Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia threaten both our communities – Jewish News

More on the parallels between antisemitism and islamophobia by Fiyazz Mughal, Director, Faith Matters, along comparable lines to  my earlier Mirror Images: Antisemitism and Islamophobia:

Others promoted anti-Semitic tropes involving the Rothschilds and blood libel stories, with ‘Zionism’ also used as a catch-all word in much the same way as ’Islamism’ is used by some individuals who try to promote anti-Muslim hatred.

Sadly, some social commentators downplay this anti-Muslim trend and like to suggest it is in no way similar to anti-Semitism.

This is nonsensical.

Let me take the similarities. After the murder of Lee Rigby and the recent Rotherham grooming trials, Muslim women and Islamic institutions suffered hate incidents and law-abiding citizens were affected by being targeted because of their faith.

The blame, it seems, has been laid at the feet of innocent Muslim men and women going about their business, with hate rhetoric involving language associating Muslims with paedophilia, cockroaches, vermin, rats and bacteria.

Much of this language will resonate with those who have studied anti-Semitism and there are clear similarities between anti-Semitic discourse, relations between powerful countries and impacts on victims with anti-Muslim prejudice.

The triggers may be different, but it is clear national or international incidents trigger spikes in reporting.

…Yet, we must also admit some elements of rhetoric, trigger factors and historical interpretations of events between anti-Semitic discourse and anti-Muslim prejudice are different.

Downplaying and denigrating anti-Muslim hatred therefore helps no community, since there is a need to tackle both prejudices collectively.

…Therefore there are issues of community education that need to be addressed. We cannot have prejudice being targeted at a community because of the actions of the Israeli government, nor can Muslims be caricatured as terrorists, extremists or de-facto homophobes.

We have to have these honest conversations.

It is right and important to do so, so those who seek to sow divisions between Muslims and Jews are not given the opportunity.

Our safety and security collectively matter.

With this in mind, there is much work to be done together; without it, the virus of prejudice and bigotry will continue to mutate.

OPINION: Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia threaten both our communities – Jewish News.

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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