Academia, America, anthropology, Anti-Semitism, Democracy and Justice, Ethnic Minorities, Europe, Islam, Islam in Europe, Islamophobia, Muslims, Neocon, Politics, Religion, Research, Robert Spencer, sociology, Terrorism, The UK, Uk government, War on Terror

Fear, Muslims and Islam: reconsidering Islamophobia

Is it politically incorrect to say that one ‘fears’ Muslims? Does it deserve public condemnation? In other words, should have Juan Williams been sacked for his remark about fearing Muslims dressing in ‘Islamic garb’ on planes? Are these instances of Islamophobia?

Let me start with an anecdote which took place in London in the aftermath of the 7/7 attacks. I was waiting for the next tube train with my friend Hakim, a Pakistani born and raised in London who wore clothes considered to be Islamic attire and sported a very long beard. When the train arrived, we were lucky enough to find a seat. At the next stop, another young Pakistani, attired in western clothes and shaved to perfection, entered the train and after freeing himself from a bulky and heavy black backpack, which he positioned in front of him, sat a couple of seats from Hakim. We had a long way to go yet.

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anthropology, Anti-Semitism, BBC, Catholic Church, Censorship, Democracy and Justice, Ethics, Ethnic Minorities, Europe, Freedom, Gender, Immigration, Islam, Islam in Europe, Islamophobia, Journalism, Muslim family, Muslims, Politics, Religion, Research, Sexuality, sociology

The shameful silence: abuse and repression between tradition and lack of education

 

Muslims in the UK, as in another countries both in the geographical west or east, have to reflect carefully on the issue of child abuse within their heterogeneous communities as well as religious organisations, instead of wrapping themselves in a cloak of embarrassment, silence, and unacceptable complicity reinforced by the shared idea that, as in an interview one person told me, ‘these things do not happen in our community and do not happen among Muslims’. In reality they happen as often as in other communities, regardless of ethnic and religious background.   Continue reading

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America, anthropology, Anti-Semitism, Democracy and Justice, Ethnic Minorities, Europe, Freedom, Islam, Islamophobia, Israel, Israel/Palestine, Journalism, Muslims, Neocon, Politics, Religion, Satire, Terrorism

And if Hitler were born in America?

Few people, both in the US and in the rest of the world, may know that the US has had its own Nazi Party, which under other different names (such as the Social Revolutionary Party) is still very active. I do not have statistics about how many Americans read or have read Mein Kampf, and even less knowledge about how many may have been influenced directly or indirectly by its ideas. Often I have heard the argument that Hitler, despite his charisma, would have never succeed in reproducing in the US what he created in Germany. This argument, in other words, suggests that something exquisitely German existed in the formation and ascension of the Nazi delirium. As an anthropologist, I have my strong reservations about this suggestion. Continue reading

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Anti-Semitism, Arab-Israeli conflict, Democracy and Justice, Islamophobia, Israel/Palestine, Journalism, Middle East, Muslims, The UK

Richard Littlejohn’s “War on Britain’s Jews”, or the spiral of intolerance

http://vhm-design.com/#aboutsOn the 9th of July Channel 4 broadcasted Littlejohn’s documentary The War on Britain’s Jews. He introduced his documentary on his Daily Mail column, and if you do not want to watch all of it, Littlejohn himself has offered a taste in his column.I have to admit that I agree with Tony Greenstein about Littlejohn as a journalist and about his documentary. Tony Greenstein in The Guardian has stated:

 

If Channel 4 was seriously concerned about anti-semitism then the last person to present it would have been Richard Littlejohn. This is the same person who said of the Rwandan genocide: “Does anyone really give a monkey’s about what happens in Rwanda? If the Mbongo tribe wants to wipe out the Mbingo tribe then as far as I am concerned that is entirely a matter for them” – which is a direct take from the late Alan Clark‘s infamous remark about “bongo bongo land”.He has also called the Palestinians “the pikeys of the Middle East” and suggested that it was time to “wring [their] necks”. “Pikey” is a racist reference to Gypsies, one of Littlejohn’s pet hates, along with gays and asylum seekers.

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Anti-Semitism, Iran, jihad, Neocon

Muslim Anti-Semitism?

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian President, has called (in translation) for
Israel to be “wiped off the map.” Recently, at the end of one of my
lectures, a student stopped me and asked whether we could define Ahmadinejad’s
statement as an example of Muslim anti-Semitism. He argued that there are similarities
between what he defined as “Muslim anti-Semitism” and Nazi anti-Semitism.
Indeed, it is not difficult to find some Arab political groups and mass media
who use anti-Zionist rhetoric as ludicrous as the infamous hoax known as the
Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” There is plenty of anti-Semitism, but at what
point should it be called “Muslim”? Continue reading

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