The Cordoba Foundation welcomes the launch of the European Muslim Research Centre (EMRC), which published their first ground-breaking report on ‘Islamophobia and Anti-Muslim Hate Crime: A London Case Study’. Held at the London Muslim Centre on 28 January 2010, the report was co-authored by Dr Jonathan Githens-Mazer and Dr Robert Lambert MBE, of the University of Exeter. The report illuminates how the contexts of fear and prejudice against Muslims are providing a basis for violence against Muslim communities.
According to the report, Muslim Londoners face a threat of violence and intimidation from primarily three groups: a small violent extremist nationalist milieu that has broadly the same political analysis as the British National Party (BNP); street gangs with no allegiance with or affinity to the BNP and thirdly from a small group of the general London public. All groups as illustrated by the report appear to be acting on prejudices gained via negative media portrayals of Muslims as terrorists and posing a security threat.
The report explains, “The perils of Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hate crime threaten to undermine basic human rights, fundamental aspects of citizenship and co-existing partnerships for Muslims and non- Muslims alike in contemporary Europe.” Moreover, “routine portrayals of Islam as a religion of hatred, violence and inherent intolerance have become key planks for the emergence of extremist nationalist, anti-immigration politics in Europe – planks which seek to exploit populist fears and which have the potential to lead to Muslim disempowerment in Europe”, assert the authors of the report. In addition, some “sections of the media have created a situation where… unfounded claims and anxieties of the other – such that politicians from Austria to the Britain, and the Netherlands to Spain, feel comfortable in using terms like ‘Tsunamis of Muslim immigration’”.
The report is intended to introduce politicians, public servants, police, media and the general public to Muslim community perspectives and thus comes up with some preliminary recommendations for dfferent key stakeholders within the community. A detailed report with further recommendations is expected to be launched in July 2010.
The Cordoba Foundation will be working very closely with EMRC to ensure the research findings are publicised so as to empower marginalised and disadvantaged communities and promoting community cohesion.
The full report is available from here