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Our intention is to inform people of racist, homophobic, religious extreme hate speech perpetrators across social networking internet sites. And we also aim to be a focal point for people to access information and resources to report such perpetrators to appropriate web sites, governmental departments and law enforcement agencies around the world.

We will also post relevant news worthy items and information on Human rights issues, racism, extremist individuals and groups and far right political parties from around the world although predominantly Britain.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Neo-nazism is Europe's hidden terrorist menace

On the fifth anniversary of the 7 July terror attacks in London, the issue of Islamist terrorism and Islamic extremism is back in the media spotlight. While the threat posed by a small number of violent Islamist extremists is very real and the danger of Islamic fundamentalism should not be downplayed or understated, the seriousness of the situation is often exaggerated into a menace of Hitlerian proportions.

In contrast, Hitler's ideological descendants, who have become increasingly emboldened in recent years, constitute a growing, if still minor, threat that largely goes unnoticed and under-reported.

An example of this menace is the Belgian neo-Nazi group Bloed, Bodem, Eer en Trouw (Blood, Soil, Honour and Loyalty), whose trial is to start soon. The group, whose members were arrested in 2006, stands accused of planning terror attacks targeting the National Bank and other institutions, plotting the assassination of a number of prominent politicians and conspiring to destabilise the Belgian state. BBET had even apparently managed to infiltrate the Belgian military and had amassed a large cache of guns and explosives.

More worryingly, perhaps, at least in terms of social cohesion, the neo-Nazi group had intended to sow the seeds of discord by carrying out a "false flag" operation to murder the popular Flemish far-right politician Filip Dewinter in the hope that the blame would be pinned on Islamists, stoking further hatred of the country's embattled and marginalised Muslim minority. During the expected outrage that would ensue, they would then seize the opportunity to assassinate the radical Lebanese-Belgian politician and activist Dyab Abou Jahjah.

Had members of an Islamist cell been planning similar outrages, news of their forthcoming trial would have grabbed headlines across Europe and enough columns to support the Karnak temple complex would have been written on the subject. As it stands, the group has elicited little to no attention outside Belgium.

Not that I feel we should deal with neo-Nazi extremism and its violent manifestations with the same level of sensationalism and mass hysteria we reserve for extremist Islam – we need to be vigilant, not vigilante about it. More attention needs to be paid to the fact that it is a growing menace. We need to build greater awareness and better understanding of the socioeconomic and cultural factors feeding this phenomenon, especially since mainstream society is, in certain ways, complicit in the emergence of this troubling current.

Some, dare I say many, will consider my last assertion as an overreaction and will dismiss BBET and other violent far-right groups as little more than the outer reaches of the "lunatic fringe". And at some level, this is true and can equally be applied to violent Islamist groups. But just because they're mad and bad, that does not exclude the possibility that they are the symptoms of a deeper malaise – there is some warped logic to their madness.

Just like their Islamist counterparts, many people who are drawn to neo-Nazi and other far-right ideologies feel disempowered and marginalised, and believe that the way to overcome this is to turn back the clock to an idyllic "pure" past – based on religion, in the case of Islamists, and based on race and, to a lesser extent, religion for neo-Nazis.

And, as unemployment figures rise and government spending falls, this sense of exclusion and frustration will grow.
And minorities will continue to fill the role of convenient scapegoat, as has long been the case with far-right parties, many of which have gained a sheen of respectability in recent years. In fact, time and again, violent neo-Nazi groups and individuals have been linked to these parties. For example, there are reports that the BBET had ties to the Flemish nationalist Vlaams Belang party, as had a teenager who went on a racially motivated murder spree in Antwerp.

However, this does not exonerate the rest of society. The increasingly mainstream vilification and demonisation of Europe's Muslim minority and Islam in general – based on fear, insecurity, ignorance and political expediency, as well as the worry that extremist groups will succeed in their bid to "Islamise" Europe – since the 11 September terror attacks in the US has created fertile ground for the far-right to lay down deeper roots. Some governments have been complicit in this for foreign policy purposes, while some politicians, such as Geert Wilders in the Netherlands, have skillfully manipulated the situation to enter the corridors of power.

In a bid to downplay the threat, some will play a macabre numbers game and claim that Islamic terrorism in Europe claims far more lives than far-right violence. Although it is true that there have been no spectacular, large-scale attacks, neo-Nazis are responsible for a regular and growing stream of violence against Muslims, Jews, blacks and other minorities across Europe.

Of course, neo-Nazis have yet to pull off any attack as spectacular as those in Madrid or London. But that doesn't mean they don't want to or don't plan to, as the case of the BBET amply demonstrates. In May 2010, a British neo-Nazi father and son – who, in an worrying echo of a bygone era, had set up a group to overthrow the government because they believed it had been taken over by Jews – planned to poison Jewish, Muslim and black people with ricin.

In addition, neo-nazism seems to be going increasingly global, with groups in different European countries and the US building increasingly strong alliances. Examples of this include Combat 18 and Blood and Honour (of which BBET is a splinter group).

The most troubling threat posed by neo-nazism, and the far right in general, as opposed to Islamism, is that it is an indigenous ideology which once held powerful sway in Europe, even in countries that were not run by Nazi regimes. If we are not careful and do not learn the lessons of history, there is the future possibility that Nazi and fascist totalitarianism may rear its ugly face again.

Khaled Diab for The Guardian

Russian court to try 13 suspected neo-Nazis for 27 murders

Thirteen suspected neo-Nazis charged with killing 27 people in ethnic-motivated crimes will face trial in Moscow on July 22, a spokesman for Moscow region's military court said on Monday.
"The court has granted a motion to hold the trial behind closed doors but rejected a request for the case to be heard by a jury," Alexander Minchanovsky said.

Investigators believe the defendants are members of the National-Socialist Society, established in 2004 with the aim of turning Russia into a Nazi state. The group had several regional branches, as well as international offices in Belarus, Britain, Canada and France. Russia's Supreme Court banned the National-Socialist Society in February as an "extremist" grouping.

The thirteen, believed by investigators to be members of one gang, operated mainly in the Moscow region and attacked dark-skinned people, including nationals of African and Asian countries, the government daily Rossiiskaya Gazeta reported.

The paper said one of the men stabbed an anti-Nazi activist 30 times as part of an initiation test.
If the gang members are found guilty of committing even some of the murders, they could face life sentences under Russian law.

Attacks on dark-skinned people from ex-Soviet republics, Asia and Africa have been on the rise in Russia in recent years. The Russian authorities have described the growth of ethnic-motivated attacks as a "national threat" and urged tough measures to combat them.

Several members of skinhead and neo-Nazi groups have already been sentenced to long prison terms.


Facebook to launch child safety 'panic button'

Facebook has announced it is to launch a "panic button" application on its social networking site.

The button, aimed at children and teenagers, will report abuse to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop) and Facebook.
The application will also appear on their homepage to say that "they are in control online".

The launch follows months of negotiation between Ceop and Facebook, which initially resisted the idea.

Ceop, the government law enforcement agency tasked with tracking down online sex offenders, called for a panic button to be installed on social networking sites last November.

Bebo became the first network to add the button with MySpace following suit, but Facebook resisted the change, saying its own reporting systems were sufficient.

Pressure mounted on Facebook following the rape and murder of 17-year-old Ashleigh Hall by a 33-year-old convicted sex offender, posing as a teenage boy, who she met on Facebook.

Forty-four police chiefs in England, Wales and Scotland, signed a letter backing Ceop's call for a panic button on every Facebook page.

'Reassurance for parents'
The agreement to launch a child safety application is the culmination of months of negotiation between Ceop and Facebook.

Jim Gamble, Ceop's chief executive, said in a statement: "Our dialogue with Facebook about adopting the ClickCeop button is well documented - today however is a good day for child protection.

"By adding this application, Facebook users will have direct access to all the services that sit behind our ClickCeop button which should provide reassurance to every parent with teenagers on the site."

Facebook's head of communications in the UK, Sophy Silver, told BBC News that the new app would integrate reporting into both Facebook and Ceop's systems.

"Both sides are happy of where we have got to," she said.

"We still have the Facebook reporting system and by having a pre-packaged application that users play an active part in, you not only help keep them safe, it makes all of their friends aware too, and acts as a viral awareness campaign.

"Ultimately though, this makes for a safer environment for users and that's the most important part," she added.

In addition to the online reporting application, a new Facebook/Ceop page is being set up, with a range of topics that, it is hoped, will be of interest to teenagers - such as celebrities, music and exams - and will link these subjects to questions about online safety.

BBC News