Thursday, May 3, 2012

Forensic and Prison Psychiatry News Review - P.3 - 3:47 PM 5/3/2012 - Post 3 | Conrad Black release ends sorry saga - Financial Times | Osama bin Laden's last words go online - via Prison News - Mike Nova's starred items - 2:17 PM 5/3/2012

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Forensic and Prison Psychiatry News Review - 3:47 PM 5/3/2012 - Post 3

via Prison News on 5/3/12
In letters from his last hideout, Osama bin Laden fretted about dysfunction in his terrorist network and crumbling trust from Muslims he wished to incite against their government and the West.

via prisons - Google News on 5/3/12

Toronto Star




Conrad Black release ends sorry saga
Financial Times
By Hal Weitzman in Chicago When Conrad Black is released from a Florida prison on Friday, it will cap a good recent period for the disgraced peer and former media magnate. Two weeks ago, Canada's Supreme Court ruled he could pursue libel cases against ...
Welcome back, Conrad Black!Globe and Mail
Conrad Black granted permission to live in Canada after release from prisonToronto Star
Conrad Black Nears End of Jail TermWall Street Journal

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via prisons - Google News on 5/3/12




Equality Florida: Federal Bureau of Prisons now requires LGBT employee ...
MiamiHerald.com (blog)
Equality Florida says the Federal Bureau of Prisons now is requiring LGBT employee representation in the national federal prison system. "I expect Chief Executive Officers at every level to demonstrate support for diversity and inclusion.

via prisons - Google News on 5/3/12




Arizona's Budget Giveaway to the Private Prison Industry
Tucson Citizen
There could be no clearer proof that the legislature is putting the interests of their private prison pals ahead of kids, victims of the housing crisis, and the 99%. House Speaker Andy Tobin took in $5990 in campaign contributions from individuals or ...

via prisons - Google News on 5/3/12

UN News Centre




Palestinian hunger strikers appeal to Israeli court
Reuters
By Jihan Abdalla | JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Facing Israel's highest court in their wheelchairs, two Palestinian prisoners on the 66th day of their hunger strike appealed on Thursday for their release from detention without trial.
UN concerned about 2 Palestinians on hunger strikeSeattle Post Intelligencer
UN envoy urges Israel to preserve health of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strikeUN News Centre
Abbas asks Blair to intervene on prisonersJerusalem Post
Al-Arabiya
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via prisons - Google News on 5/3/12




UN envoy concerned about health of 2 Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike ...
Washington Post
The envoy, Robert Serry, said Thursday he was “deeply troubled” by the situation and urged Israel to “preserve the health of the prisoners.” Sahar Francis of the Palestinian prisoners group Addameer says the two are in critical condition.





Breivik's Monstrous Dream
The Nation.
Anders Behring Breivik clenches his fist in a far-right salute as he arrives in court for the second day of his terrorism and murder trial in Oslo April 17, 2012. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov Bodø is the last stop on the Norwegian State Railway.

and more »





Witnesses describe island massacre in Norway trial
Albany Democrat Herald
Anders Behnring Breivik, center, sits in the Oslo Courthouse, Oslo, Norway Thursday, May 3, 2012 on the 11th day of the terror trial. Witnesses have described in chilling detail how mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik tricked them into believing he ...





Sam Harris, Will You Visit A Mosque With Me?
Huffington Post
In fact, last year you wrote this about the 2011 attacks orchestrated by Anders Behring Breivik in Norway that resulted in the deaths of over 70 people: One can only hope that the horror and outrage provoked by Breivik's behavior will temper the ...
Islamophobia: Europe's New Political DiseaseThe Platform

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Mass killer Breivik demands medal from Oslo court - YouTube

Mass killer Breivik demands medal from Oslo court - YouTube


Published on Feb 6, 2012 by
http://www.euronews.net/ Anders Breivik, the man who admitted killing 77 people in a bombing and shooting spree in Norway last year, has appeared before the cameras for the first time since the murders as he attended his final detention hearing before his trial begins in April.
He called on the Oslo court to award him a medal for the attacks and he added "I acknowledge the acts but I plead not guilty."

...Breivik Insane - VIDEO | Anders Behring Breivik Cries in Court - VIDEO | Breivik has again defended his sanity in court - Mike Nova's starred items

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Mike Nova's starred items

via Breivik Syndrome - Google Blog Search by Mike Nova on 4/30/12
Breivik Syndrome: Grandiose - Persecutory type of Delusional Disorder with resulting mass murder in a messianic quest to pro... Mike Nova: Some open questions in Breivik Trial. Mike Nova: Some open questions in Breivik ...


Daily Mail

Anders Behring Breivik Trial: Witnesses Describe Norway Island Massacre
Huffington Post
By JULIA GRONNEVET 05/ 3/12 08:35 AM ET Accused Norwegian Anders Behring Breivik arrives at the courtroom, in Oslo, Norway, Tuesday April 17, 2012. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein) OSLO, Norway — Witnesses on Thursday described in chilling detail how mass ...
Witnesses describe island massacre in Norway trialFox News
Anders Behring Breivik trial: police witness describes scene on UtoyaTelegraph.co.uk
How Anders Behring Breivik's clothes duped ferry captain into taking him to ...Daily Mail

all 260 news articles »

via anders behring breivik - Google Blog Search by Chris Bolwig on 5/3/12
Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik has again defended his sanity in court, claiming he slept well, ate breakfast and prepared a ham and cheese sandwich for his lunch on the day of his dual terror attacks.


IceNews

Anders Behring Breivik roundup: killer defends mental state as nation stands ...
IceNews
Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik has again defended his sanity in court, claiming he slept well, ate breakfast and prepared a ham and cheese sandwich for his lunch on the day of his dual terror attacks. The right-wing extremist, ...
Witnesses tell court of Norwegian mass murderer's island shooting spree that ...Washington Post
Witness testifies of Breivik's arrival on islandTimes LIVE

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FinalCall.com News

'Christian terrorist' unapologetic in court
FinalCall.com News
By Starla Muhammad -Staff Writer- | Last updated: May 2, 2012 - 9:59:51 PM (FinalCall.com) - Day three of the criminal trial of Anders Behring Breivik, the lone gunman who carried out what has been called the most heinous massacre in Norway's history, ...


Middle East Media Research Institute

Sam Harris, Racial Profiling and American Muslims
Huffington Post (blog)
In fact, last year you wrote this about the 2011 attacks orchestrated by Anders Behring Breivik in Norway that resulted in the deaths of over 70 people: One can only hope that the horror and outrage provoked by Breivik's behavior will temper the ...
Islamophobia: Europe's New Political DiseaseThe Platform

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Anders Behring Breivik; COURT UPDATE

Pictures taken by himself, while producing the bomb. This is pictures from his own camera, released by police.
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Anders Breivik's EDITED Facebook

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Norway Suspect Anders Behring Breivik Insane
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declared "insane" by psychiatrists

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911taboo (FULL LENGTH)

The Anglo-American World government have used every methods there is i...
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1Maj, 2012: Demonstrasi Masyarakat Aceh di Sweden

menjaga jarak dari partai rasis, mengutuk tindakan terorisme di Norwegia yang saat ini sedang dalam proses pengadilan di Oslo
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Anders Behring Breivik Cries in Court

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Hitler is informed about Anders Behring Breivik's Manifesto.wmv - YouTube

Hitler is informed about Anders Behring Breivik's Manifesto.wmv - YouTube


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The homicidal triad: Predictor of violence or urban myth? - In the news by Karen Franklin PhD:

In the news by Karen Franklin PhD: The homicidal triad: Predictor of violence or urban myth?


Wednesday, May 2, 2012


The homicidal triad: Predictor of violence or urban myth?


THE MACDONALD TRIAD: PREDICTOR OF VIOLENCE OR
URBAN MYTH?
The Macdonald triad is an alleged phenomenon that has
enjoyed popular acceptance for almost half a century. The
triad consists of three behaviors: extreme cruelty to
animals, firesetting, and enuresis. It is often cited by
academics, professionals, and practitioners as precursory
to a variety of violent criminal careers. Presence of the
Macdonald triad in childhood has long been held to be
predictive of later interpersonal violence. Using a
methodology based upon grounded theory, this study examined
the origins and evolution of the triad with an eye to
evaluating its utility as a predictive factor in subsequent
violent behavior. An extensive review of the literature
reveals little empirical support for the validity of this
triad. The fact that the Macdonald triad has been and
continues to be presented as fact suggests a need to
revisit the process by which theories of violent behavior
are derived and sustained.
Kori Ryan
May 2009

http://www.csufresno.edu/gradstudies/thesis/AbstractsSpr09/KoriRYAN.pdf

For at least half a century, legend has told of a "triad" of ominous childhood behaviors -- cruelty to animals, firesetting, and enuresis – said to predict future violence.

The so-called "Macdonald triad" (also known as the homicidal triad or the Hellman and Blackman triad) is taught in criminology and psychology courses, used by forensic practitioners in assessing risk, and has even made its way into Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. Especially, it’s become a staple among aficionados of the trendy serial killer.

But is the syndrome valid?

Providing the most definitive exploration to date is Kori Ryan, a former criminology student at the California State University, Fresno who delved into the "evolutionary history" of this tantalizing construct for her as-yet unpublished master's thesis. Her ultimate conclusion:
Even though the literature on violent behavior contains many references to the Macdonald triad (and its aliases), collectively these studies do not provide sufficient evidence of its ability to predict violence, nor, in fact, of its existence as a bona fide phenomenon.
One of many misleading websites
Instead, childhood enuresis, firesetting and animal cruelty more likely represent three among many indicators of severe childhood abuse. In other words, the presence of one or more of these elements in the histories of some violent offenders can be explained by the fact that violent offenders are often the products of child abuse. More importantly, relying upon these behaviors as predictors of future violence would lead to many false positives, punishing children who might not be violent in the future.

Roots of the legend

Gulliver's Travels
Forensic psychiatrist John Macdonald is generally credited with "discovering" the triad. In a 1963 article in the American Journal of Psychiatry, entitled "The Threat to Kill," he gave his clinical impression that "a history of great parental brutality, extreme maternal seduction, or the triad of childhood firesetting, cruelty to animals and enuresis" can signal those who will eventually threaten homicide. His article was based on his work with 100 patients at the Colorado Psychopathic Hospital in Denver, Colorado who had threatened -- but not necessarily committed -- violence.

Over the next few decades, the idea "attracted a dedicated following" and gradually expanded to encompass various forensic groups, including sexual sadists, recidivist firesetters and -- most salacious -- serial killers.

Ryan traces the history of cultural interest in these behaviors all the way back to Greek mythology and early Western fiction, such as Jonathan Swift's 1726 Gulliver's Travels, in which Gulliver puts out a fire with his own urine, much to the chagrin of the Imperial Majesty, thereby linking urination with fire and revenge.

Early psychoanalytic thinkers also placed heavy emphasis on these behaviors, seeing them as products of arrested psychosexual development and sublimated sexual and sadistic urges. Psychoanalyst Melanie Klein, for example, saw bedwetting as a daughter’s sadistic revenge against her mother.

Empirical research: Triad goes bust

Two psychiatrists were the first to empirically evaluate the Macdonald triad, according to Ryan. Studying 84 incarcerated offenders in 1966, Hellman and Blackman reported a positive association between the triad and future violence. Accordingly, some took to labeling the phenomenon as the “"Hellman and Blackman triad."

But subsequent attempts to replicate Hellman and Blackman's findings were unsuccessful. Even John Macdonald himself voiced later doubt about the triad's validity. After trying to test his own clinical theory, Macdonald reported in his 1968 book, Homicidal Threats, that he could find no statistically significant association between homicide perpetrators and early problems with firesetting, cruelty to animals, or enuresis.

Likewise, in an examination of 206 sex offenders at the Massachusetts Treatment Center for Sexual Dangerous Persons, Prentky and Carter (1984) found "no compelling evidence" for the idea that the triad predicted adult criminality. They did, however, note that the individual components of the triad were common among people raised in highly abusive home environments.

Some years later, this was also the conclusion of Jonathan Pincus, in his 2001 book on convicted murderers. Pincus described "a forensic assessment protocol in which bed-wetting, firesetting, and cruelty to animals (among other behaviors) are considered 'hallmarks' of childhood abuse," notes Ryan.

Indeed, it seems far more likely that one of Macdonald’s five original indicators that didn’t go on to fame has more explanatory power as a cause of later violence: parental brutality.

Dangerous ramifications

"The frequency with which discussions of violent offenders (of various types) include mention of the Macdonald triad suggests its general acceptance as a predictor of violent behavior," notes Ryan.

This continuing prominence owes in large part to the triad's promotion by prominent FBI profilers in the 1988 book, Sexual Homicide: Patterns and Motives. Like Macdonald’s, the FBI study was anecdotal, small-scale and lacking in any statistical analyses or control groups. Studying 36 sex killers, Douglas, Burgess and Ressler found that many manifested one or more elements of the triad. Unfortunately, notes Ryan, the authors did not report which factors were present in which subjects, or how many of these killers evidenced all three components of the triad.

Ryan warns that promotion of the triad has real-world ramifications, in that children who exhibit one or more of these behaviors "might be falsely labeled as potentially dangerous."

For example, police officers exposed to the triad in undergraduate criminology courses may target young offenders who have lit a fire or harmed an animal -- both fairly common behaviors among troubled youth -- as future sex fiends or serial killers. (Enuresis, with less face validity as an indicator of sadism, has tended to drop from more contemporary renditions of the triad.)

Ignoring the miniscule base rate of serial killers, even veterinarians are encouraged to identify those who hurt pet animals as potentially lethal: "Many known serial killers began their careers by hurting pet animals," warn the authors of a 2004 article in one veterinary journal. "It is well known in the criminology field that people who perpetrate acts of cruelty on animals, frequently escalate to torturing humans, usually the young and helpless."

Rather than throwing the baby out with the bathwater, Ryan says researchers could do more research to understand these behaviors in context. For example, might arson be a coping mechanism in children who have experienced severe emotional abuse, rather than a marker for future aggression? Are some elements of the triad indicators for future violence when they co-occur? More fundamentally, is there any set of behaviors that can legitimately be considered a behavioral syndrome predictive of later violence?

The study is: The Macdonald triad: Predictor of violence or urban myth? The abstract is HERE. Those with access to the Proquest database can access it online. The author, Kori Ryan, can be contacted HERE.

British Spy Most Likely Was Killed, Coroner Says - NYTimes.com

British Spy Most Likely Was Killed, Coroner Says - NYTimes.com

Foul Play Ruled Likely in Case of Spy Found Dead in Bag

LONDON — Deepening the mystery surrounding the death of a reclusive MI6 agent found doubled up inside a padlocked duffel bag in his London flat, a coroner said on Wednesday that it was unlikely that the case would ever be solved, but that the “balance of probabilities” suggested that he had been unlawfully killed. Scotland Yard reacted immediately by saying it would continue its efforts to hunt down the killer.
Metropolitan Police, via Associated Press
Gareth Williams
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Reuters
Photographs from a video show an expert trying to determine whether Mr. Williams could have locked himself in a duffel bag.
After an eight-day inquest that has thrown an uncomfortable spotlight on MI6, Britain’s secret intelligence service, the coroner, Dr. Fiona Wilcox, said the death of Gareth Williams, 31, a Welsh-born mathematician involved in top-secret code-breaking work, appeared to have been “unnatural and likely to have been criminally mediated,” — a phrase that legal experts said meant that he was either killed, that someone assisted in a suicide plot or that somebody fled after a sex game went wrong.
Dr. Wilcox said she was “satisfied” that some “third party” had been involved in getting Mr. Williams into the bag, probably while he was alive. This person, she said, probably then locked the bag and carried it to the empty bathtub in the government-owned apartment in the upscale district of Pimlico, where the body was discovered a week after Mr. Williams died.
Dr. Wilcox noted that three pathologists working separately had been unable to determine, because of the body’s decomposition, whether Mr. Williams was poisoned or asphyxiated. She described other evidence as being inconclusive to the point that it was unlikely that the mystery “would ever be satisfactorily explained.”
Still, she said, she was “satisfied that on the balance of probabilities Gareth was killed unlawfully.” The conclusion seemed certain to give fresh currency to conspiracy theories, including some that attribute the death to Russian secret service agents or to militants from Al Qaeda.
The coroner said that it remained a “legitimate line of inquiry” whether MI6 or other secret agencies were involved in the death. She criticized MI6 for what she called its shortfalls in handling the case, including a delay of a week by Mr. Williams’s MI6 manager in reporting that he was missing from work. Pathologists said their work was impeded by the delay, which resulted in such advanced decomposition that they were unable to obtain any decisive forensic clues.
Dr. Wilcox played down suggestions that facets of Mr. Williams’s private life had led to his death, including his interest in bondage Web sites, cross-dressing, transvestite performances and what were described at the hearing as “autoerotic experiences,” specifically a condition known as claustrophilia, involving sexual thrills from being confined in enclosed spaces.
Dr. Wilcox also said she was disinclined to believe that Mr. Williams had committed suicide, a theory encouraged by a newspaper clipping found in his flat that canvassed the most common regrets that people have on their deathbeds. She said he had shown no other signs of depression. As for his purported interest in bondage, she said, she would have expected more than the four visits to bondage sites that were traced on his computers.
As for the $30,000 in high-fashion women’s clothing and shoes found in his flat, and a bright orange woman’s wig, Dr. Wilcox said this was more likely to reflect the interest in fashion he showed by attending a six-week fashion course, and his liking of manga parties, a pastime borrowed from Japan that involves wearing extravagant costumes.
The case has been an awkward experience not only for MI6 but also for an associated agency that was Mr. Williams’s primary employer, the Government Communications Headquarters, Britain’s principal electronic surveillance and code-breaking center. After 10 years working at the unit’s base outside London, Mr. Williams was on a three-year transfer to MI6’s London headquarters, working on the application of new code-breaking technologies, when he died. But it was the MI6 chief, John Sawers, who attended Mr. Williams’s funeral and who delivered an unusual apology for the delay in reporting Mr. Williams missing that was read to the inquest by an MI6 lawyer.
 A version of this article appeared in print on May 3, 2012, on page A16 of the New York edition with the headline: Foul Play Ruled Likely In Case of Spy Found Dead.

Far-right politics - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Far-right politics - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Far-right politics
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Far-right)
Jump to: navigation, search
Far-right, extreme right, hard right, radical right, and ultra-right are terms used to discuss the qualitative or quantitative position a group or person occupies within right-wing politics. Far right politics involves support of strong or complete social hierarchy in society, and supports supremacy of certain individuals or groups deemed to be innately superior who are to be more valued than those deemed to be innately inferior.[1] The far right's advocacy of supremacism is based on what it perceives as innate characteristics of people that cannot be changed.[2] This has been confused with the centre right's criticism of inferior behaviour, such as laziness and decadence, that lead people to inferior situations in comparison to others.[3] The centre right - unlike the far right - claims that this is not innate and that people can end their behavioural inferiority through changing their habits and choices of behaviour.[4]
Far right is commonly associated with persons or groups who hold extreme nationalist, xenophobic, racist, religious fundamentalist, or reactionary views.[5] Typically the term is applied to fascists and neo-Nazis,[6] although there is a running dispute among scholars about where fascism resides along the left/right spectrum.[7][8][9][10] However major elements of fascism have been deemed clearly far right, such as its goals of the right of superior people to dominate while purging society of claimed inferior elements; and in the case of Nazism, genocide of people deemed to be inferior.[11]

[edit] Views

The far right claims that superior people should proportionally have greater rights than inferior people.[12] The far right has historically supported elitist society based on belief of the legitimacy of the rule of a claimed superior minority over the inferior masses; and that the superior minority by virtue of their superiority have the right to make mandatory decisions upon the inferior masses that decide what roles certain elements of the masses are to pursue and other issues.[13]
Far-right politics may involve anti-immigration and anti-integration stances towards groups that are deemed inferior and undesirable.[14] Concerning the socio-cultural dimension (issues of nationality, culture and migration) a far-right-wing position could be the view that population groups should stay separate, and that the interests of one’s "own" group should be prioritised.[15] At the most extreme, far-right movements have pursued oppression and genocide against groups of people on the basis of their alleged inferiority.[16] Far right politics commonly includes authoritarianism, nativism, racism and xenophobia.[17]

[edit] History

The German political scientist Klaus von Beyme[18] [19] describes three historical phases of the development of far-right-wing-parties in Western Europe after the second world war:
  • 1945 to mid-fifties : Far-right-wing-parties were marginalised; their main objective was to survive rather than having any political impact. Far-right-wing-policy was discredited by nazism and politicaly isolated.
  • mid-fifties to seventies: The so-called „Populist Protest Phase“ emerged with sporadic electoral success. Characteristics of the far-right-wing-parties in this phase were charismatic leaders and a profound dislike of the political establishment using an extingt „us and them“-model, “us” being the “common man” and “them” being the politicians and bureaucrats.
  • eighties: Electoral success of the far-right-wing-parties consolidated, while they discovered immigration as a main objective.
Anders Widfeldt argues that there is a fourh phase of far-right-wing parties in Europe.[20] This legitimacy phase, beginning around the year 2000, is characterised by the following features:
  • Far-right-wing-parties gaining political legitimacy by formal or informal involvement in government (FPÖ in Austria, Lijst Pim Fortuyn in the Netherlands).
  • Positions of the far-right-wing-parties are put on the political agenda and taken over by other parties
  • welfare chauvinism: the right-leaning economic position of the third phase has been replaced by welfare chauvinism.
  • Criticism of immigration remains a core ideological feature, but is increasingly focused on criticism against Islam, and the alleged dangers of “Islamisation” of European countries.

Islamophobia: Europe's New Political Disease - The Platform - Forensic Psychiatry News

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Middle East Media Research Institute



Sam Harris, Racial Profiling and American Muslims
Huffington Post (blog)
In fact, last year you wrote this about the 2011 attacks orchestrated by Anders Behring Breivik in Norway that resulted in the deaths of over 70 people: One can only hope that the horror and outrage provoked by Breivik's behavior will temper the ...
Islamophobia: Europe's New Political DiseaseThe Platform

all 4 news articles »

Europe’s New Political Disease       


Posted by: Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari Tags: ,,,,,,,,, Posted date: May 1, 2012 | 3 Comments
The rise in anti-Muslim sentiment in Europe is a troubling reality to which political parties are lending legitimacy and exploiting

A new wave of anti-Muslim intolerance and antagonism is sweeping Europe. The far right political gains seen in some parts of the continent are alarming. Anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim and extreme right parties seem to be cashing in on economic hardship and austerity measures. In a blinkered world of ‘us’ and ‘them’ they have found in Europe’s Muslim citizens the ‘others’.
In this fevered atmosphere of rising nationalism Islam, the religion of its most-impoverished people, is taking over the continent. Never mind the agonies such sentiments caused when acted upon by the Norway killer, Anders Breivik last year. “Racism is the lowest form of stupidity; Islamophobia is the height of common sense!” said one group in 2008.
To any person with a modicum of common sense such attitudes are absurd and bordering on a mythical view of reality. We must check their rise. In a powerful indictment, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg, posted a blog about how European Muslims are stigmatised by populist rhetoric (October 2010).
“European countries appear to face another crisis beyond budget deficits – the disintegration of human value. One symptom is the increasing expression of intolerance towards Muslims. Opinion polls in several European countries reflect fear, suspicion and negative opinions of Muslims and Islamic culture,” he wrote.
He was not alone in giving Europeans this warning; many people across British politics and media have shared similar sentiments for some time. Amnesty International has shared this concern. In its April 2012 report Choice and prejudice: discrimination against Muslims in Europe Amnesty exposes the impact of discrimination on Muslims. Marco Perolini, Amnesty’s expert on discrimination, says: “Muslim women are being denied jobs and girls prevented from attending regular classes just because they wear traditional forms of dress, such as the headscarf. Men can be dismissed for wearing beards associated with Islam. …. Rather than countering these prejudices, political parties and public officials are all too often pandering to them in their quest for votes.”
Amnesty International has accused France, Belgium and the Netherlands of failing to implement proper laws banning discrimination in employment.
It is disheartening that a continent that had learnt many lessons in such a hard way, after the devastation of the two World Wars, and which prides itself in equality and human rights, is allowing itself to be influenced by the forces of intolerance and hate. It is now open season to malign Muslims because of their religious and cultural practices. Yet Muslim immigrants arriving after the war joined in the effort to rebuild the economies of war-torn Europe in the 1950s. In almost every field of life, Muslims have been an integral part of the European tapestry. Muslims are today at home in Europe, have been contributors to its past and are stakeholders in its future.
Yet the language and rhetoric used by the Far Right and the level of political expediency in mainstream European politics is mind boggling. The hate mongers are apparently succeeding in swapping a racist agenda for an Islamophobic one. The lacklustre response from European leaders has paved the way for anti-Muslim bigotry to move closer to the mainstream.
It took a cold-blooded massacre of 77 Norwegian youths by a far-right ‘Christian’ extremist, Anders Behring Breivik last summer, to shake the conscience of Europe’s political class. It was a horrendous wake-up call to home-grown far-right violence and ideology, inspired by the rhetoric of vote-chasing politicians, pseudo academics, media analysts and hate groups like the English Defence League (EDL) in Britain. Breivik, in his recent trial, has made vitriolic attack on European leaders for their ‘impotence’ to stand up against Muslim ‘conquest’ of Europe. In this, he is propounding the ‘Eurabia’ fantasy that is central to the so-called ‘counter jihadist’ movement propelled by ideologues in the USA.
Elsewhere, in countries like France, the shockwave of the far-right Front National polling nearly one fifth of French voters in the first round of the presidential elections is still reverberating. Both the socialist candidate and the incumbent President are now wooing the supporters of Marine le Pen.
We should not be complacent in Britain. The recent news that the EDL has joined hands with the British Freedom Party (BFP) is going to have political implications. The BFP was formed in 2010 by disaffected members of the BNP and whatever its stated objectives, its main target is the Muslim community. It wants to ban the Niqab, stop the building of new mosques and Islamic schools and outlaw Sharia (as if it runs Britain!) including Islamic finance. The news that EDL head Tommy Robinson is to be appointed Deputy Leader of the British Freedom Party has alarmed anti-racist groups like HOPE not hate and others.
The alliance of EDL and BFP would be more dangerous than the BNP: the current EDL head ‘Tommy Robinson’ (real name: Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, a tanning salon manager from Luton) has a better media presence than the Holocaust-denying Nick Griffin. In focusing on Islam and the threat of ‘Islamist extremists’ they can have a bigger appeal than the simple racist agenda of the BNP. With political trust at an all-time low, this far right alliance may take advantage of voter apathy in national and local politics to advance their cause.
Be that as it may, we must stand firm and not let our country and continent slip into the intolerant past. We must join hands to slay the dragon of Islamophobia and help build Europe again with everyone’s help, Muslim and non-Muslim, alike. It is time we listen to the voices of sanity, not hate.

Image from: www.islamineurope.blogspot.com