has used questionable sources either. In an attempt to discredit extremism expert and esteemed academic Matthew Goodwin, he ‘inadvertently’ used an entry from the Metapedia website. Metapedia is pro white supremacist, homophobic, anti-Semitic, and glowingly praises Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany. In his haste to smear Dr. Goodwin, Mr. Robinson quoted Metapedia live on BBC television and posted a link to them on twitter.

Since opening his twitter account, the EDL leader has committed faux pas after faux pas.

Inappropriate comments to underage girls.

Hilarious ‘jokes’.

Let’s just remind ourselves that this person is the deputy leader of the British Freedom Party, who claim to be central in orientation and harbour ambitions of electoral success.

All this information compels an anti-bigotry activist to make a decision on what to deduce and how to use it. It would be easy to use this to smear and discredit both the person, the organisation and the political party he represents. If I was a ruthless cynic, I could manipulate the situation to make it appear that the person involved was openly endorsing, encouraging and celebrating the rise of National Socialism in Europe. Indeed, some people reading this may feel the urge to use this blog post for that very purpose.

Should we give Tommy Robinson the benefit of the doubt and attribute this to being impulsive, politically naive and, well, not very bright? Or do we decide not to patronise him? After all, he has been appointed the deputy head of a legitimate political party. A person in such a position would surely be aware of the consequences of disseminating potentially controversial material. They would no doubt have received media coaching or have been briefed on the dangers of bringing the party into disrepute. Should we therefore assume that the BFP are happy for their deputy leader to spread neo-Nazi propaganda? Or would they consider him to be a liability? A tactless bigot ill equipped for the political arena? Has he been careless in navigating the far-right minefield where the divisions are so blurred, or are the true colours of the former BNP member finally being revealed?

Confronted with a similar situation with the roles reversed, how would Tommy Robinson react? Would he behave with integrity and exercise caution, or smell blood and go for the jugular? Given his attempted smearing of Matthew Goodwin on national television to name but one incident, I think it’s obvious what the answer is. The moral dilemma is whether to afford Robinson the same courtesy. Being seen to openly endorse violent neo-Nazi groups could be extremely damaging to a fledgeling political career and the already dubious reputation of the leader of a supposedly peaceful, non-racist protest group. That would be a terrible shame.

Yaya Toure, Creeping Sharia & Tabloid Dishonesty

I haven’t blogged for a short while now for one reason or another, but felt compelled to put together something brief having seen two textbook examples of tabloid misinformation whipping up anti-Muslim hysteria this week. It should come as no surprise that the tabloids in question are The Sun and The Daily Mail. Here is the first example:

Premier League fizz ‘ban for Muslims’

EXCLUSIVE By NEIL SYSON

PREMIER League sponsors Barclays are considering dropping champagne as the Man of the Match award to avoid offending Muslim players.

Manchester City ace Yaya Toure turned down the traditional prize after his side beat Newcastle three weeks ago.

As teammate Joleon Lescott tried to hand him a bottle on live TV, Yaya, 29, said: “I don’t drink because I am a Muslim, so you keep it.”

Manchester United stars are said to have joked a week later that they had better make the most of the bubbly in case it gets scrapped.

A source said: “The bank is all over the bottle, so Barclays wonder whether it is acceptable to give alcohol, given that so many nationalities are in the league.”

That’s it, in it’s entirety. It’s pretty standard stuff. The headline implies that this will happen, the next sentence elaborates that Barclays are merely considering it. It is then claimed that a rival team’s players ‘are said’ to have joked about it, and the final sentence is a quote from ‘a source’ stating that Barclays are ‘wondering’ about it. Any quote attributed to ‘a source’ in a non story of this nature can reasonably be expected to be a fabrication. There is no substance or evidence to validate any of the second hand speculation made here. There is no suggestion that Yaya Toure took offence, or any previous history of Muslim players taking offence in such instances.

Without too much effort I can see that Newcastle’s Demba Ba won three Man of the Match awards this season, Papiss Cisse, also of Newcastle won another three, Bosniak Edin Dzeko of Manchester City won it twice, Samir Nasri won two awards since his move to Man City and three with Arsenal the previous season, Wigan’s Omani goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi won the award three times and Newcastle’s French attacker Hatem Ben Arfa won it twice. That’s fifteen bottles of Champagne won by Muslims in the Premier League (there may have been many more) without any offence or outrage.

It may be speculation on my part, but it appears to me that a footballer has alluded to an aspect of his faith, just happening to be Islam, in a televised interview, and tabloid hacks have seized on it with relish and have spun it with dollops of ‘poetic licence’ that they know would obviously appeal to their readership.

What was the reaction to this scare story?

Remember this the next time the Sun attempts to distance themselves from the EDL.

It seems that a football club can be owned by Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the ruling family of Abu Dhabi, play in the Etihad Stadium and win trophies courtesy of close to £500,000,000 of Arab oil money and a supremely gifted player like Yaya Toure. But if said player chooses to forego the customary bottle of French bubbly out of adherence to his faith, it’s yet another sign that creeping sharia is continuing it’s unstoppable invasion of British culture. Rather than applaud or respect Toure for being a good role model, an exemplary professional and a fantastic athlete, the EDL prefer to make ‘jokes’ about goats, bacon, paedophilia and repatriation, whilst embracing and worshipping the likes of Joey Barton, John Terry and Wayne Rooney.

The second story was brought to us by the Daily Mail:

Pregnant daughter-in-law of Abu Hamza is caught smuggling phone card to hate cleric under burka

Some of the more pertinent details follow:

The pregnant daughter-in-law of hate cleric Abu Hamza tried to smuggle a mobile phone SIM card into his high security prison under her burka, the Appeal Court heard yesterday.

Security guards at Belmarsh Prison found the card in the coin pocket of her jeans beneath her flowing robes.

Chaymae Smak, 28, of Wandsworth, south London, was jailed for 12 months at Blackfriars Crown Court on May 4 after she was convicted of conveying a prohibited article into prison.

Smak stood in the dock of the court throughout the 30 minute hearing, clad in a robe and headscarf covering her face up to her eyes.

What immediately struck me was, not how this was another example  of why the burka is a security risk that needs to banned for our safety, but how f***ing big was this SIM card? I mean, every SIM card I’ve seen is pretty small. The standard size according to Wikipedia is 25mm x 15mm and maybe 1mm thick. An object of these dimensions wouldn’t be visible through denim let alone with ‘flowing robes’ from head to toe. It’s worth remembering that the purpose of the abaya (the robe like garment) is to preserve the modesty of the wearer, by obscuring the shape of the female form. If a garment of this nature can hide feminine curves, a tiny SIM card is not going to be much bother.

I can’t claim to be familiar with the security measures at Belmarsh Prison, but it’s Category A so I imagine they’re fairly strict and thorough.  According to this information the procedure includes a rub down and a metal detector. The article doesn’t give any insight into which part of the process uncovered the hidden SIM card, so I’m going to hazard a guess that the metal in the card triggered the metal detector. Just a hunch.

Leaving sarcasm to one side for a moment, this is a truly ridiculous attempt to whip up anti-Muslim hysteria. There is absolutely no possibility that the burqa was being used to conceal the SIM card. The fact that Smak wore a similar garment for the hearing is clearly an indication that this is standard attire for her. Does the Daily Mail seriously expect their readership to ignore the obvious absurdity of this story and not see through the transparent dishonesty?

Under her burka! Whoever would have thought of that idea? - Brian, Australia, 24/5/2012 1:40

Ban this Burka from UK’s public places. It is disgusting to see these Burka wearers particularly in the morning time when people are coming out of their homes. - MGeorge, London, England, 24/5/2012 9:58

One good reason for the burka to be banned - sue, brisbane, 23/5/2012 22:58

Answer: Ban the Burkha - Robert, Buffalo, NY USAb, 23/5/2012 23:04

She could have had anything hidden under those robes when visiting the prison and when in court. - Susan, Manchester, 24/5/2012 15:57

BAN THE BURKHA!! - The Spectre, In the Mist, 24/5/2012 14:40

Come on, France did it, now it’s time we ban it too. - Mark, London, 24/5/2012 14:36

When England becomes an Islamic state, you will all have to wear these clothes. - shanky, Liverpool, 24/5/2012 14:17

When will these horrid garments be banned? If the French can do it then so can we. - SP, Chesterfield Part of what used to be Great Britain, 24/5/2012 12:14

Ban the burka now. It does not look right in this country and never will. - Robert, Leicestershire, 24/5/2012 7:54

And there we have it. The piece did exactly what it was intended to do. Stoke up resentment towards Muslims. Let’s not forget that the Daily Mail also attempt to feign disgust at the antics of the EDL when it suits them. Let’s also remind ourselves that Mail columnist Melanie Phillips had work cited by Anders Breivik in his manifesto and would give Pam Geller a run for her money in the anti-Muslim lunacy stakes. These horribly bigoted media outlets intentionally demonise Muslims to titillate their reactionary readership, with absolutely no regard for what the consequences may be for innocent people going about their daily business. These are the UK’s most read online newspapers, a depressing indication of how socially acceptable Islamophobia still is.

” …… man of Asian appearance.”

"... a man of Asian appearance."

It’s political correctness gone mad. How typical that British law enforcement and media are using such a vague term to describe the perpetrators of crimes. It’s almost as if there’s a conspiracy to keep the true identity of these criminals a secret. Everyone knows what they really mean. Jack Straw knows it, senior police officers know it, even ‘Asian’ community leaders know it. No one wants to admit it, but when the term ‘Asian’ is used, what they really mean is Muslim. But everyone’s afraid of offending or upsetting the Muslims because they’ll be called racist.

Or so it goes. This is a fairly sanitised paraphrasing of a common response from Islamophobes to the reporting of crimes committed by Asians.

Armed men rob bookies in Rochdale – menmedia.co.uk 05/05/11

“The thieves are both described as Asian men….”

Appeal over Pilcher Gate stabbinghttp://www.nottinghamshire.police.uk 18/12/11

“The attacker is described as an Asian man….”

Sex assault victim chases attacker through Kensingtonhttp://www.fulhamchronicle.co.uk 30/11/11

“The suspect is described as an Asian man….”

Police hunt for B’mouth sex attackerhttp://www.jackradio.com – 20/01/12

“One of the men is described as Asian looking….”

Bradford father is injured by Tyersal road rage attackerhttp://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk – 15/12/11

“He is described as Asian…”

Man grabbed by throat in street attackhttp://www.dailyecho.co.uk – 05/01/12

“The man is described as Asian….”

Police hunt sex attackers: detailed description givenhttp://www.burytimes.co.uk – 17/06/10

“The wanted men are all described as Asian….”

Sex attacker still at large after CCTV blunderhttp://www.thisislocallondon.co.uk – 03/06/09

“The woman’s attacker is described as an Asian man….”

Menace of the bus sex attackershttp://www.oldham-chronicle.co.uk – 11/11/11

“He is described as Asian….” 

These are the kind of reports that illicit the rants similar to the one that opened this post. Below is an excerpt from an article on the official EDL blog titled ‘What it means to be Asian’.

The Oxford English dictionary describes the usage of the word ‘Asian’ as follows: “In Britain Asian is generally used to refer to people who come from (or whose parents came from) India, Pakistan, or elsewhere in South Asia”. If the British press are anything to go by, this country is plagued by attacks committed by ‘Asians’.

This statement flies in the face of right wing claims that there is a media blackout when it comes to ‘Muslim crime’.

Some commentators have claimed that by identifying the perpetrators as Asians, the press are being racist. But, at first glance at least, they are merely reporting the facts – if they didn’t reveal the extent of ‘Asian crime’, then how could we possibly look into identifying the causes that make crimes committed by this subsection of the population so common? But, of course, there is a problem. Asia is big; taking up, as it does, 30% of the surface of the globe, and with a population of approximately 3,879,000,000. Can we really trace criminal behaviour back to the cultural attitudes of so massive and diverse a place? What more do we really learn about crime (and about the possible ways of combating it) by identifying the perpetrators as Asian? Not a lot.

This is either faulty logic or deliberate disingenuity. In an attempt to steer the reader towards the required conclusion, the writer is creating the impression that there is a genuine effort to get to the root of the problem with sociological analysis. There is also the insinuation  that British Asians share identical cultural attitudes to native Asians rather than non-Asian Britons, thereby accusing them of being unwilling, or unable to assimilate to or adapt to ‘Western culture’. They also discard the possibility that environmental, social, economic and familial issues might be factors in the anti-social behaviour of some Asians. What could the real cause possibly be?

So why do they do it? Well, there’s still the defence that it’s merely descriptive. As the dictionary example illustrates, the usage of the term Asian has narrowed in this country so that it generally refers to those of Indian or Pakistani heritage. But this is still a huge number of people and, crucially, it refers to a huge number of different cultures and beliefs…….

Again, feigning their distaste in generalising so as to narrow the field even further, only to go on to make their own sweeping generalisations. It’s essential for the EDL in particular to make the distinction between Muslims and the Hindu and Sikh communities. It creates the illusion of them being inclusive and not out and out racists, whilst also appealing to extreme minorities in these communities who may also have an anti-Muslim agenda.

Let’s hit the nail on the head. Asian crime is a lie. It doesn’t exist. Not only does the ethnicity of the perpetrators mean little to nothing (and suggesting otherwise would certainly be racist), but there are very good reasons for supposing than very often when the media say Asian, they really mean Muslim. The importance of identifying Islam as a major contributing factor is demonstrated by the arrests for child-grooming that have recently swept across the country. If we’re to prevent these terrible crimes from occurring then we need to be honest about who is committing them and which ideologies they ascribe to. This article really should have referred to a ‘Muslim sex gang’ – that would be the truth, and that would have helped us to understand why the crimes were committed. For example, we’ve explained before how the example of Islam’s prophet Mohammed (that all Muslims are supposed to follow) sets an incredibly dangerous precedent. Combine this with the hostility that is too often to be found in British Mosques and which is spread by radicals that the government has as yet failed to confront, and you reach the ghastly conclusion that many Muslim men see little wrong with applying the example of the prophet (sex with young children)  to those who they regard as ‘dirty kuffar’ (non-Muslims, not worthy of the same rights as Muslims under the Sharia – Islamic Law).

Bang! Any pretence of an academic approach is suddenly abandoned, possibly as the scribe realises there’s no way to make the accusation with logic or integrity. It took them a while to get there, but eventually we arrive at the ubiquitous Islamophobic lie that Islam promotes and encourages paedophilia. Therefore any gang of Asian men who groom vulnerable young girls into a life of drugs and prostitution are simply pious Muslims observing the example of Muhammad. Any violent crime such as assault or mugging committed by “men of Asian appearance” are usually attributed to the jihadist mentality that views non-Muslims as an eternal foe. I have dealt with both of these well worn tropes in these posts Myth-Conceptions Pt. II: Death to the Infidel and Myth-Conceptions Pt. IV: Muhammad & Aisha. Whilst searching for articles for this subject I stumbled across a thread on a Yahoo! message board that perfectly encapsulates the attitude of the Islamophobes on this issue.

“As per usual the PC brigade just cannot bring themselves to call this vile gang of paedos a Muslim Gang. Hopefully this will be another negative piece of news tagged to the Muslim community that will in time add fuel to the anti-islamic fire. No to Islam in UK”

“wake up its not racist its the truth do gooders like you will ruin this once great country its been going on for years they been getting away with it for years because people wont speak up if it was a gang of white men assaulting asian girls there would be riots sick of people with no backbone pulling the race card when it suits”

“I do`nt like Jack Straw, but at least he had the balls to call a spade a spade. These vile muslim gangs are brought up to treat women as sub human and when caught, we have the PC brigade shoving their oar in and making excuses for the s$%^&.”

The sentence I’ve emphasised makes my point for me, straight from the horses mouth. But I’ll continue anyway. The many people that share the opinion and hatred of those above seem to be missing a crucial point. The news articles above, taken from local  press, are reporting crimes where the perpetrator is still at large. The descriptions given are for the purpose of identifying the criminal not to apportion blame to a specific section of the community. While certain sections of the national press may have a political agenda where it’s not only acceptable but necessary to stipulate explicitly when they feel Muslims not ‘Asians’ are to blame. Local press, by and large, has no such motive. It is intended to inform, promote and involve the community it serves, not divide and antagonise with controversy and provocative sensationalism. Therefore finding the criminals becomes a process of elimination. This process will naturally involve narrowing the criteria of the perpetrator’s appearance. As the EDL article itself states, the use of the word Asian to describe ethnicity in the UK is almost exclusively limited to people of Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Sri Lankan heritage. Chinese, Japanese or Koreans for example would be described as Oriental, especially for the purpose of making an identification.

Another problem the Islamophobes seem to neglect is, that unless it is made obvious by distinctive attire or communicated by the perpetrator, how does one determine with certainty which religion (if any) a person belongs to during the act of a crime which may have taken place at night? It’s also important to consider that in the event of police carrying out enquiries, questioning individuals and setting up identity parades, which would be the more useful information? The suspect being Asian or the possibility he may be Muslim? Surely it is easier for someone to conceal their faith than their ethnicity? An Asian Muslim could conceivably claim to be a Christian (the 2001 census recorded 8,000 Pakistani Christians in England and Wales) to avoid arrest, but how on earth would they be able to deny being Asian?

If every such press report replaced the word Asian with Muslim, using national percentages this would implicate 31% of UK Muslims who are not Asian, casting suspicion on innocent Black, White, Arab, Turkish and Persian Muslims. It would also exclude some 8% of British Pakistanis, a similar number of Bangladeshis, 87% of British Indians and approximately 250,000 British Sri Lankans. A hypothetical ID parade of Muslims could include a Somali, a Malaysian, an Indonesian, a Bosnian, a Pakistani, a Palestinian, an Albanian and a white British convert. All of whom would have vastly differing skin colours, hair colouring and facial features. The fact that Islamophobes ignore or are oblivious to the diversity within the Muslim community is an indication of how they have racialised Muslims in order to disguise anti-Pakistani racism, or ‘Paki bashing’ to use the pre 9/11 terminology.  Wouldn’t a sincere person want the most accurate criteria possible used so as to minimise the risk of miscarriages of justice?

This must call into question the actual motives behind the Islamophobes’ approach to this issue. Is their priority bringing the criminals to justice or demonising Muslims? Does their desperate need for guilty Muslims outweigh any genuine concern for victims of crime?

Allow me to repeat a quote highlighted earlier.

“Hopefully this will be another negative piece of news tagged to the Muslim community that will in time add fuel to the anti-islamic fire.”

Does anymore need to be said?

Poppycock

Well, well, well. Such a big fuss over a little flower. A reaction so depressingly predictable. For the record, I honestly don’t care whether the England or any other football team displays the Remembrance Poppy or not. My personal choice is not to wear one. But I have given my daughter money to purchase one in school, and my wife may also buy one. Both of my grandfathers fought the Nazis in WWII, and I remember holding a dagger my dad’s dad had ‘acquired’ from an enemy soldier in complete awe, imagining the heroism and horror it had been witness to. So I’m aware of the sacrifices made and the symbolism of the poppy. In the First World War 22,477,500 allied troops were killed, wounded or went missing in action. The Second World War saw 61,000,000 allied troops perish. Only the coldest hearted individual would see the veterans huddled together on Armistice Day remembering their friends and not feel at least some emotion for them. We should always remember these men and women, what they did, and those that died doing it. It’s part of our national and cultural heritage, and when the last veteran leaves this Earth, they deserve to be immortalised for future generations. If this was where the symbolism of the poppy ended I would happily sport one with pride every year. But it has become much more than a symbol that commemorates brave freedom fighters.

As a supporter of the anti-war movement, whilst I feel for the bereaved, dead and wounded, I refuse to validate how our governments have employed our troops since 1945. Also, I reject the red poppy on the grounds that it does not represent the victims of our wars. Of which there are many, men, women and children. As well as this, the remembrance poppy has been adopted as a political tool by right wing nationalists. It is no longer a symbol simply worn to honour noble soldiers who defeated German imperialism or the evils of Nazism, but as a display of a brand of patriotism that celebrates aggressive military conquests without remorse for innocent victims. An unquestioning loyalty to the British military complex without regard for the morality, ethics or motives of our government for sending them to war. Much the same as the Union flag, the poppy has come to represent an unhealthy nostalgia for colonialism and romanticism for an Empire that’s viewed through Western tinted lenses.

This hijacking of the red poppy coupled with urban mythology and tabloid misinformation with regards to political correctness has created a culture of poppy fascism. Anyone choosing not to wear the red poppy, or who shy away from overt displays of patriotism are accused of disrespecting the dead or of being traitorous. It’s therefore no surprise that the FIFA ruling that prohibits religious or political symbolism on football kits, has been criticised as a decision made so as not to offend ‘zee Germans’. It’s only a matter of time before one of the usual suspects blames it all on those pesky Muslims.

For once though, I think FIFA have this right, as long as it’s applied evenly. The fact that there is a perception of anti-FA or anti-Premier League bias at FIFA, coupled with the factors outlined above has created a siege mentality among a large percentage of the population. But I think they’re overreacting. We need to put things into perspective and be a bit more objective about this. The remembrance poppy is largely a British phenomenon, despite it originating in the US and having support in other Commonwealth states, and as I’ve stated it was intended to commemorate only Allied Forces. I think, in an age when the modern day ‘allies’ are involved in official and unofficial wars in Africa, the Middle East and South East Asia, an emblem that venerates our troops at the expense of other victims of war would isolate us from the wider international community. I don’t think people truly appreciate, some probably don’t really care, the extent of the ill-feeling that our persistent military interventions create. We are kept blissfully unaware of most of what happens during our invasions, and what we leave behind when our troops withdraw. I won’t go into it at length here but I’ve written about it in detail previously here.

In my opinion we need to keep the red poppy out of international sport. I’m not totally against political statements in sport, as I believe a global game like football has the power and influence to bring people together in solidarity, highlight injustices & inequality and raise awareness of just causes. But football also has the ability to divide and polarise almost as much as religion and politics, so all three combined is a potentially explosive cocktail. If causes involving wars are to be commemorated, it should be in the guise of a united remembrance of ALL victims, and a call for an END to wars. Such a gesture would go much further in the battle for hearts and minds than the occupation and decimation of foreign populations in illegal, misguided and unwinnable wars.

But apparently, this way of thinking is unpatriotic and disrespectful to our fallen heroes. Don’t I support our troops? I’d like to pose a couple of questions to the people who claim this. Who is paying most respect to our troops? Me, for wanting them withdrawn from the firing line so no more of our sons, daughters, brothers, sisters or friends are killed fighting battles that our government deem just. Or you, who are content for them to continue dying for a lost, and probably non-existent, cause? Who is the traitor? Me, for not being able to bring myself to wear the red poppy, but will bow my head in contemplation, hope for an end to the killing and respectfully observe the silence? Or the politicians, who will wear the poppy, stand stony faced and contemplative on our TV screens, only to consider sending our troops to Iran for yet another suspect invasion with selfish and dishonest motives, on flimsy evidence?

It transpires that England (as well as the other Home Nations, which has barely been mentioned in the national media) will be allowed to wear the poppy on an arm band, instead of on the actual shirt. I have absolutely no idea why this is deemed an acceptable compromise by FIFA, as surely it’s the displaying of the poppy which is the issue, not that it is printed on the garment. But this is FIFA we’re talking about. If FIFA’s capitulation to pressure from David Cameron, Prince William (not forgetting the considerable efforts of attention seeking racists Tommy Robinson and Kevin Carroll of the EDL), sets a precedence, can we expect other teams to test the resolve of FIFA in the future? Does this also signal the willingness of the British public to allow other wars or political causes to be commemorated that we may find distasteful? I doubt this very much. We seem to possess an arrogance and sense of superiority that convinces us that the rest of the world should be falling over each other to be thankful for our warmongering  liberating endeavours. That our cause is the most righteous. A pomposity that shows such a lack of self awareness and humility, desperately clinging to memories of our imperial past.

To summarise, my feeling is that wearing a poppy should be entirely personal, as should how one interprets its meaning. But for me, there are too many connotations that make me uncomfortable. I would be compromising everything I stand for and validating all that shames me about our foreign policy and our colonial history. You may choose to wear a poppy, yet still share my feelings on our recent and current military activities. That’s your choice. But allow me mine. The same soldiers who fought for our freedom against the Nazis, fought for my right to choose not to wear a poppy.

Muslims Against Muslims Against Crusades

Following on from my recent post with regards to my personal feelings on Anjem Choudary and Muslims Against Crusades, I’m going to address the fallacy that ‘moderate Muslims’ don’t speak out against them. As I have stated previously, the media outlets that are happy to give a platform to Choudary for the sake of generating controversy and publicity, never give voice to the Muslim majority who are utterly frustrated at the continued antics of ‘Andy’ and the legitimacy the media provide him with. It’s also unsurprising that the type of people who seem so paranoid and distrustful of British Muslims and make this false claim, don’t appear to be quite concerned enough to investigate the possibility that they might be wrong. If it isn’t spoon fed to them via right wing tabloids or ‘counter jihad’ blogs it simply doesn’t happen. In this respect the media, even the supposedly balanced BBC, are acting irresponsibly and guilty of letting down the UK Muslim community. Whether they feel that they actually have a responsibility to act objectively, or even care about the Muslim community is an entirely different matter. So let’s hear from some of these silent moderates.

Whenever you read something negative about Muslims in the press, it is often followed by someone saying: “Where are all the moderate Muslims? Where are all the Muslims who are against terrorism, against extremism … why aren’t we hearing from them?”

The reality is that Muslims have been working against the extremists in the their community way before 7/7 or even 9/11. Documentary maker Masood Khan explains why he was inspired to make Muslim Resistance, a series of films examining British Muslims’ efforts to combat extremism. It is the reason why the likes of Abu Hamza and Omar Bakri, the now exiled leader of al-Muhijiroun, were shunned by the Muslims up and down the country way before they became the known faces of Islamic extremism. It is also why their followers number in the hundreds rather than in the hundred of thousands. But nobody talks or writes about that. - Hotter Than a Pile of Curry – Luton Muslims Kicking Out Al-Muhajiroun, 21/01/11

The film by Masood Khan mentioned above follows Abdul Rahman as he organises anti-extremist events to counter the al-Muhajiroun. Perhaps the most surprising aspect of this is the fact that Rahman and the other Muslims who have taken it upon themselves to hound al-Muhajiroun out of Luton are Salafis. Salafis themselves are viewed by other Muslims and non-Muslims as extremists. So it is therefore quite telling that even they consider al-Muhajiroun to be radical.

Rahman: “It’s very hard for the layman, or even the Muslim to differentiate between us as Salafis…and those al-Muhajiroun who are basically from the more takfiri, the jihadi type of methodology, mashallah. So I felt personally that now that we can’t make that distinction, I thought that it was upon us, upon the Salafis to gather together, inshallah, to call to the masses, to clarify to them the differences between us and the al-Muhajiroun. And not even the Muslims, but even the non-Muslims. Because they have a right, in this country, to know what is Islam and what is not Islam.”

On being asked whether he as a Salafi was considered to be an extremist, Rahman was candid in is response.

“Yeah, non-Muslims… you know it’s the natural order of things, if you don’t follow, if you don’t how can I say, adhere to what they believe, what they think, then they’re gonna deem what you do as extremism. But going back to the word moderate Muslim, when a non-Muslim uses this, you can define it as a word that basically means someone who doesn’t do things which annoys him. You understand? Because the reality now is that al-Muhajiroun are extremist, but why now that we’re speaking out against them are we considered moderate Muslims? Because I still believe in the death sentence, I still believe that homosexuality is incorrect, morally. I still believe that the hand should be removed for the one who steals. So am I a moderate Muslim really, really? Why are you calling me a moderate Muslim now? Is that just temporary? Until what? Until we do your dirty work for you? And remove the evil of al-Muhajiroun, and then you’re gonna what, go back to calling us extremist, fundamentalist Muslims? Again it’s all subjective you know, it’s just wordplay in my opinion you know.”

The full video can be viewed via the link below

http://www.dailymotion.com/embed/video/xiql8a
Muslim Resistance: The Struggle Within by NewsLook

Muslim communities around the country have shunned al-Muhajiroun and its various entities for years and refused to give them a platform. Instead, they have to work through front organisations, hire private halls, set up high-street stalls or leaflet people with their poisonous little tracts. They are utterly marginal but are still able to generate huge coverage through provocation. Their recent barracking of British troops returning from Iraq and a counter mini-riot in Luton has poisoned relations in the town. The Muslim community of Luton, which had already chased them out of the mosques, has taken to chasing them off the streets too in a desperate bid to signal their utter disgust and consternation.Yahya Birt - How not to deal with al-Muhajiroun, 18/06/09

Our sensationalist and irresponsible media has, in fact, been deeply complicit in the rise and rise of this fanatic, devoting quite disproportionate and counter-productive coverage to his various rantings. Is Choudary an Islamic scholar whose views merit attention or consideration? No. Has he studied under leading Islamic scholars? Nope. Does he have any Islamic qualifications or credentials? None whatsoever. So what gives him the right to pontificate on Islam, British Muslims or “the hellfire”? Or proclaim himself a “sharia judge”? Will he even manage to round up enough misfits to carry the 500 coffins with him? I doubt it – Choudary and co couldn’t even persuade enough people to join a “march for sharia” that they had proudly planned to hold in central London in late October, and, at the very last minute, had to humiliatingly withdraw from their own rally. Pathetic, eh?Mehdi Hasan – Please Don’t Listen to Anjem Choudary, Guardian, 04/01/10

Since the 1990s, other hatemongers such as Omar Bakri and Abu Hamza received wildly disproportionate media coverage – attention in which they revelled, pantomime villains in a very un-Islamic, self-indulgent “celebrity culture.” Simmering anger amongst British Muslims at the antics of such extremists climaxed in late 2001 when Bakri’s planned appearance on the Kilroy show was cancelled after a deluge of complaints. Over the last few years, Muslims have breathed a collective sigh of relief as most fanatics have been deported or imprisoned on terrorism charges. But the pantomime has begun again.

Choudary is less demagogic mastermind, and more ideological instigator. Last month, 1500 people attended a community event called 6 Billion Ways in London. That afternoon, Choudary and about 50 of his followers marched in protest outside the venue along Bethnal Green Road. Since a number of the participants at the event were Muslim, Choudary and his followers seemed to be arguing that Muslims should not work with socialists, environmentalists, and other activists. Choudary and his backers were outnumbered 30-to-1 at this event, as they are more generally. But he somehow continues to speak louder.

Anjem Choudary should be dismissed by everyone but MI5, and if profiled in public, should be identified as a hatemongering, misinformed sideshow on the fringes of the real community of British Muslims. It might not be must-see TV. But it would be news.Usama Hasan & Justin Guest – Nothing Sells Papers Like a Villain, Guardian, 18/03/09

Last week, I wrote on Cif about the pressing need for democrats – of all faiths and none – to counter-demonstrate against the radical group Islam4UK on Saturday. Headed by former al-Muhajiroun UK leader Anjem Choudary, the organisation’s website frothed about “what Trafalgar Square would look like under sharia” and had originally cited it as the location for their “March for sharia”. Our movement was born out of years of collective frustration at the incendiary antics of groups like these, who distort the teachings of Islam for their own political expediency. Moreover, we wanted to stand up for values such as legal and constitutional equality for all, equal rights for women and minorities, and religious freedom, including the right to be free of any faith…..At the 11th hour, we heard that Islam4UK were cancelling their demonstration, rumours that were initially dismissed as the Choudary camp’s standard tactical manoeuvring. When it later emerged that Islam4UK had indeed sheepishly withdrawn from their own protest, the official reason doing the rounds was that English Defence League members had made death threats towards Anjem Choudary. The bottom line is this: had al-Muhajiroun dared to march on the streets of London, they would have been outnumbered to the point of toe-curling embarrassment.Shaaz Mahboob (BMSD) – A Good Day for Democracy, Guardian, 03/11/09

Recently the “Muslim extremist” organisation currently trading as Islam4UK — really al-Muhajiroun — announced that they were planning a march through Wootton Bassett, the town just outside Swindon through which the motorcades bring the bodies of fallen soldiers after they land at RAF Lyneham. Needless to say, this has produced outrage in pretty much every quarter, including the Government, military circles, the local community and even the Muslim community. I put “Muslim extremist” in quotes above because many Muslims are not entirely convinced that their leadership are precisely that; Choudhary in particular is suspected of being anagent provocateur or at least an asset, and the amount of airtime they get, given their tiny membership, is grossly out of proportion…. the Muslim objection to al-Muhajiroun is about the threat they pose to us, the danger they place us in given the roaming gangs of football hooligans which have emerged since their demo last March, and their overblown and disproportionate media profile.Matthew Smith (Blogistan) – Muslims Versus Anjem Choudary, 06/01/10

The latest publicity stunt organised by some former members of the banned al-Muhajiroun outfit in Luton yesterday appears to have gone exactly to plan. It is a simple formula – hold up some offensive placards designed to get people’s backs up and call a local reporter to come along and capture some footage – that has reliably generated acres of media coverage for them in recent years.

Our TV channels and today’s newspapers have very obligingly given over a huge amount of precious broadcast time and expensive newsprint to report the antics of the tiny group of hooligans. Leaflets had been distributed during the past week by the former al-Muhajiroun activists in Luton urging people to protest at the parade of soldiers returning from Iraq. There are over 20,000 Muslims living in Luton and tellingly less than 20 people heeded their call. And yet the irresponsible actions of this tiny few seem to command the airwaves.

The success the protestors have had in attracting news coverage in the past and now only further encourages them to carry on and seek out additional new opportunities to inflame passions and stir up mischief. Would it not be a better strategy for our media not to give al-Muhajiroun airtime in order to frustrate their ignoble aims? And if the protestors resort to ever more ludicrous antics to try and gain attention and actually step over the line into breaking the law, then they can always be hauled before a court of law and prosecuted. – Inayat Bunglawala - Al-Muhajiroun’s little helpers, Guardian, 11/03/09

Well, the bad news is that al-Muhajiroun is back. In its latest guise of Islam for the UK/Islam4UK it has announced that it is to hold a procession called “March for Sharia” on Saturday 31 October, starting at 1pm outside the Houses of Parliament, where it tells us its members will demand the abolishment of the House of Commons, then march past Downing Street, and end up at 4pm in Trafalgar Square. Its flyers tell us that it expects thousands of British Muslims to participate in the demonstration. Past experience tells us that it will in fact struggle to get more than 100 people, if that – out of a total UK Muslim population of about 2 million – to attend. So what should be done? In recent days I have seen some emails from anxious Muslims saying that they have got to publicly put clear distance between themselves and al-Muhajiroun. Others have wondered whether they should organise a counter-demonstration on the same day at the same venue.Inayat Bunglawala – Stand Tall Against The Extremists, Guardian, 21/10/09

Mainstream Muslim groups ignored the rally, saying Al-Muhajiroun’s radical rhetoric doesn’t represent the views of the majority of Britain’s 1.5 million Muslims. Al-Muhajiroun’s latest biting-of-the-hand-that-feeds-them was a pilgrimage to “Mecca”, i.e. a rally in Trafalgar Square for 500 of the faithful, with 100 right-wing nationalists shouting anti-Islamic slogans waiting to greet them. - Shahed Amanullah - British Extremists: “Trafalgar Square is our Mecca”, altmuslim.com, 26/08/02

Plans by an extremist Muslim group to protest at the Royal Wedding have been denounced by the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB). The group Muslims Against Crusades (MAC), responsible for burning poppies on Remembrance Day, threatened to turn the Royal Wedding into a “nightmare” when their application to protest the event at Westminster Abbey was rejected. The MCB, the UK’s largest umbrella body for Muslim groups, denounced the extremist group’s “silly antics” which they said were at odds with Islam’s teachings.

“We believe their action on this national occasion of celebration is completely at odds with the ethos of Islam. We remind them of Prophet Muhammed’s blessed words, that ‘marriage is indeed half of faith’,” the MCB said in a statement. “They have chosen a day when the whole nation will be watching in celebration and cause offence and stir friction amongst the Muslim and non-Muslim communities. We as a community need to stand united against such extremist groups and convey to the nation that this is not Islam. We hope that the British public recognises this as an act that yearns for publicity with the sole objective of claiming media attention for silly antics.”Muslims Stand Up to Extremists Over Royal Wedding, politics.co.uk, 21/04/11

You have to sometimes just wonder what on Earth is going on with different people and what they get up to in public, and reflect whether we’re all not just being taken for one huge ride.

I’ve been following the antics of this new handful of professional rabble-rousers of the M.A.C (“Muslims Against Crusades”) and despite regularly coming across many crazy freaks in a normal day, I’ve concluded that these folks are amongst the most butt-ignorant and foolish I’ve ever seen in action.

They disgrace the beards on their faces and the word “Muslim” in their fake title (hence I feel that we should call them out for the muppets that they actually are) and have actually achieved incredibly to outdo the equally butt-ignorant EDL, remove our focus from illegal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and thereby ironically disrespect the deaths of thousands of war-dead all over the world, stretching as far back as World War I to the deaths of all people in current day conflicts.

Tell your friends and colleagues that the British scholarly opinion with respect to M.A.C is that they should be ignored just like one would ignore an irritating itch which we don’t want to scratch for fear of infection. Who would want to waste their time dealing with such poisonous people, in case they also become infected and sullied by their sheer arrogance and foolishness. Ignore them. Period. Or just feel free to humiliate them via other avenues so that perhaps one day they might reconsider their stupidity…. - Abu Eesa Niamatullah (1stethical.com) – MAC: Muslims Against Crusades or Muppets Without A Clue?, 15/11/10

Last week, MAC applied for a permit to protest outside Westminster Abbey on Friday, warning that if their request was rejected they would turn the day into a “nightmare.” Interestingly, MAC canceled their protest plans  because they assert that the wedding may be the target of a terrorist attack.

Why is this story important? First, it demonstrates a point I raised in a post last week that extremist behavior produces extremist reactionsa protest by MAC was going to lead to a counter-protest by the EDL. Both groups espouse extreme positions and do not represent either the majority of Muslims or the majority of the British. In fact, the Muslim Council of Britain, the largest umbrella group for Muslims groups in the UK, denounced the MAC’s plans and said, “We believe their action on this national occasion is completely at odds with the ethos of Islam. We remind them of Prophet Muhammad’s blessed worlds, that ‘marriage is indeed half of faith.’”

Second, it is really problematic that a Muslim group would use an event like this to display their position when it will only produce more distrust of Muslims and further foster Islamophobia. Muslims are supposed to be a positive force in a community and should take into consideration how, when, and where they express their concerns. There is more than enough negative attention on Muslims.

Third, if this group knows of information that would endanger anyone, it is their Islamic duty to warn the appropriate authorities. As I have written in past posts, terrorism is condemned in Islam. There are clear rules to war and using an event like the royal wedding to inflict violence is absolutely contrary to the faith.

Just as it is an Islamic duty to stand up to injustice, it is a duty to portray the faith in the best way possible. You can stand up to injustice,  follow Islamic rules, and still demonstrate that Muslims are positive members of the society. The Prophet Muhammad is the greatest example of this. A group like MAC makes the challenge of moderate Muslims even greater.Inside Islam - Making It More Difficult for Moderate Muslims, 27/04/11

MDL Condemn the MAC!

by Muslim Defence League (MDL) on Thursday, 11 November 2010 at 23:54

Manners over Knowledge

Remembrance Day was marred by a handful of Muslims whose actions completely do not reflect the noble character of an ideal Muslim. They burnt the symbolic red poppy and chanted abuse at the fallen. Let us make it clear from the beginning that the Muslim community condemns the actions of these individuals. The noble Quran teaches us to talk and debate with people in the best of ways:

Invite (all) to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for thy Lord knoweth best, who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance.

Do these brothers think that they where behaving and acting in the best of ways? Surely acting like thugs walking down central London with your faces covered makes one look like an individual who intends harm. Did the Prophet Muhammad and his companions behave in this crude manner? I think not! What this indicates is that these Muslims really have no idea about how a Muslim should conduct himself when in the community. They have read a few books and listened to a few talks by these so called “Shaykhs” and now have become the super Muslim. In reality, yes perhaps they have become more “religious” and left the street thug life, but that attitude and whole demeanour has stayed with them. The so called “Shaykhs” have taught them about the injustice that is going on, but forgot to teach them Adhab (Islamic Manners), but how can they teach them the true Islamic manners when perhaps they have none themselves. I guarantee if the likes of Anjum Chowdary really read and understood the book “Kitab Al Adhab” by Shaykh Abdul Fattah Abu Ghuddah they would not behave the way they did. It was the famous Imam Malik who was told by his mother to learn manners from the Shuyukh first and then knowledge. One has to ask the question: Did these brothers learn any Adhab before they decided to take this type of unholy action?

We all know that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are wrong and as British Muslims we disapprove of them. The question then needs to be asked how a Muslim according to his religion opposes these wars. Does he/she stab a Member of Parliament who voted for the war? Does he blow himself up to make a point? Does he protest and shout abuse at troops coming home from duty? NO! A Muslim does not lose hope and stays within the law of the land. He does not break the covenant that protects him, feeds him and provides shelter for him. Even those brothers who protested today, perhaps many of them are out of work, but yet they claim benefits. How ironic is it that you oppose so vehemently the government and the “Kuffar”, yet you claim benefits and live off the state.  A Muslim protests peacefully not at the troops but at the government who took the troops to these illegal wars in the first place. We write and lobby our MP’s to make the right decision next time. We contact the media and tell them the truth about these wars, that there were no weapons of mass destruction. We inform the people that these wars are illegal and unjustified. Finally we give the message that war is not the answer!

What do these people think? That if they do not shout and scream Islam will be finished? Do they think that their feeble attempts at “defending Islam” are anything close to resembling the majestic character of Prophet Muhammad? Do they think the noble Prophet would be proud of their actions? Do they not realise the consequences of their actions? Do they not realise that more and more people are adopting the Islamaphobic narrative being pushed by right-wing groups.  The inception of the EDL was due to this handful of Muslims who protested at the homecoming of troops in Luton. They have bought more harm to the Muslim community then any good! Every action has a reaction, this is the basic law of physics and we have seen what the reaction has been today. The EDL and other right wing groups are gaining momentum due to the climate of Islamaphobia. They are taking advantage of a poor economic situation and praying on the vulnerability of people. Groups like MAC who are really Al Muhajiroon do not help the situation. They are making it far worse for us and we the Muslim community reject them and the message they have to give.  I am not comparing them, but those who know early Islamic history will have heard of the “Khawarij” like the way they were rejected, we must also rally around reject the extreme narrative of these individuals who burnt a poppy today.

Again I want to re-emphasize the importance of learning manners:

“We are in more need of a little adab (manners) than we are in need of a lot of knowledge.” Abdullah Ibn Mubarak

Our pious predecessors understood this very well as they learnt Islam as it should be learnt. We need to adopt this culture of good manners, if those brothers knew really how a Muslim should behave; they would have never behaved like that in the first place. Our actions have consequences, I hope for the sake of our community’s safety that these brothers realise just how much harm they have invited upon the Muslims and I hope that our non Muslim friends understand that these people do not represent us.

MDL Team

Yes, that’s right. The Muslim Defence League, who were formed as a reaction to the EDL, issue as strong a condemnation of MAC as you’ll find. I have no doubt that despite the articles I’ve used and many more that exist, this won’t be enough. But it does prove beyond doubt that Muslims of all ages, classes and denominations do denounce Choudary and Muslims Against Crusades. From the MDL to the Muslim Council of Britain, from Salafis to British Muslims for a Secular Democracy. If the EDL genuinely wanted reassurance that the Muslim community don’t share the ideals and aims of MAC, they only need to undertake a few minutes of research. But as long as they are oblivious and remain conveniently ignorant of the truth, they can continue to peddle this line and smear an entire faith to advance their agenda. Until the mainstream media either stop giving a platform to Choudary or at least give equal opportunities to an alternative voice, they are complicit in the perpetuation of Islamophobia.

Links to the full articles used can be found below.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2009/mar/18/religion-islam-anjem-muhajiroun

http://hotterthanapileofcurry.wordpress.com/2011/01/21/luton-muslims-kicking-out-al-muhajiroun/

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/8461436/Muslims-Against-Crusades-earn-notoriety-in-less-than-a-year.html

http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/anjem_choudaryislamic_thinkers_march_for_sharia_does_not_represent_ame/

http://www.yahyabirt.com/?p=154

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2009/mar/11/protest-islam-mujahiroun-luton

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2010/jan/04/anjum-choudary-wootton-bassett

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2009/nov/03/islam4uk-muhajiroun-islam-secular

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2011/02/fox_news_parade_of_buffoons.html

http://www.livingislam.org/maa/dcmm_e.html

http://onfaith.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/eboo_patel/2010/10/how_to_build_a_fear_bomb.html#more

http://www.blogistan.co.uk/blog/mt.php/2010/01/06/muslims_versus_anjum_choudhary

http://www.blogistan.co.uk/blog/mt.php/2009/03/11/muhajiroun_disrupt_luton_army_parade

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/oct/21/al-muhajiroun-protest-london

http://www.altmuslim.com/a/a/a/british_extremists_trafalgar_square_is_our_mecca/

http://www.asharq-e.com/news.asp?section=1&id=25872&tr=y&auid=8656019

http://www.politics.co.uk/news/2011/4/21/muslims-stand-up-to-extremists-over-royal-wed

http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=102765579817111

http://www.1stethical.com/2010/11/15/m-a-c-muslims-against-crusades-or-muppets-without-a-clue/

http://insideislam.wisc.edu/index.php/archives/8497

Muslims Against Crusades: My Position

I want to address a question that is persistently raised by pro EDL types and right wingers on twitter. Partly because I want to put the record straight, but also because it’s a valid question that I have found hard to articulate an answer to with satisfactory justifications thus far. The question is, why do self-confessed anti-fascist, anti-racists liberals only oppose the EDL and BNP, and not give their perennial nemesis Anjem Choudary and Muslims Against Crusades equal attention? The inference is that by not visibly and vociferously campaigning against MAC that we are somehow condoning and complicit in their words and deeds. Willfully acting as dhimmified useful idiots in the Islamification of the UK.

I have actually aired my uncomplimentary views on Choudary and his band of followers on a number of occasions, but I want to make a definitive and permanent statement. I have expressed my opinion that he is an agitator who doesn’t represent British Muslims, that he’s a publicity hungry pantomime villain that has the reactionary right dancing to his loony tunes. He’s simply a cartoonish caricature with a minuscule following who are best starved of the oxygen of publicity. I don’t share the outrage of the EDL when they call for sharia law, declare certain areas sharia controlled zones, announce plans for Islamic Emirates within the UK, claim that the flag of Islam will fly over Downing Street or that the Royal abode will become a mega mosque. I just can’t take their behaviour seriously, and while I can understand why people are offended, I have enough common sense to realise that these are laughably delusional statements that will never come to fruition. Even their more tasteless stunts such as, sending unsympathetic letters to bereaved families of British soldiers, planning protests for Wooton Bassett, holding a mock funeral for Bin Laden in London, burning poppies on Armistice Day and warning of potential terrorist attacks at the Royal Wedding, whilst despicable in varying degrees have a whiff of professional trolling rather than being a serious threat to society and a danger to the public.

Am I being too dismissive? Some might claim that in the grand scheme of things, much of my reasoning could also be applied to the EDL. After all, they don’t represent all white Britons, or all working class Brits. Compared to the national population their support is microscopic, and it could be argued that deprived of attention they would simply fade into obscurity. So why do people like myself choose to spend so much time and energy working against far right extremists but not their Islamic equivalent?

After much thought it’s still not crystal clear in my mind, but I’ll try to make sense of it whilst putting it into words. I think much of it is down to the fact that as a white Briton, I have a responsibility to make a statement which shows that the EDL don’t represent me. Not only this, but I have a duty to the Muslim citizens of this country who are every bit as British as I am, to show that as a multi-ethnic, culturally diverse nation, the persecution and demonising of minorities is not supported by the vast majority of  their compatriots. That as someone who is proud of the fact that this country is a colourful melting pot of races, faiths and cultures, I will not allow the divisive ideology of a far right group go unchallenged.

Using the same logic, rightly or wrongly, I feel maybe subconsciously that it’s therefore not my place to actively oppose the MAC in a similar way. That there might be a risk as a white non-Muslim of making the issue appear racial or Islamophobic, rather than an anti-extremism stance. Maybe I need to be less PC, after all the MAC’s actions are damaging to the image of the wider Muslim population and provide the ammunition for the EDL to whip up more hysteria. But deep down I probably feel the people best positioned to counter the MAC are British Muslims. The problem with this, is that it implies we require Muslims to distance themselves from people that we should have the perceptiveness to realise don’t represent them in any way. I personally don’t expect British Muslims to make public statements denouncing Anjem Choudary just to allay the suspicion of  paranoid bigots. Why should they? I’ve covered this issue in a previous post here. The claim that moderate Muslims never speak out against extremists is tediously commonplace in right wing rhetoric, and as I’ve proven is totally false. Frustratingly, the media gives more air time & column inches to Anjem Choudary than anyone representative of the British Muslim community. Radical Muslims make headlines and generate debate, Muslims being uncontroversial and law abiding just isn’t news. There is ample evidence available just a google search away, of individuals and Muslim groups speaking out against Choudary’s various organisations, but it’s telling that those making the claims choose not to investigate this possibility. This is a subject I plan on giving more attention to in a future post.

Another reason I tend to ignore MAC is due to the fact that there is a wider picture pertaining to their history, and a widely held suspicion that there is more to their continued existence than meets the eye. This may sound slightly cryptic and conspiratorial, and I will be elaborating on this in an up and coming article also. But I’ll just say that focusing time and energy on Choudary and his henchmen is probably a distraction of massive proportions and futility, and exactly what certain quarters want. Don’t get me wrong though, I’m not suggesting they pose no potential risk at all. Al-Muhajiroun under Omar Bakri saw an estimated 16 members or affiliates commit or conspire to commit terroristic acts during their existence. Choudary was second in command until Bakri’s enforced exile and their disbanding, before he formed the now proscribed Islam4UK. The ideology and, it’s reasonable to assume, many of the members remain to this day, along with newer recruits under the guise of MAC. But they lack the sinister aura of the Hamza/Bakri days, and seem to act as more of a propaganda and self publicity operation today. That such a media friendly extremist would be able to conduct affairs so blatantly and publicly without being monitored very closely is unthinkable and highly improbable. The most sensible course of action for the public and media to follow as far as MAC are concerned in my opinion, is to pay them no attention, and let the relevant agencies do their jobs.

It’s no surprise that the nationalist, xenophobic, immigrant hostile EDL are so easily provoked by a group of Muslims espousing anti-Western, anti-Monarchy and anti-Forces views, it’s as predictable as it is depressing. But it’s their choice and their right to oppose them. When it becomes obvious that the EDL or anyone else are using the MAC’s behaviour to target an entire community with unwarranted abuse and hostility, which has inevitably escalated into violent attacks, vandalism and vile dehumanising rhetoric on a par with Nazi era anti-Semitism, I choose to oppose them. I have different priorities. We are witnessing the development of a destructive and dangerous ideology, the Islamophobic Eurabia conspiracy theory, that is enjoying a worryingly widespread mainstream acceptance and has produced it’s first major terrorist atrocity in Norway. It’s the latest period in our shameful history of demonising and persecuting minorities in the ‘Christian West’, and poses a far more destructive and corrosive threat to peace and harmony in our communities than a handful of religious zealots with little support or influence.

So that’s my official stance on Muslims Against Crusades. I find much of what they do distasteful, but ultimately pointless. I don’t take them seriously enough to make me angry. Rather, I focus my attention on what I feel is the more serious issue and urgent cause, right wing extremism, neo-fascism, racism and bigotry. I make no apologies for this and am comfortable with my choice.

6 Degrees of Anders Breivik

Occasionally I like to indulge my immature side and post something a bit more light hearted than usual, but as ever, there’s always a message.

1. Anders Breivik

Far right extremist, anti-Muslim terrorist, perpetrator of 77 murders in Oslo & Utoya. EDL supporter.

2. Daryl Hobson

EDL organiser & logo designer, Facebook friend of Breivik & recipient of his infamous manifesto.

3. Stephen Lennon

EDL leader & founder, despite denying knowledge of Hobson they have been photographed together.

Daryl Hobson & Tommy Robinson/Stephen Lennon

4. Robert Spencer

Robert Spencer

Namechecked 64 times in Breivik’s manifesto, eminent Islamophobe, co-founder of SIOA and EDL endorser.

5. Douglas Murray

Douglas Murray

Heads conservative think tank Centre for Social Cohesion, has liaised with Spencer on ‘counter terrorism’ issues, EDL sympathiser, influential in formulating David Cameron’s Prevent strategy addressing Islamic extremism.

6. David Cameron

Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, denouncer of multiculturalism, Muslim scapegoater.

Despite this being a slightly mischievous post, it’s not entirely frivolous. The issue that has caused these people’s paths to cross socially or professionally is Islam. The thought that the work of Robert Spencer could influence both the acts of a terrorist and government policy on dealing with the Muslim community is worrying to say the least, and is yet another reason to put these hatemongers under the microscope and blow their industry wide open.

Anders Breivik: An Escalation not an Exception (The Terrorists Next Door)

Anders Behring Breivik - Killed 77

In a continuation of a theme I have been exploring recently, I’m going to be posting again on the need to re-examine and change our perception of what constitutes terrorism and terrorists. I also want to give further exposure to the frequency of Islamophobic incidents in the West. In doing so it should become obvious that the atrocity perpetrated by Anders Behring Breivik in Norway last week isn’t a one off, and didn’t come out of the blue. Far right and Islamophobic terrorism have been taking place on our doorstep for decades, but I bet you’d struggle to think of five incidents off the top of your head. Ask anyone about terrorism in Britain and they’ll reel off IRA bombings in London, Guilford, Brighton, Birmigham and Manchester, the 7/7 attacks on London, the Locherbie disaster and possibly the Iranian Embassy Siege. After that it gets a bit more taxing. Unless we see passenger planes falling from the sky or the aftermath of suicide bombings, it’s just not terrorism is it? Let’s look at a selection of definitions.

Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged

The systematic use of violence and intimidation to achieve some goal.

David Copeland (London Nail Bomber) - Killed 3, Injured 139.

Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms. US Department of Defense 2005.

The calculated use of unlawful violence or threat of unlawful violence to inculcate fear; intended to coerce or to intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious, or ideological.

Terence Gavan BNP


The Terrorism Act 2000.

(1) In this Act “terrorism” means the use or threat of action where-

(a) the action falls within subsection (2),

(b) the use or threat is designed to influence the government [or an international governmental organisation] or to intimidate the public or a section of the public, and

(c) the use or threat is made for the purpose of advancing a political, religious [, racial] or ideological cause.

(2) Action falls within this subsection if it-

(a) involves serious violence against a person,

(b) involves serious damage to property,

(c) endangers a person’s life, other than that of the person committing the action,

(d) creates a serious risk to the health or safety of the public or a section of the public, or

(e) is designed seriously to interfere with or seriously to disrupt an electronic system.

(3) The use or threat of action falling within subsection (2) which involves the use of firearms or explosives is terrorism whether or not subsection (1)(b) is satisfied.

Tony Lecomber (BNP)


Critical reflections on definitions, causes and media-views on terrorism and anti-terrorism measures - Prof. Dr. P. Hebberecht 

In the many definitions we have, we could identify some characteristics that occur more or less in each definition: (threat of) violent actions, political, ideological or religious motives, actions to influence the behaviour (of civilians or dissidents) or decisions (of the government) by spreading fear with mostly a civilian target. Civilians as well as nations can commit these violent actions.

So, in summary terrorism could be defined as the use of, or the threat of unlawful violence against a person or damage to a property, with the intention of intimidating or coercing a government or society, for political, religious, racial or ideological goals. With that in mind I’ll list just a small percentage of far right and Islamophobic attacks of a terroristic nature.

Neil Lewington (BNP)

United Kingdom – Damage or threats to Property

18/06/11 – Various -Race-hate parcels containing fake anthrax have been sent to five mosques. Far-right extremists have been blamed for sending the packages, one of which contained an “offensive drawing and words about the Prophet Muhammad”.

22/04/11 – High Wycombe - Vandals have attacked 20 Muslim graves at a cemetery in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.

12/01/11 – Hemel Hemsted - A MOSQUE was left with around a dozen windows damaged after it was targeted in a racially-motivated attack.

22/09/10 – CambridgeA severed pig’s head has been left outside a mosque in Cambridge – triggering alarm among the city’s Muslims.

25/06/10 – Scunthorpe - Scunthorpe’s Muslim community leaders have expressed their outrage after 11 Muslim graves in Brumby Cemetery were vandalised for the second time in 21 months and the third time in four years.

21/05/10 – Paisley - A FRIGHTENING attack by a gang of hooded thugs on an Islamic centre was last night being treated by police as racist.

16/0/10 – EcclesVandals carried out two attacks in one night on a mosque. They were captured on camera as they removed fencing and threw bricks through the windows. The vandalism is the latest in a spate of racially-motivated attacks on the premises in Liverpool Road, Eccles.

22/03/10 – Leeds - Nineteen gravestones have been vandalised in a section of a Leeds cemetery used by Muslims.

29/12/09 – Cradley Heath - CRADLEY Heath’s Muslim community is appealing for help after its mosque was burnt to the ground by arsonists. A fire engulfed the Cradley Heath Mosque and Islamic Centre in Plant Street on Boxing Day.  It is the second time in five years that the building has been targeted by arsonists.

28/11/09 – ManchesterVandals have targeted Muslim graves at a south Manchester cemetery for the third time in two months. More than 20 headstones at the Southern Cemetery on Barlow Moor Road were pushed over in what police are treating as a racially-motivated attack.

18/10/09 – Sunderland - A 53-year-old man has been charged after petrol was thrown at the doorway of a mosque in Wearside. The man, from Peterborough, is due before magistrates on Monday charged with attempted arson with intent to endanger life with racial aggravation.

03/07/09 – GlasgowA man who threatened to blow up Glasgow Central Mosque has been ordered to undergo a psychiatric assessment. Neil MacGregor also threatened to kill a Muslim a day until all mosques in Scotland were closed. The court heard that the e-mail read: “I’m a proud racist and National Front member.

18/06/09 – GreenwichA brave caretaker was hurt as he risked his life to save a mosque torched by arsonists in the second petrol bomb attack in a week.

06/05/09 – Bishop’s Stortford - Bishop’s Stortford’s Muslims are living in “distress, fear and isolation” after their mosque was attacked by hammer-wielding thugs who abused and intimidated their religious leader.

09/05/09 – Luton - Police sought to calm fears yesterday that a suspected arson attack on an Islamic ­centre in Luton was revenge for the picketing of homecoming British troops by Muslim extremists in March.

17/12/08 – Southend - A MUSLIM leader fears for the safety of his family, after attacks on a mosque and his flat next door. The gang of teenagers have repeatedly targeted the Essex Jamme Masjid mosque, in Chelmsford Avenue, Southend. Teenagers also smashed the front door windows at his home.

15/08/08 – Scunthorpe - The Mayor of North Lincolnshire today branded the desecration of more than 20 Muslim graves as devastating. The gravestones have been vandalised in two separate areas of Brumby cemetery, and nearly 10 of the damaged graves were of children and babies.

27/0/07 – Nottingham - Nottingham police are reassuring the Muslim community after a serious fire was started at Madni Masjid Mosque on Alberta Terrace in Forest Fields, on April 5.

25/05/07 – Preston - A Preston mosque at the centre of a planning row has been hit by a series of vandal attacks. Windows at the Masjid-e-Salaam mosque in Fulwood have been smashed three times in the past six weeks.

13/03/07 – StirlingTHUGS threw bottles of Buckfast through the windows of a mosque while worshippers prayed inside, it emerged yesterday. About 30 people were inside the mosque at the time. Three men in their early 20s were seen running away.

29/09/06 – NewportA pig’s head was found dumped outside a mosque in south Wales hours before the holy festival of Ramadan began, police have said.

01/03/06 – Enfield - The discovery of a bloody pig’s head impaled on railings outside Ponders End mosque has sent shock waves through the community.

07/01/06 – Birmingham - A mosque has been burgled and then deliberately set on fire.

19/11/05 – ChesterAn arson attack at a mosque in Chester could have been racially motivated, police have said.

11/03/05 – Worthing - A VICAR’S adopted son has been found guilty of burgling and setting fire to a Worthing mosque.

19/03/04 – London - On the morning of Thursday 18th March, at least 40 Muslim graves were found to have been desecrated at Charlton cemetery in Plumstead, South East London.

02/05/03 – ReadingJame Mosque in Reading was attacked in the early hours of Friday morning in the latest Islamophobic incident to afflict the country’s 1.6 million Muslim community.

14/11/01 – BelfastBricks have been thrown at the mosque in south Belfast. The attack came as some in the Irish Republic’s 15,000 strong Muslim community expressed concern about a possible backlash against them following Tuesday’s terror attacks in the US.

United Kingdom – Violence or threats against a person

10/11/09 – LondonYouths have attacked a man outside a mosque in the same London suburb where an OAP was allegedly murdered by youths as he left a mosque. He suffered head injuries in what police describe as a racial attack.

31/08/09 – London67-year-old man of Indian origin died succumbing to his injuries, a week after a shocking race attack by a gang of schoolboys outside a mosque in south London. The attack took place when Kolkata-born Ekram ul Haque returning from a local mosque on August 31 was battered to the ground in front of his five-year-old grand-daughter.

13/08/07 – LondonA Muslim cleric is in a serious condition in hospital after being attacked in a London mosque. He suffered heavy blood loss, damage to both eyes, and had to undergo emergency surgery, a Muslim Council of Britain spokesman said.

03/11/06 – Preston - Gangs of white youths threw stones at a mosque and an Asian boy was stabbed in “racially motivated” street violence, police have said. Muslims praying heard stones hitting their cars outside the Jamia Masjid mosque in Preston, Lancashire.

11/07/06 – RhylA mosque has had to close after an 29-year-old assistant imam was attacked after being racially abused on his way to morning prayers.

13/02/08 – Edinburgh - A 32-year-old woman who stabbed an Asian teenager she called a terrorist has been jailed for six years.

13/07/11 – Fife - A Fife drug addict who assaulted a Muslim woman by pulling a burka from her head has been sent to jail.

15/07/11 – Kilmarnock - The 71-year-old Asian man was discovered with serious facial injuries around 0130 hrs on Friday 15 July 2011 outside the Community Mosque in Hill Street, Kilmarnock.

05/07/11 – Dagenham - an attack on two Muslim bystanders during an anti-Muslim march in Dagenham by the far-right group, the English Defence LeagueSix of the EDL members then launched a violent attack on the two men, throwing them to the ground where they were kicked and punched repeatedly. Both men sustained multiple injuries and one of the victims was hospitalised.

16/05/11 – HullDOZENS of police officers had to be drafted into the city centre when a flash protest was organised by a far-right group. The second was in Spring Bank, when a man in his 30s was detained after an attack on a car full of Asian men.

06/05/11 – Lincoln – Daniel Odling, 26, is on trial accused of religiously aggravated threatening behaviour, alongside a 17-year-old man charged with assaulting PC Rizwaan Chothia, again religiously motivated. EDL member.

21/04/11 – North Cheam - A gang of schoolgirls attacked a Muslim woman after mocking her for wearing a headscarf. One of the girls kicked her, before she crossed the road in an attempt to get away. The girls caught up with the victim, kicked her again, and during a struggle to remove the victim’s headscarf, kicked her again after she fell to the ground.

13/04/11 – LondonAn Iranian Muslim girl has reportedly come under attack in Britain after refusing to remove her hijab amid a new wave of Islamophobia in Western countries. Zahra sustained facial injuries in the encounter, which is not the first act of violence against a Muslim in Europe.

06/04/11 – Redbridge - The first thing Abdul Wahab heard, he says, was the shouting. “Muslim bastards; Paki bastards.”  One brick, Abdul says, struck the imam, who was also injured by flying glass. He had to go to hospital. By then at least, the terror was over and the assailants were gone.

10/05/09 – Ranby PrisonA bomb made by jail inmates to blow up Muslim prisoners came within moments of exploding outside a prayer meeting. The device, made with fireworks and detonators smuggled in with a fishing rod, was put in a room where worshippers wash their hands and feet for Friday prayers. A prison source said: “This could have caused a bloodbath. It was only because of a vigilant officer that the bomb was carried away. When the bomb squad got to the jail they went mad as it could have gone off at any time.”


United Kingdom – Far Right Terrorists

Robert Cottage: former BNP candidate. The police claimed to have recovered chemical components which could be used to make explosives. They believe it is the largest haul ever discovered in someone’s home in England.

David John Copeland: is a former member of the British National Party and the National Socialist Movement, who became known as the “London Nail Bomber” after a 13-day bombing campaign in April 1999 aimed at London’s black, Bangladeshi and gay communities. 3 dead, 139 injured.

Tony Lecomber: was convicted and imprisoned for three years for five offences under the Explosives Act after he tried to blow up the offices of a political party. Police found hand grenades and detonators at his home. Despite this the BNP kept him on its payroll for over ten years.

Allen Boyce and Terry Collins: In July 2006 Allen Boyce, a BNP supporter, received a two-year suspended sentence for providing Terry Collins, a BNP activist, with bomb making instructions. Collins himself was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment in 2005 for conducting a racist terror campaign against the Asian community in Eastbourne.

Mark Bullman (BNP) - Mosque Arsonist


Mark Bullman: arsonist Mark Bulman, a BNP activist, was jailed for five years in January after trying to set fire to Swindon’s Broad Street mosque. He used a BNP leaflet as a fuse for his petrol bomb.

Martyn Gilleard

Martyn Gilleardhas been found guilty of making bombs for a far-right terrorist campaign, after having previously admitted downloading thousands of images of child sexual abuse. Officers found machetes, swords, bullets, gunpowder and racist literature. Most sinister of all were four home-made nail bombs stashed under his bed. He wrote of starting a “racial war” and murdering Muslims.

'Wigan Mike' Heaton & Trevor Hannington (Attended EDL events)

Michael Heaton: Hardcore neo-Nazi EDL forum moderator, Wigan Mike has been arrested on terror offences. Real name Michael Heaton of Leigh, National Front and British Freedom Fighters member “Wigan Mike” has helped organise many EDL and WDL demos, and was photographed amongst the crowd of Hitler saluters during the WDL’s recent visit to Wales.

Tevor Hannington: from Hirwaun, Cynon valley in south Wales, was described as a loner by the judge, who told him: “You are a long-standing racist who has never hidden your views, which are violent and vicious in the extreme. Flags bearing swastikas were strewn around Hannington’s house and police found a personal armoury including an air rifle and daggers. Hannington also admitted owning the Anarchist’s Cookbook, Kitchen Complete and The Terrorist Encyclopaedia, all of which are considered useful tools to someone preparing or committing an act of terrorism.

Ian & Nicky Davison (Aryan Strikeforce)


Ian and Nicky Davison: When officers saw a video of pipe bombs being detonated, they raided Davison’s house in Myrtle Grove, Burningfield, Durham. During a search they found that he had bought castor beans from America and several other items which together constituted a recipe for the deadly toxin, ricin. They say they found enough of it in a jar in his kitchen to kill up to 15 people. Davison later became the first person in Britain to be jailed under the Chemical Weapons Act when he got 10 years at Newcastle Crown Court. His son was jailed for two years after being found guilty of possessing terrorist manuals.

Neil Lewington: A racist arrested by chance at a railway station was “on the cusp” of waging a terror campaign using tennis balls and weedkiller, a jury has heard. Later searches of Mr Lewington’s home revealed a notebook entitled “Waffen SS UK members’ handbook” which contained drawings of electronics and chemical mixtures, jurors were told. Mr Lewington had an “unhealthy interest” in the London nail bomber David Copeland, America’s Unabomber and Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, the court heard.

Terence Gavan: A former BNP member who turned his bedroom in his mother’s house into a bomb and weapons factory has been jailed for 11 years. West Yorkshire Police entered the property with a search warrant as part of a firearms investigation in May 2009, they were to discover the largest cache of home-made bombs and other weapons ever seen in the region. The Old Bailey heard he had a “strong hostility” towards immigrants. Among his possessions was a list of names, including a neighbour of one of the 7/7 bombers, which the court heard he was planning to target. A note in one of several handwritten notebooks found in the room read: “Patriots must always be ready to defend his country against enemies and their governments.”

Simon Beech:  A former soldier has appeared in court charged in connection with an arson attack at a mosque in Stoke-on-Trent. Simon Beech, 23, of Hartshill Road in the city, denied arson with intent to endanger life, committing arson recklessly and criminal damage. A fire began at the Regent Road mosque in Hanley yesterday morning. Police – who found that a gas pipe from a neighbouring building had been fed through the mosque window – said the incident was being treated as “a racist attack on a religious building”. EDL member.

John Laidlaw (BNP)


John Laidlaw: A man with a racist past has been jailed for life after going on a shooting spree in north London. Gunman John Laidlaw had a history of violence and once vowed he would kill all black people. After he was arrested for a racist attack, he told police he hated all black people and was a member of the British National Party. He shot Abu Kamara in Upper Street before accidentally shooting Emma Sheridan at Finsbury Park Tube station, as he aimed at a second man.

Other notable incidents in Europe: 

Apeldoorn, Netherlands – 01/05/09 - Would-be Assassin of the Dutch Royal family at a parade in Apeldoorn, including head of state Queen Beatrix of Holland has been named as a victim of economic and financial hard times, Richard Tates. An injured Richard Karst Tates was pulled from the wreckage of his Suzuki Swift car after it had plowed though a dense crowd and onto the parade rout of the Dutch Royal family, killing five and wounding more than a dozen and narrowly missing a bus carrying many members of the Royal Family on national holiday, Queensday.

Alphen aan den Rijn, Netherlands – 09/04/11 - 24-year-old Tristan van der Vlis shot several people and then killed himself, reportedly with a different firearm. There were seven deaths, including the killer, and 17 wounded, making it the deadliest incident in the Netherlands since the 2009 attack on the Dutch Royal Family. He was a voter of PVV, Geert Wilders’ party.

Bratislava, Slovakia – 30/08/10eight people (including the perpetrator Ľubomír Harman) died and at least 17 were injured after a lone gunman opened fire in Devínska Nová Ves district in a suburb of the Slovak capital, Bratislava. The shooting spree took place both inside a local panel building and later in the street outside.

Berlin, Germany – 08/01/11Police in Berlin are investigating an arson attack on a mosque in the capital city. The last six months of last year saw six such attacks – the Shitlik mosque on Columbiadamm was attacked in June, twice in August and again in November, while the Neukölln Al-Nur mosque was attacked in November and an Islamic cultural centre in Tempelhof was targeted in December.

Dordrecht, Netherlands – 14/10/10The mosque belonging to the Turkish community in the Merwedestraat in Dordrecht has been shot at. The bullet hit an outside door. A number of people were present in the mosque, but were not harmed. The police has no indication of who committed the crime and what the motives could be.

Groningen, Netherlands – 28/11/10Arsonists tried to set fire to a mosque in Groningen on Monday night, and daubed the walls with the text ‘don’t make us evil’, news agency ANP reports. In March, the same mosque was smeared with blood and the head of a wild boar was dumped outside.

Fredrikstadt, Norway – 20/08/10 - Members of the Islamic community in Fredrikstad saw red when a swastika and “Allah is a [picture of a pig]” were painted on the mosque in the city center.

Malmo, Sweden – 02/01/11 - As of New Year’s Eve evening, police had no suspects for an attack against a mosque in Malmö earlier in the day when shots had been fired through the window of the building.

Normandy, France – 15/07/10 - The police opened an investigation on Thursday after vandals left swastikas and anti-Islam slogans on a mosque in northern France. The slogans, like “Islam out of Europe” and “neither Islam nor Burqas,” along with swastikas and Celtic crosses, were found Wednesday on the wall of a partly constructed mosque in Hérouville-Saint-Clair, a suburb of Caen, Normandy.

Stromsund, Sweden – 22/08/08A man in his twenties has been arrested on suspicion of setting fire to a mosque in Strömsund, northern Sweden. Police are classifying the attack as a hate crime.

Lyon, France – 25/08/08 - Acts of vandalism representing in particular a Nazi inscription and fire of the toilets were committed yesterday in a Muslim prayer hall in Meyzieu, in the Rhone-Alpes region of France, the police and the municipality announced today.

Toulouse, FranceTen members of a neo-Nazi group have been convicted for an April mosque burning outside of Toulouse and sentenced to prison terms up to 18 months. The entrance hall of the Colomiers mosque was set afire before dawn and the room reserved for ritual washing was vandalized.

Ablain-Saint-Nazaire, France – 06/04/08Vandals have struck a cemetery in northern France, defacing the graves of dozens of Muslim First World War soldiersA French prosecutor says 148 graves at the cemetery at Ablain-Saint-Nazaire have been sprayed with anti-Islam slogans. A severed pigs head was found at the cemetery, along with graffiti singling out the French justice minister, who is of North African origin.

Zurich, Switzerland – 13/11/07A gunman used a military assault rifle to fire on a dozen worshipers at an Islamic centre at the Swiss city of Lausanne late on Monday, injuring one seriously, police said on Tuesday, November 13. “He injured one person seriously before worshipers immobilised him on the ground,” according to a police statement cited by Reuters.

Lombardy, Italy – 25/10/07 - A mosque in a small town outside Milan has been the target of a violent attack – the eighth on mosques in the region of Lombardy surrounding the city. Italian media reports said the Alif Baa Islamic Centre, in the northern Italian city of Abbiategrasso, 20 kilometres west of Milan, was subjected to fresh violence on Wednesday. Witnesses said a masked man was seen throwing a Molotov cocktail inside the courtyard of the mosque from his motorcycle in the late afternoon.

Ceuta, Spain – 18/04/06 - An arson attack over the Easter weekend on a Muslim sanctuary in the Spanish city of Ceuta marked another step in what some experts fear is a growing incidence of Islamophobia in the country. The burning of the Sidi Bel Abbas sanctuary comes just three months after another sanctuary in the enclave was attacked by arsonists.

Banja Luka, Bosnia – 04/03/06 - Unknown vandals desecrated a four-century-old Muslim cemetery in a Bosnian Serb town, destroying more than 20 gravestones, AFP quoted police as saying on Saturday.

Esbjerb, Denmark – 13/02/06 - About 25 Muslim graves in western Denmark were vandalized late Saturday night, bringing swift condemnation from Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

Yakhroma, Russia – 05/07/06 - The building of the mosque was seriously damaged, a senior Muslim cleric told IslamNews news agency. Fortunately, no one was hurt in the explosion. Investigation into the attack has been launched. A mosque employee told the agency that the blast had entirely destroyed the main entrance, windows were broken. “Judging by the damage inflicted the explosive device was much more powerful than a grenade,” he said.

Paris, France – 03/07/06Vandals painted swastikas and anti-Muslim slogans on a mosque in the Parisian suburb of Courcouronnes, a mosque official said Monday. Abderrahmane Ammari said “extremists” attacked the walls of the mosque early Sunday, covering the exterior walls with slogans including “Islam go home,” “France is white” and “We fight against Islam” early Sunday morning.

Heidelberg, Germany – 19/11/04 - Unidentified assailants hurled a Molotov cocktail at a mosque in a town just south of Heidelberg early Thursday, raising fears that recent ethnic violence in Holland could spill over the border to Germany.

Annecy, France – 07/03/04 - About 250 people have held a protest rally in the south-eastern French town of Annecy after two local mosques were damaged in suspected arson attacks. One fire ravaged a mosque in the Alpine town itself while the other burned a prayer room in nearby Seynod.

Girona, Spain – 15/12/04Police have arrested a neo-Nazi gang which had carried out attacks on mosques and businesses owned by Muslims. Seven people, including three teenagers, were arrested in towns near Girona, in Catalonia in north-east Spain. The group, called The Black Front, was said to espouse Nazi philosophy. The group carried out attacks on mosques, businesses owned by Muslims and other people whose ideologies were opposed to their own.

Strasbourg, France – 24/06/04Nazi vandals have struck at the Muslim community in the Alsace region of eastern France, desecrating 48 graves of Muslim soldiers with swastikas and “SS” inscriptions. Local Muslim leaders reported seven attacks against Muslim sites in Strasbourg in April, including graffiti saying “death to Arabs”. Most Muslims in France are of North African origin.

Copenhagen, Denmark – 24/03/08Danish Muslims link the racist murder of a Muslim teen last week to an increasing Islamophobic atmosphere fanned by the reprinting of a cartoon satirical of prophet Muhammad. “Deniz Ozgur Uzun was killed because of his dark, Middle Eastern skin,” Jihad Abdelalim Alfara, the chairman of the Islamic Council in Denmark, told IslamOnline.net. Uzun, a 17-year-old Turk attending a technical high school, was distributing newspapers in the Amager district of Copenhagen Wednesday when he was verbally harassed by three Danes, aged 15, 17 and 18. “He ignored them and went his way before they stopped their car and started assaulting him.”

Bergen, Norway – 03/05/11A junior high school in Bergen, west Norway, was evacuated this Tuesday morning after a national newspaper received a message from a pupil claiming to have a weapon in their school bag with the intention of shooting others, “especially Muslims.”

Sofia, Bulgaria – 12/06/11The warden of the main mosque in downtown Sofia has suffered a brutal assault at the hands of unidentified attackers just minutes before the start of the morning prayer on Sunday. 20/05/11Supporters of the Bulgarian far right Ataka (Attack) party started a brawl in downtown Sofia, assaulting Muslims during their Friday prayer.

USA – Damage to property

08/11/10 – Phoenix - The FBI is investigating the recent vandalism of a Phoenix mosque under construction, officials said Wednesday. Paint was spilled on the floor and several tall, arched glass windows were broken by what appeared to be gunshots, Shami said. There was also anti-Muslim graffiti.

08/08/07 – Glendalea container of acid and a reactant was thrown out of a car window and landed near an imam (Islamic religious leader) and another mosque official who were standing outside the Albanian American Islamic Center of Arizona in Glendale, Ariz.

13/08/07 – Antioch - Muslim leaders gathered today at an Antioch mosque that they said had been vandalized several times to condemn what authorities called an arson attack over the weekend.

01/11/94 – Yuba City - The original mosque was 75% complete when on Sept. 1, 1994 a blazing fire reduced this beautiful 12,000 sq. ft. building to charred ruins in just ONE HOUR.

10/05/10 – Jacksonvillea bomb exploded outside the Islamic Center of Northeast Florida in Jacksonville. Local, state and national law enforcement authorities investigated the attack as a possible act of domestic terrorism.  (04/05/11 – A 46-year-old suspect,Sandlin Matthews Smith, was shot and killed earlier today in Oklahoma as FBI agents and state law enforcement personnel attempted to arrest him in a state park.)

01/02/09 – Miami - Police Investigate Shots Fired At Miami Mosque. Officials Say Bullet Holes Found In Wall.

25/11/06 – FloridaSniper Strikes at Brevard Mosque During Ramadan Prayers.

14/0/07 – Tampa - Someone deliberately set fire Thursday morning to the Islamic Education Center of Tampa,Florida, a mosque tucked into a neighborhood of tidy suburban homes in Town ‘N Country, according to Hillsborough Fire Rescue and the FBI.

07/07/ – Houston - a home-made bomb exploded on Sunday in the mailbox of Champions Masjid in Spring, Texas. Muslim children who saw two white men place the bomb in the mailbox narrowly missed being injured in the attack.

26/03/02 – Tallahassee - A man drove his truck into a mosque near Florida State University on Monday night, prompting police to seal off the area and call in a bomb squad.

23/08/02 – FloridaA Florida doctor arrested after police found more than 15 homemade explosive devices in his home drafted a detailed plan to blow up a Muslim educational center, investigators said Friday. A search of Robert J. Goldstein’s residence also turned up a list of about 50 Islamic worship centers in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area and other locations in Florida.

25/08/03 – SavannahAn mosque burned to the ground Sunday morning, and police are calling it a case of arson. The fire completely destroyed the building but it wasn’t the only thing targeting this mosque. Just a few weeks ago, bullets slammed into the garage door and one of its members received hate mail.

19/12/10 – LouisianaThe Louisiana State Police bomb squad was called to “deactivate” a suspicious device found against the iron fence surrounding the Islamic Center of Lafayette. Police would not divulge the exact content of the briefcase found outside the mosque. But said it was a real threat. Some 50 nearby homes were evacuated.

12/12/04 – SpringfieldInvestigators probing a fire Wednesday night that severely damaged a Springfield mosque have concluded that it was arson.

Roger Stockham - Foiled Mosque Bomber


30/01/11 – Dearborn - A 63-year-old Southern California man who was traveling with explosives in his vehicle with the intention of blowing up one of the nation’s largest mosques where mourners had gathered for a funeral was arrested in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn.

25/08/06 – Minneapolis - A Minneapolis mosque was targeted with a suspected arson early Thursday morning while prayer was in session, the mosque director said. No one was hurt in the incident, but dozens of books and other equipments were destroyed.

07/12/10 – Carlton - A Holley teen-ager was charged with a felony count of criminal possession of a weapon after allegedly firing a shotgun outside a mosque in Waterport on Monday night.

26/11/08 – Ohio - on Friday, a mosque in Dayton, OH was tear-gassed, with women and children inside.

20/12/05 – Cincinnati - It was late in the night on Dec. 20, 2005, when two pipe bombs went off outside the Islamic Association of Cincinnati. Luckily, no one was hurt, but no one has been ever been arrested or charged.

29/08/10 – Murfreesboro - One day after a piece of construction equipment was burned at the building site for the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office investigated a report about shots fired at the site.

27/05/11 – Washington DCShots were fired outside a mosque in northwest D.C. Friday afternoon. No one was injured in the incident and police have arrested a man.

17/09/01 – Cleveland - Last night, September 17, 2001 a man in Parma Ohio near Cleveland, drove his vehicle smack dab into the center of the Mosque. The car ended up in the fountain, he ended up in the emergency room.

11/09/05 – Lansdale - Robert Blackburn, 53, of Hatfield, used a .22-caliber rifle to shoot up two cars in the parking lot of the North Penn Mosque early Tuesday, police said.

12/02/08 – NashvilleThree men have been charged in the firebombing of a small mosque over the weekend, federal prosecutors said. They were members of the Christian Identity movement, an extreme doctrine that claims white Europeans are God’s chosen people.

30/06/00 – Memphis - On June 20th, Masjid Al-Noor in Memphis, Tenn., became the latest target, this time at the hands of an enraged neighbor. The suspect, who tried to enter the locked mosque, was said to have opened fire on the mosque with his shotgun, filling the door of the mosque with bullet holes. One Muslim man was wounded after being shot in the pelvis area by the suspect, who returned home to reload his shotgun.

16/05/11 – Houston - Members of the mosque reported two men smashed in a window at Madrasae Islamia in the 6600 block of Bintliff Drive and then doused a room with gasoline before setting the fire.

16/11/07 – Corpus Christi - Corpus Christi’s Islamic community cautiously continued Ramadan worship Saturday while investigators prowled the McArdle Road mosque’s perimeter for clues to who shot through the door Friday.

20/09/04 – El PasoPolice arrested a man who allegedly attacked the Islamic Center of El Paso with two makeshift firebombs that failed to detonate.

14/09/01 – TexasA firebomb was hurled at a mosque and Islamic school in Texas, a day after windows were shot out at a similar Islamic centre near Dallas, police said today.

27/04/06 – Maryland - The police say nobody was hurt after shots were fired Thursday into the Islamic Center of Delmarva located in Salisbury.

USA – Violence against a person

21/12/10 – Columbus - Federal and local authorities are investigating a possible hate crime after a Muslim woman said she was verbally harassed and pepper sprayed on Monday outside of an Islamic center on the city’s west side.

01/09/09 – Portland - Portland police say a man was shot in the back after leaving a mosque, and police were searching for two suspects. Police Chief James Craig says at least two shots were fired. The victim, who was not identified, was taken to the Maine Medical Center. His injuries were not thought to be life threatening.

17/04/08 – Kansas - A clerk at a Lenexa, Kan., gas station told police that a man came into the store and asked the clerk if he was Muslim. When the clerk replied in the affirmative, the man reportedly started harassing him. Soon after the man left the store, a Molotov cocktail incendiary device was thrown through the front window of the store. A similar incident occurred at another store in area.

12/09/10 – New York - One of two suspects arrested allegedly used racial and religious slurs, including calling the imam a “camel jockey” and shouting, “F*ck all you Muslims. All of you are terrorists,” during the verbal and physical assault.

02/12/10 – SacramentoA 56-year-old Sikh taxi driver was attacked early morning Nov. 28 in West Sacramento, Calif., by two passengers who allegedly shouted racial epithets and called the turban-and-bearded driver “Osama bin Laden.”

22/10/10 – Washington State - A Burien woman has been charged with a hate crime for physically and verbally assaulting two Muslim women at a Tukwila gas station last weekend. 37-year-old Jennifer Leigh Jennings accosted two Muslim women, calling them “terrorists” and “suicide bombers” before physically attacking them.

14/10/10 – New York - The Staten Island woman said her attacker called her a “terrorist and a Muslim” and pulled on her religious head scarf. The attacker — a pedestrian — allegedly reached through the driver’s-side window of her car and punched her in the face. He then allegedly shattered a car window and tried to hit her 4-year-old son.

25/08/10 – New YorkRider Asks if Cabby Is Muslim, Then Stabs Him. He withdrew a Leatherman knife, Mr. Sharif said, and, reaching through the opening in the plastic divider, slashed Mr. Sharif’s throat. When Mr. Sharif turned, he said, Mr. Enright stabbed him in his face, on his arm and on his thumbs. Mr. Sharif said he told him: “I beg of you, don’t kill me. I worked so hard, I have a family.”

08/12/06 – Vermont- Police say Thurber told officers that he believed the family members were terrorists because they spoke Arabic to each other. He allegedly suspected they were plotting an explosion in the north end of Brattleboro and perhaps the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon. “Thurber stated that he thought the (family) should no longer be able to breathe, Brattleboro Police Officer Mark Carignan wrote in his affidavit. He said that they needed to be killed to protect the United States.

21/10/06 – San Fransisco - “Whoever did this did not see Alia Ansari, a mother of six children.” Killed Thursday by a single bullet to the head as she walked with her 3-year-old daughter on a well-to-do residential street, she was distinguished by a hijab, the head scarf worn by some devout Muslim women. The Afghan immigrant had no purse or money on her, family members said.

Anti-Abortion Terrorism

Scott Roeder - Anti-abortion Terrorist

 

In the U.S., violence directed towards abortion providers has killed at least eight people, including four doctors, two clinic employees, a security guard, and a clinic escort. According to statistics gathered by the National Abortion Federation (NAF), an organization of abortion providers, since 1977 in the United States and Canada, there have been 17 attempted murders, 383 death threats, 153 incidents of assault or battery, and 3 kidnappings committed against abortion providers. According to NAF, since 1977 in the United States and Canada, property crimes committed against abortion providers have included 41 bombings, 173 arsons, 91 attempted bombings or arsons, 619 bomb threats, 1630 incidents of trespassing, 1264 incidents of vandalism, and 100 attacks with butyric acid (“stink bombs”). The New York Times also cites over one hundred clinic bombings and incidents of arson, over three hundred invasions, and over four hundred incidents of vandalism between 1978 and 1993. The first clinic arson occurred in Oregon in March 1976 and the first bombing occurred in February 1978 in Ohio. The first hoax letters claiming to contain anthrax were mailed to U.S. clinics in October 1998, a few days after the Slepian shooting; since then, there have been 655 such bioterror threats made against abortion providers. None of the “anthrax” in these cases was real.   

The rightists will argue that graffiti or smashed windows isn’t terrorism just vandalism. I would agree if it wasn’t for the fact that these acts have a particular target and motive based on racial, religious or ideological grounds. They are fueled by hatred, and are designed to cause fear and put pressure on a section of society, either to retaliate or to relocate. Had these incidents been the work of Muslims, the Islamophobes wouldn’t hesitate to label them as acts of jihad. Add to the above the many more incidents of far right terrorism on Western soil that can be viewed here and here, and you start to realise that what happened in Oslo and Utoya is an escalation rather than an exception. The threat posed by the far right needs to be addressed now, and the discourse on terrorism needs to change if this escalation is to be halted.

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