A parliamentary committee on Islamophobia?


by Rumbold
27th August, 2009 at 9:28 pm    

Inayat Bunglawala, one of the grandees at the Muslim Council of Britain, has had a sensible idea:

“In 2005 a parliamentary committee against antisemitism was established to “confront and defeat antisemitism in this country and beyond”. At a time when anti-Muslim bigotry has become pervasive and is now translating into actual hate crimes, it is surely crucial that a similar committee against Islamophobia is also set up to monitor and help combat anti-Muslim prejudice and discrimination.”

If it performs as well as the committee on anti-Semitism, it could turn out to be very useful. It would be able to highlight incidences of low-level Islamophobia, as well as more shocking cases. Of course it isn’t a panacea, but it would demonstrate to Muslims that the authorities are taking Islamophobia (or Muslimophobia to be more accurate) seriously.


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  1. pickles

    New blog post: A parliamentary committee on Islamaphobia? http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/5672




  1. DavidMWW — on 27th August, 2009 at 9:44 pm  

    I hate Islamophobes. They give those of us who sincerely believe that Islam is a load of idiotic bullshit a bad name.

  2. London Muslim — on 27th August, 2009 at 10:26 pm  

    Seems appropriate on the day its reported a Muslim gets kidnapped in London for simply holding prayers on Friday.

    The irony of course is the biggest Islamophobes reside in Parliament both Tory &; sadly Labour.

  3. douglas clark — on 27th August, 2009 at 10:58 pm  

    Surely, we need to amalgamate all this xenophobia into a single committee?

    I have no truck with antisemites or islamophobics, though to be honest I don’t have a lot of time for prosemites of islamophiliacs either.

    So a single committee aimed at tackling all extremism would be pretty cool.

    I wonder if it could also address blatant anti-woman prejudices at the same time?

    Perhaps not. For that may cut across the agenda, huh?

  4. grapesoda — on 27th August, 2009 at 11:08 pm  

    Well with the rise of the far right and football hooligans uniting. Its about time something is done the story today of a kidnapping and threatening of a muslim man is outrageous. If this happened to a jew or Christian and the ones committing the offence happened to be muslim I have no doubt the media would be all over it like a rash!

  5. fugstar — on 27th August, 2009 at 11:57 pm  

    The kidnaping is the latest awful thing to happen to that bro. There’s a history there and the bnp are open and blatant.

    So much so that the bnp counciller lady in Loughton has said that firebombing isnt a british tactic, that a brick through the window is more like it (reference to the Nazi Crystal night attacks?)

    What would said technocratic fix do about her? Condemnothons dont work.

    and that hall was booked for friday prayers because the other LONDON borough next door still refuses planning permission for a pretty legendary muslim community centre. Local government has to be one of the stupidest provincial and reticent things in the world.

    obama can be president of the usa, yet mini george bushes hold power of petty, significal local affairs.

    There need to be political and social mobilisations and alliances built.

    hugely centralised policywonk bodies are too far removed from day-to-day life.

  6. soru — on 28th August, 2009 at 12:27 am  

    It does seem a bit like having the Government Committee for Monitoring (West) Hamophobia, and then someone wants to set up another one for Millwallophobia too to balance it out.

    Government should really be involved with setting up a narrative of Hooligans vs Fans, rather than anything more tribal.

  7. douglas clark — on 28th August, 2009 at 12:54 am  

    soru,

    Well said.

  8. marvin — on 28th August, 2009 at 3:56 am  

    But why so selective, why can’t we tackle all racisms?

  9. marvin — on 28th August, 2009 at 3:59 am  

    Personally I feel it would be just Idiots with too much time on their hands.

  10. JuliaM — on 28th August, 2009 at 8:03 am  

    A committee! Yes, that’ll solve everything!

    I wonder who we could get to sit on this committee, though? Hmmm, I wonder if Inayat himself is free…?

    “Its about time something is done the story today of a kidnapping and threatening of a muslim man is outrageous. If this happened to a jew or Christian and the ones committing the offence happened to be muslim I have no doubt the media would be all over it like a rash!”

    Oh, not this old chestnut again!

    What, you think the media weren’t all over this? It made all the online news yesterday, and was even on the BBC local news at 6:30…

  11. Rumbold — on 28th August, 2009 at 9:00 am  

    It is a parliamentary committee, which means that it would be made up of MPs, who would otherwise spend their times fiddling their expenses.

    Soru and Marvin:

    I agree that we need to try and tackle all racism/bigotry, but Islamophobia is so widespread now that I don’t see a problem with one committee focusing on it (just as the committee on anti-Semitism does).

  12. The Common Humanist — on 28th August, 2009 at 9:28 am  

    Julia
    Perhaps the market will provide…..militias and vigilantes…..the wingnut way after all……..

  13. Fug — on 28th August, 2009 at 10:27 am  

    Its on the media because vikram dodd from the guardian is a real dear, and because some in the near-local community to the incident have worked hard.

  14. Random Guy — on 28th August, 2009 at 10:39 am  

    JuliaM @ 10: A committee is a start. Not like you’re brimming with ideas or anything, is it?

  15. camilla — on 28th August, 2009 at 10:48 am  

    there is no such thing as anti-muslims bigotry. theres is onle an adequate reaction to muslim bigotry.

    what hate crimes are you talking about? someone had a displeased facial expression when noticing woman in headscraf entering the bus? oh. horrible hate crime!

    hate crime – this niche has been already occupied by muslims even in non-muslim countries.

    muslims commit more hate crime than is commited against them

    rumbold do you really wanna know about shocking crimes?

    several years ago muslim youth raped girls in their distrcits just because they were not wearing headscarves – or were not muslims at all…

    these are hate crime … but they do not exists to you… ot then you are eventually made to notice them – you say it has nothing to do with the religion of the criminals…

    why do not you guys renamed this site to “put he minorities first! (of course, in countries there the mislim community is the minority – never foget that crucial detail)”

    speaking about your “the pork non-story” acticle – actually IT IS disrimination.

  16. JuliaM — on 28th August, 2009 at 10:50 am  

    “Its on the media because vikram dodd from the guardian is a real dear, and because some in the near-local community to the incident have worked hard.”

    Really..? What have they done, then?

    “A committee is a start. Not like you’re brimming with ideas or anything, is it?”

    Ideas for what? As has been pointed out, kinapping is already against the law, and if the police find the alleged culprits, they are looking at a bit more than a community sentence. What other ‘ideas’ are needed here?

  17. camilla — on 28th August, 2009 at 11:00 am  

    Inayat Bunglawala – remind me, another muslim liveing in the house, paid by taxpayers?

    lifht version of anjem coudary?

  18. camilla — on 28th August, 2009 at 11:00 am  

    Inayat Bunglawala – remind me, another muslim liveing in the house, paid by taxpayers?

    light version of anjem choudary?

  19. The Common Humanist — on 28th August, 2009 at 11:00 am  

    Because such a committee can gauge what the real extent of the problem is, rather then what wingnuts and islamists think it is.

    I would also like to see it investigate problems going the other way too – the extent of Islamist lead ‘everything that isn’t islamistic-phobia’, as it were (AKA the shit that the Munirs of this world try to insist on inflicting on normal muslims and the rest of us Brits) So that that too can be accurately assessed and gauged.

  20. Rumbold — on 28th August, 2009 at 11:19 am  

    Camilla:

    “there is no such thing as anti-muslims bigotry. theres is onle an adequate reaction to muslim bigotry… muslims commit more hate crime than is commited against them.”

    So you start by contradicting yourself. Do Muslims commit crimes? Of course some do. But it doesn’t follow that there are no crimes committed against them.

    “why do not you guys renamed this site to “put he minorities first!”

    Because that doesn’t make any sense.

    “speaking about your “the pork non-story” acticle – actually IT IS disrimination.”

    How so? Businesses should be free to sell what they want, and most will sell what they think people want.

    Julia M:

    No one was saying that a committee would solve everything, but like the one on anti-Semitism, it would give us an idea about the levels of Islamophobia in this country.

  21. bananabrain — on 28th August, 2009 at 11:36 am  

    I agree that we need to try and tackle all racism/bigotry, but Islamophobia is so widespread now that I don’t see a problem with one committee focusing on it (just as the committee on anti-Semitism does).

    it reminds me somewhat of the holocaust memorial day silliness, you know, the MCB boycott and all that. to be honest, i would far prefer the remit of the committee to be widened to cover all ethno-religious hatred, just as i would have preferred a “genocide memorial day” rather than one specifically for the shoah. but if it’s couched in terms of “moan moan, whine whine, the jews have their own prejudice subcommittee and we want one as well, it’s soooooooo unfair” (just to clarify, i think islamophobia is certainly serious enough to qualify for attention without this approach being needed) and parliament acquiesce, then it’s going to quickly be followed by demands for hinduphobia, sikhiphobia, homophobia and probably paganophobia and atheistophobia equivalent committees. all of that would obviously be a massive headache for parliament so i would suggest a standing committee on ethno-religious hatred instead, for all the good it’s going to do, but better to have one than not.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  22. Rumbold — on 28th August, 2009 at 11:41 am  

    Bananabrain:

    I don’t think that is a bad idea- just have one committee for everything, and then, as you say, it avoids the need for more committees. I wasn’t trying to say that ’cause the Jews have one the Muslims have to as well’: I just thought that it was a good example of a successful committee.

  23. damon — on 28th August, 2009 at 12:23 pm  

    Is it a successful committee? I tried reading its website that the CiF article had a link to, and it was just really dull and tedious.

    What really is the bottom line after all that waffle?
    That police forces need to get on top of these hate crimes, record them better, detect and prosecute perpetrators.

    I read that the report proposes that it be made an offence to download material from the internet that could incite racial or religious hatred.

    If it’s run by MPs they’re bound to come out with this draconian kind of solution.
    They also talk about anti-semitism on campus .. which would invite a curtailing of some of the Islamic socities there by the people running the university.

    Which all gets tricky when you get a mainstream student group like the Federation of Student Islamic Socities inviting this man to speak to students in Dublin.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zh6q02J6dJk

  24. camilla — on 28th August, 2009 at 12:31 pm  

    my point is that the hate crimes commited by muslims and against muslims – well, it is ridiculous to compare the number…

    but you call them – that silly occasion – shocking and call for every decent man to stand firmly against it – but when, being informed of the opposite cases, you (muslims on that site, for example) again call for … no, not fighting it, but fighting people who mention it (oh, don’t day “am I calling to fight you, camilla?”)

    what else do you have Rumbold except with – in my opinion – fictional case from the Guardian?
    i think its clear PR

  25. camilla — on 28th August, 2009 at 12:42 pm  

    what about committee to protect non-muslims and non-minorities? if there is any chance for it not to be called another BNP fascist offspring immidiately?

    anti-semitism and anti-islamophobia just label people racistic names in order to stifle critical attitude to whatever minorities do…

    no matter anti-setimic or else

  26. soru — on 28th August, 2009 at 1:27 pm  

    A man is walking down a street in a dodgy area of North London. A masked man with a knife threatens him and asks ‘Jew or Muslim?’

    ‘Actually, I’m a Catholic’.

    ‘Jewish Catholic or Muslim Catholic?’

  27. Shatterface — on 28th August, 2009 at 1:34 pm  

    ‘I don’t think that is a bad idea- just have one committee for everything, and then, as you say, it avoids the need for more committees.’

    Makes more sense than a committee dedicated to one group, particularly if that committee is staffed by people from within that group; in fact, why stick to a committee on racism when you can include violence and oppression against women and homosexuals?

  28. Shatterface — on 28th August, 2009 at 1:37 pm  

    ‘Jewish Catholic or Muslim Catholic?’

    I used to get asked ‘Catholic atheist or Protestant atheist?’

  29. marvin — on 28th August, 2009 at 1:55 pm  

    One of the most effective steps of a parliamentary committee on preventing Islamophobia would be to censure Bungle himself. The less educated may think that, Bungle, being in charge of the MCB, speaks for all Muslims.

    ….Just re-checking some things on Wikipedia about the man, I wasn’t aware that Bungle praised the original bomber of the World Trade centre in ’93 as ‘courageous’ and managed to praise Osama Bin Laden 5 months before the 9/11 attacks as a “freedom fighter”!!

    Bungle is a liability to ordinary Muslims in this country.

  30. bananabrain — on 28th August, 2009 at 2:04 pm  

    rumbold:

    I wasn’t trying to say that ’cause the Jews have one the Muslims have to as well’:

    i realise! i think that is absolutely the worst reason to have a committee on islamophobia – it feeds right into the discourse which is concerned with stoking the competition about “who’s the biggest victim” and does very little other than to provide community leaders with a reason to posture and pick fights, like they did over holocaust memorial day. i say get it right from the get-go this time.

    damon:

    What really is the bottom line after all that waffle? That police forces need to get on top of these hate crimes, record them better, detect and prosecute perpetrators.

    if they know parliament is concerned, the police are likely to give it more attention. there is nothing wrong with lobbying from that point of view.

    If it’s run by MPs they’re bound to come out with this draconian kind of solution.

    it is one thing for a parliamentary report to propose something so unworkable and it is entirely another for it to end up in legislation.

    They also talk about anti-semitism on campus .. which would invite a curtailing of some of the Islamic socities there by the people running the university.

    which would be a bad thing because…? i mean, it is beyond ridiculous how supine university authorities have been in relation to the stunts university i-socs and FOSIS (to say nothing of the respect tendency in the academic world) in particular have been pulling for years now. frankly, the less stupid stuff they get up to the less time the j-socs will have to waste playing silly buggers round the union in an effort to defang boycotts and policies that, if implemented, will make jewish students and academic staff pariahs on UK campuses.

    camilla:

    anti-semitism and anti-islamophobia just label people racistic names in order to stifle critical attitude to whatever minorities do…

    yeah, that must be it.

    you feckin’ feathered eejit.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  31. Sunny — on 28th August, 2009 at 2:10 pm  

    One of the most effective steps of a parliamentary committee on preventing Islamophobia would be to censure Bungle himself.

    In other words: Rape would go away if the annoying and gobby women would just shut up! Same goes for anti-semitism! If Israel didn’t act so badly we wouldn’t have anti-semitism!

  32. marvin — on 28th August, 2009 at 2:17 pm  

    to quickly be followed by demands for hinduphobia, sikhiphobia, homophobia and probably paganophobia and atheistophobia equivalent committee

    Well said bananabrain!

    The biggest contributors of hostility to Muslims is other self-declared Muslims. A genuine drive against Islamophobia would have this in mind and seek to tackle Muslims ruining it for everyone else. But they wont have this in mind, will they?

    There is fundamental difference between antisemitism and Islamophobia. We don’t have Rabbis in this country with hundreds of followers bellowing out fire and brimstone against non-believers and sinners such as homosexuals. We don’t have any Jewish terrorists. We don’t have 2,000 Jews being tracked by MI5 for terrorist activity. And yet they are still 4 times more likely to be attacked than a Muslim, and quite possibly by a Muslim attacker!

    So, really, a committee on antisemitism makes sense as the problem lies almost entirely without the Jewish community itself; whereas with tackling Islamophobia you’d need a dual approach to help ordinary Muslims tackle prominent self-declared Muslims who claim to speak for them yet spout bile at the non-Islamists.

    The most helpful new stories for the Muslim community is where Muslims themselves have outed extremists. I don’t really see how a committee on Islamphobia that simply ignored Islamists and put the entire onus on the non-Muslim’s perceptions would actually achieve anything useful really…

  33. marvin — on 28th August, 2009 at 2:23 pm  

    No Sunny, acknowledging that there are issues to address within the Muslim community is not the same as justifying attacks on the Muslim community.

    What exactly could the Jewish community do reduce antisemitism exactly Sunny? Cause I really cannot think of a single thing.

    What exactly could women do to reduce the risk of rape? Well some things can be done. Do not put yourself is risky situations. Explaining this step does not justify rape, does it? But according to Sunny’s logic it does!

  34. chairwoman — on 28th August, 2009 at 2:26 pm  

    ‘Jewish Catholic or Muslim Catholic?’

    I used to get asked ‘Catholic atheist or Protestant atheist?’

    My late uncle was from Belfast and he was always being asked if he was a Protestant Jew or a Catholic Jew!

  35. Boyo — on 28th August, 2009 at 2:30 pm  

    “It is a parliamentary committee, which means that it would be made up of MPs, who would otherwise spend their times fiddling their expenses”

    The assumption is of course that it would support Bungle’s hypothesis.

    “to quickly be followed by demands for hinduphobia, sikhiphobia, homophobia and probably paganophobia and atheistophobia equivalent committee”

    how about anglophobia? Given 7/7 plus all the convictions wouldn’t it be wiser to have one on Islam and the UK? While the kidnap of this gentleman was frightening, Islamists are demonstrably a much greater threat to ordinary people than racists at present.

  36. Sunny — on 28th August, 2009 at 2:39 pm  

    What exactly could the Jewish community do reduce antisemitism exactly Sunny? Cause I really cannot think of a single thing.

    Oh I love the way you like to blame certain minorities for racism against them, but if anyone were to use that same stupid logic against Jews you’d be jumping up and down screaming.

  37. bananabrain — on 28th August, 2009 at 2:46 pm  

    to be honest, boyo, i think that giving it a general remit on ethno-religious prejudice would actually remove one of the major sources of support for the bnp, by enabling parliamentary scrutiny of the sort of grievances they claim that white people are suffering and make it possible to ascertain what is really going on as opposed to what they always say is going on without being able to back it up. picture the headline:

    “parliamentary report shows white britons less likely to face discrimination”

    and that, presumably, would be *after* representations from the bnp. of course, if it were to show that white britons *did* face discrimination in some areas, then the main parties would actually have to address it instead of just lecturing everyone not to vote bnp. essentially, it would destroy the fascist vote once and for all by showing how false their claims actually are.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  38. fugstar — on 28th August, 2009 at 3:12 pm  

    A Nasty vote would exist despite evidence disproving its imaginary claims, amplification and practicality. You forget that this country is naturally right wing.

    Not sure what the mcb, or even fosis has got to do with this (other than a press release) since the Essex BNP Chav Attacks are clearly out of their local reaches, competancies and remits.

    I dont expect that the Loughton police are up to much however. I for one hope to be surprised.

    There are compelling reasons why a government in the UK should do something strong to protect its Muslim citizenry, in a different way to other communities. Having attacked two predominantly Muslim nations and killed a lot of people, its actions, unless balanced by something give a cue to the BNP-think so prevalent amongst picklers et al.

    The threats are quite particular and I’m not sure how a joint minority purview wouldn’t be full of faff.

    A specific panel looking at angst pspecifically affecting Muslims might actually prick through politician’s skins.

    Muslim Safety Forum already exists, however its too london centric. Nowadays a lot of the problems are on the peripheries, like the less civilised parts of essex…

  39. Rumbold — on 28th August, 2009 at 3:44 pm  

    Damon:

    “That police forces need to get on top of these hate crimes, record them better, detect and prosecute perpetrators.”

    I agree. Absolutely.

    Camilla:

    “what else do you have Rumbold except with – in my opinion – fictional case from the Guardian?”

    Why do you think it is fictional? There are plenty of attacks on Muslims, as well as much more Islamophobia in the media:

    http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/5345

    Shatterface:

    Well, it would be staffed by MPs.

    Bananabrain:

    The MCB’s boycott of Holocaust memorial day is utterly ridiculous, and betrays a lot about their views. But as you say, why not just have a general day?

    “to be honest, boyo, i think that giving it a general remit on ethno-religious prejudice would actually remove one of the major sources of support for the bnp, by enabling parliamentary scrutiny of the sort of grievances they claim that white people are suffering and make it possible to ascertain what is really going on as opposed to what they always say is going on without being able to back it up.”

    Excellent. Marvin (and others), that sums up my thinking on the matter.

  40. marvin — on 28th August, 2009 at 3:49 pm  

    I like that too. The key is acknowledging grievances before they metastasise in to generalised hatreds – and available for everyone white, brown, jew, muslim….

    Wasn’t it Bungle that complained HMD wasn’t inclusive enough? Well surely he should be arguing for a more inclusive committee :)

  41. Shatterface — on 28th August, 2009 at 3:59 pm  

    ‘A Nasty vote would exist despite evidence disproving its imaginary claims, amplification and practicality. You forget that this country is naturally right wing.’

    I think it’s right wing to conclude a country is ‘naturaly’ anything.

  42. Don — on 28th August, 2009 at 4:02 pm  

    But as you say, why not just have a general day?

    Armenians? Darfur? Accusation, counter-accusation, denial, much shouting…

  43. Rumbold — on 28th August, 2009 at 4:03 pm  

    Marvin:

    “The key is acknowledging grievances before they metastasise in to generalised hatreds – and available for everyone white, brown, jew, muslim.”

    Good point.

  44. Boyo — on 28th August, 2009 at 4:07 pm  

    “Having attacked two predominantly Muslim nations and killed a lot of people”

    Funny how you always forget Kosovo.

    Or for that matter Argentina – we’d better watch out for those ex-pat Argentinians too. I tell you this – I wouldn’t want to get near a Vietnamese neighbourhood if I was in America. LOL

  45. Rumbold — on 28th August, 2009 at 4:07 pm  

    Don:

    Yes, there is that. Maybe we should just abolish the whole thing.

  46. Boyo — on 28th August, 2009 at 4:09 pm  

    Do you think if there’s an Islamophobia Day it would be boycotted by the Jews? Perhaps they might insist that it’s not just about Islamophobia, it should apply to all phobias ;-)

  47. damon — on 28th August, 2009 at 4:17 pm  

    Bananabrain @ 30. I’d have thought though the difficulty would be in deciding what is and what isn’t Islamophobia.

    Would you take the definition from the guy who runs the Islamophobia Watch website? Or from Inayat Bunglawala? To some people even being negative about the MCB would be called islamophobic.

    Banning the most notorious islamic groups that have operated on campus is one thing, but saying negative things about a group like FOSIS would also bring about accusations of islamophobia.

    They’re considered moderate aren’t they?

    I don’t know much about FOSIS really, but they did have a report of the visit of Dr Azzam Tamimi (a member of MAB) to students in Dublin on their website last year. He’s a hothead at the very least.

    I just saw that he also spoke at their annual conference at Leicester University in 2005.

    (See at the very bottom of this link)
    http://oldsite.fosis.org.uk/FAC/conference05/lectures.htm

    Or am I coming at this the wrong way?
    I think it would be very messy for the MPs to try to unravel this all.

  48. marvin — on 28th August, 2009 at 4:23 pm  

    Good point Damon. Imagine of Bob Pitt were sitting on the committee, we’d all be in the dock!!!

  49. Anon — on 28th August, 2009 at 5:23 pm  

    #11 “It is a parliamentary committee, which means that it would be made up of MPs….”

    Not so. Like the Parliamentary Committee Against Antisemitism, it would take the form of an All-Party Parliamentary Group.

    APPGs are informally constituted groups established around a subject of common interest. (They are not set up officially by a decision of the House of Commons, as some people assume was the case with the PCAA.) Both MPs and members of the House of Lords can be members.

    #11 “I don’t think that is a bad idea – just have one committee for everything, and then, as you say, it avoids the need for more committees.”

    I can see some problems with the Parliamentary Committee Against Antisemitism expanding its role to cover the issue of Islamophobia, given that Denis MacShane is one of its leading members.

    The committee’s 2006 inquiry into antisemitism claimed to have discovered a new, “symbiotic” relationship between the far right and Islamist extremists based on antisemitism – at a time when the BNP had ditched public manifestations of antisemitism and was making a turn towards the Jewish community based on Islamophobia.

  50. bananabrain — on 28th August, 2009 at 5:32 pm  

    so, anon, presumably you think the jew-hatred peddled by islamists would preclude the committee from focusing on islamophobia? i am sure islamists are entitled to protection against prejudice just as racist white people are – if only because it takes away the only leg they have to stand on, that of self-justification.

    and as for the bnp “making a turn towards the jewish community”, i hardly think we’ve exactly been lobbied. more to the point, nobody jewish (apart from the odd lunatic) is for a moment stupid enough to believe the bnp are not in fact a bunch of jew-hating, holocaust-denying fascists.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  51. anobody — on 28th August, 2009 at 6:53 pm  

    No committee against Anti Semitism, unless there is one for all (which isn’t feasible). So scrap the Anti-Semitism one.

    The biggest contributors of hostility to Muslims is other self-declared Muslims. A genuine drive against Islamophobia would have this in mind and seek to tackle Muslims ruining it for everyone else. But they wont have this in mind, will they?

    Sorry marvin, I don’t buy this. Where you have pockets of Islamophobics who target all Muslims due to the actions of Al-muj types, most Islamophobia has a focus on purely Islamic practices, e.g. veil/hijab or making prayers (recent BNP kidnapping/torture) or cultural (sub-continent) practices by people who happen to be Muslims, e.g. foreign brides and first cousin marriage.

    Using your own logic, maybe we can say that new-age anti-Semitic bigotry stems from a mix of old stereotypes as well as things like the IDF (who happen to be Jews) demolishing homes of refugees, and butchering the defenceless refugees in Palestine? So maybe Jews should seek to tackle Israel for ruining it for Jews in other parts of the world – as you think Muslims should tackle their extremists. It is an interdependent, ‘borderless’, globalised world we live in.

    I dunno.

  52. Anon — on 28th August, 2009 at 8:08 pm  

    #50 “as for the bnp ‘making a turn towards the jewish community’, i hardly think we’ve exactly been lobbied”

    Well, perhaps you missed it. Henry Grunwald noticed it. Ruth Smeed did too.

    Alan Goodacre even wrote to the JC on behalf of the BNP making a pitch for support from the Jewish community on an anti-Muslim basis.

  53. fugstar — on 29th August, 2009 at 11:31 pm  

    http://eppingforestbnp.blogspot.com/

    blog subverted by and bnpsters.

    searchlight where are you? hmmm

  54. douglas clark — on 29th August, 2009 at 11:51 pm  

    anobody @ 51,

    unless there is one for all (which isn’t feasible).

    Why isn’t it feasible? I think it ought to be.

  55. anobody — on 30th August, 2009 at 1:45 am  

    douglas clark,

    You’d get watered down outputs and not a real focus on any one issue. In any case you’d need political will to tackle all issues and I don’t think you’d get enough interests amongst the politicians for this.

    On a side note the only reason we’ve got an APG on anti-Semitism is because there are 50+ Jewish MP’s in parliament, so amongst them you’ll get a few who care about the anti-Semitism problem (rightly so), however the Muslim MPs we’ve got in parliament at the moment, are spineless corrupt career politicians like the tool Khalid Mahmood, so I can’t see them giving a hoot about Islamophobia

  56. chairwoman — on 30th August, 2009 at 12:42 pm  

    “On a side note the only reason we’ve got an APG on anti-Semitism is because there are 50+ Jewish MP’s in parliament”

    Currently there are approximately fifteen (15) Jewish Mps in the House of Commons. There haven’t been a total of fifty (50) in the last thirty (30) years inclusive.

  57. anobody — on 30th August, 2009 at 3:05 pm  

    chairwoman,

    Oh dear. I’ve opened up a can of worms haven’t I?

    Look, I don’t want to get into a debate about numbers. Probably lazy of me to brandish them about. I am talking of the current parliament also.

    I’ve read that doctors, lawyers, men, Jews, the middle classes, and various other segments are currently ‘over-represented’ in parliament. You agree don’t you?

    For the record I don’t have problems with this. I believe MPs have the intention of serving all sections of society as well as the interests of individual constituents. However, in reality that isn’t the case and this is where the problem begins. In reality MPs will be more inclined to pay interests to a finite number of issues which is my argument.

    If we have groups of these MPs using their time on sensitive areas such as racial/religious discrimination, focussing wholly on specific instances e.g. anti-Semitism, it just plays into the hands of those who want some sort of imposition of quotas into parliament, due to those segments of society ‘over represented’ having a monopoly; for example on what is legislated.

    It would – in my opinion – then be fair not to have these groups focusing on specific instances at all, or have groups which focus on all areas of racial/religious discrimination.

  58. anobody — on 30th August, 2009 at 3:15 pm  

    correction:
    It would – in my opinion – then be fair not to have these groups focusing on specific instances at all, but have groups which focus on all areas of racial/religious discrimination (which may not be feasible, but that’s another debate).

  59. chairwoman — on 30th August, 2009 at 5:58 pm  

    anobody – Not a can of worms at all :) .

    It’s just that if there have been less than 50 Jewish (and many of them are Jew-ish rather than Jewish) since the seventies, and many of them have retired, there can’t possibly be 50 in the current Parliament.

  60. Don — on 30th August, 2009 at 6:36 pm  

    does this link work?

    http://www.google.co.uk/search?source=ig&hl=en&rlz=1G1GGLQ_ENUK249&q=mp%27s+by+occupation&btnG=Google+Search&meta=cr%3DcountryUK%7CcountryGB&aq=f&oq=

    Well, sort of.

    I wouldn’t say doctors were over-represented, compared with schoolteachers, for example. But I guess they’re middle-class too. Too many politicians who have known no other trade would seem to me to be more the problem.

  61. JuliaM — on 4th September, 2009 at 5:05 pm  

    Ooops!

    How very odd that no update post has been made on this subject. Unlike ‘Harry’s Place’, who at least had the decency to admit they were taken for a ride.

    Unlike, it would seem, Mr Ramjanally… ;)

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