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Pew Global Studies Survey: Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism on the Rise

Pew Global Studies Survey

Pew Global Studies Survey

Islamophobia and anti-Semitism are on the rise in Europe according to the Pew Global Attitudes survey (2008). Negative perceptions and views of Muslims range from 32 percent in Britain to 52 percent in Spain. As Muqtedar Khan writes,

There are many consequences for Muslims as a result of the growing Islamophobia, all of them impinging on the quality of the rights they enjoy. New laws that are being instituted or considered as a consequence of Islamophobia are undermining the liberal democratic culture of Europe and making Muslims second-class citizens.

At the same time there has also been a sharp rise in anti-Semitism in Europe, with increasing attacks and vilification of the Jewish community.

Anti-Semitism, too, has grown rapidly in the last three years in Europe. The same Pew survey reports that negative views of Jews are now held by more than a third of the population in Germany and France and by by almost half in Spain. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports that anti-Semitism has been on the rise. It cites a study by the European Jewish Congress that found that in the first three months of 2009, there were twice as many attacks on Jews as in the previous year. The study pointed to Israel’s war in Gaza and a resurgence of old stereotypes blaming Jews for the current economic crisis as the main causes for the rise in anti-Jewish sentiments in Europe.

Most interesting is that the same Pew study also highlights that those who are Islamophobic are also anti-Semitic, which further strengthens a point that we have made many times over about Islamophobes; when you find one they are not just bigoted against Muslims and Islam but other groups as well. It also proves the lie to the claims by many in the Islam-bashing industry such as Robert Spencer, Bat Ye’or (!) and neo-fascist European politicians like Geert Wilders who state that the rise in anti-Semitism is correlated to the increase in the population of Muslims due to both birth rates and immigration. Again Muqtedar Khan writes,

Some commentators have tried to link the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe to a growing Muslim population there. But in Hungary, where there is hardly any Muslim presence, anti-Semitism is both more rabid and crude than anywhere else in Europe.

The fact that these two expressions of bigotry and racism are on the increase in Europe should be a clarion call to concerned citizens that these phenomenons must be challenged. It should also serve as an impetus for Jews and Muslims to work together so that Europe does not further slip into the abyss of extreme nationalism and discrimination against minorities that will slowly corrode the fabric of it’s democratic system — echoing ominous events from the early 20th century.

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  • Marx and Spender

    “Wilders’ only trait that even resembles Fascism is his opposition to an alien cult, namely Islam.”

    Yes, indeed. A foreign cult from the middle-east that has spread throughout Europe changing the culture and making new intolerances against women, other faiths and customs. Those who oppose it are vilified. It is given preference by the powers that be and anyone who oppose it are crushed.

    Islam? Nah, it is actually a better description of Christianity spreading through Europe in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages

    I laugh when folk go one about the “alien cult” of Islam while ignoring that Christianity is from the same region and the only things not alien to Europe are the trappings stolen from the Greco-Roman faith and the faiths of those they converted (in England it has a lot of Germanic Heathen influence such as a lot of words ‘god’, ‘heaven’, ‘hell’, ‘gospel’ and holidays like Easter, Yuletide/Christmas that owe much of their origin to heathenism etc) that were stolen to make Christianity less foreign.

    Christianity is as European as Islam or Judaism and probably less so than Hinduism and Buddhism which are at least from the Proto-Indo-European faith.

    Incidentally, Geert Wilders may not be a fascist, just a moron.

  • Bertha Dicks

    Hey Garibaldi !
    Mr. Geert WILDERS is NOT a fascist politican. Be careful with your leftist faith( preachers )!

  • Carl Stoll

    I must protest against your characterization of the Dutch politician Geert Wilders as a “neo-Fascist”. Quite independently of whether you agree with him or not, to call him a “neo-Fascist” or any kind of Fascist, for that matter, is profoundly mistaken, in the straightforward sense that he has nothing in common with Fascists.

    I grew up in a Fascist country (Spain) and I have studied the history of European Fascism in great detail. Wilders has not one single characteristic that could honestly be called Fascist. He isn’t militaristic, he does not advocate violence, he does not propagate hatred, etc. Wilders’ only trait that even resembles Fascism is his opposition to an alien cult, namely Islam.

    But in contrast to Fascists, he is not xenophobic in general. He does not attack Jews, blacks, Arabs, whatever, but concentrates his criticism on a single target, namely Islam. Although he attacks Islam, he does not vilify Moslems, he does not call for their expulsion or internment, nor does he glorify any supposed heroic ancient values of his country. He appeals to reason, not emotion.

    Consequently I must attribute your calling Wilders a “Fascist” either to ignorance of European history or else to a vocabulary that is designed to promote a specific agenda.

  • Garibaldi


    I think you misunderstood the line about Bat Ye’or. Emperor’s point in bringing her, Wilders and Spencer up is not that they are anti-Semites, but that they are anti-Muslim, anti-Arab and Islamophobic. They perpetuate Islamophobia, and I think that is undeniable.

    Most European fascist politicians are both anti-Semitic and Islamophobic. In the past the BNP was known for its anti-Semitism, which it claims to have disavowed now. If you believe Zebras can change their stripes then you might believe the BNP as well.

    The other point is that your comment speaks to the irony of the current climate. You have some Jews like Bat Ye’or and supporters of the Likud such as Spencer, allying with fascist politicians such as Geert Wilders to impinge on the freedoms of another minority — Muslims. That should give us some food for thought.

  • BWB

    I’d wish the jews a lot of luck.

    Because if the roles would be reversed the fhew moslims I know said they would have erradicated the jews allready years/decades ago. Why the Jews take so long to defeat the palestinians? They se as a jewish weakness and/or overestimation of the Jews strength.

    Offcourse this is but a way some see it and doens’t represent the majority.
    (I’m not able to ask a majority of anything for there opinion as my resources are limited)

    I wonder why BNP didn’t try to get Wilders properly into the uk…
    I mean… he’s visa is still not allowed and as such he’s still prohibited to enter england for any period of time…

    A possible answer might just be that the BNP isn’t yet strong enough to do so(if they ever might be before or after Wilders dies of old age).


  • Sergei Khorochkkov

    Hungary is east Europe, there anti-semitism is very high, but people like Bat Yeor are jewish! How can they be anti-semetic, and Robert Spencer whole heartedly supports isreal. Khan dosen’t know what he is talking about.

  • kafirist

    “It should also serve as an impetus for Jews and Muslims to work together..” Like in the Middle East, huh? Thank you for the laugh!

  • WDSF

    Interesting analysis. It is also well-noted that the BNP, the main facist party in the U.K., is both Islamophobic and anti-Semitic.

  • Tristan

    Great article!Some don’t believe that anti-Semitism is on the rise in Europe:

    A journalist from Holland who linked Jews to the recent outbreak of flu pandemics drew heavy criticism from a prominent Dutch Jewish organization earlier this week, that claimed her words were tantamount to anti-Semitic blood libels.

    Holland’s largest daily, De Telegraf last week printed an interview with Désirée Röver, 61, who proposed the bird flu pandemic, caused by the virus H5N1, was part of an international conspiracy to reduce the world’s population.

    Röver is quoted as saying the conspiracy can be traced back to a group of descendants of the Khazars, a nation from the Caucasus believed to have converted to Judaism 1,200 years ago.

    De Telegraaf quotes her as saying that these descendants are now “praying to another god; Lucifer, Satan, or however you want to call him” and “are called Rockefeller, Rothschild, Brezinski and Kissinger.”

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