Anti-Islamic: related links
:Obama Muslim! Obama Antichrist! The "Christian" Right Needs Your Fear
"We're all reaching the early stages of fatigue over The Mess. We have politicians running about like roosters on meth and, like most poultry on meth, what the roosters really want is our money.
Lost in this, for just a moment, is the Christian Right's continued attempt to instill as much fear, to elicit as must prejudice and outright racism as is possible to sway the election. "
:UKIP chief Nigel Farage calls for burka ban
'The burka and other face-covering veils worn by Muslim women should be banned, the UK Independence Party says.
Ex-UKIP leader Nigel Farage, who leads UKIP's 13 MEPs in Brussels, told the BBC's Politics Show they were a symbol of an "increasingly divided Britain".
He also said they "oppressed" women and were a potential security threat.
But Schools Secretary Ed Balls said it was "not British" to tell people what to wear in the street, and accused UKIP of indulging in "unpleasant politics".
Some European countries, including France, are debating banning the burka, but the issue has sparked controversy when it has been raised in the UK.
UKIP is the first British party to call for a total ban, after the BNP called for it to be banned in Britain's schools.'
:Far-right Dutch MP Geert Wilders on trial for anti-Muslim stance
'The Dutch far-right MP Geert Wilders was greeted with applause from the public gallery as he faced court for the first day of his landmark trial on charges of inciting racial hatred against Muslims.
Mr Wilders, 46, sat impassively as his lawyer argued that the leader of the Freedom Party, which made big gains at last summer's European elections, had made his critical remarks about Islam in his role as an elected Member of Parliament.
Bram Moszkowicz said that Mr Wilders had a mandate to speak out against what he saw as the Islamisation of the Netherlands and argued that he had not discriminated against a specific national group, saving his attacks for the ideology of political Islam.'
Documenting anti Muslim bigotry
Michael Gove opposes mosque at centre of 'inflammatory' campaign
'A Conservative frontbench spokesman, Michael Gove, has opposed plans to build a mosque in his constituency after it became the target of an "inflammatory and offensive" online campaign.
The shadow schools secretary, who warned that the west was facing a "total war" from Islamists in his book Celsius 7/7, had initially refused to take sides in the dispute over proposals to build a mosque next to Sandhurst barracks in Camberley, Surrey. But this week he said he had been convinced that the strength of feeling was threatening the area's "good community relations" and called on local Muslims to withdraw the application.
"The issue has become a flashpoint and people from inside and outside the community were making statements that I did not think would further community relations," he said. "It struck me that it was best to ask the Bengali Welfare Association to withdraw the application and to consider how to improve the facilities for worship for the Muslim community in a calmer environment."'
:Beneath the beards and burqas
The resurgent right is leading the charge to make scapegoats of Muslims, warns Stefan Simanowitz
by Stefan Simanowitz
Sunday, November 7th, 2010
The most striking scene in Nick Broomfield's powerful 2007 film Battle for Haditha is not one of violence but love. A wife calls to her husband from an upstairs window. He comes up to the bedroom. She removes her hijab. Her hair tumbles over her bare shoulders. They shower and then make love. The scene is not especially erotic or intense.
What makes it memorable is the rarity of seeing Muslims depicted in a normal way, doing normal things, like normal people. Muslims of the Western popular imagination are too often angry men waving guns or distraught women wailing beside gravesides. They are terrorists and suicide bombers. They are patriarchal husbands, violent fathers or repressed women forced to cover their faces and murdered in the name of honour.
Against this backdrop it is not surprising that there has been an upsurge of anti-Muslim feeling on both sides of the Atlantic. The threat by a pastor in the United States to burn a pile of Korans on the anniversary of September 11 reflected the growing levels of hysteria in America. France is the first European nation to criminalise the wearing of the burqa and niqab. Belgium looks set to follow suit. In America, the resurgent right has identified anti-Muslim feeling as an important campaigning issue that can be turned against Barack Obama and his administration. With Islam regarded by many Americans as a political ideology as well as a religion and recent poll findings suggesting that one in five Americans believe Obama is Muslim, it is easy to see why there is political capital in playing the anti-Islam card. However, as the deaths of 18 Kashmiris protesting at the reported Koran burning showed, this is a dangerous and unpredictable path to take.
The furore which raged over the "Ground Zero mosque" was stoked by the right-wing media, tapping into the well of raw emotion that is still fresh in the US psyche. Keen not to allow the facts get in the way of a good controversy, the dispute over the proposal to build an Islamic cultural centre 180 metres from the site of the Twin Towers is set to rumble on. In Europe, where there is a much greater proportion of Muslims - about 4 percent of the population compared with less than 1 per cent in America - Islamophobia is on the rise.
Far-right parties are polling well, with the National Front in France taking almost 12 per cent of the national vote in regional elections this year and Geert Wilders' Party for Freedom (PVV) becoming the third largest party in Holland at June's general election. The PVV's manifesto includes a ban on the Koran and an end to all immigration from Muslim countries.
In times of austerity, it is common for people to find convenient scapegoats on whom to vent their frustration and fury. Minority or immigrant populations have traditionally fulfilled this role encouraged by negative portrayals in the news media and the popular arts.
If we are not careful, the coincidence of rising unemployment, declining social welfare provision and growing anti-Islamic feeling could signal the coming of a perfect storm. Rather than allowing lazy stereotypes to populate our newspapers, books and films, we need to challenge them. If we want our world to be a more peaceful and contented place, we need to take a look behind the beards and the burqas and recognise our common humanity.
Stefan Simanowitz is a writer, broadcaster and human rights campaigner