Mark Townsend, in a Guardian article last Saturday "Far-right anti-Muslim network on rise globally as Breivik trial opens" mentions a timely new report on Counter-Jihad published by Hope not Hate.
Formed in 2005 as a positive antidote to political extremism with the support of the Daily Mirror, trade unions, celebrities and community groups across the country, Hope not Hate, in particular, mobilises opposition to the British National Party’s (BNP) and English Defence League’s (EDL) politics of hate.
The report, by anti-racism group Hope Not Hate, states that since [mass murderer Anders Breivik's] ... killing spree, the counter-jihad movement – a network of foundations, bloggers, political activists and street gangs – has continued to proliferate...
Researchers at Hope Not Hate name the UK as one of Europe's most active countries in terms of counter-jihad extremism, with 22 anti-Islamic groups currently operating.
In Europe as a whole, 133 organisations were named in the report, including seven in Norway, and another 47 in the US, where a network of neo-conservative, evangelical and conservative organisations attempts to spread "negative perceptions of Islam, Muslim minorities and Islamic culture".See the Counter-Jihad Report.
Nick Lowles, director of Hope Not Hate said: "Breivik acted alone but it was the 'counter-Jihadist' ideology that inspired him and gave him the reasoning to carry out these atrocious attacks. All eyes this week will be on what Breivik did last July, but we ignore those people who inspired him at our peril."
Andreas Mammone, a historian at Kingston University in London and an expert on European fascism, said broader factors had helped the counter-jihad movement to consolidate support. "The economic crisis continues to promote nationalism alongside the need for a common enemy. A fear of radical Islam is being developed, the idea that it presents a threat to our freedom," he said.
On this website, and in an accompanying printed publication, you will find the largest and most comprehensive survey of anti-Muslim and Islamophobic organisations to date.
In total we feature over 300 organisations and key individuals that make up the ‘Counter-Jihad’ movement. It covers the right wing political parties, who are increasingly using anti-Muslim rhetoric to garner votes. It also explores the websites and bloggers who propagate scare stories about Islam. It covers the street gangs, like the English Defence League, and the likeminded groups they inspire around Europe. It also discusses the funders and the foundations which bankroll the network...
The ‘Counter-Jihad’ movement is the new face of the far right in Europe. The old racial nationalism of fascist and racists are receding but in its place are right wing populist parties and movements which make Islam the issue and Muslims the target. It manifests itself in different ways in different countries but its underlying message is the same. Sometimes it is focused around the single issue of Islam, but in other situations it becomes interwoven with wider politics of immigration, culture, loss and identity.The report concludes:
They are neo-Conservatives. They are Christian evangelicals. They are hardline racists. They are football hooligans. They are nationalists. They are populists. They are hardline Zionists. They are former leftists. The ‘counter-Jihad’ movement comes in all shapes and sizes but they are united in a common loathing of Islam.
The ‘Counter-Jihad’ movement is one that we cannot afford to ignore. For this reason we have produced the ‘Counter-Jihad’ report and are establishing the ‘Counter-Jihad’ Monitoring Unit.