The Community Security Trust, a group which monitors anti-Semitic attacks on Jews in Britain, has reported a 31% drop in attacks in 2010, compared to 2009. Nevertheless, this good news is tempered by the fact that the number of attacks, 639, is still the second highest number since the Community Security Trust (CST) began reporting (and the 2009 figure was distorted by the war in Gaza). Part of the rise in the last two years (compared to historical averages), is no doubt in part down to a widening of the reporting net, with the CST now monitoring the internet as well. Even so, there was still plenty of physical assaults and verbal abuse too. The CST’s remit is quite narrow, as they deliberately exclude anti-Israeli attacks, and focus on incidents where it can be shown that an individual’s religion was the cause of the incident. This avoids the disingenuous argument that these attacks mostly occur because people dislike Israel’s policies, with the implication that if Israel behaved Jews would be safe.
Peter Oborne, in the wake of Baroness Warsi’s speech on Islamophobia, asked where the Muslim equivalent of the CST is. He then went on to list a number of recent attacks on Muslims he managed to find in just a few hours, including:
Police arrest four more men following attack on Mosque: Police have arrested four more man following last month’s attack on Kingston Mosque. The men were arrested yesterday on suspicion of involvement in the disorder and damage at the mosque in Park Road on Sunday, November 21. Elderly worshippers were terrified when a group of men tried to smash windows and threw beer and bacon at the building. (Kingston Guardian, 8 December 2010.)
Why have I written on both anti-Semitic and Islamophobic attacks? It is not to downplay the importance of either, or create a ‘league table’ of attacks. Rather it is because these attacks highlight the similarities of the abuse that ordinary Muslim and Jewish victims suffer: the broken windows of a religious house; the crude religious component to attacks; the hateful language; and the self-righteous justification of a number of attackers.
|Post to del.icio.us|
Filed in: Current affairs,EDL,Religion