Anti-Muslim Groups have Tripled: But this isn’t just a US problem – The Guardian

Extract from an article by Mary O’Hara

Crimes perpetrated on the basis of hate are nothing new. They are always with us. The levels, and the groups targeted, tend to ebb and flow with the political tides. However, the recent waves of rightwing populism in the UK and elsewhere have unleashed a hail of such incidents and emboldened those who provoke or endorse them.

In the US, where each new day brings instability and fear under a presidency that has made some of the most offensive tropes around race and immigration mainstream, the latest annual analysis from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) on “hate groups” makes for stark reading. They are defined as having “beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics”. The SPLC has tracked hate crimes and groups for decades. Its latest report reveals that the number of hate groups rose for the second consecutive year in 2016…

None of this occurred in a vacuum. It is set against a backdrop of (now highly visible) rightwing populist movements in the US and beyond. The analysis concludes that a key factor in the most recent upswing in the number of groups was that Trump’s campaign “electrified” the radical right, who “saw in him a champion of the idea that America is fundamentally a white man’s country”. Threats of Muslim bans and building a border wall with Mexico are two of the campaign pledges that fed into this…

The scapegoating of groups including religious minorities and immigrants is a common feature of Brexit Britain and the current US political landscape. But reports like this one tell us that the fuelling of such hate should be countered at every possible opportunity.

SOURCE:  “Anti-Muslim Groups have Tripled: But this isn’t just a US problem.” The Guardian 21 February 2017

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