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  • Technorati: graph / links

    Media & politicians ‘fuel rise in hate crimes’ on Muslims


    by Sunny on 1st February, 2010 at 10:08 am    

    A reader wrote in to ask why I hadn’t mentioned this story in the Guardian last week. Coz I completely missed it!
    Here you go:

    The report cites interviews with rightwing extremists to try to prove a link between what is published in the mainstream media and the anti-Muslim views held by extremists.

    It says: “An experienced BNP activist in London explains that he believes that most BNP supporters simply followed the lead set by their favourite tabloid commentators that they read every day. When these commentators singled out Muslims as threats to security and social cohesion, he says that it was perfectly natural for BNP supporters to adopt the same thinking.” The report says the extreme right are directing their violence more against Muslims than black or Asian Britons.

    It cites other cases of rightwing extremists preparing hate campaigns and of serious attacks on Muslims in Britain.

    These included: “Neil Lewington, a violent extremist nationalist convicted in July 2009 of a bomb plot; Terence Gavan, a violent extremist nationalist convicted in January 2010 of manufacturing nail bombs and other explosives, firearms and weapons; a gang attack in November 2009 on Muslim students at City University; the murder in September 2009 of Muslim pensioner, Ikram Syed ul-Haq; a serious assault in August 2007 on the Imam at London Central Mosque; and an arson attack in June 2009 on Greenwich Islamic Centre.”

    I wish someone spent more time documenting examples of far-right attacks in the UK because the media constantly plays them down.

    Amusingly, Melanie Phillips, in responding to the study, is annoyed that it doesn’t mention Jews!

    Conversely, the authors make no acknowledgement of where truly false and irresponsible reporting has indeed inflamed violence against a vulnerable British minority. The way the British media reports the Middle East incites irrational hatred not just of Israel but also Jews in general. This reporting takes the form of false claims about Israel’s aggressive and illegal behaviour, medieval-style blood libels that Israel deliberately kills Palestinian children, and conspiracies between Israel and America to put the world’s security at risk.

    … note how she conflates Israel and Jews generally. There is of course a significant Muslim/Arab minority in Israel.


         
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    Filed in: Islamists, Religion, Terrorism






    17 Comments below   |   Add your own

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs


    1. Patrick — on 1st February, 2010 at 11:09 am  

      She seems to suggest that none of the media - particularly her - have any responsibility for the effects their words about Muslims may have.

      And yet, British media reporting of Israel has a direct link to attacks on Jews.

      Go figure.

    2. lfc4life — on 1st February, 2010 at 11:54 am  

      The report also highlights the role of politicians who fuel this rise in hate crimes.

      Over the past several years there is a clear alliance between the politicians and media in whipping up hatred against the muslim community.

    3. MiriamBinder — on 1st February, 2010 at 11:58 am  

      Melanie Phillips suffers from a very specific form of myopia. She is only really capable of seeing matters from one standpoint when it comes to Jews and Israel.

      That in itself does not detract from the findings of the report. More interesting would be to see the responses by mainstream media and the unnamed politicians.

    4. marvin — on 1st February, 2010 at 1:03 pm  

      Heh. It’s interesting, no, that despite all the “negative coverage” of Muslims, i.e. reporting of terror plots and attacks, you’d expect Muslims to be significantly and disproportionately victims of hate crimes.

      Perhaps instead of “negative coverage” they should refer to sensationalist or disproportionate coverage. Possibly.

      Yet Jews were four times more likely to be attacked according to police figures in 2006, which is really quite extraordinary considering the 2005 terror attacks.

      The article itself is useless without context. It’s simply a study of crimes on Muslims with a whole bunch of assumptions. Where are the bloody statistics, and comparisons with other hate crimes? Are Jews still four times more likely to get attacked than Muslims? If not, then why did it take nearly a decade since 911 of “negative coverage” of Muslims to to make a shift?

      The study mentions no newspapers or writers by name, but alleges that the book Londonistan, by the Mail writer Melanie Phillips, played a part in triggering hate crimes.

      LMFAO. The delusion that middle class book readers are going out attacking Muslims. Unbefuckingbelievable. IS this seriously the depth of analysis from Guardianistas?

      As I have said before; all you need to a racist/anti-muslim minded thug to attack or lash out at a innocent muslims is for said idiot to see the news about a Muslim trying to slaughter 300 people on Christmas day, or something similar, and for a numskull to agree and say “yer, f*cking Muslims should be shot”. If said idiot is prone to lashing out then it’s not going to take much cerebrally is it???

    5. joe90 — on 1st February, 2010 at 1:27 pm  

      miraim binder

      i can think of several without even doing a net search!

      jack straw mp and the burkha fiasco, patrick mercer mp and the non existent plot to assassinate alan sugar and others, phil woolas mp saying muslims are backwards, this week just gone we had david davies tory mp in wales claiming muslims are barbaric and import violent culture!

      with a bit of research i am sure there are many more similar slanderous comments made by westminister’s finest.

    6. Boyo — on 1st February, 2010 at 2:00 pm  

      Presumably it should read ‘Media, Politicians and Muslims’ fuel etc as I’m sure you’d be the first to agree that the media and Islamist nutters feed off each other. The Islamists of course want as much abuse as possible, for all the obvious reasons.

      And presumably, given as BB points out, Jews are four times as likely to be attacked, there is four times as much nasty coverage (and four times as many Jewish nutters stirring things up?). No? Then why, I wonder. And by whom?

    7. sonia — on 1st February, 2010 at 2:10 pm  

      everyone knows the media does the work of politicians who want to sensationalise the “clash of civilisations” idea ! its all self-fulfilling though,this is the problem. everyone fears “the Other” and this is always used to frame stories in the media. how you construct the ‘Other’ varies from story to story but we still seem to want to see things in a polarised way.

    8. Boyo — on 1st February, 2010 at 3:18 pm  

      @7 quite. But it’s not the fault of media/ politicians - they simply reflect our tribal essence (sounds like shampoo). They give us what we want…

    9. MiriamBinder — on 1st February, 2010 at 4:20 pm  

      The conclusion of the report itself isn’t that surprising; any more than many of comments here are.

      I will wait to see the the reaction of the mainstream media and politicians.

    10. Shatterface — on 1st February, 2010 at 5:07 pm  

      ‘jack straw mp and the burkha fiasco’

      Actually there are plenty of people on this site against the burqa - are they also responsible for an increase in racist incidents?

      s every Islam-related issue now taboo?

    11. Trofim — on 1st February, 2010 at 5:09 pm  

      Incidentally, I note numerous pejorative and derogatory references to the Daily Mail throughout this and other left-wing blogs. Has any research been done on hate crimes against Daily Mail readers, fuelled by these references? After all, as sonia @ 7 says “how you construct the ‘Other’ varies from story to story”, and to those on the left, the Other is the Daily Mail reader.

    12. Sunny — on 1st February, 2010 at 5:59 pm  

      The article itself is useless without context. It’s simply a study of crimes on Muslims with a whole bunch of assumptions. Where are the bloody statistics, and comparisons with other hate crimes? Are Jews still four times more likely to get attacked than Muslims?

      Marvin - you’re evidence that a person doesn’t need to have brains to argue on the internet.

      Stats for hate-crimes against Muslims aren’t always calculated because they’re usually seen as racial hate-crimes. The police don’t gather stats for hate crimes specifically against specific religious minorities.

      So whatever stats you’re citing: they don’t compare like with like.

      Jews are, legally, seen as a racial group. So any anti-semitism can be automatically categorised as a racial incident.

      On the other hand if someone cusses Muslims entirely on their beliefs, the same may not happen because Muslims are legally not a race.

      Sometimes I don’t even know why I try and educate you - you’re beyond help.

    13. falcao — on 1st February, 2010 at 6:00 pm  

      hmmm Pickled politics was not exactly innocent they jumped on the burkha issue at every given opportunity. Milked it for all its worth and more.

    14. Shatterface — on 1st February, 2010 at 8:46 pm  

      ‘… note how she conflates Israel and Jews generally. ‘

      Much like the New Statesman: their infamous Star of David piercing Europe cover, for instance.

    15. cjcjc — on 2nd February, 2010 at 1:42 pm  

      You won’t like this

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/feb/02/soyinka-england-cesspit-islamists

    16. marvin — on 3rd February, 2010 at 12:00 pm  

      Your argument about Jews having special legal protection is irrelevant to the statistics. They deliberately recorded all possible faith hate crimes.

      One in 400 Jews compared to one in 1,700 Muslims are likely to be victims of “faith hate” attacks every year. The figure is based on data collected over threr months in police areas accounting
      for half the Muslim and Jewish populations of England and Wales. The crimes range from assault and verbal abuse to criminal damage at places of worship.

      Police forces started recording the religion of faith-hate crime victims only this year. They did so on the instruction of the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo), which wanted a clear
      picture of alleged community tensions around the country, following reports of Muslims being attacked after September 11 and the July 7 London bombings last year.

      However, the first findings, for July to September, obtained by The Sunday Telegraph under freedom of information legislation, show that it is Jews who are much more likely to be targeted because of their
      religion.

      The figures also suggest that many faith-hate crimes remain unsolved, contrary to the picture painted by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in a report this month. The CPS said only 43 people were charged with
      “religiously aggra-vated” offences last year, and concluded that the large rise expected after the July 7 bombings had not materialised.

      Police figures suggest, however, that hundreds of faith-hate crimes are being committed, with very few ever reaching court. Those figures include any crime that is reported to police which the
      victim believes is motivated by hatred of his or her religion.

      Rabbi Alex Chapper, 33, was the victim of a “faith-hate” crime in July last year. He was returning from a synagogue in Ilford, Essex, with three Jewish friends after conducting a service. All were wearing
      skull caps. Seven Asian teenagers followed them down the road shouting “Yehudi”, which means Jew in Arabic. One of them shouted, “We are Pakistani, you are Jewish. We are going to kill you”, before punching
      Rabbi Chapper in the face and hitting one of his friends over the head with a bottle.

      And that’s the flip side of the coin - the alleged Pakistani absue of the rabbi - surely this proves that media and the politicians are largely irrelevant, people are perfectly prejudiced without any help
      from anyone else. Do Pakistiani teenagers who abuse Rabbis do it cos of the UK media? If not then why if a teenagers abuse a Muslim is it because of the media or politicians, and not motivated entirely of
      their own prejudices?

      This site claimed that an attack on Muslim students outside a London uni was also motivated by the media and the anti-immigration rhetoric. Yet it turned out the attackers were black! As if black youths read
      Daily Mail opinion pieces and are swayed by Nick Griffin… There was no explanation or retraction for this glaring discrepancy. Ho hum.

    17. marvin — on 3rd February, 2010 at 6:24 pm  

      On the other hand if someone cusses Muslims entirely on their
      beliefs, the same may not happen because Muslims are legally not a
      race.

      Muslims are legally not race because… they’re not a race. Islam is a
      religion, a belief system. People should be free to “cuss” other
      people’s belief systems, nay even say things that may upset others.

      It’s called freedom of speech.

      You don’t need any special legislation to protect Muslims from nasty
      comments. Nor should any other group have special legal protection.

      If somebody is being threatening or abusive then the police should be
      called, and they should recored the nature of the crime as it is. If
      it’s anti-Muslim abusive then that should be recorded.

      There is no wave of Islamophobic attacks - if there were this site
      would be choc-a-bloc with it. Surveys have shown the British public to
      be one of the most tolerant - as are our press and politicians. Would
      you like to compare our politicians and press to other countries?

      Blaming the media and politicians because racists are nasty to Muslims
      is a childish pretence.

      And your argument about Jews having special legal protection is
      irrelevant to the statistics. They deliberately recorded all possible
      faith hate crimes.

      One in 400 Jews compared to one in 1,700 Muslims are
      likely to be victims of “faith hate” attacks every year. The figure is
      based on data collected over three months in police areas accounting
      for half the Muslim and Jewish populations of England and Wales. The
      crimes range from assault and verbal abuse to criminal damage at
      places of worship.

      Police forces started recording the religion of faith-hate crime
      victims
      only this year. They did so on the instruction of the
      Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo), which wanted a clear
      picture of alleged community tensions around the country, following
      reports of Muslims being attacked after September 11 and the July 7
      London bombings last year.

      However, the first findings, for July to September, obtained by The
      Sunday Telegraph under freedom of information legislation, show that
      it is Jews who are much more likely to be targeted because of their
      religion.

      The figures also suggest that many faith-hate crimes remain unsolved,
      contrary to the picture painted by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)
      in a report this month. The CPS said only 43 people were charged with
      “religiously aggra-vated” offences last year, and concluded that
      the large rise expected after the July 7 bombings had not
      materialised.

      Police figures suggest, however, that hundreds of faith-hate crimes
      are being committed, with very few ever reaching court. Those figures
      include any crime that is reported to police which the
      victim believes is motivated by hatred of his or her religion.

      Rabbi Alex Chapper, 33, was the victim of a “faith-hate” crime in July
      last year. He was returning from a synagogue in Ilford, Essex, with
      three Jewish friends after conducting a service. All were wearing
      skull caps. Seven Asian teenagers followed them down the road shouting
      “Yehudi”, which means Jew in Arabic. One of them shouted, “We are
      Pakistani, you are Jewish. We are going to kill you”, before punching
      Rabbi Chapper in the face and hitting one of his friends over the head
      with a bottle.

      And that’s the flip side of the coin - the alleged Pakistani absue of
      the rabbi - surely this proves that media and the politicians are
      largely irrelevant, people are perfecly prejudiced without any help
      from anyone else. Do Pakistiani teenagers who abuse Rabbis do it cos
      of the UK media? If not then why if a teenagers abuse a Muslim is it
      because of the media or politicians, and not motivated entirely of
      their own prejudices?

      This site claimed that an attack on Muslim students outside a London
      uni was also motivated by the media and the anti-immigration rhetoric.
      Yet it turned out the attackers were black! As if black youths read
      Daily Mail opinion pieces and are swayed by Nick Griffin… There was
      no explanation or retraction for this glaring discrepancy. Ho hum.



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