Understanding IslamismA Policy Exchange Project
The German daily Die Welt has published an in-depth report alleging that Islamist associated individuals have been appointed to a new Berlin State Commission on Anti-Muslim Racism. Formed in February of this year, the six-person commission has been tasked with making “recommendations for a further development of prevention work on anti-Muslim racism”. However, Die Welt alleges that two of the members have Islamist connections, with the chairman—Mohamad Hajjaj—said to have been active in associations regarded as Islamist by Germany’s Office for the Protection of the Constitution.
France’s Interministerial Committee for the Prevention of Crime and Radicalisation opposes the term Islamophobia
The French government’s Interministerial Committee for the Prevention of Crime and Radicalisation has released a statement through a series of posts on Twitter expressing opposition to the term “Islamophobia”. While the statement stresses that there are many acts of discrimination against Muslims, and that the French state seeks to fight these, it argues that the term “Islamophobia” is inappropriate on the grounds that it conflates bigotry with legitimate criticism of religion. Significantly, in one of the tweets, the interministerial committee also states that, “the term ‘#islamophobia’ was imposed by the Islamists with the aim of prohibiting any form of criticism of radical Islam”. Furthermore, the interministerial committee’s statement argues that the term is used to introduce a “crime of blasphemy”, suggesting that the term “puts a target on those who exercise their fundamental right” to free expression.
To some, the persecution of a schoolteacher who showed his pupils an offensive cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed may seem like a local quarrel. Does it really matter, many Britons will ask, that a few dozen men gathered at the gates of a school in West Yorkshire? Surely it will blow over before long, goes the thinking.
Imam Qari Asim MBE, trustee of Light Foundation said:
“Protests outside of Batley Grammar school have caused alarm in communities. I sympathise with the parents and pupils because sadly, this is not the first time we have seen offensive images of Prophet Muhammad being used.
Muslims love the Prophet more than themselves and so we must be mindful and sensitive to the deep pain and hurt it causes to the Muslim community worldwide. Like all communities, regardless of faith, Muslims respect freedom of speech but to safeguard pupils.
Claims have emerged that images of the Charlie Hebdo cartoons were recently shown during a class at Batley Grammar School, Yorkshire. It is reported that a member of staff has been suspended in relation to the incident.
A message shared over social media has encouraged protests at the school in response to the allegations.
A newly released video clip available on the YouTube channel of the India-born popular Islamist preacher Zakir Naik, sees Naik indicate that ‘righteous’ non-Muslims, such as Mother Teresa, would go to hell. Zakir Naik was banned from entry to the UK in June 2010. Theresa May, then Home Secretary, said that visiting the UK was “a privilege, not a right”, adding that “Numerous comments made by Dr Naik are evidence to me of his unacceptable behaviour”.
A coalition of NGOs and campaign groups has submitted a complaint to Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, regarding the treatment of Muslims in France. In the 22-page long letter sent on 8 March, it is claimed that, “the French government has exploited the killing of Samuel Paty for its own racist, discriminative and Islamophobic agenda.”
Risalat Al-Ikhwan, the London based Muslim Brotherhood weekly bulletin has promoted a hashtag campaign in solidarity with Raed Salah, head of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel. This is a group considered ideologically close to the Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood’s online Wikipedia (IkhwanWiki) includes Salah under the category of the MB’s leading figures in Palestine. The Arabic “I stand in solidarity with Raed Salah” hashtag was being shared online by supporters in February of this year.
The Neue Zürcher Zeitung, the Swiss German-language newspaper of record, has produced another robust contribution to the debate on the full face veil, in the run up to a referendum on whether to ban the garment in early March. The title, “Burka and Niqab are the emblems of a totalitarian ideology and should be banned”, gives a flavour of the piece. The subtitle reads: “Islamism is not an abstract but a real danger. People are harassed and murdered in its name. Its symbol is the full veil. It has no place in a free society”.
The controversial Collective against Islamophobia in France (Collectif Contre l’islamophobie en France, CCIF), which was singled out as a body promoting “Islamist propaganda” (see also here) by French Interior Minister, Gerald Darmanin, in the wake of the murder of Samuel Paty in late 2020, has effectively announced its reconstitution as the Collective against Islamophobia in Europe (Collectif Contre l’islamophobie en Europe, CCIE), based in Belgium.