German Pegida racists’ anti-refugee violence


This video is called Pegida: Hatred on the march. It says about itself:

11 February 2015

In this episode of Observers Direct, we had to the city of Dresden in eastern Germany. Dresden is home to the PEGIDA movement, which stands for “Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the West”. Since October, they’ve held weekly rallies over what they see as the threat posed by Muslim immigrants to … society.

Our Observer works with refugees in Dresden. Julien Pain went to meet him there.

Translated from Wirtschaftswoche weekly in Germany:

Dresden: Right-wing Pegida protesters attack refugee camp

Pegida boss Bachmann always pretends that his followers are peaceful. After a recent “walk” by these critics of Islam, however, rightist persons tried to attack a protest camp of refugees.

After the end of a Pegida demonstration in Dresden about two dozen right-wing extremists have tried to attack a protest camp of refugees. On Monday night the police in the square in front of the Semperoper immediately positioned themselves between the two sides and prevented worse. Of injured people, initially nothing was known, a police spokesman reported in the early hours of Tuesday. In the square, several hundred supporters of the refugees had gathered to prevent an evacuation of the camp expected that evening.

Around 6,000 supporters of the anti-Islam movement Pegida had gone on Monday evening to Dresden. After the end of the rally, about 100 people flocked to the protest camp. While about two dozen of them tried to storm the place, others demanded verbally the evacuation of the camp.

According to Dutch NOS TV, the Pegida attackers threw incendiary devices at the camp, while shouting: ‘Ausländer raus!’ [Foreigners out].

The Wirtschaftswoche article continues:

Despite a ban, in the Belgian port city of Antwerp on Monday night about a hundred Pegida supporters gathered. The police surrounded the demonstrators according to a report by the Belgian news agency Belga. Some people have been arrested. The city government had banned the demonstration as too dangerous.

Among the demonstrators was Filip Dewinter, leader of the extreme right party Vlaams Belang. Also, Dutch neo-nazis of the Nederlandse Volksunie (NVU) had traveled to Antwerp to join the demonstration, according to the NVU Facebook page. Dutch (right wing) daily De Telegraaf writes that 12 Pegida people were arrested, and one policeman was injured.

Newcastle, England demonstrates against Pegida nazis


Pegida National Front demonstrator in Newcastle

This photo shows a demonstrator of the Pegida Islamophobic movement in Newcastle, England. He carries a flag of the neo-nazi National Front party.

Pegida Golden Dawn demonstrator in Newcastle

This photo shows a demonstrator of the Pegida Islamophobic organisation in Newcastle, England. He carries a flag of the Greek neo-nazi Golden Dawn party.

So much for Pegida’s claims to be really cuddly and supposedly not nazi at all. Claims already made doubtful by the Hitler copycat behaviour of Lutz Bachmann, the German leader of Pegida.

Lutz Bachmann posing as Hitler

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

THOUSANDS STAND UP TO THE PEGIDA THUGS

Monday 2nd March 2015

People of Newcastle turn out to make a stand against just 200 red-faced fascists

THOUSANDS of anti-fascists took to the streets of Newcastle-upon-Tyne at the weekend to oppose a demonstration by racist and Islamaphobic gang Pegida.

While around 200 Pegida fascists were protected by a phalanx of police, 3,000 to 4,000 anti-fascists staged a march and rally, dwarfing their demonstration.

Under the banner Newcastle United, they made a clear statement of the broad base of opposition to the racist group.
Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Jews, people of no faith, trade unionists, students and political activists stood shoulder to shoulder against Pegida.

Unions represented with their banners and flags included Unite, Unison, transport union RMT and the National Union of Teachers.

Pegida — whose German acronym means Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the West — peaked last month in Dresden when 25,000 people attended a rally, but its popularity has dwindled following leadership scandals.

Far-right activists in Britain were trying to import its racist beliefs in the forlorn hope of creating a mass movement of their own.

But their turnout in Newcastle on Saturday — and the massed ranks of local people who opposed them — was a major knock to their hopes.

Speaker after speaker denounced Pegida at a rally that followed a march by the anti-fascist protesters.

Among them was Durham Miners Association secretary Davey Hopper — a lifelong campaigner against racism and fascism.

He told the exuberant crowd that the association is restoring a banner of the International Brigades, created in honour of people from Newcastle who went to Spain to fight in the country’s war against fascism in the 1930s.

“When I came here today I thought there would be a few hundred people scattered about,” he said.

“I have been on many demonstrations over the years but today has lifted me.

“The National Union of Mineworkers has never been found wanting when racism and fascism shows its ugly head.

“When you look over there and see the small number of absolutely despicable people, and you look up here and see 3,000 to 4,000 people, it gives you a lift.

“My union has fought fascism through the whole of its history.

“Today’s demonstration must tell those 200 people down there that there is no place for them in Newcastle, Durham and Northumberland, and there should be no place in the country for scum like that,” he said to cheers.

Messages of support were read out from Sunderland and Newcastle football fans’ organisations. Among other speakers was the Lord Mayor of Newcastle George Pattison.

Five people were arrested, including for drunkenness and public order offences.

See also here.

England: MATT WILLGRESS talks to leading lights in the movement for racial equality about the importance of taking to the streets in the run-up to UN Anti-Racism Day: here.

Italy: Racist protest dwarfed by opposition on the streets of Rome. TENS of thousands of anti-fascist and anti-racist activists confronted Italy’s far-right Northern League on the streets of Rome on Saturday: here.

German Islamophobes make Hitler copycat Bachmann their Fuehrer again


The image of Lutz Bachmann styled as Adolf Hitler was published by the Dresden Morgenpost after a reader spotted it on Facebook

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Pegida head Lutz Bachmann reinstated after furore over Hitler moustache photo

The leader of Germany’s anti-Islamisation movement resigned in January after the image – which he now says was doctored – went viral

Lutz Bachmann has been reinstated as the head of Germany’s anti-Islamisation movement Pegida, a month after resigning over a photo showing him posing with a Hitler moustache.

The group confirmed on its Facebook page that the 42-year-old had been re-elected as chairman on Sunday by the six other members of the organisation’s leadership committee.

The Sächsische Zeitung reported last week that the Hitler moustache on the now infamous photo had been added after the photo was taken – though Bachmann did not mention this when the photo went viral. …

The picture of Bachmann went viral after it was published by a local newspaper, the Dresden Morgenpost. A Morgenpost reader discovered the photograph, along with what appeared to be a closed Facebook conversation between Bachmann and one of his Facebook contacts, in which he described immigrants as cattle, scumbags and trash. …

The controversy over the Hitler photo and Bachmann’s Facebook comments was seen as particularly damaging.

Bachmann’s resignation in January was followed by an exodus of leading members, apparently in an attempt to distance themselves from openly racist supporters. …

Bachmann, who carries convictions for drug possession, assault and burglary, has continued to speak at Pegida demos in Dresden. At last week’s event he imitated the 16th century church reformer Martin Luther and nailed 10 “theses” to the door of Dresden’s Kreuzkirche church. …

In the same Facebook post announcing Bachmann’s reinstatement, Pegida also welcomed its latest member – Tatjana Festerling, a former member of the eurosceptic Alternative for Germany party who attracted criticism last year for praising the Hooligans Against Salafists demo in Cologne. Bachmann said Festerling would almost certainly be the group’s new spokeswoman.

Pegida has attracted close to 160,000 likes on its Facebook page, which remains its only official web presence, but numbers at recent demos in Dresden have dwindled from a highpoint of 17,000 in January to around 2,000 in the last two weeks.

‘Nazi salutes’ claims as Pegida march through Vienna, Austria: here.

Anti-Muslim sentiments in US are being stoked by organisations and donors – paying over $57 million to demonise Islam, says report: here.

Islamophobic violence in the USA


This video from the USA says about itself:

Muslims discover dead pig at entrance to mosque by ICNA Houston – ABC News

5 December 2012

HOUSTON (KTRK) — A disturbing discovery was made outside of a Houston area mosque and now Islamic community leaders are calling it a hate crime. A dead pig was left in front of the mosque Tuesday in Cypress.

Ilyas Choudry says worshippers at the Islamic Outreach Center in Cypress found a mutilated dead pig Tuesday night near the doorstep of their five-month-old mosque.

“They were totally surprised to see this,” he said.

Leaders at the mosque say the dead pig was placed there sometime after worshipers left following afternoon prayer and arrived back for evening prayer. Muslims don’t eat pork and regard the pigs as an unclean animal. Some in the Muslim community are questioning if this was a gesture of hate.

“I think it borders on being a hate crime at least from our prospective, because we’ve seen these before and generally when people put pigs or have dead animals, it’s really something hateful,” said Mustafaa Carroll with the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

The Islamic Outreach Center says it has not had any problems with neighbors before.

By Tom Carter in the USA:

Mounting violence against Muslims in America

19 February 2015

A series of attacks on Muslims in the US have occurred in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo shootings in France and executions carried out by the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria. These events have been seized on by governments around the world, including the Obama administration, to promote anti-Islamic sentiment so as to justify expanded military interventions in the Middle East and stepped up domestic repression.

On February 10, three Muslim-American students—Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, his wife Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21, and her sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19—were found shot in the head, execution-style, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The two young women were wearing traditional hijabs when they were killed.

The man who turned himself in to authorities in connection with the murders had previously brandished guns at the victims and threatened them. Before the shooting, Yusor Abu-Salha told her father, “Daddy, I think he hates us for who we are and how we look.”

On February 12, an Arab-American man was brutally attacked by two white men at a Kroger supermarket in Dearborn, Michigan. The attackers also taunted his daughter, who wears a hijab, making references to ISIS and Muslims. The attackers called the man and his daughter “r–head” and said, “Go back to your country.”

This video from Texas in the USA says about itself:

Quba Islamic Institute On Fire Southeast Houston, US

15 February 2015

An Islamic Center in Houston southeast side has been damaged by fire. Investigators are trying to determine whether the fire was arson.

No injuries have been reported in the blaze that erupted before morning prayers on Friday in a storage area of the Quba Islamic Institute mosque and school. Officials at the institute said investigators told them the fire was intentionally set. Muslim worshipers have described the incident as particularly troubling after the Chapel Hill attack that left three Muslim students dead. The Council on American-Islamic Relations is calling on state and federal authorities to investigate the fire as a possible hate crime.

The Tom Carter article continues:

On February 13, the Quba Islamic Institute in southeast Houston, Texas was the target of an arson attack that destroyed a substantial portion of the building and caused an estimated $100,000 in damage. On February 17, police in Austin, Texas arrested a man for threatening to bomb an Islamic center as well as a Middle Eastern restaurant.

Last month, a “Texas Muslim Capitol Day” event (the declared purpose of which was to “engage American Muslims in the political process”) was attacked and disrupted by anti-Muslim thugs. Another attack was organized on “Muslim Day” in Oklahoma City. The attacking group’s Facebook page screamed, “Get Islam Out of America.”

The rate of hate crimes against Muslims in the United States stands at five times what it was before September 2001. A recent poll found that out of all religions, Americans harbor the most negative feelings towards Muslims.

The American political and media establishment bears a significant portion of the responsibility for these trends.

A recent report by the Center for American Progress entitled “Fear, Inc. 2.0, The Islamophobia Network’s Efforts to Manufacture Hate in America” exposes a veritable “Islamophobia industry” operating on the periphery of the American state. Tens of millions of dollars have been spent over the past decade to promote anti-Muslim bigotry through a shady network of politicians, journalists, foundations, “activists” and “experts.”

This Islamophobia network enjoys close ties with police departments and the intelligence agencies. Anti-Muslim bigotry, the report indicates, can often be found “masquerading as law-enforcement counterterrorism training.” The training materials and “experts,” according to the report, encourage police and intelligence agents to see “a terrorist plot in every mosque.”

The intentional whipping up of anti-Muslim bigotry has intensified internationally in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks last month. As the World Socialist Web Site has explained, the campaign to vilify Muslims serves definite political ends.

Anti-Muslim hysteria provides a justification for imperialist mayhem abroad as well as a wedge with which to attack democratic rights at home. Policies can be pursued in the climate of such hysteria that would otherwise be unthinkable. And, as with all such campaigns against racial and religious minorities throughout the twentieth century, murderous and fascistic elements are mobilized that, in a crisis, can be unleashed against the working class as a whole.

In cultivating the conditions for an intensification of anti-Muslim violence within the United States, a particularly reprehensible role has been played by the racist, homicidal film American Sniper. The film features an elite US soldier heroically slaughtering Iraqi “savages” for God and country.

Chris Kyle, the real-life sniper behind Clint Eastwood’s pro-war propaganda film, boasted of killing more than 300 people. (He was apparently also a pathological liar who bragged about having shot and killed dozens of “looters” in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and to have participated in other events that are unlikely ever to have happened).

During a military investigation of allegations that Kyle killed an unarmed civilian in Iraq, Kyle said, “I don’t shoot people with Korans. I’d like to, but I don’t.”

In the current toxic social climate, and in the absence of any progressive outlet for social discontent, American Sniper has met with a certain and disturbing response. “American sniper makes me wanna go shoot some f—ing Arabs,” wrote one individual on Twitter. “Nice to see a movie where the Arabs are portrayed for who they really are,” wrote another, “vermin scum intent on destroying us.”

Another individual wrote, “Great f—ing movie and now I really want to kill some f—ing r–heads.” And another: “American sniper made me appreciate soldiers 100x more and hate Muslins (sic) 1000000x more.”

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee described a “drastic increase” in hate speech on social media following the film’s release. It is not difficult to see how these kinds of responses can translate into real violence.

A revealing episode was provided by the “National Prayer Breakfast” on February 5. Bowing to pressure from the right, Obama utilized the occasion (a reactionary spectacle under any circumstances) to denounce “ISIL, a brutal, vicious death cult that, in the name of religion, carries out unspeakable acts of barbarism, terrorizing religious minorities like the Yezidis, subjecting women to rape as a weapon of war, and claiming the mantle of religious authority for such actions.” Obama also mentioned the Crusades and the Inquisition as examples of “terrible deeds” committed in the name of religion.

Obama’s appearance fueled an ongoing campaign by the Republican right denouncing the White House for not going far enough in vilifying Muslims. Obama was criticized on the grounds that his invocation of the Crusades and the Inquisition “throws Christians under the bus.”

“The words ‘radical Islamic terrorism’ do not come out of the president’s mouth,” declared Republican Senator Ted Cruz. “The word ‘jihad’ does not come out of the president’s mouth. And that is dangerous.”

“The president’s comments… at the prayer breakfast are the most offensive I’ve ever heard a president make in my lifetime,” former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore told reporters. “He has offended every believing Christian in the United States. This goes further to the point that Mr. Obama does not believe in America or the values we all share.”

The engines of anti-Muslim agitation in the United States do not include only the usual suspects: the Republican Party, the military, AM talk radio, police, the intelligence agencies, Fox News, the Murdoch press, religious zealots, billionaire reactionaries, the Tea Party and so forth.

Instead, anti-Muslim prejudice has been lent a certain respectable gloss by so-called “liberal” and “left” sections of the political establishment. These layers either endorse the vilification of Muslims, acquiesce to it, or make hand-wringing scholarly inquiries into whether or not Islam is “inherently violent.”

“The rash of horrific attacks in the name of Islam,” read a front-page article in the New York Times on January 9, “is spurring an anguished debate among Muslims here in the heart of the Islamic world about why their religion appears cited so often as a cause for violence and bloodshed.” The article then weighs arguments—for and against—the proposition that Islam is “inherently more violent than Judaism or Christianity.”

No significant section of the political establishment in any of the imperialist countries has shown itself capable of taking a principled stand in opposition to the promotion of anti-Muslim sentiment. That task falls to the socialist movement, which stands for the international unity of the working class, defends its democratic achievements, and rejects all attempts to whip up national, ethnic or religious bigotry.

The author also recommends:

New York City police, CIA in massive spying operation among Muslims
[26 August 2011]

Murdered United States Muslims commemorated in Amsterdam


Commemoration for murdered Muslims in Amsterdam

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Vigil on Dam square because of murder of three young Muslims in the USA

Today, 21:15

Three young Muslims killed in the USA this week have been commemorated on the Dam in Amsterdam. Around 19:00 between 100 and 200 people gathered. They carried posters with photographs of the three victims. They also had banners with texts like: stop the smear campaign against Muslims.

The participants of the memorial are angry about the lack of attention in the Dutch media for the murders. They are amazed that the 46-year-old man who shot and killed the Muslims is not called a terrorist.

US President Barack Obama has condemned the murder of the three Muslim students in the state of North Carolina. He called the murder cruel and atrocious. “Nobody in the US should be the target for what they are, how they look, or what religion they profess”, Obama said in a statement.

Last Wednesday, the two women of 19 and 23 years old and a 21-year-old man were shot dead in an apartment at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Chapel Hill shooting suspect Craig Hicks had at least a dozen guns at his home, police say: here.

Hundreds in Qatar protest North Carolina ‘terrorist act': here.

The killing of three Muslim-American college students in Chapel Hill, North Carolina has sparked an outpouring of anger and sympathy across the US and around the world, as police continue to investigate whether religious or ethnic hatred was a motive in the shootings. A crowd of more than 5,000 people gathered in Raleigh, North Carolina on Thursday for the funerals of the three youths: here.

Chapel Hill victim’s sister: American Sniper ‘dehumanizes’ Muslims: here.

Texas, USA: Fire destroys Islamic centre building in Houston in suspected arson attack and hate crime: here.

Muslims murdered in the USA, BBC silent


This video from London, England issays about itself:

#MuslimLivesMatter: BBC and Sky slammed for ‘bias coverage’ at London rally

12 February 2015

Protesters gathered in central London Thursday to decry the lack of media coverage over the purportedly religiously-motivated murder of three Muslims in North Carolina on Wednesday.

The demonstrators carried banners bearing messages including ‘BBC, shame on you’ and ‘My faith does not incriminate me.’

The group singled out the government run broadcasting company, as well as Sky News, for what they consider to be the demonisation of Islam and the playing down of hate crimes against Muslims.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

BBC faces demo over shootings coverage

Friday 13th February 2015

ANTI-RACISM campaigners joined members of Muslim communities last night to stage a protest outside the BBC in London against what they claim is the corporation’s silence over the shootings of three Muslim students in the US.

Deah Shaddy Barakat, his wife Yusor Mohammad and her sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha were shot dead near the university campus in North Carolina on Wednesday.

Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder over the killings.

Initial reports appeared to suggest the triple shooting was the result of a dispute over parking spaces but the victims’ families and local Muslim community leaders are calling for the murders to be recognised as a hate crime.

The protesters argue that in stark contrast to the recent Paris shootings there was no immediate coverage of the killings, which were not headline news or covered in the BBC’s main news bulletins.

North Carolina murders and Dutch media: here.