NSA spying and racism


This video from London, England is called Exclusive: DN! Goes Inside Assange’s Embassy Refuge to Talk WikiLeaks, Snowden and Winning Freedom.

By Dustin Volz, National Journal, in the USA today:

‘Raghead’ Slur in Snowden Leak Prompts White House Call for Discrimination Review

On the heels of an explosive leak from Edward Snowden, the White House is pushing its intelligence agencies to review their internal policies and standards to ensure “diversity and tolerance” in its operations.

An article published Wednesday by The Intercept revealed that the National Security Agency and the FBI spied on the emails of five high-profile Muslim-Americans who were apparently guilty of no wrongdoing. One disclosed file from 2005 shows a target’s unknown name being replaced with a placeholder of “Mohammed Raghead.”

Without confirming or denying other details of the report, the White House said it has asked for an assessment of whether spy agencies are vigorous enough in their policing of potential racial or religious bias.

“As the NSA has said, the use of racial or ethnic stereotypes, slurs, or other similar language by employees is both unacceptable and inconsistent with the country’s core values,” White House spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said in a statement. “The administration takes all such allegations extremely seriously, and upon learning of this matter, the White House immediately requested that the director of National Intelligence undertake an assessment of Intelligence Community policies, training standards or directives that promote diversity and tolerance, and as necessary, make any recommendations changes or additional reforms.”

Hayden did not offer further details about the scope or duration of the investigation, but did say that it had been initiated in direct response to The Intercept story.

The new leak has already prompted a swift backlash from a wide net of civil-rights groups led by the American Civil Liberties Union, which are seeking “a full public accounting of these practices.”

The coalition of 44 organizations sent a letter to President Obama on Wednesday asking the Justice Department to revisit and strengthen policies discussing the proper use of race by law-enforcement officials.

“While we do not know all of the facts of the individual reported cases, we believe the government has an obligation to explain the basis for its actions,” said the letter, whose signatories included Amnesty International, Free Press, and the Human Rights Watch. “Moreover, we cannot presume that the government acted without prejudice or bias. Too often, both in the past and in the present, we have observed the government engaging in patterns of discriminatory and abusive surveillance.”

A spokeswoman for the NSA said the agency “has not, and would not, approve official training documents that include insulting or inflammatory language.”

But statements from the NSA regarding its surveillance practices continue to prove unpersuasive to the agency’s critics. The Center for Constitutional Rights likened the spying on Muslim-Americans emails to the FBI’s surveillance of Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil-rights activists in the 1960s, who were viewed as radicals by the government.

Snowden documents show NSA spied on prominent Muslim-Americans: here.

British right-wing media’s pro-ISIS provocation


Hurray for the Blackshirts, Daily Mail 1934 fascist propaganda

The Daily Mail paper in Britain has a long history of far Right sympathies, as this 1934 article by its owner, Viscount Rothermere, in support of the Blackshirts of British nazi leader Sir Oswald Mosley, shows.

By Rory MacKinnon in Britain:

Daily Mail and Evening Standard in ‘entrapment’ scandal

7 July 2014

‘Islamist extremist’ web post traced back to right-wing rags’ Northcliffe House office

RIGHT-WING hacks were accused of “entrapment” yesterday after an online post by a supposed Islamist extremist was traced back to the headquarters of the Daily Mail and Evening Standard.

A forum post on British Muslim social forum Ummah.com urged others to “pledge allegiance to the caliphate.”

New user “abuaisha10” suggested that people “get out of this evil country and pledge our allegiance to the muslim sharia law and get out of evil west (sic).

“Who wants to join me so we can wage war and jihad against the corrupt west?” the post read.

But the call to arms drew only bemusement from forum regulars.

One traced the IP address back to a known hotbed of extremist rhetoric — the papers’ Northcliffe House HQ in London.

Hope Not Hate researcher Simon Cressy described the revelations as “very disturbing.”

He said: “If it has originated from the Daily Mail, it smacks of a honeypot, it smacks of entrapment.”

The Daily Mail Group did not respond to the Morning Star’s requests for comment, while an operator with Scotland Yard’s anti-terrorist hotline confirmed they would investigate the source.

“If someone is obviously trying to rally people together to commit violence, that would be an offence we would look into,” she said.

The inflammatory posting came as police continued to seek the killer of University of Essex student Nahid Al-Manea, who was brutally stabbed to death in June in what investigators believe to be a hate crime motivated by her conservative Islamic dress.

The Federation of Student Islamic Societies president Omar Ali said: “Islamophobic hate speech, be it barefaced or disguised as news or political commentary, is having a real impact on the lives and safety of Muslims in the UK.

“It is high time that those politicians, commentators and institutions that espouse pernicious narratives about Muslims and Islam take responsibility for the terrible consequences of their words,” he said.

The affair also follows a string of attacks on Britain’s Muslim communities since the killing of British soldier Lee Rigby last May.

In the days immediately after Mr Rigby’s death an English Defence League supporter was arrested for attempting to blow up a mosque in Braintree while holding worshippers at knifepoint.

In another attack two ex-soldiers were filmed lobbing firebombs at a Grimsby mosque while a young family was inside.

Four teens were arrested in connection with the torching of an Islamic boarding school in Chislehurst and three arrested over a similar attack on a mosque in Harlow.

In October a High Court judge sentenced Ukrainian national Pavlo Lapshyn to life behind bars for the racially-motivated murder of Birmingham pensioner Mohammed Saleem and a string of nail-bombings that terrorised worshippers in mosques across Walsall, Wolverhampton and Tipton.

SUSPICIONS, if confirmed, that a journalist located at the Daily Mail headquarters sought to stir up extremist sentiment for the sake of an inflammatory headline drag that paper to a new low: here.

French government hysteria against Algerian football fans


This video is called Algeria VS South Korea [soccer] WORLD CUP 2014 [in Brazil] ALL GOALS.

By Antoine Lerougetel in France:

Anti-Muslim hysteria surrounds World Cup in France

3 July 2014

The political crisis provoked in France by the impressive performance of the Algerian team in the World Cup testifies to the explosive social tensions gripping French society, and the impact of decades of incitement of anti-Muslim racism by the ruling elite.

In France’s suburbs, where youth of immigrant origins face constant clashes with police, Algerian victories led to festivities, the burning of cars, and police arrests. Some 30 people were arrested on June 22 in celebrations after the Algerian team won their match against South Korea, and 74 on June 26 after the draw with Russia meant that Algeria, for the first time in the history of the World Cup, moved on to the last 16 of the competition.

The arrests were seized upon by the ruling Socialist Party (PS) and various right-wing parties to mount a crackdown on expressions of pro-Algerian sentiment during the Cup.

In an interview in 20 Minutes commenting on incidents after Algeria’s matches, sociologist Laurent Mucchielli noted: “Seventy-four arrests is not nothing, but on a national scale they are just isolated incidents. Outbursts of violence around sporting events are legion…not just with matches where the Algerian team is playing.”

“The political and media treatment of these incidents is out of proportion,” he added. “The Ministry of the Interior wants to show that it has matters in hand.”

In towns throughout France, including Paris with its PS-dominated council, the councils mounted giant screens for public viewings of the France-Nigeria match, which started at 6pm. However, they refused to show the Algeria-Germany match four hours later—despite the enormous interest in the Algerian team in France, the former colonial power in Algeria, which is home to 2.5 to 4 million people of Algerian origin.

Neo-fascist National Front (FN) leader Marine Le Pen demanded on i-T é l é “an end now to dual nationality,” which many Algerians living in France have. She also called for the halting of immigration, the end to the automatic right to French nationality of people born in France, and the expulsion to their country of origin of people who have been sentenced for crimes.

Christian Estrosi, the conservative UMP (Union for a Popular Movement) mayor of Nice, decreed the banning of the “ostentatious display of foreign flags” in the town centre for the duration of the World Cup in order to “maintain public order and peace.” He also banned the display of foreign flags at weddings in Nice.

Estrosi’s action has historical as well as political significance. The display of an Algerian flag in 1945 during a parade in Sétif, Algeria celebrating the end of the Second World War led to the massacre of some 20,000 Algerians by the French army. This crime was the prelude to even greater killings and mass use of torture in France’s failed attempt to crush Algerian fighters in Algeria’s successful 1954-1962 war for independence.

As poverty and unemployment mount in France’s immigrant suburbs, and French imperialism launches ever more wars in Muslim countries, from Mali to Syria, the ruling elite is ever more acutely sensitive of the threat posed by anti-imperialist sentiment among the masses.

In the right-wing Le Figaro daily, Ivan Rioufol provocatively denounced Algerians for being insufficiently French: “Their parents rejected French Algeria, they want an Algerian France. Their flags brandished in the streets express a refusal to live together, if not a wish for anti-colonialism.”

For the French political establishment—which, from the far right to petty-bourgeois pseudo-left parties like the New Anti-capitalist Party, have all embraced French imperialist interventions in the Middle East and Africa—even a “wish for anti-colonialism” is an intolerable threat. It threatens to cut across the promotion of anti-Islamic sentiment that has become a cornerstone of the French ruling class’ policy to divide the working class and poison political life.

The 2003 law banning the Islamic headscarf and “ostentatious” religious signs in schools—coming after the sell-out of mass strikes against pension cuts, in which teachers played a major role—was supported by the UMP as well as the PS and the pseudo-left parties. This opened the floodgates for a series of discriminatory laws against Muslims, cynically pursued under the guise of defending “secularism” against Islam.

The ban on the veil in schools was followed in 2010 by the law prohibiting the burqa in public places, again with virtually unanimous support within the political establishment. On Tuesday, a man was jailed for 3 years for an incident last year in which he objected to police stopping his wife, who was wearing the burqa, as they returned with their baby from the market in Trappes, in the southwest Paris suburbs.

The targeting of the entire Roma ethnicity for mass deportations by the PS government, continuing the policies of the previous conservative administration of President Nicolas Sarkozy, has further helped bring ethnic tensions in France to a fever pitch.

It is in this debased atmosphere that the World Cup became the occasion for the fanning of anti-Muslim and pro-imperialist sentiment.

ALGERIA’S World Cup stars will donate their $9 million (£5.2m) tournament bonuses to people in the bombarded Gaza Strip: here.

Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in Britain


This video from England says about itself:

24 June 2014

Racist vandals have devastated a Jewish cemetery in north Manchester – knocking down memorials and painting swastikas on gravestones.

The sickening anti-Semitic attack was discovered at the site on Rochdale Road in Blackley yesterday afternoon.

Police were called to the scene at 3.40pm and found that a number of gravestones had been toppled over and others had been daubed with Nazi symbols and other racist graffiti.

Officers believe the graves were vandalised between 4pm on Sunday and 3.30pm yesterday.

By Peter Lazenby in Britain:

Anti-fascists demand arrests over racist mosque and Jewish cemetery attacks

Wednesday 25th June 2014

ANTI-FASCISTS urged police yesterday to come up with arrests over the increasing attacks by racists on mosques and on Jewish cemeteries.

In one of the most recent attacks nazi swastikas and other anti-semitic graffiti was daubed on gravestones in a Jewish cemetery in Manchester, with some memorials toppled.

Police believe the attack happened between 4pm on Saturday and 3.30pm on Sunday last weekend. The attack is the most recent in a series at the cemetery in Rochdale Road, Blackley in Manchester.

Greater Manchester Police Inspector Mike Reid described the latest attack as “a sickening and cruel act of racism.”

But Gerry Gable, editor of respected anti-fascist magazine Searchlight said: “When are police going to make arrests?”

He warned that neo-nazi activity was continuing particularly through the activities of the British Movement, which was founded by the late Colin Jordan, and the Britain First organisation.

“The British Movement has a youth group. They are using Jordan’s writings to change and brainwash kids,” he said.

“They are clearly encouraged by lack of police activity in dealing with a whole series of very nasty attacks up and down the country.”

He said police in London were provided with video and other evidence of neo-nazi activities by some groups, but “nothing happened.”

Inspector Reid in Manchester said: “Extra patrols will be in the area in the coming days both to act as a visible deterrent and provide a visible presence for any concerned residents, and we will work with our partner agencies to investigate the matter.”

America’s hold overwhelming contempt toward Atheists & Muslims — and here are the biggest haters: here.

Racists jailed in Scotland


Symbol of hate ... racist Paul Newlands of the Scottish Defence League shows off swastika body art on the web, inset

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Bacon-throwing pair jailed for racist attack on mosque

Saturday 21st June 2014

A MAN and a woman who threw bacon at a mosque in Scotland were jailed yesterday for their part in the racist attack.

Douglas Cruikshank and Chelsea Lambie flung the meat, which Islam forbids Muslims from eating, at the window of Edinburgh’s Central Mosque and wrapped it around door handles on January 31 last year.

Prosecutors told Edinburgh Sheriff Court that they and a third person were associated with the racist Scottish Defence League.

Wayne Stilwel, 25, from Gorebridge, Midlothian, previously admitted his involvement and was sentenced to 10 months in September.

Mr Cruikshank was yesterday sentenced to nine months in jail while Ms Lambie received a year in a young offender institution.

“Prejudice and bigotry have a corrosive effect on our nation and we will maintain our zero-tolerance approach towards such crimes which will continue to be investigated carefully and prosecuted robustly,” prosecutor John Logue said.

Paramilitary neonazis Britain First exposed


This video is called Neo-Nazi group Britain First ‘invade’ East London Mosque.

By Joana Ramiro in Britain:

Racist thugs exposed

Friday 20th June 2014

Anti-fascist group release details of Britain First racists terrorising communities

ANTI-RACIST campaign Hope not Hate exposed yesterday the thugs at the forefront of a fascist street gang targeting Muslim communities.

Christian fundamentalist far-right organisation Britain First is on the march, calling for a violent uprising against non-white groups.

“It believes it’s involved in a holy war,” said Hope not Hate director of research Matthew Collins.

The organisation has now published a thorough report on the activities and strategies of Britain First after following its development closely in the last few years.

Mr Collins told the Star that Hope not Hate wanted to “warn people that this group has different aims, different goals, different strategies” from previous far-right organisations such as the British National Party or the English Defence League.

“We are looking at a group that is drilled, uniformed and, more worryingly, is doing things like ‘mosque invasions’,” he added.

The group exposed the leadership of Britain First as a collection of violent individuals, most of which have police records for serious offences.

Mr Collins, a reformed militant of the National Front, said that Britain First was particularly dangerous because it had been successful at co-opting what he calls the “social-moral panic.”

Its propaganda is based on a lethal combination of Islamophobic slurs and anti-immigration policies.

It has been keen on capitalising from general feelings of disappointment with mainstream politicians, much like Euro-sceptic Ukip has done.

From animal abuse to “British values,” Britain First has tweaked its political agenda according to currently popular national sentiment.

Hope not Hate expects its report on the far-right group to be a “wake-up call” to politicians and individuals alike.

“So that people can extend a hand to the Muslim community,” Mr Collins said.

As reported this Wednesday by the Star, Britain First has been staging regular incursions into Muslim communities, pushing people around and provoking people into physical confrontation.

Before the so-called “mosque invasions” in Bradford, Glasgow and Luton, the proto-fascist group had already staged “Christian Patrols” in Tower Hamlets, promoting racial and religious hatred.

Speaking to the Star, Luton’s Muslim community leader Mohammad Shafait described how after Britain First’s incursions people started fearing spiralling bloodshed.

“Either they are going to lose their lives or he is going to lose his life,” said Mr Shafait of Britain First chairman Paul Golding’s storming of local mosques during prayers: “That’s what they are frightened of.”

Hope not Hate and Mr Collins also urged the government to take action.

“The police or whoever needs to put an Asbo on Britain First because wherever it goes its sole objective is to wind up fear,” concluded Mr Collins.

Founder:
Jim Dowson

Anti-abortionist, radical evangelical Calvinist minister. Former member and main fundraiser of the BNP. Hope Not Hate call him “the most powerful identity on the far right” today.

Chairman:
Paul Golding

Nick Griffin’s one-time protege and former editor of BNP youth magazine Excalibur. Elected as Sevenoaks councillor in 2009. He’s been in fights with members of other far-right groups and even from his own organisation.

Member:
Marco Spilloni

One-time leading member of the EDL. Owes his “street-cred” to being shot in the crotch during a fight in Sheffield.

Member:

Jayda Fransen
Only publicly recognisable female member. Will “suit-up” in uniform.

The founder of Britain First has resigned from the far-right group over its “provocative and counterproductive” mosque invasions: here.

Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in Europe


French nazis' Islamophobic and anti-Arab graffitti at cemetery

By Sara R Farris in England:

On anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in Europe

Is Europe’s Islamophobia following the path of 19th century anti-Semitism?

5 June 2014 13:22

In 1844, Karl Marx published a short but dense text entitled “On the Jewish Question”. It was a critical review of two essays by the-then famous philosopher Bruno Bauer, who had argued against equal rights for Jews if granted on religious grounds. If Jews wanted to be considered full citizens – Bauer maintained echoing the widespread opinion of the time – Jews would have to abandon their religion and embrace Enlightenment. According to this logic, there was no room for religious demands in a secular society.

As Bauer’s position suggests, anti-Jewish racism in Germany and elsewhere in Europe in the first half of the 19th century, was justified mainly on cultural and religious grounds. Jews were discriminated and regarded with suspicion because they were considered an alien “nation within the nation”. In fact, it was not until the second half of the 19th century and the rise of “social Darwinism” that “racial anti-Semitism“, framed in biological terms, appeared on the political scene and Jews were openly discriminated against on the basis of their alleged genetic inferiority.

The question we might want to ask ourselves today is whether contemporary Europe is confronting a Muslim question similar to the Jewish question 170 years ago. Is European antipathy towards Muslims comparable to that first stage of hatred towards Jews, a hatred that culminated in one of the darkest pages of human history?

In spite of the obvious differences between the two contexts, the success of the far right during the recent elections in several European countries seems to suggest that the answer is a resounding yes. The victory of these parties attests to the incredible gains made by Islamophobic propaganda in the last ten years. In France, the president of the National Front, Marine Le Pen – who obtained one quarter of all votes – has asked school canteens to stop offering Muslim children alternatives to pork. In Britain, the UK Independence Party campaigned against the construction of mosques and became the biggest winner in the elections, with an astonishing 27.5 percent of the vote.

Many of these parties, as well as those who voted for them, do not consider themselves racists. After all, the problem with Muslims – according to the likes of Le Pen – is their alleged backwardness, fanaticism and unwillingness to integrate.

In short, it is the Muslims’ fault. Just like the Jewish question of the 19th century, the contemporary Muslim question is premised upon cultural differences and thus presented as legitimate and politically correct.

Though immigrants in general are singled out as a social and economic threat to European societies and workers, it is Muslims in particular who have come to epitomise the “bad other”. This has been achieved not only through the xenophobic propaganda of the far right. Actually, conservatives and even liberal and left-wing parties have contributed to the fanfare.

On the one hand, conservative leaders such as current UK Prime Minister David Cameron, France’s former President Nicolas Sarkozy and Italy’s former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi have repeatedly invoked the Christian roots of European countries, while, on the other, a much broader gamut of political forces, including liberals and leftists, have participated in decrying the headscarf as a symbol of backwardness and oppression. The voices nourishing anti-Muslim sentiment across Europe come from all sides of the political map.

Muslims have thus become, at least in many ways, the new Jews. They have become the scapegoats onto whom Europeans are projecting their anxieties about the future. Conservative and far-right politicians constantly intensify and exploit these anxieties in order to enhance neoliberal and nationalist agendas, while most liberal and left-wing parties have imitated the racist right, perhaps hoping it will bring them more votes.

Marx understood this process all too well. He criticised Bauer for claiming that the lack of political emancipation for the Jews was the result of their culture and religion. Marx maintained that religion had nothing to do with the continued discrimination of the Jews. The prejudice against the Jews and their lack of rights, Marx argued, is to be understood in the broader context of the state’s structural inequalities.

The transmutation of the Muslims into the Jews of the 19th century does not mean that a new genocide is imminent, or that the tragedy of the Jewish people in 20th century Europe will be replicated as the tragedy of the Muslim people in the 21st. History does not repeat itself in this way. But history can rhyme. It will only be the redoubled work of anti-racist militants and organisations that can potentially prevent that rhyme.Dr Sara R Farris is an Assistant Professor in Sociology in the Sociology Department at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Metz cemetery swastika

This photo shows vandalism at a cemetery in Metz in France: a swastika and the letters PNFE, which stands for Parti nationaliste français et européen, the nazi French and European Nationalist Party.

UK schools witchhunted by government to foster anti-Muslim sentiment: here.