Islamophobia Watch was launched in early 2005. On the tenth anniversary of its foundation I have decided that the time has come to wind it up. (The site will remain online but will no longer be updated.)
This is not because the threat of anti-Muslim bigotry and hatred that we set out to challenge ten years ago has receded. On the contrary, as the rise of PEGIDA in Germany and the recent arson attacks on Swedish mosques demonstrate, if anything the situation has grown worse.
The problem is that IW set itself overambitious aims. Reporting examples of Islamophobia from across the western world as well as producing comment and analysis in response to these developments is well beyond the capacity of a one-person blog. I’ve become increasingly frustrated by IW’s inability to perform this role effectively.
There is clearly a need for a properly resourced and preferably Muslim-led organisation to extend and deepen the work Islamophobia Watch has done over the past decade. But the continued existence of IW itself is an obstacle to such an initiative.
In any case, IW’s main function as I saw it was to provide a searchable online database of Islamophobic incidents – over the years I recorded thousands of such cases – for the use of the Muslim community and others involved in the struggle against racism and fascism.
That function of IW was destroyed two years ago when I was excluded from the original islamophobia-watch.com website and had to set up the present site, minus the archives. (In the absence of anyone prepared to put the necessary effort into maintaining and updating it, the original site soon became moribund and was then abandoned.)
I have transferred some of the material from the original site to this one, with the objective of restoring the database, and I intend to persevere with this task, but it will be a long process.
Finally, many thanks to all those who have supported Islamophobia Watch over the past ten years.