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Our intention is to inform people of racist, homophobic, religious extreme hate speech perpetrators across social networking internet sites. And we also aim to be a focal point for people to access information and resources to report such perpetrators to appropriate web sites, governmental departments and law enforcement agencies around the world.

We will also post relevant news worthy items and information on Human rights issues, racism, extremist individuals and groups and far right political parties from around the world although predominantly Britain.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Hate crime figures published for the first time (UK)

Hate crime figures for England, Wales and Northern Ireland have been published for the first time.

In 2009 a total of 52,028 crimes were recorded in which the offence was motivated by prejudice.

Victims were targeted because of race, religious belief, sexual orientation, disability or transgender issues.

Chief Constable Stephen Otter of police chiefs' body Acpo said: "By publishing this data... we hope to encourage victims and witnesses to come forward."

The vast majority were targeted because of their race - 43,426 (up from 39,300), and the others were classified as sexual orientation - 4,805; religion/faith - 2,083; disability - 1,402 and transgender - 312.

An Acpo spokesman said 703 crimes were anti-Semitic.

Mr Otter, Acpo's lead for equality, diversity and human rights, said: "Hate crimes cause a great deal of harm among victims and communities.

"Publication of the data underlines the commitment of the police service to tackle hate crime, build confidence and encourage victims to come forward so that under-reporting is reduced."

Although data was not collated nationally before 2009, Acpo says it believes there has been a rise in all five types of hate crime.

'Much work to do'

Professor John Grieve CBE, independent chair of the government's Hate Crime Advisory Group, welcomed the data and said: "It represents a significant step forward in our understanding of the nature and extent of hate crime in England, Wales and Northern Ireland."

Prof Grieve, a former deputy assistant commissioner with the Metropolitan Police who set up a racial and violent crime task force at Scotland Yard, said: "The UK is amongst world leaders in the way that it responds to hate crime, but there is still much work to do.

"One of the greatest challenges is to reduce the under-reporting of hate crime. We welcome the government's commitment to increase reporting and we will be examining this data in the forthcoming months and years to better understand the extent of crime and to challenge where performance does not meet the high standards that the public rightly demands of the criminal justice agencies." 

BBC News

Federal judge blocks Oklahoma Sharia law ban (USA)

A US federal judge has stopped Oklahoma putting into effect a constitutional amendment to bar courts from considering Islamic law in judgements.

Judge Vicky Miles-Lagrange granted an injunction against the certification of the results of State Question 755.

She said she needed more time to decide the merits of a complaint by a Muslim, who argued that the ban would violate his right to freedom of religion.

The ban was approved by 70% of voters in a referendum earlier this month.

Muneer Awad, the head of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Oklahoma, filed a suit saying the amendment would affect every aspect of his life, including his will and testament.

In her ruling on Monday, Judge Miles-Lagrange said Mr Awad had shown he would have suffered an "injury, specifically, an invasion of his First Amendment rights" if the results of Question 755 were certified.

"Plaintiff has sufficiently set forth a personal stake in this action by alleging that he lives in Oklahoma, is a Muslim, that the amendment conveys an official government message of disapproval and hostility toward his religious beliefs, that sends a clear message he is an outsider, not a full member of the political community, thereby chilling his access to the government and forcing him to curtail his political and religious activities," she explained.

Mr Awad said: "We applaud today's ruling and welcome the opportunity it offers to demonstrate that Oklahoma's Muslim community simply seeks to enjoy the civil and religious rights guaranteed to all Americans."

The author of the amendment, Republican state representative Rex Duncan, has said it is not intended as an attack on Muslims, but is rather a "pre-emptive strike" preventing Sharia law being applied

BBC News

Oregon mosque fire probed as hate crime (USA)

A fire at an Oregon mosque occasionally attended by the Portland bombing suspect is being investigated as a possible hate crime, the FBI said.

The Sunday morning fire at the Salman Alfarisi Islamic Center in Corvallis destroyed much of the building's administrative office, the Corvallis Gazette-Times reported.

Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 19, a former Oregon State University student, had attended services at the mosque. He was appearing in court Monday after being arrested in an attempt to detonate a van full of what he thought were explosives near Portland's Pioneer Courthouse Square.

FBI spokeswoman Beth Anne Steele in Portland said the arson fire seemed to be an attempt "to interfere with the civil rights of the members of the church to freely worship."

A Corvallis policeman spotted smoke coming from the Islamic center about 2:15 a.m. Firefighters were able to limit damage to one office, and there were no injuries.

Witnesses said the fire might have started from someone throwing a glass full of a flammable liquid through the window.

The FBI office in Portland offered a $10,000 reward for information on the attack Monday.

UPI

Le Pen's legacy: bitter battle for future of the French far right (France)

Next year, the National Front will elect a new leader who will decide whether the party moves into the mainstream or remains extremist and marginal.

The jolly, slightly bumbling man with a shock of white hair was once, briefly, the most senior far-right politician in Europe. On a filthy night in Metz in eastern France, he is addressing a restaurant filled with French patriots, aged from 80 to four. He comes over as a mixture of a Euro MP and a university professor (both of which he is) and an earnest small-town mayor (which he is not).

His name is Bruno Gollnisch. You have probably never heard of him, even though he was once, for 10 months in 2007, the president of a far-right group in the European Parliament which included some of the most extreme and aggressive nationalists in the EU. For many years, Mr Gollnisch, 60, has been the loyal number two to a man that much of the world has heard of, Jean-Marie Le Pen, the founder and president of the National Front, the French far-right party.

Mr Le Pen, 82, retires in January. Mr Gollnisch believes that it is now his turn to rule one of the most successful – and feared – ultra-nationalist movements in Europe. But there is someone in his way, Mr Le Pen's daughter Marine, 42.

The internal campaign to succeed Mr Le Pen will end in January with a vote of the 75,000 party members before a conference in Tours. In recent days, the campaign has become very nasty indeed. The kind of poisonous paranoia that the NF usually directs at the rest of the world (especially immigrants and mainstream politicians) has been turned inwards, against the party's would-be leaders. Or rather mostly against one would-be leader: Marine Le Pen.

In some far-right newspapers and on ultra-Catholic websites, Ms Le Pen, has been branded a "hussy outside religion and the law" and a "spineless" woman surrounded by "unscrupulous opportunists, Jews and perverts". She has been accused by the editor of one ultra-right magazine, Rivarol, of having "adopted the two official religions of the Fifth Republic, abortion and the Holocaust".

Ms Le Pen, a pro-abortion, twice divorced, mother-of-three, is accused by the ultra-Catholic website e-Deo of surrendering to the "evil one". What is more, e-Deo says, she is a "feminist" and "invariably" wears jeans.

Why such hatred? Marine Le Pen promises that she can take the NF to a new level. By abandoning her father's provocations and obsession with the past, by adopting a more modern and moderate image, and ditching some socially conservative positions, she believes that the NF can move beyond its powerful, baleful presence on the margins of French politics. It can win and rule.

That appeals to many people. Marine is widely tipped to win the party leadership in January. The opinion polls suggest she would take votes from President Nicolas Sarkozy and come third in the first round of the presidential election in 2012.

To others in the party, all talk of broadening and modernising the movement sounds like heresy. Their badge of identity and pride is that they are permanent outsiders and, at the same time, the only true insiders, standing firm against the racio-cultural menaces facing France, Christianity and the West.

Mr Gollnisch, at his campaign meeting in Metz, distances himself from the vicious personal attacks on his rival. No one accuses him of fomenting or approving the demonising of Marine (which may not help him much in any case). Marine Le Pen does, however, accuse him of reaching out to "zozos", "provocateurs" and "anachronistic groups" who will lead the NF into an "endless tunnel of "demonisation".

On the contrary, says Mr Gollnisch, he is the only man who can bring together the big happy family of the French far right.

In Metz his speech is mostly about the past, pushing one by one the hot buttons of racial and nationalist resentment: the "betrayal" of French settlers in Algeria in the early 1960s; the "lies" about French "shame" in World War Two; the misunderstood, civilising glories of the vanished, French global empire.

He also refers to what he sees as the twin fountainheads of Frenchness: Clovis (the blonde, fifth-century uniter of Frankish tribes) and Rome (the mother of Catholicsm). At every hot-button reference, the hundred or so Gollnisch supporters, including the four year olds, applaud loudly.

Mr Gollnisch also pays tribute to his "noble" far-right allies in the European parliament, including the British National Party and the "courageous" Nick Griffin. Marine Le Pen, in an interview with The Independent in September, distanced herself from the BNP. Her mission is, in a sense, to turn the National Front into a kind of Gallic Ukip – a nationalist party that can penetrate the middle classes and the mainstream.

Talking to The Independent after his speech, Mr Gollnisch made no apology for praising Mr Griffin. "We stress the ethnic question less than the BNP but our approaches are otherwise much the same," he said.

"Nick Griffin is a charming man, a courageous man, a very intelligent man. I am a great admirer of Nick Griffin. If Marine Le Pen wishes to distance the Front National from Nick Griffin and the BNP, then that shows the difference between Marine and myself..."

It is probably wrong, or over-simple, to see Mr Gollnish as the "hardliner" and Marine Le Pen as a "moderate" but his enemies, inside and outside the party, point to his friendly relations with unashamedly xenophobic, anti-Semitic and racist figures and groups. Mr Gollnisch is a professor of Japanese and oriental culture and he is married to a Japanese woman. Is he also a racist?

"When Algerians were murdering French people in the 1950s because they didn't want the French in Algeria, we were told that was normal," he said. "When I say that there are too many Algerians in France, I am branded a racist and a xenophobe.

"Xenophobia is normal. It is a common attitude all over the world. People are wary of foreigners. They are scared of threats to their culture and way of life. That doesn't make them racist, in the sense that they believe that one race is superior. I have spent my whole life studying other cultures. My wife is Japanese. But I believe that the French people, French traditions, French culture should be dominant in France."

Jean-Marie Le Pen is supporting his daughter. The party machine is clearly on Marine's side. On the NF website, you find a half-dozen large pictures of Marine before you find one small one of Mr Gollnisch. His supporters are being hounded out of party positions. Isn't this a rather "Third World" election?

Mr Gollnish does not disagree. "Yes, you are right, there is a disparity. There is gap in the way that I am treated and the way that Marine is treated." He shrugs. What worries him more, he says, is the disparity in coverage by the French mainstream media. He is confident, all the same, that he can overcome these handicaps and win in January.

"The numbers of people coming to my meetings, the fervour there, the number of applications for party membership from people that we know support me... Events are moving my way. I think there is a growing anxiety in the other camp."

But what of the other people in the restaurant? What do they have against Marine, who is, after all, her father's daughter, and the publicly anointed choice of the man who created the NF and led it for almost 40 years? It rapidly emerges that Marine's unsurmountable handicap for some NF traditionalists is that she is her father's daughter, not his son.

A young man with razor-short hair, who declined to give his name, said: "What we need is a man. Un homme de poigne." (Literally a man with a firm grip.)

A group of other young men – short-hair, smartly dressed, severe faces, but, on the whole, friendly – try to explain why they dislike Marine. They do not repeat the ultra-extreme views expressed in Rivarol or on some far-right websites – at least not in public – but their contempt for Marine is clear.

Pierre Jeannot, 30, an accountant, said: "I left the NF because, under Marine's influence, it has been getting too soft. If Gollnisch wins, I will rejoin. Marine wants to water down the party. She wants to make it acceptable, politically correct. But what is the point of that? We want a party that will be a trades union for the white French – for the French of French origin."

William Schmidt, 27, a bank worker, said: "We are far right and we want a party that is not afraid of being called far right. We want a party that is not afraid of being called racist just because it tells the truth. Marine wants to clean up the party's image. Why? We warned years ago what mass immigration would do to France. Now everyone sees that we were right. Why should we apologise?"

André Collin, 69, a retired lorry driver from near Metz, has been involved in far-right politics since, as a soldier in Algéria, he felt betrayed by Charles de Gaulle's decision to abandon "l'Algérie Française" in 1962.

"I have yet to decide how I will vote," he said. "Marine presents a more modern face for the television. But is that what we need? I want someone with experience, with integrity, someone who will stand by what we have always represented: the only party which stands up for the real interests of French people."

A senior NF renegade once described the party as "a coalition of losers". It was he said, a loose – and mutually detesting – constellation of various tribes who feel rejected or defeated by the modern world: the Vichy sympathisers; the ex-Algerian colonists; the fundamentalist Catholics; the royalists; the diehard anti-Europeans.

Floating around, and in and out, of the party, there are also several, more bizarre, or disturbing, tribes: pagan white supremacists, neo-Nazis, diehard anti-Semites. Overall, the spectrum of the NF stretches, in British terms, from the right-wing of the Conservative Party to beyond the BNP.

Only the charisma and personality of Jean-Marie Le Pen has held the party together for so long. Pieces have been dropping off for several years now (which Mr Gollnisch promises to sew back on).

Marine Le Pen pledges to turn the NF into a winning party. The people in the restaurant in Metz seemed to prefer to remain losers, unsullied by moderate or mainstream approval.

Everything suggests that Marine Le Pen will win in January. She may go on to make a high score in the first round of the presidential election in 2012, weakening President Sarkozy's chance of re-election. In the longer term, even in the medium term, it may be difficult for her to prevent the family business from falling apart.

Le Pen Family fortunes

* Marine Le Pen – if she wins the National Front party leadership – is predicted to take up to 14 per cent of the vote in the first round of the French presidential elections in 2012. This is a much stronger showing than the equivalent position of her father, Jean-Marie, 18 months before the election of 2002: an election in which he shocked the world by taking second place and reaching the second round run-off with 16.86 per cent of the vote.

Since then the NF score in national elections has slumped. So have its finances, dependent partly on national subsidies based on election results. In the 2004 European elections, the NF scored only 9.8 per cent. In the 2007 presidential election – won by Nicolas Sarkozy – Mr Le Pen attracted only 10.4 per cent in the first round, his worst result since 1988.

In the 2009 European elections the NF took just 6.34 per cent of the vote. In the first round of the French regional elections earlier this year the party, fighting on a more moderate platform largely shaped by Marine Le Pen, was back up to 11.42 per cent of the nationwide vote in the first round.

The Independant

Casting agent fired over The Hobbit racism row in New Zealand

A casting agent for New Zealand-based production The Hobbit was dismissed after placing newspaper advertisements seeking extras with "light skin tones", New Zealand Press Association (NZPA) reported.

The agent advertised in the Bay of Plenty Times listing essential requirements for potential hobbits, including age (16-80), height - below 5ft, 7ins (170cm) for men and 5ft, 2ins (158cm) for women - and the requirement that women have light skin tones.

A spokesman for Wingnut Films, the production company owned by director Sir Peter Jackson, said no such instructions had been given to the casting company.

The sacking follows a complaint from a British Pakistani woman on a working holiday in New Zealand, who was told at a casting call for the two-part US$500 million production that she was not white enough to be a hobbit - a fictional human-like creature.

Naz Humphreys, a social policy researcher, said she had traveled from Auckland to Hamilton last week to participate in an extras audition for the highly-anticipated prequel to The Lord of the Rings films.

"The casting manager basically said they weren't having anybody who wasn't pale-skinned," she said.

"It's 2010 and I still can't believe I'm being discriminated against because I have brown skin."

A video of the auditions taken by the Waitako Times newspaper shows a film company representative telling the crowd: "We are looking for light-skinned people. I'm not trying to be whatever. It's just the brief. You've got to look like a hobbit."

The Hobbit, based on the JRR Tolkien novel of the same name, is due to begin filming in 3D next February with Jackson back in the director's chair and Martin Freeman from UK TV hit The Office starring in the lead role of Bilbo Baggins.

The Herald Sun

Monday, 29 November 2010

White supremacists on trial in explosives plot (USA)

Two reputed white supremacists and a black associate collaborated on a plot to sell grenades and guns to a member of a national white supremacist group, according to prosecutors who put the men on trial this week.

But the buyer was really a government informant who often wore hidden video and audio recording equipment, producing hours of what prosecutors say is incriminating evidence.

Jurors, who have watched some of the videos and listened to audio excerpts during the federal trial, are to return to court Monday and Tuesday, then take a break until Nov. 29 because of the Thanksgiving holiday.

On trial are Kenneth Zrallack of Ansonia, Alexander DeFelice of Milford and David Sutton of Milford. They've pleaded not guilty to a host of firearms and conspiracy charges.

The secretly recorded conversations show Sutton, who is black, and DeFelice joking about how an African-American was doing an illegal weapons deal with a white supremacist. The discussion started after undercover informant Joseph Anastasio expressed reservations about Sutton's involvement - in keeping with his cover of being a member of the Imperial Klans of America.

"No, Dave ain't black," DeFelice says.

"Yes I am," Sutton says.

"Dave's Canadian," DeFelice jokes.

"Whatever," Anastasio responds.

"French Canadian," Sutton says.

Sutton then holds up his arm and says, "No. I don't call this extra crispy."

DeFelice then says, "You call it caramelized," and laughter erupts.

Prosecutors say Zrallack, 29, is the leader of the Connecticut-based Battalion 14 white supremacist group, formerly known as the Connecticut White Wolves. They say he was looking to gain national prominence and wanted to commit a "lone wolf" act that would create chaos.

An expert on white supremacist groups, Robert Nill, told prosecutors that the Connecticut White Wolves claimed to have been founded on April 20, Adolf Hitler's birthday, in 2002, and Zrallack formed the successor Battalion 14 in 2009. Court documents also say defendants in the case talked about their desires to kill President Barack Obama and leave an explosive-filled basketball at a New Haven playground so blacks would be killed.

DeFelice, 33, is a Battalion 14 member who knows how to make explosives, prosecutors said. He and Zrallack are being detained during the trial, which is expected to end in early December.

Sutton, 46, is not a member of any white supremacist group, but he lived near DeFelice and has known him for years, according to court testimony. Prosecutors say Sutton helped DeFelice make three explosive grenades that Anastasio bought for $3,000 last January and had offered to dispose of the grenades if the deal fell through, knowing that DeFelice was a white supremacist.

Authorities say they believe Sutton's main motivation was getting DeFelice to broker a sale of semiautomatic firearms to Sutton's brother-in-law, a deal that never happened.

Lawyers for Zrallack and DeFelice declined to comment on the allegations. Sutton's lawyer, Frank Riccio II, said Sutton maintains his innocence and expects to be vindicated. Sutton declined to comment.

The U.S. attorney's office says DeFelice faces up to 70 years in prison if convicted of all counts, while Zrallack and Sutton each face up to five years in prison.

Two other men, Edwin Westmoreland and William Bolton, both of Stratford, have pleaded guilty to similar charges and await sentencing.

Prosecutors say the criminal activities began to surface in late 2008 and early 2009, when DeFelice and Bolton told Anastasio that they had plans to rob a man who assembled and kept a large number of firearms in his apartment. The robbery never was carried out.

Two months later, DeFelice, Bolton and Westmoreland sold Anastasio a sawed-off rifle for $300, a federal indictment says.

In November 2009, Westmoreland sold Anastasio a rifle and a shotgun for $350, court documents say.

And last January, authorities say, DeFelice finished assembling the three explosive grenades. Prosecutors say Anastasio paid DeFelice $3,000, and DeFelice gave $100 of the money to Westmoreland. Anastasio gave the firearms and grenades to federal authorities.

Prosecutors say Zrallack made several hundred dollars off the sale of the firearms to Anastasio, and he took a cut of the sale of the grenades.

Anastasio went to Zrallack's home after buying the grenades and gave him a share of the money that DeFelice had set aside, prosecutors say. The two shared a drink and called out "88," which is a code for "Heil Hitler," prosecutors say. H is the eighth letter of the alphabet.

Federal agents later obtained a search warrant for Zrallack's home and found white supremacist evidence, including a Hitler poster, Nazi flags and photos of Zrallack holding weapons and posing as Hitler. They say they also found white supremacist videos and photos on Zrallack's computer.

Anastasio also testified that he, Zrallack and several others waived Nazi flags near an outdoor Jewish menorah lighting ceremony in Fairfield in December 2009.

"My credibility was on the line with these people," Anastasio testified. "I wanted to show them that I had the same beliefs as them, which I don't."

Anastasio said the Fairfield incident made him "sick" and "upset."

He said he was also concerned once when he went to DeFelice's home and found DeFelice and Westmoreland removing gunpowder from shotgun shells. Anastasio said he couldn't believe they were smoking cigarettes around explosives while DeFelice's children were in the house.

"I just didn't want to be around there," Anastasio said.

Washington Post

SWISS APPROVE AUTOMATIC EXPULSION OF FOREIGN CRIMINALS

Switzerland endorsed Sunday a far-right push to automatically expel foreign residents convicted of certain crimes, to the dismay of critics who described it as a "dark day for human rights."  The approval of the initiative in a referendum was an expression of insecurity, the justice minister said, stressing the government would examine how to implement the new rule without violating its international obligations. In the vote, 52.9 percent were in favour of automatic expulsions and 47.1 percent were against, with the country's German-speaking majority largely backing the proposal. Only six of the 26 cantons rejected the initiative. The vote came exactly a year after Switzerland shocked the world by agreeing to ban the construction of new minarets, which was another proposal backed by the far-right Swiss People's Party (SVP). The decision on Sunday "is a first step on the way towards greater security," said the SVP in a statement. As with their campaign against minarets, the far-right party launched an aggressive push for the expulsion of foreign criminals, saying those guilty of certain crimes should be stripped of their right to remain in the country. Its signature poster illustrates a white sheep kicking a black sheep out of the Swiss flag. Another poster depicts a gangster-like man with the slogan "Ivan S., rapist, and soon a Swiss?". Swiss Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga noted that the "majority of the voters have sent a clear signal that they consider foreign criminality to be a serious problem." It is "an expression of insecurity. I take this very seriously," she told journalists.

A working group would be set up to examine how the new rule could be implemented in a way that complies with the Swiss constitution and international conventions, she said. "It is in the interest of all -- Swiss, foreigners and the Swiss economy -- that we have more clarity on this soon," she added. Judges can already issue expulsion orders for foreign criminals but the SVP's initiative goes further by requiring automatic expulsions for those found guilty of "rape, serious sexual offence, acts of violence such as robbery," drug trafficking and "abuse of social aid." According to the Federal Office of Migration, about 350 to 400 people are expelled every year but this figure would rise to 1,500 with the adoption of the new initiative. Critics object that it smacks of discrimination and runs in the same xenophobic vein as the banning of minarets. Amnesty International said the approval of the plan marked a "dark day for human rights in Switzerland." "The initiative violates not only various international conventions... it is also contrary to the principle of proportionality and that of the ban on all forms of discrimination written into the federal constitution," said the rights group. "The initiators have once more abused the right of an initiative to increase their political capital through xenophobic discourse," said the group, noting it could lead to refugees being sent back to countries where they could be tortured or killed.

On a separate issue, the Swiss clearly rejected a move by the Socialist Party for "more tax justice", with 58.5 percent voting against. The party had asked the Swiss to approve a minimum tax rate of 22 percent for people earning more than 250,000 francs (188,000 euros, 249,000 dollars). The move would have capped the right of individual cantons and communes to set their own tax rates and forced the country's wealthiest to pay more to the taxmen. It was opposed by the government and centre-right parties. Some industrialists, such as lift magnate Alfred Schindler, had threatened to pack up and leave the country if the proposal were adopted.

AFP

SUBSTITUTE TEACHER SENT HOME BECAUSE OF HEAD SCARF (Netherlands)

A substitute teacher was sent home by a Christian primary school in The Hague because she was wearing a headscarf. The Muslim woman was sent to the school by a temporary job agency. The principal of the Van Hoogstraten School, which forms part of a Hague foundation for Christian education, said it bars staff from wearing clothing that gives expression to other religious persuasions than Protestantism. Headscarves and yarmulkes are banned, but Christian crosses are encouraged. The Muslim woman was sent away immediately: the school did not bother to ask her whether she was willing to take of her headscarf. The children were sent home or placed in other classes.

Radio Netherlands Worldwide

WikiLeaks cables: Race riots reflected a backward Britain – US ambassador

American embassy cable from 1980s says turmoil showed a nation failing to come to terms with its changing population

The race riots across British cities in 1985 inspired the then US ambassador, Raymond Seitz, to draw comparisons with Charles Dickens's London. After a summer in which Toxteth, Brixton and Handsworth erupted in violence he wrote to Washington: "Dickens described the squalor, overcrowding and poverty in Britain's cities over a century ago. What has changed is that the people affected are increasingly likely to be members of minority groups."

The UK was unprepared for dealing with the impact of immigration, he said, and had looked on "complacently" while America struggled with similar riots in the 1960s.

"The one acerbic exception came in 1968 when Enoch Powell, a Conservative MP, made a notorious speech in which he predicted 'rivers of blood' in the streets if the tide of Asian and African immigrants was not stemmed," Seitz wrote. "However crudely and unacceptably to most of his audience, he had put his finger on a problem: Britain appears unprepared to deal with the profound change in the complexion of its society.

"There are only 1 million blacks and browns in Britain, out of a population of 54 million, and by now half of these are British born. But their outsider status persists."

Racism was reflected in the press, he said. "Reporting of the recent race riots has reflected the rabble-rousing racism which is still easy discourse in modern Britain. Tabloids describe the 'Zulu-style war cries' of the rioters and recycle the comments of whites calling them 'barbarians' and 'animals'.

"We are likely to see more rioting ahead. While the onset of winter may inhibit street violence, spring cannot be far behind."

 The Guardian

Sunday, 28 November 2010

GREEK POLICE PREVENTED ARSON ATTACK AGAINST THE ATHENS SYNAGOGUE (Greece)

Two young men were arrested last Tuesday by the police and charged with attempting an arson attack against the Synagogue of Athens. The two men were stopped for control by the police while riding a motorcycle without plates. They were carrying all components for the construction of Molotov explosive mechanisms, thus, a bottle of gasoline, empty bottles and rugs. After searching their houses, the police found and confiscated –inter alia- 20 litres of gasoline. During police questioning, the two men expressed their ultra-nationalist ideology and they confessed that they were planning an attack against the Synagogue of Athens. The police announced that the arrested have no prior criminal record and are not officially listed members of any extremist organization. State Security Agency has opened a preliminary investigation on the case, while the arrested were brought before the Prosecutor.

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece issued a press release recognizing the promptness of the police in preventing the attack. “Such criminal attempts are the result of anti-Semitic feelings that are systematically cultivated and incited by various circles. Society has to be alert and mobilized to fight against the manifestations of racism and anti-Semitism, taking also into consideration the dangers deriving from the increase of these phenomena”, the press release concludes.

The European Jewish Confrence

The Spectator apologises for falsely accusing Muslim of antisemitism (UK)

Apology follows settlement in which magazine and contributor Melanie Phillips agreed to pay Mohammad Sawalha compensation and his legal costs 


The Spectator and contributor Melanie Phillips today published an online apology to a prominent British Muslim they falsely accused of antisemitism.

Today's apology, published on the Spectator website, follows an out of court settlement in which the magazine and Phillips agreed to pay Mohammad Sawalha "substantial" compensation and his legal costs.

Sawalha, president of the British Muslim Initiative, took legal action over a blog post by Phillips published in July 2008 in which she accused him of calling British Jews "evil/noxious".

The apology stated: "On 2 July 2008 we published an article entitled 'Just look what came crawling out' which alleged that at a protest at the celebration in London of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel, Mohammad Sawalha had referred to Jews in Britian as 'evil/noxious'.

"We now accept that Mr Sawalha made no such antisemitic statement and that the article was based on a mistranslation elsewhere of an earlier report. We and Melanie Phillips apologise for the error."

Solicitors acting for Sawalha said he was "delighted" to be cleared of the false allegation.

Sawalha, a long-time campaigner for community cohesion in Britain, took the dispute to the high court after the Spectator initially refused to correct Phillips blog post, which alleged that he had referred to Jews in Britain as "evil/noxious" at a protest in London of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel.

Instead, the Spectator published a second story by Phillips, titled "Taking the airbrush to evil", repeating the false allegation and casting doubt on the suggestion that the "evil/noxious" quote was the result of a mistranslation of the transcript of an interview.

They continued to defend the claim even after an independent expert commissioned by both sides had confirmed that the phrase in the original transcript could not be translated as referring to Jews as "evil/noxious", before finally settling shortly before the case was due in court.

In October, the Spectator paid substantial damages and legal costs to the campaign group IslamExpo, of which Sawalha is a director, for an article it also published in July 2008. Matthew d'Ancona was editor at the time, replaced by Fraser Nelson in August last year.

The article, written by Jewish Chronicle editor Stephen Pollard, called IslamExpo a racist, fascist and genocidal organisation.

The Guardian

Seven arrested in Enfield for hate crimes (UK)

 A police operation to crack down on domestic violence and other hate crime offenders has led to seven arrests in Enfield.

Arrests were made over allegations of racial abuse and common assault and has led to four being charged with crimes.

Operation Athena, which took place on Thursday, is a Met-wide initiative targeting hate crimes which include domestic violence; homophobic, transphobic, race and faith related offences; and offences against disabled people.

Detective Sergeant Chris Kirk, of Enfield Police's community safety unit: "Thursday's arrests form one part of the ongoing commitment we have to tackling hate crime. We hope that when we carry out operations like these that we are encouraging more victims to come forward. We will continue to offer crime prevention advice and dedicated victim support to victims of these offences"

The Enfield Independant

UK study highlights anti-Muslim hate crimes

An alarming picture of the physical violence, intimidation and discrimination faced by many of Britain's two million Muslims on a daily basis, was portrayed yesterday in new academic research.

The 224-page report from the European Muslim Research Centre, based at the University of Exeter, said that the bulk of incidents went unreported by communities who had lost faith in the authorities to do anything about them.

Released at a conference yesterday at the London Muslim Centre, the report called for "urgent" government action to tackle the problem after years of neglect.

Part of a 10-year study into Islamophobia throughout Europe, the report represented "an insight into the grim reality of a lived experience that is insufficiently acknowledged and understood outside of the communities where it occurs".

Authors of the report, Jonathan Githens-Mazer and Robert Lambert, the co-directors of the research centre, said in their introduction: "We argue in this report that much anti-Muslim violence in the UK is predicated on the rhetoric and practice of the 'war on terror' that George Bush and Tony Blair launched against 'an evil ideology' in the aftermath of 9/11."

Mr Lambert added: "Because the war on terror is viewed as a security risk, Muslims do not have the support that is now widely accepted in other areas of hate crime. Muslims are not requesting special treatment, just equal rights with their fellow citizens."

The report, "Islamophobia and Anti-Muslim Hate Crime: UK Case Studies", was based on teams of researchers interviewing members of the Muslim community throughout the UK.

Although the researchers found well-documented acts of violence perpetrated by followers of right-wing groups such as the British National Party and English Defence League, they said that the majority of attacks were carried out by "individuals who have become convinced and angry by negative portrayals of Muslims in the media".

Random acts of violence and intimidation - including what the report said was a "disturbing" number of incidents involving Muslim women wearing veils - were most likely to occur in poor, urban communities.

In one incident, a woman wearing a burqa was punched and called a "terrorist" by a stranger in front of her petrified daughter. The woman was too scared to inform the police.

The report said that, in this instance, the woman stopped going out as much to reduce the risk of further attacks. Other British Muslims reduced such risks by abandoning traditional clothing or becoming isolated within their own communities.

Many Muslims, the report found, do not report incidents because of a complex set of reasons including fear, alienation and suspicion of the authorities.

Mr Githens-Mazer said: "Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hate crime are very real problems for British Muslims going about their everyday business.

"Through our research, we have found that in smaller and more isolated mosques in many suburbs and market towns, there is a feeling of being under siege.

"Some local councils who are made aware of the situation say to mosque officials: 'We can see this is bad - why don't you move the mosque?'"

The report said that, especially in smaller Muslim communities where attacks on mosques had "increased dramatically" since the 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, support from local police was often inadequate.

Responding to the report, the communities secretary, Eric Pickles, described Islamophobia and hate crimes as "deplorable" and called on victims to ensure that they reported all incidents to the police.

"We want to stop anyone who creates distrust and division in communities, wherever it is. Everyone has the right to go about their daily business without fear of harm or intimidation," he said. "We want Britain to become an integrated society, where everyone participates and people are not held back by discrimination and intolerance."

John Esposito, a professor of international affairs and Islamic studies at Georgetown University in Washington, who attended yesterday's conference, said the problem was that "a biased minority in the United Kingdom" refused to acknowledge the legitimate place of Islam in British society.

"Islam is now a European and American religion," he said. "Muslims are part of the mosaic of western nations; like people of all faiths and no faith, they are entitled to the same rights, duties, opportunities and civil liberties.
The report does hold out hope for the future. It concludes: "We have every reason to believe that the decency of the overwhelming majority of ordinary UK citizens will eventually undermine and reduce the bigotry of a vocal minority.

"If brave political leadership is forthcoming, then the task will be so much easier."

 The National

English Defence League identify school where girl 'set fire to Koran' (UK)

A school where a 15-year-old girl allegedly burnt a copy of the Koran could become the target of extremists.

English Defence League supporters identified the school, alongside demands for the mass burning of Islam’s holiest book in protest at the pupil’s arrest. The youngster allegedly posted a video of her setting fire to the Koran on Facebook.

The footage was reported to education chiefs and subsequently removed. She was arrested on suspcion of inciting racial hatred on November 19. A 14-year-old boy was also arrested on suspicion of making threats.

Both have since been released on police bail. Sandwell Council and West Midlands Police had asked the media not to name the school in an attempt to prevent extremists provoking trouble.

But EDL supporters ignored the request and, as well as naming the school on the internet, called for demonstrations that could lead to violence. But a senior teacher at the school said the girl did not realise what she was doing.

He said: “If she stopped to consider the fallout, and the offence it would cause to people within her own community, I honestly don’t believe she would have done it.”

Sunday Mercury

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Anti-Allah outburst earns EDL supporter £200 fine after protest in Leicester (UK)

A man has been fined for making offensive comments about Allah during the English Defence League protest in Leicester.

Lee Whitby was found guilty of using racially aggravated abusive words during the protest in the city centre on Saturday, October 9.

During a trial at Leicester Magistrates' Court yesterday, the 27-year-old pleaded not guilty to chanting "threatening, abusive or insulting" words that were likely to cause "harassment, alarm or distress."

Although he admitted making comments, Whitby said he did not believe they would have been heard by anyone other than police officers or fellow EDL supporters.

However, magistrate Rick Moore ruled that officers were likely to have been alarmed by the defendant's words.

Whitby, of Holley Place, Stoke-on-Trent, said he was an EDL supporter and had travelled by train to Leicester on the day of the protest with about 30 people from Stoke and Crewe.

He also admitted being part of previous EDL protests in Newcastle, Dudley, Stoke, Bolton and Bradford.

The defendant told the court he was leaving the protest site in Humberstone Gate East and was being ushered towards the train station when he uttered the offensive chant.

Whitby, who chose to represent himself, said: "I went to an EDL demo and was in an area which was isolated away from everyone else.

"The only people that would have heard were the EDL.

"I was not aiming it at anyone. No-one around would find it offensive. Otherwise, I wouldn't have said it.

"I was just voicing my opinion at an EDL meeting with just EDL people around."

Alexandra Blossom, prosecuting, said the comments made were bound to cause harassment, alarm or distress because of Leicester's multicultural society and the fact the words were said in the city centre.

She said: "A number of people present that day were likely to be offended.

"It was a high-profile event and members of the public would have been in the city on a Saturday.

"The remarks are even offensive to police.

"A clear message needs to be sent out about using such behaviour in a multicultural city."

The court heard Whitby had two previous convictions for common assault.

Mr Moore said: "It is a fact you were with others chanting and police were within hearing distance but there is no evidence of non-police officers within hearing distance.

"It is likely that a police officer or officers hearing the words would be likely to be alarmed and for that reason we find you guilty of this offence."

Whitby was fined £200 and ordered to pay a further £200 in costs, as well as a £15 victim surcharge.

This is leicestershire

Jewish? Gay? Join us, white extremists say (UK)

A white extremist organisation is forging links with Jewish, Sikh and gay communities to fuel prejudice and fear and hatred of the Muslim community, it was claimed today.

The English Defence League (EDL), which was formed last year in protest at Islamic extremist activity, has also reached out across the Atlantic to build close ties with the American right-wing group, the Tea Party.

Hundreds of EDL members are planning demonstrations in Nuneaton and Preston today to protest at the building of mosques and what they claim is the growing influence in the UK of Sharia law.

But a new report, written by Professor Nigel Copsey of Teesside University, warns that the growth of EDL membership will spread Islamophobia in communities sharing a perceived "historical angst" against Muslims.

New branches of the League, such as the Jewish Division, could exploit the existing religious hostilities caused by territorial disputes in the Middle East, says Professor Copsey whose report was commissioned by the organisation Faith Matters.

It claims that these inter-faith tensions were brought into sharp focus last month when the senior US Jewish leader and Tea Party activist Rabbi Nachum Shifren denounced Islam at a EDL rally outside the Israeli Embassy in London. Israeli flags have also been spotted at several EDL demonstrations across the UK.

As well as aggravating religious tensions, the EDL has established a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Division to "defend" gay people from Sharia law. There are also specialist divisions for women, soldiers and disabled people. The report warns these communities to be vigilant against "selective racism" and the EDL's attempts at manipulation.

Contributors to the EDL Facebook site confirm that the group wants to work with other minority organisation including those which promote women's rights. One members writes: "After all, leftists have portrayed themselves for decades as the only ones really interested in promoting a progressive and inclusive agenda: homosexual rights, women's equality, minority rights, reproductive rights, immigration, world peace, among others."

One member added: "Remember there is a difference between being anti-Muslim and anti-Islam. We are against the ideology not the people. Let's not forget that many Muslim women and children are victims of their own religion."

But Professor Copsey warned: "True to the spirit of the enemy of my enemy is my friend, the EDL is targeting other ethnic communities. These communities need to guard against approaches by the EDL."

Founder and director of Faith Matters, Fiyaz Mughal, said: "The EDL's main aim is to increase tensions, raise hate and divide communities. Their attempts to portray themselves as a legitimate and open movement cannot disguise their violent, anti-Muslim agenda. This hate can easily mutate against another community."

The EDL membership claim that they are not a racist group. In guidance issuedto its members attending today's rallies the EDL leadership warns: "Violence and racism will not be tolerated. If you are found to be doing this, you will be ejected from the demonstration."

On Monday, EDL founder Stephen Lennon denied assaulting a police officer during clashes with Islamic protesters in west London. He was granted bail and a trial date was set of 12 January. About 30 supporters gathered outside the court, some with EDL placards.

The Faith Matters report is entitled The English Defence League: Challenging Our Country and Our Values of Social Inclusion, Fairness and Equality.

The Independant

EDL accused of council 'blackmail' in Christmas letter (UK)

A council leader says the English Defence League (EDL) are "blackmailing" councils over the removal of the word Christmas from public celebrations.

In a letter, the EDL says it will visit towns and cities that choose titles like Winter Festival when referring to Christmas lights being switched on.

Dennis Harvey, the leader of one of the recipient councils, Nuneaton and Bedworth, said he was "appalled".

The group is staging a demonstration in Nuneaton on Saturday.

A spokesman said they were going to the town because they "want to visit every city in the country and Nuneaton has the country's first ever Sharia court".

Previous gatherings there were counter demonstrations against the Islamic community who were protesting against soldiers' homecoming marches, the EDL said.
Continue reading the main story
“Start Quote

    For people to say they are supporters of traditional way of life, I do not think blackmail plays any part of a traditional English way of life”

End Quote Dennis Harvey Nuneaton and Bedworth Council

The group said it expected 1,500 people in Nuneaton and the same number at a gathering in Preston on the same day.

The council, which has no party in overall control, said the town will operate as normal while the EDL gathering takes place.

The EDL has written to some councils to urge them "not lose the meaning of Christmas by changing it to Winter Festival".

EDL leader Tommy Robinson said in the letter: "Please keep Christmas as Christmas and not let our culture and traditions be eroded and preserve English values.

"Any council that does not keep the word Christmas in the annual celebrations and opts for Winter Festival, out of the politically correct appeasement of others to the detriment of our traditions, will have their town/city visited by the English Defence League throughout the following year."

The council said the Christmas lights switch on takes place in Bedworth on Saturday. It said the event is, and always has been, known by that title.

Mr Harvey, Labour, said: "(It's) a bit of a blackmail letter really.

"We've always celebrated Christmas traditionally here.

"We've never had a problem with that but to receive a letter threatening us that we would be targeted or any town for that matter is appalling.

"For people to say they are supporters of a traditional way of life, I do not think blackmail plays any part of a traditional English way of life."

BBC News

Council reveals £131,000 cost of English Defence League protest in Leicester

The city council's bill for last month's controversial English Defence League demonstration stands at £131,000, it has been revealed.

The majority of the cash was spent on operations to minimise disruption to the city, with a bill of £94,000 split between boarding up businesses, extra street cleaning after the event and the legal costs of attempting to ban the march.

Close to £40,000 was spent on "community activities" such as the We Are One Leicester concert, which included a performance from singer-songwriter and activist Billy Bragg.

The police bill is likely to be about £1 million.

Sheila Lock, chief executive of Leicester City Council, said: "Protecting the city and its traders, and keeping young people safe from the potential for trouble, was a priority. I think we successfully did that.

"However, the fact that we bear the costs for dealing with something we didn't want or ask for still concerns us greatly. "That's why we continue to press for a meeting with the Home Office."

Mohammed Dawood, the council cabinet's community cohesion boss, said: "The costs incurred by the council are still being finalised and some further payments are expected to be made, but these are not expected to be significant.

"The current cost to the council in relation to the EDL demonstration itself is £94,000. "Further expenditure of approximately £18,000 was incurred providing positive activities for young people and information around the city before, during and after the event. The We Are One Leicester celebration event cost £19,000 to stage."

Ron and Katherine Focks, who run Niche, in Carts Lane, off High Street, opened until 3pm on the day of the rally, October 9. Mr Focks said: "The organisation that went into keeping violence to a minimum was very impressive. It was a sad day for the city but it was handled very well."

This is Leicestershire

Glasgow set for march and rally against racism (UK)

Trade unionists, politicians and faith and community groups will gather in Glasgow later for an annual march and rally against racism.

The St Andrew's Day anti-racism event has been organised by the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC).

Organisers said it would remind people in difficult economic times of the dangers of allowing prejudice and discrimination to go unchallenged.

The march will start from St Andrew's in the Square at 1100 GMT.

Those taking part will rally at the Glasgow Film Theatre on Rose Street at noon.

Speakers will include Prof Geoffrey Palmer of Edinburgh and Lothians Racial Equality Council and human rights lawyer Aamer Anwar.

Speaking ahead of the rally, Scottish Labour leader Iain Gray called on every Scot to "challenge racism wherever it surfaces".

He added: "We can use the law but that is not enough. It is up to all of us to confront it in everyday life - in the workplace, in the playground, at a football stadium or when with friends and neighbours.

"That's why the STUC's annual St Andrew's Day event is so important."

BBC News

Friday, 26 November 2010

BNP rejects threat claims (UK)

The British National Party has rejected claims its supporters have been threatening a Bolton Euro MP.
Yesterday, The Bolton News reported how Sajjad Karim, the North West Conservative MEP, had employed 24-hour security to watch over his family after receiving abusive emails. He believes BNP sympathisers were behind the verbal attacks as the emails followed his criticism of the party and the subsequent appearance of a story about him on the BNP website.
But John Walker, the BNP’s press spokesman, said: “The BNP rejects, with contempt, all attempts by Mr Karim to stir up trouble and slur our party.”
However Mr Karim said: “We now have enough evidence to prove that these emails came as a direct result of traffic from the BNP website and from blogs by employees of the party.”

This is Lancashire

Suburbs 'greater threat to Muslims' (UK)

 Muslims and their mosques face a higher level of threats and intimidation in UK suburbs and market towns than in big cities, according to a report.

Case studies reveal examples such as a Muslim woman who was punched and called a "terrorist" in front of her petrified daughter. The report said such attacks often go unreported, and in this case the woman was too scared to inform the police.

She also played down the incident to reduce her child's distress and avoided explaining why she was singled out for wearing a burka and being a Muslim woman.

The new study, Islamophobia and Anti-Muslim Hate Crime: UK Case Studies, reveals this kind of unprovoked incident is a largely hidden.

The report is part of a 10-year academic research project led by the University of Exeter's European Muslim Research Centre (EMRC). It captures a snapshot of these experiences which are often unrecognised by the media, politicians and wider British society.

The research also combines an academic approach to identifying world events and policy information that inform the way reactions and actions towards Muslims can be influenced.

Findings show that since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, arson, criminal damage, violence and intimidation against mosques has increased dramatically and smaller or isolated Muslim communities in places like Colchester, Bishop Stortford and Boston have become especially vulnerable.

Dr Jonathan Githens Mazer, co-director of the EMRC, said: "Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hate crime are very real problems for British Muslims going about their everyday business."

The report also analyses the local activity by the British National Party, English Defence League and other organisations.

Google Hosted News

Racist attack at Burnham shop (UK)

A Burnham trader has spoken of her shock after being subjected to racist abuse from a customer.

Monika Morris, who is Austrian, said it was the first time she had experienced such abuse in her 24 years in the country.

Mrs Morris, co-owner of GW Hurley toyshop, in High Street, was on the receiving end of abuse from 24-year-old woman Ashley Sullivan, after she was refused a refund for toys she claimed were faulty.

Sullivan, of Church Street, Highbridge, was sentenced at Sedgemoor Magistrates’ Court on Monday, having earlier pleaded guilty to racially aggravated harassment.

The court heard Sullivan swore at Mrs Morris and called her a foreigner.

She was given a one-year conditional discharge, and ordered to pay £85 costs, plus £25 compensation to Mrs Morris.

Mrs Morris said: “It’s the first time I’ve come across racial abuse. The whole incident was very unpleasant and it did surprise me.

“People usually associate it [racism] with a different skin colour, but any kind of racism is to be taken seriously.

“She caused a lot of upset and I would like to give her a life ban as I don’t want her anywhere near my staff.

“At the end of the day, we have to stand up for what’s right. Nobody is entitled to call anybody names. But I think some justice has been done as she’s been charged and sentenced.”

Mrs Morris said she would give the compensation money to charity.

Burnham and Highbridge weekly news

White sheep kicking out black sheep: racist swiss ad?

 Posters showing a black sheep being kicked off the Swiss flag by a white sheep have cropped up in stations and squares in Switzerland, as part of a campaign for the Swiss People’s Party’s demand to automatically deport foreigners convicted of serious crimes. The demand is to go before a Sunday referendum.

In 2007, the same posters were widely condemned, with Doudou Diene, the UN’s racism expert at the time, saying the images draw on stereotypes to paint foreigners as felons and benefit cheats. This year, a study by a polling group shows that 54 per cent of voters approved the measure.

Critics of the deportation proposal include legal experts, who say the law could clash with international treaties. “For the same crime some people will suffer one punishment, others will suffer two,” said Marcelo Kohen, a professor of international law at the Graduate Institute in Geneva.

Indian Express

BULGARIAN CLERIC SENTENCED FOR CURSING THE DISABLED

Bishop Theodosius, Abbot of the Troyan Monastery, has become the first Bulgarian cleric to be sentenced for discrimination, after inexplicably insulting disabled laymen. Back in 2008, Bishop Theodosius chased away a group of disabled believers from the Troyan Monastery, calling them "sinners" and "cursed". The Bishop's obnoxious behavior has cost him the humble BGN 250, as decided by the Bulgarian Protection Against Discrimination Commission on Wednesday. Petar Kichashki, who made the discrimination complaint, appealed to the Bulgarian church to officially excommunicate Bishop Theodosius. "I am glad there is finally a verdict. The BGN 250 fine is not much, but it is a sign that Bishop Theodosius' behavior is unacceptable," Kichashki stated. Bishop Theodosius commented that he will not appeal against the fine and that he does not feel remorse, since the disabled were "very noisy with their wheelchairs and behaved badly."

Novinite

Nazi sympathiser plastered racist stickers across Hastings (UK)

A man who hoarded Nazi iconography has avoided jail despite plastering racist stickers across Hastings.

Stefan Luff was wearing a ring bearing the symbol of the Nazi paramilitary group the SS when he was arrested in September last year, after racially abusing members of the public.

After police searched his home they discovered a large amount of racist literature and Nazi iconography as well as contact information relating to extreme right wing political groups and organisations such as the National Socialist Movement and the Ku Klux Klan.

Today at Lewes Crown Court Luff was jailed for nine months suspended for 18 months. He was also ordered to pay £1,000 in compensation to his victims and £340 costs.

The 49-year-old, of Portland Terrace, Hastings, had previously denied two counts of racially aggravated behaviour and one count of publishing and distributing racial material but was convicted following a trial.

In total Sussex Police received 26 reports of racist stickers being plastered across buildings in Hastings. On average a couple of stickers a month were reported to police between February and September 2009.

The stickers appeared mostly on the Seafront around White Rock, The Old Town and the West Hill. Marks and Spencer in Queens Road was also targeted.

Luff was initially investigated after abusing two groups on one day in September 2009. He first racially abused a woman and her two young nieces as they walked down Strand Hill in Winchelsea.

He then racially abused a couple on a beach in Rye. The husband managed to photograph Luff on his mobile phone before he walked off.

Chief Inspector Mark Ling, Hastings District Commander, said: "Hastings Police will continue to work hard with our partners to prevent and reduce all types of racial crime and support those who are subjected to it.”

Detective Inspector Emma Heater said: “Luff caused a lot of distress to his victims in Rye who were visiting 1066 Country and the distribution of racist material around Hastings town centre was very upsetting for the local community.”

The Argus

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Neo-Nazi leader strikes plea bargain for Auschwitz theft

A Swedish neo-Nazi leader accused of ordering the theft of the Auschwitz death camp entrance sign will serve 32 months behind bars in his homeland under a plea bargain, Polish prosecutors say.

Anders Hoegstroem, who had risked up to 10 years behind bars if convicted in Poland of masterminding the theft, admitted his role before the case reached court, said a spokesman for the prosecutors' office in the city of Krakow.

"After having pleaded not guilty during the investigation, Hoegstroem admitted his guilt," prosecutor Robert Parys said.

"Under a plea bargain with prosecutors, he accepted a penalty of two years and eight months in prison. He will serve his sentence in Sweden."

Mr Hoegstroem was arrested in Sweden on a Polish warrant in February on suspicion of ordering the theft of the infamous "Arbeit macht frei" sign from the site of the World War II Nazi camp in the southern Polish city of Oswiecim.

Polish police recovered the five-metre metal sign - which means "Work Will Set You Free" in German - two days after it went missing late last year. It had been chopped into three pieces.

Five Polish men were arrested and charged with the actual theft of the sign, three of whom have already been sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison.

The two others are still to face trial.

In 1994, Hoegstroem founded the National Socialist Front, a Swedish neo-Nazi movement he ran for five years before quitting.

He told Swedish media he was to act as an intermediary to pick up the sign and sell it to a buyer, adding however that he informed Polish police about the people behind the plot.

ABC News

Nearly 150 people arrested in London hate-crime raids (UK)

Police have arrested 147 people across London in dawn raids to tackle domestic violence and hate crimes.

Suspects were arrested for offences ranging from violence and common assault to breach of court orders.

Raids took place on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, also known as White Ribbon Day.

They were part of the Metropolitan Police's (Met's) Operation Athena, where officers target suspected hate-crime offenders.

'Cowardly crimes'
 While focusing on violence against women, the raids also targeted suspected racist, homophobic and disability motivated crime, as well as crimes against the vulnerable or elderly.

"We are taking a proactive approach in order to bring those responsible to justice and support the victims of these heinous crimes," said Det Supt Darren Williams, head of the Met's public protection unit.

"My key message to victims of these offences is tell us what is happening so we can help you but if you can't tell the police, tell someone."

London's deputy mayor for policing Kit Malthouse said: "There is no place in London for domestic violence and those arrested this morning found out first hand.

"I want to reassure Londoners that there is zero tolerance in the capital for these cowardly crimes and all perpetrators will be dealt with swiftly and severely."

BBC News

Teenage girl held over 'Koran burning' in Sandwell (UK)

A teenage girl was arrested on suspicion of inciting religious hatred after allegedly burning an English language version of the Koran, police said today.

The 15-year-old was questioned and bailed by detectives last Friday after the alleged incident at a school in the Sandwell area of the West Midlands.

She is alleged to have posted footage of the burning booklet on Facebook.

A 14-year-old boy was arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of making threats on the social networking site, in connection with the alleged incident. He was released on bail, a spokeswoman for West Midlands Police said.

She added: "The local neighbourhood team have strong links with the school and have been working closely with key partners from the community and the local authority to resolve the matter locally.

"West Midlands Police will investigate and monitor any crime reported by individuals who may have been targeted because of their disability, gender, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation or transgender."





Birmingham Mail

Another PVV MP reveals criminal record he kept secret (Netherlands)

Another MP for the anti-Islam PVV has criminal convictions he had not revealed to party leader Geert Wilders, it emerged on Wednesday evening.

Jhim Bemmel has a 2006 conviction for fraud, for forging freight documents. He was fined €500. He also has a drunk driving conviction in 2000.

The MP, who has had some of his parliamentary responsibilities removed by Wilders, said he did not come clean about his past because it was private.

In total, seven members of parliament have a criminal conviction, according to a survey by RTL news: five of the 24 PVV MPs have a record, one SP MP and one VVD MP. Most related to drunk driving or speeding.

Dutch News

More hate crime being reported in North Wales (UK)

 Nearly 1,800 race hate crimes have been reported to North Wales Police in the past five years – with young people the worst offenders.

In all the force has dealt with more than 2,100 hate crime complaints in that period, from racially aggravated physical attacks to homophobic taunts.

Children as young as 10 were involved in the hate offences.

North Wales Police revealed of the 1,775 racially aggravated crimes reported since 2005, 641 were committed by youngsters aged between 10 and 19.

A further 387 offences were committed by people aged between 20 and 29.

Hate crimes are broken down into five categories including race and the Welsh language, religion and belief, disability, sexual orientation and transgender. A hate crime is one motivated by the offender's hatred of people because they are seen as different.

A Gwynedd kebab shop owner, who asked not to be named, said he was more likely to be racially abused by young people than anyone else: “They have no respect towards other people or themselves.”

An Asian man said last night: “It’s not as bad as it can be in other parts of Britain but it can spoil a night out to be racially abused for simply walking down the street.”

Figures show the number of racially aggravated incidents reported in the Wrexham area increasing during the past three years. Last year 109 incidents were reported, up from 91 in 2008 and 88 in 2007.

The 484 incidents reported in the area over five years are the highest for the North Wales Police force area with Conwy recording 415 incidents and Gwynedd 379.

But Gillian Grainger, Community Cohesion Coordinator at Wrexham Council, put the rise down to the proactive approach to hate crime taken in the county.

She said: “Victims are encouraged to report incidences of hate crime and receive the necessary support and guidance they may need.

“The projects are all part of a multi agency approach we are taking in the county borough that are showing positive results."

A North Wales Police spokesman added: “We are committed to the promotion of equality and diversity within the force and within the communities it serves.

“We have designated Diversity Officers to help and support victims of hate crimes and incidents and ensure the Force Hate Crime Policy and Divisional Hate Crime Protocols are fully applied in all Hate Incidents and Hate Crimes.

“Strenuous efforts have been made in recent years to increase reassurance and the level of care to victims of hate crime generally.”

Daily Post

Portsmouth Muslim Academy target of hate crimes (UK)

A Muslim academy in Portsmouth has been the target of two hate crimes in the past fortnight, police have said.

In the first incident, a brick with a racist message on it was thrown into the Portsmouth Muslim Academy, on Old Commercial Road, on 13 November.

A beer bottle was then thrown through a window at the front of the building last Friday.

The city's Jami Mosque was also targeted twice in two days on 12 and 13 November.

The mosque was first attacked a day after an Islamic group, Muslims Against Crusades, burned remembrance poppies in London during a two-minute silence to mark the anniversary of Armistice Day.
Hate crime

A poppy was subsequently painted on the front of the mosque, on Victoria Road North in Southsea, and 100 people staged a demonstration outside.

The mosque's imam, Muhammad Muhi Uddin, said he had condemned the poppy burning and was mystified as to why the building had been targeted. One man was arrested on suspicion of a public order offence.

Police said they were treating the incidents of criminal damage at the Portsmouth Muslim Academy as hate crimes.

Insp Fiona Quade, of Hampshire Constabulary, said: "My officers regularly conduct patrols in the area around Old Commercial Road, but if you saw what happened, could identify a suspect or know who did this, please get in touch.

"We've already got an investigation ongoing into the disorder at demonstrations outside the Jami Mosque."

BBC News

The EDL are not the defenders of Britain, and they never will be.

A recent video by the You Tube member Richard Coughlan about the poppy burning Muslims extremists at this year Remembrance Day service is so good that we felt we really had to share it. 

Please support Richard Coughlan and subscribe to his channel’s. Coughlan616



Key panto hit as EDL protest forces show switch

Hundreds of panto fans have been left disappointed after the Key Theatre revealed it would close on the day of the city’s controversial English Defence League march.

Theatre operators Vivacity announced yesterday that the 1.15pm, 4pm and 7pm performances of Jack and the Beanstalk on December 11 will be moved to December 12.

The closure is due to the EDL march, which will pass near the theatre as it moves from London Road to Peterborough Magistrates’ Court, in Bridge Street, between 1pm and 3pm.

Vivacity chief executive Kevin Tighe said: “We felt it was in the best interests of all concerned to cancel the performances and close the theatre on this date.

“We are sorry for any disruption caused to our customers’ pre-Christmas plans. This has been a very difficult decision to make but the welfare of our customers has to be the priority at all times.”

The march has already caused Peterborough United to bring its home match against Rochdale at London Road forward to December 10 to avoid a clash.

Some shopkeepers in the Rivergate Shopping Centre are considering shutting their doors on the day.

The Key Theatre closure means the Peterborough Trades Union Council (TUC) can finish its anti-EDL counter march in the theatre car park.

An estimated 2,000 TUC marchers – including members of Unite Against Fascism – are expected and will leave the Bishop’s Road car park, walk along Rivergate and arrive at the theatre as the EDL marchers head into Bridge Street - meaning the rival protesters will be just 100 yards away from each other.

But the TUC has dispelled fears that their protest will increase the risk of violence.

Peterborough TUC president Ron Graves, said: “We are not looking for a fight. We are marching peacefully to promote unity. We don’t want the EDL here, but we won’t be antagonistic.

““It will be properly marshalled by stewards.

“We felt that this route would create the least disruption.”

The TUC expects representatatives from all the major unions to be involved in its march, as well as local faith groups.

The TUC march is being promoted as a unity event to bring different cultures together.

The route for the march was finally agreed after a meeting between the TUC, Cambridgeshire police and Peterborough City Council.

Superintendent Paul Fullwood said: “We have a duty to support and facilitate people’s right to peaceful protest, whilst balancing this with the rights of those who want to go about their business.”

All theatre tickets for Saturday will be transferred to Sunday and arrangements will be made for those who cannot attend on Sunday.

To confirm attendance on the Sunday, call the Key Theatre box office on 01733 207239 by December 4.

Peterborough Today

MEP's Simonstone home targeted by far-right extremists (UK)

An East Lancashire Euro MP has hired a private security firm to guard his home because of threats from far-right extremists.

Sajjad Karim has been bombarded with offence emails over his stance on halal and kosher meat.

Mr Karim’s Simonstone home has also had ‘BNP’ daubed on it in graffiti.

He said he was worried about the safety of his wife and two children, aged eight and 10, while he is away in Europe.

He said he had paid for a private security firm to watch over his house 24 hours a day.

A British National Party spokesman ‘utterly condemned’ any threats, saying the issue had also been raised in the mainstream media.

Police are investigating an allegation of racist abuse by email.

Mr Karim, who represents the North West in the European Parliament, blamed BNP supporters for the onslaught, claiming the threats had come shortly after the far-right party published an article criticising him on its website.

Mr Karim, who opposed an EU proposal that would require all ritually-slaughtered meat to be labelled, said there had been an ‘orchestrated’ campaign against him.

He said: “There are perfectly legitimate arguments on both sides of the debate. But it is being hijacked and they are trying to frighten me.

“We have lived here for 11 years and never had anything like this. This is their way of saying ‘we know you are here’.

“The police are providing the best level of protection they can, but when it comes to these people I am not going to take any chances.”

Lancashire Police said it was investigating the messages and would meet the MEP this week.

John Walker, a spokesman for the BNP, said the party was campaigning on the issue of ritually slaughtered meat, which he said was ‘barbaric’. But he distanced the party from any threats, saying the BNP was being ‘demonised’.

He added: “This is a common tactic of political opponents to claim they have been intimidated.”

Lancashire Telegraph

Two men charged with making racist and abusive threats to takeaway owner (UK)

Two men accused of making racist and abusive telephone threats to the owner of a takeaway are to face a crown court judge.

Joynal Ali, 25, of Dixon Street, Lincoln, and Mohammed Ali Noor, 20, of Hunt Lea Avenue, Lincoln, are each charged with one offence.

It is alleged that between January 13 and June 14, last year they caused Ofiekur Khan, of the Burton Spice Indian Takeaway, in Lincoln, to fear, on at least two occasions, that violence would be used against him.

The Crown says Mr Khan received 31 nasty phone calls, including one where threats were made to kill him by setting his business on fire.

Another call threatening to kill the businessman ended with the word Paki, as did a call for a delivery to Monks Road, the Crown says.

Both defendants indicated no pleas.

Magistrates said it would be appropriate to send the case to Lincoln Crown Court.

The accused were granted unconditional bail to appear back in court on January 19 for the case to be sent to crown court.

This is Lincolnshire

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Iranian ministry denies authorising neo-Nazi website

Iran's Ministry of Islamic Guidance and Culture said it has not recognised a neo-Nazi group that recently claimed its website had been registered "according to the laws of the Islamic Republic of Iran".

"The website was only registered [in the ministry's list of approved websites] by an individual," Mehdi Sarami, an official of the ministry, told the Tabnak news portal on Saturday. There was no mention of the neo-Nazi group in the registration form, he said.

The ministry was criticised last week by Tabnak, which is affiliated with the conservative politician Mohsen Rezaie, for unblocking the group's website (irannazi.ir), which discussed Nazi ideology, principles and beliefs and the "Fuhrer's character, thoughts and speeches" in its various forums.

The ministry's censorship body blocked the neo-Nazi website soon after it was created on August 23, unblocked it a month later and has again blocked access since Monday.

The website had published statements by an obscure neo-Nazi group that calls itself Iran Nazi Society. It is the only "significant and reliable Nazi website in Iran", Behrouz, the administrator of the website, claimed in a note on the inauguration of the website.

"Why has the Culture Ministry given permission to the so-called Iran's Nazi Society…. We hope the authorities have an appropriate explanation for that," Tabnak said in an article last week titled "Expansion of Activities of Nazis and Racists on .ir [internet] Domains" and asked whether the activities of "this extremist cult" had been approved by the authorities.

Iran blocks access to millions of websites, including those affiliated with opposition and dissident groups, ones with explicit sex-related material as well as social networking sites such as Facebook.

The authorities have not offered any explanation for blocking the neo-Nazi group's website, but the group believed the country's Jewish community was responsible. After being blocked on the internet in Iran the first time, the group claimed in a statement that it had been blocked "just for insulting religious minorities, ie, the Jews".

"Only 17 days after [the creation of the website] we were targeted by these creatures and got into trouble as a result of personal complaints of Jews," the statement said.

Adherence to Nazism has a long history in Iran. The Iran National-Socialist Workers (Sumka) group was established in 1952 by Davoud Monshizadeh, an Iranian professor at Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich, who had served with the SS.

The militaristic, pro-monarch and anti-communist Sumka was strongly opposed to the popular premier Mohammad Mosaddegh, who was ousted by a British-American coup in 1953. The group never went beyond establishing a minor support base among university students. A group calling itself Sumka still exists alongside some other small and obscure neo-Nazi groups but little is known about its membership or activities.

"Neo-Nazis share some traits and beliefs, mainly their denial of the Holocaust and hatred of Israel, with hardliners such as the country's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but there is a big difference between them. Neo-Nazis, who may or may not be religious, hate the Jews as a race but Islamic hardliners direct their anger at Israel and those who support Zionism, but not Judaism as a religion because the Quran recognises them as a legitimate religion too," said a political analyst in Tehran, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject.

Iran is home to about 25,000 Jews, the second largest Jewish community in the Middle East after Israel. Its history in Iran goes back 2,500 years. Judaism has been recognised as a "legitimate religious minority" along with Christianity and Zoroastrianism in Iran's Constitution. Insulting religious minorities is banned by the country's press law, which applies to internet content.

The small but lively Iranian Jewish community, which has its own representative in the Iranian parliament, strongly protested when Mr Ahmadinejad publicly denied the Holocaust. The atrocities against the Jews during the Second World War were "historical reality", they said in letters printed in the monthly magazine published by the Jewish Association of Tehran.

Iran's religious establishment and Mr Ahmadinejad distinguish between adherence to Judaism as a religion and Zionism, which they say is only the ideology of the state of Israel. The Iranian Jewish community strongly refutes any affiliation to Zionism.

The National

SIX CZECHS SENTENCED FOR RACISM

The Municipal Court in Brno Thursday sentenced six members of the Czech outlawed far-right Workers' Party (DS) to fines and probation over public racist statements they made at the May Day rally in Brno in 2009, state attorney Jan Lata told CTK. The defendants received four to six months' suspended sentences and were fined 20,000-30,000 crowns. Lata said the defendants had incited hatred for immigrants and some ethnic groups, Romanies in particular, with their statements. One of them supported a movement suppressing human rights and freedoms. Former party leader Tomas Vandas said Thursday it was incredible that some people were being tried over expressing their views at a legal public rally. Vandas said the accusations were expedient. At the demonstration last year, Vandas warned of immigration and spoke on behalf of "decent" citizens at the housing project Janov in Litvinov, north Bohemia. Vandas went on to speak about a destructive immigration wave. DS members Jiri Stepanek and Petr Kotab criticised Vietnamese crime.

Prague Monitor

MUSLIMS IN FRANCE FACING JOB DISCRIMINATION, STUDY SHOWS

Muslims in France have a lower chance of being hired than Christians, a study published by the Washington-based National Academy of Sciences showed. “We have established a clear, albeit uncomfortable, finding,” the study, carried out by researchers at Stanford University, Paris I Pantheon - Sorbonne University and University of California-San Diego, said in its conclusions. “Muslims have faced barriers to economic integration in France that are higher than they would have been if everything about them were the same save for their religion.” Researchers mailed 275 pairs of resumes, all identical, except for the names, to companies based in France. They sent the resume of a fake Senegalese Christian called Marie Diouf and of her fictitious counterpart, a Muslim Senegalese named Khadija Diouf. For every 100 positive responses Marie the Christian received, Khadija, the Muslim, got 38. That’s 2.5 times less. “This is in fact a low estimate,” Marie-Anne Valfort, an assistant professor at the Sorbonne university said in an interview. “Had the candidate been a man, the discrimination may likely have been bigger.” She said Senegalese identity had been chosen for both fictitious candidates in order to help eliminate the race factor as a reason for discrimination.

Muslim Population

Muslims residing in France -- both foreign nationals and French citizens -- comprise an estimated 6.3 percent of the population, or about 4 million people, according to French authorities. The figure is an estimate because statistics on race and religion are forbidden in France, a practice long regarded as a bulwark of the republic’s concept of “equality” among its citizens. French citizens of Arab descent face discrimination, according to past studies. Today’s report, published by the proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is the first that studies job discrimination against Muslims. France’s statistics office, Insee, showed in a Nov. 12 study that the employment rate of French men of North African descent, of whom at least one of the parents is of immigrant origin, is 21 percentage points lower than the average national rate of 86 percent. For North African women, the rate is 18 percentage points lower. A May 2006 study by the government’s High Authority Against Discrimination showed that 40 percent of all discrimination in France is based on a person’s origin and 45 percent happens at the workplace.

‘Prison’
President Nicolas Sarkozy enacted a law this year that bans the wearing in the streets and in public places of the burqa, a Muslim full-face veil. He pledged to safeguard the “values” of France and said “we don’t want” veiled women in France in a televised interview Nov. 16, calling the veil a “prison.” “There are 2,000 Muslim religious sites in France, but no minarets and no muezzin for the prayers,” Sarkozy said in the televised interview. “Everyone can live their religion but we want an Islam of France and not Islam in France.” The National Front, the anti-immigration political party, launched an ad campaign last month that shows a map of France, with minarets and a fully veiled woman, with the caption: “No to Islamism.” One of the party’s leaders, Marine Le Pen, has also used radio interviews to criticize increased sale of halal meat in France.

Bloomberg

Fears grow over EDL city protest (UK)

Police patrols are to be stepped up around Preston’s mosques on Saturday as around 1,200 protesters head into the city to take part in two demonstrations.

Chief Supt Tim Jacques, head of Preston Police, revealed the plans ahead of the demonstration by the English Defence League and counter demonstration by Unite Against Facism and the Trade Union Council.

The protests coincide with the PNE v Millwall game at Deepdale.

Police officers’ days off have been cancelled and specially trained public order officers are being drafted in from other parts of the county to support the policing operation, which will see the mounted branch, road police and other units taking to city centre streets.

The two groups of demonstrators will be in the city’s Flag Market with temporary low level fencing to separate them.

Today Chief Supt Jacques said it would be one of the biggest police operations seen in Preston in recent years but insisted the city was “open for business as usual” on Saturday - the fourth week before Christmas and the first official Christmas shopping weekend.

He also moved to calm fears of violence that has been seen in similar demonstrations in other cities.

He said: “We are working with the community and police officers are going to be in the areas where the mosques are on Saturday to reassure people.

“We have had lots of meetings with the mosques and are working with the demonstration organisers in terms of minimising the impact. There are no planned demonstrations outside any mosques but it is in our minds.

“Our number one priority is keeping people in the city safe and to minimise disruption on a busy Saturday before Christmas.”

He said the force would be making a proportionate response to any threats and added: “There’s no doubt there will be a lot of police officers in Preston and in surrounding areas. All the information we have suggests we can facilitate two lawful and peaceful demonstrations.

“It will be one of the biggest operations seen in Preston in terms of planning but on terms of what we are dealing with it is smaller - in the past we have dealt with 6,000 Premier League fans coming into the city.”

We have to look at the context of where we are as a city - some of the backdrop of the places of previous demonstrations are different. Preston is a pretty cohesive city so our starting point is different to other places.”

Lancaster Evening post

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

German Nazi suspect Samuel Kunz dies ahead of trial

Nazi suspect indicted on charges of involvement in the murders of 430,000 Jews at Belzec death camp has  died in Germany aged 89.

Samuel Kunz was third on the Simon Wiesenthal Center's list of most wanted Nazi war crimes suspects and had been due to go on trial early next year.

He was also accused of personally shooting dead 10 Jews at the camp in occupied Poland during 1942-43.

State Prosecutor Andreas Brendel said Kunz died at home last Thursday.

The cause of death was not clear.

SS training camp

Kunz had admitted working at Belzec and had been called as a witness in the trial of alleged Nazi death camp guard John Demjanjuk, 90, who was deported from the US in 2009.

Prosecutors allege that both men trained at the SS camp at Trawniki.

Kunz was accused of moving Jewish victims from trains at Belzec, pushing them into gas chambers and throwing their bodies into mass graves.

He was also alleged to have shot dead two people who had escaped from a train and killed eight others who had been wounded.

Mr Brendel, who is head of the Dortmund-based centre for investigating Nazi war crimes, told the BBC News website that Kunz had been due to go on trial in January or February next year.

He said that his department had spent the whole year working on the case. He added that work was continuing on a number of other cases but it was not clear whether any would come to court.

Efraim Zuroff, head of the Simon Wiesenthal Center's unit for hunting down Nazi war criminals, said it was very important that Kunz had been indicted.

"At least a small measure of justice was achieved," he said.

Mr Demjanjuk, 90, went on trial last year on charges of assisting in the murder of 28,000 Jews at the Sobibor death camp.

He denies the charges.

BBC News