Attacks against Muslim communities is becoming an issue of increasing concern

While we do not know all the details of what happened in London, in Finsbury Park it looks like a deliberate attack against the Muslim community. In your opinion, how big is a threat of reprisal attacks against Muslim community after couple of attacks conducted by Islamist extremists, how should security forces (society?) react? Read few comments.

Sam MullinsProfessor of Counterterrorism, George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies

The threat of right-wing motivated attacks against Muslim communities is becoming an issue of increasing concern throughout Europe and North America. Both right-wing and Islamist-motivated attacks feed off one another – each side using the actions of the other to justify and incite further violence. The danger is that a self-reinforcing cycle of violence may develop. That said, there have been many inspiring messages of solidarity from Londoners that clearly demonstrate that the vast majority of people do not want this and will not allow it to happen.

Sara Silvestri, Senior Lecturer in International Politics, City University London

Unfortunately Muslim communities in this and other European countries as well as in the USA have been on the receiving end of verbal abuse and physical violence for a long time, even from before 9.11. It is quite sad to notice that the general public was completely unaware of this phenomenon and needed such a violent act to wake up to the problem. Muslim individuals are regularly called names and several mosques and Muslim community centres have been vandalised in the last 20 years. In addition, members of other faith communities who belong to ethnic minorities are often ‘mistaken’ as Muslims by the public and therefore also end up suffering from such attacks and abuse. According to a prominent Muslim NGO based in London, Faith Matters, the daily rate of Anti-Muslim attacks in the UK has increased five fold in the UK since the Manchester attacks. Basically we have seen such reprisals peak after each attacks that was carried out by people who claimed to act in the name of Islam. But vengeance is not the way forward for democratic societies. A temporary measure – not a long term solution – to avoid these incidents would be to offer more protection to places of worship in general . In fact the UK government has a special pot of money for this purpose. But I don’t think this is a long term solution because what we really need is to rebuild trust among communities, not more people in arms.

Gilbert RamsayLecturer in International Relations, Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence (CSTPV), University of St Andrews

I think that the short answer is that we don’t know. Broadly, the far-right in Britain is arguably in a measure of disarray at the moment. The EDL has been knocked by the defection of its leader, Tommy Robinson. The BNP has virtually disappeared. Groups like Britain First seem to have more or less given up on electoral politics; and UKIP, which has in the recent past tried to present a more moderate image, ran a relatively hard-right, anti-immigrant campaign at the election two weeks ago and suffered a precipitous collapse in its vote share. Formal organisations aren’t needed for people to carry out lone attacks like this one, but some sort of engagement with extremist milieu does tend to be the pattern. The institutional decline of hard right politics in Britain doesn’t, of course, mean that violence becomes less likely – if groups are going underground it might make it morel likely. This certainly isn’t an isolated incident of Islamophobic violence in the UK, but it is difficult to extrapolate from this one incident whether we can expect to see more of the same.

Steve Scalise shooting: What does it mean for America?

We still do not know much about the shooter’s motives, though it seems that a gunman who opened fire at a congressional baseball practice was anti-GOP, anti-Trump. What kind of political reaction do you expect, and what should be in your opinion the political reaction of this horrible act? Read few comments. Continue reading

New Irish PM Leo Varadkar is a gay, immigrant’s son. So what?!

I have to admit also for my journalistic colleagues around the world that basically every article about Varadkar starts with the fact that varadkar is openly gay, immigrant’s son. But is it somehow important from your point of view, does he represent something new for Ireland, for Ireland politics? Read few comments.

Irish PM Leo Varadkar. Credit: http://www.finegael.ie

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Can social media increase some crime trends?

You may have heard about the recent case how Thai man kills baby on Facebook Live, see e. g.  and also about other similar case. Without going into some big theories, do you think such case might have some impact on the thinking of the others who may plan something similar or this is probably an insignificant factor, and why? Read few comments. Continue reading

Does Erdogan care about the divisions in Turkey’s society?

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Turkey’s President President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Credit: https://www.tccb.gov.tr

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What does France believe in?

With Emmanuel Macron, Marine Le Pen, Jean-Luc Mélenchon and François Fillon we have a political newcomer in French presidential elections, far-right and far-left candidate and conservative fighting media. Though polling very low the majority of the other candidates represents fringe and extreme ideas. How do you read this, does it show public is really fed up with the politics as usual, and what does it mean for French society and politics? Read few comments.

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How much should be Indonesia worried about the country’s future?

The campaign before Jakarta gubernatorial election was described by daily Jakarta Post as the dirtiest, most polarizing and most divisive the nation has ever seen. As incumbent governor Basuki Purnama is Christian and has Chinese roots also the question of religion and nationality played the role in the campaign. In your opinion what does this campaign tell us about Indonesian politics and society, would you agree with Jakarta Post description or not and why? Read few comments.

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