Islamophobia

Civil war in France

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After a summer of burkini bans, Ugo Palheta argues that France's ruling class is waging a strategic offensive against Muslims - with "socialist" prime minister Manuel Valls leading the charge

France’s highest constitutional court has overturned the burkini bans brought in by over 30 mayors in France through the month of August. Most of these mayors belong to the centre-right party Les Republicaines (LR), but also some to the fascist Front National and the governing Labour-type Socialist Party (PS).

Austrian Nazi makes a mark

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Last month’s first round presidential election in Austria showed a dangerous shift to the right. Norbert Hofer of the fascist Freedom Party came top with 36 percent of the vote. In second place was the Green Party candidate with 20 percent.

There will be a run-off election between the two to decide the presidency on 22 May. Although the president is mainly a ceremonial role, Hofer has already claimed that he would dissolve parliament before the next parliamentary elections in 2018.

Defy noxious Tories' divide and rule

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The government is trying to drive a wedge between hard anti-racists and the wider layer who have supported refugees

The tail end of 2015 brought chilling news for Muslims and for anti-racists. In France the far-right Front National took a quarter of the vote in the first round of regional elections. Its campaign was steeped in Islamophobia in the wake of November’s terrorist attacks in Paris. Its leader, Marine Le Pen, had been on trial just two months earlier for comparing Muslims praying in the streets with the Nazi occupation of France. In the US Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump made the extraordinary demand that all Muslims be barred from entering the country.

Agenda of fear

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David Cameron targets Muslims

Socialists and anti-racists must counter the Tories' Prevent strategy and the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act.

In 2005 Tony Blair’s New Labour government launched a counter-terrorism strategy called Contest. This was set up after the London bombings of July 2005 and Prevent was a key part of it. Contest was widely criticised as being Islamophobic and fuelling suspicion towards Muslim communities. This was the same government that had led us into a bloody war in Iraq, costing the lives of millions of innocent Iraqi people. Innocent people in Britain also suffered the consequences of the government’s war when it made us a target in the London bombings.

Paris in context: Islamophobia and social marginalisation

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It is now established that all the perpetrators of the atrocious November 2015 attacks in Paris, like those of the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January, were born and lived in France. It is important for us to understand the internal French context in which these attacks happened.

The nauseating but expected Islamophobic backlash across the Western world and particularly in France will only add to the political and socioeconomic discrimination that French Muslims have been enduring for decades.

Extremism Bill is threat to all of us

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Barely a year after the passing of the Counter Terrorism and Security Act, the Tories are introducing a new “Counter Extremism Bill”.

It is landmark legislation and we will need a united opposition from the left, anti-racists, trade unions, student unions and the Muslim community to stop it.

With the planned introduction of the bill this autumn, state Islamophobia in Britain is being racked up to a new level.

Satire should spear the powerful

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The savage killing of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists and journalists by terrorists in Paris is utterly contemptible, but not inexplicable. For me as a cartoonist this seemed to be horribly close to home. As the great cartoonist Joe Sacco commented immediately after the massacre, “This is my tribe”. Sadly, the ensuing media storm has done little to explain and a lot to foment division and put the blame upon “backward” Islam and Muslims in general.

France after the Charlie Hebdo killings

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The immediate response to the attack on Charlie Hebdo was that of “national unity” in the face of terrorism. This mood benefitted the government of Francois Hollande, because it masked many of the contradictions inside French society. In the first week there was a horrific wave of Islamophobia, with more attacks on Muslims and other minorities reported than in the whole of last year.

The French Intifada

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When a copy of Andrew Hussey’s The French Intifada, The Long War Between France and Its Arabs, first came across my desk, I set it aside. The cover is of the Eiffel Tower surrounded by Islamic designs, with the French cock, the symbol of revolution, imprisoned in an Arabesque style cage. At the base are rising flames — presumably depicting French society burning from below. But since the Charlie Hebdo killings it provides a useful insight into a mindset that has gripped many intellectuals on the left.

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