SHAFAQNA – Donald Trump was voted Islamophobe of the Year at this years Islamophobia Awards 2017 event this weekend in London. Hundreds of people attended the unique tongue in cheek awards ceremony hosted by the Islamic Human Rights Commission, at Abrar House, which serves to highlight the trend of rising institutional hatred of Islam in the West.
The event also recognised those who have fought against Islamophobia in the past year – usually against huge odds. This year’s honourees included Maz Saleem, Roshan Muhammad Salih and the Malaysian organisation MAPIM.
Human rights activist Maz Saleem, whose father was brutally murdered by neo Nazi terrorist while walking home from his Mosque. The British media failed to adequately cover the terrorist attack on her father in the same week that they gave wall to wall coverage about the murder of Lee Rigby by an alleged Muslim”. This, for Maz Saleem, sums up what institutional Islamophobia is – a carefully orchestrated multifaceted discrimination phenomena against ordinary Muslims. She said ” the police handling of the terrorist murder was also suspect as they refused to pursue it as a hate crime” and as for the British government, she says, they too are involved in the Islamophobic targeting of Muslim communities through their thinly-veiled drive for more and more counter terrorism laws which simply erode civil liberties.
It should come as little surprise that Donald Trump has earned the ignominious distinction for the second year running. Since then he has been elected president of the USA and issued an executive order that has become known as the ‘Muslim ban’ and has created an even worse environment of hate for Muslims worldwide.
Masoud Shadjareh, the founder of IHRC, thinks it comical that the Sunday Times gave a platform to objections by Trevor Phillips, that as a nominee of the Awards, he had been targeted with threats of violence. The near daily,
alleged, Islamophobic stories published by the Times itself and other western media groups were, in Masoud’s opinion, what the broadsheet should actually be addressing as he argues have been proven to be causing daily fear and violence against Muslims for decades.
The winner in the Islamophobia Awards 2017’s ‘UK’ category was the British schools oversight agency – OFSTED, who recently announced they would be quizzing young students who wore the hijab. The ‘Ne
ws Media’ gong went to Fox News who have been fierce champions of Donald Trump and his discriminatory policies. This year’s winner in the ‘International’ category was the Burmese politician Aung San Suu Kyi who has faced fierce criticism for her inaction when it comes to the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya people. The last honour was bestowed to the American television series Homeland in the ‘Book/Movie/TV’ category – a consecutive win after last year.
With the continuation of the Wests ‘war on terror’, and the roll out of the UK government strategy known as Prevent, which cannot even legally define ‘extremism’ yet rolls out an entire Stasi style anti Muslim policy based on it. Add to this the rise of the right wing and the recent revelations that right wing social media sites are using bots to amplify anti Muslim hate campaigns, IHRC and other civil rights campaigners are bracing themselves for a decades long struggle to battle and defeat Islamophobia.