Who We Are

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.

Friday, 19 November 2010


Swiss authorities said Thursday it would prosecute a far-right party leader for outrage against a foreign state over the use of Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi's picture in a poster calling for foreign criminals to be expelled. "The Federal Department of Justice and Police, in agreement with the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, has approved the request of the Ministry of the Federation asking for penal proceedings to be undertaken against Eric Stauffer for outrage to a foreign state," said the Justice Ministry in a statement. It added that the prosecution has been approved following a written request of Libya. Stauffer heads the Geneva Citizens' Movement (MCG) which is campaigning ahead of a nationwide referendum on whether foreign criminals who have committed certain crimes should be stripped of their right to remain in Switzerland and deported to their home countries. In its poster in support of the initiative, the MCG juxtaposed a photo of Kadhafi against the text: "He wants to destroy Switzerland".

Swiss local authorities in Geneva had earlier demanded that MCG removed the picture of Kadhafi. "With no link to the subject of the vote, this attack harms the superior interests of Switzerland, of our canton and its citizens abroad," Geneva authorities had said. On Thursday, MCG issued a defiant statement, saying that "ceding to Libyan demands to prosecute Eric Stauffer is an additional humiliation." It added: "We should not bend down in the face of external threats and cede to the whims of the Kadhafi family." Relations between Bern and Tripoli were deeply strained after the July 2008 arrest of a son of Kadhafi, Hannibal, in Geneva. Hannibal was later released, but the move sparked a series of reprisals from Libya. Two Swiss citizens were blocked from leaving Libyan territory until this year. Switzerland will vote November 28 on the far-right initiative for foreigners who have committed crimes such as murder, rape or drug trafficking to be expelled. Under the initiative, the expulsion would also apply on foreigners found to have abused social security.


English Defence League demos 'feed Islamic extremism' (UK)

Right wing groups like the English Defence League are turning parts of Britain into recruiting grounds for Islamic extremists, police have said.

The EDL emerged last year and has held demonstrations in a number of towns and cities against radicalisation.

But the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit has told BBC Radio 5 live there is evidence EDL events can encourage extremists.

Officers also say they are worried about radicalisation inside prisons.

The BBC was given exclusive access to the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit - housed in one of the most secretive buildings in the UK.

Thousands of people will have walked or driven past the anonymous offices, somewhere in the West Midlands, without realising that inside lies a counter-terrorism hub.

The only clue is close-up where security is tighter than for neighbouring buildings. But there are no armed guards, barbed wire or guard dogs and, of course, there are no signs.

Det Ch Insp Alex Murray walks me through the gate and into the building.

"There's always a certain element within the violent extremist community that may want to target a premise like this," he says. "So for that reason it needs to remain discreet."

It took months of delicate negotiations before I was allowed in, and it only happened under the condition that I did not reveal its whereabouts.
'Covert environment'

The intelligence community is beginning to believe that it is in its interests to be more open.

Despite this, Det Ch Insp Murray admitted that people were nervous about my visit, saying: "Historically, and for very good reasons, it's been a covert environment. People don't want to become targets themselves."
Some areas were strictly off limits. Next to a door marked with a sign that indicated top security clearance was needed, I was told that "in theory" I might be allowed in, but I would need to be vetted, specially trained, and probably would not be allowed to reveal what I saw.

A lot of the building was accessible though. There is a large open dining area, with kettle, microwave and vending machine. Nearby there are changing rooms and a small gym. Upstairs there's office space where more mundane work goes on and a large meeting room.

In the centre of its conference table were two phones with ultra secure lines.

One, marked Tacit Secret, can only be used in this country. The other is activated by a special key and can contact similar agencies around the world.
'Classified info'

The West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit was set up six years ago, the first outside London.

Its boss is Det Ch Supt Matt Sawers. He says: "We put together a small group of about 80 people, but some of the threats that started to present themselves meant that we needed to build up the numbers."

I asked how many people currently work for the West Midlands CTU, but was told that the answer is classified.

The officers talk about current threats from what they call the al-Qaeda "franchise" and how links to Somalia and Yemen are giving them as much concern as more "traditional" areas like Pakistan and Ireland.

They are worried about radicalisation inside prisons as well as colleges and universities, and they also fear that groups with an anti-Islamic message, particularly the English Defence League, are acting as a recruiting sergeant for Muslim extremists.

Many EDL demonstrations and counter-demonstrations have ended in violence, and Det Supt John Larkin tells me that they have witnessed signs of radicalisation afterwards.

"They look for the hook to pull people through and when the EDL have been and done what they've done - perversely they leave that behind," he explains.
Detection strategy

Inside the brightly-lit modern building, staff with police, military and intelligence backgrounds work in two broad areas.

The first is detection. These are the officers who respond to any incidents or threats. Operations are either intelligence-led or in response to tip-offs from the public.

"There is normally a steady flow of information. You can quickly see which are the calls that will lead to immediate action," says Det Insp Darren Walsh, who is in charge of the Initial Response Team.

West Midlands CTU's biggest success so far came during Operation Gamble in 2006, when a plot to kidnap and behead a serving British Muslim soldier was foiled.

Its officers can be deployed anywhere and the unit's forensic team spent many weeks in London after the 7/7 attacks.

Besides detection, the next area is prevention. This unit aims to build strong links with communities to try to stop radicalisation taking place.

After considerable success, there has been a major setback. This summer, West Midlands Police became embroiled in a scandal over surveillance cameras which were erected in predominantly Muslim areas in Birmingham.

Residents were told they were part of a crime-fighting initiative, but it emerged that they had been paid for out of counter-terrorism funds.

Everyone from the chief constable down has said sorry and the cameras are due to be taken down. But it has affected relationships and CTU knows they need to be rebuilt.

The government has also announced a national review of its Prevent Strategy, which is expected to report in the new year.

BBC News

The BNP are in trouble – but there’s no cause for complacency (UK)

It seems that there are increasingly strong indicators that the British National Party is falling apart. With mounting stories about infighting, growing debts and the ongoing court case over its constitution there is reason to imagine that in years or even months to come, the BNP will cease to be any kind of force in British politics. Yet that is no reason to be complacent.

Last week, I became vice-chair of Labour Friends of Searchlight, along with Liz Kendall and Shabana Mahmood – all three of us new MPs, determined to help Jon Cruddas and Searchlight who are leading the fight against racism. The inaugural meeting was packed with Labour MPs and all had noted the anti-Muslim feeling that appears to have largely replaced traditonal forms of racism in many communities up and down the country.

I have seen this  for myself in my constituency, where a small number of anonymous online bloggers tried to take over the local newspaper’s online comments forum with anti-Muslim attacks. When they were banned from it, they found other avenues – first mounting a campaign to persuade the public that I am a Muslim (I am not) and then attacking the council over the supply of halal meat in primary schools. It is interesting and worrying that they have latched onto Islam as their sole strategy to whip up fear and suspicion, regardless of how far-fetched the campaigns are.

Labour MPs have similar stories from their own constituencies. Currently, Members of Parliament are being targeted in a letter-writing campaign which focuses on whether halal meat should be banned in this country. The people who are sending these standard letters are not racist, but the people behind the campaign clearly are. All three of the main political parties are united in the belief that our response requires care and thought.

In truth, the BNP has always created the impression that it had more support than it did in reality. Fielding unprecedented numbers of candidates at the 2010 general election helped to fuel the fiction that the far right had a real presence in communities where in fact it had little support and no activists. And there are few people who haven’t realised that the BNP’s online presence is a result of the efforts of a handful of individuals posting under various pseudonyms.

There is an important role for Labour in this response. We are a party that believes in solidarity and yet many MPs – myself included – struggle to articulate on the doorstep proper responses to the myths that circulate about Islam. There are only eight Muslim members of Parliament, and the remainder of us do not (in the main) have the detailed knowledge about the Muslim faith to respond effectively. For political campaigners of all parties there is an urgent need to understand more about all faiths in order to meet this confusion head on.

Yet we are also acutely aware that our response has to go beyond explaining to sections of the public that Muslim extremists do not represent the whole story about Islam. Anti-Muslim sentiment, like traditional racism before it, gives voice to fear and insecurity that often has little to do with faith or race.

I have met thousands of constituents over the past year who are deeply concerned about housing, low pay, job insecurity and the environment in which they live. Too often, they have believed it was because of immigration, when factors such as Margaret Thatcher’s “right to buy” policy, which severely depleted social housing stock, and Labour’s poor record on house-building were much more salient.

Similarly, restrictions on trade unions, weak enforcement of employment law and an unbalanced economy that works for the rich and not for the rest have caused problems for people in the labour market that have traditionally been blamed on immigration. In responding to this threat Labour needs a policy programme that tackles the root cause of fear and insecurity – not focused on immigration but on living standards. It is why Ed Miliband’s flagship plank of his leadership campaign – the living wage – had such power. Labour will make a significant mistake if we do not recognise that the politics of fear will never match the politics of hope, provided we get the message right. As Jon Cruddas has argued, we must “make hope possible, rather than despair convincing”.

Perhaps even more importantly, politicians  must recognise the power of the language we use. In politics. it is easy to react. The challenge is for us to lead, too. There was much debate about Boris Johnson’s recent comments about “Kosovo-style social cleansing” in relation to housing benefit reform, but there has been much less debate about the emotive language used about immigration and race. It is important that we do not simply get the policy right, but the tone as well.

The fear that we are seeking to understand is not necessarily rational, but that is not to say it is not important. It is an emotional response to a complicated set of fears about identity and place in the world.  The overwhelming majority of people I meet in my constituency are not racist but they are worried – about their future, and about their children’s futures. We must seek to understand this and to respond to it on an emotional level as well as on a rational level, by lifting people up, not driving others down and by bonding together against the division that this programme of cuts is beginning to create.

At this year’s election, no one party commanded a clear majority because no party spoke convincingly to those fears. We must not allow a new, poisonous force to replace the BNP as the default place for people worried about the future – Labour must provide the positive alternative.

Lisa Nandy is Labour MP for Wigan

Tribune Magazine

Searchlight takes on the Islamic extremists (UK)

The anti-fascist publication Searchlight, which was behind the "Hope Not Hate" campaign to stop the British National Party in east London, is to expand its operations to oppose the Islamophobic English Defence League and Islamic extremism itself.

The magazine, founded in the 1960s to monitor the rise of the extreme right, intends to set up a thinktank to investigate the phenomenon of the English Defence League, which has become a focus of ultra-nationalist opposition to the so-called "Islamification" of Britain. Writing on his blog last week, Searchlight editor Nick Lowles attacked both the EDL and the Islamic extremists of Muslims Against Crusades, who burned poppies, denied the Holocaust and called for a new Muslim fascism.

"For the MAC, the presence and activities of the EDL prove how white British society is the enemy. For the EDL, the Islamist extremists are proof of the violent nature of Islam," he wrote.

An online survey of Hope Not Hate supporters' reaction to Mr Lowles's words showed that over 95 per cent were in support of what he said. Around 40,000 people have viewed the post since it was written last Thursday.

Mr Lowles said that he felt a huge sense of relief that he was finally able to speak his mind. "Islamist extremism has been the elephant in the room for too long," he said. "Everyone knows it is wrong and is actually part of the problem but people have either been bullied into silence or lack the confidence to speak out."

He added: "Islamist extremism is no friend of a progressive society. Staying silent on attitudes and behaviour that is both wrong, offensive and downright dangerous is abandoning one's own progressive values and moral compass. Remaining silent and uncritical will be viewed by others as passive support or acceptance and that is not the basis to build a popular broadbased campaign against Islamophobia."

Several Muslims posted supportive comments on the Hope Not Hate blog as a result of the intervention. Sameena from East London wrote: "It would be good to get some Muslim academics, and leftist leaders on board and being vocal. I would like to see some Muslim women sans hijab as well. There are plenty of us - but the media always wants to show the ones who fit a particular image."

Bushra added: "MAC do not represent all British Muslims! I am a British Muslim and I wore my poppy proudly and observed the two-minute silence. I am sickened and offended that these people have no respect for those who fought and died, so that they could have freedom of speech."

The Jewish Chronicle

Anti-facist protesters to avoid charges after EDL clash (UK)

Prosecutors have decided not to charge three anti-fascist leaders who were arrested after violent clashes at an English Defence League rally in Bolton.

Weyman Bennett, Rhetta Moran and Paul Jenkins from Unite Against Fascism were among 74 people arrested during the March demonstration.

Researcher Rhetta Moran was taken into custody when trouble flared as she read out a message of support from TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber at the protest.

The trio were interviewed by police on two separate occasions but the Crown Prosecution Service has advised that no further action should be taken.

The news comes weeks after a watchdog confirmed it will investigate the behaviour of police at the protest, after footage emerged of 63-year-old Alan Clough apparently being hit by officers. Charges against Mr Clough were also dropped after the video came to light.

Weyman Bennett, joint secretary of Unite Against Fascism, said: “This is a victory for anti-fascists and for the right to protest. I’m proud to say that the threat of these charges has not deterred any of us from continuing to stand up against the EDL. I can now continue my work without this serious false allegation hanging over me. It is imperative we continue to protest to protect our multi-racial communities.”

Campaign group ‘Justice4bolton’ – launched to support the UAF leaders – said their arrest was ‘an attempt to delegitimise protests against the rise of fascism’.

A spokesperson said: “All three had been subject to very serious potential charges which are rarely used and have had this allegation hanging over them for eight months.”

No further action was taken against 42 people who were arrested at the demonstration. Six people admitted minor offences and were ordered to pay fines. Fifteen people were issued with fixed penalty notices, three were given cautions. Two others were charged with offences but found not guilty.

Manchester Evening News

Balotelli says 'stupid' Italian racists must be stamped out (UK)

Mario Balotelli has returned to Manchester City exasperated but not surprised by his latest encounter with the racism in the Italian game. Balotelli, who was was abused by some Italy supporters during the Azzurri's 1-1 friendly draw with Romania in Austria oracism soccer football Italy Azzurri on Wednesday, said afterwards: "If I have to hear those chants every time, you can't go forward like that.

Balotelli, who joined City in August from Internazionale, faced racist abuse throughout his career in Italy, largely based on the fact of his being an Italian of Ghanaian heritage who played for the national side.

New Italian laws on racism have attempted to stamp out the abuse Balotelli suffered in stadiums there, but Wednesday's friendly was played in Klagenfurt, Austria, and a banner declaring "No to a multi-ethnic national team" was unfurled by a group of Italian ultras at the Hypo-Arena. The striker, who played for 59 minutes before being substituted, was also the subject of boos from fans of both sides.

"I was very disappointed yesterday and I didn't want to say anything," he said. "The only sure thing is that I alone can't do anything. Everyone needs to do something against racism. What happened yesterday was racism, but it's also stupidity on the part of just a few people. I'm certain that if I were to meet one of those guys alone he would ask for my autograph. If I have to hear those chants every time, you can't go forward like that. I leave others to do the judgement. I am happy to be in the national team.

"It wouldn't be right to stop a game because a few fans that turn up to the stadium behave like that. We need to change these people but it's not me that has to do it. Where I live, the people don't reason like these people. A multi-ethnic Italy already exists and we can do better."

Balotelli, who made his Internazionale debut at the age of 17, became a controversial figure in Italy, partly because of his poor disciplinary record. However, in May 2009 Juventus were forced to play a match behind closed doors after some of their supporters persisted in singing "there is no such thing as a black Italian" about the forward.

On Wednesday, the Italy coach, Cesare Prandelli, said that he was "disgusted" by the banner at the Hypo-Arena. "We always hear these chants and something has to be done about it," Prandelli said. "We feel helpless. He has the support of everyone." Prandelli also hugged Balotelli when he came off.

Balotelli has also denied that he will return to Italy in the January transfer window. "The likelihood is that I will be at City up to June," he said, having been spotted with the Milan vice-president, Adriano Galliani. "I have a five-year contract and I can't say anything." Balotelli is suspended for City's trip to Fulham on Sunday but will be eligible for the game at Stoke City on 27 November.

City's goalkeeper Joe Hart has backed Balotelli to settle into English football and become a success in the Premier League. "He's a great guy, he is so friendly, he's positive, his English is brilliant, a lot better than he expected to be and he's fitted in well," Hart said.

"He's a positive thinker. He thinks he is going to be one of the greatest players in the world and I think that is a good way to think. He's got every attribute to do it and I just wish people would remember he is only 20 years old. He is just trying to make his way in the game."

The Independant

We can tame the cyber racism beast (Australia)

The promotion of racism in the public domain undermines, and can ultimately destroy, the sense of safety and security of targeted people or groups and also adversely affect social harmony. It is often the precursor to racially motivated violence even if there is no express incitement to violence. Racial hatred is an inherently violent emotion, whether it actually generates violence in any particular instance or not.

The internet has made it so much easier to widely circulate racist views, almost unchecked by law. But cyber racism need not be an untameable beast, if governments are prepared to start attacking the problem in a concerted and co-ordinated way within an agreed legal framework.

Cyber racism can take many forms such as images, blogs, video clips on YouTube and comments in social media such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.

The application of laws against incitement to racial hatred to cyber racism poses formidable challenges. Racist content on a website might be freely accessible by an internet user located in Australia, but if the publisher of the material and the internet service provider (ISP) are located, say, in the US and have no assets in Australia they are effectively beyond the reach of Australia's courts. And the legality or otherwise of the published content may vary significantly between different jurisdictions.

Of course, the law is not the only mechanism available to counteract cyber racism. In Australia, the introduction of a National Education Curriculum provides a unique opportunity to provide students with ongoing education in critical thinking, which should be integrated in the curriculum beginning in primary school and reinforced in courses in history, literature and the natural and social sciences in secondary school.

Adopting a sceptical and analytical approach to all information, especially from online sources, should be so deeply instilled in students that it becomes second nature. Questioning assumptions and seeking and weighing alternative views should become a habit. This would provide some much-needed balance to the laissez faire online culture that prevails.

Self-regulation is another option. This involves trying to persuade publishers, website hosts and platform providers such as YouTube and Facebook to remove offending content voluntarily. They are not always aware that particular online material constitutes cyber racism and, once they are made aware, many are anxious not to be identified publicly as purveyors of racism.

But this is not always the case. Most publishers of cyber racism do so knowingly and assert that their right of free speech over-rides the rights and freedoms of the individuals or groups they vilify or harass. Some of them consider it a badge of honour to be tagged as a racist. Their internet service providers pretend to be mere conduits and disclaim all responsibility for the way their services are used.

ISPs lack the knowledge and insight into racism to enable them to make an informed decision about whether a particular publication has crossed the line into racial vilification or harassment. More to the point, websites often generate advertising revenue for their owners, and the owners pay the ISPs. In social media platforms, the more viewers and discussion, the more advertising revenue can be created, and this advertising revenue usually goes directly to the platform provider. ISPs and platform providers have a clear commercial interest against any form of regulation, and in being as permissive as possible. The final decision about whether or not to allow an allegedly racist publication to remain on the net should not rest with them.

Ultimately, even though the law is not the whole answer to cyber racism, it must be a critical part of the answer. Without the ultimate sanction of the law, the scourge of cyber racism will continue to grow unchecked. Like other contemporary scourges, such as terrorism and environmental degradation, cyber racism operates across national boundaries and governments acting individually cannot deal with it effectively.

The technical means exist to curtail cyber racism if not eliminate it altogether and to force website owners and ISPs to act with social responsibility if they will not do so voluntarily. Only if governments co-operate will it be possible to harness these technical means to deal effectively with cyber racism. As a starting point, countries could agree in a formal treaty to recognise and give effect to judgments delivered by one another's courts concerning specific racist publications.

For example, the government of country A could undertake to order an ISP operating from its territory to ensure that certain content is not accessible to users of the internet located in country B if a court or tribunal in country B has found that the publication of the content in country B is in breach of its laws.

No doubt more ingenious minds will be able to devise other legal mechanisms to address the problem. What is important at this stage, years after the advent of the internet, is that international law starts to catch up. All that is required is the political will and intelligent leadership.

Peter Wertheim is executive director of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry. He recently attended an Experts Forum on Combating Anti-Semitism in Ottawa and its Working Group on Hate on the Internet.

Sydney Morning Herald