Dear IRR News subscriber,
A week after Paul Moore received a life sentence for the attempted murder of a Muslim woman and a 12-year-old girl in Leicester, communities came together to express disgust at the anonymous far-right campaign to make 3 April ‘Punish a Muslim Day’. At public events across the UK, speaker after speaker reminded us that racism is about violence and that some of the most life-threatening violent incidents in Britain today are directed at Muslims. And yet Islamophobia is a form of racism that is rarely explored by the British press.
One reason why, as an article by Professor Derek Silva in the latest issue of Race & Class explains, is the stigma attached to Muslim communities thanks to government counter-radicalisation programmes like Prevent. It was Arun Kundnani’s 2009 pathbreaking IRR study Spooked: how not to prevent violent extremism, that first drew attention to the narrow lens through which the Muslim community is viewed. Professor Silva, in revisiting Arun’s scholarship, takes issue with a number of experts, who work closely on official government counter-radicalisation strategies. The April issue of Race & Class also pays homage to its founding editor A. Sivanandan, who died in January, by re-publishing a wide-ranging interview with him about his life and works: ‘The heart is where the battle is’. Also, for a limited period from 2-15 April, you can take advantage of a unique opportunity to download the entire contents of the 1995 Race & Class special issue ‘Ireland: New beginnings?’. This has been freed up to mark the twentieth anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.
Also on IRR News, we draw attention to important solidarity work with asylum seekers in Greece. From Lesvos, Ryan Erfani-Ghettani reports on recent protests to mark the second anniversary of the EU-Turkey deal ‘that has turned Lesvos, and other islands in the Aegean, into a prison islands’.
Meanwhile, in the UK, Rajesh Bhattacherjee outlines a proposal by Bail for Immigration Detainees to bring a legal action against the government, which BID argues should designate security company G4S a ‘High Risk’ strategic supplier, thereby subjecting their contracts to closer monitoring and review. And finally, our regular calendar of racism and resistance, a fortnightly resource for anti-racist and social justice campaigns, is available here.
IRR News Team