From British daily The Independent:
Muslims feel like ‘Jews of Europe’
Minister’s shock warning on rise of anti-Islamic prejudice
By Cahal Milmo, Chief Reporter
Friday, 4 July 2008
Mr Malik said that many British Muslims now felt like ‘aliens in their own country’
Britain’s first Muslim minister has attacked the growing culture of hostility against Muslims in the United Kingdom, saying that many feel targeted like “the Jews of Europe”.
Shahid Malik, who was appointed as a minister in the Department for International Development (Dfid) by Gordon Brown last summer, said it has become legitimate to target Muslims in the media and society at large in a way that would be unacceptable for any other minority.
Mr Malik made clear that he was not equating the situation with the Holocaust but warned that many British Muslims now felt like “aliens in their own country”. He said he himself had been the target of a string of racist incidents, including the firebombing of his family car and an attempt to run him down at a petrol station.
“I think most people would agree that if you ask Muslims today what do they feel like, they feel like the Jews of Europe,” he said. “I don’t mean to equate that with the Holocaust but in the way that it was legitimate almost – and still is in some parts – to target Jews, many Muslims would say that we feel the exact same way.
“Somehow there’s a message out there that it’s OK to target people as long as it’s Muslims. And you don’t have to worry about the facts, and people will turn a blind eye.”
The claims are made in an interview to be broadcast on Monday in a Channel 4 Dispatches programme to coincide with the third anniversary of the London bombings of 7 July.
A poll to accompany the documentary highlights the growing polarisation of opinion among Britain’s 1.6 million Muslims, who say they have suffered a marked increase in hostility since the London bombings.
Shahid Malik should consider the contributions, like the war in Iraq, by the leaders of his own party, like Blair and Brown, to the sorry situation which he describes correctly.
Islamophobia in the USA: here.
Britain: The economic downturn and the threat to civil liberties: here.
An Islamophobic, homophobic English clergyman: here.
Racist anti Muslim computer game: here.