Islamophobia

Double Standards and Decapitation

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The self-styled "defenders of the West" should look a little closer to home before decrying Islam.

Last September Subhaan Younis, a young Glaswegian, was discussing the Iraq war with Charlotte McCay in the shop of the city's Moathouse hotel. He asked if he could show her something that would give her nightmares. When she responded, "Aye, right," Younis held out his video phone and played her a clip he had downloaded of a hostage in Iraq being beheaded.

Pakistan: The Pendulum of Pakistani Politics

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Protests against the Danish cartoons, which were specifically designed to engender anti-Muslim hatred, have been taking place in Pakistan since the end of January.

Though initially very small, by the beginning of February they developed into a huge demonstration in Lahore. The next day the protests had spread to the North Western Province, and to date five demonstrators have been killed by the police. The expression of anger on the streets put the government under massive pressure.

Gay Rights: Who are the Real Enemies of Liberation?

The bigoted outburst by the magazine of the Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association calling Islam a 'barmy doctrine' is the clearest example of the co-option of many in the gay liberation movement into the barmy doctrine of the clash of civilisations.

That homosexuals around the world face oppression on a daily basis is as true of the US and Europe as it is for those living in the Muslim world. Yet, some have chosen to shift the struggle into a racist argument against Islam.

Listening to Western activists speak about 'Islamofascism' and, in the same breath, justify holding the 2006 World Pride in occupied Jerusalem should be a clear indicator. The apartheid wall alone makes a mockery of the pride's slogan of 'Love Without Borders'.

Mirror Images

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The idea of "community" can be dangerous.

'The Muslim community must deal with the extremist elements within it.' Such has been the message of the media and mainstream politicians since the London bombings in July. It amounts to putting some responsibility for the bombings onto the million and a half people in Britain who happen to accept versions of Islam. As some left liberal commentators have pointed out, it is like blaming all Christians for the Nazi Holocaust or all atheists for Stalin's gulags.

The Challenge for the Anti-War Movement

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Recent events make it even more important for anti-war protesters to take to the streets, argues Lindsey German.

July 7 2005 will be remembered for the terrible bombings which killed more than 50 people on the London transport system. The date was not random. For while innocent people going to work were blown to pieces by four separate bombs, 400 miles away in Gleneagles the G8 leaders, led by Bush and Blair, were surrounded and protected by the highest levels of security, including 1,300 Metropolitan police.

Thailand: Muslims Treated 'Like Cattle'

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At least 80 Muslims were massacred by the Thai authorities on 25 October.

Those killed were part of a 1,000 strong demonstration in the southern province of Naratiwart who had assembled to demand the release of those arrested on charges of stealing weapons from an army camp earlier this year.

It is widely believed that those in custody are innocent. After their arrest they were systematically tortured into giving 'confessions'. A leading Muslim defence lawyer was about to expose this torture and also many 'disappearances' of southern Muslims at the hand of the Thai police, when he himself was abducted and murdered by police.

Civil Liberties: The Threat of Britain's Patriot Act

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As David Blunkett attempts to create a climate of fear, Mubin Haq looks at the real impact of the proposed Civil Contingencies Bill.

The destruction of the World Trade Centre on 11 September 2001 gave the pretext for wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and allowed governments worldwide to stamp down on civil liberties and human rights. This was done in the name of security and tackling terrorism. The genuine fears of the population were played upon and the threat exaggerated to apocalyptic scenarios.

Racism: Hope Amid the Hostility

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Attacks on refugees and Islamophobia are one side of the changing face of racism, but there is also a groundswell of anti-racist sentiment.

'It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.' Assessing the level and threat of racism in Britain today uncannily summons up those famous opening words of Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities.

Black and White Lies

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Race in Britain

It didn't take long for this government's brief flirtation with Britain's Muslims to come to an end. No sooner had the war against Afghanistan been 'won', accompanied by convenient pictures of religious leaders on the steps of 10 Downing Street, than it was back to normal. Tony Blair tucked his copy of the Koran away, and out came the Old Testament figure of home secretary David Blunkett.

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