You are viewing blog items for December 2013.
posted by: Nick Lowles & Ged Grebby | on: Sunday, 29 December 2013, 10:19
Nick Lowles (HOPE not hate)
Ged Grebby (Show Racism the Red Card)
HOPE not hate & Show Racism the Red Card today call upon West Bromwich Albion footballer Nicolas Anelka to clarify the intent behind his actions yesterday when he celebrated his goal against West Ham by making an allegedly antisemitic gesture, the "quenelle" described by many as an "inverted Nazi salute.". The salute has been made infamous by the controversial French comedian Dieudonné M’bala.
M'bala is a well known and notorious antisemite in France. The Godfather of his child is Jean Marie Le Pen, the former leader of the far-right Front National and, himself, convicted for Holocaust denial.
The French Sports Minister, Valerie Fourneyonron has described the actions by Anelka as "a shocking provocation, disgusting" rightfully commenting further that there is "No place for anti-Semitism and incitement to hatred on football field."
We would ask that Nicolas apologise and make clear that not only is he not an antisemite, but that he also condemns all forms of antisemitism. The gesture, and the words of M'bala are unacceptable and antisemitism is no way plays any part in any legitimate concerns or criticism that one may hold of Israel. The issues are completely different.
Antisemitism is racism. Racism has no part to play in any criticism, constructive or otherwise of any world affair or situation.
Nicolas Anelka must make clear his rejection of racism and antisemitism.
Posted: 29 Dec 2013 | There are 3 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 28 December 2013, 17:19
Earlier today, footballer Nicolas Anelka celebrated his goal against West Ham by making an allegedly antisemitic gesture, similar to that promoted by French comedian Dieudonné M’bala M’bala. Indeed, a photo of Anelka and Dieudonné M’bala M’bala both doing the same gesture began appearing on the Internet.
HOPE not hate put up the story as a news item and almost immediately we came under attack for both misinterpreting the gesture and playing down Dieudonné M’bala M’bala's antisemtism and just anti-Zionism.
We have decided to re-produce a profile of Dieudonné M’bala M’bala which makes clear his extremist views and connections. We do not claim that Anelka shares these views but there can no doubting Dieudonné's obnoxious views.
DIEUDONNÉ M’BALA M’BALA (France)
Dieudonné M’bala M’bala is a notorious French antisemitic “comedian” and “anti-Zionist” political activist. Born in 1966 to Cameroonian and Breton parents, Dieudonné was originally on the left of the political spectrum, standing against Front National (FN) luminary Marie-France Stirbois in 1997. In recent years, however, he has moved towards the antisemitic fringe of French politics, a development which has seen him become increasingly marginal culturally and increasingly shrill in his antisemitism, denying the Holocaust, blaming Jews for the slave trade and more generally for the oppression of the Black and Arab peoples. Prior to descending into the antisemitic gutter, Dieudonné had enjoyed a career as one-half of a successful comedy double act with Jewish comedian Elie Semoun. Their shows were sell outs. Dieudonné also starred in movies, perhaps most notably for British audiences, in Asterix and Obelix: Mission Cleopatra (2002).
Pursuing a solo career on stage, his one man shows have been noted for their degeneration into antisemitic vitriol, leading to intense controversy and a string of prosecutions and fines for Dieudonné. Perhaps his most infamous antisemitic provocation came in 2008 when veteran French Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson (q.v.) was given a “heroism” award presented by one of Dieudonné’s assistant’s assistants dressed as a concentration camp inmate replete with yellow star. Faurrison and Dieudonné subsequently appeared together in a video mocking the Holocaust, the commemoration of which Dieudonné denounces as “memorial pornography”.
Dieudonné also allowed the theatre he owns in Paris’ eleventh arrondissement to be used by both FN activists and the now defunct Tribu Ka, an antisemitic Black Nationalist group, whose members marched through a Jewish neighbourhood in Paris in 2006 chanting death to the Jews. The group was subsequently banned and its leader, Stellio Capo Chichi, imprisoned. Capo Chichi acquired further notoriety during the trial of the antisemitic killers of Ilan Halimi, a young French Jew who was kidnapped and tortured to death, when he sent threatening e-mails to a range of Jewish organisations. Dieudonné used the murder as material for his comedy show.
Dieudonné stood during the 2007 French presidential elections. His campaign, which involved many FN activists, faltered and failed before the poll. French Holocaust denier Serge Thion (q.v.) wrote for his website under a pseudonym.
Undeterred, during the 2009 European elections Dieudonné stood for his own “Parti antisioniste” formed with FN activist Alain Soral, which again polled poorly.
Dieudonné enjoys a close relationship with Jean Marie Le Pen (q.v.), leader of the FN who is the godfather to his third child. In January 2010 another of Dieudonné’s children was baptized by Bishop Richard Williamson (q.v.).
Recently, Dieudonné has followed the well-trodden path of a host of Western Holocaust deniers and travelled to Iran, meeting with President Mohammed Ahmadinejad. Dieudonné subsequently hailed Iran as “a place where anti-Zionists [sic] can meet and communicate and develop”. To help him on his way the Iranian government gave him a “sizable grant” to finance his “cultural struggle against Zionism”.
Posted: 28 Dec 2013 | There are 4 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 19 December 2013, 13:57
Michael Adebowale and Michael Adebolajo were only the lastest in a long line of British citizens convicted of terrorism, murder or terrorist-related offences who have had links with Anjem Choudary and the al-Muhajiroun network.
HOPE not hate has discovered 70 people linked to the al-Muhajiroun network who have been convicted of terrorism or terror-related offences or been killed abroad.
Download our four-page PDF
Posted: 19 Dec 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 19 December 2013, 13:28
Here is Michael Adebowale on an al-Muhiroun protest in September 2012. He and fellow murderer Michael Adebolajo are among the 75 Britons convicted of terrorism or terror-related offences who have links to al-Muhajiroun.
It's time to take action again Anjem Choudary as he and his organisation have played a key role in radicalising these people.
And watch the film:
Posted: 19 Dec 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 19 December 2013, 13:19
Let us stand united in the face of Woolwich.
Just minutes ago Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale were found guilty of murdering a British solider on the streets of London. Lee Rigby, 25, was run over and then hacked to death in – what the defendants claimed – was revenge for the murder of Muslims by British and American forces around the world.
There was no excuse for this outrageous and despicable murder and HOPE not hate welcomes the guilty verdicts.
We have produced this short video, please watch it and share it
The murder of Lee Rigby is just the latest in a long list of terrorist acts in this country over recent years. At about the same time as the Woolwich murder, a Ukrainian neo-Nazi, Pavlo Lapshyn, killed an 82-year-old Muslim grandfather in Birmingham, stabbing him in the back and stamping upon his head. He went on to plant bombs outside three mosques in the Black Country, including one packed with nails in Tipton. He wanted, so he told police, to create a ‘race war’ against Muslims.
In 2005, 56 people were killed when four Islamist extremists detonated bombs on the London transport system. Like the Woolwich murderers, they claimed to be striking back at British foreign policy.
And a few years before that, in 1999, we had neo-Nazi David Copeland setting off three bombs in London, killing three people and injuring 200 others. Copeland had been a member of the British National Party (BNP) and told police that he wanted to create a violent racist backlash that would eventually lead to a BNP Government.
Four sets of murderers - all wrong.
Not just ‘lone wolves’
However, it is also important to understand that while these men acted alone, they were driven by ideologies of hate.
Michael Adebolajo was the mastermind of the Woolwich murder. He was born into a Christian household in East London but converted to Islam while studying at Greenwich University. He was radicalised by al-Muhajiroun, a hardline Islamist extremist group led by Omar Bakri Mohammad and Anjem Choudary. While he went on to follow even more extreme preachers, and idolised Anwar al-Awlaki and al-Qaeda, it was with al-Muhajiroun that Adebolajo first became involved in Islamist extremism.
Al-Muhajiroun wants to create an Islamic state under strict Sharia (Islamic) law. It would abolish democracy and all laws would be governed by a strict interpretation of the Qu’ran. Women would become subservient to men, homosexuality would be punishable by death and there would be no place for other religions (something, ironically, which never happened under historical Islamic caliphates in Spain or Baghdad).
Adebolajo is the latest in a long list of al-Muhajiroun supporters who have gone on to be involved in terrorism. HOPE not hate has found at least 70 Britons who have committed terrorist acts or been convicted of terrorist related offences that have been linked to al-Muhajiroun. Hundreds more have gone to fight for al-Qaeda-linked groups abroad.
The al-Muhajiroun network (which has spawned many ‘front’ organisations) is now led by Anjem Choudary, and while he might not have been directly involved in these terror plots, he helped shape the mindset of many of those behind them. He indoctrinated them and through his networks linked them up to terror groups and supporters across the world.
Constantly feted by the media – from BBC Newsnight to theDaily Star – yet often treated as a ‘clown’, it is dangerous to ignore the threat posed by Choudary and his followers. As well as acting as a gateway to terrorism, the actions of these extremists leads to the stigmatisation of the entire Muslim community and the shameful idea of collective responsibility. Therefore, the primary victim of al-Muhajiroun’s extremism is actually the wider Muslim community.
The murder of Lee Rigby unleashed a wave of hatred and violent attacks on Muslims and their places of worship, much of it orchestrated by the English Defence League (EDL), a violent anti-Muslim street gang that was set up following an al-Muhajiroun demonstration in Luton in 2009.
In many ways the EDL are the polar opposites to al-Muhajiroun. In fact, the biggest spikes of support for the EDL came after an Anjem Choudary-led group, Muslims Against Crusades, burnt poppies on Armistice Day in 2010, and then this summer after Lee Rigby’s savage murder. Likewise, Choudary’s groups and other UK-based Islamist extremists are increasingly using images of EDL activities to demonise British society.
In many ways they are two sides of the same coin of hate.
In fact, they share many things in common. They divide and polarise communities, spread hatred and fear and both the EDL and al-Muhajiroun claim that being British and Muslim is incompatible.
We at HOPE not hate do not believe this to be the case. We believe most people - Muslim and non-Muslim alike - simply want to live in peace. We believe that most Muslims are quite happy to consider themselves as British, just as we believe that most non-Muslim British people are happy to accept that Muslims can be British.
Time and again, people from all communities have come together to stand against hate. They have said clearly and loudly that violent extremism is wrong - be it from Islamist extremists or the Far Right. People have stood together and said: 'A Plague on both their houses’.
The killers of Lee Rigby hoped that Britain would descend into religious conflict. They were joined by the racists and Islamophobes of the EDL who, likewise, tried to whip up hatred and violence against all Muslims.
But they both failed. Britons – of all colours and religions – stood together and accepted that these were the actions of a small groups of extremists. And in doing so, the British public were also saying that the extremists are the few and we – We Are The Many.
Please share this video here
Posted: 19 Dec 2013 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 13 December 2013, 20:03
A guest blog from Ros Wynne-Jones:Today, on behalf of the HOPE not hate movement, I took some yellow roses pinned with a HOPE not hate badge to Nelson Mandela's home in Houghton, Johannesburg where he lived the last years of his life. Outside his house there is a carpet of flowers very reminiscent of those outside Kensington Palace when Diana died. I saw two women who didn't know each other hugging each other - Oma was a black woman who worked in the police service and Sandi a white woman, a travel writer. They come from completely different lives - but Mandela meant the same thing to each of them. He made it possible for one to hug each other. I pinned the flowers with a HOPE not hate badge as a message to other people, of solidarity from British people - and to show the work of his legacy continues not just in South Africa but wherever people seek to divide different races and stop them doing what Oma and Sandi did spontaneously today. It is a gesture that stands alongside the Book of Condolences that HOPE not hate organised, British people standing shoulder to shoulder with South Africans as they wait for Madiba to be buried on Sunday. * Ros is in South Africa covering Nelson Mandela's funeral for the Daily Mirror
Posted: 13 Dec 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 12 December 2013, 16:01
Over the past few days, we've been overwhelmed by feelings of sadness and joy as we've mourned the loss of an extraordinary man and celebrated his incredible achievements in life.
The 2,400 messages in our book of condolence beautifully express the profound gratitude we all feel for the gift of Nelson Mandela's time with us. We delivered it to the South African Embassy this morning, where they were met by the South African High Commissioner, who was extremely appreciative of your kind words. Thank you.
Now, we must take time from our remembrances to consider how we can build a future worthy of this great man's memory. Our duty is clear, and for guidance we must look no further than the words of Mandela himself:
"Our work is for freedom for all ... We say tonight, after nearly 90 years of life, it is time for new hands to lift the burdens. It is in your hands now."
The loss of one man has left a hole in the fight for equality and justice that must be filled by millions. It's up to those of us who remain to continue Mandela's legacy, and for you and me that work starts right here at home.
Today, and every day, we commemorate him in our continued fight for hope, love, tolerance and acceptance. Together, we will realise the just world he always believed possible, and that will be our final gift to honour his service and sacrifice.
Posted: 12 Dec 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 11 December 2013, 12:04
Jacob Mchangama has written a great piece on the Daily Beast on how the so-called 'counter-jihad' movement are as bigoted as the people they claim to oppose.
He opens the piece by saying:
"One of the supposed core values of the so-called “counter-jihad movement,” a loosely organized collection of vocal activists battling what they believe is the immediate threat of an Islamic takeover of the West, is an unflinching defense of free speech. Because dominant parts of the political elite in many Western states have been hesitant to oppose the real threat that certain Islamic states and Islamist groups pose to free speech, as seen by, for example, their handwringing during the Danish “cartoon crisis,” the counterjihadis have had some success in posing as the true defenders of free speech. The counterjihadis appear willing to defend this enlightenment principle, whereas feckless politicians and intellectuals fear appearing as bigoted or insensitive to minorities. Yet one need only scratch the surface to realize how dominant members of the counterjihad movement are more than happy to compromise on free speech as long as the ends justify the means and those denied their rights are Muslim."
Read the rest here:
Posted: 11 Dec 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 10 December 2013, 17:49
Today is an important day in the campaign against the Gagging Bill. The Commission on Civil Society and Democratic Engagement has launched a second report ahead of next week’s Committee Stage in the House of Lords. HOPE not hate features as one of eight case studies used by the Commission to underline how undemocratic and illiberal this bill is.
The report is the result of a rapid consultation carried out during a five week pause that Ministers were forced to concede to, in order to avoid the Bill being delayed for up to three months. Its recommendations are supported by over 100 organisations from charities and campaign groups, to think tanks and blogs.
It is also a final call to Government to take seriously the severe damage to trust between the Coalition Parties and organised civil society, which going ahead with the Bill will undoubtedly cause. It comes a day after a Government letter, sent to members of the House of Lords, suggests that the “listening mood” of which we were reassured five weeks ago, was always intended to be just that – a promise, nothing more.
The recommendations that the Commission has come up with, which will safeguard HOPE not hate’s ability to fill the vacuum left by the three mainstream political parties in challenging candidates and parties determined to spread myths, fear and hate in order to gain votes, can be found here http://civilsocietycommission.info/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Civil-Society-Commission-Report-2.pdf
With key votes on these recommendations expected at Report Stage in the House of Lords, around 13 January 2013, HOPE not hate would like to stress once again that limiting our campaign spending to only 2% of the funds available to the BNP, while quadrupling the regulated activities we have to account for, is surely reminiscent of totalitarian regimes and not of the tradition of the world’s oldest working democracy who, next year, will celebrate 800 years since the signing of the Magna Carta.
If voted into law without these key amendments, the Gagging Bill will send a terrible message across the world, but particularly to those emerging democracies who look to Britain for example on how to build and organise civil society and get it engaged in the democratic process. It will ultimately affect our ability to persuade foreign quarters on strategic British interests, from the position of a “legitimate” and “respected” world power.
Posted: 10 Dec 2013 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 7 December 2013, 07:01
Over 2,000 people have sent tributes in about Nelson Mandela following his death on Thursday night. Hundreds more have sent us messages on Facebook, Twitter and by email.
Young and old, our supporters have been united in their outpouring of sadness at the passing of a man who helped steer South Africa out of Apartheid.
But it clear that he meant so much more to so many people and even after his death he will continue to inspire, motivate and encourage people to fight for a better, more peaceful and a more just world. He was an embodiment of HOPE not hate.
We are giving our supporters an opprtunity to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela and what he meant to them personally and politically. We will then hand our Book of Condolence in to the South African High Commission early next week.
Please add your tribute here:
Posted: 7 Dec 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 6 December 2013, 12:29
Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA) is holding a vigil and tribute outside South Africa House, Trafalgar Square, tonight (Friday 6 December) in memory of Nelson Mandela.
The vigil is being held between 6pm and 7.30pm and ACTSA is calling on as many people as possible to salute and honour the world icon for freedom. It is asking for floral tributes to be placed at the statue of Nelson Mandela in Parliament Square.
ACTSA said: “Nelson Mandela is the most admired man of our time. He was a freedom fighter, prisoner, great statesman and reconciler; a leader who inspires but also one with great humility.
While we mourn his passing and send condolences to his family, the government and people of South Africa and the ANC, if we are inspired by Nelson Mandela we should take action.
Nelson Mandela stood for, fought for, and was imprisoned for his commitment to rights, dignity and justice. He campaigned against poverty, inequality and discrimination. Today we call on people, inspired by Nelson Mandela, to commit to making this world a peaceful, fairer, more just and sustainable world.”
Posted: 6 Dec 2013 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 3 December 2013, 08:32
Our attention is rapidly turning towards next year's European Elections and yesterday I was up in Yorkshire meeting our local organisers from Leeds, Bradford, Kirklees, Sheffield and Saltaire. Together we mapped out our campaign strategy for the elections and agreed on both regional and localised material.
The traditional far right might not appear the threat it once was but there was no complacency in the room, with everyone agreeing that while UKIP was obviously the main issue we should still target groups like the BNP and BDP.
Most of the discussion was obviously around the threat from UKIP and a strategy that will be launched in the New Year was devised.
Posted: 3 Dec 2013 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments