Islamophobia

1 August 2017News

How the mainstream media self-censored ‘revenge for western foreign policy’ from their reporting of the Manchester attacks

Image based on Jomana Abedi’s Facebook profile picture

In the first month after the attack on the Manchester Arena on 22 May, dozens of commentators offered dozens of theories on what could have led a Manchester-born-and-raised 22-year-old to massacre dozens of teenage girls and parents as they left a pop concert.

While there was a lot of confident speculation by people who never met Salman Abedi, there is one person who has spoken up who definitely knew Abedi well:

‘Abedi’s…

1 December 2016Comment

Those threatened by Trump's regime - not the man himself - should be the focus for campaigners, argues Milan Rai

How should we respond here in the UK to the Trump presidency? For a number of reasons, we should not focus on Trump himself – on boycotts of outlets that carry Trump-branded goods, for example.

Following Erika Thorne’s wise words elsewhere in this issue, we can focus instead on those leadership can help us turn back the dangers that confront us, those who are most threatened by Trump’s rise.

There are some inspiring things happening in the US.

I was moved…

1 October 2016Feature

The second part of our interview with Liz Fekete, director of the Institute of Race Relations

Liz Fekete speaks in the post-Brexit debate at PN Summer Camp. Photo: Roy St PIERRE

A black woman spoke up from the audience at a public meeting held earlier this year, to launch a new issue of Race and Class, the journal of the Institute of Race Relations (IRR). She was a teacher, struggling with the new legal duty on teachers to monitor and report signs of ‘nonviolent extremism’ among their students. Children were becoming frightened to express their opinions. What was she…

1 June 2015Feature

Fears for civil liberties as Tories launch new drive against 'extremism'

Within days of being elected, the new Conservative government made it clear that a new drive against ‘extremism’ will be a major part of its legislative programme. Universities were already legally obliged to monitor their students and report any suspicions of ‘people being drawn into terrorism’, under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act passed in January.

Conservative home secretary Theresa May introduced the act by declaring that, due to the rise of the terror group ISIS, the…

31 March 2015News in Brief

The media storm around the unmasking of ISIS executioner ‘Jihadi John’ in February provided an opportunity for the right-wing press to exert enormous pressure on anyone connected with the Muslim human rights group Cage.

Cage had revealed the enormous harassment and pressure that British citizen Mohammed Emwazi (‘Jihadi John’) had suffered from the British security services over several years, and argued that this was a major factor in his ‘radicalisation’.

The Quaker…

1 February 2015Feature

The renowned US dissident reflects on the hypocrisy of the elite response to the Charlie Hebdo killings

The world reacted with horror to the murderous attack on the French satirical journal Charlie Hebdo. In the New York Times, veteran Europe correspondent Steven Erlanger graphically described the immediate aftermath, what many call France’s 9/11, as ‘a day of sirens, helicopters in the air, frantic news bulletins; of police cordons and anxious crowds; of young children led away from schools to safety. It was a day, like the previous two, of blood and horror in and around…

5 July 2013Feature

Since the Woolwich attack in London on 22 May, at least 13 mosques have been attacked, according to Islamophobia monitoring group Tell MAMA, which has recorded 212 incidents targeting Muslims – including harassment, violence and damaged property.

A school trip in Isfahan, Iran Photo: Milan Rai

On 23 June, a home-made bomb was discovered outside the Aisha mosque in Walsall in the West Midlands. 150 people were evacuated. No one was injured as the device was made safe.

Arson or attempted arson attacks have taken place at the Grimsby Mosque & Islamic Community Centre; the Zainabia Islamic Centre in Milton Keynes (30 people were inside at the time); the Al Falah Braintree Islamic Centre in Essex; the Masjid E Noor…

3 September 2008Comment

In September we are inevitably reminded of 9/11. The frustration of the US regime at its inability to punish dead people has resulted in a desire for revenge that appears insatiable. Afghanistan, Iraq, Guantanamo and then the “war on terror” seem to threaten everyone, anywhere in the world. We must not forget the Americans who were bereaved on 9/11 who pleaded that their grief should not be used as an excuse to cause the same to others, or the jailed military refusniks or the American anti-…

3 September 2008Comment

The Islam Expo schedule described the event as “Europe’s largest- ever exhibition to ‘combat the myths, misconceptions and misunderstandings of Islam’.” As I stepped off the Tube at Kensington Olympia amongst a crowd of Muslims (“thousands of families” attended, apparently) I started to realise how varied, interesting and exciting this event was going to be. There were Muslims in kaftans, Muslims in turbans, Muslims in tracksuits, women in burqas, hijabs, loose scarves or just the latest…

3 June 2008Comment

I recently read Monica Ali’s highly-acclaimed novel Brick Lane. At first I felt drawn to the book. I grew up within a mile of Brick Lane during the time the book is set in; I’m half-Indian and spent much of my teenage life in Asian households.

As the book unfolded, it became harder to read. Although beautifully written, the story started to sadden then irritate me as it became clear it was about a young Muslim woman from India who moves to Brick Lane after an arranged marriage to an…

3 March 2008Comment

The recent media frenzy over Islamic law has produced the common reaction from non-Muslims in this country - a collective shudder and the assumption that sharia means stoning women and beheading criminals, an idea that the archbishop of Canterbury was trying to challenge.

I couldn't help feeling the response to Rowan Williams's speech was just another example of the double-standard reaction the mass media usually displays towards Islam.

An old school friend who is a…

1 March 2008Review

Jonathan Cape,2008; ISBN 9780224076104; 214pp; £12.99

Despite his loud protestations to the contrary, Martin Amis's collected essays about the post-9/11 world demonstrate that he is indeed hostile to, and fearful of, Islam as a religion. At times in The Second Plane, Amis is careful to distinguish between Islam, the world religion, and “Islamism”, a violent and intolerant strand of belief.

Over and over again, however, Amis lets slip his underlying prejudices. In a chapter on “demographics”, he relays uncritically some scaremongering…

3 March 2006Comment

The crisis over the Muhammad cartoons is not, despite appearances, primarily about free speech, or the prohibition on depicting the Prophet. The damage to community relations is enormous, but there is a real opportunity before us to try to strengthen connections between Muslims and non-Muslims.

How do we know that the non-Muslim European uproar is not really about free speech? Look at the differing reactions to the two big decisions of Flemming Rose, culture editor of the Danish…