Islamic Human Rights Commission
‘No Place In Europe for Muslims and Mosques’
C18 target Muslims as the enemy – what action from police and government?
IHRC has written to Home Secretary Jack Straw asking for increased protection for Muslim communities of whatever racial background as well as all ethnic communities in the light of the recent racist attacks in Brixton and Brick Lane.
Racist literature from ‘Combat 18’ attached to the letter, cites Muslims as ‘filthy scum,’ ‘desert wogs,’ ‘treacherous,’ and ‘the real enemy.’ It glorifies indicted war criminals, particularly Arkan as heroes, and claims that its volunteers have helped the Serbs during their campaigns of ‘ethnic cleansing’ in Bosnia. Other groups have for some time been calling on the Home Office to recognise Islamophobia and religious discrimination and persecution as an increasing phenomenon in British society.
The nail-bombs of the last ten days, have shown that the ethnic community and Muslims in particular are vulnerable to grotesque, terrorist violence whilst official recognition of the growing threat has been slow in coming. In its letter to Jack Straw, IHRC writes:
“It is clear…that ‘Combat 18’ very clearly target Muslims, and that their sympathies, indeed their manpower support Serbian war criminals in their genocidal aims. Given the current action in Kosova, the contents of this literature which indeed cites Kosova as the next ‘battleground’, and recent local events, we are requesting your office to urgently address the threat to Muslim communities (from whatever racial background) as well as all ethnic communities in this country.
In the first instance, it seems appropriate that there should be immediate attempts to improve security for Muslim and ethnic areas, symbols, sites and organisations. In the long run however, we can only once more ask for what many groups from different racial, confessional and political backgrounds have been asking for from your office – namely legislation to protect and prevent discrimination against religious communities.”
Journalists such as Faisal Bodi of Q-News have been researching the growing threat from far-right groups to the ethnic community, and their increased concentration on Muslims. According to Bodi:
“This is just the latest in a long line of incidents which are growing in their seriousness in which Muslims have been victims of racist groups. If anything, it shows that Muslims are the victims, and not the perpetrators, as often portrayed, of extreme activities. It is time the government looked seriously at providing recourse in law for Muslims and other religious groups. Whilst ethnic communities have race law protection, a crime against a Muslim because s/he is a Muslim is not an aggravating factor for courts to take into consideration, when considering the nature and seriousness of a crime. In the light of such literature and threats this position is no longer tenable for the government to hold.”
IHRC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
Islamic Human Rights Commission
PO Box 598
Telephone: (+44) 20 8904 4222