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.

Monday, 28 February 2011

Pipers unite against white supremacists (France)

Yannick Martin
Pipe players of Brittany on Sunday united against a group of US based white supremacists who are campaigning to discredit the French region's top piper, who happens to be a black man.

Hundreds of traditional musicians from Brittany's top pipe bands, known as Bagadoù, convened on the town of Brest for the region's most prestigious championships on Sunday.

They were joined by thousands of fans in showing their support for Yannick Martin, a 24-year old virtuoso of the bombard, a double reed instrument from the oboe family, who has twice been crowned Brittany's champion player.

Mr Martin has been the target of a hate campaign by a Houston-based white supremacist website called Breiz Atao (Brittany Forever), the name of a Breton nationalist journal that supported Nazism in the second world war.

In a post called "le biniou et la bombarde" (a play on words for bagpipe and "wog"), commentators claimed that "an extra-European will never be a real Breton. Whether it pleases people or not, we've never seen black Celts." The site also included a provocative video later removed.

Mr Martin, born in Columbia but adopted and raised by a Breton family, has filed for charges of "racial discrimination". His brother, adopted and raised by a different family is also a top pipe player. Both play in one of the region's most acclaimed bands, Kemper, which competed in Brest yesterday.

Read this item in full at Telegraph

Olympic Logo Is ‘Racist’, Claims Iran (UK)

The Olympic logo is many things to many people — forward-looking style icon, hideous malbranding, even hardcore porn. We can now add ‘racist’ to the list.

“The use of the word Zion by the designer of Olympics logo…in the emblem of the Olympics Games 2012 is a very revolting act,” says Mohammad Aliabadi, head of the National Olympic Committee in Iran, in an official letter to the International Olympic Committee.

In the same way that some people see Christ’s body in a dog’s arse, or the Virgin Mary on toast, the Iranians claim to see the word ‘Zion’ in the already maligned logo. And, yeah, it’s kind of there if you read top-left, down, up-again, then down to bottom-right, and tilt your head a little, and try and put Lisa Simpson out of your mind. But if you read left-to-right it might be a product placement for 1980′s toy line ‘Zoids‘. And if it does say ‘Zion’, perhaps the designer was a closet Matrix fan rather than a proponent of the Jewish homeland.

According to the Guardian, Iran may even boycott the games unless the logo is changed. Which ain’t going to happen. London would love to welcome the Iranian athletes into our city, but if their official representatives are going to get so uppity over some unintended pareidolia, they’re going to have a difficult time fitting in.

The Londonist


This chilling photo could blow apart the English Defence League’s claim to non-violence.

And it has renewed worries the anti-Islam group is ready to bring bloody conflict to British streets.

Disturbingly, the hooded thugs pose in front of flags bearing the name and No Surrender slogan of the outlawed Ulster Volunteer Force.

The link to the UVF – a group responsible for at least 481 Catholic murders – has sparked fears factions of the anti-Islamic EDL could launch terror attacks against British Muslims.

The sinister snap was among a set posted on the web this month by men claiming to be from the EDL’s Birmingham Division.

In another, a man makes a sick Nazi salute.

Anti-fascist groups have slammed the EDL – led by ex-British National Party member Stephen Lennon, 28 – for not weeding out such extremists from their own ranks.

A spokesman from Searchlight said: “Time after time we hear from the likes of the EDL’s leadership how they are a non-racist organisation.

“Perhaps they would like to act now and tell us how they will deal with the further adulation of gun-toting extremists, in particular the UVF – an organisation that made its name in Ireland by murdering people whose sole crime normally was that they were born Catholics.”

EDL leader Lennon – aka Tommy Robinson – and right-hand man Kevin Carroll, 41, are second generation Irish and have spoken in the past of their pride in their roots.

The EDL was formed in Luton, Beds, in 2009 and marches against Muslim extremism and Sharia law.

Around 1,500 people, many shouting racist chants, were at the latest protest in Luton on February 5.

Daily Star

Extremist British Muslim planning rally in front of White House is a ‘publicity whore,’ critics say (USA)

Critics say radical British cleric Anjem Choudary is more of a “publicity whore” than a devout Muslim.

In his latest stunt, Choudary is calling for the United States to implement Sharia law and he plans to make the appeal at a rally in front of the White House Thursday. He told The Daily Caller in a phone interview that he is coming to Washington to explain to Americans “why Sharia is better for them.”

“I believe capitalism is dying a slow death right now, as you can see with the recession and with the credit crunch and with social and economic dismay the world as whole and the pandemic of promiscuity, drugs, alcohol and all the other diseases,” Choudary said. “That’s the worst and I believe it’s time for a change.”

Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens, a research fellow at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation at King’s College in London, told TheDC that while Choudary’s persona has become a “joke” in Britain, what he advocates for is quite radical.

“Here, now, he’s seen as a little bit of a joke,” Hitchens said. “But, really, I should caveat that because Choudary is a part of a movement that’s been going on in the U.K. for maybe 15 or so years, which specifically calls for the establishment of Sharia law in the U.K. They want an Islamic state.”

Choudary co-founded Al-Muhajiroun, an extremist Islamist group currently banned in Britain, with Sheikh Omar Bakri Muhammad, who was convicted in absentia last November in a Lebanese court and given a life sentence for training al-Qaeda recruits. Choudary is rumored to be traveling to the United States with Abu Izzadeen, who served three and a half years in a British prison for terrorist fundraising and inciting terrorism overseas. Izzadeen was released in May 2009.

Hitchens says the problem is that while Choudary may not fully believe what he preaches, his followers do. And while Choudary and his followers are technically against acts of violence, including suicide bombings, they won’t denounce such acts of terrorism when they occur. Choudary and his followers have repeatedly rejected opportunities to denounce the 9/11 terrorist attacks or the July 7, 2005 subway bombings in London – and in fact have publicly praised them. Al-Muhajiroun, for instance, infamously labeled the 19 hijackers responsible for the carnage of the 9/11 terrorist attacks the “Magnificent 19.”

“They wouldn’t advocate acts of violence,” Hitchens said. “But, at the same time, they do actually glorify it.”

Hitchens said that Choudary’s worldview and mission is similar to al Qaeda’s, “it’s just that they’re not going to carry out a bombing campaign.”

Douglas Murray, the director of Britain’s Centre for Social Cohesion, told TheDC that Choudary’s legal education allows him to be a “chancer” or an “opportunist.” Murray said Choudary knows how to run right up against the line of what is legally acceptable. That’s how Choudary can use his extremist Islamic views to get attention and stay out of trouble.

“This is his way to gain some sort of public profile,” Murray said. “It’s a very strange thing. I think he says things that are deliberately inflammatory in order to get attention. The American media has fallen for it in the same way the British media fell for it.”

Despite his clownish behavior, Murray recommends Americans still take Choudary seriously. “He’s treated as a bit of a joke by some people,” Murray said in a phone interview. “And what I’ve just said would suggest that he is a joke. But he’s not.”

Murray points out that 1 in every 6  terrorism-related convictions in the last decade can be linked to Choudary’s Al-Muhajiroun organization – and, even though that group is currently banned, its members still meet under different banners.

“It doesn’t, in a way, matter whether Choudary believes or not in what he says,” Murray said in a phone interview. “The problem is there are people in his group who follow him and do believe it.”

Hitchens said Choudary is a “publicity whore” and will get people who disagree with him riled up on purpose. He can then, Hitchens explained, go back to his followers and say, “see, they hate Muslims.”

“He has chosen a very good time in America to come and do this,” Hitchens said. “Because of the Ground Zero Mosque and because of the ways things are going in American discourse about Islam, and Muslims, and homegrown extremism, he’s going to come in there and force fuel onto the flames. In fact, that’s what he wants. He wants to escalate tensions.”

Though there is some question whether the terrorist-glorifying radical will be permitted to enter the United States, Choudary told TheDC that since he is a British citizen, he doesn’t need a visa, which makes the process of getting through Customs and Border Protection easier. And since, he says, he has “never been convicted of any crimes or terrorist offenses,” he doesn’t  “see how I should be restricted in anyway.”

Citing privacy laws, the Department of Homeland Security refused to comment on whether Choudary will be allowed to enter the country when contacted by TheDC.

 Daily Caller

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Galliano arrest spotlights rise in anti-Semitism

Designer is the latest celebrity mired in controversy as attacks on Jews increase

The arrest and suspension of couture designer John Galliano, amid allegations of a booze-fuelled outburst this weekend in a Paris district known for its Jewish community, has reinforced reports of an alarming increase in anti-Semitism.

The French fashion house Christian Dior suspended the designer in the aftermath of what is being described as a drunken confrontation with a couple in the Marais district.

Claims by the pair, denied by Galliano, that he used anti-Jewish and racist slurs against them drew him into a welter of controversy which has most recently led to career trouble for the actors Charlie Sheen and Mel Gibson.

Galliano's representatives were last night trying to limit the damage caused by the controversy. His lawyer said the designer intended to claim for defamation and injury against his accusers and pronounced him shocked that Dior had suspended him.

The move came just days after the CBS television network pulled one of America's biggest comedy TV shows, Two and a Half Men. Although Charlie Sheen had tested the company's patience with cocaine and drink-fuelled binges, hotel-room orgies of violence and numerous tabloid eruptions, he overstepped the mark when he appeared to flirt with anti-Semitism in a radio broadcast, referring to the show's creator Chuck Lorre by the Hebrew name Chaim last Thursday.

Hollywood star Mel Gibson suffered another recent postponement of his latest film, The Beaver, capping nearly five years of serious career problems since he was recorded making anti-Semitic comments during a drink-driving arrest in 2006.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center last week highlighted what it suggests is an ongoing problem, with its list of the 10 most high profile anti-Semitic outbursts of 2010.

In the UK, the Community Security Trust, an advisory body for British Jews, warned of a steady increase in attacks in the UK since 1984, with 639 anti-Semitic incidents last year. This was the topped only by a freak jump in numbers the previous year during Israeli military operations in Gaza. Across Europe, monitoring groups report growing concern. On last year's 65th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, vandals marked at least 18 gravestones with swastikas when they desecrated a Jewish cemetery in France. France's main Jewish organisation, CRIF, said that 13 tombstones at the Cronenbourg cemetery in Strasbourg had also been overturned.

And in the former Soviet Union, anti-Semitic and ultranationalist skinheads increasingly profess themselves above the law. A judge withdrew from a politically charged Moscow murder trial this month involving fascists Nikita Tikhonov and Evgeniya Khasis, who are accused of killing human rights lawyer Stanislav Markelov and journalist Anastasia Baburova in January 2009.

The sentencing judge for the trial, Eduard Chuvashov, was shot dead in April last year.

Star's dilemma

For what she must hope is her crowning moment at tonight's Oscars for her role in Black Swan, Natalie Portman will have wished for anything but the last-minute fashion crisis she now faces.

She is among a gaggle of high-profile guests, who, having been painstakingly fitted with one of Galliano's frocks, face a daunting decision over which dress to wear to the ball.

Galliano's alleged rant could see both Portman and her peers obliged to answer the most untimely and unwanted questions on anti-Semitism.

Penélope Cruz wore Galliano at last year's awards, as did Cameron Diaz, while Charlize Theron, Slumdog Millionaire's Freida Pinto, and Heidi Klum are known to be a fans.

Meanwhile, the model Kate Moss recently revealed she asked Galliano to design the dress for her wedding later this year.

The Independant

Searchlight poll finds huge support for far right 'if they gave up violence' (UK)

Level of far-right support could outstrip that in France or Holland, says poll for Searchlight

Huge numbers of Britons would support an anti-immigration English nationalist party if it was not associated with violence and fascist imagery, according to the largest survey into identity and extremism conducted in the UK.

A Populus poll found that 48% of the population would consider supporting a new anti-immigration party committed to challenging Islamist extremism, and would support policies to make it statutory for all public buildings to fly the flag of St George or the union flag.

Anti-racism campaigners said the findings suggested Britain's mainstream parties were losing touch with public opinion on issues of identity and race.

The poll suggests that the level of backing for a far-right party could equal or even outstrip that in countries such as France, the Netherlands and Austria. France's National Front party hopes to secure 20% in the first round of the presidential vote next year. The Dutch anti-Islam party led by Geert Wilders attracted 15.5% of the vote in last year's parliamentary elections.

Anti-fascist groups said the poll's findings challenged the belief that Britons were more tolerant than other Europeans. "This is not because British people are more moderate, but simply because their views have not found a political articulation," said a report by the Searchlight Educational Trust, the anti-fascist charity that commissioned the poll.

According to the survey, 39% of Asian Britons, 34% of white Britons and 21% of black Britons wanted all immigration into the UK to be stopped permanently, or at least until the economy improved. And 43% of Asian Britons, 63% of white Britons and 17% of black Britons agreed with the statement that "immigration into Britain has been a bad thing for the country". Just over half of respondents – 52% – agreed with the proposition that "Muslims create problems in the UK".

Jon Cruddas, the Labour MP who fought a successful campaign against the British National party in his Dagenham and Rainham constituency in east London, said that the findings pointed to a "very real threat of a new potent political constituency built around an assertive English nationalism". The report identified a resurgence of English identity, with 39% preferring to call themselves English rather than British. Just 5% labelled themselves European.

Earlier this month David Cameron delivered a controversial speech on the failings of "state multiculturalism". The speech was seized on by the anti-Islamic English Defence League, which said that the prime minister was "coming round" to its way of thinking. BNP leader Nick Griffin also welcomed the speech as a sign that his party's ideas were entering "the political mainstream".

The poll also identified a majority keen to be allowed to openly criticise religion, with 60% believing they "should be allowed to say whatever they believe about religion". By contrast, fewer than half – 42% – said "people should be allowed to say whatever they believe about race".

The Guardian


Populist MP Geert Wilders is writing a book about the history of Islam that argues it is not a religion but an ideology. The book, which was to be published in the first half of 2011, is now due to appear in the second half of the year, Mr Wilders told news website NU.nl. The initiative for the book, Mr Wilders says, comes from the United States, where it will appear first, to be followed by a Dutch translation. Mr Wilders also revealed he is working on a continuation of his short anti-Islam film but he couldn't yet say when it would be completed.

Regarding the unrest in the Arab world, the far-right politician claims that democracy will not take hold in the Maghreb and the Middle East unless people turn away from Islam. He warned that things could go either way and the future could see regimes that are even worse than those of ousted Presidents Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia or that of Libya's Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

Radio Netherlands Worldwide


Six Moroccan men have been arrested in northern Italy on suspicion of seeking to incite hatred of Pope Benedict among Muslims. Police in the city of Brescia said the suspects had allegedly banded together to stir up religious hatred. A note was found calling for the Pope to be punished for converting a Muslim journalist to Roman Catholicism. According to another source, the suspects are not suspected of planning attacks. Five of the men, who are all Brescia residents, were placed under house arrest while the sixth was taken into custody. The note found by police urges Muslim immigrants not to integrate into Italian society, Italian media report.

Police said the six were accused of "setting up a group that aimed to incite discrimination, racial and religious hatred, violence and jihad against Christians and Jews". The Pope was condemned for converting Egyptian-born Magdi Allam, a former columnist for Italian daily Corriere della Sera. Mr Allam, an outspoken critic of Muslim militancy and strong supporter of Israel, was baptised by the Pope in March 2008.

BBC News

Web giant Facebook axes sickening hate site that shows Celtic boss Neil Lennon covered in blood (UK)

Facebook has shut down a vile page that showed Neil Lennon riddled with bullets and branded him a "dead man walking".

The gruesome, mocked-up image of the Celtic boss sparked furious complaints to the social network giant.

And Labour last night said the hateful attack on Lennon proved that tougher controls were needed to curb "hate crimes" on the internet.

The sick page, titled "Bet I can get one million people to hate Neil Lennon", featured a doctored photo of the Parkhead manager in his playing days - with around 40 fake bullet wounds on his head and body and "dead man walking". written on his shirt.

Lennon and two of his Northern Irish players, Paddy McCourt and Niall McGinn, were sent bullets through the post last month. Loyalist bigots in Ulster were blamed.

Facebook began an inquiry last week after a complaint about the page.

But at first, they allowed the site to stay active if the offending photos were removed. Bosses said the site was not in breach of Facebook's rules because Lennon is a public figure.

At the time, their spokesman said: "We want Facebook to be a place where people can express their views.

"Just as in the offline world, this means we sometimes come across views different to our own."

The photos were taken off the page, but they 'Abusive comments on these sites should be treated just like any hate crime re-appeared later last week. And last night, Facebook confirmed: "The page has been removed from the site.

"We encourage people to use Facebook's reporting tools when they encounter offensive content. "If it breaches our terms, it will be removed once reported to us."

Labour justice spokesman Richard Baker MSP said: "The level of abuse being posted each day on these sites is simply not acceptable.

"We really need to legislate to bring this type of conduct under the criminal law.

"Abusive comments on social networking sites should be treated like any other hate crime."

Last night, Lennon told the Sunday Mail that the honour of being Celtic boss made it worth putting up with death threats.

He said: "These are things out with my control. I can only take advice from the security people.

"It's worth it, there's no doubt about it. It's not tough, not at all. The only time it's tough is when you're a goal down at Ibrox after three minutes.

"The dugout is a good place to be, it's the thing I love doing. It's important for the players to know I'm fully focused on them."

Daily Record

2,000 in Jerusalem rally against racism

Around 2,000 Israelis rallied against racism in the centre of Jerusalem late Saturday after the murder of a Palestinian and calls by rabbis on landlords not to rent apartments to Arabs.

The demonstration, called by several left-wing groups, featured many young people brandishing placards condemning racism.

They called for the resignation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, leader of ultranationalist party leader Israel Beitenu, who have been accused of engendering a climate of xenophobia.

Israeli police have arrested four young Israelis, including two settlers, on suspicion of involvement in the crime. According to a neighbour of the victim was stabbed in an unprovoked attack as he returned home from work in west Jerusalem.
The Edmonton Journal

Supply teacher sacked for teaching teenager 'racist rhyme' to help him revise (UK)

A supply teacher was sacked for teaching a boy of 16 a racist rhyme to help him with his revision.

James Hersey, 68, recited: “Black boys rape our young girls, but virgins go without” to help the boy memorise the colour code for wiring ­electronic resistors. The code is black, brown, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, grey, white. He was sacked from Oriel High School in Crawley, West Sussex, and later found guilty of professional misconduct by the General Teaching Council.

The grandad-of-three, from Hove, East Sussex, denied being racist, claiming he was just an “old-fashioned teacher”.

Daily Mirror

Saturday, 26 February 2011

The website of a left-leaning public broadcaster has removed a cartoon depicting a plan by the far-right PVV party as a Nazi death camp following serious threats to its staff. (Netherlands)

The website of a left-leaning public broadcaster has removed a cartoon depicting a plan by the far-right PVV party as a Nazi death camp following serious threats to its staff.

The cartoon, by Adriaan Soeterbroek and posted on the VARA’s Joop.nl site, ridiculed a PVV plan to create "hooligan villages", likening them to a Nazi concentration camp with PVV leader Geert Wilders showing the inmates into a shower. In World War II millions of people, mostly Jews and Roma gypsies, were killed in Nazi gas chambers disguised as showers.

The VARA says it removed the cartoon after careful consideration, saying that while freedom of expression is a key right some of its staff felt too threatened to continue working. The broadcaster has reported the incident to the police.

Due to its initial refusal to remove the cartoon, PVV top candidate Machiel de Graaf refused to participate in a debate the VARA broadcast on 16 February ahead of the 2 March provincial elections.

Radio Netherlands News

Pamela Geller's Anti-Islam Org Labelled A 'Hate Group' (USA)

Manhattan blogger Pamela Geller, the fiery and offensive Atlas Shrugs blogger who organizes vehemently anti-Islamic protests, is not just a far right-winger, but is actually now part of a 'hate group'.

That's coming from the Southern Poverty Law Center, who classified Geller's organization, Stop the Islamization of America, in the same class as the Ku Klux Klan and white supremacists.

Atlas Shrugs has posted such stories as the one where Geller said Obama was actually the son of Malcolm X, while others are devoutly anti-union, anti-left and anti-Islam. She calls the organizers of Park51 "bloodsuckers" and whenever a Mosque goes up in the city, it is spun into a paranoid conspiracy theory.

In May, Geller purchased bus ads urging moderate Muslims to leave their faith. The ads read "Leaving Islam? Fatwa on your head? Is your family threatening you?"

Recently Geller made headlines with her fight against Park51, the proposed Islamic centre near ground zero, and went so far as to create weird posters that somehow meshed Wal-Mart in with Islam.

Geller herself shrugged off the dubious honour of being labelled part of a "hate group." From The Daily News:

Geller, who runs a blog called Atlas Shrugs, dismissed the Law Center as an "uber left" group that has "failed to address the greatest threat to our national security." "My group is a human rights group," she said. "And these people are taken seriously? This is the morally inverted state of the world."

Huffington Post 

Controversy over comments about Roma by Hungarian far-Right leader

Gábor Vona, chairman of the radical nationalist party Jobbik, has recently come under fire for comments made about Roma in Hungary.

During a parliament session on the 14th February, he said that a major problem in Hungary was the fast reproductive rate of the gypsy community.

The Speaker of the Hungarian National Assembly László Kövér made no objection to this remark. When the Socialist chairman Attila Mesterházy later advised Kövér to take action against similar behaviour in the future, he was told by the Speaker to not commentate on how the session was being led or else he would not be allowed to speak.

Vona also spoke about the way in which gypsy crime, especially in the Borsod county, was causing people to live in a state of fear.

Whilst in parliament, the Jobbik leader was wearing the banned uniform of the Hungarian Guard, a paramilitary-style organisation he formed in 2007 but which was disbanded by the Metropolitan Court of Budapest in 2009 for activities that were deemed in contravention of the human rights of minorities.

This is not the first time that Vona has made such comments. At a speech at the end of January outlining the future strategies of his party, he expressed his view that it was essential to ‘slow the reproduction’ of Roma, promoting the idea of food stamps instead of financial benefits as a means to do so. This forms part of Jobbik’s intention to increase the number of Hungarian families and avoid Roma becoming ‘a majority in Hungary,’ even though the Romani community currently make up around 2% of the country’s total population.

In addition, he said that gypsy children should be educated in special boarding schools to break the cycle of crime that is passed on through generations in the gypsy community.

There have been strong reactions to Vona’s statements on the birth rate of Roma, with the current Prime Minister Viktor Orbán declaring that ‘unnecessary life has never been born.’ Green party Politics Can Be Different added that such comments against Roma or other groups like Jews cannot be tolerated in today’s Hungary.

At present, Jobbik is Hungary’s third largest party, with 3 seats in the European Parliament. It describes its aim as defending the interests of Hungary, with support for Hungarians living in bordering countries to achieve self-determination. Jobbik has faced allegations of being fascist and anti-Semitic but these have been denied by the party.


Figures show an increase in homophobic and transphobic hate crimes (UK)

Hate crimes against gay and transgender people in Gloucestershire have risen according to new figures.

Victims reported almost 80 such crimes last year in the county with several areas such as Gloucester and the Forest of Dean seeing a rise in attacks.

These figures from the Safer Gloucester Partnership Research suggested figures were "just the tip of the iceberg", and for every hate crime reported at least five were not.

John Huggins, of The Westgate pub, which is aimed at the gay community, said he believed the figures showed more people were reporting the crimes.

He added: "I've not experienced any homophobia, except a few individuals name calling as they walk past the outside of The Westgate, mainly at night."

In 2005, 24-year-old barman Jody Debrowski, from Stroud, was murdered in a homophobic attack in London. Despite the shock waves his death caused, the county research show hate crime has not gone away here.

The figures show a rise of 11.4 per cent in 2009/10 than 2008/9.

In Gloucester, 23 homophobic crimes were reported to police in 2009/10, an increase of 15 incidents compared to the previous year. Meanwhile the Forest saw a rise with five crimes in 2008/09 rising to 13 in 2009/10 - a 160 per cent increase.

Police spokesman Chris Jackson said: "In the past, some people may have felt an incident was too trivial or insignificant to report and wouldn't be taken seriously, but that is no longer the case.

"People are now far less tolerant of any homophobic or transphobic incidents, realise they are unacceptable and come forward to report them."

This is Gloucestershire

More neo-Nazi offences reported (Austria)

The frequency of National Socialist activities is on the rise, new figures show.

The justice ministry said yesterday (Thurs) that 741 people were reported for spreading neo-Nazi propaganda or engaging in crimes with a far-right political background last year, up by 39.5 per cent to 2009 when 513 such cases were dealt with by the police and state prosecutors.

Forty-five people were sentenced for such crimes last year, down one from 46 in the previous year, according to the ministry which released the figures upon request by Social Democratic (SPÖ) MP Johann Maier. Long-term figures however show that the number of people found guilty of such acts has been on the rise over the past years. Just 11 people were sentenced for National Socialist activities in 1998.

Meanwhile, a taxi driver in Vienna has been accused of throwing out an opera singer because of the colour of her skin.

US star Angel Blue said yesterday she was ordered to get out of the vehicle moments after she entered it. "The driver said: ‘I don't drive black women - get out!’" the 27-year-old claimed.

Blue said the driver was a grey-haired Austrian aged between 50 and 60. She appealed on police to find the man, while the Association of Taxi Drivers in Vienna argued this was "impossible" considering the 4,500 cabs in the city.

Austria Independent

‘Citizen’s arrest’ ends in court (UK)

BNP father and son deny assaulting man over vandalised poster

Two members of the British National Party tried to carry out a citizen’s arrest on a man who was defacing a party poster in Aberdeen, a court has heard.

Steven Thomson, 42, and his son Gregor Thomson, 21, deny assaulting Stefan Knust, but admit trying to detain him while they waited for police in Great Northern Road on March 25 last year.

The men were guarding the poster, after one had been vandalised the night before, when they saw two men run up and throw paint over it, Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard yesterday.

The pair are alleged to have repeatedly punched Mr Knust on the head and body and repeatedly kicked him.

Steven Thomson, of 5 Gibblestone House, Scalloway, Shetland, told the court he had spent 12 years in the Army, worked in the prison service and been trying to enter the police force when he discovered he suffered from a genetic heart problem.

He said a security firm had been hired to protect the poster during the day, but he had been tasked with guarding it at night.

Two men ran away after throwing paint on the poster, but Mr Knust fell as he crossed the road, Thomson said.

“I grabbed him with my right hand by his collar,” he said. “He was using his arms to try to break my grip of his clothing.”

Thomson sen was trying to video the vandalism using a camera, but had accidentally turned the recording function off, the court heard.

Thomson told the court he had helped to chase and detain the person who had vandalised the poster the previous night, which had cost £600 to replace.

When asked by fiscal depute Victoria White if he was “annoyed and angry” about the vandalism, he replied: “Yes”.

His son, of 10A Summerfield Place, Aberdeen, said they had intended to carry out a “citizen’s arrest”, and “take hold of them with reasonable force” until the police arrived.

Both men have left the BNP, the court heard yesterday.

The case will return to court next month, when Sheriff Malcolm Garden asked to be addressed on when a person is entitled to perform a citizen’s arrest.

Press and Journal

Friday, 25 February 2011

EDL dismisses Jewish arm as too extreme (UK)

The leadership of the English Defence League has distanced itself from the group's Jewish Division, because of its partnership with the far-right American group Jewish Task Force.

The head of the EDL's Jewish division, Roberta Moore, previously announced that the group was working with the JTF, whose leader Victor Vancier has been imprisoned for terrorism offences.

This week the EDL's leadership issued a statement saying that if the Jewish Division continued relations with the JTF, they would sever ties with her.

It said: "A member of the Jewish Division this week decided to link herself with terrorist organisation JTF. This was the decision and wishes of one single individual within the EDL, and does not mean that the EDL is linked with this movement.

"If they [the Jewish EDL] continue with their plans to forge links with the terrorist JTF, the EDL will have no option but to sever its links with the Jewish division as we cannot support terrorist sympathisers."

But Ms Moore said she was determined to continue the affiliation. She said the EDL leadership who had released the statement were "complete idiots," adding: "I have put my foot down; I am the one in contact with the JTF. If some people don't like it, then screw them. There are lots of Jewish people very upset that the EDL put out that statement - and I haven't received any personal messages telling me to cut off contact with Victor."

However, the EDL made it clear that they and Ms Moore were at odds on the matter. A spokesman said: "The EDL never has and never will have any affiliations with the Jewish Task Force. Unfortunately Ms Moore has caused a great deal of trouble and unrest within the EDL because of her gung-ho attitude."

Victor Vancier spent five years in prison from 1987 for 18 bomb attacks against Soviet targets in the US to protest against the treatment of Soviet Jews.

He posted on the JTF forum: "There are elements in the EDL who desperately want to be accepted by the leftwing establishment and the media. These elements have no principles or courage. Roberta Moore and the Jewish Division represent courageous and noble elements. If the EDL is not willing to work with JTF, then they are rejecting all rightwing Jews, evangelical Christians and others who believe in the right of the Jewish people to the entire land of Israel."

The Jewish Chronicle

Minorities complain of rising racism in Russian universities

There's increasing concern about the high levels of discrimination which ethnic minority students face if they study at Russian universities. Insults, beatings and official harrassment are among the complaints.

Fenced off public squares guarded by hundreds of security officers are not an uncommon sight in Moscow. City authorities are anxious to avoid gatherings that could lead to violent clashes between right-wing hooligans and ethnic minorities.

Such street battles first happened in December, after a football fan was killed, allegedly by people from the Caucasus region of Russia. Making an appeal for calm at the time, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin addressed the issue of extremism and discrimination in Russian society - normally a taboo for the authorities.

Putin called the extremism a "virus" that had to be suppressed. He could also have mentioned the fact that many of those who participated in the riots were students. Indeed, racism at Russian universities appears to be a growing problem.

Ten years ago, Moscow University law student Aida moved to live in the Russian capital with her family from Dagestan in the North Caucasus - now infamous as a stronghold of Islamist terrorism. With her long dark hair and dark eyes, 22-year-old Aida says she that she is discriminated against because of her origin, and because of fears of terrorism.

"Just recently there was another unpleasant incident at my own faculty," said Aida. "It was just after the blast at Domodedovo airport at the end of January. As always I showed my student card to the security at the entrance. And he just started swearing at me with racist remarks and said something about me probably not even knowing Russian."

North Caucasus students asked to inform
It's not only fellow students and security staff who treat students from the North Caucasus in an unfriendly manner. The university authorities are also guilty, according to Dmitriy Dubrovski, a human rights expert and professor of history at the University of St. Petersburg.

“My students didn't tell me at first," said Dubrovski. “Then I found out that everyone from the North Caucasus has to fill out a couple of forms, in which they are questioned about their relatives: where they live, if they're members of a rebel group, what property they own, what cars they drive and so on. That's outrageous. If nothing else, it's a breach of article 51 of the Russian constitution that guarantees that you don't have to give testimony against your own relatives."

Students from the North Caucasus are not the only ones suffering from xenophobia. There are around 130,000 foreign students at Russian universities, many from China, Vietnam or African countries.

Though they regularly suffer racist remarks, even from staff, Dubrovski said that hardly anyone complains.

"The main difficulty is that no one talks about the problems," he said. "Countries like China and Vietnam for example don't even want their students to complain and would prefer them to leave Russia if there is a problem. They don't want to risk their relations with Russia. As a result, the students put up with everything with gritted teeth and we don't have a clue what is really going on."

Beaten up for talking to Russian girl

Boris Dengsten from Congo came to Russia three years ago, because it was a perfect chance to get a quality university degree. In May last year he was beaten up by more than a dozen Russian students who had been drinking, after they saw him and another student from Congo talking to a Russian girl at a bus stop.

#b#"One of them pulled the girl on her arm and asked her: Why do you speak to these apes," said Dengsten. "I said, ‘Where do you see apes, we are people too, aren't we?' And he just continued swearing at us. And then he hit me really hard, I almost fell. And when my friend hit him back to stop him, we were attacked by 15 Russians at once."

In the end it was Dengsten, not any of the Russian students, who was expelled from university - for having started a fight. While his case may be an extreme one, it shows the dangers that non-European students may face. Those with black skin or an Asian appearance rarely venture out alone at night.

Dengsten made his story public in the Russian courts with help from human rights organizations, but he lost his case. Now the 26-year-old has given up and will return to Congo, where an uncertain future awaits him: universities in Congo only accept new students who are under 25. The fact that he hoped to gain a university degree in Russia, Dengsten believes, could turn out to have been the biggest mistake of his life.

Author: Mareike Aden, Moscow / rc
Editor: Michael Lawton


Interactive experience looks at Nazi attitudes to disabled people (UK)A unique exhibition examining the similarities between Nazi and modern attitudes to disabled people will be shown at The Brewhouse from February 26 to April 9. Resistance is a dual-screen interactive installation, comprising drama and documentary films and an immersive audio-video experience, which takes as its starting point the Nazi programme of mass-murder targeting disabled people living in institutions and, importantly, disabled people's resistance to it. The opening film follows the story of Elise, a patient who sweeps the institution. She doesn't speak but watches everything. She watches buses full of patients' leave and return empty. When it's her turn, she knows what's in store. Based on real events, this is the story of one woman's resistance in the only way she could. Over a decade in the making, it is the latest project from award-winning writer-director Liz Crow, whose previous work has been shown at Tate Modern and the British Film Institute. Miss Crow said: “This is an episode of history that is virtually hidden, yet the values that underpinned it still echo through disabled people's lives today. “It is a timely piece of work that I hope people will not only be moved, but also empowered by. I want people to come away feeling inspired to get involved, be effective and find the courage to be a part of change. “Resistance is about a sense of possibility.” The Brewhouse Gallery is open Monday to Saturday, 10am to 5.30pm.

A unique exhibition examining the similarities between Nazi and modern attitudes to disabled people will be shown at The Brewhouse from February 26 to April 9.

Resistance is a dual-screen interactive installation, comprising drama and documentary films and an immersive audio-video experience, which takes as its starting point the Nazi programme of mass-murder targeting disabled people living in institutions and, importantly, disabled people's resistance to it. The opening film follows the story of Elise, a patient who sweeps the institution. She doesn't speak but watches everything. She watches buses full of patients' leave and return empty. When it's her turn, she knows what's in store. Based on real events, this is the story of one woman's resistance in the only way she could.

Over a decade in the making, it is the latest project from award-winning writer-director Liz Crow, whose previous work has been shown at Tate Modern and the British Film Institute.

Miss Crow said: “This is an episode of history that is virtually hidden, yet the values that underpinned it still echo through disabled people's lives today.

“It is a timely piece of work that I hope people will not only be moved, but also empowered by. I want people to come away feeling inspired to get involved, be effective and find the courage to be a part of change.

“Resistance is about a sense of possibility.”

The Brewhouse Gallery is open Monday to Saturday, 10am to 5.30pm.

Somerset County Gazette

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Jews, Arabs unite on UK campuses (UK)

Trained campus 'ambassadors' to promote conflict resolution, prevent heckling during lectures. Gerald Ronson: When Islamophobia hurts Muslims, it also hurts Jews

British campuses serve as fertile ground for heated political debates between Israelis and Arabs, but a new initiative sponsored by Gerald Ronson, one of the wealthiest Jews in the UK, aims to combating anti-Semitism and Islamophobia at universities across the country.

As part of the Campus Ambassadors program, 20 Muslim and Jewish students with leadership skills underwent six months of training in conflict resolution, the Yedioth Ahronoth daily reported on Monday.

The 'ambassadors' for the Coexistence Trust are currently enrolled in 10 of the UK's leading universities, including Oxford, Cambridge and the University of Manchester.

Now that they have completed their training, the students will begin working on joint projects and promote "damage control" activities. For example, the students will make certain that those who are invited to speak at the universities, regardless of their politics, will be able to speak their minds and not be heckled by either Jews or Muslims.

One of the 'ambassadors', Yuval Yaakov, attends Imperial College in London. "My hope is that we will be able to prove that Jew and can coexist and promote productive dialogue," he says.

Coexistence Trust chairman Lord Mitchell, who hosted the launch, said, "Islamophobia is the same poison as anti-Semitism, coming from the same people, and both our communities have to work together to counter all this. Together we can be much stronger than if we try to do it separately."

Ronson added "when Islamophobia hurts Muslims, it also hurts Jews."

The launching of the program at the House of Lords was attended by Baroness Sayeeda Hussain Warsi, the first Muslim woman to serve in the British cabinet.


Grampian Police complaints and race crime reports rise (UK)

Grampian Police has been told to take action after a large rise in complaints against officers and reports of racially-motivated crimes.

Complaints against officers increased by almost 70% from just under 300 in 2006/07 to almost 500 in 2009/10, according to a new report.

The number of reported racially-motivated crimes rose from 449 to 879.

However, detection rates improved from 59.9% in 2006/07 to 69.3%, above the the Scottish average.

The Accounts Commission and Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary for Scotland compiled the report.

It said Grampian Police and the joint police board performed well, but that more progress could be made.

The report said that the force considers members of the public are more prepared to make complaints because they have confidence in its willingness to deal with them.
Continue reading the main story
“Start Quote

    Levels of public satisfaction are high and improving and, overall, crime rates in the area are falling”

End Quote Andrew Laing Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary

It said that evidence suggests that the force was meticulous in recording complaints and this, coupled with changes in recording processes, may have accounted for some of the increase.

The report revealed an overall reduction in recorded crimes since 2006/07 and crimes of violence, indecency, dishonesty and reckless behaviour were at their lowest level for seven years.

Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary, Andrew Laing, said: "Grampian Police force is performing well and demonstrates many of the elements of best value.

"Levels of public satisfaction are high and improving and, overall, crime rates in the area are falling.

"However, it is unclear why recorded instances of racially-motivated crime and complaints against the police have increased and the force should make further efforts to understand and explain this."
'Excellent report'

The force and the board are to produce an improvement plan to show how they intend to address the findings.

Chief Constable Colin McKerracher said: "This is an excellent report that acknowledges the tremendous effort that has gone into our strategy for delivering the highest quality of policing for the people of the north east of Scotland.

"Over the past few years we have seen our officer numbers rise, crime rates across the region fall to a seven-year low and with detection rates for violent crime at their highest level over the same period."

The force said it recognised and acknowledged the areas for improvement.

BBC News

Court ruling pushes race-hate thugs underground (Russia)

The Moscow Prosecutor’s Office has suspended the activities of the Movement Against Illegal Immigration (DPNI) and will seek a court decision to declare it an extremist organization. The movement’s leaders warn that this will only force their members to go underground and that it risks sparking repeat riots on Manezh Square.

The Moscow Prosecutor’s Office investigated whether the Movement Against Illegal Immigration was within the law and concluded that “it is pursuing extremist goals and objectives.” Prosecutor Yury Semin personally signed the ruling suspending the group’s activity, his next move will be to seek a court ruling banning it.

Movement spokesmen told Gazeta.ru that they had only just received a copy of the ruling. “Plainclothes officers from the Moscow anti-extremism squad gave the document to movement leader Vladimir Yermolayev in Gostiny Dvor, where we had a news conference scheduled for today,” Alexander Belov (Potkin), DPNI’s informal leader, said. He believes the authorities chose not to warn them about the ban so as not to spark a protest.
Now Belov and his followers propose “taking all possible legal action.” But he is less than confident that the ruling will be in his favor. “There is no real court system here so the decision will be a formality,” Belov said. Even after the ban, which Belov describes as a done deal, the Dpni.org site and “public control centers” will stay in the open – units of the movement that render legal aid to “people in conflict situations,” i.e. nationalists facing extremism charges.

“The authorities have banned the largest nationalist organization and the need for a large-scale national-oriented political structure is now more pressing than ever before,” Belov argues. He is confident that a right-wing party will appear in Russia, though he is not going to register one formally. He has a stark warning for the authorities: the nationalists will call people out onto the streets.

Dmitry Demushkin, former leader of Slavic Union, said exactly that almost a year ago: “We will simply stop reining in the ‘autonomous’ gangs, who knife Tajiks and blow up markets.” However, when the Slavic Union was banned in April 2010, human rights activists did not observe any spike in the activity of neo-Nazi killers on Russian streets: legal nationalists and ‘autonomous’ cells essentially do not cooperate with each other, while autonomous radicals fill their blogs, forums and online communities with repeated calls to kill both Demushkin and Belov, deeming them traitors.”

No deadline has been set for examining the ban. The precedent is not encouraging: only a few days after the Slavic Union was banned, Demushkin set up a new nationalist organization registered under the name of Slavic Force.


Neo-Nazi worked at Zurich university (Switzerland)

The University of Zurich’s student newspaper revealed today that a neo-Nazi had been working in their philosophy department for four years.

In 1999 the unnamed man was convicted in Dortmund, Germany for spraying swastikas and slogans promoting labour camps on walls. He was seen as someone who could take the neo-Nazi scene in Dortmund forward and had founded a local arm of the German Nationalists party.

As subsequently reported by the 20 Minuten newspaper, the person did not have their contract renewed at the end of last year after colleagues found out about his past, and because there was not enough progress in his doctoral thesis.

The Dean of the Philosophy, Professor Bernd Roeck, said it was unfortunate that someone with such a past took the assistant position at the expense of others.

World Radio

Arlington man pleads guilty to federal hate crime at mosque (USA)

An Arlington man pleaded guilty in federal court on Wednesday to a hate crime at an Arlington mosque this past summer when he set fire to playground equipment at the mosque.

Henry Glaspell, 34, faces a maximum 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for July 11.

According to court documents, attorneys in the case are recommending a 14-month sentence, but the presiding judge is not bound by that recommendation.

During the plea hearing, Glaspell admitted that he set fire to playground equipment at the mosque in July as part of a series of ethnically motivated acts directed at individuals of Arab or Middle Eastern descent associated with the mosque, a U.S. Justice Department news release said.

Glaspell also admitted that he stole and damaged mosque property, threw used cat litter at the front door of the mosque, and shouted racial or ethnic slurs at individuals of Arab or Middle Eastern descent at the mosque on multiple occasions, according to the release.

This is the 50th prosecution of post-Sept. 11, 2001, backlash against Arab and Muslim Americans, the release said.

Jamal Qaddura, spokesman for the Tarrant County Islamic community, said surveillance cameras at the Dar El-Eman Islamic Center, 5511 Mansfield Road, caught Glaspell spray-painting graffiti and setting fire to playground equipment valued at more than $11,800.

Qaddura said he will ask people from the mosque to help him craft a victims' impact statement to deliver to the court prior to sentencing.

"I am praying for him and wish him all the best," Qaddura said. "I and the community have asked God to forgive him, but he has to pay his debt to society."


Wednesday, 23 February 2011

American comes face to face with Nazi who signed family death warrant

The world's leading Nazi hunter has described as “sheer nonsense” the attempt by an American man to sue a former assistant of SS chief Heinrich Himmler.

Mark Gould (43) went under-cover in Germany’s neo-Nazi scene to meet and befriend Bernhard Frank, a 97-year-old former SS lieutenant colonel in Himmler’s office.

Mr Gould accuses Mr Frank of responsibility for the murder of countless Jews in the Holocaust, including some of his relatives. He claims Mr Frank’s signature can be found on an order from Himmler from July 28th, 1941, for the mass execution of Jews on the Polish-Ukrainian border.

The order contains the sentence “if the population is of lesser racial or human value . . . then all are to be shot” – something Mr Gould suggests is the first written proof of the looming genocide.

He has filed a civil suit against Mr Frank in Washington, claiming he was responsible under the 1941 order for the resulting attack on Ukrainian village Korets in which members of his family perished.

Talking to Bild tabloid yesterday about his undercover investigation, Mr Gould said he spent four years pretending to be a wealthy neo-Nazi from the US.

He filmed many lengthy interviews with Mr Frank, in one of which, in halting English, he can be heard saying: “With Himmler I had a very good relationship, he loved me, and I can only say he was a good man.”

Eventually Mr Gould confronted the elderly man, telling him he was his enemy. “My enemy, why?” asked Mr Frank.

“Because you killed my family,” replied Mr Gould.

The work of Mr Gould has its defenders, including Stephen Smith, founder of Britain’s Holocaust Centre, but others have questioned his self-styled crusade.

Mr Gould, a former trader of Nazi memorabilia, is not Jewish; the family that perished may have been relations of the Jewish man his mother later married.

Efraim Zuroff of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem suggests Mr Gould is a self-promoter, pointing to a pending book and film deal. He describes Mr Frank as a “glorified proof-reader” in Himmler’s office and describes his continued belief in Nazi ideology as irrelevant for a prosecution.

The 97-year-old man lives in Frankfurt, he has never hidden from view, is known to German prosecutors and even published his autobiography five years ago.

“Gould is claiming Bernhard Frank is the guy who started the Holocaust, which is sheer nonsense,” said Mr Zuroff.

Irish Times


Mikael Svensson, a Sweden Democrat (SD) serving on Burlöv municipal council in southern Sweden, has resigned his post after being convicted of assaulting a woman in the face with a motorcycle helmet.

Svensson handed in his resignation on Monday following a conviction for assault last week when he was sentenced to probation and community service, reported the local Sydsvenskan daily. Despite insisting as late as Friday that he would remain in his post, Svensson handed in his resignation to the council on Monday following internal party discussion over the weekend. "We have discussed within the party, since he was convicted for this incident, that he should resign his post in the council and that he has agreed to do," said Lennart Glans of Burlöv Sweden Democrats to the newspaper.

The incident in question occurred in September 2010 outside Mikael Svensson's home in Arlöv. According to the police report of the incident, Svensson was helping someone park their car on the street when the 30-year-old woman sounded her car horn, at which point he pulled open her car door and assaulted her with his motorcycle helmet. The report detailed that the woman sustained redness and bruising. Svensson furthermore hit the car so hard with his helmet that it sustained damage. Mikael Svensson has denied the charges and indicated that he is considering an appeal of the district court ruling.

The Local Sweden


An open jury trial over the 2009 twin killing of lawyer and rights activist Stanislav Markelov and liberal Novaya Gazeta reporter Anastasia Baburova started in the Moscow City Court on Monday, Interfax reported. Alleged ultranationalists Nikita Tikhonov, 30, and Yevgenia Khasis, 25, are charged over the attack, but plead not guilty to murder charges. The 34-year-old Markelov, who often represented victims of ultranationalists' attacks in court, was gunned down in broad daylight in downtown Moscow. Baburova was shot dead when she tried to stop the attacker. Markelov represented the mother of Alexander Ryukhin, an activist fighting hate crime in Moscow, who was shot dead in 2006, anti-xenophobia watchdog Sova reported. Tikhonov was one of the people charged in the case.

Several neo-Nazi attackers were convicted over Ryukhin's death in a 2007 trial, but Tikhonov escaped arrest and went into hiding. He was detained along with his girlfriend, Khasis, in 2009, months after Markelov's shooting. The two requested sanction to marry while in pretrial detention, but the investigators denied the request, allegedly believing it an attempt by suspects to gain good publicity ahead of the trial. Tikhonov, who was on the run from the law over Ryukhin's murder, admitted Monday to charges of use of forged documents and illegal firearms possession, but denied killing the lawyer and the reporter. Tikhonov also admitted that he had no alibi for the day of the 2009 shooting, but said killing Markelov was pointless, because charges in Ryukhin's murder were levied by police, not the lawyer.

The Moscow Times

Cameron says UK prejudiced for believing Muslims cannot manage democracy (UK)

Prime minister will tell Kuwait national assembly that Britain was wrong to prop up 'highly controlling regimes' as way of ensuring stability.

Britain has been guilty of a prejudice bordering on racism for believing that Muslims cannot manage democracy, David Cameron will say as he recasts foreign policy in light of protests across the Arab world.

In a speech at the national assembly in Kuwait, the prime minister will abandon decades of so-called "camel corps" diplomacy by saying Britain was wrong to prop up "highly controlling regimes" as a way of ensuring stability.

Cameron – who is facing anger in the UK for placing defence exports at the heart of his long-planned visit to the Gulf – will use the speech to show that Britain is promoting political reform in the region.

The prime minister, who attended a ceremony in Kuwait with Sir John Major to mark the 20th anniversary of the first Gulf war, said: "Now, once again, this region is the epicentre of momentous changes, but pursued in a very different way. History is sweeping through your neighbourhood."

Cameron, who on Monday visited the scene of the demonstrations in Tahrir Square in Cairo that toppled President Hosni Mubarak, said the protests had highlighted a hunger for freedom across the Middle East.

He depicted the protests as "movements of the people" that were not ideological or extremist.

But he indicated that the demonstrations presented a challenge for Britain as he dismissed as a "false choice" the old calculation that authoritarian regimes needed to be supported as the price of ensuring stability.

"For decades, some have argued that stability required controlling regimes and that reform and openness would put that stability at risk," Cameron said.

"So, the argument went, countries like Britain faced a choice between our interests and our values. And to be honest, we should acknowledge that sometimes we have made such calculations in the past."

He added: "But I say that is a false choice. As recent events have confirmed, denying people their basic rights does not preserve stability – rather, the reverse."

The prime minister said Britain and other western countries cannot impose any democratic model on the Arab world, but stressed: "That's not an excuse, as some would argue, to claim that Arabs or Muslims can't do democracy – the so-called Arab exception.

"For me, that's a prejudice that borders on racism. It's offensive and wrong and it's simply not true."

Cameron's speech has been designed to lay to rest decades of British foreign policy which held that authoritarian regimes in the Gulf must be supported to guarantee stability. The strongest example is Britain's close relationship with Saudi Arabia.

The prime minister will not be visiting Saudi Arabia during his three-day tour of the Gulf. This is because King Abdullah is in poor health and not because Cameron wants to distance the UK from the kingdom.

He is also distancing himself from US neocons who believe democracy can be imposed.

Cameron outlined his thinking on this issue on Monday in Cairo, when he said: "Democracy is an important part of our foreign policy.

"But I am not a naive neocon who thinks you can drop democracy out of an aeroplane at 40,000ft or that, simply by holding an election, you have satisfied the needs of democracy. You have had plenty of elections in Egypt, but that does not mean you have had a functioning democracy."

He developed this theme in his speech at the Kuwaiti national assembly in which he said the "building blocks" of democracy – an independent judiciary, free media and a "proper place" for the army – had to be laid with care.

"Democracy is the work of patient craftmanship – it has to be built from the grassroots up," he said. "It can't be done overnight."

The prime minister outlined his approach to foreign policy in Kuwait because Britain believes its national assembly is a strong example of democracy in the Gulf.

Its 50 members are elected by universal suffrage, though the majority of the population, many of whom come from the Indian sub-continent, do not have the vote. There are four woman members.

The Kuwaiti prime minister, Sheikh Nasser Mohammed al-Ahmed al-Sabah, who was summoned for a grilling last year, only survived a confidence vote by 25 votes to 23.

The Guardian

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

The Hate Destroyer: Retired Woman Defaces Neo-Nazi Graffiti

We usually look down on people who destroy others' work, but we'll let Irmela Mensah-Schramm slide. Armed with spray-paint and a scraper, she's spending her retirement hunting down Neo-Nazi graffiti in Berlin and defacing it beyond recognition. She's been at it for 25 years, and has now told her story to Italian filmmakers Vincenzo Caruso and Fabrizio Lussu for their upcoming documentary, The Hate Destroyer.

Even though her work is destructive, it would be wrong to say nothing's created in the process. By letting Berliners walk through their streets without having to look at Neo-Nazi slogans and symbols, she's made a more mature city, one more capable of self-reflection and even self-censorship. Mensah-Schramm has endowed Berlin with the same indignant attitude she feels for the Nazi-nostalgics; she couldn't do more if she'd gone and put up her own graffiti.



 Nearly 70 years later, Athens, one of the last European capitals to commemorate those who perished at the hands of Nazi forces, finally has a Holocaust memorial. But since its dedication in May, synagogues have been targeted, Jewish cemeteries desecrated, Holocaust monuments elsewhere in Greece vandalized and the Jewish Museum of Greece, in the capital, defaced with swastikas. What's more, an alarming chunk of Athenians in November supported the election of a neo-Nazi candidate to the capital's city council. The ocher-colored marble sculpture in the shape of a broken-up Star of David, its triangular tips dismembered, points toward the 29 Greek cities from which at least 60,000 Jews were gathered and deported to the Auschwitz and Treblinka extermination camps between 1943 and 1944. The deaths of these victims are memorialized amid striking serenity. Set within a patch of olive and almond trees, and its pieces embedded alongside an herb garden of lavender, marjoram and thyme, the sculpture symbolizes survival and healing. Or is supposed to.

Although anti-Semitism is an old and shameful part of Europe's history, Greece, more than many European nations, continues to wrestle with strong anti-Jewish feelings. Such sentiments have been revived amid the angst and anger of the Greek economic crisis. "We've always been under siege by fanatics and far-right political movements here," said David Saltiel, president of the Central Jewish Board of Greece, which represents the country's 6,000 Jews. "The fear now is that anti-Semitism will get worse with the financial crisis." Well into the nation's worst recession in 17 years, the government in Athens was thrown a bailout lifeline of $146 billion by the European Union and International Monetary Fund last year in exchange for draconian reforms and cost-cutting measures designed to slash the country's yawning budget deficit, equal to 15.4% of gross domestic product. The measures are thought to be responsible for a surge in hate crimes against minorities by Greeks venting rage over rising unemployment and immigration.

Strapped for cash, the Socialist government has been aggressively wooing rich sovereign investors, tapping into deep pockets in China, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and, now, Israel. This month, scores of Jewish American leaders arrived in Athens to advance Israel's revived relations with Greece, but not all here were happy to see yarmulkes on Greek streets, much less in the offices of senior politicians, including the country's president. "We're in danger!" warned renowned composer Mikis Theodorakis, who in the course of a television interview openly conceded that he was an anti-Semite. "Zionism and it leaders are here, meeting in our country! "This is no laughing matter," he railed, berating Zionism and its "control over America and the banking system that Greece is now a victim of." Such beliefs aren't new. Nor are they just Greek. What's different in Greece is the level of tolerance for anti-Semitism.

"There is zip, zilch, zero reaction to any semblance of anti-Semitism," said human rights activist Panayotes Dimitras, "leaving the door wide-open for extremists to come in and exploit this phobic society, more so now, in this time of crisis."  Some critics fault the country's Jewish organizations for shunning quick public reaction to attacks; others point to the attitude of some church prelates and to Greece's failure to come to terms with its once-multicultural identity and harrowing past. "Whatever the cause," said Anna Stai of the Anti-Nazi Initiative, "Greece can no longer sit in denial about its anti-Jewish feelings. It's dangerous."

Take the case of Konstantinos Plevris. A self-avowed anti-Semite and Holocaust denier, the 70-year-old lawyer was sentenced to 14 months in prison in 2007 for inciting racial hatred with his book "Jews: The Whole Truth." In 2009, the decision was overturned, and a year later, the Supreme Court upheld Plevris' acquittal, arguing that his "scientific work" did not target the Jews as a race or religion but, rather, their "conspiratorial pursuit of global domination," according to a copy of the 2010 decision. World Jewish organizations kicked up a storm in protest, but in Athens, mainstream news media offered scant coverage of the ruling and the government remained silent.

Two weeks ago, Stai and other members of the Anti-Nazi Initiative traveled to Brussels to lobby for support from European lawmakers. "There is such a strong undercurrent of anti-Jewish feeling in Greece," said Dimitras, the human rights activist, "that any hope of drawing attention to the problem must now come from outside pressure." Others say there is still hope within. "We're at a turning point as a society today," said Zanet I. Battinou, standing before a scale model of the Holocaust memorial showcased at the Jewish Museum of Greece, which she directs. "If we found the courage to take on responsibility for the financial mess we find ourselves in today, then we can take responsibility in facing down one of our worst traits." If anything, she quips, "we're running out of scapegoats."

LA Times

Landlord who served EDL loses his licence (UK)

A pub landlord who defied police by selling alcohol to English Defence League members before their Bolton town centre demonstration last March has lost his licence.

Simon Kirkpatrick had his sentence increased after his appeal against his conviction failed.

Bolton Crown Court, sitting at Bury Magistrates’ Court, heard that Kirkpatrick opened the Stags Head in Deane at 9am on March 20 last year and allowed drinks to be sold.

Pubs had been reminded of their licensing conditions ahead of the EDL rally as part of a large-scale operation to keep public order in the town centre.

Last September, Kirkpatrick, aged 39, of Haynes Street, Morris Green, was convicted of displaying alcohol for sale and knowingly allowing the sale of alcohol otherwise in accordance with his licence.

The court heard that the pub had been visited by police two days before the rally to remind Kirkpatrick that he was not allowed to sell alcohol before 11am.

The court heard that EDL supporters were at the pub on March 20, drinking and chanting and being “rowdy”.

Licensing officer PC Natalie Dolan told the court that she saw Kirkpatrick laughing and “in good spirits”.

Police had to organise buses to take the EDL supporters into the town centre because of concern about them walking through Deane.

The court refused Kirkpatrick’s appeal, and he must now forfeit his personal licence. He was also ordered to pay £625 costs.

The Bolton News

Headteacher sues her own school in racism row (UK)

A headteacher is suing her school claiming parents called her "that bloody Indian woman".

Sudhana Singh, 44, said a group of parents made her life a misery, while children at Moorlands primary school in Reading had "deeply held racist attitudes". She said she made a formal complaint about "acute racism" among parents.

A total of 169 parents are believed to have signed a petition calling for Mrs Singh to be sacked.

She is suing the school's governing body and the council for alleged race discrimination, harassment and victimisation.

The council and the governing body deny the claims. They cite an inquiry's findings that Mrs Singh could be "intimidating".

This is London

Monday, 21 February 2011

Police raid anti-fascists' offices after Dresden violence (Germany)

Police raided offices used by anti-fascists in Dresden on Saturday evening after violence erupted when demonstrators hindered three neo-Nazi marches through the city.

A spokesman for the group "Dresden Nazifrei!" said that officers from the state criminal police (LKA) seized ten laptops and six mobile phones when they stormed the group’s press office, as well as offices belonging to the Left Party and a lawyer.

Left Party MP Katja Kipping said around 20 balaclava-clad LKA officers stormed the "House of Encounter" where the "Dresden Nazifrei!" and Left Party have their offices at around 5.30 pm on Saturday, just as the demonstrations and clashes in Dresden were dying down.

She said the doors were smashed open and several volunteers working there handcuffed and forced to sit on the floor. The officers said they suspected a crime and a trespassing violation were being organised there. Kipping said the raid was excessive, while the spokesman for "Dresden Nazifrei!" said it could have been a revenge attack.

Thousands of people managed to disrupt the three neo-Nazi marches planned for Saturday in Dresden with sit-down protests and road-blocks. Violence flared when some anti-fascists tried to break through police lines to get to where the neo-Nazis were gathering.

Police said on Sunday that more than 50 officers were injured and around the same number of demonstrators arrested.

At times the protests resembled a riot as demonstrators vandalized cars, set rubbish bins on fire and pelted police with stones, bottles and fireworks. Officers reacted with water cannon and pepper spray.

The Local Germany

Voting reformer gets the sack for 'anti-Islam tweet'

A voting reform campaigner was sacked today after posting an "outrageous Islamophobic" joke on Twitter.

Ben Donnelly was dismissed from his volunteer post as a phone bank manager for the Yes To Fairer Votes campaign after his comments provoked a political storm.

And he could yet face disciplinary action from Kidbrooke School in Greenwich, where he works part time as a visiting saxophone instructor.

The Yes to Fairer Votes campaign, which wants a switch from first-past-the-post to the alternative vote (AV), moved quickly to axe Mr Donnelly after details of his tweet were leaked to the Standard.

Posted yesterday afternoon, it read: "Says in the Holy Qu'ran Mohammad used to get his neighbours to vote by AV which of his 4 wives he'd shag each night."

Muslim groups were outraged, with Labour MP Khalid Mahmood calling for Mr Donnelly to be referred to the police. "This is outrageous and totally Islamophobic," Mr Mahmood said. "What has Islam got to do with AV?"

Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of Muslim youth organisation the Ramadhan Foundation, described the joke as "disgusting".

A Yes campaign spokesman said: "These comments were utterly disgraceful. Conduct like this will not be accepted by the campaign. We apologise for any offence taken and are as offended by these appalling comments as any other right-thinking person."

Mr Donnelly issued a statement through the Yes campaign saying sorry for the tweet, which has been deleted from his account.

"I apologise unreservedly for any offence caused," it read. "My comments were thoughtless and I bitterly regret them."

The Yes campaign spokesman added that Mr Donnelly had only done one shift for the group in London, though an online CV claimed he managed the group's Cambridge office for two months last year.

This is London


At least 82 police officers were injured when protests against a planned neo-Nazi rally in the German city of Dresden turned violent, officials said Sunday, expressing shock at the brutality shown by both far-right and far-left extremists. Some of the injuries were serious, Dresden police chief Dieter Hanitsch said. Officials had initially spoken of 50 injured officers. Michael Wilhelm, state secretary of the Saxony Interior Ministry, demanded that those responsible be punished. Thousands of anti-fascist demonstrators took to the streets on Saturday to prevent right-wing extremist marches to the city centre. Some of them threw paving stones, bottles and fireworks at officers, while the police deployed truncheons, tear gas and water cannons to prevent them from breaking into an area reserved for the right-wing extremists. Officials had expected 4,000 neo-Nazis to stream into the city for their approved rally, but only a fraction showed up. More than 50 demonstrators were ultimately detained for violating assembly laws, committing assault and resisting law enforcement.



Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s National Front, is not exactly Daddy’s girl.

Monday morning in Lille, France. At the regional council meeting, Marine Le Pen, a shock of blonde in casual black, is taunting the chairman. Le Pen, the new leader of the far-right National Front, has been making mischief all morning, sniping jovially with colleagues when it isn’t her turn, just loud enough to be heard across the floor. The chairman wants to move on to council business; she wants to tease him about the latest gossip, a judge arrested for influence peddling. The chairman is a Socialist, like the deposed mayor of Hénin-Beaumont, the small town she represents, who was ousted by a corruption scandal, and she just can’t resist giving the screws another turn. “Shut up!” the chairman erupts. “No! You will not speak to me that way!” Le Pen fires back, nearly out of her seat. The little red light on her microphone is off, but her deep, booming rasp rips through the chamber regardless. “I will speak to you the way you speak! You’re not the only one who can howl! Shut up!”

Before lunch, Le Pen will go on to slam issues such as carpool lanes, genetically modified endives, and “anti-white, anti-French racism.” She says white shopkeepers are being “persecuted” in Roubaix, a former textile capital among the poorest towns in France. When she laments the “last non-halal butcher shop,” opponents groan loudly, as if they’ve heard this before. Then the whole assembly retires to the buffet. Welcome to the new-look National Front, advanced by Marine Le Pen, who last month took over the leadership of the party her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, founded almost 40 years ago. And for all the trouble he gave opponents through all those years, his daughter has so far proved a tougher mark. Even before taking the helm of the party, she showed she could set the national agenda, and President Nicolas Sarkozy often looks to be responding to her salvos—whether against “Islamization” or the euro—in real time.

Mainstream parties, including Sarkozy’s center-right Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) and the opposition Socialists, had been reluctant to speak her name openly, however, lest they give her the oxygen of publicity. And they have reason to be worried. France’s next presidential election is just a year away, and as many as 45 percent of Sarkozy’s own voters say they like her ideas. A poll last Friday showed she could score 20 percent in the first round next year, making her the “third man” her dad once was. Forty percent think she can repeat his biggest upset and make it into a runoff. The presidency seems out of reach, but she doesn’t poll like a pariah: 68 percent think she is “courageous,” 50 percent feel she understands their problems, and 37 percent believe she’s “nice.”

In a big prime-time TV appearance in December, she talked circles around the lightweights the mainstream parties sent to debate her. Unlikely as that may once have seemed, a Le Pen has become France’s new media darling. Marine’s profile is surely more prime-time-friendly than her father’s. At 42, she is 40 years younger than he is. She is twice divorced and pro-choice, both of which count as modern for the National Front. She is a single mother to Jehanne, 12, named after Joan of Arc, and twins Louis and Mathilde, 11. “To lead a party and be a presidential candidate, you need qualities that are almost contradictory—it’s very difficult to find them in the same person,” the 82-year-old Jean-Marie Le Pen tells NEWSWEEK. “Marine has that mix. She’s able to lead the party while turning outwards and making the ideas accessible and appealing.”

Le Pen himself seemed more sinister. For years, the ex-paratrooper hid an eye injury under a pirate-style patch. He made headlines with equivocal remarks about Nazis and the Holocaust. Opponents could portray him as the slippery slope toward fascism in French politics. When he placed second in the 2002 presidential election, millions marched in shock and horror. Still “honorary president” of the party, Le Pen père lives in Rueil-Malmaison, an upscale Paris suburb, with his second wife, Jany, a couple of Ibizan greyhounds, and three cats. He’ll admit to no regrets about “passing the baton” to his third and youngest daughter, even if she is more popular than he ever was. “She’s the second stage of the rocket,” Le Pen père says. “She can now strive for objectives I couldn’t reach because there needed to be the basic infrastructure first.”

In 1976, when Marine was 8, a 45-pound bomb meant for her father destroyed their entire Paris apartment building. Incredibly, there were no fatalities, except the family poodle, Rainbow.  By the time she joined her father on the campaign trail for a week while in high school, she had seen his party office burned down. When she was 16, her mother, Pierrette, ran off with the reporter writing her father’s biography, and the bitter divorce played out in the tabloids. When Pierrette posed nude for Playboy in 1987, it became a national joke. At the time, Marine was 19, in law school, and mortified. For the next 15 years, she and her mother didn’t speak. Marine’s toxic surname quickly ended her first career as a defense lawyer, paving the way for her to enter the family business. But working for her dad wasn’t always easy. In 2005 she fell out with her father, angry that he was feeding the image she wanted changed when he told an extremist magazine, “The German occupation wasn’t particularly inhumane.” Eventually she returned. For Marine Le Pen, there was no way out of the party; there was only up within it.

During the last presidential election, four years ago, Sarkozy trounced the National Front, winning over the party’s voters by talking tough on security and immigration while promising the blue-collar “France that wakes up early” that it could “work more to earn more.” It dropped Le Pen to 10 percent, a far cry from his 2002 performance. In fact, Le Pen’s party did so poorly in legislative elections that it didn’t qualify for campaign financing and lost two thirds of its public subsidies. It has laid off three quarters of its staff since then and can’t find a buyer for “the Steamship,” its empty old headquarters in St-Cloud, a Paris suburb. But once elected, Sarkozy quickly disappointed far-right voters—along with just about everyone else. Although he tried to weaken rivals by cherry-picking ideas and even big names from his opponents on both the left and the right, his sundry promises foundered on poor follow-through and the recession. Sarkozy pledged to make politics respectable again, but he seems unable to shake the scandals that have dogged him. Stoking fears—he made national priorities of banning the burqa and deporting the Roma—has proved easier than being effective. His approval rating has dipped to an abysmal 24 percent.

Meanwhile, Marine Le Pen is rejuvenating her father’s party by calling the president’s bluff. In her office in Lille, she’s all brash confidence, chain-smoking Philip Morris Super Lights, which, no doubt, contribute to the trademark rasp in her voice. An all-news channel, on mute, loops between the corruption trial of former president Jacques Chirac and Sarkozy greeting the French handball team. When Le Pen is asked about Sarkozy’s tough talk on security, she plays an imaginary flute, the derisive French pantomime for “nonsense,” and cites law-enforcement cuts. She knows National Front supporters are so sick of Sarkozy that, given the choice, many would even elect a Socialist over him.

The floor-to-ceiling view from her office is bleak. Elevated highways cut through thick fog, and gray commuter trains snake through the rail yards below. This is France’s northern rust belt, the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region, industrial heartland turned byword for decline. The blur between Paris and London that travelers glimpse from the Eurostar is a symbolic staging ground for the Marine makeover of the party. Her father sank electoral roots in the south: in Provence, part of the Alps, and the Côte d’Azur. His base there—retirees, Army vets, and conservative pieds-noirs, French nationals repatriated from colonial Algeria who never forgave Charles de Gaulle for pulling out in 1962—responded to particular stimuli: immigration, security, and off-color jokes, with economics an afterthought.

Up north, in these old communist bastions, Marine stumps for a strong state (crediting de Gaulle himself) and for nationalizing strategic industries such as energy and banking. Social benefits are great, just not for immigrants who imperil the whole system. She blasts “fundamentalist capitalism” and greedy banks, and says she can criticize rising prices and the euro because she buys her own groceries. “Nicolas Sarkozy tells us, ‘We’ll save the euro at any cost.’ OK, let’s talk about the cost: the disappearance of social policies!” she says. It’s the sort of talk the younger working-class families here can relate to better than her dad’s old war stories. And the depressed north feels a lot like a political boot camp for the rest of the country. Blasting the local elites lining their pockets is good policy with so many Sarkozy ministers in trouble: 29 percent of French people surveyed think corruption is rising.

She has also made a catchphrase of “de-demonizing” her party, gambling that it attracts voters despite the dubious Holocaust references, not because of them. And so when she says, “The [Nazi] camps were the summit of barbarity,” it actually becomes a headline. “I think submitting to demonization, or trying to provoke it, is a mistake,” Marine tells NEWSWEEK over blanched asparagus in the council cafeteria in Lille. She says the shaved-head and bomber-jacket types who hung around the party are unwelcome. She has shown the door to “anti-Semites, extremists, and extreme-right guys.” “I said I didn’t want them, and the 68 percent of folks at the Front [who voted for me] said they didn’t want them, either. So at least that problem’s solved,” she claims.

But her remodeled party is far from soft. She comes at many of the same themes her father did—immigration isn’t less of a scourge in the update—but she does it from different angles. She doesn’t mind being called a populist. “If it’s a choice between extreme right, fascist, Nazi, or just populist, I find that pretty nice,” she says, breaking into the same raucous laughter her father does at his own jokes. “Honestly, I don’t see what there is in our program that fits ‘extreme right,’?” she says. “When David Cameron says ‘stop’ to the 200,000 immigrants a year, saying they should be limited to a few tens of thousands, no one says Cameron is fascist.” Going against the system seems mainstream today. “I’m reading Joseph Stiglitz’s latest book, and he says exactly what I’m saying. He says those who helped build the global economic system should surrender their aprons”—as in get out of the kitchen.

Her masterstroke is in the new vernacular she brings. It is calibrated for a new crowd, a new era intolerant in new ways, three years into an epic economic crisis that has politicians selling protection. The days of petites phrases about the Holocaust, it would seem, are over. “Nostalgia for [Marshal Philippe] Pétain or French Algeria doesn’t speak to her, or [National Front] people of her generation,” says Sylvain Crépon, a sociologist at Nanterre University who studies the far right. “Anti-Semitism does nothing for them. They don’t see Jews everywhere, or a Jewish conspiracy.” But it would be a mistake to call Jean-Marie’s daughter “Le Pen lite.” “On a number of subjects, I am a lot stricter than my father,” she says. “On the [Muslim] headscarf, I am stricter than him … He thinks that sort of behavior lets French people grasp the extent of immigration in our country,” she says, talking tactics. But she argues “Islamization” is just a consequence, less visible 20 years ago, of the rampant immigration he always rebuked. “There wasn’t the headscarf, there weren’t ‘cathedral mosques’ going up on every corner,” she says, without betraying her hyperbole. “There weren’t people praying in the street. Our children didn’t have to not eat pork because it bothers some people,” she scoffs.

Couching old rhetoric in terms new to the National Front, analysts say, is clever. Take “secularism.” The silent sister of liberté, égalité, fraternité has been a cardinal value of every political movement but the far right, where fundamentalist Catholics are loath to divorce state from church. Indeed, for some far-right purists, Marine Le Pen’s semantic creativity amounts to party heresy. “These are people who pretend to believe that when Marine talks about secularism, she’s in line with people who fought Catholicism a century ago,” her father says with a sneer. “But Marine is in favor of secularism against the surge of Islam.” Secularism makes a handy alibi for the French republic when she criticizes swimming pools that cater to Muslims with women-only hours. That subtle shift in tone is today a popular device of European far-right leaders, like the Netherlands’ Geert Wilders. What makes it a real challenge is that instead of the old knee-jerk diatribes against Arabs or North Africans, “this xenophobic discourse against Islam, against a religion, [is framed] in the name of the defense of liberal values, like women’s rights, gay rights, freedom of religion,” says Crépon. “It’s something that can really work, electorally speaking.”

It’s a strategy that makes the National Front more palatable to moderates. “You have leftists, even very anti-racist leftists, who can relate to Marine Le Pen’s comments because they strike out at a religion,” says Gaël Sliman of BVA, a polling company. “France historically was shaped against religion.” In December, Le Pen likened Muslims praying in the streets to an occupation. In fact, the worshipers in the streets were overflow from mosques too small for Friday prayers, and political rivals jeered that Le Pen employed the same shtick as her dad. Among the public, though, it was popular: polls showed 39 percent agreed with her, including a majority (54 percent) of Sarkozy’s UMP supporters. “Despite everything, she is genuinely less radical than her father,” says Crépon. “[But] it is by being a little less dangerous that she can rally a lot more people … for a discourse that is still very intolerant.” And there is already the Le Pen effect. Observers believe Sarkozy will have to pull further right if he wants to get reelected and silence the pied piper in high heels whose imaginary flute could prove attractive to so many French voters.