Islamic Human Rights Commission
2nd June 2003
Winners of the ‘Annual Islamophobia Awards’
Saturday evening saw a dazzling evening of fun, food and entertainment at the Islamic Centre of England in Maida Vale, as the Islamic Human Rights Commission held the first ever ‘Annual Islamophobia Awards.’ Those deemed to be the worst Islamophobes were acknowledged at this satirical event. Nominated by the public and selected by a panel of judges, the winners were:
1)\’Most Islamophobic British Politician of the Year\’ award: Nick Griffin, leader of the British National Party, and David Blunkett, British Home Secretary (joint winners)
2)\’Most Islamophobic International Politician\’: Ariel Sharon, Israeli Prime Minister
3)\’Most Islamophobic Media Personality\’: Melanie Philips, Daily Mail columnist
4)\’Most Islamophobic Media\’: Fox Network News
5) \’Islamophobe of the Year\’: George Bush Jnr, President of the USA
IHRC’s aim with this event was to use comedy to subvert the insidiousness of Islamophobia, and raise awareness of the growing problem of anti-Muslim hatred. In an interview with the UK’s Channel 4 News, IHRC chairman Massoud Shadjareh stated regarding the joint award for Blunkett and Griffin:
“We are seeing an increasing rise in the popularity of the far-right British National Party and National Front. Instead of addressing this the government has chosen to go down the same route.”
A post-event review will appear shortly on the IHRC website, as well as in various media, written by the acclaimed Sir Cam. Prime TV will also be broadcasting a recording of the event. Parts of the presentation will also be available on-line in the near future.
An article from last week’s Financial Times follows. If you would like more information about the event please contact the office on (+44) 20 8902 0888 email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Blunkett voted most Islamophobic
By Jimmy Burns, Social Affairs Correspondent
Financial Times, 30th May 2003
David Blunkett, the home secretary, has been voted the most Islamophobic British politician in a web-based survey conducted by one of the Muslim community’s leading human rights organisations.
Mr. Blunkett will be formally declared joint-winner of the category with Nick Griffin, the leader of the British National Party, at a fundraising banquet to be held to be held in west London tomorrow. Neither man has been invited but organisers plan to send them a certificate.
Of those who took part in the poll, 500 nominated Mr. Blunkett – more than for any other politician. Mr. Griffin cam a close second and a panel of judges made up of Muslim lawyers and social workers named them joint winners.
The survey was conducted by the Islamic Human Rights Commission, a London-based independent research and advocacy group that is recognised as a representative organisation by Whitehall and police in its dealings with the Muslim community.
Massoud Shadjareh, the chairman of the commission, said the awards were aimed to take a “satirical look at something which is seriously felt…it’s an alternative to demonstrating but it is sending out a clear message: the Muslim community is watching and listening to what you are saying”.
According to Mr. Shadjareh, the voting reflected a widely held feeling among Muslims that they were being victimised by Mr. Blunkett’s published statements and anti-terrorist and asylum laws including powers aimed at revoking citizenship from holders of dual nationality. He said voting for Mr. Griffen had come as no surprise.
A Home Office spokesman said last night “to suggest that the home secretary is Ialamophobic is ridiculous and offensive”. She said he had recognised the contribution the Muslim community made to British society “on many occasions”.[END]
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