tisdag 1 mars 2011

Mångfald. Del 2. Rasism och homofobi ursäktar inte varann.

HBT-siten Pinknews och flera andra inom brittisk media avslöjade för några veckor sedan att någon grupp av människor placerat klistermärken med homofientligt budskap i östra London.
Stickers have been placed around London’s East End, declaring it a “gay-free zone”.

The messages, posted on buildings and lampposts close to Shoreditch gay nightspots George & Dragon and the Joiners Inn, say “Arise and warn. Gay free zone. Verily Allah is severe in punishment.”

They have also been posted on Whitechapel High Street and outside a school.

Pictures of the stickers were sent in by a local resident, who said he tried to remove them.

He told PinkNews.co.uk: “Tower Hamlets council won praise from Stonewall for its LGBT friendliness, but these stickers are a warning that Islamist extremists in Tower Hamlets have not gone away from London’s streets.

“According to police figures, a homophobic crime is committed in Tower Hamlets at the rate of more than five a month.”

The resident suggested that they may have been posted by members of Islam4UK, which has been accused of being a front for the banned Al Mahajaroun Group.

Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said: “There have been a series of homophobic threats and assaults by Asian youths on LGBT people in the East End over recent years.

“I’ve been attacked by Muslim youths three times in and around Brick Lane. In all three attacks, the assailants shouted religious slogans. My LGBT Muslim friends who live in the area are nervous and anxious. They fear attack and dare not reveal their sexuality.”

The East London Mosque, based in Whitechapel, did not return requests for comment.

The Muslim Council of Britain said it “[stands] firm against discrimination and violence against any people”.

It added: “These stickers are wrong and not in keeping with our Islamic teaching to respect our neighbours.”

However, Jack Gilbert, the co-chair of LGBT forum Rainbow Hamlets, suggested that the stickers could be the work of the groups such as the English Defence League.

“We have evidence that they were very likely to have been produced by far-right sources in order to forment community tension,” he said.

He added that police were aware of the stickers and urged people to report them if they come across them.
Absurt nog vägrade till en början den moské, East London Mosque som är i området att kommentera. Några dagar senare bytte de attityd och kritiserade beteendet.
Dilwar Khan, director of the East London Mosque and the London Muslim Centre, said: “We stand together with our fellow citizens against all forms of hatred, including homophobia.

“We are committed to building strong and cohesive communities in Tower Hamlets, and our strength is that we will not let incidents of hate divide us.”
Givetvis kan det vara svårt att veta om det verkligen är muslimska extremister eller högerextremister som spridit det vidriga homofientliga budskapet på klistermärkena. Men om man ska debattera problemet med islamism har det egentligen inte någon avgörande betydelse vilket som är alternativet. Det är så många andra tecken, bl.a. från Peter Tatchell, själv antirasistisk vänstersympatisör, om att våldet från en del muslimer mot HBT-personer är ett allvarligt problem som tydligen blir värre och värre. Det är givetvis helt oacceptabelt. Och inget som ska tystas i någon politiskt korrekt iver.

Samma tendenser har i flera år noterats i Amsterdam i Nederländerna. Rapporter där visar att andelen ungdomar med ursprung från muslimska länder, främst Marocko är betydligt högre bland ansvariga för hatbrott mot HBT-personer än deras andel bland stadens ungdomar.

I min egen hemstad Malmö är det också en del HBT-personer som blivit trakasserade som sagt att de ansvariga ofta varit personer med invandrarursprung. Jag vill dock förtydliga att Malmö generellt är en HBT-vänlig stad som idag är betydligt tryggare för bögar, lesbiska och transpersoner än på 1990-talet då de flesta som attackerade hade etniskt svenskt ursprung. Men det konstaterandet får inte göra att man ska bagatellisera problemet. Att vi kunnat minska homofientligheten bland etniska svenskar (och många invandrargrupper för den delen) är en tendens som vi ska behålla. Att homofientligheten åter blir värre är givetvis fullständigt oacceptabelt.

Brittiska gayjournalisten Johann Hari kommenterar debatten om homofientliga muslimer.

In this month’s Attitude magazine, he wrote: “East London has seen the highest increase in homophobic attacks anywhere in Britain. Everybody knows why, and nobody wants to say it.

“It is because East London has the highest Muslim population in Britain, and we have allowed a fanatically intolerant attitude towards gay people to incubate there, in the name of ‘tolerance’.”

Referring to a recent Gallup poll, he wrote: “No, Muslims are not the only homophobes among us. But the gap between them and the rest is startling. It’s zero per cent of British Muslims vs 58 per cent of other Brits who say we are ‘acceptable’.”

Mr Hari suggested that “solidarity” and sympathy among LGBT people for another minority group had led to “silence” on the issue.

He wrote: “It is true that British Muslims are themselves frequently the victims of bigotry. They are often harassed by the police, denied jobs, and abused in the street, and they are forced to watch as our government senselessly incinerates many Muslims abroad. (I have written many articles detailing and deploring these ugly facts.)

He urged for the support and funding of Muslim groups which do advocate LGBT equality, such as Imaan and British Muslims for Secular Democracy
Tyvärr är det ju så att det faktum att någon själv tillhör en minoritet verkligen inte är en garant för att man är tolerant mot andra minoritetsgrupper. Problemet med homofientlighet bland många muslimer är ett tydligt tecken.

Men även HBT-rörelsen har intoleransproblem om än att det relativt sällan går så långt som till våld. Det är orsaken till att brittiska föreningen Gay men’s health charity, GMFA, startat en kampanj (bilden till den här bloggposten är från den) emot rasism.
A new push to tackle racism on the gay scene is encouraging people to be “switched on” about discrimination....

A 2001, a Galop survey titled The Low Down found that 57 per cent of black and ethnic minority respondents said they had encountered racism from white LGBT people....

Matthew Hodson, head of programmes at GMFA, added: “All too often, society discriminates against us for being gay, or different. We know how hurtful and harmful that can be, so why would we perpetuate that within our own community?”....

Phyll Opoku, a black lesbian, said: “Many, many years back, when I first came out, I went to this club and I thought ‘wow, this is great!’ The women all dancing with each other.

“[I was] hoping that someone would just ask me to dance and. It didn’t happen but I got up and I danced just by myself. And then someone said, ‘You stupid, beep, beep, beep. Why don’t you just get off this dance floor? You’re in my way’.”

“They were drunk but when I say ‘beep, beep, beep…’ it was quite derogatory towards black people. So I realised that maybe that place was not for me; I didn’t see anybody that looked like me, to be able to sit there and feel comfortable with them.”

Hanaan Baig, of Muslim LGBT group Imaan, said: “There was an incident several years ago while me and other group members of Imaan were marching at London Pride.

“Other gay marchers came up to us and said, ‘I didn’t know we were marching with terrorists today!’ And that was a Pride day… yet there were other LGB&T people that felt it was necessary or perhaps even humorous to make such comments. It was pretty offensive.

Även den här typen av kommentarer är något som är helt oacceptabelt. Rasism bland HBT-personer och homofobi bland invandrare ursäktar inte varann.

Givetvis bör båda bekämpas. Den brittiska kampanjen är därför värd en eloge.

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