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Islamophobia and Europe's social democrats

by PESmanifesto2009 Mon Jan 21st, 2008 at 09:55:17 AM EST

Should the PES manifesto mention Muslims?

Not long ago 400 Muslim groups met in Brussels to sign a charter for the Muslims of Europe. The charter is aimed to be a code of conduct, describing the rights and responsibilities of European Muslims. According to Euronews `The European Islamic Charter' stresses moderation, equality between men and women and rejects violence and terrorism.

Now Muslim organizations have given their suggestion to what it means to be a modern European Muslim. It makes me wonder: is it also up to European parties - like the PES - to have a stance on Muslims in Europe? Or is this something which is for religious organizations to discuss?

Islamophobia - fear or dislike of Muslims and their religion - is on the rise in Europe. In this respect the European blogosphere is a good example: new so-called `Islam-critic' blogs (many of them I would rather label xenophobic!) pop up every day. I've come across many bloggers whose mission seems to be the search for juicy fundamentalist quotes - the more ferocious the better. One thing is to gabble online. Another is when Islamophobes start to gather in the street, like it was the case in Brussels last year.

Read the full blog post here

Speaking of which I just received an e-mail with an AOL stamp containing what appears to me as extremely Islamophobe-Christianfanatic contents:

They should play this non stop at All Airports!!!
Turn up the sound and click on the link
below....... http://www.animatronics.org/strangers/strangers.htm

by The3rdColumn on Mon Jan 21st, 2008 at 10:33:44 AM EST
Okay, assume you have a policy on muslims, do you need one for Sikhs ? Hindus ? If not why not ? If yes, then where do you stop ? A policy on Scientology ? Methodists as opposed to Church of England ?

So what we end up with is a either a large number of policies that say the same thing or we have to justify different levels of citizenship. So why not have one policy that covers all groups ? But then is a religious group the same as an ethnic one ? Do they face the same, or at least similar issues ? Can supremacist nationalist "ethnic" groups claim these rights ?

Can you include women as a group requiring a policy ? Gays ? Do the rights of one group trump anothers ?

These are problems that have been faced by western govts and they have all fudged them to some extent. Largely because nobody is willing to grasp awkward problems. Can PES be any different ?

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jan 21st, 2008 at 10:36:45 AM EST
I believe they do have a policy on Scientologists in Germany, no?

Il faut se dpcher d'agir, on a le monde reconstruire
by dconrad (drconrad {arobase} gmail {point} com) on Mon Jan 21st, 2008 at 08:35:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not recognized as a religion, so I don't know if this case is quite comparable.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt t gmail dotcom) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 09:24:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I read this in The Daily Telegraph this week: 'We want to offer sharia law to Britain'

Fundamentally, there are a few things in the Sharia Law that contradict our Western legal standards. There are practices under the Sharia Law pertaining to treatment of women that I find unacceptable, eg., divorce, marriage. But perhaps I'm wrong. I shall leave it to the jurists and legal luminaries to work this out and examine "les pour et les contres..." (for and against) then we shall see...

Posted by Mrs 3rd Column

by The3rdColumn on Mon Jan 21st, 2008 at 09:09:58 PM EST
Why a stance on specifically muslims and leave out the 293 or so (pace Dawkins) other religions? Or other groups? It would already acknowledge the thinking frame of us vs them - the moment you acknowledge that, you're on the wrong track because you're fighting a frame, not creating one.

What the manifesto should focus on is what the European Islamic charter carried out: moderation, equality and the rejection of violence and terrorism for all groups - not just singling out a specific group to stress the point.

First: what makes us equal?
Second: on the things that divide us, how do we moderate individual freedoms?

by Nomad on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 06:09:00 AM EST
I do not see a need for a policy on islam.

Islamophobia on the other hand might need a policy. Or rather something dealing with antisemitism, islamophobia and other forms of xenophobia or racism. In my experience, it is often the same (white, young, male) groups who violently acts out hatred toward jews, muslims, gays, and people with the wrong skincolor.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 07:50:40 AM EST

Having a policy on Islamophobia seems a bit like having a "war" on terror. If they commit violent ACTS there are plenty of laws to cover such things. If you're serious about freedom of speech - that means for views you detest too.

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.

by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Thu Jan 24th, 2008 at 01:59:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I do not suggest that the policy would be to outlaw it, but I do not think that the PES should settle with prosecution after the fact. I would suggest a causes of crimes approach. Where does the hate fester? Why? What can be done about it?

I would suggest that the current economic policies which dictates unemployment (to avoid evil inflation) is part of the problem. Since unemployed are rarely sufficiently reimbursed materially and socially for their valuable service of keeping inflation down, anger builds up. Deflecting anger at evil furreigners is standard right wing policy.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Fri Jan 25th, 2008 at 12:58:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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