The Czech Republic experienced a spike in Islamophobia in 2014 despite there being a very small number of Muslims in the country, Petr Zídek writes in the daily Lidové noviny (LN) today.
Although President Milos Zeman’s popularity plummeted in the past year, he is still highly respected by Islamophobes, Zídek writes.
In mid-December, the Islamophobes wrote a letter to Zeman in which they praised his open “objections to the Islamic theocratic and totalitarian ideology.” They highly appreciated Zeman for opposing “the efforts by influential groups in Czech and European society to pursue a policy of appeasement towards this old-new totalitarian threat.”
Leaders of the anti-Islam initiative, which has more than 93,000 supporters on Facebook, have asked Zeman to veto a planned bill that is to extend the powers of the ombudsman. They criticize the current ombudsman, Anna Šabatová, for having defended two female Muslim students whom a Czech secondary school did not permit to wear head scarves earlier this year, Zídek writes.
The Czech Islamophobes fail to understand that the core of the dispute was not Islam and its habits but the question of whether school rules may be at variance with the constitution, Zídek writes.
The Islamphobes say if the ombudsman’s powers were extended, Šabatová would use her new powers to “persecute the critics of Islam and thereby strengthen the presence of Islam in the Czech Republic,” Zídek quoting them as saying.
In a barbaric affront to Muslim sensibilities, part of a pig’s head and some pork tripe was attached to the door of a mosque in Vienna’s 21st district on Christmas day.
The imam of the Kocatepe mosque spoke to the Andadolu press agency about the incident, condemning the vandalism as an “unacceptable” act.
The head of the Turkish-Islamist Union in Vienna (ATIB), Fatih Karadaş, condemned the attack saying that “this is not an attack against Muslims but the whole of humanity. We, as Muslims, will preserve our calm and collective attitude.”
This is not the first incident of its type, as Austria’s Muslim community has been attacked several times this year in similar hate crimes. An Imam Hatip school in Vienna that concentrates on religious education was also vandalized. A pig’s head was left in front of the school’s door during Ramadan in early October.
And in August, a pig’s head was impaled on a fence at a construction site for a new islamic school. It’s not known who left the pig’s head at the centre, but even if someone confesses there is little the police can do as nothing was damaged and therefore there are no criminal charges.
An arsonist set fire to a mosque in central Sweden on Thursday injuring five people, police said, as the country grapples with a political crisis caused by the rise of the extreme right.
“Somebody threw an object through a closed window and afterwards a fire started inside,” police spokesman Lars Franzell told AFP. “There were between 15 and 20 people in the premises.”
Refugee-friendly Sweden woke up to the reality of a new political landscape in early December when the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats brought down the government by refusing to back its budget proposal in parliament.
The mosque is located on the ground floor of a building in the city of Eskilstuna, some 90 kilometres (55 miles) west of Stockholm. According to police, the fire started in the early afternoon. Police said they were investigating the incident as a case of aggravated arson but had no suspects yet.
The five injured were taken to hospital to be treated for injuries including smoke inhalation, lacerations and fractures.
A half-built mosque in the northwestern German town of Dormagen has been spray painted with swastikas and racist slogans. The act of vandalism comes as anti-Islamic demonstrations continue to grow across Germany.
The perpetrators are reported to have entered the building site late Saturday/early Sunday morning. As well as the symbol associated to Nazis, the vandals also wrote slurs such as “off with you to the concentration camp!”
The attack on the mosque has coincided with the rise of the controversial “anti-Islamization” PEGIDA movement in Germany. The group has been holding demonstrations in cities throughout the country for the past 10 weeks.
Head of Neuss district police, Hans-Jürgen Petrauschke said he was horrified by the racially motivated crime. There is “no place for the spread of xenophobia or the glorification of the Nazi past” in the Rhein-Kreis Neuss area,” he told reporters.
State security from Düsseldorf have begun an investigation into the crime and have also announced an reward of 1,500 euros ($1,833) for information leading to the arrest of the vandals.
This is a sign outside the Eagles Nest Bar and Grill in Longreach, Queensland. It reads in full:
“2000 years ago Jesus Christ made headlines turning water into wine. The tradition continues…. We turn money into beer. (Sorry no Muslims).”
The Boycott Halal in Australia? No Way Facebook page has posted a report from a local resident:
“A friend rang them and asked if they had a sign out front saying ‘Sorry no Muslims’. He said ‘Yes, that’s right’. He was asked ‘What’s your reason for putting the sign there?’, and he said ‘Just, no Muslims’. When asked again ‘But what’s your reason for putting the sign there?’ he hung up.
“We were present when the call was made and confirm what was said. This is clearly discrimination and will be reported to the Australian Discrimination Commission. And it’s certainly unAustralian. Shame on you, Eagles Nest Bar and Grill, Longreach.”
French journalist Éric Zemmour sparks controversy once again.
In an interview with Italian newspaper Corriere Della Serra, the essayist, whose remarks are often dubbed as racist, xenophobic and sexist, talked about a potential deportation of Muslims from France.
He said that Muslims’ tendency to isolate themselves in the suburbs and only live with each other will eventually lead to “chaos and civil war.”
Asked whether he would suggest deporting 5 million French Muslims, the controversial French journalist replied: “I know it’s unrealistic, but history is surprising.
“Who would have said that in 1940 almost a million Pieds-Noirs [literally meaning Black-foot, a term referring to people of French and other European ancestry who live in French North Africa], twenty years later would leave Algeria in order to return to France?”
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve issued a statement Tuesday in order to “condemn with the utmost firmness the words of Éric Zemmour.”
“The French nation is defined by living together, and France’s Muslims, like Christians, Jews, believers and unbelievers, are all its children,” he added.
Even internet users were quick to denounce Eric Zemmour comments under the hashtag #ZemmourDeporteMoi.
A Turkish mosque located in eastern Dutch city of Enschede was attacked with fireworks late on Saturday.
The attack caused material damage to the Selimiye Mosque, which is owned by the Foundation of Religious Affairs of Netherlands (Hollanda Diyanet Vakfı – HDV).
The chairman of the mosque’s foundation, Sebattin Yıldız, gave a statement to Anadolu Agency and said that the attack had taken place late on Saturday night and had caused the mosque’s windows to break.
“A person whose face was covered left a firework on the mosque’s window” Yıldız said, according to the footage recorded by security cameras.
Yıldız added that they had been exposed to similar attacks in the past that had included threat notes and xenophobic writing on the mosque’s walls.
A 60-year-old Muslim woman was seriously injured after being attacked at a bank in Vienna, in an incident which appears to have been motivated by Islamophobia.
Pensioner Selver S. was waiting in a queue to collect her pension at a Bawag bank branch in Schönbrunner Strasse (Meidling) when a man approached her, insulted her and repeatedly shoved her, knocking her to the floor. She was taken to hospital, suffering a spinal injury.
A 40-year-old man was arrested outside the bank shortly afterwards.
Her son Engin told the Heute newspaper that she suffered a lumbar fracture and had to spend seven days in Hanusch hospital. She had to have an operation on her spine and is now being cared for at home by her son.
Saphir News has reported that Caroline Fourest – the French “left-wing” Islamophobe who wrote Brother Tariq: The Doublespeak of Tariq Ramadan – has been successfully sued for defamation over comments she made in June last year on the radio station France Culture.
Fourest was responding to the attacks on two Muslim women in Argenteuil, one of whom lost her baby after being kicked in the stomach by her assailants. This followed an earlier incident in which a 17-year-old woman named Rabia Bentot (pictured) was punched and kicked by racists, who also tore off her headscarf while shouting “dirty Arab” and “dirty Muslim”
Instead of Fourest declaring her outrage at the assaults, and her solidarity with the victims, this self-styled feminist expressed scepticism about the women’s accounts.
Fourest claimed that Rabia Bentot was being manipulated by her father and by the Coordination contre le Racisme et l’Islamophobie, assisted by what Fourest described as the “communalist” website Oumma.com, and she suggested that the story of an attack might well have been fabricated. Even if an assault did take place, Fourest asserted, the police had not excluded the possibility that Rabia was the victim of violence by her own family, who could have beaten her up as punishment for living too free a lifestyle.
Needless to say, Fourest offered no evidence whatsoever to back up these disgraceful slurs.