Extremism

Why more than #1in5Muslims ridiculed the Sun’s ‘jihadi sympathy’ story
November 24, 2015 By FM

Why more than #1in5Muslims ridiculed the Sun’s ‘jihadi sympathy’ story

For Mucahit Bilici, comedy offers the means to invert the distorting power of stereotypes. This is true for anyone who has experienced racism and Islamophobia. This inversion reflects a recent Twitter trend that ridiculed the Sun’s claim that one in five Muslims has ‘sympathy for jihadis’. The hashtag #1in5Muslims also created a wider discussion about Islamophobia. The polling company behind the Sun poll, Survation, faced criticisms for its methodological approach. It told the Guardian that it picked “1,500 Muslim surnames” from its database. Telephone interviews did not proceed until the individuals identified confirmed an Islamic belief. Monday’s edition of the Sun had claimed that this sympathy extended to ISIS. But the poll did specify any group. It rather sought, in a simplistic and vague manner, to gauge ‘sympathy’ with Muslims who had joined fighters in Syria. Fighters could extend to other groups including anti-Assad forces and Kurdish groups. The Sun’s political editor Tom Newton-Dunn wrote “if the poll reflected views across the country it would mean 500,000 have some support for jihadis“. To extend that logic, a Survation poll in March for Sky News asked the same question to non-Muslims. It found that 14 per cent had expressed ‘sympathy’. If that poll reflected national opinion it would mean [...]

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Toronto says #StandWithMuslimsTO after anti-Muslim backlash
November 20, 2015 By FM

Toronto says #StandWithMuslimsTO after anti-Muslim backlash

The anti-Muslim backlash following the recent Paris atrocities is creating its own acts of solidarity. In Toronto, Canada, four high profile anti-Muslim incidents have made headline news. A Muslim woman was assaulted as she went to collect her children from school on Monday. According to police, two males pulled at her hijab and stole her mobile phone. The brother of the victim said she was punched in the stomach and face, called a “terrorist” and told to “go back home” during the assault. Metrolinx staff found anti-Muslim graffiti inside a bathroom of a busy train station. On November 19, a Muslim student at the University of Toronto, named Osama Omar, 21, was spat at as he waited for a streetcar in downtown Toronto. Omar wears a topi, or Muslim prayer cap. The perpetrator told Omar to take his “turban” off and attempted to punch him twice. In a Facebook post, he described how an elderly woman who saw the incident from across the street came over to ‘apologise on behalf of the man’. She told Omar not to see him as a ‘generalized representation’ of what society has become. At around 6pm on Wednesday, two Muslim women faced verbal abuse [...]

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F*** off Back to Syria Because Girls Do Not Wear Hijabs in England
November 18, 2015 By Tell Mama

F*** off Back to Syria Because Girls Do Not Wear Hijabs in England

Over the last 36 hours we have seen a number of cases come into Tell MAMA and the following incident shows, once again, how street based anti-Muslim hatred is also gender specific, with perpetrators mainly being white males and the victims mainly being visible Muslim females. This was reported in by an Asian female who

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Why did Tommy Robinson move from the EDL to Pegida?
November 2, 2015 By FM

Why did Tommy Robinson move from the EDL to Pegida?

This October marks two years since Tommy Robinson departed from the English Defence League (EDL). The Quilliam Foundation had called it “a huge success for community relations in the United Kingdom” and urged others, within far-right and Islamist circles to follow suit. Their staff “facilitated” both Robinson’s departure, and that of the EDL’s co-founder, Kevin Carroll. Quilliam had also offered both men education on Islam and training in lobbying. Robinson aimed to tackle Islamist ideologies “not with violence but with better, democratic ideas”. He later told BBC Radio 5’s Nicky Campbell “I want to lead the revolution against Islamist ideology, I don’t want to lead the revolution against Muslims“. When asked if he had regrets, he replied “I apologise if what I have said and represented has not resonated individually with Muslims”. Beyond these pristine, mineralised and rehearsed statements, the cracks sat in plain sight. Days before the announcement, Robinson’s Twitter feed continued to pump out anti-Islam content. Two days before Quilliam’s press conference Robinson had tweeted “Muslims created Islamophobia themselves… Go figure!!! They don’t challenge the extremists so we will!!!” Days earlier he tweeted that “Global war/holocaust on Christians… We all know it’s #Islam fueling it…“ Robinson retweeted an [...]

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Why Hindu nationalism threatens India’s free speech and secularism
October 30, 2015 By FM

Why Hindu nationalism threatens India’s free speech and secularism

Some of India’s most prominent scientists have signed a petition and returned awards to draw attention to India’s growing intolerance. The petition accuses the governing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of curtailing free speech and stoking Hindu nationalism. Signatories include Ashoke Sen, who won the Fundamental Physics Prize, the world’s most lucrative academic award in 2012. Pushpa Bhargava who founded the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology in Hyderabad. D Balasubramanian, former president of the Indian Academy of Science. And Dr Vineeta Bal of the National Institute of Immunology in New Delhi. The statement reads: “It is the same climate of intolerance, and rejection of reason that has led to the lynching in Dadri of Mohammad Akhlaq Saifi and the assassinations of Prof Kalburgi, Dr Narendra Dabholkar and Shri Govind Pansare.” Professor Malleshappa Kalburgi’s murder shocked India. Who would murder a “straight-talking, rationalist researcher of ancient Kannada literature”? As local media described him. One theory is that Hindu nationalists murdered him in response to his criticisms of idol worship. The founder of the right-wing Hindu group Sri Rama Sene, Pramod Muthalik, rejected any links to Kalburgi’s murder. He also threatened to cut off the tongues of writers if they continue to [...]

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Vandals daub swastikas and racist slogans on Jewish and Muslim graves in Austria
October 19, 2015 By FM

Vandals daub swastikas and racist slogans on Jewish and Muslim graves in Austria

Vandals daubed swastikas and anti-migrant slogans on Muslim and Jewish graves over the weekend in western Austria. The perpetrators targeted the graves and building of a Jewish cemetery in the town of Hohenems, near the Swiss border. Police sources confirmed that swastikas appeared on its walls. Swastikas and racist graffiti also appeared at a Muslim cemetery in the nearby municipality of Altach. Police are linking this case to an earlier spate of vandalism against a refugee hostel and Jewish museum two weeks ago. Swastikas appeared on walls of the Jewish district, including the Jewish museum. The phrase “Stop the asylum flood” appeared on a refugee hostel. Hohenems mayor, Richard Amman, had recently received a letter from far-right extremists. He is also in a legal battle over the disputed mayoral elections with a candidate from the far-right Freedom Party (FPO). The FPO had claimed victory with 43.3 per cent; but a runoff secured Amman’s election with the smallest of margins. Back in Feburary, swastikas were daubed on the walls of a Vienna mosque,  as Austria prepared for its official Pegida-inspired march. Other recent incidents of Islamophobia and antisemitsm in Austria included an assault on two Jewish men, which included shouts of [...]

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The Only Extremists We See Are the ‘Britain First’ Sympathisers Here
October 11, 2015 By Tell Mama

The Only Extremists We See Are the ‘Britain First’ Sympathisers Here

What would you do if a small group of Christian volunteers put up a stall, in the inimitable style of us Brits, and decided to break down barriers of understanding so that people could understand Christianity more? It’s the kind of thing that happens up and down our country with no problems. Now what if

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Who Says This Work is Abuse Free? Mona Chalabi Highlights Key Issues
October 6, 2015 By Tell Mama

Who Says This Work is Abuse Free? Mona Chalabi Highlights Key Issues

Mona Chalabi’s BBC documentary titled, ‘Is Britain Racist‘, was a fascinating insight into prejudice and the ways that different races and faith groups are affected by racism and prejudice. We had the pleasure of advising the producers in sending a Niqab wearing female to Dudley, to see what reactions this would elicit, if she walked on

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Scholar’s corner: how do Abul A’la Maududi and Fazlur Rahman position Jews and Christians in the Quran?
October 5, 2015 By FM

Scholar’s corner: how do Abul A’la Maududi and Fazlur Rahman position Jews and Christians in the Quran?

Dr. Imam Mamadou Bocoum is a holder of two Masters and a PhD from The Muslim College, and Heythrop College, University of London. He is a lecturer in Islamic Studies; a Board member of the Muslim Law Council UK and an interfaith consultant. He is currently a consultant at Faith Matters and Tell Mama. Mamadou has authored a number of written works which have included: The Position of Jews and Christians in the Qur’an; Faith and Citizenship in Islam; The status of Women in Islam; Islamic Fundamentalism and the Qur’an. He can be reached at mbocoum@yahoo.com; Mamadou@tellmamauk.org. Jews and Christians are referred to as Ahl al-Kitab (People of the Book), and are characterised in the Qur’an as those to whom divine revelations have been given prior to the advent of Islam. The Qur’anic reference Ahl al-Kitab indicates that they possess divine scriptures in much the same way Muslims do. The term Ahl al-Kitab made 32 appearances in the Qur’an. Some Muslims, however, and a number of Muslim commentators mainly with a literalistic reading of the Qur’an, argue that Muslims should have nothing to do with the Ahl al-Kitab. The latter, some Muslims argue, should convert to Islam because their religions [...]

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Family seek hate crime charge against white supremacist accused of killing Iranian-American Shayan Mazroei
October 1, 2015 By FM

Family seek hate crime charge against white supremacist accused of killing Iranian-American Shayan Mazroei

The family of murdered Iranian-American engineering student Shayan Mazroei, 22, want authorities to consider it a hate crime. Craig Tanber, a white supremacist gang member allegedly stabbed Mazroei outside a California bar on September 7. Given his gang links and ideology, the family’s attorney Neama Rahmani wants a closer look at Taber’s motive. “Our clients lost their only child to a heinous act of racism and violence,” said Neama Rahmani of West Coast Trial Lawyers, the law firm representing the Mazroei family. “We will not rest until we obtain justice against those responsible for Shayan’s tragic death.” Witnesses claim that the suspect’s girlfriend described Mazroei as a ‘terrorist’ and said “f—ing Iranians” before Tanber attacked him. Investigators are not convinced that race was a motivating factor. “It’s not even close to have enough evidence to charge it as a hate crime. It is a murder, it is charged as a murder,” said Senior Deputy District Attorney Larry Yellin. Shayan’s mother Shahzad Mazroei could not hide her tears at a recent press conference. A source told the New York Daily News that she had flown back from Iran after learning of his murder. She has lost her son, a promising student [...]

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