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  1. #61
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    In fighting Islamophobia, British Muslims need fairness not favours

    5 January 2016

    A new policy mandating all police forces to record Islamophobia as a category of crime needs the voice of Muslim communities to succeed

    Muslims across the UK are eagerly awaiting the publication of the much-anticipated Counter Extremism Bill. Prolific government statements throughout 2015 set out its intention to tackle the "extremist ideology" that apparently lurks behind "Islamist extremism".

    The justifiable counter-concerns about yet further encroachments on Muslim civil liberties makes this as significant a political struggle as the Counter Terrorism and Security Bill at the start of 2015.

    But there is a development on the horizon which promises to be every bit as significant to British Muslims, namely, the rolling out of the policy mandating all police forces to record Islamophobia as a category of crime from April 2016.
    Put Islamophobia on par with anti-Semitism

    It was the social policy think tank MEND which began the campaign to get local communities to push for the recording of Islamophobia as a separate category of crime in their 2012 manifesto for the first police and crime commissioner elections. Since then, MEND secured commitments from 10 police forces in England and Wales, almost a quarter of all forces, before the prime minister's announcement last year, building on MEND’s work, to require all forces to record Islamophobic attacks.

    The Government's announcement and the impending rollout of new, improved recording mechanisms will put Islamophobia on par with anti-Semitism, in terms of better quantification of hate crime and analysis of criminal statistics relating to racist and religious hate crime affecting Muslim communities. It is a long time coming but the prospect on the near horizon is a significant one.

    There are of course many things that will need to be done to ensure that the policy goes beyond adjusting police crime recording systems to introduce an "Islamophobia" crime flag. They include:

    • Better training of law enforcement officers to correctly identify offences as "religiously aggravated" to avoid, as happens all too often under the current system, of Islamophobic hate crimes being mistakenly flagged as "racially aggravated". This inflates the "race" numbers and "deflates" the “religious” ones.
    • Taking into consideration that victim perception of bias motivation will also be required to be ramped up, if the new recording mechanism is to improve the quality of officially available statistics on anti-Muslim hate crime.
    • Emphasising the need for victims to report hate crime. Home Office analysis of police recorded crime data and the Crime Survey of England and Wales show that only 43 percent of hate crime offences came to the attention of the police in the most recent year analysed.

    Tell Mama

    In February 2012, the Communities and Local Government department announced a considerable amount of funding (£375,000) for the creation of Tell Mama, an entity that was to "measure anti-Muslim attacks". The initial seed funding was bolstered in November 2012 with a further tranche of £214,000, which is not small by any means.

    Tell Mama claims to (i) provide support, assistance and signposting to victims of anti-Muslim incidents, (ii) work with the police to ensure prosecutions (iii), map, measure and analyse hotspots, and (iv) provide advice to mosques on safety and security.

    These are undoubtedly laudable aims indeed but there is one problem: these services are already available to Muslim communities across the country in the form of the publicly funded Victim Support Service, UK police forces, third-party reporting centres, and the work of local councils on responding to hate crime. There is also support from local police force to mosques and other religious institutions which are targets of hate crime, including advice on security, and crime data analysis by local forces to provide extra patrols etc. Muslims for years have been crying out for fairness not favours, equality not exceptionalism – surely these are the rights of every UK citizen?

    As such, with Islamophobia being recorded properly from April, the existing infrastructure is not only fit for purpose for all people including British Muslims, there is no need for Tell Mama at any level. Its demise in turn will put an end to accusations about Muslims receiving favourable treatment – indeed there are no such equivalent government-funded initiatives to record anti-Sikh or anti-Hindu crimes; those communities all rely on the existing legal framework, as should Muslims in my humble opinion.

    Dubious links

    There is another reason behind why many in the Muslim community have expressed serious concerns about Tell Mama’s attempts to be the voice of local communities on any discussion about policing and policy responses to anti-Muslim hate crime. Quite aside from the organisation being yet another example of the UK government's "top-bottom" approach to anything involving British Muslims, there is evidence of its links to perpetrators of Islamophobia that has warned off many who professed a sincere regard for tackling Islamophobia in the UK.

    In July 2014, Tell Mama announced the results of its annual report on Islamophobia in the UK at an event organised by the infamous Quilliam Foundation. In July 2015, Fiyaz Mughal, the founder of Tell Mama, defended his group sharing a platform with Quilliam Foundation on the Left Foot Forward blog, stating:

    “We will speak at any platform, (apart from extremist groups and those who have used prejudiced terms against whole communities)." One should dwell a little on Mughal's assertion more closely.

    It is quite disturbing that an organisation that purports to “measure anti-Muslim attacks”, and which claims to desist from sharing platforms with "extremist groups and those who have used prejudiced terms against whole communities" can be so ignorant of the Quilliam Foundation's bedfellows.

    Quilliam’s links to far-right extremists are well-known. You can read a transcript from the foundation's director, Haras Rafiq, getting grilled by MPs on the Home Affairs Select Committee about the organisation's links to the repellent Gatestone Institute on the select committee's website. An abridged version of the evidence hearing and the unconvincing responses from Rafiq about the organisation's "lack of credibility" can be read in this article by journalist Hilary Aked of Spinwatch.

    Then there is the curious case of one of Tell Mama's advisors who has collaborated with someone else linked to the Gatestone Institute. Tehmina Kazi is an "advisor" on Tell Mama's board. Kazi has collaborated with Baroness Caroline Cox, a board member of the Gatestone Institute, on a publication endorsed by Cox which featured an article by yet another notorious Islamophobe, Anne Marie Waters. Waters, it would appear, is due to join "Tommy Robinson" (the former leader of the English Defence League) in the UK branch of the Islamophobic PEGIDA organisation.

    The recording of Islamophobia by police forces in England and Wales as of April 2016 will hopefully meet two objectives: firstly, it will give local communities a voice in addressing local policing needs for victims of Islamophobic attacks, and secondly, it will effectively and inevitably render Tell Mama obsolete. From what has been uncovered of the group's blindness in the face of perpetrators of Islamophobia and extremism, this can come none too soon.


  2. #62
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    Let Muslim women wear a full-face veil in court, says head of Supreme Court as he warns over bias against poor and foreign defendants

    Lord Neuberger said Muslim women should be allowed to wear a full-face veil when appearing in court to show respect to 'different customs

    Muslim women should be allowed to wear a full-face veil while appearing in court, Britain's most senior judge has suggested.

    Lord Neuberger, the President of the Supreme Court, said judges and courtrooms should allow women to wear the traditional dress as they should 'show, and be seen to show' respect towards different customs.

    He said judges should be 'sensitive' to the fact that they usually came from 'more privileged sector of society' than many of those facing them and they should have an understanding of the 'different cultural and social habits'.

    His address to the Criminal Justice Alliance came at a time of uncertainty over the place of Muslim traditional dress in the legal system.

    Following a controversial trial in 2003 of a Muslim woman accused of witness intimidation, Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas said there was a need for clear guidance on the issue.

    Rebekah Dawson refused to give evidence after being told she had to remove her face veil to let the jury see her face while testifying.

    The 22-year-old was later sentenced to six months in prison at Blackfriars Crown Court after changing her plea.

    Last year, the European Court of Human Rights upheld a ban by France on wearing the Muslim full-face veil, the niqab.

    A case was brought by a 24-year-old French woman, who argued that the ban on wearing the veil in public violated her freedom of religion and expression.

    In Lord Neuberger's address, he said judges and lawyers often failed to recognise how 'artificial and intimidating' courts could be for ordinary people.

    He said: 'I sometimes wonder whether our trial procedures really are the best way of getting at the truth.

    'Would you feel that you had given of your best if you had been forced to give evidence in unfamiliar surroundings, with lots of strangers watching, in an intimidating court, with lawyers in funny clothes asking questions, often aggressively and trying to catch you out, and with no ability to tell the story as you remember it?'

    He said this did not mean a call for a major overhaul of court proceedings but said judges, lawyers and court staff must do as much as possible to help people feel at ease in court.

    He continued: 'Judges have to show, and have to be seen to show, respect to everybody equally, and that requires an understanding of different cultural and social habits.

    'It is necessary to have some understanding as to how people from different cultural, social, religious or other backgrounds think and behave and how they expect others to behave.

    'Well known examples include how some religions consider it inappropriate to take the oath, how some people consider it rude to look other people in the eye, how some women find it inappropriate to appear in public with their face uncovered, and how some people deem it inappropriate to confront others or to be confronted – for instance with an outright denial.

    'More broadly, judges should be courteous and, generally, good-humoured; and, while they should be firm, they should never, however great the temptation, lose their temper.'

    The judge made the comments a week ago during an address to the Criminal Justice Alliance, in which he spoke of modern aspects of the British legal system.

    In a lengthy speech entitled 'Fairness in the courts: the best we can do', Lord Neuberger also said judges and lawyers should always keep in mind how 'intimidating' the court process can be for those involved in trials, including 'the parties, their families, the victims, the witnesses and the jurors'.

    Speaking in the context of legal aid cuts, he said the importance of ensuring all parties involved in a case understand the goings-on in a court is now greater because 'people are having to choose between representing themselves or not getting justice at all'.

    He also said: 'Judges may not appear to be neutral because they will almost always be seen, normally rightly, to come from a more privileged sector of society, in both economic and educational terms, compared with many of the parties, witnesses, jurors in court.

    'A white male public school judge presiding in a trial of an unemployed traveller from Eastern Europe accused of assaulting or robbing a white female public school woman will, I hope, always be unbiased.

    'However, he should always think to himself what his subconscious may be thinking or how it may be causing him to act.'

    Keith Porteous Wood, Executive Director of the National Secular Society, told the Daily Telegraph: 'Lord Neuberger understandably recommends judges understand the expectations of how those 'from different cultural, social, religious or other backgrounds think and behave and how they expect others to behave' and that the judiciary should show 'respect to everybody equally'.

    'It was a missed opportunity, however, not to acknowledge that occasionally – for example on a defendant wearing a full face veil – doing so might conflict with justice being seen to be done, or even justice being done.

    'My concern is not theoretical; it is now 18 months since a judge at Blackfriars Magistrate Court wasted a great deal of court time dealing with the question of full-face veils, and made a heartfelt plea for central guidance to avoid this inefficient use of expensive court's resources being replicated elsewhere.

    'The Lord Chief Justice's office has been dealing with this for a long time but seems disappointingly reluctant to issue any direction.'


  3. #63
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    Britain's Problem With Islam


    Modern Britain has a problem with Islam. This may not come as much of a surprise to some readers. For many in Britain, Islam is considered an isolating force, and its followers are somehow externalised from British identity, regardless of their birthplace or what passport they hold. Indeed, being both British and Muslim is now being painted as a potentially impossible identity. If Britain First, the spawn of the far-right hate group, the English Defence League, and their propaganda are to be believed, perhaps the two identities are mutually exclusive, and thus there can be no such thing as British Muslims.

    Such a statement however, is a falsehood. This problem lies not with Islam, nor with Britain's 2.8 million Muslims. It lies with Britain itself, and our ever increasing xenophobic, Islamophobic discourse. It lies with our media, whose continual and aggressive baiting of faith and community leaders ostracises one of Britain's most marginalised minorities. The problem lies too with our politicians, whose anti-terror acts and wilfully divisive methods of rule and rhetoric are encouraging the British public to turn on a community who are already vilified and reviled by many within their own country. Islam is seen as an isolating force, not because Muslims cut themselves off from Britain and its culture, but because its followers are grouped into one camp. Across Britain and Europe, Islamophobia and xenophobia are on the rise: Every Muslim is demonised as a possible terrorist. A threat to Britain and our security.

    The fact of the matter is that the number of extremist terrorists who support and or commit the atrocities currently occurring in the territory now controlled by ISIL in Iraq, Syria and the Levant is a tiny blip in the total figure of Britain's Muslim population. This is not to remove guilt from such a minority. Truly, no-one is attempting to remove blame from them, or cast doubts over their agency as individuals. The problem also lies irrefutably with this tiny fringe minority of ultra violent extremists, and those who choose to follow such ideologies of hate. However, to paint their actions as representative of the consciousness of the entirety of British Muslims is not only a gross generalisation, it is inherently racist and xenophobic.

    Ever since the "War on Terror" began, itself a modern crusade of violence whose remit is both without borders and which apparently operates outside of international law, the fight has not only been East vs. West, but indeed the supposedly "Liberal" West vs. a Backward Barbaric Islam. This continual rendering of division, and its suppressing of the subaltern Muslim community worldwide is deeply flawed. The West's own atrocities are numerous: from Obama's drones which have taken the lives of countless innocents across Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and more, to our merciless bombing campaigns in Iraq and Libya. These campaigns have had thousands of victims, and affected many thousands more. Yet we in the West are cast as liberators, as a positive force of good in the region. The white western saviour complex is so deeply ingrained into our perception of our international standing. It must be expunged. Rarely are Western Powers daubed with the shame of their true actions; Tony Blair, George Bush and the administrations responsible for an illegal war remain absent from the Hague for their crimes.

    Recently, two representatives of Cage, an organisation which denounces the War on Terror and acts as an advocacy for those demonised by British security protocol that deliberately targets and harasses marginalised Muslims, were interviewed on national television. Repeatedly, it was demanded that they denounce the acts of depravity carried out by ISIL. Both Asim Qureshi and Cerie Bullivant had their humanity questioned in a deliberately provocative manner which wilfully obfuscated from the nuances of the discussion. Of course, the despicable beheadings of aid-workers and innocent civilians is reprehensible, and should rightfully be condemned. But we must stop demanding that all Muslims condemn these actions as a validation of their British or Western identity. No-one asks Jon Snow or Kay Burley whether they condemn such actions, it is considered a given. Yet when Muslims are interviewed on these subjects, time and time again it is insisted that they personally condemn these actions, as though they remain culpable through a forced, orientalist homogenisation of the wider Islamic community.

    We must stop this divisive rhetoric. A huge part of Britain's social and cultural capital lies in our co-ownership of the wealth of our nation's diversity. It is perhaps the one thing that no bank, corporation, government or individual can ever hope to monopolise and own outright. We must work together, with organisations like Cage and the British Muslim Council to help prevent vulnerable people from turning down paths from which there may be no return. Britain and the West must stand up to this brand of Us vs. Them politics, which has so infected our national discourse. This perpetual barrage of dichotomy must end. British Muslims are British too, and many are proud to call themselves so.

    Let us not descend into a patronising moralising hierarchy, which so excludes British Muslims from our shared British identity. Let us not divide Muslims into a binary of either 'moderate' or 'extremist', of 'with us' or 'against us' - to do so only raises further barriers between our socio-cultural communities. Divided, we will only crumble further into cultural decay, splitting into factions and eventually towards a governing form of ostracising, extremist fascism reminiscent of Europe's 20th Century nightmare. Together, we can hope to stand against the truly despicable nature of violence the world over, enacted by individuals, extremist groups and states alike. A united front, representative of our diversity is the only way we can hope to defeat such acts of terror.


  4. #64
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    Attacks against UK Muslims rose by 326 percent in 2015: Monitor


    New Tell Mama report shows that Muslim women are more likely than men to face abuse in public places

    Reported attacks against Muslims in public areas in the UK rose by 326 percent in 2015, according to a report by a monitoring group.
    Tell Mama's report also shows that Muslim women, particularly those who wear the hijab or niqab, are more likely than Muslim men to face abuse in public areas. Their abusers after often teenagers, the report says.

    The report comes in the wake of a spike in reported hate crimes against Muslims and EU migrants following Britain's vote to leave the EU last Thursday.

    In the past week, hundreds of people have used social media to document alleged incidents of racism and anti-Muslim hatred by using the hashtag #PostRefRacism.

    On Wednesday, the Home Office announced it would publish a new Hate Crime Action Plan that will work "in partnership with communities and across departments", Karen Bradley, a Home Office minister, told the House of Commons.

    The Home Office only started collecting data on Islamophobic hate crimes in April this year. It previously recorded such attacks under a general religious-based hate crime category which did not break down incidents by religion.

    Founded in 2012, Tell Mama uses data from more than 15 police forces across the UK, plus reports from victims and the public to compile a picture of Islamophobia in the country.

    The report released on Wednesday also shows that more than one in 10 incidents reported to the organisation took place in schools. The second most likely place Muslims were attacked was on public transport in city centres.

    The new data is based on incidents of Islamophobia reported directly to the organisation, and findings from three police forces collated over the past year.

    Former justice and communities minister Shahid Malik, who chairs Tell Mama, wrote in the report's foreword that the statistics paint a "profoundly bleak picture" of Islamophobia both online and offline "with visible Muslim women being disproportionately targeted by cowardly hatemongers".
    “The exponential growth is testament to the fact that despite great efforts to fight anti-Muslim hatred, as a society we are still falling behind in supporting many of our citizens," Malik said.During 2015, the organisation said it received 1,128 reports of Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred, but analysed only 801 of these attacks as part of the report.
    Jo Cox, the MP who was killed earlier this month in an attack in her Yorkshire constituency, had been working in conjunction with Tell Mama to help compile the report and planned to address parliament later this month to introduce its findings. Fiyaz Mughal, Tell Mama founder and director, told the Guardian that Cox met the organisation to talk about how her constituents could report attacks, with particular concern for Muslim women.


  5. #65
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    Abuse of Refugee Syrian Children in France

    Disgusting behaviour from England fans in France today mocking Syrian refugee children by throwing coins at them. Despicable.

    Video: https://www.facebook.com/DAILYSABAH/...8008792689550/

    This was a tweet posted by a journalist named Michael Stothard from the Financial Times a few hours ago. First we have seen videos of English fans throwing coins at Syrian refugee children whilst mockingly laughing at them, and now they are committing child abuse against vulnerable children, simply because they are refugees. English fans have been a disgrace at Euro 2016 and numerous media outlets around the world are calling them some of the most racist people in Europe. On this showing, how can you argue with them?

  6. #66
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    Anonymise CVs to get more British Muslims in top jobs, says thinktank

    Government and community must tackle under-representation by anonymising job applications and increasing university participation, report finds

    by Aisha Gani - 8 October 2015

    The government should address the under-representation of British Muslims in top professions by passing legislation to make job applications anonymous, a thinktank has said.

    Only 16% of British Muslims are in senior roles, fewer people than any other religious group, and compared with a UK average of 30% of people in such roles, according to the Rising to the Top report published by Demos on Friday.

    Overall, Muslims are also disproportionately more likely to be unemployed and economically inactive, and have the lowest female participation rate of all religious groups.

    The report, which was based on speaking to students and professionals, as well as analyzing academic literature, higher education surveys, and national figures such as the Labor Force Survey, calls for a boost in professional network organizations to tackle the under-representation.

    The report said the Russell Group, the elite set of UK universities, should fund programs to boost representation from disadvantaged communities.

    Louis Reynolds, the author of the report, said the findings showed that a few achievable changes in education, local authority support, and renewed commitments from Muslim communities and employers could go far in correcting the imbalance.

    The report refers to top professions of the labor market, but includes both higher and lower managerial, administrative and professional occupations, such as chief executives, doctors, barristers and architects.

    “Improvement in this area will be an important and necessary step forward for Britain, as our society will become stronger and more cohesive as we begin to tap into the economic potential of many more of our talented young people,” Reynolds said.

    The findings of the report come after David Cameron raised the issue of social mobility and opportunity at his speech at the Tory party conference on Wednesday.

    As well as calling for legislation to make anonymisation of CVs compulsory, the report recommended the government should do more to increase awareness of their alternative Sharia-compliant student loan product among Muslim communities, who for religious reasons are forbidden to take a loan with interest.

    The report also encourages large organizations to use “contextual recruitment” methods during the hiring process for a better understanding of a candidate’s life experience and background.

    It called for the younger generation within the Muslim community to lead the way in shifting of attitudes and be backed with the support of key institutions such as mosques and the Muslim Council of Britain.

    Another issue the report highlighted is that some focus group members saw alcohol as playing an important role in the workplace, and that not drinking was seen as a potential barrier. One chartered accountant Demos spoke to said: “I think as I progressed through the firm it became more apparent that serious decisions were often influenced by networks, and unfortunately in most cases the only opportunity to network would be at these drinks.”

    Maria Sobolewska, a senior lecturer in politics at the University of Manchester, said: “Some recent research also showed that people from black and minority ethnic (BME) communities – including Muslims – are not able to benefit fully from such opportunities as degrees from Britain’s top universities.

    “BME graduates of Russell Group universities are
    less likely to have a job within six months of finishing their degree than white graduates.”

    The findings of the report said “cultural attitude” was another thing holding British Muslims back in the workplace, highlighting issues such as Muslim communities limiting the role of women in the labor market, and parents’ aversion to younger people moving away from the local community.

    Sobolewska said although findings show lower professional attainment of Muslim women in the community, “these are weaker among younger generations of Muslims”.

    “Not only are British Muslim women now going to university in higher numbers than previously, the numbers of Muslim female politicians on local and national levels are also going up.

    “Although it is still very much a story of an ongoing struggle, it is also a story of progress and huge generational changes.”

    Focus groups for the report were from the East London boroughs of Newham and Tower Hamlets, which have a high British Bangladeshi population, while figures for educational attainment were taken from the British Bangladeshi and Pakistani communities – which does not factor in half of British Muslims who are from different ethnic backgrounds.

    Dr Sundas Ali, a lecturer in politics and sociology at Oxford University, said: “While this report adds value, it may also be interpreted as Muslims demanding or being allocated extra resources and this may have a negative reaction in some communities in the UK.”

    She added a more effective solution would be “to invest more resources in the country’s most deprived areas, with almost half of the Muslim population living in the 10% most deprived local authority districts”.

    In a statement the Muslim Council of Britain said: “The Muslim Council of Britain welcomes this report and its attempt at facilitating British Muslims to have an equal chance to rise to the highest social and economic positions in the UK.”



    This is the western freedom giving democracies that they have to hide the identity of non-Christian and non-White applicants in order for them them to get hired for their qualifications!!!

  7. #67
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    Policeman fired after liking “Ban Islam” group and sharing racist Facebook posts


    A Chief Inspector who shared racist Facebook posts and “liked” anti-Muslim groups calling for Islam to be banned has been dismissed, the Bristol Post reports.

    Steven Drew, of Avon and Somerset Constabulary, shared Facebook posts telling people who don’t stand for the national anthem to “go back to the country you came from”.

    One image he shared was stated: “Isn’t it weird in Britain our flag offends so many people but our benefits don’t.”

    Drew also liked a Facebook page called “Ban Islam and Sharia Law”, and a page for the far-right political party Britain First.

    A police misconduct hearing on Thursday 8 December dismissed Drew after deciding his behaviour was inappropriate, discriminatory and brought discredit on the force.

    Speaking at the hearing, barrister Robert Talalay said Drew’s actions amounted to being “explicitly racist”.

    But Drew, who has volunteered in the police for 20 years, told the panel he is “rubbish” at Facebook and didn’t intend to come across racist.

    “It makes me look an idiot,” he said. “It does make me look racist but that was never my intention.”

    One picture shared by Drew showed a crowd at a sports event, thought to be in the United States, standing for the national anthem.

    A woman, wearing a headscarf, was remained seated in the picture, which was captioned: “If you can’t stand for the national anthem go back to the country you came from.”

    Drew said: “I probably didn’t even read the full caption, if I see stand for the national anthem I will share that.”

    He said he is “really against people who can’t stand for the national anthem”, adding that he shares post if he looks at them and thinks “I agree with that”.

    Drew claimed he only liked the page “Ban Islam and Sharia Law” because he thinks Sharia Law should be banned, but that he didn’t agree with banning Islam.

    “It was just the second bit I liked,” he told the panel, led by independent chairman Alex Lock.

    “I quickly looked and thought yes I agree with that.”

    He was represented at the hearing by Mark Loker, from the Police Federation.

    Mr Loker said Drew “is not racist in any way, shape or form” but was “naïve”.

    He said Drew’s policing area, which wasn’t specified at the hearing, is one of the “most ethnically diverse” in Bristol.

    He also said the fact Drew liked the Britain First Facebook page, the racist far-right white supremacist group, was irrelevant.

    “There’s nothing to stop us being a supporter of them so I don’t see how that’s relevant,” he said.

    The allegations came to light after a member of the police who is friends with Drew on Facebook told bosses he had “posted messages with extreme right wing views”.

    Barrister Mr Talalay said: “If he has shared an image which is put on his timeline it is indicative he has seen it and supports it. Why else would you share a post or photo?”


    Comments: This is how you keep islamophobe bigots in check, by holding them accountable for their intolerant fascist actions.

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    Forest Hill 'stabbing': Man shouted 'I want to kill a Muslim' while chasing passengers

    Police treating incident as 'serious hate crime' but say there is 'no suggestion of wider terrorist aspect'


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    Wife of man stabbed in Forest Hill 'kill a Muslim' train attack speaks out


    The wife of a man stabbed on a train at Forest Hill station by an attacker allegedly shouting “I want to kill a Muslim” has spoken out about the horrifying incident.

    Kulsuma, wife of Muhammed-Askar, who suffered a punctured lung and stab wounds to his head, spoke about their ordeal from the family home in Wandsworth.

    She told the Evening Standard: “He was shouting go back to Syria and things like that.

    “It was terrifying. The man lunged forward and stabbed my husband in the head first and then twice in the chest and then three times in the back.”

    She added that doctors are worried about his sight because of the stab wounds near his eye.

    The incident occurred on a train at Forest Hill on December 12 and the attacker allegedly used a “big kitchen knife”.

    She said: “No one came to help us at first. My husband had been stabbed loads of times before anyone moved.

    “I was in total shock and was holding him. A lady on the train who was a nurse helped.”

    Mrs Ali, 39, described the nurse as a “hero” and said: “She was amazing. I need to say thank you — she has maybe saved his life.

    “There was blood everywhere. I was in shock and I have not slept since.”

    The couple have three children and his wife said he was a “brilliant father and husband”.

    A 38-year-old man has been charged with attempted murder, possession of an offensive weapon and assault by battery.

    Following the assault, a group of young muslims have been handing out roses at Forest Hill station to “spread peace”.


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    Muslim Leader Framed For Refusing To Be MI5 Spy

    Muslim leader tells court explosives were planted in his garage 'after he refused to become MI5 spy'

    17 October 2016

    A leading Muslim community figure accused of keeping a stick of plastic explosives has claimed that they were planted in his back garden after he refused to become an M15 spy.

    Khalid Rashad, who is accused of keeping the stash in his garage near Wembley Stadium, told jurors how the Secret Service tried to recruit him as a "secret agent".

    The 63-year-old is on trial at the Old Bailey charged with having about 8oz (226g) of explosives, a 9mm cartridge and five 8mm rounds.

    Police uncovered the explosives during a search of Rashad's terraced home and outbuilding in Wembley, north London, in April last year.

    The building contractor has denied wrongdoing, claiming that someone else must have put the explosives in the garage that he had built in his garden.

    Asked in court if he had any views on if the Security Services were connected with the explosives in his garage, Rashad replied: "At the end of the day I cannot say I have because I have not seen anyone who put this thing there so I cannot point the finger and say I believe it's them."

    Giving evidence, Rashad told jurors that he was Jamaican and had changed his name when he converted to Islam in 1993.

    He became a leading figure at the An-Noor Cultural and Community Centre in Acton, west London, although there were "tensions" between the cultures.

    In 2012, Rashad said he was contacted by MI5 agents who invited him to a meeting in Whitehall.

    He told jurors: "I travelled to Whitehall. I had a meeting in this building in Whitehall and I was there for almost three hours and I was invited to become an operative - a spy. I was asked to work for the service."

    Asked by defence barrister Alphege Bell what they wanted him to do, Rashad said it was to spy on the Muslim community.

    He said: "I was a leader in the Islamic community in west London and they would like to have someone like me in charge on the books."

    Rashad told jurors he did not want to be "deceitful to the people I'm serving" and refused the offer, but said he was "more than happy to work with them openly".

    At a second meeting at a hotel in Hammersmith, the defendant said he was shown photographs of Muslim men who the security services believed might be travelling out of the country.

    But again, Rashad said he refused to spy on any young men and be a "secret agent".


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    Mail pays out £150,000 to Muslim family over Katie Hopkins column

    Hopkins had falsely accused Mahmood family, who were stopped from visiting Disneyland by US authorities, of extremist links

    by Jasper Jackson - 19 December 2016

    Mail Online has been forced to pay out £150,000 to a British Muslim family over a Katie Hopkins column which falsely accused them of extremism.

    The column, published in December last year, said that US authorities were right to stop Mohammed Tariq Mahmood, his brother Mohammed Zahid Mahmood and nine children from travelling to Los Angeles for a trip to Disneyland last year. Hopkins also suggested that the two brothers were extremists with links to al-Qaida.

    In a correction published at midnight on Sunday, Mail Online said: "We and Katie Hopkins apologise to the Mahmood family for the distress and embarrassment caused and have agreed to pay them substantial damages and their legal costs."

    Hopkins' article suggested that the reason the family gave for visiting the US was a lie, and that she would have stopped them from boarding the flight from Gatwick. Her next column a week later also falsely suggested that Mohammed Tariq Mahmood's son Hamza was responsible for a Facebook page that allegedly contained extremist material.

    The brothers said they were pleased that after "a great deal of dragging of their heels" the Mail and Hopkins had accepted the allegations were false.

    "Even to this day, the US authorities have not explained the reason why we were not permitted to travel; we assume it was an error or even a case of mistaken identity," they said in a statement provided by their lawyers, Carter Ruck.

    "However, matters are not helped when sensationalist and, frankly, Islamophobic articles such as this are published, and which caused us all a great deal of distress and anxiety. We are very pleased that the record has been set straight."

    Carter Ruck said that while most of the coverage of the Mahmood family's ordeal had been fair and balanced, "there was absolutely no basis for suggesting that any of the Mahmoods were or are extremist, and the family were simply going on holiday".

    Hopkins tweeted the apology herself at around 2am. She was hired by the Mail in September 2015 from the Sun where she had regularly come under fire for offensive columns, including one where she likened asylum seekers to cockroaches. That article, which has since been removed from the Sun website, drew condemnation from the UN high commissioner for human rights, Zeid bin Ra'ad al-Hussein.

    The Mail's apology comes just days after it corrected an online article claiming that the NUS president, Malia Bouattia, had said young Muslims are travelling to join Isis in Syria due to cuts to education.

    Mail Online did not immediately respond to a request for comment.



    This is how you deal with defamation and slandering and false allegations. Hit those islamophobe bigots where it hurts, their wallets.

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    Syrian Muslim Refugee Stabbed to Death

    Refugee, 23, who fled Syrian war for new life in UK is stabbed to death on Black Eye Friday

    By Abe Hawken - 19 December 2016

    A Syrian refugee who fled the war-torn country in search of a better life in Britain was 'brutally stabbed to death'
    on Black Eye Friday.

    The 23-year-old victim has been named as Ibrahim Ismail after a friend set up a crowdfunding page to give him a 'send-off he deserves' and to raise money for his funeral.

    His body was found on the corner of Moseley Street and Rea Street in Birmingham at around 3.30am on Saturday morning.

    West Midlands Police today confirmed his name.

    In just one day, the page has received more than £2,700 after 140 people donated towards the £10,000 target.

    His friend wrote online that Ibrahim - who he called Abraham - was 'hardworking', 'caring' and humble' and that he had no family in the UK as his parents live in Syria.

    He fled Syria and made the 3,000-mile journey to live in Birmingham 'to find a better standard of living' - but was 'tragically murdered'.

    A statement on the page reads:
    'Donation for Abraham Ismail funeral.

    'Our brother Abraham Inna lillaahi wa inna ilayhu Raaji'un, has sadly passed away on 17th December 2016, (after) being brutally stabbed to death.

    'We are devestated (sic) to have lost our dearest brother and friend to a great injustice. We pray that Allah (Swt) showers his mercy on him and grants him Jannat ul-firdous.

    'Abraham was a 23 year old hardworking, humble, caring and kind hearted brother.

    'Abraham unfortunately has no family here in the United Kingdom and we are not sure about his family's whereabouts because they live in Syria.

    'Abraham had fled Syria in order to find a better standard of living here in Birmingham, the UK. However, he was tragically murdered.

    'Brothers and sisters we urge you to donate whatever that comes from your heart in order for us to be able to give Abraham the send-off that he deserves.

    'This is truly the time for our community to pull together and show support to Abraham's friends who are trying to raise the money needed for his funeral.'

    Police set up a blue forensic tent at the scene near the entrance to the Raxo Shisha lounge.

    Black Eye Friday earned its name as paramedics and emergency services are usually pushed to their limits by large numbers of people out for Christmas parties. Last year police arrested 18 people for drunkenness and assault, including one man for attacking an ambulance worker.

    Detective Inspector Paul Joyce said: 'We are still trying to piece together what happened in the early hours. We are looking into reports there was an altercation but I would urge anybody with any information to get in contact as soon as possible.'

    Anyone with information can call police on 101 or independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

    To donate, go to:


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    Man removed from UK flight over 'prayer' message on phone

    Laolu Opebiyi says fellow passenger on easyJet plane at Luton saw his conversation on ‘ISI men’ WhatsApp group and reported him


    A British man was removed from a plane by armed police at Luton airport after a fellow passenger read a message on his mobile phone about “prayer” and reported him as a security threat.

    Laolu Opebiyi, 40, from London, said he was forced to hand over his phone and supply his password in order to establish his innocence after he tried to arrange a conference call prayer with friends using WhatsApp.

    A detective subsequently questioned and cleared Opebiyi but the pilot refused to allow him back on to the easyJet flight to Amsterdam last Thursday and he was forced to wait more than three hours for the next scheduled departure.

    The Nigerian-born Christian believes the passenger next to him assumed he was a Muslim and jumped to the conclusion that he may be a terrorist.

    “That guy doesn’t know me and within two minutes he’s judging me,” he told the Guardian. “Even if I was a Muslim, it was pretty unfair the way I was treated. I don’t think anyone, irrespective of their religion should be treated in such a way.

    “If we keep on giving into this kind of bigotry and irrational fear, I dare say that the terrorists will have achieved their aim.”

    Opebiyi, a business analyst, said that as they awaited the plane’s 6.45am departure, his fellow passenger asked him: “What do you mean by ‘prayer’?” Taken aback that he had been reading over his shoulder, Opebiyi explained that he was arranging to pray with friends.

    About two minutes later, the male passenger went to the front of the plane and began a conversation with the cabin crew, Opebiyi said. The man was taken to the door of the cockpit and returned 15 minutes later, telling Opebiyi that he was getting off the plane because he felt unwell. A few minutes later, two armed officers entered the plane. They asked Opebiyi for his phone and told him to remove his belongings and accompany them off the plane and into the terminal building.

    After an officer confirmed that he was being questioned because of what happened with the other passenger, Opebiyi explained that he was a Christian, showing them a copy of the Bible in his bag. “They asked me which church I attend and how long I have been going there,” he said. “They also ask if I have ever thought about changing my religion to which I replied ‘no’.”

    They also asked him about the name of the conference call prayer group, which was “ISI men” – an acronym for “iron sharpens iron”, from the Bible quote “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another”. The Guardian understands that the passenger who reported Opebiyi may have misread this as “Isis”.

    An officer eventually told Opebiyi that he was in the clear but that the pilot had said he should take another flight. He suffered further humiliation when an officer accompanied him to the easyJet desk to help him get on the next flight and seven other passengers from the 6.45am flight, who had left the plane because of security fears, also joined the queue.

    Opebiyi said one of them spotted him and said: “If he is on the next flight, I am not getting on the flight.” He said the officer took the female passenger aside and explained the situation. Before Opebiyi boarded the 10.25am flight, the officer shook his hand and expressed sympathy for his ordeal, he said.

    But he now fears he is on a terrorist watchlist because when he returned the next day from his business trip, the electronic passport gate did not let him through and he had to speak to an immigration officer before proceeding.

    “Someone felt I was a terrorist because they saw the word ‘prayer’ on my phone and now I stand in uncertainty about my freedom of movement in and out of the United Kingdom,” he said.

    A Bedfordshire police spokeswoman confirmed that its officers removed an individual from the flight but “were satisfied that there was no concern around the passenger travelling”.

    An easyJet spokesman said: “The safety and security of its passengers and crew is our highest priority which means that if a security concern is raised we will always investigate it as a precautionary measure. We would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused to the passenger.”


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    British Asians 'Struggle For Top Jobs Despite Better School Results'

    Social Mobility Commission study says group's lower likelihood of being employed in managerial or professional jobs is down to workplace discrimination

    by Anushka Asthana - 27 December 2016

    Children of Bangladeshi and Pakistani origin in Britain have outperformed other ethnic groups to achieve rapid improvements at every level of education, but are significantly less likely to be employed in managerial or professional jobs than their white counterparts, according to a study.

    A report to be published on Wednesday by the government's Social Mobility Commission says the trend is being driven in part by workplace discrimination, particularly against Muslim women.

    The commission's chair, Alan Milburn, said the findings showed that Britain was a long way from offering a level playing field to non-white groups, and called for urgent action to break down barriers.

    "The British social mobility promise is that hard work will be rewarded. This research suggests that promise is being broken for too many people in our society," Milburn said. He argued that it was striking that people who were making the greatest advances at school were still missing out in the workplace.

    The wide-ranging study, commissioned by Milburn's group and carried out by academics from LKMco and Education Datalab, also offers stark warnings for a number of other ethnic and social groups, including the white working classes.

    It found that the gap between the performance of pupils from the poorest and better-off households was widest for white British families.

    Minority ethnic pupils are outperforming white working class children in English tests throughout school, with white British teenagers coming bottom of the pile in the subject at GCSE level.

    Moreover, just one in 10 of the cohort go on to university compared with three in 10 for black Caribbean, five in 10 for Bangladeshi, and nearly seven in 10 for Chinese children from similar economic backgrounds.

    The researchers suggest family behaviour as one factor in explaining the trend, citing evidence that white working class parents - alongside Roma, Gypsy and Traveller groups - "tend to be less engaged in their children's education than other ethnic groups".

    There is also a warning for black families, with evidence that although children enter school achieving at an average level, they slip behind to be the worst performers at maths GCSE, the most likely to be excluded, and the least likely to achieve a good degree.

    The performance gap between pupils eligible for free school meals and their better-off peers is highest among white British children

    Secondary school is where black pupils' attainment falls behind substantially, according to the report. Only 63% achieve a C in maths GCSE, compared with a national average of 68%, and for black boys the figure is worse, at 60%. This translates into strikingly low attainment in science, technology, engineering and maths A-levels.

    The report says the university dropout rate among black pupils is 11%, compared with 5% for Chinese and 7% for other Asian and white undergraduates.

    The report's recommendations include:

    • The government should take action to discourage schools from setting children by ability, particularly at primary level, because of evidence that it could have a profound negative impact on pupils' future social mobility.
    • Teachers should urgently act to ensure that white working class parents, and those from Gypsy, Roma and Traveller groups, engage more in their children's education amid evidence that they do so far less than some minority ethnic counterparts.
    • Universities should do more to reach out to white working class pupils because of the proportionally low numbers entering higher education, and take action to understand the unusually high dropout rate among black students.
    • There should be targeted support from schools, universities and employers to help Muslim women achieve their career ambitions.

    Loic Menzies, one of the authors of the report and director of the thinktank LKMco, said the reason the report had recommended that schools should not divide children by ability was that it hampered the worst-off children.

    The study found that while there was a positive peer effect for children in the top sets, overall there was no improvement in average performance. Moreover, it found that poorer children were more likely to be placed in lower sets, creating a vicious circle.

    Menzies said there could also be an issue for summer-born children who could be almost a year younger than some peers and could wrongly be put in lower sets and labelled as weaker pupils. That could then become a "self-fulfilling prophecy", he said.

    "Having been a pupil in top sets and a teacher who found it easier to teach kids in sets, its difficult to accept that this is what the evidence shows, but it does and the kids who suffer are most vulnerable," he said.

    On the issue of white working class parents being less engaged, the reports points to a number of studies, including those that suggest there could be higher "aspirations and expectations" among some minority ethnic parents for their children.

    One study quoted claims that Indian children in Britain were much more likely to complete their homework five days a week and to have access to a computer at home. Another showed higher engagement among Pakistani and Bangladeshi families.

    It suggested the trend could help explain why there is a much smaller gap between the school performance of the poorest and best-off in other ethnic groups.

    There is also some evidence that girls and boys can perform differently depending on how they are treated, with some parents pushing female pupils towards more altruistic roles, while male pupils have expectations around power and money. One study suggests girls who reject traditional gender roles and want to delay motherhood do better at school.

    Both Milburn and Menzies argued that the findings showed that for some groups - in particular Muslim women - hard work at school was not being fairly paid off.

    The report's lead author, Bart Shaw, said discrimination was part of the reason, although he also highlighted cultural norms, family expectations and geography.

    "Meanwhile in education, differences arise from access to schools, teachers' perceptions of behaviour and practices such as tiering and setting. Out-of-school factors such as parental expectations and support also play a critical role," he said.



    The report and article was about how better educated Asians were discriminated against in getting higher level jobs, and this journalist writes the whole article making excuses for why white people children are performing so well....typical. The Asians should go back to their home countries and actually do something good there rather than waste their education and talent on this bigots.

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    Britain Does Not Have Too Many Migrants. Britain Has Too Many Bigots


    The left’s capitulation to the right on the issue of free movement and immigration will be studied for decades to come. The latest political figure to throw his hands up in surrender to this reactionary Brexit onslaught is Vince Cable.

    In a recent article in the New Statesman, Cable opines, “I have serious doubts that EU free movement is tenable or even desirable. First, the freedom is not a universal right, but selective. It does not apply to Indians, Jamaicans, Americans or Australians. They face complex and often harsh visa restrictions. One uncomfortable feature of the referendum was the large Brexit vote among British Asians, many of whom resented the contrast between the restrictions they face and the welcome mat laid out for Poles and Romanians.”

    What we have here are the politics of despair, wherein the former secretary of state for business is arguing that a key tenet of progressive politics is no longer support for the expansion of rights wherever possible for whoever possible, in the belief that it is more likely to lead to their expansion for all, but instead is about supporting the removal of said rights from those who currently have them in solidarity with those who currently do not. However even on the specific terms upon which Cable is arguing, he is factually incorrect. According to data compiled by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) that non EU migration to the UK is higher than EU migration. Yet regardless Vince Cable is now boiling the issue down to one of good non-EU migrants v bad EU migrants. Opportunism does not even begin to describe such a miserable exercise in political horse trading.

    Cable also asserts, “British opposition to immigration is mainly colour-blind.”

    Well, yes, xenophobia and nativism are certainly equal opportunity pillars of exclusion, based on ‘the othering’ of those who happen to arrive from other parts of the world. But perhaps the most withering counter to such a facile point is that while not everybody who supported or voted for Brexit is a racist or a bigot, every racist and bigot supports Brexit. And why would that be? Could it be that they understand the symbiotic relationship between means and ends more than he does?

    The question answers itself.

    Vince Cable then goes on to write, “The economics are ambiguous. Seen globally, more migration is undeniably a positive. People moving from high unemployment, low productivity countries to areas of labour scarcity and higher productivity produce economic gains. But the benefits accrue mainly to migrants themselves (and business owners).”

    This is where we get to the nitty gritty. And surprisingly for a man considered an expert on economics - though his support for Tory austerity while part of the coalition government contradicts this particular mantle - Cable fails to understand the role of aggregate demand as the primary determinant of economic growth and prosperity in an economy predicated on consumption. In other words, the more people spend in the economy the more the economy grows, and vice versa, which means that it is simply untrue to state that “the [economic] benefits [of migration] accrue mainly to migrants.” Those benefits accrue to us all when it comes to the multiplier effect that any increase in economic activity and, with it, spending has throughout the economy as a whole.

    What Vince Cable - perhaps out of ignorance, perhaps out of convenience - abstracts from his analysis, is the distinction that exists between economic growth and wealth redistribution. And it is the latter where the real problem exists in our society. In other words the so-called indigenous working class in Britain have been and continue to be victims not of free movement or migration, but of the maldistribution of wealth and resources that lies at the heart of neoliberal/Thatcherite economics. The crippling inequality that has and continues to corrode social cohesion in the UK is an indictment not of free movement or migrants but of successive governments that have been slavishly attached to magical thinking when it comes worshipping at the altar of the free market - a free market which a rising tide of human despair proves beyond doubt is anything but free.

    But neoliberal economics not only reproduces and enshrines crippling levels of inequality within states, it also reproduces and enshrines it between states, which is where we come to the role of the free movement of capital in migration flows from poorer economies to their richer counterparts. Workers in poorer economies are merely acting in accordance with their natural and moral rights in seeking to support themselves and their families. If you wish to control such migration flows the only sustainable way is to deal with the ‘push’ factor responsible for compelling them to. This means the introduction of capital controls along with uniform wages and conditions for workers across the EU.

    Capital is a social construct, yet under the rubric of the prevailing economic and ideological hegemony, we have been conditioned to accept that its free movement is compatible with freedom, and therefore completely natural that it should remain unfettered, while the free movement of human beings is not compatible with freedom and should not. In the interests of justice, not to mention sanity, we need to work towards a world underpinned by the reverse.

    In the wake of the economic crash of 2007/08, caused when the contradictions inherent within said free market orthodoxy became insurmountable, the political centre ground, of which Vince Cable is a poster boy, proceeded to collapse. Its answer to the crisis was to make the crisis worse with the introduction of austerity, akin to treating a choking patient with strangulation. Resistance to austerity collapsed with Labour and Lib Dem capitulation to the Tory narrative that public spending rather than private greed was its primary cause.

    Fast forward to 2016 and the narrative is now that the answer to the brutal cuts to public spending - and with them increasing demand on services - is to blame and demonise migrants. The othering of migrants that has ensued conforms to a template last seen employed by a resurgent right in the 1930s, during a similar period of economic crisis and dislocation, winning working people to the politics of exclusion and nationalism, and away from the politics of inclusion and class. It is a battle of ideas that the right is on the way to winning it would seem; its victory measured in the capitulation of an increasing section of the ideologically driven and centre left to its anti-migrant narrative.

    “To live defeated and inglorious is to die daily.” So said a certain Coriscan who led France on a crusade against the forces of reaction in the late 18th and early 19th century.

    With his capitulation to the anti-free movement and anti-migrant assault from the right, Vince Cable joins the ranks of an ever-lengthening list of the defeated and inglorious in our time.


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    Lindsay Lohan: 'I was racially profiled and asked to remove headscarf at Heathrow'

    The actor, who has been studying Islam, has said she was 'freaked out' by the request during an airport check

    by Catherine Shoard - 22 February 2017

    Lindsay Lohan, the actor best known for her roles in films such as Mean Girls, has said she was "racially profiled" at Heathrow airport recently.

    Speaking on ITV's Good Morning Britain, Lohan, 30, said she was requested to remove her headscarf by security staff queuing for a flight to New York, having lately returned from Turkey.

    "I was wearing a headscarf and I got stopped at the airport and racially profiled for the first time in my life," she said. "She opened my passport and saw 'Lindsay Lohan' and started immediately apologising but then said, 'Please take off your head scarf.'"

    Lohan acquiesced but said that she was "scared" by what such interventions might mean for others. "How would another woman who doesn't feel comfortable taking off her headscarf feel?" she said. "That was really interesting to me."

    Interviewer Susanna Reid asked if the incident "freaked her out", so which Lohan replied: "It did, I'm from New York, I was born and raised there so I was a little intimidated."

    She went on to enquire whether Lohan was considering converting to Islam, having discussed studying the faith. The actor replied that she was undecided but "out of respect to certain countries that I go to, I feel more comfortable acting the same as the other women. That's just a personal respect issue for me."

    A spokeswoman for Heathrow airport said: "Heathrow respects the cultural and religious needs of all passengers travelling through the airport. We work hard to provide our passengers with great service while ensuring everyone remains safe and secure."

    A Home Office spokeswoman added: "Those who land at a UK airport to catch a connecting flight would usually have their documentation checked."


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    Theresa May wants British people to feel 'pride' in the Balfour Declaration.

    What exactly is there to be proud of?

    Balfour initiated a policy of British support for Israel which continues to this very day, to the detriment of the occupied Palestinians of the West Bank and the five million Palestinian refugees living largely in warrens of poverty around the Middle East, including Israeli-besieged Gaza. Surely we should apologise

    Theresa May told us that Britain will celebrate the centenary of the Balfour Declaration this summer with “pride”. This was predictable. A British prime minister who would fawn to the head-chopping Arab autocrats of the Gulf in the hope of selling them more missiles – and then hold the hand of the insane new anti-Muslim president of the United States – was bound, I suppose, to feel “pride” in the most mendacious, deceitful and hypocritical document in modern British history.

    As a woman who has set her heart against immigrants, it was also inevitable that May would display her most venal characteristics to foreigners – to wealthy Arab potentates, and to an American president whose momentary love of Britain might produce a life-saving post-Brexit trade agreement. It was to an audience of British lobbyists for Israel a couple of months ago that she expressed her “pride” in a century-old declaration which created millions of refugees. But to burnish the 1917 document which promised Britain’s support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine but which would ultimately create that very refugee population – refugees being the target of her own anti-immigration policies – is little short of iniquitous.

    The Balfour Declaration’s intrinsic lie – that while Britain supported a Jewish homeland, nothing would be done “which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine” – is matched today by the equally dishonest response of Balfour’s lamentable successor at the Foreign Office. Boris Johnson wrote quite accurately two years ago that the Balfour Declaration was “bizarre”, a “tragicomically incoherent” document, “an exquisite piece of Foreign Office fudgerama”. But in a subsequent visit to Israel, the profit-hunting Mayor of London suddenly discovered that the Balfour Declaration was “a great thing” that “reflected a great tide of history”. No doubt we shall hear more of this same nonsense from Boris Johnson later this year.

    Although the Declaration itself has been parsed, de-semanticised, romanticised, decrypted, decried, cursed and adored for 100 years, its fraud is easy to detect: it made two promises which were fundamentally opposed to each other – and thus one of them, to the Arabs (aka “the existing non-Jewish communities”), would be broken. The descendants of these victims, the Palestinian Arabs, are now threatening to sue the British government over this pernicious piece of paper, a hopeless and childish response to history. The Czechs might equally sue the British for Chamberlain’s Munich agreement, which allowed Hitler to destroy their country. The Palestinians would also like an apology – since the British have always found apologies cheaper than law courts. The British have grown used to apologising – for the British empire, for the slave trade, for the Irish famine. So why not for Balfour? Yes, but.... Theresa May needs the Israelis far more than she needs the Palestinians.

    Balfour’s 1917 declaration, of course, was an attempt to avoid disaster in the First World War by encouraging the Jews of Russia and America to support the Allies against Germany. Balfour wanted to avoid defeat just as Chamberlain later wanted to avoid war. But – and this is the point – Munich was resolved by the destruction of Hitler. Balfour initiated a policy of British support for Israel which continues to this very day, to the detriment of the occupied Palestinians of the West Bank and the five million Palestinian refugees living largely in warrens of poverty around the Middle East, including Israeli-besieged Gaza.

    This is the theme of perhaps the most dramatic centenary account of the Balfour Declaration, to be published this summer by David Cronin (in his book Balfour’s Shadow: A Century of British Support for Zionism and Israel), an Irish journalist and author living in Brussels whose previous investigation of the European Union’s craven support for Israel’s military distinguished him from the work of more emotional (and thus more inaccurate) writers. Cronin has no time for Holocaust deniers or anti-Semites. While rightly dismissing the silly idea that the Palestinian Grand Mufti, Haj Amin al Husseini, inspired the Holocaust of the Jews of Europe, he does not duck Haj Amin’s poisonous alliance with Hitler. Israel’s post-war creation as a nation state, as one Israeli historian observed, may not have been just – but it was legal. And Israel does legally exist within the borders acknowledged by the rest of the world.

    There lies the present crisis for us all: for the outrageous right-wing government of Benjamin Netanyahu is speeding on with the mass colonisation of Arab land in territory which is not part of Israel, and on property which has been stolen from its Arab owners. These owners are the descendants of the “non-Jewish communities” whose rights, according to Balfour, should not be “prejudiced” by “the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine. But Balfour’s own prejudice was perfectly clear. The Jewish people would have a “national home” – ie, a nation – in Palestine, while the Arabs, according to his declaration, were mere “communities”. And as Balfour wrote to his successor Curzon two years later, “Zionism … is … of far profounder import than the desires and prejudices [sic] of 700,000 Arabs who now inhabit that ancient land”.

    Cronin’s short book, however, shows just how we have connived in this racism ever since. He outlines the mass British repression of Arabs in the 1930s – including extrajudicial executions and torture by the British army – when the Arabs feared, with good reason, that they would ultimately be dispossessed of their lands by Jewish immigrants. As Arthur Wauchope, the Palestine High Commissioner, would write, “the subject that fills the minds of all Arabs today is … the dread that in time to come they will be a subject race living on sufferance in Palestine, with the Jews dominant in every sphere, land, trade and political life”. How right they were.

    Even before Britain’s retreat from Palestine, Attlee and his Cabinet colleagues were discussing a plan which would mean the “ethnic cleansing” of tens of thousands of Palestinians from their land. In 1944, a Labour Party statement had talked thus of Jewish immigration: “Let the Arabs be encouraged to move out as the Jews move in.” By 1948, Labour, now in government, was announcing it had no power to prevent money being channelled from London to Jewish groups who would, within a year, accomplish their own “ethnic cleansing”, a phrase in common usage for this period since Israeli historian Illan Pappe (now, predictably, an exile from his own land) included it in the title of his best-known work.

    The massacre of hundreds of Palestinian civilians at Deir Yassin was committed while thousands of British troops were still in the country. Cronin’s investigation of Colonial Office files show that the British military lied about the “cleansing” of Haifa, offering no protection to the Arabs, a policy largely followed across Palestine save for the courage of Major Derek Cooper and his soldiers, whose defence of Arab civilians in Jaffa won him the Military Cross (although David Cronin does not mention this). Cooper, whom I got to know when he was caring for wounded Palestinians in Beirut in 1982, never forgave his own government for its dishonesty at the end of the Palestine Mandate.

    Cronin’s value, however, lies in his further research into British support for Israel, its constant arms re-supplies to Israel, its 1956 connivance with the Israelis over Suez – during which Israeli troops massacred in the Gaza camp of Khan Younis, according to a UN report, 275 Palestinian civilians, of whom 140 were refugees from the 1948 catastrophe. Many UN-employed Palestinians, an American military officer noted at the time, “are believed to have been executed by the Israelis”. Britain’s subsequent export of submarines and hundreds of Centurion tanks to Israel was shrugged off with the same weasel-like excuses that British governments have ever since used to sell trillions of dollars of weapons to Israelis and Arabs alike: that if Britain didn’t arm them, others would.

    In opposition in 1972, Harold Wilson claimed it was “utterly unreal” to call for an Israeli withdrawal from land occupied in the 1967 war, adding that “Israel’s reaction is natural and proper in refusing to accept the Palestinians as a nation”. When the Palestinians first demanded a secular one-state solution to Palestine, they were denounced by a British diplomat (Anthony Parsons) who said that “a multinational, secular state” would be “wholly incompatible with our attitude toward Israel”. Indeed it would. When the PLO opposed Britain’s Falklands conflict, the Foreign Office haughtily admonished the Palestinians – it was “far removed” from their “legitimate concerns”, it noted – although it chose not to reveal that Argentine air force Skyhawk jets supplied by Israel were used to attack UK forces, and that Israel’s military supplies to Argentina continued during the war.

    A year later, Margaret Thatcher, according to a note by Douglas Hurd, included “armed action against military targets of the occupying power” as a definition of “terrorism”. So the Palestinians could not even resist their direct occupiers without being criminals.

    On an official visit to Israel in 1986, Thatcher said that she regarded discussion of Jerusalem as “internal politics”. In 2001, Tony Blair’s government granted 90 arms exports licences to Israel for “defensive” weapons – including torpedoes, armoured vehicles, bombs and missiles. There is much, much more of this in Cronin’s book, including Blair’s useless and disgraceful period as “peace” envoy to the Middle East and the growing business contracts between British companies and Israeli arms providers – to the extent that the British army ended up deploying Israeli-made drones in the skies of Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Outside the EU, Theresa May’s Britain will maintain its close relations with Israel as a priority; hence May’s stated desire less than a month ago to sign a bilateral free trade agreement with Israel. This coincided with an Israeli attack on Gaza and a Knesset vote to confiscate – ie, steal – yet more lands from Palestinians in the West Bank.

    From the day that Herbert Samuel, deputy leader of the Liberal Party and former (Jewish) High Commissioner for Palestine, said in the House of Commons in 1930 that Arabs “do migrate easily”, it seems that Britain has faithfully followed Balfour’s policies. More than 750,000 Palestinians were uprooted in their catastrophe, Cronin writes. Generations of dispossessed would grow up in the camps. Today, there are around five million registered Palestinian refugees. Britain was the midwife of that expulsion.

    And this summer, we shall again be exhorted by Theresa May to remember the Balfour Declaration with “pride”.


  18. #78
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    The struggle to be British: my life as a second-class citizen

    After arriving in Britain as a child, I fought hard to feel like I belonged. Now it feels that the status of migrants like me is permanently up for review

    I used my British passport for the first time on a January morning in 2002, to board a Eurostar train to Paris. I was taking a paper on the French Revolution for my history A-level and was on a trip to explore the key sites of the period, including a visit to Louis XIV’s chateau at Versailles. When I arrived at Gare du Nord I felt a tingle of nerves cascade through my body: I had become a naturalised British citizen only the year before. As I got closer to border control my palms became sweaty, clutching my new passport. A voice inside told me the severe-looking French officers would not accept that I really was British and would not allow me to enter France. To my great surprise, they did.

    Back then, becoming a British citizen was a dull bureaucratic procedure. When my family arrived as refugees from Somalia’s civil war, a few days after Christmas 1994, we were processed at the airport, and then largely forgotten. A few years after I got my passport all that changed. From 2004, adults who applied for British citizenship were required to attend a ceremony; to take an oath of allegiance to the monarch and make a pledge to the UK.

    These ceremonies, organised by local authorities in town halls up and down the country, marked a shift in how the British state viewed citizenship.

    Before, it was a result of how long you had stayed in Britain – now it was supposed to be earned through active participation in society. In 2002, the government had also introduced a “life in the UK” test for prospective citizens. The tests point to something important: being a citizen on paper is not the same as truly belonging. Official Britain has been happy to celebrate symbols of multiculturalism – the curry house and the Notting Hill carnival – while ignoring the divisions between communities. Nor did the state give much of a helping hand to newcomers: there was little effort made to help families like mine learn English.

    But in the last 15 years, citizenship, participation and “shared values” have been given ever more emphasis. They have also been accompanied by a deepening atmosphere of suspicion around people of Muslim background, particularly those who were born overseas or hold dual nationality. This is making people like me, who have struggled to become British, feel like second-class citizens.

    When I arrived in Britain aged nine,
    I spoke no English and knew virtually nothing about this island. My family was moved into a run-down hostel on London’s Camden Road, which housed refugees – Kurds, Bosnians, Kosovans. Spending my first few months in Britain among other new arrivals was an interesting experience. Although, like my family, they were Muslim, their habits were different to ours. The Balkan refugees liked to drink vodka. After some months we had to move, this time to Colindale in north London.

    Colindale was home to a large white working-class community, and our arrival was met with hostility. There were no warm welcomes from the locals, just a cold thud. None of my family spoke English, but I had soon mastered a few phrases in my new tongue: “Excuse me”, “How much is this?”, “Can I have …?”, “Thank you”. It was enough to allow us to navigate our way through the maze of shops in Grahame Park, the largest council estate in Barnet. This estate had opened in 1971, conceived as a garden city, but by the mid-1990s it had fallen into decay and isolation. This brick city became our home. As with other refugee communities before us, Britain had been generous in giving Somalis sanctuary, but was too indifferent to help us truly join in. Families like mine were plunged into unfamiliar cities, alienated and unable to make sense of our new homes. For us, there were no guidebooks on how to fit into British society or a map of how to become a citizen.

    My family – the only black family on our street – stuck out like a sore thumb. Some neighbours would throw rubbish into our garden, perhaps because they disapproved of our presence. That first winter in Britain was brutal for us. We had never experienced anything like it and my lips cracked. But whenever it snowed I would run out to the street, stand in the cold, chest out and palms ready to meet the sky, and for the first time feel the sensation of snowflakes on my hands. The following summer I spent my days blasting Shaggy’s Boombastic on my cherished cassette player. But I also realised just how different I was from the children around me. Though most of them were polite, others called me names I did not understand. At the playground they would not let me join in their games – instead they would stare at me. I knew then, aged 11, that there was a distance between them and me, which even childhood curiosity could not overcome.

    Although it was hard for me to fit in and make new friends, at least my English was improving. This was not the case for the rest of my family, so they held on to each other, afraid of what was outside our four walls. It was mundane growing up in working-class suburbia: we rarely left our street, except for occasional visits to the Indian cash-and-carry in Kingsbury to buy lamb, cumin and basmati rice. Sometimes one of our neighbours would swerve his van close to the pavement edge if it rained and he happened to spot my mother walking past, so he could splash her long dirac and hijab with dirty water. If he succeeded, he would lean out of the window, thumbs up, laughing hysterically. My mother’s response was always the same. She would walk back to the house, grab a towel and dry herself.

    At secondary school in Edgware, the children were still mostly white, but there was a sizeable minority of Sikhs and Hindus. My new classmates would laugh at how I pronounced certain English words. I couldn’t say “congratulations” properly, the difficult part being the “gra”. I would perform saying that word, much to the amusement of my classmates. As the end of term approached, my classmates would ask where I was going on holiday. I would tell them, “Nowhere”, adding, “I don’t have a passport”.

    When I was in my early teens, we were rehoused and I had to move to the south Camden Community school in Somers Town. There, a dozen languages were spoken and you could count the number of white students in my year on two hands. There was tension in the air and pupils were mostly segregated along ethnic lines – Turks, Bengalis, English, Somalis, Portuguese. Turf wars were not uncommon and fights broke out at the school gates. The British National party targeted the area in the mid-1990s, seeking to exploit the murder of a white teenager by a Bengali gang. At one point a halal butcher was firebombed.

    Though I grew up minutes from the centre of Europe’s biggest city, I rarely ventured far beyond my own community. For us, there were no trips to museums, seaside excursions or cinema visits. MTV Base, the chicken shop and McDonald’s marked my teen years. I had little connection to other parts of Britain, beyond the snippets of middle-class life I observed via my white teachers. And I was still living with refugee documents, given “indefinite leave to remain” that could still be revoked at some future point. I realised then that no amount of identification with my new-found culture could make up for the reality that, without naturalisation, I was not considered British.

    At 16, I took my GCSEs and got the grades to leave behind one of the worst state schools in London for one of the best: the mixed sixth form at Camden School for Girls. Most of the teens at my new school had previously attended some of Britain’s best private schools – City of London, Westminster, Highgate – and were in the majority white and middle-class.

    It was strange to go from a Muslim-majority school to a sixth form where the children of London’s liberal set attended: only a mile apart, but worlds removed. I am not certain my family understood this change. My cousins thought it was weird that I did not attend the local college, but my old teachers insisted I go to the sixth form if I wanted to get into a good university. A few days after starting there, I got my naturalisation certificate, which opened the way for me to apply for my British passport.

    Around the time I became a British citizen,
    the political mood had started to shift. In the summer of 2001, Britain experienced its worst race riots in a generation. These riots, involving white and Asian communities in towns in the north-west of England, were short but violent. They provoked a fraught public conversation on Muslims’ perceived lack of integration, and how we could live together in a multi-ethnic society. This conversation was intensified by the 9/11 attacks in the US. President George W Bush’s declaration of a “war on terror” created a binary between the good and the bad immigrant, and the moderate and the radical Muslim. The London bombings of 7 July 2005 added yet more intensity to the conversation in Britain.

    Politicians from across the spectrum agreed that a shared British identity was important, but they couldn’t agree on what that might be. In 2004, the Conservative leader Michael Howard had referred to “The British dream” when speaking about his Jewish immigrant roots. After 2005, he wrote in the Guardian that the tube attacks had “shattered” complacency about Britain’s record on integration. Britain had to face “the terrible truth of being the first western country to have suffered terrorist attacks perpetrated by ‘home-grown’ suicide bombers – born and educated in Britain”. Many commentators questioned whether being a Muslim and British were consistent identities; indeed whether Islam itself was compatible with liberal democracy.

    Howard defined a shared identity through institutions such as democracy, monarchy, the rule of law and a national history. But others argued that making a checklist was a very un-British thing to do. Labour’s Gordon Brown, in a 2004 article for the Guardian, wrote that liberty, tolerance and fair play were the core values of Britishness. While acknowledging such values exist in other cultures and countries, he went on to say that when these values are combined together they make a “distinctive Britishness that has been manifest throughout our history and has shaped it”.

    For me, at least, becoming a British citizen was a major milestone. It not only signalled that I felt increasingly British but that I now had the legal right to feel this way.

    But my new identity was less secure than I realised. Only a few months after my trip to Paris, the Blair government decided to use a little-known law – the 1914 British Nationality and Status of Aliens Act – to revoke the citizenship of naturalised British persons, largely in terrorism cases. Before 1914, British citizenship, once obtained, could only be given up voluntarily by an individual, but that changed with the advent of the first world war. According to the Oxford politics professor Matthew Gibney, the 1914 act was a response to anti-German sentiment and fears about the loyalty of people with dual British-German citizenship. A further law, passed in 1918, created new and wide-ranging grounds to revoke citizenship.

    In theory, since 1918, the home secretary has had the power to remove a naturalised person or dual-nationality-holder’s British citizenship if it was considered “conducive to the public good”, but a 1981 law prevented them from doing so if it made the person stateless. Since 9/11, that restraint has been gradually abandoned.

    In 2006, the home secretary was given further powers to revoke British citizenship. At the time, the government sought to allay concerns about misuse of these powers. “The secretary of state cannot make an order on a whim,” the home office minister Angela Eagle had said when the law was first proposed, “and he will be subject to judicial oversight when he makes an order”.

    Although the post-9/11 measures were initially presented as temporary, they have become permanent. And the home secretary can strip people of their citizenship without giving a clear reason. No court approval is required, and the person concerned does not need to have committed a crime. The practice is growing. Under Labour, just five people had their citizenship removed, but when Theresa May was at the Home Office, 70 people were stripped of their citizenship, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. Yet these near-arbitrary powers have caused remarkably little concern.

    People have largely accepted
    these new powers because they are presented as a way to keep the country safe from terrorism. After 9/11, the public became more aware of the Islamist preachers who had made London their home in the preceding decades. Abu Hamza, who was then the imam of Finsbury Park mosque, and became a notorious figure in the media, was, like me, a naturalised British citizen. For several years as a teenager, I attended the Finsbury Park mosque. It was small; I remember the smell of tea, incense and feet that greeted you every time you walked in. I also remember the eclectic mix of worshippers who visited – Algerians, Afghans, Somalis and Moroccans. Unlike Muslims of south-Asian background, few of these people had longstanding colonial ties to Britain. Most had fled civil war in their home countries, while some of the North Africans had left France because they felt it treated Muslims too harshly. The mosque was not affiliated with the Muslim Association of Britain, and its preachers promoted a Salafi form of Islam.

    I remember Abu Hamza as a larger-than-life character, whose presence dominated mosque life, especially at Friday prayers when he would go into very long sermons – usually about the dangers of becoming too British. Attending this mosque was like being cocooned from the realities of modern life. I recall Abu Hamza once going off about how, as young Muslim teens, we were not to follow the “kuffar” in their habit of engaging in premarital sex. For much of my teens, this mosque held a kind of control over me, based on fear. That changed when I moved to my new sixth form and felt able to start exploring the world for myself, and began to realise that I could be secular, liberal and humanist.

    I went in one direction, but other people I knew chose different paths. Before 2001, I don’t recall many women wearing the niqab, but as the years wore on it became a more common sight on the streets of London. My sister even began to wear one – contrary to media stereotypes of women being coerced, she chose to, as did many of the young women I had gone to school with. The way that young Muslims practised Islam in Britain changed, in line with global developments. They dropped the varied cultural baggage of their parents’ versions of the religion and began a journey to a distinct British Islam – something that connected the Somali refugee and the second-generation Bangladeshi, the Irish and Jamaican converts.

    Some of the white working-class kids I grew up with converted to Islam. Daniel became Yusef and Emma became Khadija. Before I knew it, they were giving me advice about how Muslims should behave. I observed this role reversal with amusement. One boy in particular would preach to me while incessantly saying “bruv”. I also saw the young men I had grown up with move away from a life sat on bikes wearing hoods under bridges in Camden listening to grime, to practising their Islam more visibly. Out went the sneaky pints, spliffs and casual sex. Now it was beards, sermons about the faith and handing out Islamic leaflets on street corners. But I did not heed their words. When I was 16 I stopped attending the mosque and I began to question my faith.

    Mahdi Hashi was one of the young men I grew up with. Hashi was another child refugee from Somalia. As a teenager he used to complain that he was being followed by the British security services. He said they wanted to make him an informant. Hashi was not alone. In 2009, he and other young Muslim men from Camden took their allegations to the press. One said that a man posing as a postal worker turned up at his door and told him that if he did not cooperate with the security services, then his safety could not be guaranteed if he ever left Britain.

    For most newcomers,
    citizenship is not just confirmation of an identity, it is also about protection: that you will be guaranteed rights and treated according to the law. Hashi lost that protection. In 2009, he left for Somalia because, his family say, of harassment by the security services. In June 2012, his family received a letter informing them that he was to lose his British citizenship. Later that summer Hashi turned up in Djibouti, a tiny former French colony on the Red Sea. He was arrested. He alleges that he was threatened with physical abuse and rape if he did not cooperate with authorities in Djibouti – and he alleges that US officials questioned him. In November 2012, he was given over to the Americans and taken to the US without any formal extradition proceedings. In 2016, Hashi was sentenced in New York to nine years in prison for allegedly supporting the jihadist group al-Shabaab. He will be deported to Somalia upon his release.

    Hashi’s case is not unique. Bilal Berjawi, who came to Britain from Lebanon as a child, had his British citizenship revoked in 2012 and was killed in a US drone strike on the outskirts of Mogadishu. His friend Mohamed Sakr, who held dual British-Egyptian nationality, was also killed by a drone strike in Somalia after he had been stripped of his UK citizenship. Together with a third friend, the two young men had visited Tanzania in 2009 on what they claimed was a safari trip, but were arrested, accused of trying to reach Somalia and returned to the UK. The third friend was Mohammed Emwazi, now better known as the Isis executioner “Jihadi John”.

    The war in Syria, and the attraction that Isis and other jihadist groups hold for a small minority of British Muslims, has led to a further increase in citizenship-stripping. In 2013 Theresa May, who was then home secretary, removed the citizenship of 13 people who had left for Syria. The government has a duty to protect people, but the tool it is using will have wider, damaging consequences.

    The right of newcomers to be considered
    fully British has been a long struggle. The first border controls of the 20th century were introduced to stop the movement of “alien” Jewish refugees from eastern Europe. In 1948, the British Nationality Act gave citizenship to anyone who had been a subject of empire, but those black and Asian migrants who took up the offer – indeed, who often thought of themselves as British – were met with shocking racism: with “no Irish, no blacks, no dogs”. The 1962 Immigration Act began to limit the citizenship rights of people from the non-white colonies, and by the 1982 Act it was all over.

    Now we are caught in a paradox, where the state is demanding more effort than ever on the part of the migrant to integrate, but your citizenship is never fully guaranteed. Fifteen years on from the events of 9/11, gaining British citizenship is a much tougher process. And becoming a naturalised citizen is no longer a guarantee against the political whims of the day: you are, in effect, a second-class citizen. Citizenship-stripping is now a fixture of the state, and it is defended in the usual vein, which is to say: “If you have not done anything wrong, you have nothing to fear.” The usual caveat is that this concerns terrorists and criminals – a red herring that masks the true purpose of such laws, which is to empower the state at the expense of ordinary people. The philosopher Hannah Arendt memorably described citizenship as “the right to have rights”, but for people of migrant background such as myself, this is being eroded. We are not a small group: according to the 2011 census, there are 3.4 million naturalised Brits.

    As I was writing this piece, Donald Trump issued his executive order that bans people from seven majority-Muslim countries, including Somalia, from entering the US – even if they hold dual nationality. I happened to be visiting New York at the time, and the ban has left me wondering if I will ever be allowed to again. Despite assurances from Britain’s government, it remains unclear whether the ban applies to people who hold a British passport, but were born overseas. Trump’s ban did not happen in a vacuum: there is a thread linking the anti-terror policies of western governments and this extreme new step.

    Today, I no longer feel so safe in my status as a naturalised British citizen, and it is not just the UK. In other liberal democracies such as Australia and Canada, moves are under way to enable citizenship-stripping – sending people like me a clear message that our citizenship is permanently up for review.


  19. #79
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    Muslim Dragged by Beard in Hate Attack

    Edinburgh taxi driver dragged from motor by beard by TEN thugs in crazed race hate attack

    By THOMAS BROWN - 6th March 2017

    A TAXI driver was dragged from his motor by the beard in a crazed race hate attack.

    Dad-of-one Sikondor Ullah, 37, who is from Bangladesh, was assaulted by a group of around ten teenagers while picking up a fare in West Pilton Place, Edinburgh on Sunday night.

    After blocking the road, the posse of boys and girls, opened his doors before pulling him out the car by his beard.

    The group ransacked the Vauxhall Insignia before jumping on it and smashing the windscreen.

    The shocking attack happened just a few hundred yards from where a Chinese takeaway owner was stabbed in the throat and left for dead in a previous racist attack.

    Speaking at his home in Edinburgh, Sikondor yesterday told how he believes he was attacked because of his ethnicity.

    He said “This has really shaken me up as nothing like this has ever happened to me before.

    “I was on my way to pick up customers when this group of ten to twelve people appeared on the road.

    “They were around sixteen to twenty year olds. They blocked the road and then they walked towards the car before opening the doors.

    “I jumped out to close the doors and that’s when they noticed I was Asian.

    “As I pulled up to the house I was picking up from the group reappeared.

    “They came to the driver’s door and opened it and reached in and grabbed my beard and pulled me out the car.

    “Four of them were trying to get me out the car others were searching through the car as one jumped on the bonnet.”

    He added: “The guys that had me were pulling at my beard, my hat and shirt. I couldn’t get away from them.

    “The one who was jumping on my car then started kicking the windscreen until it smashed.

    “Once they had done this they all ran away.

    “I am certain they done this because I am different from them, because I am from Bangladesh.”

    As well as smashing his car the thugs stole £150 that was in the car and a few other items.

    The shocked driver managed to raise the alarm and call the Police but by the time they arrived the group had disappeared.

    This is the second race attack in recent years in the tough scheme.


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    White Terrorist Wanted to Introduce "Bomb a Mosque Day"

    Racist who wanted to introduce "bomb a mosque day" admits stirring up religious hatred online

    by Flora Thompson - 3/7/2017

    A RACIST who suggested Britain should introduce "bomb a mosque day" has admitted stirring up religious hatred online.

    Nigel Pelham also wrote a post on Facebook which invited people to "put a Muslim on top of a bonfire."

    The unemployed 49-year-old pleaded guilty to eight counts of publishing threatening written material intending to stir up religious hatred between February 24, 2015 and November 16, 2015, at Lewes Crown Court yesterday.

    Pelham, of Freehold Street, Shoreham, previously denied the actions when he appeared before magistrates in Worthing last month.

    He was arrested on March 30 last year after being reported to the police on March 21.

    He was released on bail until he is sentenced on April 4


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