Islamic Human Rights Commission
20th December 2005
Press Release: Christmas, Islamophobia and Political Correctness
The Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) noted the recent divergence between the present and previous Archbishop of Canterbury. This divergence provides an insight into the operation of Islamophobia at a very public level and at a time of cultural and religious importance.
The erstwhile leader of the Church of England lambasted political correctness at Christmas as a result of “nervousness at the visibility of Muslims”. His successor, Archbishop Williams, whilst also condemning ‘political correctness’ rightly identified, religious communities of various faiths’ preference for Christmas to be a religious occasion rather than a mid-winter celebration.
In attributing the demise of Christmas as a religious occasion to Muslims, Lord Carey has reiterated stereotypes about Muslims and their views as detrimental to a sense of Britishness insofar as it is tied to Christianity (some 70%+ of census respondents identified themselves as Christian.)
Chair of IHRC, Massoud Shadjareh said:
“Lord Carey’s comments, coming in the wake of IHRC’s Islamophobia Awards begs the question whether Lord Carey perhaps was aggrieved not to be nominated again. Sadly his comments once more create a public perception of Muslims and Islam as intrinsically hostile to this country’s culture. In acclimate where Muslims face increasing hostility and hatred such calculated comments in public are dangerous.”
Lord Carey was nominated in the 2004 ISlamophobia Awards for his criticism of Islam and Muslims as having had nothing to contribute world to civilisation in the past few centuries.
This Saturday saw the announcement of the winners of the 2005 Islamophobia Awards. Members of the public nominated and voted for the worst Islamophobes of the year by region. Awards were also given to those who had battled Islamophobia in the previous year.
The winners of the worst Islamophobes were:
Sir Ian Blair. For his shoot-to-kill policy and other policies that profile and target Muslims.
On reasons why the extension for detention without trial trial shou dbe extended from 14 days to 90 days, Blair:
\\\”… explained that two weeks were insufficient to question terror suspects …because some witnesses need time for prayer.\\\”
Middles East & Africa
Joint Winners: UK & British Special Forces and Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi. For abuses committed as a result of the dehumanisation of Muslims in Iraq.
Australasia & Asia
(Australian Prime Minister) For Muslim profiling, demonising Muslims and trageting Muslims through anti-terror laws.
After 9/11, Howard said:
“They [Muslims] must have known of the attack, it couldn’t be possible”.
Europe & Russia
For his war in the Republic of Chechnya of the Russian Federation and his ongoing crusade against Islam and Muslims, including his support for Uzbekistan’s Islam Karimov.
George W. Bush, for everything.
Islamophobe of the Year
Tony Blair, for his demonisation of Muslims, particularly after 7/7 e.g.
“Neither is it true that they have no demands. They do. It is just that no sane person would negotiate on them.
“They demand the elimination of Israel; the withdrawal of all Westerners from Muslim countries,…the establishment of effectively Taleban states and Sharia law in the Arab world en route to one caliphate of all Muslim nations.
“We don\\\’t have to wonder what type of country those states would be. Afghanistan was such a state. Girls put out of school.
“Women denied even rudimentary rights. People living in abject poverty and oppression. All of it justified by reference to religious faith.
“…This is a religious ideology, a strain within the world-wide religion of Islam,.. But do not let us underestimate it or dismiss it.
“Those who kill in its name believe genuinely that in doing it, they do God\\\’s work; they go to paradise.”
Speech on London Bombings, 16th July 2005
Awards for Battling Islamophobia
Those acknowledged for battling against Islamophobia were:
Rik Remmery (Belgium). Remmery refused to sack a worker at his factory who wore hijab (Islamic head covering), despite receiving death threats including bullets in the post, and a notice of a 250,000 Euro bounty on his head.
Maria Vamvakinou (Australian MP). Vamvakinou spoke courageously and prophetically in the Australian parliament against calls for hijab to be banned at school and against the vilification of Muslims by politicians and press, stating that it provoked backlash and could tear the fabric of Australian society.
Keith Shilson (UK). Shilson is the President of Middlesex University Students’ Union and refused to cancel a debate at which Muslim group HizbutTahrir were invited to present their case. The University suspended Shilson’s students status as a result.
Neturei Karta. This Orthodox Jewish organization has campaigned tirelessly with against Israeli atrocities and Zionism. Rabbis from NK USA and UK have worked with Muslims on the Palestinian issue and have done much to explode the myth that Muslims – particularly religious Muslims – are inherently anti-Semitic.
Maryam Hafezji (UK). Mrs. Hafezji is a resident of North London, who has had to battle against Islamophobic harassment by neighbours for two year, during which time the local police failed to take adequate notice. During this time, Mrs. Hafezji has resisted pressure to be bought out from her home o remove as a result of the harassment, and eventually succeeded in spurring the police into action after CCTV footage of the attacks on her home and the threats she received were broadcast on Channel 4 news. [END]
Islamic Human Rights Commission
PO Box 598
Telephone (+44) 20 8904 4222
Fax (+44) 20 8904 5183