We should not underestimate or diminish the extent of anti-Muslim bigotry in Europe.
In Britain, long-standing animosity towards immigrants has been rekindled and focused on Muslims. Police forces and other organisations have been slow to catalogue, detail and deal with this pernicious form of racism.
However, one excellent organisation is MAMA, as they say:
“When reporting an anti-Muslim prejudiced incident to TELL MAMA by SMS, Email or Facebook, please include Your Name, Contact number and Location of the incident. One of our caseworkers will endeavour to contact you within 12 hours. In case of emergency please dial 999.
1. By filling in this form
2. Phone TELL MAMA on 0800 456 1226
3. Text TELL MAMA on 01157070007
4. Email TELL MAMA at firstname.lastname@example.org
5. Tweet TELL MAMA @tellmamauk
6. Message TELL MAMA on Facebook at TellMamaUK
Our caseworkers will be able to assist you in a number of ways, including (i) providing a ‘listening ear’, (ii) signposting, (iii) casework and referrals to mainstream partners like Victim Support or Neighbourhood Watch and (iv) working with you to collect evidence that can be used by the police in possible prosecutions. We also have a range of solicitors that provide pro-bono advice that you may be able to access through the project if you have suffered an anti-Muslim incident. “
The report on Anti-Muslim ‘Cultural Racism’ is a must read for those serious about combating racism.
Update 1: Rob Ford takes Trevor Kavanagh to task.
Update 2: Some time ago, Giles Fraser identified the problem of slippage and the comparatively subtle nature of racism in Britain:
“No one actually comes out and directly says “I hate Muslims” – at least, not on the liberal dinner party circuit that was the target of Lady Warsi’s speech. Conversations generally begin with the sort of anxieties that many of us might reasonably share: it cannot be right for women to be denied access to education in some Islamic regimes; the use of the death penalty for apostasy is totally unacceptable; what about the treatment of homosexuals? The conversation then moves on to sharia law or jihad or the burqa, not all of it entirely well informed. Someone places their hands across their face and peers out between their fingers. Another guest giggles slightly. Someone inevitably mentions 9/11. Later, guests travel home on the tube and look nervously at the man in the beard sitting opposite.
The problem Warsi identifies is the problem of slippage. What can begin as a perfectly legitimate conversation about, say, religious belief and human rights, can drift into a licence for observations that in any other circumstance would be regarded as tantamount to racism. Like the 19th-century link between anti-Catholicism and racism towards the Irish, one can easily bleed into the other.”
Update 3: Tell MAMA’s blog asks the question, Problem? What problem? America and Islamophobia.