Searchlight Magazine

Growth of Islamophobia leading to extremism

A University historian is arguing that the growth of Islamophobia in the UK is leading to an increased culture of extremism in contemporary Britain and Europe.

Dr Matthew Feldman, a reader in contemporary history in Teesside School of Arts & Media, has had a new paper published by Faith Matters - a not for profit organisation which works to reduce extremism and tensions between faiths.

Dr Feldman's paper 'From Radical Right Islamophobia to Cumulative Extremism' argues that an important development in radical right activism is the turn to anti-Muslim politics.

Dr Feldman said: "In the aftermath of mass-casualty terrorist attacks by Islamist militants - September 11 in the US, Madrid in 2004 and the London bombings in 2005, the emergence of a potent anti-Muslim politics has offered a crucial hook for a new generation of radical right politicians to hang an extremist agenda.

"The most violent voice yet in this process of 'cumulative extremism' has been Anders Behring Breivik, whose attempt to start a European Civil War culminating with the end of Islam in Europe, led to the deaths of 77 Norwegian Innocents, mostly children on 22 July last year."

Dr Feldman believes that far right activists make no attempt to separate jihadi Islamists from the "overwhelming majority of peaceful, law abiding Muslim citizens in Europe."

Fiyaz Mughal, Founder and Director of Faith Matters said: "This paper is important in giving us an overview of anti-Muslim 'cultural racism' which has arisen fervently in this country - particularly among far-right activists and movements.

"As Dr Feldman explains the only 'clash' is between extremists on both sides - in this case jihadi Islamists and far-right movements equally illiberal in their prescriptions for British society - which has contributed toward a 'cumulative extremism', whereby both sides are feed off each the extremism of other.

"Despite their many differences, the scapegoating of entire societies by illiberal extremists by both Islamist and Christian extremists shares the notion of an unavoidable 'clash of civilisations' - revealed by Dr Feldman as scare-mongering that should be rejected by all citizens of goodwill."

Credit: Asian Image

© 2013 Searchlight Magazine Ltd, PO Box 1576, Ilford IG5 0NG

Top Desktop version