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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.

Friday, 28 January 2011

French gay marriage ban upheld by constitutional court

The French constitutional court has upheld a ban on gay marriage, which was challenged by a lesbian couple with four children.

The court ruled that the ban, challenged by Corinne Cestino and Sophie Hasslauer, was in keeping with the constitution.

Activists had hoped France would join states like Spain and Belgium in legalising same-sex marriage.

An opinion poll suggests most French people are in favour.

The TNS Sofres survey of 950 people suggests that 58% of French people approve while 35% oppose gay marriage.
Fifteen years together

The court, or Constitutional Council as it is formally known, reached its decision through a panel of eight judges, six men and two women.

While many European states recognise homosexual civil unions, only Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal, Sweden, Norway and Iceland legally acknowledge same-sex marriage.

Ms Cestino and Ms Hasslauer have lived together 15 years, are raising four children together, and already benefit from a French law recognising their partnership, but they cannot marry.

"It is not so much about getting married but about having the right to get married," Ms Cestino, a paediatrician, told the Associated Press news agency.

"So, that is what we are asking for: just to be able, like anyone else, to choose to get married or not."

At issue for the court were two articles in the civil code stipulating that marriage can only be between a man and a woman.

The couple's lawyer had been hoping that the court would force the conservative government to sponsor a bill on gay marriage to send to parliament.

After a Green Party mayor in the south-western town of Begles officiated over a wedding of two gay men in 2004, France's highest court annulled the marriage.

Under their civil union, the lesbian couple have tax benefits and other financial advantages, their lawyer Emmanuel Ludot explained.

But marriage, he added, confers "the responsibility to help each other in times of sickness or financial difficulty, inheritance rights and the joint custody of goods - and that's without talking about the benefit for children, who are what we call 'legitimised by marriage'".

BBC News

Muslims and Jews join forces to tackle religious hatred (UK)

Jewish and Muslim students are joining forces to tackle anti-Semitism and Islamophobia on university campuses - in a bid to spread a message of tolerance.

One of those with first-hand experience of religious hatred is Yassir, who as a student in 2004 was abused as he set off for his mosque in London. Four teenagers spat at him and called him "Bin Laden".

Shortly afterwards, he was beaten up, which left him in a coma for days. He is now paralysed on the left side of his body, and will need care for the rest of his life.

His story was recorded by the Islamic Human Rights Commission in a report in December 2006. It is not an isolated incident.

Safia, 35, from London, was eating at a restaurant in 2004 when a man started to taunt her because she was wearing a jilbaab and scarf.

He then grabbed her, and started hitting her. Eventually a police officer intervened, and the attacker was arrested.

Safia has told researchers the physical scars have gone, but the mental ones are still with her.

The Muslim community is not alone in facing such attacks.

Two men wearing balaclavas threw eggs at some Jews walking to a synagogue in Manchester, according to a Jewish charity called the Community Security Trust.

In another incident reported to the charity a Jewish student was attacked in Leeds in 2009 by a group of men, who shouted "Get the Jew", before throwing snowballs at him.

In an effort to prevent more of these attacks, Jewish and Muslim students have come together to unveil Campus Ambassadors.

This team of Muslim and Jewish students will work on campuses around the country to try to improve relations between the two faiths.

The scheme has been put together by a charity called the Coexistence Trust.

One of the managers is 23-year-old Shahnaz Ahsan. She used to be a student at Oxford University, and believes there is a lot of tension between the two groups because of the Middle East conflict.

"What we are hoping to do through the Coexistence Trust is actually create a platform where Muslim and Jewish students can get a chance to interact with each other, get to know each other on the basis of students being students," she says.

Each of the ambassadors will undergo a one-year leadership development programme, and also get training in conflict resolution.
Bleak picture

Mark Robins, 20, went to a Jewish secondary school. He had virtually no contact with Muslim students while he was growing up.

That all changed when he arrived at Birmingham University. He hopes he can change opinions in his own community about Muslims.

"From time to time you'll talk to other Jews, and you'll talk about the Islamic Society and there'll be negative responses. I want to change all that," he says.

A survey produced in 2005 by Fosis, the Federation of Student Islamic Societies, found that almost half of Muslim students had experienced Islamophobia, mostly defined as "direct and verbal".

It also found that a quarter of these incidents had taken place on university campuses.

It is in the process of putting together a new survey which will be out this year.

The Community Security Trust reported 97 incidents of anti-Semitism in higher education in 2009, up from 68 the previous year.

Of those, 79 were on campuses. There were four assaults and other incidents ranged from verbal abuse to attacks on property.

All of this seems to paint a pretty bleak picture for both communities.

Away from tensions around the Middle East, inviting speakers on to campuses is also leading to problems.

Carly MacKenzie from the Union Of Jewish Students (UJS) says: "Hate speakers that spout anti-Semitism invited on to UK campuses by Islamic societies are one of the biggest perpetual problems currently facing Jewish students and one that UJS is working with the higher education sector to alleviate."
Major effect

On the Muslim side, the London-based Islamic Human Rights Commission believes the current set of anti-terror laws is fuelling Islamophobia.

Chairman Massoud Shadjareh says it is essential to separate security issues from the "politics of fear" and warned that Muslims were already more likely to be stopped by police than other communities.

Dressed in a black hijab, white blouse and black trousers, 20-year-old Aliya Din is a second-year student at King's College London.

She has decided to become a Campus Ambassador, and is in a positive mood at the launch of the scheme

"I'm not expecting the whole world to change, but even if you can change the perspective slightly of some people, it will make a major effect in their future lives, because that is what happens in history."

BBC News

Attack on EDL man's Luton home probed (UK)

Reports of an attack on the home of a leading English Defence League (EDL) member are being investigated by police in Bedfordshire.

Officers were called to Kevin Carroll's home in Bolingbroke Road, Luton, late on Thursday after reports an object was thrown against the window of the house.

Mr Carroll said he went to investigate and saw a man who appeared to be holding a shotgun. No shots were fired.

Officers carried out a search of the area, but no offender was found.

Police said they were trying to establish what happened and wanted to talk to anyone who saw anything suspicious.

BBC News


Hungary's far-right party Jobbik was singled out for criticism at a meeting between a leading Jewish lobby group and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, whose country holds the European Union presidency, officials said Wednesday. European Jewish Congress (EJC) president Moshe Kantor raised his concerns with Orban in Brussels on Tuesday, on the occasion of Holocaust Memorial Day. 'Parties like Jobbik stand in direct opposition to the values of the European Union that Hungary now preside over,' Kantor said, according to an ECJ statement released Wednesday. 'The EU presidency could be utilized as a great opportunity for Hungary to lead the way against all manifestations of extremism and hatred.' The ECJ warned against 'a dramatic escalation in anti-Semitism in Europe,' claiming that Jews in Europe 'are feeling unsafe' and are 'leaving en masse' certain areas such as the Swedish town of Malmo, where there is a high concentration of Muslim migrants.

Jobbik, which gathered 16.7 per cent of votes in national elections last year and is currently in the opposition, refutes accusations of being anti-Jew as 'absurd,' but acknowledges its sympathy for the Palestinian cause in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Kantor said that calls for sanctions or a boycott on Israel over its settlement policy on occupied Palestinian land 'should be seen as unacceptable,' and official organizations supporting them 'should be outlawed.' He charged that such appeals amounted to a 'new anti-Semitism.' The EU's official policy is that Israel's continued settlement building is in breach of international law, but the bloc has stopped short of reacting with diplomatic sanctions. Last month, a group of ex-EU leaders, including the bloc's former foreign policy chief Javier Solana, called for a freeze in talks to upgrade EU-Israeli relations and for excluding Israeli produce from occupied Palestinian land from preferential trade treatment.



 The Tories are in turmoil after the moderate leader of David Cameron's EU conservative grouping resigned yesterday in protest at a lurch to the far-Right within its Polish ranks.

Michal Kaminiski, a Polish MEP, sent a letter of resignation as chairman of the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group after accusing key Tory allies in Poland of driving him out as part of a "far-Right takeover" campaign.

Mr Kaminski has accused Poland's Law and Justice (PIS) party, the ECR's second biggest national section after the Tories, of subjecting him to "aggression" and "hatred" after he formed a moderate breakaway party last year.

"I want this to happen in as calm a way as possible. I underline that I do not want a Polish-Polish war and I think we shouldn't want one in the European Parliament either," he said.

In a move that will deeply embarrass the Prime Minister, he is expected to quit the Eurosceptic grouping to join the pro-EU, mainstream centre-right European People's Party, which Mr Cameron ordered Tory MEPs to leave before creating the ECR in 2009.

The Conservative exit from the EPP provoked controversy and led to the expulsion of a senior Tory MEP who accused the Poles of harbouring racists and anti-Semites.

The Polish split has triggered fierce infighting within the ECR because Mr Kaminski clung on to leadership for three months, with the support of senior Conservatives before he stepped because the row threatened to break up the group.

Conservative MEPs said that Mr Kaminski was expected to seek refuge in the EPP. "He's most likely to join the EPP. It's a bit embarrassing but not as damaging as the backbiting has been," said a senior MEP. "With a new leader as early as next week, we hope this negative chapter will be closed."

The row, and likely departure of Mr Kaminski will put PIS under increased scrutiny after claims that the party, led by Jarolslaw Kaczynski, the brother of the late Polish president killed in an air crash last year, is careering to the far-Right.

Marek Migalski, a Polish MEP aligned with Mr Kaminski, has warned that Mr Cameron's Polish allies in Europe have fallen under the control of the owner of a controversial radio station, infamous for its anti-Semitic and xenophobic outbursts.

Father Tadeusz Rydzyk, the owner of Radio Maryja, has struck a deal with PIS in which his supporters make up 50 per cent of all the party's candidates in Poland's general election, which is due this year, in return for his backing.

Radio Maryja, just one arm of Father Rydzyk's media empire that includes a television station and a national newspaper, has been condemned by the Council of Europe and the Simon Wiesenthal Centre for anti-Semitism.

Glenis Willmott, Labour's leader in the European Parliament, said: "It is deeply disturbing that the Conservative's Polish allies are seen to be moving even further to the extreme with Kaminski's departure."

An ECR spokesman said the resignation letter had not yet been received.

"Our understanding is that Mr Kaminski will propose a solution to the tensions caused by the Polish domestic situation. Until he does so, no decisions on the matter will be taken by the Conservative delegation," he said.

The Telegraph

FBI will consider recent neo-Nazi activity in Spokane bomb discovery (USA)

The FBI will consider recent local neo-Nazi activity in its investigation of a backpack bomb found this week along a Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade route in Spokane, Washington, but it has no evidence of any connections, the agency told CNN on Thursday.

Frank Harrill, special agent in charge of the FBI's Spokane field office, said authorities know of no link to "any specific group or individuals" and called reports linking the bomb to recent neo-Nazi activity in a nearby Idaho town "premature."

The bureau is looking into the incident as "an act of domestic terrorism," Harrill said.

"Every square millimeter of the backpack will be subjected to every kind of analysis, every component will be taken apart. It will be a laborious process, taking days if not longer," Harrill told CNN.

"It is too early to announce that we have a link to any specific group or individuals. We continue to investigate all possibilities, all avenues. There is no focus yet. Reports of a link are premature," he said.

Authorities are awaiting an analysis of the backpack and bomb materials at the FBI lab in Quantico, Virginia, Harrill said.

Tony Stewart, one of the founders of the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, told CNN he found the timing of the planted bomb and two recent neo-Nazi activities in Coeur d'Alene "just too overwhelming" and suggested hatred was also behind the Spokane bomb. Coeur d'Alene is 35 miles east of Spokane.

But Stewart had no evidence tying the Spokane bomb to the two activities in Coeur d' Alene. On Friday, a handful of neo-Nazis protested two Mexican restaurants with signs saying, "This is white land" and "We want you out of here," he said. His group held a King holiday activity with 1,400 fifth-graders that day, he said.

During the evening of Monday's King holiday, about 15 neo-Nazis demonstrated outside the Human Rights Education Institute in downtown Coeur d'Alene, Stewart said. The same evening, his group held a holiday gala at another location, he said.

About the Spokane bomb discovery, Stewart said: "It's clear that it was an attempt to end the march and attack human rights advocates.

"All three events were going on when there was a reaction by the white supremacists or hate groups in some way," specifically at the two Coeur d'Alene events, Stewart said. "We don't know who did it, but there was certainly a reaction to human right events. They were individuals who didn't like what we were doing."

The Coeur d'Alene area had been a hotbed of neo-Nazi activity through the Aryan Nations and Order II hate groups since at least the 1970s, though the groups were disbanded through criminal convictions and civil lawsuits by 2000, Stewart said.

Several bombings in Coeur d'Alene in the 1980s, including at the home of a Catholic pastor and priest who was also serving as president of the human relations task force, were blamed on the Order II, Stewart said. The priest wasn't injured in that bombing, he said.

The gray backpack was found Monday on a bench at the northeast corner of North Washington Street and West Main Avenue in downtown Spokane.

No threat was received before the device was found, nor was a note found with the backpack, Harrill said.

"Clearly it's not coincidence that it's placed along the march route," he said. "But it's too early to ascribe a motive, whether it's racial or political or something else."

The FBI released photos of the Swiss Army-brand backpack and two T-shirts found in it. One shirt says "Treasure Island 2009" and the other reads "Stevens County Relay For Life June 25th-26th 2010."

The device was discovered Monday morning by three parade workers before the event, Harrill said.

According to local media reports, the bomb was designed to be detonated by remote control and was packed with shrapnel.

"We won't comment or try to rate the device," Harrill said, declining to provide details on the components or how it was constructed. "But preliminary analysis reveals this device had the potential to be pretty lethal."

March organizer Ivan Bush said he didn't want to envision what would have happened had the backpack not been found.

"We have 2,000 people that participated in the march," Bush said. "Right on the front lines are kids. One of our high school drum lines was leading the march. We had preschoolers holding banners with 'Happy birthday, Dr. King' on it.

"Again, we are talking about folks' lives; we are talking about kids' lives," he said.

Bush said city leaders in Spokane had taken steps to improve the city's image by recently naming a street in honor of King.

Agents have leads in the case, Harrill said, but he would not provide details on the investigation.

A $20,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible. The FBI is asking the public for information on who might have been seen with the backpack from about 8 to 9:25 a.m. Monday. It also is asking for photos or videos taken in the area.

One of this week's march observers, Lindsey Resiwig, told CNN that authorities used a robot to investigate the backpack.

"We were standing on the balcony up there and watching with little binoculars and they came and started messing with the package and started pulling things out, and this took a very long time," Resiwig told CNN. "The robot came and went three or four times. It took hours."

Janet Hutchinson, who works next to where bomb was found, said FBI agents interviewed her "to see if I had seen anything strange or suspicious -- people coming in with backpacks which they do in a store all the time," she told CNN.

"But it had been a really quiet morning so I had nothing to report to them," Hutchinson said.


Anti-racism group demands ban on far right demonstration (UK)

An anti-racism group has called on the British Government to ban the proposed far-right English Defence League (EDL) demonstration in Luton on February 5.The group known as ‘One Society Many Cultures’ in a media release said it is deeply concerned for the safety of the community, as the EDL have indicated they intend to march into the heart of the Muslim locality.Previous EDL demonstrations have led to attacks on mosques and other places of worship in Asian and other minority communities.

At a demonstration in Preston, north west England, in November 2010, the EDL were caught on camera chanting ‘burn down a mosque’.

The group said the demonstration goes against the Public Order Act and incitement to racial and religious hatred legislation.

Luton Council has also called for the EDL march to be banned.

The EDL, made up of self proclaimed football hooligans, has previously held demonstrations in Luton which escalated into clashes with protestors from anti-fascist groups.


Celtic midfielder Ki Sung-Yueng ignites racism row with 'monkey' celebration for South Korea in Asian Cup semi-final with Japan

Celtic midfielder   has courted controversy following a provocative celebration after scoring for South Korea against arch-rivals Japan in the semi-final of the Asian Cup.

The 21-year-old scored the opening goal from the spot and then sprinted towards a camera and proceeded to pull at and scratch his face in a monkey-like fashion.

The incident caused considerable offence in Japan, where it has been perceived as a racist taunt, although South Korean officials have claimed that it was in retaliation to alleged taunting by St Johnstone fans during a Scottish Premier League game in October.

A Japanese military flag – an inflammatory item in many former Japanese colonies – was held aloft in Doha during the semi-final match, and Ki stated after the game that he has cried in his his mind when he saw it, leading to speculation that his celebration was deliberately offensive.

Goal.com Korea's Yonghun Lee describes why Japanese viewers would have seen Ki's reaction as offensive.

"It's not racial, as Korean and Japanese people are both Asian," says Lee, "but it is a historical celebration."

He added that the flag is viewed as a symbol of Japanese fascism and militarism: "So he did that celebration to Japan supporters who held that flag."

Controversy has engulfed Ki in Korea, with many believing that he had wrongly reacted to the flag, although some have expressed sympathy for how the player felt, according to Lee, who believes that the player should not behaved as he did, but the offending flag should not have been in the stadium.

"I think the flag of the army should not be allowed in [a] football stadium in the first place," Lee said.

"And I also think that Ki's celebration was not proper either. He should have acted more maturely."

The Korean football association quickly denied that the celebration was a racial taunt aimed at Japanese viewers, and instead officially told English-speaking media that the Celtic player's celebration was in retaliation to racial abuse endured in the SPL.

An official said: "The treatment he got in the Scottish league, especially from the away fans, the people who made noises like the sounds of the monkey in Scotland while he played away games, is something he wanted to highlight.

"They call him a 'monkey' as an Asian – he wanted to show how strong they are in Asia and that was the main attention."

Ki himself claimed in the aftermath of the game that he is first a footballer "but more importantly, I'm Korean".

The Asian Football Confederation confirmed that Fifa had not contacted them over the incident, and tournament director Tokuaki Suzuki admitted no legal action would take playing, saying that the respective national associations had already discussed the matter.

South Korea were knocked out on penalties by Japan, who will face Australia in Saturday's final, after the game finished 2-2 in extra-time.