What is being created here is a culture of victimhood in which 'Islamophobia' has become one-stop cause of the myriad of problems facing Muslims. Take, for instance, the social problems which beset Muslim communities. The figures are truly appalling. Bangladeshis and pakistanis (who comprise most of Muslims in this country) are two and a half times more likely to be unemployed than are whites. Average earnings among Muslim men are 68 per cent that of non-Muslim men. 65 per cent of Bangladeshis are semi-skilled manual workers compared with 23 per cent among other ethnic minorities and 15 per cent among white Britons. Fifty four per cent of pakistani and Bangladeshi homes receive income support. In 2000, 30 per cent of pakistani students gained five or more good gcses, compared with 50 per cent in the population as a whole.
Opinion: cu muslim's '
Two weeks later, in the middle of his speech to the labour Party conference, tony Blair promised that the next Labour government would ban religious discrimination. It was a major victory for the muslim community in Britain.'. Pretending that Muslims have never had it so bad might bolster community leaders and gain votes for politicians, but it does the rest of us, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, no favours at all. The more that the threat of Islamophobia is exaggerated, the more that ordinary muslims come to accept that theirs is a community under constant attack. It helps create a siege mentality, stoking up anger and resentment, and making Muslim communities more inward looking and more open to religious extremism. Muslim leaders constantly warn that Islamophobia is alienating Muslims and pushing many into the hands of extremists. However, it's not Islamophobia, but the perception that it blights lives, that is often the bigger problem. In making my Channel 4 documentary i asked dozens of ordinary muslims across the country about their experience of Islamophobia. Everyone believed that police harassment was common though no one had been stopped and searched. Everyone insisted that physical attacks were rife, though few had been attacked or knew anyone who had.
For Muslim leaders, inflating the threat of helps consolidate their power base, both within their own communities and within wider society. British Muslims have long looked with envy at the political power wielded by the jewish community, and by the status accorded to the British board of Deputies. One of the reasons for setting up the muslim council of Britain was to try to emulate the political success of the board of Deputies. Muslim leaders talk about using Islamophobia in the same way that they perceive jewish leaders have exploited fears about anti-semitism. Exaggerating anti-muslim prejudice is also useful for mainstream politicians, and especially for a government that has faced such a political battering over the war on Iraq and its anti-terror laws. Being sensitive with to Islamophobia allows them to reclaim some of the moral high ground. It also allows Labour politicians to pitch for the muslim vote. Muslims may feel 'betrayed' by the war on Iraq, trade minister mike o'brien wrote recently. But 'the labour government are trying to deliver an agenda that has shown consideration and respect for Muslims.' According to o'brien 'Iqbal Sacranie, the general Secretary of the muslim council, asked Tony Blair to declare that the government would introduce a new law banning religious.
That is certainly a dozen too many attacks, but it does not speak of a climate of vicious Islamophobia. 'There were mini very few serious attacks acknowledges the report's author Chris Allen. Islamophobia 'manifested itself in quite basic and low level ways.'. Even Muslim organisations that campaign against Islamophobia find it difficult to make the case for there being widespread attacks on Muslims. The Islamic Human Rights Commission monitored 344 attacks on Muslims in the year after September 11, most of which were relatively minor incident such as shoving or spitting. For the victim, each attack is nasty and distressing. But taken together they do not suggest a climate of uncontrolled hostility towards Muslims. What all this suggests is a huge gap between perception and reality. And it's a gap that's exploited by both Muslim leaders and mainstream politicians.
I remember having to organise patrols on East London estates to protect Asian families from racist thugs. Britain is a very different place these days - even for Muslims. Certainly there are racist attacks, and vicious assaults on Muslims. Early in December, for instance, three young Muslims were beaten up in Manchester by a 15-strong gang in what the police described as a 'dreadful racial attack'. Yet, despite such incidents, we've moved a long way from the 70s and 80s, and I get little sense of the intensity of racism that we faced then. What statistics are available lends weight to this personal perception. The european Union was so concerned about Islamophobic attacks that it commissioned a special report in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. In the four months following the attack on the world Trade centre, the eu discovered around a dozen serious physical attacks on British Muslims.
Kenan Malik's essay 'the, islamophobia, myth'
If statistics ford for racist attacks are difficult to compile, it is even more difficult to define what is an Islamophobic attack. Should we treat every attack on a muslim as Islamophobic? If an Afghan taxi driver is assaulted, is this a racist attack, an Islamophobic incident or simply a case of random violence? Such uncertainty gives licence to peddle all sorts of claims about Islamophobia. According to Iqbal Sacranie of the muslim council of Britain, muslims have never faced greater physical danger than they do now.
Muslim News, ahmed Versi similarly believes that 'after September 11th we had the largest number of attacks ever on Muslims'. Both personal experience, however, and such statistics as do exist, challenge these claims. When I was growing up in the 70s and 80s racism was vicious, visceral and often fatal. Stabbings were common, firebombings almost weekly events. In may 1978, 10,000 Bengalis marched in protest from Whitechapel to Whitehall in protest at the murder of garment worker Altab Ali near Brick lane - one of 8 racist murders that year. In the decade that followed there were at least another homework 49 such killings. For Muslims, the end of the 80s, in the period from the salman Rushdie affair to the first Gulf War, was particularly tough.
So pervasive is the acceptance of Islamophobia, that no-one even bothers to check if it is true. As it happens, there is evidence that stop and search is used in a racist way. But the victims are not Asian. Blacks form 3 per cent of the population but 14 per cent of those stopped and searched. Youre five times more likely to be stopped and searched if youre black than if youre Asian - not that youd know from all the hoo-hah about Islamophobia.
One of the consequences of the exaggeration of anti-muslim prejudice is to hide the real discrimination. In the debate about police harassment, there are objective statistics against which to check claims about Islamophobia. When it comes to physical attacks, however, the truth is harder to discern. What constitutes racist attack has changed dramatically over the past 20 years. These days everything from name-calling to brutal assaults are included in the statistics. The problem is compounded by the fact that in the wake of the McPherson Inquiry into the murder of Stephen Lawrence, the police are obliged to accept the victim's perception of the attack. If the victim believes it to be a racist attack the police have to treat it as such, leading to a large subjective element in the reporting.
Writing prompts for argumentative essay online
It's more likely, however, to be the shredder result of majority of anti-terror sweeps taking place in areas - near heathrow Airport, for instance - where there happen to be higher numbers of Asians. Almost two thirds of terrorism stop and search operations took place in London, where Asians form 11 per cent of the population. The claims of Islamophobia become even less credible if we look at all stop and searches. Stop and searches under the terrorism Act form only a tiny proportion of the 900,000 stop and searches that took place last year. If there was widespread Islamophobia within the police force we should expect to find Asians in disproportionate business numbers in the overall figures. Asians are stopped and searched roughly in proportion to their population once age structure is taken into account. All these figures are in the public domain and easily available. Yet not a single reputable journalist challenged the claim that Asians were being disproportionately stopped and searched.
Yet when i interviewed Iqbal Sacranie, general secretary of the muslim council of Britainhe insisted that '95-98 per cent of those stopped and searched under the anti-terror laws are muslim'. The real figure is actually 15 support per cent. But however many times I showed him the true statistics he refused to budge. I am sure he was sincere in his belief. But there is no basis for his claim that virtually all those stopped and searched were muslim - the figures appear to have been simply plucked out of the sky. There is disproportion in the treatment of Asians. Asians make up about 5 per cent of the population, but 15 per cent of those stopped under the terrorism Act. Could this be because of anti-muslim prejudice?
muslim community is being targeted by the police claimed Khalid Sofi of the muslim council. Certainly, the bald figure of a '300 per cent increase' suggests heavy handed policing and continual harassment. But dig a little deeper and the figures reveal something very different. They show that just 3000 Asians had been stopped and searched in the previous year under the terrorism Act. Of these probably a half were muslim. In other words around 1500 Muslims out of a population of more thtan.6 million had been stopped and searched under the terror laws - hardly a case of the police targeting every muslim. A total of 21,577 had been stopped and searched under the terror laws. The vast majority of these - 14,429 - were in fact white.
Or is the hatred and abuse of Muslims being exaggerated to suit politicians' needs and silence the critics summary of Islam? The trouble with Islamophobia is that it is an irrational concept. It confuses hatred of, and discrimination against, muslims on the one hand with criticism of Islam on the other. The charge of 'Islamophobia' is all too often used not to highlight racism but to stifle criticism. And in reality discrimination against Muslims is not as great as is often perceived - but criticism of Islam should be greater. In making a film on Islamophobia for Channel 4 what became clear is the gap between perception and reality. Islamophobia driven by what people want to believe is true, rather than what really is true. A good example is the debate about police harassment of Muslims.
90 really good Argumentative/Persuasive
Ten years ago no one had heard of Islamophobia. Now everyone from Muslim leaders to anti-racist activists to government ministers want to convince us that Britain is in the grip of an irrational hatred of Islam - a hatred that, they claim, leads to institutionalised harassment, physical attacks, book social discrimination and political alienation. Former Home Office minister John Denham has warned of the 'cancer of Islamophobia' infecting the nation. The veteran anti-racist Richard Stone, who was a consultant to the Stephen Lawrence inquiry, suggests that Islamophobia is 'a challenge to us all'. The director of Public Prosecutions has worried that the war on terror is 'alienating whole communities' in this country. The government is so concerned that it is introducing a new law outlawing incitement to religious hatred. But does Islamophobia really exist?