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MPs shout 'racist' at Cameron after comments on Sadiq Khan during PMQs

The Guardian World news: Islam - 20 April, 2016 - 15:15

The prime minister criticised Labour’s candidate for London mayor for ‘sharing a platform with extremists’

David Cameron was met with cries of “racist” in the House of Commons as he joined attacks on Labour’s London mayoral candidate, Sadiq Khan, after he claimed Sadiq Khan had links to a supporter of Islamic State.

Cameron laid into Khan during prime minister’s questions, saying the Labour mayoral contender had nine times shared a platform with a radical imam called Suliman Gani, who supported IS (Islamic State).

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Influx of morality police to patrol the streets of Tehran

The Guardian World news: Islam - 20 April, 2016 - 04:00

As many as 7,000 agents in the Iranian capital will be targeting women with ‘bad hijab’, but a new police-spotting app may give fashion rebels the edge

Police in Tehran are deploying 7,000 undercover morality agents tasked with a fresh crackdown on women defying strict rules on the wearing of the hijab, among other offences deemed unIslamic.

Every spring, as the temperature rises and with it the desire of people to go out, the authorities in Iran tighten their grip on social norms, increasing the number of the so-called morality police deployed in public places.

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Palestinians Are Dying, But Only Israelis are “Vulnerable” in The NY Times

Isabel Kershner in The New York Times reports that Israelis are suffering from “a sense of vulnerability” after a bus bombing in Jerusalem this week. The event, she reports, sowed fear and anxiety in a population “already on edge” after a series of attacks over the past several months.

Although there were no reported deaths from the bombing, she writes that Israelis were reminded of the second Palestinian uprising “when suicide bombers blew up buses in Jerusalem and other Israeli cities, killing scores.”

Missing from her account is any mention of Palestinian fear or vulnerability in spite of data showing that Palestinian deaths outnumber Israeli fatalities by a factor of five or more, depending on the time frame. The second intifada, for instance, which Kershner takes as her reference point, left 5,904 Palestinians dead compared with 1,163 Israelis.

She notes that “about 30” Israelis have died in the past six months in contrast to “more than 200” Palestinians, a rate of more than six to one. But this fact has not inspired her to look into Palestinian anxieties. Instead she once again attempts to place the blame on Palestinians, writing that they reportedly died in “attacks or attempted attacks or in clashes with Israeli security forces.”

Nothing is said of the frequent charges that Israeli troops have carried out “street executions” of Palestinians who pose no threat to them or others. (See TimesWarp 3-25-16.) Likewise, nothing is said about the crippling effects of the brutal Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, the crucial background for this conflict.

Kershner entirely omits the context here while focusing on every possible source of Israeli angst: the bus bombing, the recent discovery of a tunnel leading from Gaza to Israel, a belligerent statement by Hamas and the lone-wolf knife and vehicular attacks by Palestinians.

Discerning readers may ask why Palestinians are using kitchen knives and automobiles as their weapons of choice, but the Times is not about to address the question. It would underscore the fact that Palestinians are the vulnerable party, an unarmed and virtually helpless population contending with one of the most sophisticated armies in the world.

In fact, Palestinians face daily threats from Israeli weapons, ranging from bulldozers to drones to live fire. Gaza farmers tending their fields near the border with Israel and fishermen at sea are frequently targeted by Israeli bullets and shells. West Bank communities confront the threat of land confiscation, settler attacks and demolitions that destroy homes and livelihoods.

And unarmed protesters in Gaza and the West Bank have been injured and killed during non-violent demonstrations. In fact, Israeli security forces injured a shocking number of Palestinians last year, a total of 14,925. As of April 11 this year, troops had already wounded 1,627.

According to United Nations data, Israeli forces have injured an average of 109 Palestinians each week in 2016. By comparison, Palestinians are wounding an average of four Israelis weekly. Yet it is Israeli “vulnerability” that takes center stage in the Times.

Kershner writes that “the threat of the tunnels continues to sow fear in Israeli communities along the border,” but she fails to say that not a single Israeli civilian has been harmed because of the tunnels. During the 2014 attacks on Gaza, they were used solely for targeting Israeli troops.

Palestinians, on the other hand, have reason to feel vulnerable, and they have reason to build tunnels as one of the few means of defense when they are under attack from Israeli weapons, but the Times has no interest in reporting this. It is only Israeli angst that matters here.

Israelis may have to deal with their fears, but Palestinians have to face much more: the loss of land, water, mobility, security and dignity. They have concrete and verifiable casualties, and they have to contend with their own defenselessness and fears, but in spite of all the evidence, the Times has turned its back on their narrative, joining Israel in blaming the victim.

Barbara Erickson

[To subscribe to TimesWarp, scroll to the bottom of this page for email, follow @TimesWarp on Twitter or like Times Warp on Facebook.]


Filed under: Pro-Israel Bias in NY Times Tagged: Gaza, Intifada, Israel, New York Times, Palestine, West Bank

Swiss halt Muslim family's citizenship process after refusal to shake hands

The Guardian World news: Islam - 19 April, 2016 - 16:54

Brothers refused to shake female teachers’ hands because it violated their faith but politicians say school officials’ compromise went against Swiss culture

Switzerland has suspended the citizenship process for the family of two teenage Muslim brothers after the boys’ refusal to shake hands with their female teachers sparked a national debate over religious freedoms.

The brothers, aged 14 and 15, had informed education officials in the northern municipality of Therwil that physical contact with women who are not family members violated their faith.

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Head of German anti-Islam group on trial for hate speech

The Guardian World news: Islam - 19 April, 2016 - 15:56

Pegida founder Lutz Bachmann was charged with inciting hatred through Facebook posts allegedly branding refugees ‘cattle’

The founder of Germany’s xenophobic and anti-Islam Pegida movement has appeared in court on hate speech charges for allegedly branding refugees “cattle” and “scum” on social media.

Lutz Bachmann, founder of the far-right Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the Occident movement, was charged in October with inciting racial hatred through a series of widely shared Facebook posts.

Related: Pegida: what does the German far-right movement actually stand for?

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Why speaking Arabic in America feels like a crime | Sinan Antoon

The Guardian World news: Islam - 19 April, 2016 - 15:25

A UC Berkeley student was booted from a Southwest Airlines flight for speaking Arabic. Are we surprised?

There was a time when one could speak Arabic, or even read a book written in that language, on a flight in the United States without hesitation, or the fear of suffering humiliating consequences. That time is long gone. Many colleagues and friends confess that they try to avoid carrying Arabic or Persian books on flights in order not to invite incriminating looks.

On 6 April, Khairuldeen Makhzoomi, an Iraqi refugee and UC Berkeley student, was on a Southwest Airlines flight at Los Angeles international airport talking to his uncle on the phone. He was removed, interrogated and searched by the FBI as a result. Then he was forced to find another flight. Why? Because another passenger heard him speak Arabic. “Inshallah,” which means “God willing,” an expression used by all native speakers of Arabic irrespective of religious affiliation, seems to have been the trigger.

Related: Southwest Airlines draws outrage over man removed for speaking Arabic

Related: Southwest Airlines criticized after incidents involving Middle Eastern passengers

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The halal snack pack: a fast track to a heart attack? Or worse?

The Guardian World news: Islam - 19 April, 2016 - 02:51

Nearly 90,000 people have joined the Halal Snack Pack Appreciation Society. Is this what Cory Bernadi was worried about?

A concoction of meat, chips, cheese and sauce in a styrofoam container has become an unlikely social media phenomenon, sending revenue at some takeaway shops – and cholesterol counts – through the roof.

The halal snack pack has long been a staple of Australian takeaway shops, if a little overshadowed by the kebab. But a Facebook page dedicated to the delicacy, the Halal Snack Pack Appreciation Society, has attracted nearly 90,000 members since December – tens of thousands in the past month alone.

@mlle_elle pic.twitter.com/m60Qmnu2Pe

Related: The rhetoric used by critics of the 'halal racket' will be familiar to Jews | Jeff Sparrow

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Halal snack pack: bridging cultures or a recipe for radicalisation? – video

The Guardian World news: Islam - 19 April, 2016 - 02:47

Meat, chips and cheese: a match made in heaven? A heart attack waiting to happen? Or your gateway to radicalisation? On the recommendation of the Halal Snack Pack Appreciation Society hivemind, Guardian Australia visited Metro One in Ashfield to find out whether the halal snack pack was bridging cultures, bringing people together in indigestion – or something more sinister

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Muslim man loses high court bid to have sons circumcised

The Guardian World news: Islam - 19 April, 2016 - 00:34

Father went to court after mother of the boys, aged four and six, objected to the procedure at a young age

A devout Muslim has failed to persuade a high court judge to rule that his sons should be circumcised.

The man, who was born in Algeria but lives in England, argued that circumcision would be in accordance with his “Muslim practice and religious beliefs” – and in the youngsters’ best interests. But the boys’ mother, who grew up in Devon and is separated from their father, disagreed.

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Seven Days of Action

Indigo Jo Blogs - 18 April, 2016 - 22:20

A picture of Eden Norris, a chubby young white man wearing a black jacket and a purple shirt underneath, holding a small dog, standing in front of a wooden fence.This week the learning disability blogging crowd are putting on Seven Days of Action, with a blog featuring seven stories of young people who have spent time trapped in the ATU (Assessment and Treatment Unit) system, one of whom (Thomas Rawnsley) has died. Eden Norris’s story is featured today; he is 24 and has spent seven years in two separate units after being admitted voluntarily, which was expected only to be for a short time. He is from west London and is currently being held in a unit in rural Norfolk. His story was featured on BBC News last Friday. The full list of stories is to be found here. Eden’s story has a feature which occurs time and again with so many people who have fallen under the ‘care’ of the ATU system: the long-term use of anti-psychotics as sedatives, leading to massive weight gain and other health problems.

I follow a YouTube channel run by Tamera Weeks, the mother of a young woman named Micah who has cerebral palsy and, it appears, a learning disability. They live in Nebraska. She is able to steer her powered wheelchair by herself, but has limited communication; she can say a few words, not very clearly, and indicate choices, but has shown no interest in learning to use a communication device. Her mother’s videos feature explanations of her family life, her care, the nurses and care assistants who come in, and Micah doing her various activities and Tamera talking to her and, usually, Micah laughing. Recently, Tamera explained that Micah had had outbursts in which she became uncontrollably upset and had to go into another room to calm down. These often happened when her two younger brothers, aged 14 and 16, entered the room and appeared unprovoked. She posted another video in which she said Micah had become excessively clingy to one particular member of staff at her day centre, as a result of which the management were considering moving either Micah or the staff member as she could not do her other duties. This followed the departure in quick succession of several other long-standing member of staff including the man who drove the bus she rode on.

Tamera asked her YouTube viewers for help and many people made suggestions. I suggested that her reaction to her younger brothers could be that she wasn’t used to having men around as mostly women feature in the videos (actually, she had two other younger brothers), or that men at her day activities could have been harassing her (it turned out that wasn’t the case). I also suggested that the brothers had just turned from boys into men (or were in the process) and thus were less familiar to Micah than others, and perhaps interacted with her very differently from most other people she knew. As for the behaviour at the day centre, perhaps the staff member she was clinging to could do some of her administrative duties elsewhere, or before she made her presence known to Micah, so that she would not be distressed by her going away. I also told her that Micah’s behaviour is the only way she can communicate her distress because of her limited communication. Although she doesn’t have autism, she has some learning impairment, but also has no control over who comes into or goes out of her life, and the sudden departure of four familiar faces must make her feel very insecure.

A couple of weeks ago Micah saw a neurologist, who suggested among other things putting her on risperidone, an anti-psychotic. There is no suggestion that Micah is experiencing psychosis, but it’s commonly used on people with learning disabilities as a sedative, to control difficult behaviour. Luckily Tamera refused, but it seems it was not explained that an anti-psychotic could have dangerous side effects, including enormous weight gain, a significant health impact in itself but which in some cases has also led to liver damage, as had happened to the son of “someone I know” (Mark Neary) and it was only relieved by weaning him off the anti-psychotics he’d been put on while detained against his will in 2010. Micah uses a wheelchair for nearly all her mobility; she cannot walk unaided. Getting any weight off would be that much more difficult for her than it was for Steven Neary.

I was appalled that this neurologist, having been presented this problem for the first time, suggested anti-psychotics. Again, here is a young woman with both a physical impairment and a learning disability, who cannot care for herself, who cannot control who comes into her life and who goes out, and who cannot communicate adequately in words, who is faced with a sudden change in her circumstances and with behaviours from others, even though they may not mean it, which cause her repeated annoyance. Drugs should not be the first thing anyone thinks of when trying to help someone in that situation. Rather, they should work to address the situations that were causing the distress first, which is what Tamera is trying to do with both her family and the day centre management. But if Micah wasn’t living at home with her family but in a ‘home’, the management might not have been able (or willing) to put her needs first and might have gone for the drugs as it’s easier than changing their own and others’ behaviour (or just waiting out a temporary blip caused by a change in her circumstances that she doesn’t understand).

It’s the experience of the parents and relatives of people with learning disabilities caught in the British psychiatric system that psychiatrists are too quick to prescribe this sort of medication to control behaviour. The effect is young people putting on enormous amounts of weight, becoming lethargic and, as noted in the piece on Eden Norris, becoming unable to express themselves properly. As Kara Chrome put it, “if you’re a hammer, everything else looks like a nail”. When the cause of their challenging behaviour was not psychosis or other organic mental imbalance but uncertainty about their future, a sudden change of circumstances such as confinement, new unfamiliar rules, housemates and staff that are difficult to get on with and don’t respect their privacy, the solution might be to change these things — for the staff to modify their behaviour, to ensure that the person can go home or to a more suitable setting as soon as possible — rather than put them on drugs that will cost that person their long-term health.

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Scottish Muslim groups fail to attend Ahmadi anti-extremism event

The Guardian World news: Islam - 18 April, 2016 - 17:05

Sikh, Jewish and Christian representatives attend campaign launch following death of Glasgow shopkeeper Asad Shah

Ahmadi Muslims in Scotland have launched an anti-extremism campaign following the death of the Glasgow shopkeeper Asad Shah, despite the failure of other prominent Muslims to attend the event.

Representatives of the Glasgow Central Mosque and the Muslim Council of Scotland were invited to attend the launch alongside other faith groups, but the Guardian understands that both sent their apologies at the last minute.

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The Guardian view on Pope Francis in Lesbos: he must change hearts | Editorial

The Guardian World news: Islam - 17 April, 2016 - 19:47
By taking three Muslim families into the Vatican, the pope has launched the opposite of a crusade. Will Europe follow him?

Pope Francis’s visit to Lesbos was an extraordinary piece of political theatre. Not since John Paul II kissed the soil of his native Poland when he disembarked from a plane on his first visit as pope has there been a gesture so eloquent as Pope Francis taking three Muslim families back to the Vatican for refuge. When he was asked why there were no Christians, he replied that the Christian families that had been considered did not have their paperwork in order. Apart from the paperwork, the only criterion, he said, was that the refugees should be children of God. This is a direct and radical challenge to almost all the European countries’ reponses to the migration crisis. For Francis, the problem is suffering, and the immediate duty of a Christian, or of any human being, is to relieve it. This is something that most of the countries of Europe no longer appear to believe.

Since the great uprush of sympathy last year, prompted by the photographs of a dead two-year-old refugee, Alan Kurdi, sentiment has turned decisively against the migrants. The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, has been forced into a humiliating deal with Turkey to try to ensure that only refugees, not economic migrants, can reach Greece. This has not pacified her critics on the right, while those on the left have been outraged by her decision to allow President Erdoğan to sue a German television satirist under an obsolete law against defaming foreign heads of state. Sweden has almost entirely closed its door to refugees, and is making absurd and incredible threats to deport hundreds of thousands of them. Denmark and Norway have hardened their tone to the point where there has been talk about imprisoning all new arrivals, or confiscating valuables to pay for their stay. Britain never planned to take any significant numbers, and is entering a slow convulsion of an EU referendum where the danger is that the real subject becomes immigration rather then the niceties of trade arrangements or the bureaucracies of European integration. The largely Catholic countries of eastern Europe are resolutely opposed to the pope’s message. They want no immigrants and especially no Muslim ones. He still sees the sea where Alan Kurdi drowned, as “a cemetery”: that’s what he called it on the plane to Greece. But for the north of Europe, the Mediterranean is now a moat, and the mood is to pull up the drawbridge and hope the walls will hold.

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Trevor Phillips: race-baiting again

Indigo Jo Blogs - 17 April, 2016 - 15:57

Note: I started writing this last Tuesday and finished today (Sunday) as work made it impossible to complete during the week.

A front page from the Daily Mail, with the headlines "Warning on 'UK Muslim Ghettoes'".I’d rather not be writing this entry. Last week there were two important documentaries: a Channel 4 Dispatches on disabled people being humiliated by benefits assessors, and a BBC Panorama about young mentally-ill people being held hundreds of miles from home and in some cases dying for lack of decent mental health care anywhere near home (the Humber region comes up yet again). But Trevor Phillips has been out race-baiting again, saying “things you can’t say” about race and race relations in a mass-circulation daily newspaper and on a prime-time TV documentary, as he was in March last year. This time, on the basis of a dubious interpretation of a tiny study (PDF) of British Muslims, he’s telling everyone else “what we really think” and scaremongering about the “dangers” of allowing Muslim “ghettoes”, or “a nation within a nation”, to exist.

Trevor Phillips (and his publishers) repeatedly stress his authority as the head of a racial equality watchdog and more recently the head of the pan-equality watchdog, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, set up under the last Labour government. He also repeatedly stresses that he was the chair of the Runnymede Trust when it commissioned its groundbreaking report into Islamophobia (summary here; PDF) in 1997. Khalida Khan of the An-Nisa Society published a blog article which noted that Phillips’s role in that was minor, that he was not chair when it was published, that it was Robin Richardson and Khaushika Amin who initiated the report and took it forward and that he is believed to have lobbied against the report with the Labour government behind the scenes. This incident is presented so as to give Phillips’s new stance greater authority — that “one of the Muslims’ biggest supporters” has done a big U-turn — but in fact he was never a great advocate for Muslims.

His article for the Daily Mail contains a number of plainly inaccurate, scaremongering claims. He alleges that “we have recently seen the murder of a leading Scottish Muslim, the killer citing ‘disrespect’ of the faith”. Asad Shah was not “a leading Scottish Muslim”; he was a shopkeeper who had broken away from a sect that was already rejected by Muslims by claiming to be a new prophet and Messiah. He was a crank and may have been mentally ill. This does not justify his murder by any means, but being famous and having a Muslim name does not make you a “leading Muslim”. He claims that a fifth of Muslims have not entered a non-Muslim house in the past year; how many white people have never entered a Muslim’s house in their lifetime? In some places I would wager it was much greater than a fifth. Allegedly 4%, “the equivalent of more than 100,000 British Muslims”, reported sympathy for suicide bombers; except that the equivalence is false, because that 4% is only 40 people (you may recall similar tricks in the ThinkProgress study of converts in the USA in February). And there is the broad claim that “all the while, girls are shipped off to have their genitals mutilated, young women and men are being pressured into marriages they do not want, and teenagers are being seduced into donning suicide vests or becoming jihadi brides”, without a shred of evidence to back it up. FGM is principally an African problem that does not only affect Muslims.

Others (such as Miqdad Versi and Abdul-Azim Ahmed) have picked apart the findings of the survey and what Phillips has done with the results. Only 1,081 people were asked, 405 whom were in London. That’s an astonishing bias. Only 144 people were in the north-west (this includes Manchester and all the towns of Lancashire), 120 in the Yorkshire/Humber region — that includes Leeds, Bradford, Dewsbury, Keighley, Sheffield — and only 56 in the East Midlands, where the populations are indeed smaller but it includes strong Muslim minorities. If one takes a survey of Muslim attitudes in Leicester, Derby, Nottingham and Loughborough (an important university town) and asks only 56 people, this would be dismissed as entirely worthless and unscientific, yet these tiny numbers are being judged as representative of Muslim attitudes in that and every other region. The sub-groups of sub-groups dwarf the total size of the survey and no amount of ‘weighting’ will change that.

A major flaw in the study was that the control group consisted of generic “non-Muslims”, rather than specific groups of them, in particular practising followers of other religions, and people with familial or cultural links to conflict zones: Jews, Tamils and north Indian Hindus for example. This is because questions were asked about Muslim views on homosexuality and about whether they agreed with the use of suicide bombings or other acts of violence to pursue political goals, and during the documentary Phillips remarked that Hindus and Sikhs were better integrated than Muslims. The survey found that a large proportion of the Muslims asked said homosexuality should be illegal, but hostility to homosexuality can be found among other strongly religious people, including whites, and significantly all the court cases related to discrimination against gays have involved white and African Christians, not Muslims, and as I have mentioned here in the past, the websites which support the Christians involved in those cases (and even one who wanted to get out of caring for disabled children on a Sunday) also promote Islamophobia by complaining of and overstating concessions to Muslims. (Phillips’s survey found that 35% of the Muslims asked believed Jews had too much power; he did not ask his control group whether they believed that Muslims got special treatment as regards hijab, removals of offensive material etc., which is commonly alleged in the mass media.)

Similarly, the questions about support for terrorism or suicide bombings were fallaciously compared with a generic “non-Muslim” control group which would have consisted mostly of white people with no particular reason to sympathise with Hamas or Tamil Tiger suicide bombers. In other conflict zones where there are links to the diaspora here, the government or paramilitary groups with popular support have committed atrocities against civilians or used typical terrorist methods such as bombings or suicide bombings against civilians. It’s well-known that there is widespread (though not universal) support among the three minorities mentioned for the perpetrators of abuses in Palestine, Sri Lanka and Gujarat (and elsewhere in northern India); there has also been fundraising for the Hindu far right and the Tamil Tigers here. Phillips presents it as particularly worrying that Muslims who favour living separate lives from non-Muslims are more likely to support terrorism or political violence than those who favour integration, but the other three minorities mentioned do not live scattered among the general population either. They live in areas with heavy concentrations which are easily identified from the shops.

This is not a matter of “what about” or “tu quoque”. Phillips is presenting the Muslims as particularly unintegrated, particularly prone to reactionary attitudes and particularly given to support for violence, yet he chooses to shine no light on similar attitudes among other minorities or, indeed, equivalent views among the white population. If you ask whether it is acceptable to bomb civilian areas of countries during a war situation where there is an indirect benefit to the war effort, a good percentage will answer yes. It’s been part of the western way of winning wars for the past century. The majority of people are not pacifists, for the simple reason that lying down in front of tanks does not win wars or end oppression (they tried it in Tiananmen Square, you may remember). Pacifism had a brief flowering in Britain in the inter-war years and was discredited by the rise of Hitler. Non-violent ‘resistance’ is the method favoured for groups one would like to see defeated; this is why Zionist sympathisers from Michael Moore to Charles Moore have recommended it to the Palestinians.

Phillips also brings out his familiar complaint about Muslims forming “ghettoes”. He uses this term (along with “segregation”) a lot. Never mind that ghettoes are districts either legally designated or socially engineered to consist entirely of a given minority, and that segregation was a legal régime that dictated where Black people could live, shop and eat, who they could marry and so on. Diasporas have always lived together; they do so for protection in numbers against racism and so as to be close to their food shops and places of worship, neither of which would be sustainable if they scattered themselves among the general population. Such assimilation occurs where a minority is similar in both appearance and culture to the majority, such as the various north European migrants to the USA; it rarely occurs when there are even minor differences that could encourage prejudice (e.g. Italians in the USA). His solutions are imperialist, casting over-powerful minorities as a problem. He suggests “ensuring that schools … are not taken over by any single minority group”; a white-controlled school is no problem. He demands “strict monitoring of the ethnic composition of housing estates to prevent them becoming ‘ghetto villages’, little islands separate from the rest of their districts”. That boat has already sailed; no new council estates are being built, at least not in the south-east; all we are seeing built is exclusive flats and expensive “starter homes”. Newcomers now simply have to live where there are homes to live in.

Why is Phillips so hostile to Muslims? After all, there are enough problems in his own community for him to have made at least two hour-long documentaries about: gangs, territorialism, street stabbings, violence against women. Is he trying to deflect public attention away from those problems? Perhaps, but he’s also part of an “old guard” of secular race relations politicians who were challenged in the 1990s by Muslims who were seeking to revive a Muslim way of life and to challenge specific prejudices and discrimination against them on grounds of religion, which the old race industry would not concern itself with unless there were clear racial overtones to it. Much as is the case with white feminists in Europe, the likes of Trevor Phillips are single-minority, ‘respectable’ figures who believe they have a right to leadership over all minority ethnic people, and resent anyone who challenges or rejects their presumed authority. This sense of entitlement, and his political connections (Tony Blair, for example, favoured him to be mayor of London in 2000), has never won him elective office; he has had to settle for being a quangocrat. “What British Muslims Really Think” is an unnecessary, inflammatory and dishonest programme based on a survey so tiny as to be worthless from a man who has spent the past ten years since his mayoral ambitions were thwarted using his media connections and the right-wing tabloids to foment hatred against a minority that challenged his authority.

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Southwest Airlines draws outrage over man removed for speaking Arabic

The Guardian World news: Islam - 16 April, 2016 - 22:41

‘This is what Islamophobia looks like,’ the Iraq-born researcher told local press, in the latest instance of what critics call a trend of racial profiling on US flights

The account of a UC Berkeley researcher who was removed from a flight after a fellow passenger heard him speak Arabic on his phone has drawn condemnation and outrage for the airliner, Southwest, about a perceived pattern of barring travel.

Khairuldeen Makhzoomi, a senior at the university, was removed from the Oakland-bound flight from Los Angeles International Airport on 6 April. Makhzoomi, 26, was born in Iraq, and his family fled the country in 2002 after his diplomat father was killed by Saddam Hussein’s regime.

Related: Southwest Airlines criticized after incidents involving Middle Eastern passengers

(Would I be reported if I started speaking Arabic in an airport? Could actually do that experiment...)

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