Far-right groups are being investigated for potentially breaching Charity Commission rules after the Guardian found they were distributing food and clothes to homeless people.
The fascist party the National Revival of Poland – known as Narodowe Odrodzenie Polski (NOP) – is one of several far-right groups across Britain that have launched charity campaigns.
The NOP’s “White Rescue: Charity campaign for Europeans”, is billed as a whites-only outreach scheme, has involved working with the far-right British group National Front to hand out food to homeless people in Glasgow, Exeter and London.
Idź Pod Prąd, a far-right media organisation that runs local community groups, also claims it is running a club helping Polish veterans in Stoke-on-Trent.
In Newcastle, the English Defence League has been posting on its Facebook page to say it is gathering donations for “homeless outreach” work, which is run by the EDL Angels, the women’s faction of the group.
When approached by the Guardian, a spokesperson said that they did not discriminate and worked with people from a variety of ethnic backgrounds. They claimed the women’s outreach work had been wrongly advertised as being linked with the EDL and as a result, the local chairman resigned on Saturday.
These groups are not authorised charities and in some instances are openly soliciting for donations. Charity Commission rules state that a charity cannot be used as a vehicle for the expression of political or extremist views.
“We will further assess the material … on these organisations’ activities regarding outreach work with the homeless in order to determine whether this presents regulatory concerns and, if so, what regulatory action, if any, may need to be taken,” a spokesperson for the Charity Commission said.
Anti-far right groups described the findings as “very worrying” and said far-right groups were “preying on the vulnerable”.
Fiyaz Mughal, the founder of Faith Matters, which works to reduce extremism, said: “This is a classic way of extremist groups reaching into communities. This is how Islamist extremist and far-right groups try and prey on vulnerable people and on wider populations, by reaching out to the vulnerable and to the needy and then manipulating them over time to their extremist narratives.”
The NOP and Idź Pod Prąd have networks and groups operating in the UK.
On the website of National Front, which has been working with the neo-Nazi NOP in several cities, a post from April 2017, says: “The group has been working across the country to provide support for the homeless and those in need.”
When approached by the Guardian the group responded: “Of course our chary [sic] campaign White Rescue [is] still operational. However, due to false number of text appearing in Guardian about nationalists movements and political parties such as Golden Dawn [an ultranationalist, far-right political party in Greece], we are not interested in providing … any information about our activities.”
Idź Pod Prąd said their club in Stoke-on-Trent organised help for Polish veterans in the UK. It did not respond to a request for comment.
The EDL Newcastle division has been promoting its homeless outreach programme over the winter on Facebook. On 19 January a post said: “Can we please share this group [National East Angels Outreach] its [sic] so people can volunteer to help donate towards the angels outreach programme for the homeless in Newcastle.”
Two visible Muslim women were verbally abused by an abusive male after one of the women requested that he keep his dog on a lead.
The incident happened in the early evening of January 26 at a bus station in the Oxfordshire area. It was the first time the woman had experienced any such abuse having lived in the area for almost two years. Her friend was visiting on holiday and was planning to leave to return home the following day.
The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, contacted Tell MAMA over the weekend to report the incident and has also made Thames Valley Police aware.
She informed our staff that she is uncomfortable around dogs and seeing a dog near her without a lead caused her some anxiety. Sensing her unease, the dog began to bark at her, once the owner arrived, she requested that he put his dog on a lead, he instead responded with a tirade of abuse.
Noticing that both women had shopping with them, he began to aggressively question the contents of their bags, shouting, “What are you smuggling?”. He then pointed at their headscarves and made a racialised remark about ‘you people’.
The woman, however, challenged his behaviour, insisting that she would not stand for his racial abuse, pulling out her mobile to inform him that she intended to film the abuse so she could report him to the police. He countered that he would also report them to the police over the contents of their shopping bags.
He fled the scene once the woman produced her mobile phone.
She describes him as being white, in his 30s, who spoke with a local accent, of medium height with fair hair and a skinny build.
The woman expressed her gratitude for Tell MAMA’s support, adding that “You guys are doing great things.”
Our annual report for 2016 found a range of social impacts caused by anti-Muslim hatred within the United Kingdom. The greatest impact was again felt by visible Muslim women, who wear Islamic clothing, be it the headscarf (hijab) or face veil (niqab).
You can get advice through our confidential and free helpline on 0800 456 1226. Or through our free iOS or Android apps. Report through our online form. Or contact us via WhatsApp on 0734 184 6086.
Aymen Derbali rushed to make Isha (evening) prayers at the Grande mosquée de Québec (Quebec City Islamic Cultural Centre) on January 29, 2017, within minutes of his arrival, a gunman fired two gunshots of the two-storey building.
Derbali’s proximity to the gunman allowed him to shield others from the gunfire. He hoped that this act of bravery would help the gunman waste his bullets until the police arrived. The attack left the 41-year-old father of three paralysed. One bullet severed his spinal cord at the C8 spinal nerve.
His body was so riddled with bullets that doctors were unable to perform an MRI. Fearing that he would not survive, they offered his wife Nedra Zahouani a chance to pull the plug, an offer she refused. She stayed at her husband’s side throughout his two-month medically induced coma.
A crowdfunding effort to help the family buy a new home with the mobility adaptations needed stands at C$327,596 with 12 days remaining. The family has so far received $150,000 in other private donations and from the government’s victim compensation fund.
The tragic events of that evening, however, do not end there, as the attack on the mosque left six dead and 19 injured. It robbed 17 children of their fathers.
Days after the shooting, Canada’s PM Justin Trudeau told parliament: “Make no mistake – this was a terrorist attack.”
The far-right continued to push conspiracy theories about the attack despite media corrections to earlier reporting.
The shooting created an outpouring of solidarity with Muslims in Canada and forced some into the painful act of collective self-reflection, shattering what some felt defined Canadian identity. As PM Trudeau stated, this act of terror was an affront to the Canadian ideals of ‘openness, diversity, and freedom of religion,’ in a country where mass shootings are a rarity compared to its nearest neighbour.
An anniversary vigil will occur at Notre-Dame-de-Foy church, 820 Du Chanoine Martin Street which is close to the sight of the attack. A survivor of the attack and a widow are expected to speak. Senior politicians from across Quebec and PM Trudeau are expected to attend.
The location is close to where hundreds of Canadians marched in solidarity to condemn the terror attack last February. A day after the shootings, thousands took to the streets to condemn the anti-Muslim violence.
A multi-faith event on Sunday heard from the co-founder of the Quebec City Islamic Cultural Centre, Boufeldja Benabdallah, who pleaded for an end to violence and terror. The event brought together friends and family of those affected in the shooting. It also included a First Nations poem, a Jewish chant, Muslim prayers, a performance from a Catholic bishop, and a hymn performed by an Anglican quartet. It ended with a rendition of Leonard Cohen’s classic song ‘Hallelujah’ which replaced that word with ‘Alhamdulillah’ (Praise be to God).
Many in attendance wore badges which read “Je me souviens. Massacre mosquée de Québec 29 Janvier 2017.”
Bruce Myers, bishop of the Anglican diocese of Quebec, has described how efforts to build relations with Muslims in Quebec following the terror attack, has been an ongoing process.
A documentary which captures the aftermath of the attack has recently screened in Canada. The trailer is now on YouTube.
Some Muslims, however, have expressed some doubts about how far such acts of solidarity will endure, given the prevalence of anti-Muslim attitudes among sections the Canadian public, among individual acts of racial violence or abuse.
Stéphane Leman-Langlois, a professor of criminology at Université Laval in Quebec City, told the Toronto Star, that some Canadians also felt emboldened in their attitudes towards Muslims despite condemning the violence.
CBC News found that for many Muslims in Quebec, they continue to navigate daily forms of racism and more overt forms of anti-Muslim abuse. Many, understandably, express a fear of personal safety.
Hate mail sent to the mosque continues to occur, according to its president, Mohamed Labidi.
Others fear that politicians have not learnt to tone down their rhetoric, especially around issues that concern immigration and Islam. Days before residents in the Quebec town of Saint-Apollinaire vote on a Muslim cemetery, a defaced copy of the Qur’an and a note suggesting they use a pig farm for their cemetery, was sent to the Quebec City Islamic Cultural Centre, months after the shooting. Arsonists targeted Mohamed Labidi’s car hours after news of the land sale was confirmed.
There was a rise in anti-Muslim hate crimes against Muslims and Islamic institutions in Quebec City last year. Per Quebec City Police Chief Robert Pigeon, there were 71 recorded hate incidents in the Quebec City area, of that figure, 42 targeted Muslims, up from 21 the previous year. Despite the rise in hate crime, Quebec City lacks a dedicated hate crimes unit.
Across Canada, more broadly, anti-Muslim hate crimes increased by 253 per cent between 2011 and 2015, according to Statistics Canada.
Laws passed to ban the wearing of face veils (niqab or burqa) when giving or receiving public services has been partly suspended in parts of Quebec. But the fierce political debate has had lingering consequences for Muslim women.
Other Muslims have spoken about the employment discrimination they face in Quebec City.
In broader terms, a 2011 study found that the unemployment rates for Muslims stood at 14.8 per cent against a national average of 7.8 per cent, despite many Muslims attaining greater levels of education. In 2016, a poll of Muslims in Canada found that women (42 per cent) were more likely to express that they had faced discrimination than men (27 per cent). A survey of Muslims in Calgary pointed to similar results and a feeling that anti-Muslim discrimination is on the rise. Despite the problems identified in the survey, many Muslims expressed pride in their Canadian identities.
The ‘daily’ attitudinal forms of discrimination amid its institutionalised forms continue to impact on the wellbeing of some Muslims in Canada.
Despite the problems, some also see kernels of hope where they hope that such commemorations will instil a desire in some to continue to push for a more inclusive Canada.
The announcement of Sara Khan as the Head of the Commission for Countering Extremism, has already created a public debate on how extremism should be countered. Sadly, it has also led to the usual ‘trial’ by Twitter, with little regard to the fact that the Commissioner’s role was contested between applicants and a rigorous process of selection undertaken. It is as though, today, if groups do not like someone who ‘fits’ their world view, it is open season to malign, abuse and demean them with little regard to the damage it does to the agenda itself, in this case – countering extremism.
Furthermore, the British public need to know that they are safe in a world where far right and Islamist extremists and terrorists have murdered young children, men and women. Let us not forget the hundreds of British lives, (and the hundreds of thousands overseas), who have been lost because of terrorism.
People do not become terrorists overnight in a vacuum. Multiple factors influence them, including extremist rhetoric which is based on a ‘them and us’ set of beliefs. It is these set of beliefs which the Commission will seek to challenge, as well as other elements. Let us also be clear that there are groups operating here in the UK who foment group-think around ‘them and us’. They need to be challenged and challenged hard, if we are to develop inter-connected communities that see value in each other.
In light of this, countering extremism, its rhetoric and its violent manifestations are not just a ‘Muslim issue’. They are an issue for us all, at a time when there are multiple threats against communities and against our nation. We therefore welcome the start of this process and whether people agree or not with the appointment of Sara Khan, her track record on defending core social values of women’s rights, challenging extremism and pluralism speaks for itself. Let us also not forget the fact that it is not just a handful of groups who shout the loudest who speak for Muslims. Muslims can speak for themselves and we hope that they engage with Khan on her work going forward. The world of ‘community leaders’ is over and that is why this role is even more essential in reaching out beyond those who shout the loudest.
A man who drove a van into Muslim worshippers outside a mosque last June was motivated by deadly Islamist attacks in Britain and an obsession with a television account of Muslim men who targeted white girls, a London court heard on Monday.
Darren Osborne, 48, also lambasted politicians, calling London Mayor Sadiq Khan a disgrace and Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn a “terrorist sympathiser”, prosecutor Jonathan Rees said, quoting from a note he said Osborne left in the van.
The note described Muslim men as rapists, “feral” and “in-bred” and when he was detained after the attack, Osborne said: “At least I had a go”, Rees told Woolwich Crown Court.
Osborne is accused of murdering Makram Ali, 51, a father of six who came to Britain from Bangladesh aged 10, and the attempted murder of other worshippers as they left a mosque in Finsbury Park in north London after late-night Ramadan prayers.
Osborne has denied the accusations.
“The evidence establishes that the defendant was trying to kill as many of the group as possible,” Rees told jurors. “The prosecution say that the note and the comments he made after his detention establish that this act of extreme violence was, indeed, an act of terrorism, designed to influence government and intimidate the Muslim community.”
The incident occurred just weeks after three Islamists drove a van into pedestrians on London Bridge before going on a knife rampage, killing eight.
That attack came the month after a suicide bombing at a pop concert in Manchester killed 22 people. In March another Islamic State-inspired attacker killed five people by driving a car into passers-by on London’s Westminster Bridge and then stabbing to death a police officer in the grounds of parliament.
Rees said Osborne hired a van and drove to London from his home in Cardiff. After a plan to attack an anti-Israel march failed, Osborne drove around seeking alternative targets.
He is accused of ramming the crowd at Finsbury Park as worshippers helped Ali who he had earlier become unwell.
The court was told Osborne, who had never previously openly expressed racist opinions, had become obsessed with Muslims in the weeks before the attack after watching a BBC television drama “Three Girls”, based on true stories of victims of child sex gangs comprised mainly of British Pakistani men.
Rees said Osborne searched online for material related to the show, some of which was connected to far-right groups and Jayda Fransen, deputy leader of Britain First.
One of Fransen’s messages was re-tweeted by U.S. President Donald Trump in November.
Two days before the attack, Osborne told a serving soldier in a pub in Cardiff: “I’m going to kill all the Muslims”, the jurors were told.
Rees said Osborne’s former partner Sarah Andrews described the father of four as a loner and a functioning alcoholic with an unpredictable temperament who took medication for depression.
“With the benefit of hindsight, she describes him as a ticking time-bomb,” the prosecutor said.
The trial, which is expected to last two weeks, continues.
A Stockholm mosque was the target of an ‘extensive’ graffiti attack last Friday, according to the mosque’s imam, Mahmoud Khalfi.
On the morning of January 20, the Facebook page of the Stockholm mosque (Stockholms Moské), uploaded several photos of the swastika graffiti on the doors of the mosque.
The vandalism echoes a similar campaign of race hate on New Year’s Day in 2014, as vandals daubed the doors of the mosque with swastika graffiti.
When asked on Facebook if the mosque has CCTV of the incident, a reply stated that the mosque had its request for CCTV denied.
In previous years vandals have targeted other mosques in Sweden with swastika graffiti.
Arson attacks have also taken place in recent years. Following a succession of attacks in 2015, a 1000-strong protest outside of the Swedish parliament in Stockholm drew global attention to the issue. A ‘love bombing’ of the Uppsala Mosque formed part of a wave of support from across Sweden and globally. An investigation in April 2015, however, concluded that the fire at Eskilstuna mosque was not an arson.
Two-thirds of Muslim associations had their buildings vandalised, according to a hate crime survey in 2014.
An attack on a mosque in the southern Swedish city of Karlstad was hit with ‘explosives reinforced with bb pellets,’ according to Abdihakem Adan, who chairs the mosque, on December 26, 2017, which the police are treating as a hate crime, according to reports.
The backlash to the terror attack in Stockholm last April included an unprovoked attack on a Muslim taxi driver by a man who blamed Sweden’s openness to refugees for the attack. Rakhmat Akilov, who later admitted to the terrorist crime, after the truck attack in Stockholm had killed four and injured 15 in April 2017.
Abdi Dahir told Reuters that he feared for his life after being strangled hours after news of the attack broke. Sweden’s security services increased its monitoring of white supremacist groups fearing reprisal attacks, according to Reuters.
The threat from the far-right extends to other minorities in Sweden. In April 2017, the Neo-Nazi group Nordfront forced a Jewish community association in northern Sweden to close following a series of threats. Its building was vandalised with stickers of swastikas and threats such as “we know where you live” were daubed on the building, according to reports in the Swedish press.
A man linked to the neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement drove into a crowd of Iraqi nationals who were protesting outside of the Migration Agency in Malmö in June 2017. It resulted in no major injuries.
Early last year, Swedish police had arrested three suspected neo-Nazis in connection with a spate of bomb attacks on asylum centres and a left-wing bookstore.
The tightening of immigration laws and rejection of asylum applications has had severe medical consequences for some refugees in Sweden. A report in PRI documented “uppgivenhetssyndrom,” or resignation syndrome, where individuals refuse to eat or move, resulting in extended medical stays.
Some municipalities in Sweden are now keeping the location of temporary shelters for asylum seekers secret following the rise in suspected arson attacks.
Germany’s lower house of parliament on Thursday voted to step up efforts to combat anti-Semitism and called for the creation of a new government post to oversee the issue, backed by an independent panel of experts.
The proposal was jointly introduced and backed by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives, the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), the pro-business Free Democrats and the Greens.
The far-right Alternative for Germany party also voted for the measure, while the radical Left party voted against, citing what it called substantive deficiencies in the proposal.
The voice vote, which lays the groundwork for a spate of legislative initiatives during this session of parliament, was welcomed widely by Jewish groups.
Volker Kauder, head of the conservatives in parliament, spoke in favour of the proposal given Germany’s Nazi past and the murder of 6 million Jews during the Third Reich.
“We have a particular responsibility to ensure that anti-Semitism does not continue to grow in our country,” he said during the parliamentary debate.
Kauder also vowed to examine whether Germany could ban the burning of Israeli flags, following incidents in December during protests against a U.S. decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Anti-Semitism remains a hugely sensitive issue in Germany more than 70 years after the end of the Nazi-era Holocaust.
Jewish and civil rights groups have long called for the appointment of a special commissioner to address growing anti-Semitism, which they say has been fuelled by right-wing populism and the arrival of many migrants from mostly Muslim countries.
The Central Council of Jews welcomed the vote, calling it an important signal that their concerns were being addressed.
“The fight against anti-Semitism is all of our responsibility,” the group said in a statement. “The respectful treatment of minorities is part of the core values of our democracy.”
Josef Schuster, the group’s president, called for increased efforts to include anti-bias training in integration courses for migrants, but explicitly rejected any effort to instrumentalise the issue to discriminate against Muslims or others.
Jewish groups last month called for legal changes and increased enforcement to crack down on anti-Semitic acts following the burning of Jewish symbols and Israeli flags.
The proposal calls for the creation of a new commissioner post to coordinate efforts to tackle anti-Semitism by the federal government, states and civil society.
It foresees the creation of an independent advisory panel with Jewish and non-Jewish experts from academic, education and other sectors, as well as a federal-state commission.
The proposal also calls for improved gathering of statistics on anti-Semitic incidents, tighter laws banning Holocaust denial on the internet and consequences for the immigration status of foreign citizens who incite hatred.
About half the 2.6 million people displaced in Iraq after a three-year war with Islamic State militants are children and persisting violence hampers efforts to ease their suffering, the United Nations said on Friday.
While the Baghdad government last month declared victory over Islamic State after wresting back almost all the territory IS seized in 2014, persistent bombing and shooting attacks make it difficult to rebuild the lives of displaced people, according to UNICEF, the U.N. children’s agency.
“We believe that as a result of the conflict, a lack of investment over the years, and the poverty … that there are 4 million children now in need across Iraq,” said Peter Hawkins, UNICEF chief representative in the country.
He told a Geneva news briefing by telephone from Baghdad that 1.3 million of the 2.6 million displaced by the often devastating fighting with Islamic State were children.
“While the fighting has come to an end in several areas, spikes of violence continue in others – just this week, three bombings went off in Baghdad,” UNICEF Regional Director Geert Cappelaere said in a statement.
“Violence is not only killing and maiming children; it is destroying schools, hospitals, homes and roads. It is tearing apart the diverse social fabric and the culture of tolerance that hold communities together.”
Hawkins said UNICEF was also helping children of alleged IS militants now in detention by providing comfort and legal aid, and is trying to reunite those separated from their families, including those abroad.
The issue of civilians uprooted from Sunni Muslim areas previously under control of Sunni IS jihadists has become the latest bone of sectarian-tinged political contention in Iraq.
Sunni politicians are lobbying for postponing parliamentary elections due in May to allow the displaced to return to their hometowns to cast their ballots there.
Shi’ite Muslim politicians including Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi insist on the vote taking place as planned on May 12.
The United States called on Thursday for the elections to be held on time, saying that delaying them “set a dangerous precedent, undermining the constitution and damaging Iraq’s long-term democratic development”.
Robert Olinski is the co-founder of the Willow Tree Hypnosis practice and also is a practising therapist within it. Olinski works from what it seems, are rooms within Central London, all of which might give him a certain respectability and authority in the eyes of some members of the public.
In general, people would assume that someone who works in a position of this responsibility and with members of the public, might want to refrain from putting up bigoted and prejudiced statements, especially if they want to be taken seriously.
A translation of Facebook comments by Olinski show that anti-Muslim bigotry sadly pervades into people who have settled into the UK and in this case, from someone of Polish heritage. As we have highlighted before, we are concerned how far right groups are actively trying to engage and tout sections of settled Polish communities in the UK and within Poland itself.
In a response to a report about a group of Muslims in Greece being beaten up by football hooligans, whilst they were in a procession trying to celebrate the Birthday of the Prophet Muhammad, (Milad un Nabi), Olinski, posted the following comments on his Facebook page:
“Well done. Chase those animals off the streets. Besides, any demonstrations require official registration. If you let ‘muzzies’ celebrate in the streets without any problems they will soon demand cancelling Christmas, banning mini skirts, removing crosses, etc. That’s what’s happening in Sweden at the moment. Swedes don’t even put up their flags anymore because they’re scared of offending those animals. It is a nasty, parasitical nation, regardless of their nationality. If you don’t believe me, get yourself a plane ticket to Malmo and spend some time among them.”
The “intro” on his Facebook page states:
“A therapist helping people to come out of emotional downs, frustration and lack of confidence!”
We are sure some of his patients may think different after reading this.