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Owen Jones: Islamophobia – for Muslims, read Jews. And be shocked

13 July 2012 General 19 Comments Email This Post Email This Post

by Owen Jones (The Independent)

To be a prominent Muslim means suffering a daily diet of bigotry and even outright hatred. This week, Mehdi Hasan – who, other than my colleague Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, is Britain’s only prominent Muslim journalist – wrote of how, every day, he is attacked as a “jihadist” and a “terrorist”. He has been described as a “dangerous Muslim shithead”, a “moderate cockroach”, and worse. The message from his critics is clear: Muslims have no legitimate place in public life.

Mehdi Hasan was right to speak out, but it must not be left to Muslims alone to take on this bigotry. A tide of Islamophobia has swept Europe for many years, and – shamefully – all too few have taken a stand. Even many who regard themselves as “progressives” have either remained silent or even indulged anti-Muslim prejudice. It’s time for Muslims and non-Muslims alike to join forces against the most widespread – and most acceptable – form of bigotry of our times.

Think I’m exaggerating? Consider that the far-right’s main target of choice is no longer Jews or black people: it’s Muslims. The BNP portrays itself as a crusade against the “Islamification” of Britain; in the 2010 election, it launched a “Campaign Against Islam”. Its leader, Nick Griffin, describes Islam as “wicked” and a “cancer”, and has blamed Muslims for problems such as drugs and rape. The English Defence League stages frequent – and often intimidating – street rallies protesting against Muslims.

But anti-Muslim prejudice isn’t simply confined to the far-right fringes. I attended a Stockport sixth form with a large Muslim student population. The reality of their lives is all but airbrushed out of existence. When they appear at all, it’s generally as fanatics, extremists or a community somehow “harbouring” dangerous extremists. (When do Britain’s whites face the absurdity of being called on to crack down on far-right fanatics supposedly in their ranks?) One study took a selection of newspapers in a single week: 91 per cent of reports featuring Muslims were negative.

One of my Muslim fellow students was Dr Leon Moosavi, fast becoming a national authority on Islamophobia. He battles against the widespread denial that anti-Muslim prejudice is a problem. But consider that, in one poll conducted by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, 45 per cent of Britons agreed that “there are too many Muslims” in Britain. Imagine if nearly half the population admitted to believing that “there are too many Jews” in Britain: how loud would our alarm be?

Of course, it is not just a British problem: the poison of Islamophobia has infected Europe’s political mainstream. According to a Pew Research Center survey, nearly six out of 10 Europeans believe that Muslims were “fanatical”, and half believed they were “violent”. As here, the European far-right aims fire at Muslims above all other groups. In the Netherlands, an anti-Muslim party led by Geert Wilders is the third largest in parliament. Wilders compares the Koran to Mein Kampf, calls Islam a “Trojan Horse” in Europe and demands that the country’s 850,000 Muslims be paid to leave the country. Wilders doesn’t languish on the fringes: the current Dutch cabinet depended for two years on his party’s support.

Or take sleepy Switzerland, where the Swiss People’s Party (SVP) is the biggest party in the country’s Federal Assembly. The SVP won a referendum on the banning of minarets, which the party’s general secretary described as “symbols of Islamic power”. During the vote, Geneva’s mosque was repeatedly vandalised. Farhad Afshar, the president of the Coordination of Islamic Organisations, had no doubt what signal was sent by this vote: “that Muslims do not feel accepted as a religious community”. But it gets even darker than that. In June, the Zurich-based SVP politician Alexander Müller was forced to stand down after tweeting: “Maybe we need another Kristallnacht… this time for mosques.” The parallels with anti-Semitism could not be more overt.

In France – where recently 42 per cent polled for Le Monde believed that the presence of Muslims was a “threat” to their national identity – a record number voted for the anti-Muslim National Front in April’s presidential elections. Denmark’s third largest party is the People’s Party, which rails against “Islamisation” and demands the end of all non-Western immigration. The anti-Muslim Vlaams Belang flourishes in Flemish Belgium. But those who take a stand against Islamophobia are often demanded to qualify it with a condemnation of extremism. When is this ever asked of other stands against prejudice? When we condemn anti-Semitic hate, must we criticise repressive Israeli policies in the same breath? It would be absurd – they are completely separate issues, and indeed millions of Jews across the world oppose the actions of Israel’s government.

Anti-Muslim hate is a European pandemic. I’m proud to stand with Mehdi Hasan and other Muslims facing Islamophobia. But – I implore, I beg fellow non-Muslims – stand with them too, before this hatred spirals further out of control.

Original post: Owen Jones: Islamophobia – for Muslims, read Jews. And be shocked

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19 Comments »

  1. The problem is that they have genuinely believed that muslims are out to dominate n replace them..in wat space n time??
    Fear drives them ti hatred!!
    So we have stong believes n stand by them..wats so damn scary about that??
    Its live n let live..once there was a worldwide jewish hatred n massacre..with changing time only the target has changed..in todays times it islamic holocaust!! It sad n shameful..ppl think they hav developed,r educated n smarter,well doesnt seem so..damn shame!! :(

  2. nill,

    “So we have stong believes n stand by them..wats so damn scary about that??” you don’t see how your strong beliefs can be scary. that someone is willing to blow themselves up in defence of their beliefs is scary. that 19 people are willing to fly planes into buildings because of their strong beliefs.
    “Its live n let live..” where do muslims live and let live? in muslim majority countries they impose sharia on non-muslims. right? in marginal countries they try to impose sharia. sudan, nigeria, mali, southern philipines, indonesia, england, etc…. the sunni and shia have been blowing each other up for as long as i can remember. the zoroastians and bahai driven from persia, the ahmadis driven from pakistan. and some were killed by a muslim mob in indonesia. did you see the riots in bangladesh when they tried to change the law to give equal inheritance to women. strong in their beliefs in 4:11. what about the fatawa on rushdie, the riots over the danish cartoons, the koran burning? strong in their beliefs about blasphemy. so “wats so damn scary about that??”” the “justice” your strong beliefs bring. the death your strong beliefs bring.
    “once there was a worldwide jewish hatred n massacre..with changing time only the target has changed..in todays times it islamic holocaust!!” really, muslims have been boxcared off to gas chambers and ovens? i missed that news report. it’s muslim terrorist who have created the climate of today. of course there has been conflict in the world since the begining of time.
    “It sad n shameful..ppl think they hav developed,r educated n smarter,well doesnt seem so..damn shame!!”” tru dat damn shame, the actions of those who claim to know “the truth”. so lyou want to revert to the time of the prophet?

    blowing up 5000 year old buddhas, destroying graves in timbuktu, wahhbist destroying graves in saudi. strong in their beliefs against idolatry.

    the four major schools of islamic jurisprudence all are in favor of stoning apostates. doesn’t sound too laisser faire to me?

  3. U seem to be dead set on linking islam n terror?? Islam did not tell ppl to crash planes,blow up ppl!!! thats ppl killing ppl!!! ,YDONT U GET THAT!!!u cant pin it on islam damn it! Ppl are responsible for their own actions!!! I dont see u blaming christians for the holocaust,instead u blame hitler n nazi who were n are christians..6million dead jews!! N christians responsible for that!!! im that case christianity is the real evil!!!
    Muslim children killed used as human shields by israeli armies,thousands butcherd in burma body parts trashed ol over I guess thats fair to u!!!
    Wat about mosques being bulldozed n razwd to the ground in india,america,burma etc ..houses raided in the dead of night in palastine,homes destroyed,lamd grabbed n stolen!!! U dont notice the injistice there mike do u the “enlightened” n “conversant” of many religions coz u hav “studied” them “ALL”

  4. Nill, muslims are using children as shields and they blow up a mosque almost every Friday. On Sunday they blow up a church. I guess they kill Jews on Saturday.

  5. @anon , you are just a jewish rat , the “loving” jews use palestenian kids as human sheilds and gladly enjoy massacring muslims 24/7 , chose what you say carefully idiot

  6. Yea thats wat “muslims” do ur ryt..

  7. Unfortunately, MJK, people who claim to be muslims commit atrocities with children. War is atrocity. Both sides in the conflict have lost the moral high ground imho.

  8. Islamophobia ? Excuse me !!! Their holy book is full of Kafirophobia. Not only do they loot everynation they stepped into for 1400 years, but cleverly devise “islamophobia” to divert attention from their own hatred for Kafirs and Jews.

    Unbelievable…only Muslims can do this. They are the aggressors and then they play victims like no one else can.

    Will they ever allow a temple, synagoge, church, etc., to be built in their lands the same way they want rights in the US and other non-muslim countries ?? never.

    There’s no moderate muslim. There are only active or passive sharia campaigners. In short, they are all voting for non-muslims being second class citizens the world over.

  9. Hey Indo-Mongoloid hybrid Suckshito,

    Listen baseborne, your scriptures are full of brutality-deception-sex-murder to the greatest extent. Your bastard ancestors came to India from Europe to destroy the Indus valley civilisation of the Dravidians. You know why Indra is named as Purandar? Because he destroyed the “Pur”s/castles of the Dravidians. The infidelity, racism, incest, lasciviousness all were spread from Hinduism. Shiva is shown as a drunkard. In the Mahabharata, violence and bloodshed are integral features. Hindus worship the penis of Shiva that is built in the format of a penis entered into Durga’s pussy. And yet they kiss it showering it with milk.

    What then?

  10. Oh shit here come them islamophobes. O_O

  11. nill,

    “U seem to be dead set on linking islam n terror??” dude i think islamic terrorist already did that.
    “Islam did not tell ppl to crash planes,blow up ppl!!! thats ppl killing ppl!!!” so you don’t think that the terrorists believed that what they were doing was told to them by islam? how do you explain suicide bombers without religion? without the belief in eternal life?
    “YDONT U GET THAT!!!u cant pin it on islam damn it!” so islam played no roll? again how do you explain suicide bombings?
    “Ppl are responsible for their own actions!!!” obviously. but to understand their motivation is important. do you think? so why do islamic terrorist quote from the koran?
    “I dont see u blaming christians for the holocaust,instead u blame hitler n nazi who were n are christians..6million dead jews!! N christians responsible for that!!! im that case christianity is the real evil!!!” well i think most germans where christians. but i do think most the higher ups in the nazis where either atheists or occultist. but i think the germans where a very nationalistic people. confident in their “superiority”. but not sure how you can say christianity was a cause, other then of course it not being a pacifist religion. i used to watch alot of history channel. don’t remember hitler ever quoting the bible. or claiming jesus commands it. remeber alot of “father-land” and the such.
    “Muslim children killed used as human shields by israeli armies,thousands butcherd in burma body parts trashed ol over I guess thats fair to u!!!
    Wat about mosques being bulldozed n razwd to the ground in india,america,burma etc ..houses raided in the dead of night in palastine,homes destroyed,lamd grabbed n stolen!!! U dont notice the injistice there” so what mosque has been bulldosed in america? i missed that report. one was fire bombed in jacksonville a few years back. probably by a christian with strong beliefs? as for the israeli/palestinian issue. i have noticed. i read the news almost everyday. that is why i think we are wasting our time with peace in the middle east. no hope for that. too many religions involved. too many strong beliefs.
    “mike do u the “enlightened” n “conversant” of many religions coz u hav “studied” them “ALL”” lol. i never claimed to have studied all religions. i just find it funny when muslims claims the koran to be the only relgious text to treat slaves “fairly”. as if such a thing is possible. guess it’s like seperate but equal. i find ti funny when muslims claim islam to be “the” religion of peace. yet there are pacifist religioon, clearly more peaceful. nor have i claim to have reached enlightnment. i’m fat and bold, but that is where my similarities to buddha ends.

    so if islam plays no roll in these people’s action, why destroy statues and graves????????

    muslims actions and their own words speak volumes. just look at dongo’s posts. i love his craziness, but seriously? is mlk threating anon?

    maybe next time, instead of the holocaust you should bring up the crusades. clearly to be blamed on christianity.

    take it easy.

  12. Mike,

    i just find it funny when muslims claims the koran to be the only relgious text to treat slaves “fairly”. as if such a thing is possible. guess it’s like seperate but equal.

    Obviously u were right about not studying relgion carefully, when you mentioned the above. The way America defines slavery sure is different then what Muslims believe. Pretty much the whole world practiced slavery during that time, Islam was the first religion to help put an end to it, along with alcohol if you continue reading.
    The Jewish tribe of Banu Qurayzah was taken as prisoners of war(they were actually punished according to the Jewish Halaqah law Deuteronomy 20:10-14, ordained by Saad bin Muad, Jewish-Muslim from the same tribe). Men executed, women/children taken as slaves. Was it injustice? They were punished for treason and by their own laws (and they were given the choice to be judged by the Muslims Sharia or Jewish halaqah, freedom of religion no matter what the enemy does). During those times (for treason) it was either death or ransom as slaves (which sounds worse for women and children?). Prisoners of war are defined as slaves. We still have “slavery” in the US for criminals. But how were the Banu Qurayzah treated? A large number among them were old and incapable of supporting themselves. The only alternative left for them, if they were instantly freed, would have been to turn to beggary and become an economic burden for the society. Freeing them, all of a sudden, would have only resulted in a tremendous increase in brothels (since the men were no longer around). The children of slaves were not made slaves and were considered free. Ransom could be paid for freedom if they worked for a reasonable number of years. Slaves could marry free men or women in exchange for early freedom. Slaves were given the same food, clothing, and shelter as the Muslims. Muslims are forbidden to over work the slaves or beat the slaves. If a Muslim misses a day of fasting, he is encouraged to free a slave, if a Muslim accidentally kills someone, and he is forgiven, he need not pay blood money but he MUST free a slave. And most importantly (which u failed to realize) is that Muslims are not allowed to enslave free people, unless as mentioned above, break their treaties or going to war with Muslims. None of those rights were given to slaves in America so it would be a “lol” to compare the different treatments. It is a well known historical fact that in the battle of Badr – the first main encounter with the Quraysh (pagan Arabs) – about seventy prisoners were captured by the victorious Muslim army. Most of these prisoners were freed against some ransom money, while those who could not arrange for this money were freed if they taught a certain number of children of the tribe of Ansar how to write.

  13. Another blast from the perfect past.

  14. Anon,

    Your writing is informative. I am helped by yours. Thanks for that. I do have some annoyance with these, however.

    Another blast from the perfect past? Good wording indeed! For your very kind information, Muslims helped the West bring down the USSR, the archrival of the West. It was a Muslim who helped locate the Sheikh of Terror, the wriggling worm of hell, Osama (Dust) bin Laden. It is the Muslim who help you quench your endless thirst for oil.

    I hope these are not blast from the past. If wrong, please correct me.

  15. Dongo, your writing is spectacular. Yes, some muslims are very good and sensible.

    Did you see the news that they are whipping smokers and burning piles of cigs in Mali?

  16. M Bennett,

    “The way America defines slavery sure is different then what Muslims believe.” america isn’t a religion.

    “Pretty much the whole world practiced slavery during that time,” ah, now it’s “pretty much”. before it was the whole world. your abrahamic centric veiws are hilarious.
    “Islam was the first religion to help put an end to it,” really? so you know all religions of the world and their veiws on slavery?
    “along with alcohol if you continue reading.” a great sin in my book. but i’ll keep reading.

    yes you have well establish the story of the Banu Qurayzah.
    “Men executed, women/children taken as slaves. Was it injustice?” that’s a clear no.
    “(and they were given the choice to be judged by the Muslims Sharia or Jewish halaqah, freedom of religion no matter what the enemy does).” god should have reveled the geneva convention, and given them that choice. listen i don’t disagree that islamic slavery was probably better than many, maybe not all, systems of slavery throughout the world at that time. but what you don’t seem to realize, your comparison of divine revelation and american domestic or foriegn policy makes no sense. i expect god to say straight up, “thou shall enslave no one”.

    “Freeing them, all of a sudden, would have only resulted in a tremendous increase in brothels (since the men were no longer around).” really? who would go to these brothels? the muslims surely wouldn’t. that makes no sense. couldn’t god have seen mana from heaven, again, to feed them? so your all powerful god, creator of all that is seen and unseen couldn’t come up with a better system for taking in widows and children then slavery. how about let them join another pagan tribe that hadn’t had all its male members killed by the muslims?

    “The children of slaves were not made slaves and were considered free.” you sure on that one. i thought it was only slaves married to muslims, who’s master claimed fatherhood, then the child was free. it doesn’t really matter.

    “Slaves could marry free men or women in exchange for early freedom” kind of like a shotgun wedding?

    “We still have “slavery” in the US for criminals.” you can put “s around a word, that doesn’t change it’s meaning. prisoners aren’t slaves. and nor should prisoners of wars be enslaved. especially women and children who didn’t even participate in the war.

    “And most importantly (which u failed to realize) is that Muslims are not allowed to enslave free people,” nor are they allowed to enslave other muslims. so what. the fact that you are ALLOWED to enslave anyone, shows a lack of divinity, don’t you think?

    again “Islam was the first religion to help put an end to it,” really? so you know all religions of the world and their veiws on slavery?

  17. looks like the zoroastians take 9:5 out of contexts as well?

    http://www.zoroaster.net/indexe.htm

    “3.) In Zarathustrian’s philosophy and thought, there is no mention of slavery and dependency which is the inhumane trait of other religions.

    you clearly lie mr bennet. or maybe you are just ignorant

  18. “The children of slaves were not made slaves and were considered free.”

    more lies from mbennet…….jk, well it is wrong. but i wouldn’t call it a lie. because you truely think it is true. but you are clearly wrong. next you will tell us a slave can’t be sold.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery_and_religion

    “Qur’an limited the source of slaves to the children of two slave parents and non-Muslims captured in war.”

  19. Anon,

    If you ask me to give up breathing, I will gladly comply but please don’t ask me to give smoking up.

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