Online videos show Tehran street protests

 Anti-government protests broke out in Iran for the third day running on Saturday (December 30) as separate state-sponsored rallies were staged to mark the end of unrest that shook the country in 2009, according to Iranian news agencies and state media.

Social media postings showed protests in the capital’s streets, including crowds gathered outside Tehran University and dumpsters set on fire.

Openly political protests are rare in the Islamic Republic, where security services are omnipresent but there is considerable discontent over high unemployment, inflation and alleged graft.

Some of the new protests have turned political over issues including Iran’s costly involvement in regional conflicts such as those in Syria and Iraq.

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Categories: anti-Government protests, demonstrations, Iran protests, Islamic Republic, News, Tehran, young people

Attacks on Christians – Be They in Pakistan or Cairo is an Affront to Humanity

We have been highlighting the attacks and incitement against minority communities form some time. Just within the last 2 months, we highlighted Islamist extremism targeting members of Ahmaddiya communities in Pakistan. A few days ago, the small Christian community in Quetta, who were celebrating mass in the coming days to Christmas, were attacked and 9 people were killed in an Islamic State inspired attack. 

A few days ago, Iraq’s Christian communities in Telesqaf could celebrate mass for the first time after the Islamic State’s defeat. Then today, a devastating attack, once again, on the Coptic Christian community on the outskirts of Cairo. 

The attack at the church in Mar Mina, on the outskirts of Cairo, has left 9 people dead and with 2 gunmen opening fire on the church. Egyptian security forces are stepping up their patrols and visibility as Coptic Christians celebrate Christmas on January 7th 2018. 

This is not the first time that such attacks have been targeted at Egypt’s Coptic community and sadly, it may not be the last. There is a connection with all of these attacks since Islamist extremism has been the driving force. In Pakistan, Iraq and Egypt, groups inspired by it have attacked churches and congregations at prayer. Yet, Islamist extremism does not only attack other faiths, it attacks minorities within – such as Shia and Ahmaddiya communities. In fact, anyone beyond what Islamist extremists regard as being ‘true Muslims’ is in their eyes, liable to be attacked. 

As we move into 2018, it is essential that civil society groups who value human rights, challenge not only the causes of all forms of extremism, but also the ideology that drives them. The latter is essential given that extremism turns on the most vulnerable communities in society.


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Categories: Attack, Christians, Egypt, Iraq, News, Pakistan, terrorism

For Iraq’s Christians, a bittersweet first Christmas home after Islamic State

Christians in the Iraqi town of Teleskof celebrated their Christmas traditions for the first time in three years, since Islamic State militants overran their town and forcibly displaced their community of 12,000.

A hymn not heard in three years echoed throughout the Church of Saint George in Telesqaf, Iraq, on Monday… as Christians returned home to celebrate Christmas for the first time since Islamic State overran their town.

Many of the 12,000 Chaldean Christians fled, with some 7,000 estimated to be scattered across Iraq and abroad.

The few who returned after Islamic State’s defeat praise God.

A Christian woman in the video, Raniq Kiryaqos, says:

“We have gotten through oppression and suppression over the past three years,” this woman says. “We went to places that were unlike our village. But thanks to God, we celebrate this year in our own village.”

Islamic State ravaged Christian areas across the region, looting and burning down homes and churches, while forcing Christians to convert, pay a tax or face death.

Despite the pain caused by their violent displacement, those who returned celebrated as best they could… even without many of their town’s residents.

One of the celebrants, Ristam Shamoon, says: 

“We hoped that all people of Telesqaf would be with us. But regrettably, about 50 percent of the population were not here, our relatives and friends. We wish that they were with us.”

A wish that could take time as the town returns to normal in life after Islamic State.

The post For Iraq’s Christians, a bittersweet first Christmas home after Islamic State appeared first on Faith Matters.

Categories: Chaldean Christians, Daesh, Iraq, Islamic State, News, Telesqaf

Far Right ‘Identitarian Movement’ Stickers are Seen in Multiple Locations

A far right group called the ‘Identitarian Movement’ has been posting stickers and boards up in the last few days in areas in the United Kingdom which include Preston in Lancashire and in Dublin Ireland. One of the stickers states,

“This barrier is to prevent Islamic lorry attacks”.

The sticker on a lamp-post in Preston, (see second picture below), also highlighted the view of ‘defending Europe’ with the reader left to think about who Europe needed defending from – however, given the background of the group – refugees, Muslims and those not deemed to be ‘white or Christian or from Europe’ would be the groups this far right movement would be implying. 

The ‘Identitarian movement’ originated from France and is based on nationalist lines with the ‘preservation’ of a ‘white ethnic identity and culture’ at the heart of its extremist ideology. However, previous supporters have included former Klu Klux Klan leader David Duke. 

If you come across any such stickers, do contact us in Tell MAMA and you can report material through THIS FORM in confidence.


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Categories: Christian, David Duke, Defend Europe, Far Right groups, France, Identitarian Movement, Ireland stickers, News, Preston

Mehfil E Abbas-KSIMC Birmingham Mosque Targeted Again for Anti-Shia Hatred

We have highlighted the continued targeting of the KSIMC mosque in Birmingham for anti-Shia rhetoric.

Sadly, last week, the mosque was again subjected to more anti-Shia graffiti which is evident in the attached picture.

This year, Tell MAMA has picked up a number of anti-Shia and anti-Ahmadi hate incidents and language like ‘Shia Kafir’ shows an intolerance towards other Muslims and possibly may be influenced by extremist rhetoric. The latter makes these cases even more important to solve and for the people involved to be fully investigated.

At this time, we would suggest that any mosques in the vicinity of the KSIMC centre in Birmingham offer their support to this mosque that has been repeatedly targeted.

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Categories: anti-Ahmadi, anti-Islam, Anti-Shia, Birmingham mosque, KSIMC, mosques, News

CCTV footage shows gunmen attacking Pakistan church

Two suicide bombers attacked a packed Christian church in Quetta, capital of Baluchistan province, in south-western Pakistan on Sunday (December 17), killing at least nine people and wounding up to 56, officials said.

CCTV footage released by the police showed the attackers, both carrying guns, at the church gates. One climbed over the gate and let the other one into the compound. The footage showed people sitting at tables outside the church running from the scene.

Police guards stationed at the church entrance and on its roof killed one of the bombers but the second attacker detonated his explosives-filled vest outside the prayer hall just after Sunday services began, said Sarfraz Bugti, the provincial home minister.

Baluchistan police chief Moazzam Jah said there were nearly 400 worshippers in the church for the pre-Christmas service. The death toll could have been much higher if the gunmen had forced their way into the sanctuary, he said.

Jah said the venue – Bethel Memorial Methodist Church – was on high alert as Christian places of worship are often targeted by Islamist extremists over the Christmas season.

Islamic State claimed the attack, the group’s Amaq news agency said in an online statement, without providing any evidence for its claim.

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Categories: Amaq, Baluchistan, Bethel Memorial Methodist Church, News, Pakistan Church, Quetta

Austrian conservatives bring far right into government

Austria is set to become the only western European country with a far-right party in government after the anti-immigration Freedom Party and Sebastian Kurz’s conservatives struck a coalition deal to share power almost equally.

In an early policy pronouncement, Kurz, the future chancellor, said the new government would not hold a referendum on European Union membership.

Kurz, who is just 31, and Freedom Party (FPO) leader Heinz-Christian Strache announced their deal on Friday night, handing the far right a share of power for the third time in the Alpine republic, after more than a decade in opposition.

The FPO will take control of much of Austria’s security apparatus, in charge of the foreign, interior and defence ministries. The People’s Party (OVP) led by Kurz will control the powerful finance ministry as well the justice and agriculture portfolios.

“No one need be afraid,” Austrian news agency APA quoted the incoming interior minister and chairman of the FPO, Herbert Kickl, as saying. Kickl began his career as a speechwriter for the late Joerg Haider, who praised Adolf Hitler’s employment policies and led the party to its first mainstream electoral success.

Kurz will head the government as chancellor and the OVP will have eight ministries including his office. The FPO will have six, including Strache’s office as vice chancellor.

Kurz has repeatedly said his government will be pro-European despite including the FPO, which was founded by former Nazis and campaigned against Austria joining the bloc when it was put to a referendum in 1994.

The coalition plans to make referendums more widely available. Unlike France’s National Front, the FPO has backed away from calling for a referendum on leaving the European Union but Kurz obtained a guarantee that a Brexit-style vote will not be held.

“There will be no votes on our membership of international organisations, including the European Union,” Kurz told a joint news conference with Strache.

Kurz’s office will also take over some European departments from the FPO-run foreign ministry to give him greater control over EU matters.

The 180-page coalition agreement listed plans such as sinking taxes and cutting public spending through streamlined administration though it often did not say how such goals would be achieved.

Austria’s parliamentary election two months ago was dominated by Europe’s migration crisis, in which the affluent country took in a large number of asylum seekers.

Kurz’s party won with a hard line on immigration that often overlapped with the FPO’s, pledging to cut benefits for refugees and never to allow a repeat of 2015’s wave of arrivals. The FPO came third in the election with 26 percent of the vote.


Kurz and Strache held their news conference outlining the agreement on the Kahlenberg, a hill on the outskirts of the capital famed as the site of the 1683 Battle of Vienna, which ended a siege of the city by Ottoman Turks.

While there was no specific mention of repelling that Muslim invasion, the symbolism is clear for two parties that have warned Muslim “parallel societies” are emerging in Austria.

Kurz, however, told reporters: “I did not take the decision on where the press conference should be held…. I would not read too much symbolism into it.”

Strache and Kurz oppose Turkish membership of the EU, a position that polls regularly show most Austrians support.

“We both recognise about 75 percent of ourselves in the programme,” said Strache, who accused Kurz during the campaign of stealing his party’s ideas. “That might have something to do with the fact that one or the other maybe took on the other’s policy points before the election.”

Anti-establishment parties have been winning over more voters in Europe, capitalising on dissatisfaction with mainstream politicians’ handling of the economy, security and immigration.

While other far-right parties have gained ground this year, entering parliament in Germany and making France’s presidential run-off, the FPO is going further by entering government and securing key ministries.

“It is excellent news for Europe,” Marine Le Pen said of the coalition deal at a Prague meeting of her National Front party’s European grouping, which includes the FPO. “These successes show that the nation states are the future, that the Europe of tomorrow is a Europe of the people.”

Both the OVP and FPO believe the EU should focus on fewer tasks, like securing its external borders, and hand more power back to member states.

When the FPO last entered government in 2000 other EU countries imposed sanctions on Vienna in protest. There is unlikely to be a similar outcry this time, given the rise of anti-establishment parties across the continent.

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Categories: Austria, Far Right groups, FPO, Freedom Party, immigrants, Le Pen, News, OVP, People's Party, refugees

No, a Montreal mosque did not ban female construction workers

A Montreal mosque is demanding an apology after a local television report suggested that it had banned women from a nearby construction site.

On December 12, the French-language TVA Nouvelles published a report alleging that mosque administrators wanted females removed from a construction site near two mosques during Friday prayers.

A detailed investigation from the Quebec Construction Commission, however, found no such evidence of this claim.

Dominique Vien, Quebec’s labour minister confirmed that no such request was made.

Diane Lemieux, who heads the construction commission, told a press conference that “It’s very clear the mosque never made this kind of request.”

Serge Boileau, director of the Commission des services électriques de Montréal, stated that his company had received no such request from the mosque. Per the agreement signed, construction work on Friday is minimised to avoid noise which Boileau accepted was an ‘understandable’ request, according to the Montreal Gazette.

The original TVA Nouvelles report has not yet corrected its initial report despite BuzzFeed News approaching it for comment.

But the damage is done. And the consequences of this falsehood is felt by many local Muslims. Shahad Salman, who attends the Ahl-Ill Bait Mosque, told CBC News that news story was ‘beyond harmful.’

Death threats and threats to burn down the building were sent to the mosque following the TVA Nouvelles story, according to a legal representative of the mosque, adding that the mosque has not ruled out legal action, in a statement to BuzzFeed News.

This media falsehood energised sections of the Canadian far-right who arranged then cancelled a planned protest.

Rebel Media twisted the story into an example of Muslim ‘no-go’ zones. And this distortion of events was then shared by Paul Joseph Watson of the conspiracy website InfoWars, gaining over two-thousand retweets.

Credit: Twitter.

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Categories: Canada, Media, Montreal, mosque, News, Paul Joseph Watson

Will the UK ban anti-Islam and anti-LGBT evangelist Franklin Graham?

There is growing opposition to a planned visit to Blackpool next year by the leading American conservative evangelist Franklin Graham given his anti-Islam and anti-LGBT views.

Graham is a keynote speaker at the Lancashire Festival of Hope next September at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens.

Paul Maynard, MP for Blackpool North and Cleveleys, and Gordon Marsden, MP for Blackpool South, have written to the home secretary about his planned visit, according to the Blackpool Gazette.

A petition which calls on the home secretary to refuse Graham a visa has over 6,500 signatures. Nina Parker, a pastor at the inclusive Liberty Church in Blackpool and organiser of the petition, told the Guardian that she was ‘horrified’ that churches would invite a man with ‘this record of hate speech’. Back in June, she told the Blackpool Gazette: “This is not what we stand for in Blackpool. We don’t need somebody preaching hate.”

Franklin Graham, 65, is the son of evangelist preacher Billy Graham and is the president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, and known for his work with the Samaritans Purse.

Graham is no stranger to making anti-Islam remarks. Two months after the 9/11 terror attacks, Graham declared Islam to be a ‘very evil and wicked religion.’ Following the invasion of Iraq, some expressed concerns that evangelists, including Graham’s Samaritan’s Purse, would be proselytising there. An accusation Graham denied.

His remarks about Islam being a ‘very violent’ religion in 2010 echo the statements made years earlier. The U.S. Army then withdrew an invitation for him to speak at a Pentagon prayer session in July 2010. Following the controversy, he also made disparaging remarks about Hinduism, stating, “No elephant with 100 arms can do anything for me. None of their 9,000 gods is going to lead me to salvation.”

A year later and Graham indulged the racist ‘birther’ conspiracy peddled by Donald Trump during the Obama presidency, suggesting that Obama was born outside of the United States. In broader terms, one study, published in 2014, found that increased levels of racial resentment were a key indicator of belief in birtherism.

He praised Vladimir Putin for having ‘taken a stand to protect his nation’s children from the damaging effects of any gay and lesbian agenda,’ in February 2014.

In an interview with Christian Today in December 2014, Graham declared that It Islam ‘is a religion of war’.

Franklin Graham called for a ban on Muslims entering the United States until the ‘threat with Islam has been settled’ in July 2015 following the murder of four marines in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He added, “During World War 2, we didn’t allow Japanese to immigrate to America, nor did we allow Germans. Why are we allowing Muslims now?”

Months earlier, Duke University was forced to drop its plan to broadcast the Muslim call to prayer from the bell tower of Duke Chapel, following a campaign by Franklin Graham, according to the Washington Post.

Graham repeated his calls for a ban on Muslim immigration ‘until we can properly vet them or until the war with Islam is over,’ in December 2015.

Following the London Bridge terror attack on June 3, 2017, Graham wrote on Facebook that the ‘threat of Islam is real’.

He expressed his concern that Wheaton College, an evangelical college in Illinois would not fire Professor Larycia Hawkins, who wore a hijab in solidarity with Muslims as, like Christians, Muslims are also ‘people of the book’ in a theologically-dense Facebook post on December 13, 2015. Hawkins agreed to leave the college months later and now holds tenure at the University of Virginia. Graham maintained that Islam and Christianity do not worship the same god.

Franklin Graham has used his large social media platforms to attack the so-called ‘LGBT agenda’. He wrote on Facebook that the ‘LGBT movement is trying to cram down America’s throat the lie that homosexuality is okay’. On Twitter, Graham tweeted: “The sins of our nation are great–violence, abortion, same sex marriage, pride, the list is long.”

On gender-neutral bathrooms, Graham appeared to suggest that trans women are ‘predators and sexually perverted people’. A later statement was unambiguously transphobic. Following the conviction of Michelle Martinez, a trans woman who sexually assaulted a 10-year-old girl in a bathroom, Graham wrote that ‘Transgenderism is a sexual perversion’. The reality of the case, however, had nothing to with gender-neutral toilets or even Obama’s directive to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms of their choice in public schools – a policy later revoked by the Trump administration. A vast majority of juvenile sexual abuse victims (93 per cent) when reporting to law enforcement in the United States know their abuser. Local press confirmed that Martinez was a family friend who knew their victim before the sexual assault.

He also backed Trump’s ban on transgender people serving in the military which was later rejected by three federal courts. The Pentagon has now agreed to let transgender people enlist from January 1, 2018.

Franklin Graham has also rebuked Theresa May’s plans to reform legislation which would allow people to self-certify their gender. He wrote that the “The bill could give biological men legal access to women’s shelters, changing rooms, hospitals, and participate in women’s competitive sports,” in a wider post which attacked ‘society’s unbelievable transgender saga.’

On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Graham tweeted: “We have another #holocaust taking place in this world today—it’s called abortion.”

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Categories: anti-Islam, anti-LBGT, Franklin Graham, News

The Changing Face of Hate in Poland: From Antisemitism to Anti-Muslim Hatred

Faith Matters launches a ground-breaking paper looking at worrying levels of far-right anti-Muslim racism in Poland and anti-Muslim activism in the UK in Polish Communities
The full report can be downloaded HERE. 
Faith Matters is proud to launch a new briefing paper to outline some of the key dynamics and drivers of far-right narratives between the UK and Polish far-right.
The new report, titled ‘From antisemitism to anti-Muslim racism: the evolving face of the far-right in Poland’, highlights how extremist groups like Britain First have continued to sow division by exploiting the religious sentiments of Poles in Britain to further their anti-Muslim agenda. This includes failed attempts to bring over antisemitic and anti-Muslim speakers, and the leadership of Britain First, namely its deputy leader, Jayda Fransen, has travelled to Poland to engage with such individuals like the antisemitic former priest Jacek Międlar.  
Faith Matters intends to use this report as a springboard to engage with Polish communities in Britain to start an interfaith dialogue that includes Christian, Muslim, and Jewish voices that will seek to counter the exclusionary and dehumanising narratives of the far-right with a dialogue that will not only seek to address more painful aspects of Polish history but also celebrate the contributions of its Muslim minorities.  
By identifying key voices both in Britain and Poland, the report will seek to expose their views, in the hope of marginalising their voice, and empowering Poles to challenge attitudes online, in the home, or in community spaces.  
It took the combined efforts of voices within the Polish community to translate materials from the far-right politician Marian Kowalski which Faith Matters passed to authorities to prevent him speaking at a restaurant in London. Our concern remains that some will seek to use community spaces to push anti-Muslim or other hateful narratives away from media scrutiny.  
Other, more extreme neo-Nazi groups, like the National Rebirth of Poland (NOP), coordinated activities with both National Action and the National Front to do ‘whites-only’ foodbanks in Scotland and London. The NOP has also targeted NHS centres in small anti-abortion protests.  
Steve Rose, the author of the report, said: “It’s clear that Britain First continues to exploit the religious sentiments of Poles to push an extremist narrative which mythologises a Christian Europe in opposition to very dehumanising anti-Muslim narratives which tap into wider anxieties towards cultural and national identity.  
This report seeks to challenge that, and highlight that antisemitism remains a key driver of far-right ideology, with anti-Muslim racism seeking further division in a country where Muslims have accounted for less than 1% of the population.  
What’s clear is that many Poles want to challenge this form of politics and this project will help provide a collaborative partnership to help build dialogue and see the contributions of Muslims historically and in Poland today.  
Additional research in this field of work will expand beyond the scope of this report and encourage more forms of counter-speech online and through community events in the months ahead.”
Fiyaz Mughal OBE, Founder and Director of Faith Matters said:  
“We have been seeing far right extremist groups like Britain First actively tout key activists in Polish communities in Poland and the UK. Yet, during the national Brexit referendum, these very groups were promoting hate against Eastern European communities. This shows the cynical posturing of these far-right extremist groups in the vain hope that they will gain support.”
Key findings of the report, which will be accessible on the Faith Matters web-site, state that:
  • A chronology of Islamophobic incidents in Poland demonstrates how some have exploited international events to attack Islamic institutions, including an attack on a mosque in Poznań, shortly after the Charlie Hebdo terror attacks in Paris in January 2015,
  • Polling of European countries in 2016 found that negative views of minorities and refugees were commonplace. Negative views of Muslims were widespread in Italy (69%), Hungary (72%), and Poland (69%). It is perhaps unsurprising that almost a quarter of Poles interviewed expressed negative opinions towards Jewish communities. Ideological leanings to the right were indicators of increased unfavourability towards Muslims.
  • Anti-refugee sentiment remains stubbornly high in Poland, even though the country has hardly taken in refugees post the Syria civil war. For example, just over half of Poles polled who expressed favourable views of Muslims had agreed that refugees pose a threat, though this jumps to 81% amongst the Poles who expressed unfavourable views of Muslims. Outside of Hungary, Poles expressed the most concern (71%) that refugees will increase the risk of domestic terrorism. Almost of a third of Poles agreed that Muslims in their country support ISIS, as a similar number declined to answer this question. As with other countries, Poles also overwhelmingly agreed that refugees were ‘drains’ on the welfare system.
  • Perhaps these factors help explain how many Europeans uniformly overstate the size of their respective Muslim populations. In Poland, researchers found that on average, Poles believed that of every 100 people, seven are Muslim. The reality is that this figure is under 0.1%.
  • Regarding population shifts, Poles believed that Muslims would make up 13% of the population in 2020. Pędziwiatr (2016) attributes this perception gap to the misinformation presented in sections of Polish press and by certain public figures. 
  • Social researchers, Gawlewicz and Narkowicz (2015), highlight how the rich Islamic history of the region is ignored, demonstrating how this panic is a modern problem, and reflective the political shifts in Poland in recent years. Some of the key social agitators, highlighted in the Faith Matters report are based in the UK and Poland.
  • The history of the Polish Muslim Tatars is completely overlooked by social commentators who promote anti-Muslim hate, as though hundreds of years of engagement with Muslims that have shaped and made up a part of Poland’s history, simply do not exist.
The report lists these to be:
Miriam Shadad: Miriam Shadad was behind the attempted settlement of fifty Christian Syrian refugees in Poland in 2015, but most would leave Poland within months. She made various anti-Muslim remarks when interviewed in the Financial Times which included the claim that many who practice Islam are ‘criminals’.
Shaded has expressed support for Viktor Orbán’s proposed ban on Islam in Hungary. In other media, she said that the Qur’an is a book that calls for ‘hatred and violence’ and that the concept of Jihad is one of force and submission. She appeared on the cover of the Polish weekly magazine Wprost in 2016. She used this interview to call for a ban on Islam in Poland, to praise the Assad regime for its liberal protection of Christians, including her relatives, and to warn that if ‘Europe does not quickly wake up, it will become Islamized.
Piotr Ryback: The extremes of an ethno-nationalist fringe in Poland have gained notoriety in recent years, most notably in the actions of Piotr Rybak, of the Wielka Polska Niepodlegla movement. In November 2015, during an anti-Muslim protest in Wroclaw against Poland accepting Syrian refugees, Rybak burned an effigy of an Orthodox Jewish man. During the protest, most of which was captured on video and uploaded to YouTube, Rybak said, ‘we will not bring a single Muslim into Poland, Poland is for Poles.’ He then set fire to the effigy, which featured an EU flag.
The National Radical Camp organised the protest and presented Rybak with the effigy to burn, but the courts rejected his claim that the effigy was of Hungarian-American Jewish philanthropist George Soros, finding him guilty of ‘public incitement to hatred on the grounds of religion and nationality to an unspecified group of Jews by burning an effigy’. The prison sentence given to Rybak fell to three months after an appeal.
Jacek Miedlar: The notoriety of the disgraced former priest Jacek Międlar grew after he was detained at Stansted Airport to prevent him from attending a Britain First rally in Telford, Shropshire in February 2017. Międlar, 28, is an important fixture in the extreme right-wing political scene in Poland, and in Wrocław in west Poland. Two years earlier, Międlar spoke at the far-right organised nationalist demonstration which marked the anniversary of Poland’s independence after the First World War. Organisers claimed that 50,000 attended but police put the actual figure at 25,000 people.
On the Polish Independence Day march on 11 November 2016, Międlar is alleged to have publicly called for hatred against Jews and Ukrainians. During the march, he is alleged to have said, ‘We must be strong in spirit, body, in our mentality and knowledge, because only we will be able to win with the left, with Jewry, and with communism, which is still in our homeland’. Months earlier, prosecutors dropped a hate crime investigation against Międlar, when during his sermon, he described Jews as a ‘cancer’. He is also alleged to have uploaded a photo of Poles performing a Nazi salute during a pogrom in the southern town of Myślenice in 1936 which resulted in non-lethal violence and property damage to Jewish-owned businesses.
Marian Kowalski: Marian Kowalski came to prominence in the English-language media in 2015 following a series of counter-protests following his speaking tour in Ireland during his failed presidential campaign in Poland. Hotels in Dublin and Cork cancelled speaking events for Kowalski, who represents the far-right National Movement (Ruch Narodowy).
Kowalski’s views towards the building of new mosques in Poland reflects how anti-Muslim racism is often anti-Arab in focus. In a 2016 speech, he is reported to have told a crowd that Arab-funded mosques are ‘breeding grounds’ for terrorists. On Facebook, he shared a meme about how Poland violently dealt with the ‘invasion’ of Islam on 20 May 2017. On Twitter, Kowalski compared Islam to a ‘trojan horse’. On 25 September 2016, he photographed a small rally in Trafalgar Square in London which called for the release of Janusz Waluś, a Polish white supremacist, who, in 1993, murdered the anti-apartheid hero and SACP leader Chris Hani. Waluś was a member of the leading neo-Nazi group in South Africa, the Afrikaner Resistance Movement, who hoped his actions would trigger a race war in the final days of apartheid.
Kowalski has also gained a reputation for his provocative stunts which included the burning of a rainbow flag in July 2015 following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling to legalise same same-sex marriage.  
Weronika Kania: The self-styled reporter Weronika Kania, who has contributed one hundred posts to the Polish-language anti-Islamisation website NDIE, was active in interviewing members of Britain First before her videos disappeared from YouTube. She spoke at a Britain First rally on 28 July 2017. On Facebook, she briefly updated her cover photo in praise of Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orbán in 2015. Recent Facebook posts have promoted Tommy Robinson’s controversial new book and linked to a YouTube concerning the paedophilia and Islam. She has also regularly interviewed Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of Britain First.
Piotr Szlachtowicz hosts the online radio show ‘The Nowy Polski Show’. It sponsored an event in Slough which listed Jacek Międlar as a keynote speaker. The event celebrated the underground Polish army which fought in anti-communist resistance movements. Międlar, of course, was denied entry into the UK.
Another event promoted by his radio show featured the Polish MEP Janusz Korwin-Mikke, who, in 2015, was suspended from the European Parliament for ten days after performing a Nazi salute. He has also claimed that Hitler ‘probably’ did not know about the Holocaust and the murder of millions of people was not his ‘goal’. Korwin-Mikke used racial the epithet ‘n—–‘ in 2014 and was suspended this year after making sexist remarks in parliament. An interview with Korwin-Mikke was uploaded by Mateusz Jaronski on 18 July 2017. The Twitter feed of the Nowy Polski Show, has, on multiple occasions, posted tweets favourable of the leadership of the far-right political party Britain First.

The post The Changing Face of Hate in Poland: From Antisemitism to Anti-Muslim Hatred appeared first on Faith Matters.

Categories: anti-Muslim hatred, Antisemitism, Britain First, Jacek Miedlar, Jayda Fransen, Marian Kowalski, Miriam Shadad, News, Piotr Ryback, Piotr Szlachtowicz, Weronika Kania, Wroclaw