Paris: Now The Backlash…..

The Broken Elbow raises the spectre of persecution which is haunting Muslims trying to go about their daily lives.         

  • This from AFP. How long before someone is killed? So far, not a word of condemnation from Cameron & Co. I wonder what is happening in France in this regard?

Anti-Muslim hate crimes rose 300 percent in Britain in the week following the coordinated attacks in Paris, according to figures published on Monday.

A “vast and overwhelming majority” of the 115 attacks were against Muslim women and girls aged between 14 and 45 who were wearing traditional Islamic dress, according to the findings reported in The Independent newspaper.

The perpetrators were mainly white males aged between 15 and 35, according to the report, which noted that the true numbers of attacks were likely much larger than those reported.

The figures come from a report to a government working group on anti-Muslim hate compiled by Tell Mama, a helpline that records incidents of physical and verbal attacks on mosques and Muslims.

A large number of the attacks occurred in public places such as buses and trains.

“Many of the victims have suggested that no one came to their assistance or even consoled them, meaning that they felt victimised, embarrassed, alone and angry about what had taken place against them.

“Sixteen of the victims even mentioned that they would be fearful of going out in the future and that the experiences had affected their confidence.”

The rise in attacks is in line with a similar increase that happened after the murder in south London of British soldier Lee Rigby by Muslim extremists in 2013, according to the report.

Islamophobic and anti-Semitic incidents had already risen sharply before the attacks in Paris, by 70.7 percent and 93.4 percent respectively in the year to July 2015 compared to the previous 12-month period, according to police figures.

In all, 816 Islamophobic incidents were recorded in Greater London between July 2014 and July 2015, compared to 478 in the previous period.

The same period saw 499 anti-Semitic incidents, a rise from 258 the previous year.

The police did not give a breakdown on whether the recorded attacks were physical or verbal assaults, but said there were a number of factors leading to the rise including a greater willingness of victims to report such incidents and better police recording.

Britain has 2.7 million Muslim residents and a Jewish population of 263,000, according to the 2011 census.


  1. These are figures self-compiled by an Islamic organisation and not by police. And they use that anti-discursive term of islamaphobia -which can apply to anyone not yet converted to Islam because they are Islamophobic. It is a means of stiffling debate on the extreme principles of Islam.

    The attacks apparently happen to women and girls wearing their textile prisons. So we could be talking about how someone gave them a second glance who was male and not a relative -that is how hypersensitive muslims are. I confess I have done that myself because I see the Islamic textile imprisonment of women and girls as oppressive and contrary to human rights and gender equality that I aspire to.

    Note how Ed brandishes the allegation of Islamophobic and not anti-Islamic, I presume to suppress anyone from challenging his claims. He also unfairly prioritising Islam over a greater increase of anti-Semetic 'incidents'. Hense he is not writing to be fair about who is being discriminated against the most or about the severity of whatever occurs -muslims are attacked and with jews there are questionable incidents. Here are some of the figures he provides in attempt to seem impartial: "Islamophobic and anti-Semitic incidents had already risen sharply before the attacks in Paris, by 70.7 percent and 93.4 percent respectively in the year to July 2015 compared to the previous 12-month period, according to police figures."

    Some muslims may encounter a colder or even hostile response from non-muslims but that in itself does not amount to islamophobia or 'attacks' which seems to be a very generous and broad interpritation of the word. TellMama records "incidents by Muslims against other Muslims" so we have no way of knowing the origins who perpetrated these alleged 'attacks'.

  2. Diplockcourts,

    I would be surprised if there was not an upsurge in hostility towards Muslims. It seems to be the pattern with these things. I think Jews also get it to some extent in the wake of the Israeli government carrying out ISIS type atrocities against Palestinian civilians and children. There is a lot of feverish discourse deliberately generated in the wake of Israel/ISIS atrocities and people respond to it.

    No doubt there is a lot of people not liking the second glance because of their attire. I am not sure that is what they are complaining about however.

    Maryam Namazie is a campaigner against the veil and makes a point similar to your own that it is oppressive. I think it is too but what way should society respond when a woman like Salma Yaqoob wears a veil and defends the right of women to wear it? As much as I find it distasteful, there has to be a right to choose. I don't think people should have the right to go masked in public. A religious person should have no more right to cover their face with a veil in public that I have to cover my face with a Liverpoool scarf. There should be no prioritising of an opinion because it is religious.

    As for Islamophobia, a descriptively useless term - but useful in terms of smothering discussion.

  3. AM

    I agree that there likely is an upsurge in hostility -the police record indicates that though puts it far greater against jews than muslims. We do not really know what these muslim women are complaining about other than their atire drew attention. And what is the difference between muslim women making a silent statement by wearing an Islamic textile prison or someone else voicing their objection to the promotion or furtherance of such symbols of oppression? Who has more right to their freedom of expression and who is more offended? It is not a onesided argument. It need not be said but many people in the West have struggled for human rights and gender equality and for anyone to abuse or undermine their efforts is itself offensive.

  4. Diplockcourts,

    the opposition that may be expressed to those wearing religious attire should not be silenced but free speech is not a licence to bully. I tend to think free speech is venue specific, that people do have a private space even when they are in public conducting private business. I would not dream of approaching a nun in the street unsolicited and expressing my view to her on her attire any more so than I would a Manchester United supporter.

    I have ample opportunity to express that opinion without invading her personal space whether it be in unassuming daily routine or her place of residence. I think were I to do so it would not simply be the expression of an opinion but harassment or bullying. The very same thing I might say to her can as easily be said on a web or a blog, at a political meeting.

    There should be no infringement on free speech but some acknowledgement/working out of a person's right in their personal lives not to be subject to speech they do not want to hear whatever it is about. That concedes absolutely nothing to the censor who wants the topic to go unsaid regardless of venue.

    The right to hear is as important as the right to speak but it is only works as a right if the listener has the option of not hearing. Your freedom to speak does not obligate me to listen. A speaker cannot assume an automatic right to an audience.

  5. AM

    Nor is wearing a burka or hijab a license to go without drawing adverse attention. Certainly if a white male strutted around wearing some form of facist garment a lot of peopel would find it understandable that someone might look or say something about it. I do not make any remark to muslim women because I do not know if she is a victim or a facist.

    Ed relies on the self-reporting of the Tellmama islamic group which has a very low threshhold of what qualifies as an incident or as Eds describes 'attacks' on muslims -for instance a muslim who feels a sense of 'dread' or that someone dislikes them is classed as a victim of an 'incident' or 'attack'. Anybody can feel a sense of dread just going out in public but that does not mean the public is out to get them and they are victim of a hatecrime.

    I just don't think it very helpful that Eds bleedingheart libralism sesnsationlises alleged attacks that are not very well defined. Like I say in my original post maybe my taking a second glance at an Islamic textile prioner amounted to an unprovoked attack by the standards of Tellmama.

  6. Im offended that a woman thinks without covering herself in a shapeless bag I wont be able to not rape her. This is a hate crime against me as a male. I feel very frightened about being called a potential rapist, because if I become marginalised, I might have no choice left but to rape.

  7. Diplockcourts,

    the adverse attention is always the choice of the gazer but not always the wish of the gazed at. A parallel with the gazer being offended might be found in those Muslims who cite offence at the slightest expression of dissent from their code or opinion. There is no right not to be offended and there is a right to offend.

    Another problem is in definition - as much as I might dislike the idea of it, I don't see the religious garb people wear as a symbol of fascism in say the way a KKK mask might be perceived as one. It is impossible for me to see Salma Yaqoob as a fascist even though I disagree with her views on quite a bit. I guess many people wear the Muslim garb out of tradition, varying degrees of devoutness, and on occasion to provoke or push back.

    I think it fair to term political Islam as theocratic fascism much in the manner the Marxist professor David Schweickart did. I am far from convinced that it follows that we can term the garbed manifestation of Islam the religion as fascist.

  8. DaithiD,

    but you don't know what they think, if they even do think much about it or do it routinely. To me they have as much right to wear their attire as a nun has to hers or me to my Liverpool top. It is when it becomes a political statement demanding that I too submit to her religious beliefs that it presents a problem. I don't buy into the Maryam Namazie perspective on this even though I am a great admirer.


    it may well be that Ed has overegged the pudding. I didn't read the piece as closely as you have. I don't feel compelled to buy the narrative of the advocacy groups. I have seen how the SWP for example for expediency have used the issue for its own ends, manipulated the facts, covered up the abuses against women. Nevertheless, it strikes me as being consistent with the type of thing that would happen and on occasion is encouraged.

  9. AM, I havent even got into whether its their choice or not, I went for the uncontroversial explanation that was the majority answer in a few documentaries ive seen, as well as girls that wore it in Uni. Its entirely about modesty, and not filling men with desire when they could be thinking of God.And that is 100% my last Islam related comment : whether its a 'Larry' last comment or 'Grouch' last comment on this matter remains to be seen. It really does me no good, its like holding a hot coal, and I seem to entrench people in their views.

  10. AM

    Fact is whether a woman wears a burka or a mini skirt she will draw attention upon herself --from the wanted and unwanted. For the muslim woman she wants the approving eye of her fellow muslims and not from anyone who looks aghast when they see a prison walking.

    The woman wearing the garb might not be a facist but the men who demand her to wear it are, so to me it is a facists sybmol just like KKK gear -only the fundamentalists use it for different purposes.


    The idea of a mutilated crotch is enough to turn me off -so gross.

  11. Diplockcourt,

    the woman wearing a mini might well draw attention. But the person who rants at her for wearing it is the problem not her no matter how much her wearing what he disapproves of might cause him offence.

    If a woman chooses to wear a burka in the manner that a woman chooses to wear a mini, what business is it of the onlooker to lecture her?

    The men who demand that she wear the burka are the problem. They use a theology of domination to do so. But if the burka is a religious symbol which has been politicised but which the woman nevertheless chooses to wear on religious grounds whether the man wills it or not, she has to be free to do so in my view.

    The religious attire might have a fascist dimension but it has others as well. I don't think there is a fascist essence to it, but it may well take a fascist form.

  12. ok so grouch type last comment!
    Christy, from what i have read, it seems FGM is a Somali cultural baggage thing rather than purely Islamic.Jewish tribes have been taking razors to childrens genitals for centuries before that too, so I cant find Islam anomalous in this instance.Just cause its us males, no one cares.

  13. AM

    Nobody is saying that sort of behaviour is ok. Nor would I say that muslims would not be subjects of hatecrime including physical attacks. I am saying that 1) I question the validity and motives of the muslim support group Tell Mama, and 2)the group considers that mere perception can amount to an attack on muslims. For instance if a muslim perceives that someone dislikes them or they feel dread in dealing with anyone then they are victims of a hatecrime. That threshhold is set so rediculously low it is a joke and they could cook whatever statistics they like. Tell Mama can also consider a fellow muslim being critical of Islam in the presence of a muslim who does not like what he/she is hearing about Islam.

  14. DD

    The catholic church probably did it at some stage in its sorted history. It is practiced throughout the Islamic world to varying degrees of severity -sometimes girls escape it in families where the father has protected his daughters from it. I do not think that any religion should be allowed to do it on any gender. However it poses a much more serious health issue for girls and can amount to one of the most extreme forms of torture that its victims can and often die from the ordeal.

  15. Diplockcourts,

    this is a problem spawned by propaganda and not dissimilar to what many lobby/advocacy groups do. It is a major obstacle to establishing fact. And any attempt to do so will find some derogatory label stuck onto it: Islamophobe, peaceophobe, whateverophobe ... just so long as we can shut you up with a big label that we can plaster across your mouth.

  16. some strains of Jewish orthodox engage in vile practices: basically sexual molestation excused as religious ritual

  17. some strains of humans abort children and sell their body parts to corporations.