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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.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Religion must be in key school exam, insist faith leaders (UK)

Bishop of Oxford says anti-Islam protests make the subject essential for the English baccalaureate

Religious leaders and theologians have condemned the decision to leave religious education off the list of GCSEs that go towards the controversial new English baccalaureate.

The chairman of the Church of England's education board, the Bishop of Oxford, the Right Rev John Pritchard, said that failing to take the study of religion seriously was "highly dangerous" at a time when groups such as the English Defence League (EDL) were staging violent protests against British Muslims.

Annual league tables on schools' performance published last week measured the proportion of pupils obtaining the English bac, which is awarded to teenagers who achieve GCSEs at grade C or above in English, maths, science, a foreign language and a humanities subject (history or geography) – but not in RE.

Pritchard said: "The Church of England is pretty astonished at the omission of RE. I want to fire a warning salvo that there will be huge objection from the church and many other parts of society if it is not part of the core curriculum."

Pointing to claims last week by the Conservative party's co-chairwoman, Baroness Warsi, that Islamophobia had "crossed the threshold of middle-class respectability" and to the rise of the EDL, the bishop said: "RE is a real tool for creating that kind of cohesive community and society that we're looking for... we neglect it at our peril."

The subject, he said, was just as academic and rigorous as history and geography and was also extremely popular, with the number of students studying it to GCSE level climbing from 113,000 to 460,000 over the last 15 years.

Senior Jewish and Muslim figures backed the call for RE to be included on the English bac subject list. Many faith groups have written to the Department for Education expressing concern over its omission. The education secretary, Michael Gove, has indicated that he will look again at the area, without promising any change.

Until now the key measurement in league tables has been the proportion of pupils getting five A* to C grades at GCSE, including English and maths. But with success at the English bac now also being measured, many schools are likely to switch their attention to the traditional subjects that it demands. The recently published tables for last year's GCSE results revealed that fewer than one in six English students had qualified for the new certificate.

Jon Benjamin, chief executive of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said he was particularly concerned about the impact of leaving RE off the list on students at Jewish schools, the vast majority of which make the subject compulsory.

"Religious studies has proven itself to be a valuable contribution to the academic curriculum, teaching students to respect themselves and others and, importantly, build identities which contribute favourably to all areas of society," he said.

"The multi-disciplinary nature of the subject, involving textual study, philosophical thinking, ethics, social understanding and the skills of analysis and reasoning, develops critical thinkers," said Benjamin.

Dr Hojjat Ramzy, vice-chairman of the Muslim Council of Britain's education committee, said he was "extremely worried" that RE was not being afforded a higher status, especially given the challenge posed by Islamophobia. "In our ever-growing multi-cultural and multi-faith society, it's very important that people, especially the younger generation, are aware of the religions and cultures of others," he said.

Members of the academic community joined calls for the humanities element of the English bac to be reconsidered, praising RE as a great developer of critical faculties as well as a key link to history, art, culture and politics.

"How can you understand Shakespeare without learning about the Bible, or understand the English civil war without understanding about disputes over how to interpret the Bible, or understand modern politics without understanding the difference between Islam and Christianity?" said Richard Swinburne, emeritus Nolloth professor of the philosophy of the Christian religion at Oxford University. "It's a mistake."

Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch, the Oxford church historian who presented the BBC series A History of Christianity, said the decision was short-sighted. "Religion matters to most human beings in the world today," he added. "To leave religion to the religious extremists, outside a good education system, is to distort it."

The Guardian


In the Czech town of Pøíbram, mourners convened at 18:00 local time today to commemorate the death of Jan Kuèera, who was murdered three years ago by neo-Nazi sympathizer Jiøí Fous.

Just after 15:00, about 40 neo-Nazis gathered to protest the commemoration. Both gatherings were monitored by 200 police officers, who prevented the antagonistic groups from clashing. After a two-hour wait, the neo-Nazis started marching through the town toward the Bøezové Hory neighborhood. Both groups approached one another on Thomas Garrigue Masaryk Square, where about 60 anti-fascists had gathered to honor Jan Kuèera's memory at 18:00. The neo-Nazis shouted slogans like "Nothing but the Nation." The mourners on the square were holding a funeral wreath and portraits of the murdered youth. Police did not permit the neo-Nazis to enter the square. The right-wing radicals then continued their march and reached Bøezové Hory at around 18:00. The group of anti-fascists on the square then grew significantly in numbers. Organizers used a megaphone to warn those arriving that the new law on assembly does not permit people to cover their faces. Many people were wearing either bandanas and scarves over their faces or sunglasses. About 150 anti-fascists then started marching. The demonstrators carried portraits of the murdered youth and banners reading "Autonomous Antifa Pøíbram", "Antifa Benešov" or "Always in Our Hearts". The march stopped for a moment near the restaurant where Kuèera was murdered three years ago. Several people laid the wreath and some flowers at the murder site. Police officers arrested two marchers for keeping their faces covered despite the warning.

During the commemoration for Kuèera, the antifascists held a minute of silence and then indirectly called on those assembled to fight the neo-Nazis. One organizer said they should discover where the neo-Nazis hang out and instill fear in them. The event ended on J. A. Alise Square. Some participants then left to attend a concert by three bands in the nearby Bøezové Hory neighborhood. Monika Schindlová, press attache for the police, said there were about 200 officers on the scene including an anti-conflict team and extremism specialists. Police arrested one person earlier in the afternoon. "They confiscated one knife, brought one person to the station in Prague, and issued an order for his arrest," Schindlová told news server iDNES.cz, which also reported that the person detained was a member of a security team for a television crew. The Czech Press Agency reported that the person detained was a right-wing radical. An invitation to the neo-Nazi event was posted on the National Resistance (Národní odpor) website. "We must get the red hoodlums off the street once and for all! If the police don't do it, then we will," reads the neo-Nazi call for a violent attack on the commemoration. Another neo-Nazi group, the Autonomous Nationalists of the Northeast (Autonomní Nacionalisté Severovýchod) distanced itself from the event, but published the following on its Facebook profile: "We wish everyone who wants to go to Pøíbram anyway a lot of luck in battle and we look forward to seeing them on the evening news."

Kuèera was stabbed by a neo-Nazi in the groin and back on 18 January 2008 in the Na Chmelnici restaurant in Pøíbram. A local CCTV video camera recorded the whole thing. The attack was preceded by provocations made by a group of young neo-Nazis given the Nazi salute. The assailant belonged to that group. The incident occurred on the restaurant stairs; video footage shows Jiøí Fous wearing a German military uniform and challenging those pursuing him to settle the argument physically. Kuèera let himself be provoked into running toward Fous and punching him. Fous then repeatedly stabbed Kuèera with a bayonet and Kuèera fell to the ground. He was transferred to the local hospital where he died as a result of his injuries two days later. Jiøí Fous received a 12.5 year sentence in a maximum security prison for murder. The court identified him as an adherent of the neo-Nazi movement, while Kuèera was identified as having belonged to a group called Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice (SHARP). Neo-Nazis distanced themselves from Fous after the murder, claiming he has Roma ancestry. Some witnesses to the tragedy agreed that Fous paradoxically has a negative relationship toward the Roma minority.

Czech News Agency

Liverpool event remembers Holocaust and hate crime (UK)

The Holocaust and other genocides across the world are being remembered at an event in Liverpool.

Liverpool Remembers, on Sunday, is being held in the week of Holocaust Memorial Day to reflect on human rights tragedies and look at local hate crime.

Members of the Jewish community will be speaking at the event, at St Francis of Assisi Academy in Kensington.

Merseyside Police will also lead a discussion on tackling hate crime in the region.

'Make a difference'

Councillor Louise Baldock, Chair of Liverpool Remembers and Chair of Liverpool Hate Crime Reduction Forum, said: "It is vitally important that we continue to promote awareness and understanding about the Holocaust.

"This will be our fourth annual event to commemorate and reflect upon the millions of lives lost.

"We also reflect on other genocides and human rights abuses which have affected people worldwide who now live in communities in our city."

She added: "Racism, homophobia and other forms of hate crime still exist today, and if unchecked, lead to world tragedies like the Holocaust.

"We will be asking people to make a pledge to do something that will shine a small light and make a difference."

Holocaust Memorial Day is on 27 January, to coincide with the same day in 1945 when the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp was liberated.

BBC News