Tag Archives: islamophobia

When the caveats within the definition of the IHRA are misused

I wanted to share my experience of submitting a motion defining the definitions of Antisemitism (IHRA) and Islamophobia (APPG). But I decided to not add the caveats (mentioned in this Liberal Democrat Voice article by John Kelly).

You can read my speeches and the motion here.

Firstly, the IHRA definition is clear that it is not anti-Semitic to criticise Israel and lastly, I did not want to single out the Jewish community over geopolitics that they have no link with, no control over, and are not responsible for. As we did adopt the APPG definition of Islamophobia without clarification …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 27 Comments

Liblink: Christine Jardine: My shock at Islamophobia wrapped up in Union flag

Twice recently, Christine Jardine has visited a Mosque in her constituency.

When she’s posted the pictures on social media, the nasty, racist comments started to flow. She wrote about that experience in the Scotsman this week:

I was brought up in Glasgow where sectarianism is almost commonplace. But I had never experienced anything like this. After removing a string of offensive and abusive comments from my page, I posted another comment asking people to be more respectful. That was a waste of time. It seems my offence was to cover my head, something my Church of Scotland-going grandmother long ago taught me

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged and | 2 Comments

Javid’s oath is nothing but dog whistle displacement activity

With barely a trace of irony, a minister in the Government which has just passed the most illiberal snooping legislation talked about defending freedom in an article in the Sunday Times (£) today. Not only that, but he seems to think that the answer to  any problems harming community cohesion could be resolved by holders of public office swearing an oath committing them to so-called British values of “equality, democracy and the democratic process.”

He spends the first 8 paragraphs of his article having a real go at Bangladeshi and Pakistani communities, setting up the scapegoats while using the language of tolerance as a fig leaf in which to wrap the dog whistle.

This is a government, struggling to get a grip on Brexit – trying to distract us by scapegoating an entire community of people, reinforcing the horribly divisive rhetoric of the referendum. Does that sound tolerant to you?

As an aside, the phrase “British values” makes me wince – as if respect for the democratic process or support for freedom of speech was a uniquely British thing that stopped at our borders. You can’t confine a basic human instinct to a tiny little blob on the map. These universal values are exercised every day in every part of the world – and often with great courage and bravery. The women in Saudi who defy the law and drive. The people who marched in places like Myanmar and Teheran for democracy. The people who attend gay pride rallies in places where being gay is punishable by imprisonment or even death. 

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 50 Comments

Opinion: Stand with Anna

I stand with AnnaA story is breaking in Northern Ireland where an extremist pastor has dubbed Islam as “satanic” That is reprehensible in itself but he has received support from some Unionist politicians and in particular Peter Robinson the First Minister. The Guardian reported

…Robinson, who sometimes attends McConnell’s mega-church on the shores of Belfast Lough, was quoted in the Irish News on Wednesday as describing the pastor as “someone who preaches the gospel”.

The Democratic Unionist party leader said he would continue to visit McConnell’s church.

He then went on to …

Posted in Op-eds | 69 Comments

Opinion: Fear-mongering, negative stereotyping and abuse, even in polite society

Why, in a supposedly modern civilised liberal society, are some of our journalists having to put up with alarming levels of personal abuse?

Mehdi Hasan

It is not often that I agree or sympathise with the comments of Mehdi Hasan, a vehemently tribal Labour party supporting journalist previously working for the New Statesman and now with the Huffington Post UK.

But here, he talks about something I concur with – an issue which is not written about often due to the fear of public reprisal. It is an issue of real importance …

Posted in Op-eds | 18 Comments
Advert



Recent Comments

  • Peter Martin
    "Please, let’s have an injection of CIVIC Nationalism. If you live here (regardless of where you’re from) you have to live with the consequences of you...
  • Ian Sanderson (RM3)
    Where there is a fossilising ethnic conflict, it may be quite easy to get the 'moderates' on both sides to be sensible and get an agreement. This then opens the...
  • Ian Sanderson (RM3)
    @Matt Wardman 'Is it true that public sector employers in Belgium get access to voting records? If not, how do they have that information?' It's hardly a grea...
  • John Marriott
    Not much, Mr Kelly, thanks largely to Messrs Sykes, Picot, Balfour and Samuel. Perhaps we could add TE Lawrence into the mix as well!...
  • Ian Sanderson (RM3)
    “legal purism” If you sign a legal contract or treaty, it is on the basis that you understand it and undertake to carry out the obligations it includes. U...