Thursday, March 29, 2007

All-party Parliamentary Report on Antisemitism

The Government has just announced that it is to have a new strategy to tackle antisemitism in Britain which should be welcomed. However, the words Livingstone, Galloway, nor Respect do not appear in it which is odd.

There is a rather bemusing sentence in the report which is actually a reference to the original All-Parliamentary Report that the Government is responding too. It says,
We conclude the a minority of Islamic extremists in this country do incite hatred towards Jews. The undoubted prejudice and difficulties that British Muslims feel and their justified sense of increasing Islamophobia cannot be used to justify antisemitic words and violence.
Now is it me or that a self-contradictory little conclusion? On the one hand it saying that antisemitism is wrong and totally unjustified, and then on the other it seems to be saying that Muslims' views of Jews are justified, but that they should all just keep quiet about it. Effectively the statement itself has a sub-text that could quite easily be interpreted as a nod toward antisemitism.

Might this explain why the Government itself refused to acknowledge that aspect of it? See page 8, point 15 which shows the above paragraph and then the Governments response which removes it.

3 comments:

Benedict White said...

Sorry, Dizzy, it does not read that way to me at all. It seems to say some Islamic extremists are anti semitic and that is wrong. It also says that there is some feeling of Islamophobia in the Islamic community, but so what, that does not justify anti semitism.

Seems fair enough to me. Though I am a bit concerned that people are equating criticism of Israel and antisemitism more and more which is wrong.

cramerj said...

All these laws and rules about who you can hate will make it very difficult for any future war or fracas.
Maybe that is why we have current war on 'terror'. A real blurry enemy.
Can you make anti hate laws on 'terror'?

Rojas said...

It seems to me that the report is alleging that British Muslims experience prejudice and discrimination generally, not that they experience it at the hands of Jews specifically. So the general message is "yeah, you've got it rough, but don't blame the Jews."

Certainly, though, they ought to have chosen their words more carefully, as a quick reading of the document does leave their meaning unclear in exactly the way you're suggesting. Which is a bad way, as ways go.