The facts about anti-semitism and anti-Muslim racism

Submitted by Matthew on 15 April, 2015 - 6:22 Author: Yves Coleman

Most European States don’t collect religious and/or ethnical statistics.

Therefore the table included in this article does not provide a very accurate image of anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim racism. And as stated before, it does not show at all the weight of anti-working-class discrimination which affects Muslim workers and their children. It just gives a very rough idea of these two evils, given the fact that, whether Muslim or Jew, an estimated 75% of the victims do not report to the police or even to their local association. And anyway only 3% of the claims are followed by a trial...

As a comrade wrote me: “Concerning the statistics about anti-Semitic and Islamophobic acts, the problem is not only that of most of them are not reported but concerns also their definition. For example, in many statistics, police violence is not taken into account, let alone when it affects undocumented workers.

“When they are produced by State authorities, their numbers are always much lower than the data collected by Muslim anti-racist associations. That’s why, in my opinion, the counting of Islamophobic acts does not correspond to reality. And after the recent attacks in January 2015, in Paris, it will be even worse: many Muslim people have experienced, since January, at least a verbal assault, but they won’t report it, because it has become commonplace. And above all the fear is really installed in the minds: the fear of having more trouble if you react than if you shut your mouth.

“Moreover, it’s very difficult to distinguish anti-Arab and anti-Muslim racism, both feeding each other and often fusing. My cousin applied for a job and had a very successful interview with the HR department. They told him that he was probably going to work for this company and he knew there was a vacancy because a friend of his works there.

“Yesterday, his friend told him the local manager is doing everything not to hire him because, I quote, “There is already one Arab in the service, I don’t want two.” I don’t think that this scumbag would have expressed his racist remark as clearly before January 2015, but as no employee will have the guts to report what they heard, it’s impossible to file a complaint against him. So besides the fact that all indicators are rising, statistics tell us very little about reality, let alone if one wants to compare the different forms of racism.”

Only three States (Sweden, France and Austria) report on anti-Muslim crimes to the OSCE and ten (Austria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Ireland, Moldova, Poland, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom) about anti-Semitism. Statistics vary according to the sources, courts, police, state institutions, NGOs, etc.

We can draw three conclusions from this table:

1) Given the relationship between the number of Muslims and Jews in Europe, there are much more anti-Semitic than anti-Muslim “incidents.” This contradicts the general assumption of the left (and of many social scientists) that anti-Semitism is disappearing, has become a secondary phenomenon, and “Islamophobia” is the main racist threat in European societies. But obviously this table does not give any indication about social discriminations against Jews and Muslims: in this case, it’s quite obvious that Muslims are certainly much more victims of social and religious discriminations and of institutional racism than the Jews.

2) Contrary to the lies propagated by national-populist parties and fascist groups, “Muslims” (be they cultural or religious Muslims) are a small minority in Europe, between 5 and 10% of the population. There is no “Muslim invasion” or mythical “Eurabia” in progress.

3) Racist incidents are not only targeting Jews and “Muslims” but all non-European minorities. Roma are certainly the most hated minority in all Europe, as shown by all polls and inquiries. The fact that intolerance and prejudices are growing against all minorities is certainly not reassuring information, but when one talks about racial discrimination and exclusion (two concrete consequences of racism) one has always to keep in mind that all sorts of discriminations exist which have no ethnic, national or religious basis: massive discrimination and exclusion based on class are considered as “normal”, “inevitable” or “eternal” by most people, including by many workers and exploited. Discrimination and exclusion based on gender and sexual orientation are also fundamental and affect all ethnic, national and religious minorities and majorities.

Anti-racism is obviously an essential dimension of our struggle, but we must not reduce all social problems to racism, and their solution to the adoption of a (fully justified) empathic attitude towards minorities, which is the mainstream politics in Europe today. The fight for equality and equity can only be efficiently led in a class perspective, based on the organisation of the exploited against all forms of social domination.

The fight for equality can’t be based only on moral, humanist values, because these values are celebrated in the frame of a big national, or even European, communion uniting all classes. This communion only perpetuates capitalist domination and exploitation.

Notes

1. “Hate crimes” include racist, xenophobic, anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim, anti-Christian, anti-LGBT, anti-Roma crimes and can take many different forms: physical assault, damage to property, bullying, harassment, verbal abuse, insults, offensive graffiti, letters and mail.

2. There is a huge difference between the 77 anti-Muslim acts and the 920 cases brought to the courts. As the latter have been perpetrated by fascist groups, they are almost certainly anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic.

Sources

• Population statistics: Eurostat 2012

• European Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia statistics

• UN data base

• Muslims: Pew Research Center 2010 and Wikipedia

• Jews: American Jewish Year Book (the statistics quoted above include what is called the “core Jewish population” and not the “enlarged Jewish population”, a strange concept which designates “those of Jewish parentage who may have adopted another religion or opted out of Judaism along with household members such as spouses and children who are not otherwise included”!)

• Berman Jewish databank 2013

• Anti-Semitic hate crimes: European Union 2013, OSCE 2013, Stephen Roth Institute for the Study of Contemporary Racism and Anti-Semitism, 2013 (Anti-Semitism worldwide 2012, General Analysis)

• Anti-Muslim hate crimes: CCIF, Tell Mama and OSCE 2013

• Yearbook of Muslims in Europe 2011

• OSCE Hate Crimes in the OSCE region. Incidents and responses (2012) http://www.osce.org/