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Paris attacks foment anti-Muslim sentiments globally

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Paris terrorist attacks, which killed 130 people, have fomented anti-Islam and anti-Muslim sentiments (Islamophobia) in Australia, Europe and the United States.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), an organization of 57 Muslim majority states, says that in the wake of attacks in Paris, hatred and Islamophobia had reached "alarming levels."

An increase in hostility towards Muslims in the US following the terror attacks in Paris and amid the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis has created a climate worse than post-9/11.

There were reports of anti-Muslim demonstrations in recent days in Australia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, and Poland. In Germany far-right protestors demanded the closure of all mosques. In Canada one mosque was burnt down.

Islam is the second largest religion in Europe after Christianity, with no less than 45 million Muslims living in Europe (6 per cent of the entire population), half of which is in the European Union (3.8 per cent), according to various estimates. Larger numbers exist in France and Germany, 5 million Muslims in each; 3 million in the UK, 2.5 million in Italy and 1.5 million in both the Netherlands and Bulgaria.

On Monday, November 23, the so-called "Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West" movement - known as PEGIDA - staged an anti-Muslim demonstration in Dresden that attracted about 10,000 people. They were calling for a halt to Germany's welcoming Syrian refugee policy. And they're also calling for a new government.

Germany's leading magazine Spiegel says that PEGIDA was nearly dormant for months, but recent weeks have seen the return of Germany's islamophobic, anti-refugee Pegida movement. More confident and aggressive than ever, officials worry the hatred could spread to the mainstream.

On Sunday, Nov 22, around 300 protesters linked with the far-right movement Pro-NRW, from the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, gathered at Breslauer Platz in Cologne, to protest against what they see as the Islamization of Europe. Protesters held banners calling for a ban on mosques and a stop to the acceptance of refugees in Europe.

Hate crimes against Muslims in the United Kingdom have jumped nearly 275 percent since the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Reuters reported. At least 115 anti-Muslim hate incidents occurred in the U.K. within eight days of the attacks, according to data collected from the U.K.-based monitoring group Tell MAMA (Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks). The figure compares to just 42 incidents during the same period last year.

The vast majority of the incidents were perpetrated against Muslim women between the ages of 14 and 45, the group's report said. It also found that most of the perpetrators were young white men between 15 and 35.

In the United States, fueled by opportunistic rhetoric from politicians, an increase in hostility towards Muslims in the US following the terror attacks in Paris has created a climate worse than post-9/11. Several incidents of anti-Muslim violence or intimidation have been reported in the US since the attacks in Paris on November 13.

Such incidents in the US include at least three instances in which Arabic speakers or "suspicious" passengers, some of"Middle Eastern descent," were thrown off commercial flights in the US; assaults, including on a pregnant woman in San Diego, a man attending a movie in Manhattan, an Uber driver in North Carolina, and a woman on the campus of San Diego State University; threats of violence to Muslims in general; campus harassment in Connecticut; and a targeted shooting at a Florida residence.

At a county town hall meeting in Fredericksburg, Virginia last week, a man speaking on behalf of an Islamic center was berated by two men who said Islam is "an evil cult," and that "every Muslim is a terrorist."

Furthermore, several mosques around the nation have been defaced or vandalized, threatened with violence and shot at with multiple rounds. On Saturday, a group of armed protesters gathered outside a mosque in Irving, Texas. They came to"Stop the Islamization of America," as one protester's sign read

On Saturday, November 21, an armed anti-Muslim rally was held outside the Irving, Texas mosque. Dressed all in black with a tactical shotgun on his hip, organizer of the protest David Wright told the Dallas News that the weapons were "mostly for self-protection. But I'm not going to lie. We do want to show force. We're not sitting ducks."

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Abdus-Sattar Ghazali Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
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