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Publish Date : Saturday 25 June 2011 - 11:07
'Islamophobia on rise in West'
Interviewed with Head of Islamic Human Rights Commission, Massoud Shadjareh from London
Islam Times - The acquittal of Right-wing Dutch politician Geert Wilders of charges of inciting hatred against Muslims by an Amsterdam court indicates that Islamophobia is on the rise in the West, an analyst says.
Wilders had been charged with five counts of hate speech and discrimination for his anti-Islamic statements on websites, internet forums, and Dutch newspapers.

Wilders made headlines worldwide in March 2008 after making the controversial anti-Islam movie, Fitna. The movie sought to desecrate the holy Qur'an and promote angry protests across the world.

Press TV interviewed Head of Islamic Human Rights Commission, Massoud Shadjareh from London, to share his thoughts on the issue.

Press TV: Were you surprised that the court acquitted the Geert Wilders of all these charges, The charges of inciting hatred against Muslims?

Shadjareh: I'm surprised, but the reality is that it is not really out of character with what is happening in Europe. I mean, we are seeing that the rise of Islamophobia and legitimization of hatred against Muslims is becoming almost a daily event. In all the cities in Europe, we see politicians, media personalities, [who] are targeting on a weekly and daily basis. And really we think that context is not surprising, but it is surprising from the point of view that now its official that Muslims cannot address the demonization and hatred against them within the courts in Europe, and we need to find other ways of addressing it.

Press TV: Well, that is basically a suggestion that is being put forward, but if this case is acquitted and if Mr. Wilders is acquitted, this is only going to increase the instances of violence and extremism against Muslims. Do you think that is actually going to happen for Muslims across Europe?

Shadjareh: Well, it's already happening, it's just going escalate. I mean the reality is that Muslims have been associated with extremism, extremism with terrorism, and so therefore, the line from Muslim into terrorist is actually much blurred [which is] being promoted as such. And we have seen the rise of fascism, not just in Holland, but right across Europe and this is really outrageous.

In the past, in the 20s and 30s, it was the Jewish community who was being the victim of the rise of fascism, now we see the same European fascism being unleashed against Muslims …. It seems that Europe did not learn any lesson out of its ugly past, be it at the time of Nazis or indeed at the time of Bosnia ethnic cleansing.

Press TV:What are the options or the solutions that Muslims can get now or think about now that will help stop this process, which you have talked about saying that its already there and it is going to intensify?

Shadjareh: Well, I think we need to create institutions to start protecting Muslims, and then go to the international community, the UN etc... But also, I think we need to turn to Muslim nations around the world, you know, we are talking about the quarter of the world's population. Why is it that Muslims and Islam seem to be hopelessly incompetent in defending itself against this sort of systematic abuses? What is happening to OIC (Organization of the Islamic Conference)? What is happening to these nations who are there to protect the interest of Muslims, and indeed the interest of every one? Because we have seen that, during the Nazis or ethnic cleansing of former Yugoslavia, it wasn't just Muslims who suffered, but when you unleash that sort of fascism, the whole society suffers.

So, we need to make the international community and indeed the whole society to realize we are not just there just for the protection of Muslim but we want the standards, which is actually protecting everyone against this type of systematic abuse and rise of fascism.
Source : Press TV
Story Code: 80987