Islamophobic attitudes slammed at National Union of Journalists conference

NUJDelegates called on the NUJ executive to step up efforts to stamp out “pernicious and insidious” press Islamophobia on Sunday.

Glasgow delegate Ruth Allan noted that Islamophobia “follows the KKK rulebook, which states that vulnerable ethnic minorities need to be isolated from the mainstream, so that they can more easily be attacked.”

South Yorkshire delegate Phil Turner damned Cabinet Minister Jack Straw’s comments about Muslim women covering their faces, arguing that what Mr Straw said had been designed to whip up racism “in a way not seen since the days of Enoch Powell.”

But Press and PR delegate Gillian Hammond endorsed Mr Straw’s comments, asserting: “The full-face niqab can become a disguise for people with sinister purposes – there are people out there who are up to no good and it needs to be said.”

Executive member Michelle Shawstreet applauded the “brave” Daily Star chapel who, led by Steve Usher, forced management to withdraw the “inflammatory, racist and deeply offensive Daily Fatwah page” in October last year by walking out.

Morning Star, 16 April 2007