Headlines 25 July, 2014
Northern Ireland: Windows smashed at Belfast synagogue on Somerton Road
Windows have been smashed on a synagogue in north Belfast.
21/7/2014- Police said a window was smashed some time on Friday night or Saturday morning. A replacement window was then smashed on Saturday afternoon or evening. Police are treating it as a religious hate crime. They have appealed for anyone who witnessed the attacks or has any information about them to contact them on the non-emergency 101 number.
Rabbi David Singer said the Jewish community had been left shocked by the attack. He said: "I think across the community, first of all, it's very sad that it happened. I would imagine that there's a certain amount of anger that it could happen, but angry in the sense of frustration, not angry in the sense that they'd want to do anything about it. "Certainly, it's very sad and very disturbing that Belfast would show its face like this." The Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt said it was "totally unacceptable" for places of worship to be targeted. "The Jewish community have been valuable members of our society for many years," he said. "We offered refuge during the Second World War to many fleeing the Holocaust and it is abhorrent that the synagogue has been the target of this hate crime."
© BBC News
Facebook Page Publishing Identities of French Jews to Encourage Attackers
A violent mob of more than a dozen men in France assaulted a Jew at his home in a Paris suburb after confirming that his photograph had been published by a French Facebook page identifying Jews to be targeted for physical intimidation, The Union of Jewish Students of France, the UEJF, said in a statement on Friday.
25/7/2014- The Facebook page, ‘Jeunes Révolutionnaires Français’, JRF, or ‘Young French Revolutionaries’, posted the names and photos of 32 Jews. The assault on one of those listed took place on Thursday night in Bobigny, Seine-Saint-Denis, a Paris suburb. The assailants were armed with iron bars. On the ‘Secret Tel Aviv’ Facebook page, Daniel Cohen called the group anti-Semitic, and exhorted Facebook users to report the JRF page to site administrators for removal. On Facebook, Cohen wrote, “An anti-Semitic page is publishing names and pictures of French Jews in order to target them physically! A few have already been attacked at their homes, one last night by 15 people on one Jewish guy. We need to remove this page!” The JRF captioned its page with the photos of the Jews to be targeted, “Smile, you’re caught! JRF watches! # AntiLDJ,” referring to the LDJ, the French initials of the Jewish Defense League, an organization created to teach Jews how to defend themselves from anti-Semitic attacks.
The title page of the group’s Facebook presence features a large Palestinian flag and calls for members to attend a rally on Saturday in connection with the international Al Quds Day protests around the world where police are preparing for violence against Jews. The UEJF condemned the page and provided testimony from the assaulted Jew in Bobigny, according to France’s Le Monde Juif, or The Jewish World on Friday. The UEJF said three men went to the victim’s house and asked him, “Are you the guy in the photo on Facebook?” They then said they were there to “break the Jew” and do to him “the same as Ilan Halimi,” a 23-year-old who was kidnapped and tortured for 24 days by a gang led by Youssouf Fofana, described by The Jewish Chronicle as, “the extraordinarily cruel, Paris-born fifth of seven children of immigrants from the Ivory Coast.”
Halimi was found naked, handcuffed and bound to a tree near a railway station in February, 2006, and his body had been mutilated. Still alive, he died on the way to hospital. Halimi’s murder was made into a movie by French Jewish film director Alexandre Arcady entitled, 24 jours: la vérité sur l’affaire Ilan Halimi, or “24 Days: The Truth About the Ilan Hamili Affair,” inspired by a book with a similar title written by the victim’s mother, Ruth. In Bobigny, after they confirmed him to be the Jew in the photo, the three men were joined by 15 more, armed with iron bars, who assaulted the victim, the UEJF said. When another resident in the building appeared, the men fled the scene. The UEJF said: “For several days, many Facebook pages have been created to encourage physical violence against young Jews. Photos were published, with the identities, phone numbers, and contact information. This young man was directly affected by such a Facebook page. It is unacceptable that the Jews are the target of Facebook calls to murder.”
The UEJF said it will file a complaint against the administrators of the Facebook page for incitement to racial hatred and incitement to violence. In the French media, the LDJ has been blamed for calling for a strong reaction by Jews threatened with violence over the past two weeks since Israel began its Operation Protective Edge to stop Hamas’s rocket fire from Gaza. But Roger Cukierman, president of the CRIF, the umbrella organization representing the Jewish community in France, told The Daily Beast on Friday that LDJ was not instigating further violence, and those accusations were beside the point. “I am shocked when I hear journalists saying if the De La Roquette synagogue was attacked, it is because of the Jews,” Cukierman told The Daily Beast. “This is propaganda.” “We had eight synagogues being attacked,” he said. “I am worried about the fact that synagogues are being attacked and not worried about these self-defense groups.”
UPDATE: Facebook has removed the Jeunes Révolutionnaires Français page, which was no longer hosted on the social media platform, as of late Friday evening. A reader of The Algemeiner reported the group to Facebook, which sent him a message to say that it has recognized JRF’s “credible threat of violence” and removed its page. Facebook’s message noted that JRF was informed that its page had been removed, but not told who made the complaint.
© The Algemeiner
France: Roma teen out of coma weeks after vigilante attack
A Roma teenager who was left struggling for his life after being brutally beaten by vigilantes in France has emerged from his coma and is talking, his lawyer said Sunday.
20/7/2014- Gheorghe, who was initially mistakenly referred to as Darius when the incident took place last month, “is very well,” Julie Launois-Flaceliere told AFP. “He has emerged from his coma and his life is no longer in danger. He talks and recognizes his family, it’s very positive.” The 17-year-old was dragged into a basement in the Paris suburb town of Pierrefitte-sur-Seine on June 13, savagely beaten by a dozen residents of a housing estate who accused him of theft, and left unconscious in a supermarket trolley where he was later found. Suffering from severe brain injuries, Gheorghe was taken to a Paris hospital where he has been treated since the attack. Launois-Flaceliere said it was too early to assess the after-effects of his trauma, but added he appeared to be recovering his memory.
A source close to the case said the judge tasked with investigating the incident was able to visit Gheorghe in hospital on Friday. The teenager, who does not speak French, has an interpreter and his hospital room is closely guarded. Gheorghe left Romania for France to join his parents who were already in the country. At the time of the incident, he and his family had only just moved into an abandoned house in the town just north of Paris. On June 13, he was taken by force in front of his parents by a group of assailants angered by a rumor that he had broken into an apartment in a nearby estate. It is unclear how many people beat him up, but more than a month after the incident, no one has yet been detained.
Romas have long suffered discrimination across Europe, centuries after migrating there from India. The Nazis killed hundreds of thousands of Roma during World War II, and even now rights organizations have warned of a spike in violence against the community in Europe. In France, many of the 20,000-or-so Roma come from Romania or Bulgaria in search of a better life, and often end up living in extreme poverty in makeshift settlements with little or no access to basic amenities including water. These are systematically destroyed under a controversial, official French requirement, forcing the traditionally sedentary population to move on to other settlements. Their presence in illegal camps on the fringes of towns and cities has often spurred controversy in France where they are perceived as being behind a rise in petty crime.
France: Anti-Israel rioters torch cars, throw firebomb at Paris-area synagogue
Anti-Israel protesters hurled a firebomb at a synagogue during an unauthorized demonstration in a heavily Jewish suburb of Paris.
20/7/2014- The riot broke out on Sunday afternoon in Sarcelles after a few hundred people assembled at a local metro station to protest Israel’s actions in Gaza, as well as the decision by French Interior Minister Bernard Cazaneuve to ban rallies against Israel following the staging of riots last week outside several synagogues in the Paris region. The firebomb was hurled at the Synagogue of Garges-Les-Gonesse at a smaller rally that splintered off the main demonstration. It hit the building but did not cause serious damage, the daily online edition of Le Figaro reported. In addition, rioters torched at least two cars as they clashed with police near the synagogue.
Organizers of the protest rally at the metro station urged the crowd not to resort to violence, but a few dozen demonstrators confronted police as others were leaving the demonstration, the online edition of the Le Nouvel Observateur weekly reported. Police fired tear gas at the demonstrators and surrounded a synagogue nearby, blocking the entire street. Approximately 30 young Jewish men were standing at the synagogue entrance holding sticks; one was holding an Israeli flag. The French Jewish Defense League, or LDJ, said on Twitter that it was guarding the synagogue along with police. Protesters also smashed the windshield of several parked cars and at least one shop.
Sarcelles has a large Sephardic Jewish population. On Saturday, thousands of demonstrators protesting Israel’s military operation in Gaza confronted police in central Paris. Fourteen police officers were lightly wounded and 38 protesters were arrested.
© JTA News
Greece: Transphobic and homophobic incidents in the centre of Athens
In less than one week, two incidents of homophobic and transphobic violence took place in central, crowded places of Athens.
22/7/2014- A trans woman who was participating in a protest of cleaning staff outside the Ministry of Finance on Tuesday 24th June was verbally assaulted, vilified and physically assaulted by a fellow protester, because of her gender identity. Eyewitnesses refute the assailant’s claims that the trans woman responded in a similar manner. Nonetheless, and in spite of other cleaning staff members supporting the trans woman, the assailant called the police and lawsuits were made from both parties. Both the cleaning lady and the trans woman were taken to the Omonoia Police Station. Two members of Colour Youth, as well as a lawyer from the NGO "Hellenic Action for Human Rights - Pleiades" hurried to the Station to support the trans woman. Even though the trans woman was willing to settle the incident without any legal action, the cleaning lady insisted and eventually the case was tried on Friday, 27th June. Both parties were found guilty, however the trans woman appealed the decision.
During the early hours of Sunday 29th June, just five days after the first incident, two young gay men in their early twenties were physically and verbally assaulted ina homophobic attack. The incident took place at 5:00am in Kerameikos Square, in Gazi. The police arrived remarkably late at the site, after the attackers had left. The men were transported to the nearest hospital on duty in order to receive medical support. Such incidents are not isolated, nor are they unrelated to the general attitude of Greek society towards LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer) people; homophobia and transphobia are very present throughout every aspect of society. The state has systematically proven to be reluctant to combat racist violence. There is no support mechanism for victims, while discussion of the anti-discrimination law in Parliament is constantly being postponed. Furthermore, sexual orientation and gender identity are not included in the recently established Police Observatories for racist violence.
Yet again, we see the need to highlight the issue of homophobic and transphobic violence and discrimination against LGBTQ people. Additionally, the need to systematically record such incidents, offer support to the victims of hate crimes and apply political pressure to combat these forms of violence is evident. This is a priority for Colour Youth, and we believe that as a broader LGBTQ community it is our duty to rally in tackling this problem. We will keep fighting and will not allow fascism of any kind to frighten us, force us into hiding or deter us from asserting our rights.
Submitted by Colour Youth – Athens LGBTQ Youth Community
© ILGA Europe
Headlines 18 July, 2014
Canada: Police investigating attack as possible hate crime
18/7/2014- Two McMaster engineering graduates were attacked on their way home from a late prayer session at the Downtown Mosque early Thursday morning. Hamilton police are probing the incident as a possible hate crime. The Muslim community is "shaken" by the attack, especially since it happened during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) said in a press release Thursday night. "Such hateful and cowardly acts are abhorrent to all Canadians who stand united in condemning all crimes motivated by xenophobia and hatred," said Ihsaan Gardeen, NCCM executive director. Twin brothers Moustafa and Mahmoud Elgamal were riding their bikes along Bay Street North, near Cannon Street West around 12:30 a.m., said Sayed Tora, the mosque's imam. He spoke to the 20-year-olds shortly after the incident happened.
A group of about 10 to 12 people gathered at a corner began yelling and mocking them, Tora said. He said the brothers didn't respond and kept riding. That's when three of the men ran toward them and hit them from behind. Detective Carmen Pietroniro said one suspect pulled out a pocket knife and another yelled a "racial epithet." Pietroniro said he was still trying to sort through exactly what was said, but the remarks targeted a particular race. Mahmoud suffered a severe wound on the right side of his face and lower lip, as well as cuts on his right foot, Tora said. Moustafa fell off his bike and has a concussion and deep wound on his left knee. Both victims were taken to hospital as a precaution and released. Pietroniro said police have identified two suspects — males in their late teens. No charges have been laid. The investigation is ongoing. The suspects and victims were not known to each other.
© Inside Halton
Home of Netherlands chief rabbi attacked
17/7/2014- A chief rabbi of the Netherlands said unidentified individuals hurled stones at his home in what he said was the second anti-Semitic attack on him in a week. Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs said the latest attack took place at 5 a.m. Thursday, when two stones were hurled through a window of his home in Amersfoort. An earlier incident outside his home on July 10 ended without damage, he said. Jacobs’ home has been targeted five times in recent years, he told JTA. “The fact that these attacks are recurrent shows the depth of hatred that exists against Jews,” he added. On Thursday, the pro-Israel organization CIDI prepared for a support rally to express solidarity with Israel for its military operation against Hamas and other terrorists in Gaza. Israel launched the operation last week amid ongoing rocket fire on Israeli cities and towns. One Israeli and more than 200 Palestinians have been killed in the fighting, which triggered a wave of anti-Semitic incidents across Western Europe and especially France. Anti-Israel protesters said they would hold a counterdemonstration opposite the CIDI rally at Amsterdam’s Dam Square. Khalid Sinouh, a goalkeeper for Rotterdam’s Sparta soccer team, called CIDI “a criminal organization” and a “pro-apartheid organization” on Twitter on Thursday, the Telegraaf daily reported.
© JTA News
UK: Hunt for hate crime attacker who hit teenager
Police are hunting for a tattooed man who battered a woman in a homophobic attack.
15/7/2014- The 19-year-old was pushed to the ground and punched in the face in Glasgow city centre. She was walking with a 16-year-old when the pair were targeted in St Enoch Square at 1am on Saturday. Police said they were approached and verbally abused by the man, who punched the victim to the ground. The suspect ran off after the attack, but police said his clothes and bag may have been torn in the struggle. The victim was taken to the city's Royal Infirmary where she was treated for her injuries, but later released. Officers said it had been a "nasty" and unprovoked attack. The male attacker, who has a full-sleeve tattoo, is described as being in his mid to late-20s, 6ft, with ginger hair. He was wearing a white T-shirt and blue jeans and was carrying a black ruscksack.
Superintendent Alan Porte, who is leading the inquiry, said: "This was a nasty attack on two young women. Police Scotland has a zero-tolerance approach to tackling crime based on prejudice and I want to make clear it will not be tolerated. "In relation to this serious assault, officers have been carrying out inquiries in the local area and studying CCTV in an effort to gather information on the man responsible. "St Enoch Square may have been busy with people on nights out and I believe passing motorists or pedestrians may have seen something which could help us." Anyone with information is urged to call Police Scotland on 101. All calls will be treated in confidence.
Last month it emerged the number of reports of hate crimes against members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community has risen by 22 per cent in a year., with 890 crimes last year.
© The Herald Scotland
Belgium, USA, Germany, UK, Yemen: Antwerp shop not selling to Jews !
17/7/2014- So far this week has been a busy in regards to anti-Semitism incidents. Cases were reported in the US, Belgium, Germany, UK and Yemen. And the week is not over yet....
- Ugene, Oregon, US - Swastikas were scribbled all over a mailbox adjacent to a national Jewish fraternity's house at the University of Oregon. The case is under investigation by local police.
- Eltingville, Staten Island, NY - A Hasidic Jew was a victim of an attack in the neighborhood of Eltingville, Staten Island, Sunday morning. He told the cops that a group of unidentified men threw eggs and fast food drinks at him and yelled anti-Semitic slurs from a passing car.
- Borough Park, Brooklyn, NY - Three men were arrested Monday night by the NYPD Hate Crime Task Force for vandalizing a Yeshiva property and a nearby house in the Jewish neighborhood of Borough Park, Brooklyn. It was written: “You don’t belong here” and “Go out.” A large swastika was also drawn.
- Antwerp, Belgium - On Saturday, 500 people attended an anti-Israel demonstration in the city and shouted slogans about slaughtering Jews. The demonstration coincided with a similar demonstration in Paris which escalated into what European Jewish Congress President Moshe Kantor called an “attempted lynch” outside a local synagogue.
- Antwerp, Belgium - A Jewish woman from Antwerp says that she was told in one shop "we currently don't sell to Jews, out of protest". Afterwards a Jewish paper Joods Actueel sent a reporter to the shop and confirmed the story.
- Baumweg, Frankfurt, Germany – The inscription “Fuck Juden” has been sprayed on the stone fence of the synagogue.
- Rada’a, Yemen – Joseph Ben Mazal, head of one of the few ultra-orthodox Jewish families that have remained in Yemen was seriously attacked when he was riding his bicycle. A vehicle hit him and fled from the scene.
- Hendon, London - Vandals have painted antisemitic graffiti on a Jewish home in Hendon. An image of a swastika was daubed above the front door of a property on Sunday night.
© Fight Hatred
Dozens of men at an anti-Israel demonstration in Antwerp shouted slogans about slaughtering Jews.
15/7/2014- Approximately 500 people attended Saturday’s protest in the capital of Belgium’s Flemish region, where one of the speakers used a loudspeaker to chant a call in Arabic that means “slaughter the Jews.” The demonstration against Israel’s assault on Hamas in Gaza happened amid a wave of anti-Semitic attacks in Western Europe that coincided with the Israeli actions, and one day before a similar demonstration in Paris escalated into what European Jewish Congress President Moshe Kantor called an “attempted lynch” outside a local synagogue. The Belgian League Against Anti-Semitism filed a complaint for incitement to violence against participants and organizers of the Antwerp demonstration, dozens of whom were recorded making the calls. “International politics cannot serve as a pretext for incitement to anti-Semitic hatred,” the organization’s president, Joel Rubinfeld, said in a statement.
It also condemned the presence at the demonstration of three local politicians: Karim Bachar of the Flemish Socialist Party; Ikrame Kastit of the Flemish Green Party; and Mohamed Chebaa of Labor. The protesters also called out “Jews, remember Khaybar, the army of Muhammad is returning,” referencing a seventh-century slaughter against Jews in Saudi Arabia. Earlier this month, the same call was heard at a demonstration in The Hague in favor of the ISIS Sunni militia in Syria and Iraq. The protest was held six days before Israel launched its military operation in Gaza.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center in a letter to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte protested that the demonstration was allowed to take place. “Unless Jihadism in your country is totally quashed, Dutch returnees from their Syrian baptism of fire and Jihadist websites at home will menace Jewish, Muslim and all other citizens of the Netherlands,” wrote Shimon Samuels, the center’s international relations director. In Paris, approximately 200 Jews were besieged on Sunday inside the synagogue by dozens of young men who confronted police and Jewish guards outside in what turned into a street brawl before police reinforcements dispersed the crowd. The CRIF umbrella group of Jewish organizations and communities appealed to French President Francois Hollande to temporarily ban “pro-Hamas protests” for fear they would escalate into similar attacks.
© JTA News
France: Hundreds trapped in synagogue as Paris protest turns violent
Thousands gather in Paris to demonstrate against Gaza operation, hurling stones at house of worship
13/7/2014- Clashes erupted in Paris on Sunday as thousands of people protested against Israel and in support of residents in the Gaza Strip, where a six-day conflict has left 166 Palestinians dead. Several thousand demonstrators walked calmly through the streets of Paris behind a large banner that read “Total Support for the Struggle of the Palestinian People”. But clashes erupted at the end of the march on Bastille Square, with people throwing projectiles onto a cordon of police who responded with tear gas. The unrest was continuing early Sunday evening. Media reports said that hundreds of Jews were trapped inside a synagogue in the area and police units were sent to rescue them. A person in the synagogue told Israel’s Channel 2 news that protesters hurled stones and bricks at the building, “like it was an intifada.”
© The Times of Israel
France: Synagogue firebombed near Paris in fresh string of violence
13/7/2014- A firebomb was hurled at a synagogue near Paris, part of a string of anti-Semitic incidents in Western Europe coinciding with Israel’s assault on Hamas in Gaza. The firebomb went off Friday night at the entrance to the synagogue of Aulnay-sous-Bois, a northeastern suburb of the French capital, according to the National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, or BNVCA. No one was hurt and the fire resulted in minor damage, Le Monde reported. On July 8, the day that Israel launched Operation Protective Edge against Hamas in Gaza, a man described as having a Middle Eastern appearance assaulted a Jewish 17-year-old girl on a Paris street near the Gare du Nord train station by spraying pepper-spray on her face, BNVCA also reported. The girl, identified by her initials, J.L., wrote in her complaint to police that the man, who was in his 20s, shouted: “Dirty Jewess, inshallah you will die.”
France and the Paris region in particular recently have seen an elevated level of anti-Semitic attacks. BNVCA President Ghozlan warned attacks may become even more frequent because of the fighting in Gaza. “We have seen violence increase at periods of unrest in the Middle East and this is no small part the result of incitement and anti-Semitism at demonstrations against Israel,” he wrote. In Belleville, an eastern suburb of Paris, a demonstration Saturday by a few dozen people against Israel’s attack on Hamas featured calls to “slaughter the Jews,” according to Alain Azria, a French Jewish photojournalist who covered the event. The crowd also chanted “death to the Jews,” he said.
In The Hague, the Netherlands, a few hundred people, most reportedly appearing to be of Middle Eastern descent, blocked a central shopping street while carrying signs that juxtaposed the Israeli flag with the flag of Nazi Germany. One sign read: “Stop doing what Hitler did to you.” Among the participants was Fatima Elatik, a local politician from Amsterdam and former member of the now defunct Jewish-Moroccan Network for dialogue, who posed for a picture with a demonstrator wearing a shirt that accused Israel of genocide. Back in France, the local branch of the far-right Jewish Defense League, or LDJ, boasted about disrupting a demonstration against Israel on July 9 and injuring the protesters. “There were 30 of us and 200 Hamas supporters yet they’ll all remember our presence, and especially the six wounded on their side,” LDJ wrote on its Twitter account after the protest.
© JTA News
Anti-Semitic protests in Germany
15/7/2014- These days, almost every day anti-Israeli demonstrations are being held in North Rhine-Westphalia, the national German daily newspaper "Die Welt" reported. On Friday night, for example, about 100 demonstrators marched through downtown Essen and only police action prevented them from attack the Old Synagogue. On the same night protesters called in Bochum "Israel is child murderer", and in Gelsenkirchen calls "Hamas, Hamas - Jews to the gas chambers," were chanted during a demonstration. According to the newspaper, many Muslims take the streets to protest against Israel. The first highlight was a demonstration in Dortmund was on Saturday afternoon, when 2,000 people demonstrated against Israel. Banners, including slogans such as "Stop Jews" on a Star of David or "The Star of the devil," were used by the protesters. Dortmund's demonstration included also several members of neo-Nazi movements. The Left Party in North Rhine-Westphalia said on Saturday that it supports these demonstrations, "organized by the Palestinian community and offer them to our supporters." Within this framework, the Youth League of the Left Party put on its Facebook page pictures of Hitler and anti-Semitic slogans.
© Fight Hatred
Headlines 11 July, 2014
France: Jewish Teenage Girl Pepper Sprayed in Paris
French watchdog group warns escalating conflict in Israel may trigger attacks
10/7/2014- In the latest in a growing list of anti-Semitic attacks in Paris over the past few months, a 17-year-old Jewish girl was attacked Tuesday at Paris’ Place du Colonel-Fabien square. According to the French National Bureau of Vigilance against Anti-Semitism, or BNVCA, a local anti-Semitism watchdog organization, the victim said in a statement that the attacker grabbed her by the jaw and sprayed pepper spray in her face while making anti-Semitic remarks before she managed to escape. She described the attacker as a young man of North African origin. This incident is the most recent of a consistent stream of disturbing anti-Semitic acts in Paris, and the BNVCA warns that the escalating conflict in Israel may spark more attacks of this kind.
© Tablet Magazine
Germany: Man wearing Star of David pendant attacked in Berlin park
9/7/2014- A man wearing a Star of David pendant and cap was attacked in a Berlin park in what investigators suspect was a hate crime. The unidentified victim, 67, said two men harassed and then repeatedly punched him while he was sitting with a friend in Tiergarten Park on Monday afternoon. He was treated in a hospital for multiple lacerations to the head. The assailants fled. Deidre Berger, director of the Berlin office of the American Jewish Committee, said in a statement that anti-Semitic attacks in Germany are becoming more common and urged political leaders to implement and support programs designed to combat the trend. “For three years, the recommendations of an independent commission of experts [on anti-Semitism] convened by the federal government have sat unused in a drawer,” Berger said. She said proven programs such as Berlin’s Kreuzberg Initiative Against Anti-Semitism, which reaches out especially to youth, are struggling to survive.
In April, a young Israeli living in the capital was beaten outside his apartment in broad daylight by six young men who identified themselves as Palestinian. In August 2012, Berlin-based Rabbi Daniel Alter was attacked in front of his home by a group of youths who also threatened to kill his young daughter. The youths, reported to be of Middle Eastern origin, asked the kippad-clad Alter if he was Jewish. The rabbi required surgery to repair a broken cheekbone.
© JTA News
Lithuania: Two hateful crimes exposed in half a month
9/7/2014- In the past two weeks Lithuania witnessed two hate crimes said to have been driven by homophobia. On July 24th an explosive device was thrown at singer Ruslanas Kirilkinas during his performance in Linksmakalnis village and on July 7th Agness Landau posted a status on her Facebook wall about the violence her friend had experienced – two attackers beat him up and burned his face. When Ruslanas Kirilinas, who is open about his homosexuality, started his concert in Linksmakalnis, a petard was launched at him. Luckily, it missed him and he was not harmed. Even though he did not contact the police, an investigation was started by the Kaunas Police Department.
According to the head specialist of the Communication section of the Police department Kęstutis Kasciukevičius the investigation was started because the petard was launched at a person. The attacker is already known. When the police officers arrived at the location of the concert, the foreman gave them the information about the citizen who interrupted the festivity. However, it ist still unknown if he will be fined. This was not the first violent attack against the singer. In February 2013 during a concert eggs were thrown at him, reulting in bruizing of his face. The incident is still being investigated. LGL does not have any more information about the trans artists Agness Landau publicized attack against her friend. It is only known that there were two attackers and before attacking they used hate speech.
LGL association would like to remind you that most hate crimes, among wich are many attacks against LGBT* people and allies, are left unreported, their true motives are not evaluated and attackers often remain unpunished. We urge you to report such hate crimes you were a victim of or witnessed to Law enforcement officers or to fill out the nacional LGBT rights LGL anonymous crime report form.
© National LGBT Rights Organization Lituania
Neo-Nazi Vikernes guilty of hate crime in France
A French court hit notorious Norwegian heavy metal musician Kristian Vikernes with a fine and six-month suspended prison sentence for blog postings that allegedly glorified war crimes and promoted discrimination against Jews and Muslims.
8/7/2014- A French court Tuesday slapped a six-month suspended sentence and an €8,000 ($10,000) fine on a Norwegian heavy metal musician accused of inciting racial hatred in his blogs. Kristian Vikernes, 41, was not present in court and neither was his lawyer as the verdict was delivered. He has denied posting racist blogs and said they were written by someone else. Vikernes was arrested in July last year in France's central Correze region on suspicion of plotting terrorist attacks but was released after 48 hours due to lack of evidence. He was however charged with inciting racial hatred and defending war crimes on his blog. Police allegedly found racist and anti-Semitic material on his computer as well. Vikernes had told the court he was not the author of the blogs and said a possible misunderstanding could have arisen because he communicated through a Danish interpreter when he was briefly held in custody last year.
Ten excerpts from the blogs written between March and June 2013 that attack Muslims and Jews were presented as evidence in court. The rocker, who adopted the name of Varg ("wolf" in Norwegian), first made front-page news in August 1993 when he killed a fellow musician in Norway. Vikernes, who was also reportedly involved in arson attacks on churches, was sentenced to 21 years in prison for the murder. He was released after 16 and moved to Correze with his French wife soon after. Vikernes told the court that according to Norwegian secret police there were "at any given moment 350 people pretending to be Varg Vikernes on Facebook", adding that "anybody can very easily put up a blog" that appeared to be one of his.
© The Local - France
Following the violent beating of a man flying an Israeli flag, Rabbi Shneur Kesselman tells The Local that his adopted city of Malmö remains a hotbed for anti-Semitism.
9/7/2014- On Sunday Ismail Babakr, a 38-year-old living in Seved, Malmö, was severely beaten with iron pipes in what police have called a hate crime. "I can't say it was a surprise when I heard the news, but there is still an element of shock," local rabbi Kesselman told The Local on Wednesday. "I was saddened by it more than anything else." The American rabbi, who moved to Malmö in 2004, has experienced plenty of anti-Semitic taunts during his decade in the Swedish south. Ordeals have included someone carving the word 'Palestina' into his car, and the abuse is ongoing. "Just last week somebody spat in my face and shouted 'damn Jew' at me. It has never happened on a daily basis, but the harassment is something I still experience, and as a result I don't spend so much time in town," Kesselman explained. Initial reports about the incident on Sunday night said that Ismail Babakr had been beaten for hanging an Israeli flag in his window. He later said he suspected the assault may have more to do with the current political situation in the Middle East.
Babakr said he has had the flag in his window for over a year, and didn't understand why it became a problem now. The only reason he could think of was his political sympathies.
"I am active on social media against the Iranian regime," Babakr told newspaper Svenska Dagbladet. "I like Jews and Israel. And for me it's no stranger than having a Swedish flag in my widow." It isn't the first time that an Israeli flag in Malmö has been attacked. When the city hosted the Eurovision song contest in 2013, the Israel sign was removed on two occasions from a lamppost which included all the flags of the participating nations. "People were already reluctant to fly the flag, and will probably be more so now. I'm not sure there is another flag out there that would cause such a reaction," Kesselman told The Local. He added; "It is one thing to have political views about Israel, but quite another to take the law into your own hands. That goes against the very fabric of Swedish society, which is freedom of speech."
One of Ismail Babakr's windows was smashed by a rock on Saturday, and just after midnight on Monday the second stone was thrown. Babakr ran out to the street and followed those who had thrown the rocks - first just two young men, but with another eight or ten waiting around the corner, he said. "They said that I couldn't have an Israeli flag in my window, and that things would go terribly for the Kurds," Babakr told Svenska Dagbladet. The gang proceeded to beat Babakr with iron pipes. Malmö mayor, Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh, told The Local in a 2013 interview that she intended to "build bridges" with the Jewish community. "It is completely unacceptable that anyone feels insecure when they walk on the streets of Malmö, whatever the reason," she told The Local.
Her predecessor Ilmar Reepalu had caused outrage for remarks about the city's Jewish population. The membership of the local Jewish community centre has dwindled to approximately 600, while there are an estimated 2,500 Jews among Skåne County's total population of 1.25 million residents. And things do not appear to be improving, with many of the Jews in the city electing to move to Stockholm or to leave Sweden altogether. Babakr, who suffered severe injuries to his head and leg in the fight with his perpetrators, said that he is not afraid, but no longer wants to stay in his home city. "I want to move now. I don't want to live here. Not in Malmö." Rabbi Kesselman said he didn't want to encourage people one way or the other if they wanted to wanted to emulate Babakr and fly an Israeli flag in Malmö. "That is the dangerous start of a slippery slope when you start making the unacceptable an acceptable reality. What is mind-boggling is how society just accepts these things happening. He concluded: "I wish I could say Malmö is getting safer for Jews but unfortunately it isn't."
© The Local - Sweden
Sweden: Man beaten with iron pipe for flying Israeli flag
A 38-year-old man in southern Sweden was assaulted on Sunday night after hanging an Israeli flag from his window, with police suspecting it is a hate crime.
7/7/2014- The incident occurred in Seved, Malmö, shortly before midnight on Sunday when the man displayed an Israeli flag from his window, sources told newspaper Sydsvenskan. The man reportedly exchanged words with men on the street after hanging the flag, and left his apartment. Before the assault the man's window had been smashed where the flag of Israel had been hung. "After that the man went out onto the street to see what was going on. Then he was attacked and it was on the basis of the flag. That is the information we have at present," Linda Pleym of the Malmö police told the TT news agency. Police said he was then assaulted by around ten people with iron pipes and chased from the building. The man managed to escape his attackers and was found by police on a nearby street. He was taken to hospital with serious injuries. Police have not yet made any arrests, but have interviewed witnesses in the area. "Our initial evaluation is that this is a hate crime," Malmö policewoman Marie Keismar told TT news agency. The act has been classified as aggravated assault. The police intend to interview the victim on Monday afternoon.
© The Local - Sweden
Russia: Racism and xenophobia in June 2014
This month, four people fell victim to racist and neo-Nazi violence, with two of them dying as a result of their injuries. Attacks were recorded in Moscow and the Kaluga region. As such, the first six months of the year saw 12 people killed, and at least 45 injured, in 18 regions of Russia as a result of such attacks. At least one person received a serious death threat.
5/7/2014- Neo-Nazi vandals also targeted Muslim graves in the Orenburg region this month. Since the beginning of the year, there have been no fewer than 25 incidents of ideologically-motivated vandalism. Far-right groups were not especially active in June, probably due to the World Cup and the general summer lull in activity. One notable occurrence this month, though, was the number of summer camps, seminars, etc. held by far-right and paramilitary groups. Such gatherings were held in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Volgograd, Penza, Engels (in the Saratov region), Perm, the Yaroslavl region, and others. Anti-immigrant raids continued in June. For example, a "Russian Sweep" was held in St. Petersburg on June 15. Nationalists, accompanied by television operator Nevex.tv, marched through a bazaar knocking over fruit vendors' counters. A renewal of the raid phenomenon was announced following this action.
Ultra-right activists attempted to hold a rally to commemorate the assassination of convicted kidnapper-murderer Yuri Budanov. In Moscow, nationalists announced plans to gather at the scene of Budanov's killing, which remains unsolved, on June 10 to lay flowers at his memorial plaque. However, the action took place without significant attendance. In Tula and Yekaterinburg, caravans of cars drove in memory of Budanov. In Magnitogorsk, organizers put up stickers with his portrait. In Orel, the traditional Yermolovsky March (in memory of General Eromolov) was held on June 4. This year's event drew about 50 activists from the Orlovsky Front, the National Union of the Tula Region, the People's Cathedral - Voronezh (Mazera) and Russian United Action.
We are aware of two convictions in cases of violence motivated by racist hatred, in St. Petersburg and the Jewish Autonomous Region. Nine people were convicted, including members of the St. Petersburg neo-Nazi group NS/WP. Additionally, on June 27, a Moscow court sentenced Georgy Borovikov, the Pamyat leader and former head of the Moscow branch of the "honor court" of the Russians organization. Borovikov, along with accomplices, were convicted of the assault, robbery, and torture of their "ally" in Ulan-Ude. Since the beginning of the year, Russian courts have convicted no fewer than 27 people in 11 decisions, in nine regions of the country. There were at least 10 convictions, against as many people, for racist propaganda this month, in nine regions of the country. Since the beginning of the year, there have been no fewer than 60 sentences handed to as many charges on racist propaganda charges, in 35 regions of Russia.
The Federal List of Extremist Materials was updated twice this month, on June 9 and 27. Entries 2331-2341 were added. The additions include xenophobic materials from social network site Vkontakte, a recent publication of Mein Kampf, neopagan film series Game of the Gods, the newspaper Capital Punishment, and various Islamic materials including videos posted by militants to the website Kavkaz Jihad, which has been deemed extremist.
© SOVA Center for Information and Analysis.
Headlines 4 July, 2014
Canada: Two alleged hate crime incidents reported in London
30/6/2014- Two incidents of property damage were reported to the London Police Service on April 25. Graffiti was written in a laundry room in an apartment building on Connaught Avenue and on an exterior wall of a house on Harley Street. The two incidents are allegedly hate crimes motivated toward the black community and believed to have been committed by the same suspect. London Police Service Const. Ken Steeves said police waited to release the information because they tried to identify the suspect internally first and a heavy workload also contributed to the delay. “Since no one was injured or threatened to be injured, there wasn't as high of an urgency to get it out,” Steeves said. “With the workload of the investigator as well, other investigations had to take priority. Other than these two incidents on that date, there have been none others reported to us.” The suspect is described as white, 20-30 years old, 5'10" (178 cm), 170 lbs (77 kg), wearing a blue baseball cap, a blue hooded sweatshirt, jeans, and running shoes. He was carrying a red shoulder bag and a black backpack.
© London Community News
By Shenali D Waduge
2/7/2014- In what is clearly double speak and hypocrisy the US asks Sri Lanka to protect the minorities while in the US hate crimes has jumped to over 50%. The statistics itself are appalling. The term Islamophobia itself was coined probably by the West in an overall plan that cannot omit drawing a link and partnership with West to Islamic fundamentalists in their common objective that has little concern for the victims even if they are Islamic adherents following them because of their allegiance to Islam. This aspect cannot be ignored and needs to be one of the key components in any discussions that centres around the topic of extremism and intolerance vis a vis the Muslim factor. There is little doubt of a historic partnership between western powers and political Islam used to dominate the strategically vital Middle East by creating and unleashing Islamic fundamentalists. It is a pity that Muslims have fallen prey and not understood the real politik of this plot.
There is little that CIA, Pentagon can deny of its links to supporting Al Qaeda, Muslim Brotherhood, Khomeni, Afghan Jihadists and other radical Islam groups while pretending to be at war with them and using Western media to denigrate Muslims globally. Muslims who have fallen for Islam’s teachings through madrassas programmed to instill in them a brand of Islam to take up arms and fight have been pawns in the hands of mullahs working from the pocket of the West. These radical Muslims are the West’s bosom buddies because every Government that makes money from war chests are people who have no love for people, nation, religion or even sustaining planet earth. They see dollars and dollars and dollars only.
There has to be more reasons to why a religion worshipping Allah would have differences large and strong enough to take up arms against each other. There has to be reasons why Islamic nations would tie up with West to agree to develop opposition against a fellow Islamic nation. There has to be reasons for new Islamic ‘irritants’ that Muslims are being forced to adhere to on the pretext and assumption that it is part of Islam. We can label these irritants as halal, halal logos/labels, open animal sacrifice, loud speakers at mosques that have been purposely built close to places of non-Muslim religious sites, new identity portrayed through Arab dress code for men, women and even children etc. There is a strong belief that these irritants are been purposely promoted to create the much wanted disharmony while on the surface the US envoys can preach ‘tolerance’ for minorities that lead to UN Resolutions and thereafter ‘intervention’ of a kind suited to the Western agenda.
While the US preaches ‘tolerance’ in countries where probably it has been the root cause for that intolerance, in the US, hate crimes soars.
+ According to the FBI Hate Crime Statistics Report, there were a total of 8152 hate crimes reported around the country. 4368 (53.6%) were racial bias motivated; 1483 (18.2%) were religious bias motivated; sexual orientation bias accounted for 1330 (16.3%); ethnicity/national origin bias was the cause of 927 (11.4%); disability bias was connected with 36 (0.4%); and the remaining 8 incidents (0.1%) were the result of multiple biases.
+ Victims perceived that over half (51%) of hate crimes were motivated by ethnicity bias in 2012, which was higher than the percentage in 2011 (30%) and 2004 (22%).
+ The percentage of hate crimes motivated by religious bias nearly tripled from 10% in 2004 to 28% in 2012, while the percentage of hate crimes motivated by gender bias more than doubled from 12% to 26% during the same period.
+ In 2011, anti-Muslim hate crimes reported numbered 157 though the unreported number may be much higher.
+ According to the FBI, anti-Islamic incidents were the second least reported hate crimes prior to 9/11, but following 9/11, they became the second highest reported among religion-bias incidents. From pre-9/11 to post-9/11, a growth of 1600% took place.
+ We are well aware of how the UK destroyed 700 mosques
+ It is not only in the US, In Canadian anti-Muslim sentiment is rising, disturbing new poll reveals - http://www.macleans.ca/politics/land-of-intolerance
While Anti-Islam sentiment has become the majority view in Europe so much so that the European Court of Human Rights has upheld a full ban on face veils citing national security concerns. There is also an uncanny way that the West has found it easy to create a problem and quickly bring in legislation that curbs the rights of people and gags them from making opposition. Thus, we have hate crimes and so there are now hate laws. We are made to believe that hate crime laws are meant to deter haters from striking out and to demonstrate that authorities mean business on hate crimes. So how many of these offenders actually read hate law legislation to fear the penalty? If one takes a good look at some of the cases of mass shooting in public in the US and Europe most of the killers were mentally ill.
With a War on Terror on and US claiming to be masters at catching terrorists, is it not surprising that with each day not only are terrorist organizations rising they are finding arms and ammunition supply easily as well as taking control of countries very much in the Western sphere of interest. Put two and two together and it is not hard to conclude that there has to be a connection between the world’s terror outfits and the West.
The latest drama is the ISIS claiming to destroy the Kabba in Mecca and take over the city of Arar. There has to be something more to who controls Muslims killing each other for difference of cognition and therein lies the answer to the question of peaceful co-existence if such is the nature of people. We cannot rule out who can be responsible for the mischief taking place though we need to also add that just as the bribe giver is guilty so to is the bribe taker. Therefore, though we blame the West what needs to be categorically said is that the catastrophes taking place round the world has inherently some link to the religious text and its interpretation for it is based on these interpretations that followers of the various fundamentalist groups have emerged. Therefore, there is much need for introspection. According to John L. Esposito, Professor of Religion and International Affairs and of Islamic Studies at Georgetown University, “ISIS is capable of doing anything. Saudis will repent one day for having supported Islamic terrorism all over the globe”
Let us not forget that the CIA overthrew a democratically elected Iranian leader in 1953 and put the Shah in power, CIA funded ayatollahs, and began to use Islam for its own advantage. The intellectual Muslims failed to rise and educate their people not to fall prey. The Muslim youth have become guinea pigs of the West’s geopolitical agendas and they have not cared that these brainwashed men let loose around the world, trained in arms and with no focus except to kill may end up on their home turfs as we are seeing how annoyed the British are of late. Those still in doubt of America’s links to political Islam need to read up on CIA spending billions to support the Jihadists in Afghanistan, how US is currently covertly aiding terrorists to create a civil war in Syria in a bid to overthrow its President and take over the country.
CIA is alleged to have helped Muslim Brotherhood infiltrate the West. Muslim Brotherhood fronts in the US are: http://www.newenglishreview.org/Jerry_Gordon/How_the_CIA_Helped_The_Muslim_Brotherhood_Infiltrate_the_West/
Council of American Islamic Relations;
Islamic Society of North America;
Islamic Circle of North America;
Muslim Students Association;
Muslim American Society;
International Institute for Islamic Thought; and,
Muslim Public Affairs Council.
CIA Helped to Train and Support Bin Laden, Ramzi Yousef and Other Top Islamic Terrorists Who Bombed The World Trade Center ISIS is alleged to be funded by Saudi Arabia and CIA and trained by the Pentagon (Global Research) – when ISIS declares a caliphate in the Middle East and all Muslims are called to pay allegiance to it. The question is for whose benefit and in whose interest is ISIS being formed?
With these facts facing us in the face should we not question the silence by the Western media and Human Rights Organizations for hate crimes against Muslims in the West while these same entities jump to demand tolerance and rights for Muslim minorities? Are these hate crimes simply a violent gesture in the West to explicitly declare ‘no-go’ areas while Muslims are encouraged in fact promoted to align to irritants that form the basis for people to question the demanding nature of Muslims when in Muslim dominated countries they do not cede any space or offer any compromise to non-Muslims. The hijacking of political Islam and its bended usage by the West primarily at the cost of a naïve global Muslim public unable and unwilling to realize that they are being monopolized via their own faith is leading to a greater calamity unless sense prevails.
The doublespeak and hypocrisy of the West is more than evident because not only are they helping create irritants among non-Muslim communities unwittingly accepted and promoted by Muslims who cannot see beyond the call demanding that they ‘submit to Allah’ have made Muslims easy prey and explains why Islamic fundamentalists are the easiest breeding ground for terrorists. The mainstream media and the human rights organizations both of which are in the pockets of and controlled and influenced by the West are silent on the crimes of the West and reluctant to expose the links as well as debate on the mischief being created to push different agendas. The silence of media and human rights organizations and their action against selected countries completely dispels their credibility and people should revert to alternate media to believe what is going on around the world if they wish to know the truth or be ready to digest nothing but lies and distortions.
Ireland: Racist graffiti outside Convention Centre mars citizenship ceremonies for new Irish citizens
4/7/2014- Racist graffiti has been daubed outside the Convention Centre in Dublin on the day that citizenship ceremonies were taking place inside. The graffiti seems to have been painted overnight and is on both sides of the bridge on North Wall Quay. Incorrectly spelled it attempts to say, “Population replacement factory”. Today, 3,860 people from 123 different countries were being made naturalised Irish citizens with the Immigrant Council of Ireland saying it has “placed a cloud over what should be a celebration”. “It is unacceptable that once again racist graffiti has appeared overnight in a city centre location, in this case opposite the main Department of Justice Office at Burgh Quay which handles immigration applications,” says Denise Charlton of the ICI. The appearance of hate messages on hoardings and public buildings in central Dublin is now a regular occurrence and those responsible are not only acting with apparent immunity but are becoming more brazen.
In May and February there were two separate incidents of xenophobic writing being painted in Dublin, incidents that are by no means isolated, with the ICI arguing that simply painting over them is not enough. The group say that one out of every 10 reports of racism they receive involves graffiti and damage to property, saying that those responsible should be found and prosecuted. Today’s ceremonies are the first to be officiated by the new Minister for Justice and Equality Frances Fitzgerald. The minister said that wait times for the successful granting of citizenship is down from over 2.5 years to six months or less in some cases. Fitzgerald said that her first such ceremony meant that it was a “special day” for her, adding that it is the responsibility of Irish people to welcome new citizens.
© The Journal Ireland
Ireland: Death threats as racism reports soar 114pc this year
Death threats and damage to property are just some of the reported instances of racism which have soared by 114pc so far this year.
30/6/2014- A study by the Immigrant Council of Ireland (ICI) revealed one African family had the windscreen of their car smashed eight times. The insurance company is now refusing to pay for repair work. The tyres were also punctured several times and the family home was spray-painted with a racist slogan. The last time the father of the family confronted two abusive local teenagers, aged 12 to 14, they chased him down the street wielding wooden sticks, shouting racist insults and threatening to assault him. Figures from the ICI show there were 137 racist instances in the first six months of the year, an increase from 64 for the same period in 2013. Most instances were reported at work and in the home, with verbal abuse the most common issue. The reported incidents included death threats, property damage and sustained verbal abuse from children as young as 12. Denise Charlton, chief executive of the Immigrant Council, described the figures as "very worrying". She called on the Government to launch a new national action plan to combat racism and introduce a 24/7 online reporting system. "It is important that we send out the message that in Ireland there is no acceptable level of racism," she added.
© The Irish Independent
Greece: Athens Holocaust memorial defaced with threats against Jews
30/6/2014- Vandals have defaced the Holocaust Memorial in Athens, writing threats against the Jewish community on it. The incident occurred Friday and police were immediately called to the scene, where they took fingerprints and opened an investigation, said Victor Eliezer, the secretary general of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece. The graffiti included a purported quote from the Talmud, saying Jews who convert should be put to death, and threats that the synagogue in Athens would be destroyed. “Regretfully, 70 years after the end of World War II, which left millions of victims of bigotry, racism, Nazism and anti-Semitism behind, there are people beyond redemption aiming at terrorizing us by molesting the memory of our brothers, victims of the Holocaust,” said a statement from the Jewish community issued on Monday. “They will not succeed in intimidating us,” the statement said.
The incident comes several weeks after vandals desecrated the Jewish cemetery in the northern city of Thessaloniki. It also follows the release of an Anti-Defamation League survey showing that Greece has Europe’s highest rate of anti-Semitic attitudes, with 69 percent of Greeks espousing anti-Semitic views. That’s nearly twice the rate as the next highest country, France, where the rate was 37 percent. The monument, erected in 2010, commemorates the more than 60,000 Greek Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust. Today only about 5,000 Jews live in Greece.
© JTA News
Northern Ireland: Racist attack: Three men assaulted in Belfast hate crime
Three men have been assaulted in a racist attack in east Belfast.
29/6/2014- The men - all in their 20s - were set upon at around 3am on the Queen's Bridge on Sunday. A 22-year-old man arrested on suspicion of assault has now been released on police bail pending further enquiries. Police are appealing for anyone with information to contact them. A spokesman said the attack was being treated as a "racially motiivated hate crime". A report published earlier this month showed only 12 people were successfully convicted for the 14,000 hate crimes reported in Northern Ireland over the last five years. Last year 982 racist incidents were reported to the PSNI – an average of up to three every day. That marks a big rise on the year before – there were 750 reports about racist incidents in 2012-13.
© The Belfast Telegraph
UK: Two boys (13), arrested over Nazi race hate attack at Blackley Jewish Cemetery
Two boys aged just 13 have been arrested in connection with the anti-Semitic race hate attack on the Jewish Cemetery in North Manchester.
30/6/2014- The young boys were arrested on Friday on suspicion of committing a racially aggravated public order offence, but were bailed until July 25 pending further enquiries. The hate crime – which saw 40 graves pushed over and Nazi swastikas scrawled over headstones – has been blasted by religious leaders and left those affected in pain and shock. Inspector Mike Reid said: “As you might expect this crime caused an outcry within the local community. “Such mindless criminal damage will not be tolerated in our communities and our aim is to ensure those responsible are identified, charged and brought to justice in due course." More than 60 graves were damaged at Blackley Jewish Cemetery; many were ripped from the ground and covered in racial slurs.
A clean-up operation took place at the cemetery on Sunday, around 100 people from the local community came together to restore the cemetery to its former glory. The headstones will take longer to repair and will the costs for repairs will fall on the families affected to try and rectify the horrendous damage caused. Extra patrols have been in place in the area to act as a deterrent for any further hate crimes and to provide a visible presence for concerned residents. Inspector Reid said: “Residents have been fully supportive and cooperative of our investigation and, as a direct result of their assistance, we have been able to make these two arrests. “I want to stress that this investigation is at an early stage and we of course continue to appeal to anyone with information about those responsible for this appalling crime to call us.”
© Mancunian Matters
UK: Women targeted in rising tide of attacks on Muslims
Hotline figures reveal an average of two Islamophobic incidents every day since the murder of Lee Rigby.
28/6/2014- More than half of Islamophobic attacks in Britain are committed against women, who are typically targeted because they are wearing clothing associated with Islam, new data reveals. The figures of anti-Muslim attacks, compiled in the nine months following the murder of soldier Lee Rigby in May 2013, come days after Saudi Arabian student Nahid Almanea was stabbed to death in Essex, with detectives believing that she may have been attacked because she was wearing traditional Islamic clothing.
In a study of calls to the Tell Mama hotline
, which records Islamophobic crimes, academics at Teesside University found there were on average two incidents every day over the period. Victims reported a total of 734 incidents to the hotline
between the start of May last year and 28 February 2014, broken down into 599 incidents of online abuse and 135 offline attacks – an increase of almost 20% on the same period the previous year. One aspect of the figures indicates an apparent lack of trust in police to deal with Islamophobic incidents, with one in six victims choosing not to report the incident to authorities. The Teesside report, published by the first research unit in Britain dedicated to the study of the far right and its opposition, says more effort is required to foster greater trust between the Muslim community and authorities.
"Supporting victims and encouraging them to come forward to report a hate crime
remains the highest priority," the report says. "Alongside addressing under-reporting, authorities should be encouraged to disaggregate hate crimes by strand, and to take seriously the increased incidence of anti-Muslim hate crime
." The data also revealed that – unlike most incidents of hate crime, which overwhelmingly involve male perpetrators and victims – 54% of the victims of Islamophobia were female. One theory is that Muslim women are more "visibly" Muslim because of traditional clothing such as the hijab or abaya. The figures show that four in five victims attacked in the street or elsewhere were females wearing visibly Muslim clothing; almost the same proportion of alleged perpetrators offline were young, white men.
Incidents reported to Tell Mama leapt after the murder of Rigby, with nearly four times more reports during the week following the attack than the previous week – although the number of incidents reduced in the months thereafter. However, the report says that Islamophobia and its negative impact on community relations remains an ongoing concern. "Throughout spring 2014, there were heightened levels of both online and offline incidents reported to Tell Mama. At this time, many people in Britain felt frightened and victimised," it says. Overall, the data are in contrast to the trend for hate crime, with government figures showing the number of reported attacks falling.
Other findings from the report confirm that a significant number of incidents reported to the hotline involved a link to far-right groups such as the English Defence League. A far-right connection was traceable in almost half of reported Islamophobic online abuse. An online link to the far right was readily detected through recognisable slogans such as the EDL's "NFSE" (No fucking surrender ever), hashtags linked to far-right groups, avatars or recurring far-right phrases including neo-Nazi phrases. In a previous report by the Teesside University centre, it was claimed that a small number of far-right activists were responsible for a significant proportion of online hate incidents targeting British Muslims.
© The Guardian