You are viewing blog items for March 2016.
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Sunday, 27 March 2016, 09:42
With just 39 days to go to the election, HOPE not hate campaigns is stepping up a gear. Our key priority is Wales, where UKIP hope to win ten seats on the Welsh Assembly and hold the balance of power. Because of the proportional representation election, stopping UKIP altogether is clearly unrealistic, however, we do believe we can limit its success.
We are putting three organisers into the field, one in Cardiff, one in North Wales and the other in the Newport and surrounding valleys. This is going to be a really exciting campaign, which will combine challenging UKIP in the former mining communities of the South Wales valleys and turning out the anti-racist vote in the cities.
In England, there are over 300 council wards at risk from UKIP. There are a number of councils in Essex where UKIP could become the largest single party after May, so we will be fighting hard here. Another key target for HOPE not hate is Rotherham, where there are all out elections following the Government's decision to take over the running of the council following clear failures over its dealings with the child sex abuse scandal. While UKIP is not as active as it was, the all-out nature of the elections, coupled with the deep distrust of the council, could see UKIP gain an even bigger foothold than it once had.
There will be few far right candidates standings across the country. Both the BNP and Britain First are planning to stand for the London Mayor, and the National Front is likely to stand in parts of Scotland and Wales, with council candidates also likely in Essex, the North West and Humberside.
HOPE not hate campaigns - the new name for the electoral element of our organisation - has called a national campaign weekend for the 16/17 April, with campaign sessions taking place across the UK. With this weekend also being the final one before the close of registration for the May elections, there will also be some specific voter registration events occurring as well.
We are also teaming up with several trade unions for a Transport Tuesday campaign day on Tuesday 26 April, where we will be targeting transport interchanges across the country, before during and after work.
We will be explaining how you can get involved in the next few days.
Posted: 27 Mar 2016 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Joe Mulhall | on: Thursday, 24 March 2016, 13:45
When asked last week who he consults on matters of foreign policy, Donald Trump said: ‘I'm speaking with myself, No. 1, because I have a very good brain and I've said a lot of things.’
Since then his ‘very good brain’ has buckled under the increasing pressure for solid details regarding his advisory team. He has revealed a few names. Unsurprisingly, several among the list of obscure and unqualified advisors have a history of anti-Muslim comments and links to designated hate groups.
One of his worrying appointments is Walid Phares, a former Senior Fellow of the neo-conservative-aligned think tank, the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD).
Phares was named in the Centre for American Progress report Fear Inc as one of the ‘validators’ that make up the Islamophobia network in America. Despite Fox News reporter Brian Kilmeade recently (and incorrectly) stating that Phares was a Muslim, he is actually a Maronite Christian who was once a ‘top political official’ for the mostly Christian Lebanese Front. The Front was responsible for the Sabra and Shatila massacres of Palestinians during the 1982 Lebanese civil war.
More recently Phares has promoted conspiratorial ideas regarding mainstream Muslim groups secretly being radical Islamist cells, stating: “jihadists within the West pose as civil rights advocates” and patiently recruit until “[a]lmost all mosques, educational centers, and socioeconomic institutions fall into their hands.”
Like Trump, Phares is not shy of using scare tactics when it comes to Islam and Muslims. In 2008 he stated that in the next four years: “Jihadists may recruit one million suicide bombers” and that by 2016, they would have 10 million.
A 2011 report Manufacturing the Muslim Menace claimed: “Phares is often very cautious in his characterization of Muslims, [yet] on the whole, his narrative distorts the nature of Islam, misstates the role of the overwhelming majority of Muslim Americans, and reinforces cultural stereotyping of Arabs and Islam.”
While he is careful about what he says personally he is less concerned with the company he keeps. In 2010 Phares joined the infamous counter-jihad activist Robert Spencer – banned from the UK for his anti-Muslim extremism – and Brigitte Gabriel, the president of the designated anti-Muslim hate group ACT! for America, to discuss ‘Radical Islam: How and Why It Threatens America’.
Phares also has links to the notorious anti-Muslim group the Centre for Security Policy (CSP), run by Frank J Gaffney. Not only has Phares appeared on Gaffney’s radio show numerous times but he has also spoken at events organised by the Centre.
Gaffney is a prominent American ‘counter-jihad’ activist who hit the headlines recently due to his supposedly strong influence on Donald Trump’s openly racist comments about Muslims. Trump got his dodgy statistics on Muslim attitudes from Gaffney’s discredited research.
Likewise, Trump’s comments about Muslims creating no-go zones in the US and the UK also appear to have originated from Gaffney, while he has also been credited as the figure behind the idea of state and federal anti-Sharia laws.
Gaffney’s anti-Muslim paranoia borders on the ludicrous, for example claiming that President Obama is a Muslim, that Huma Abedin – Hillary Clinton’s aide – is a secret Muslim Brotherhood agent and that Saddam Hussein was behind the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
Unsurprisingly Phares is not alone among Trump’s advisory team in having links to leading anti-Muslim activists and groups. Another, Joseph Schmitz, is also linked to the CSP for whom he has written a number of articles and was a contributor to its conspiratorial report Sharia: The Threat to America.
Schmitz also sits on the Advisory Board of the American Freedom Law Centre (AFLC), which is run by the highly controversial figure David Yerushalmi. The Anti-Defamation League described Yerushalmi as “an Arizona attorney with a record of anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant and anti-black bigotry”, while the Southern Poverty Law Centre described him as an “anti-Muslim activist who is a leading proponent of the idea that the United States is threatened by the imposition of Muslim religious law”.
Schmitz seems to disagree with both the SPLC and the ADL stating:
As they fight for our faith and freedoms, Robert Muise and David Yerushalmi of the American Freedom Law Center embody the American spirit of teamwork, integrity, and commitment to excellence. Indeed, their passion for preserving our nation’s values is an everyday reminder that there is still hope for America.
Clearly, like Trump himself, several of his appointed advisors mix in the world of anti-Muslim bigotry.
Worryingly those Americans looking for a Republican alternative to Trump have only Ted Cruz. Trump’s only real competitor for the Republican nomination, Cruz has joined him in taking a hard line on Muslims to attract votes.
In the wake of the shocking terrorist attacks in Belgium Cruz called for law enforcement to specifically target Muslim neighborhoods, thereby completely blurring the lines between the majority of normal Muslims and extremist Islamists.
Like Trump, Cruz has also just announced his advisory team and to the dismay of many he appointed the notorious anti-Muslim activist Frank ‘Obama is a Muslim’ Gaffney as a foreign policy advisor.
Things in America are getting very scary. Both Republican candidates have openly attacked Muslims during their campaign and both have appointed advisory teams that include people active within the anti-Muslim counter-jihad milieu.
When it comes to choosing a candidate for President, non-racist Republicans now find themselves between a rock and a hard place.
- You can reach Joe on twitter @JoeMulhall_
Posted: 24 Mar 2016 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 22 March 2016, 17:29
We want to express our deepest sympathies, and condolences, to all those affected or who lost loved ones in the attacks on Brussels today.
We reject entirely the warped worldview of the extreme Islamists who perpetrated this, and earlier, atrocities in both Paris and the Middle East.
Each such attack is designed not only to maim and kill, but to drive a wedge between us all. Already there are those blaming the attacks on the EU, refugees, and on Islam and Muslims entire.
That is what the bombers want: to turn us upon ourselves, and to convince Muslims in Europe that they have nowhere to go except into the arms of ISIS.
Let us deny them that chance. Let us unite, instead, in a single voice – and say “NO” to all hate.
Posted: 22 Mar 2016 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: David Hopper | on: Saturday, 12 March 2016, 10:29
Over the years, the Durham Miners’ Gala – Britain’s biggest and most historic trade union celebration – has welcomed people from all over the world.
We have a proud history of standing up against fascism and racism. This year marks the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the Spanish Civil War, where the Durham miners stood in solidarity with the Spanish Republic against the menace of fascism and miners from across the Durham coalfield joined the fight to defend democracy. In later decades, during the horrendous Apartheid regime in South Africa, black South African miners were invited to spend time with the families of Durham miners, where they were welcomed into our communities and treated like brothers and sisters.
At the heart of our values is the conviction that all working people, whatever their race or religion share the same common interests and we all need to work together to secure a better life for everyone. This deeply held belief is emblazoned on many of our Durham miners’ banners paraded each year at the Gala, with slogans such as ‘‘workers of the world unite’’ and ‘‘unity is strength.’’ Dean and Chapter lodge miners’ banner depicts a beautiful image of workers of different races shaking hands, symbolising this unity.
In difficult times, some seek to divide us against each other and to place the blame for all of society’s ills upon migrants. We have seen this throughout history and we are seeing this again now – and it must be challenged.
That’s why the Gala is so important as a tremendous symbol of togetherness, solidarity and hope.
So please join us in Durham on Saturday 9th July and help us secure the Gala’s future by joining the Friends of the Durham Miners’ Gala.
Dave Hopper is the General Secretary of the Durham Miners’ Association
Posted: 12 Mar 2016 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Joe Mulhall | on: Friday, 4 March 2016, 19:27
Paul Weston, leader of the anti-Muslim party LibertyGB and leading figure in PegidaUK is currently across the Atlantic on a speaking tour of America and Canada. While there he is being hosted by leading anti-Muslim hate groups.
Tagging along is Jack Buckby the former BNP member turned press officer for both PegidaUK and LibertyGB.
On Thursday Weston spoke at the 2016 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), which is the largest annual Conservative gathering in America.
While Pamela Geller, the anti-Muslim activist refused entry to the UK due to her extremism, has been banned from CPAC 2016, a number of other anti-Muslim hate groups have been allowed to attend.
Weston spoke on a panel called ‘Countering the Global Jihad’ alongside the prominent Danish anti-Muslim activist Lars Hedegaard.
Hedegaard is the founder of the International Free Press Society (IFPS), which is one of the most important international ‘counter-jihad’ networks and has championed the cause of Dutch politician Geert Wilders. He is also the co-editor of Dispatch International a paper he formed together with the Swedish activist Ingrid Carlqvist who was recently spotted going for drinks with Weston and Stephen Lennon in Copenhagen.
The panel in America was sponsored by the controversial Centre for Security Policy, a ‘think-tank’ run by Frank Gaffney which has recently been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Centre (SPLC).
Frank J Gaffney is a prominent American ‘counter-jihad’ activist who hit the headlines recently due to his supposedly strong influence on Donald Trump’s openly racist comments about Muslims.
When Trump recently said that 25% of Muslims polled agreed that violence against America was justified as part of global jihad, and that 51% said that Muslims in America should have the chance to be governed by Sharia, he was quoting Gaffney’s discredited research.
Gaffney’s raison d’être is pushing the idea that the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated its way into the American political sphere and he has written about the ‘jihadist vote’ in America and raised questions about President Obama’s birth.
Likewise, Trump’s comments about Muslims creating no-go zones in the US and the UK also appear to have originated from Gaffney while he has also been credited as the figure behind the idea of state and federal anti-Sharia laws.
The SPLC has produced a damning summary of the anti-Muslim rhetoric being displayed at this years CPAC, including a brief report of Weston’s comments.
Weston at ACT! for America
After CPAC Weston and Buckby are heading off on a speaking tour of America. On 7 March Weston is speaking at a closed event in Manhattan followed by another engagement in New York on 8 March being organized by ACT! For America.
ACT! for America is one of the most pernicious counter-jihadist groups in the USA. It is a single-issue, grassroots national security campaigning organisation. It is run by Brigitte Gabriel who at a 2004 ‘concert against terrorism’ at Duke University, referred to Arabs as ‘barbarians’.
Also, during a 2007 lecture to the Defense Department’s Joint Forces Staff College, she argued that practicing Muslims ‘cannot be a loyal citizen to the United States of America’.
Her anti-Muslim rhetoric is extremely conspiratorial. For example she told The New York Times: ‘America has been infiltrated on all levels by radicals who wish to harm America. They have infiltrated us at the CIA, at the FBI, at the Pentagon, at the State Department.’ She repeated this message on the ACT! website: ‘Tens of thousands of Islamic militants now reside in America, operating in sleeper cells, attending our colleges and universities. … They are here — today.’
After speaking at the ACT! event in New York Weston is heading north of the border to speak at an ACT! for Canada event in Montreal on 9 March.
The following evening he is heading to Toronto to address an event titled ‘The Threat of Radical Islamic Immigration and the Erosion of our Freedoms’ which is being organized by The Jewish Defence League of Canada.
The group is the Canadian branch of Jewish Defense League (JDL), which was established in 1968 by the late Rabbi Meir Kahane (1932-1975). The group has been described by the FBI as a ‘violent extremist’ organization.
The JDL has in the past organized a solidarity rally for Geert Wilders, hosted Stephen Lennon via Skype and in December 2015 hosted Robert Spencer who was banned from Britain for his views.
The North American tour concludes in Tennessee on the 14March.
This short run of events shows once again that while Weston has extremely little influence within Britain, he remains a well-known and influential figure on the international ‘counter-jihad’ scene. It also serves to reiterate just how transnational the counter-jihad movement really is.
For more information on CPAC 2016, including Weston’s appearance see:
- Anti-Muslim Hate Group Invites European Racists to Speak at CPAC
- CPAC shuns Pamela Geller but welcomes two anti-Muslim hate groups
Posted: 4 Mar 2016 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments