The war against terrorism is boosting the European far-Right - special report from the Institute of Race Relations


The EU, in following the US approach to fighting terrorism, is seriously undermining its own democratic traditions and creating an explosive racism.

This is the damming verdict of the Institute of Race Relations, which presents its findings in a new report published today. Racism: the hidden cost of September 11 represents the first attempt to examine the impact of September 11, and the subsequent war against terrorism, on race relations across Europe.

And it details who is most affected by the denial of civil liberties - and how.

Asylum seekers, foreigners (principally Arabs) and Europe's Muslim minorities are the biggest losers. European anti-terrorist laws, adopted post- September 11, have bred a culture of suspicion in which anyone of Middle-Eastern appearance is treated as an 'enemy alien'. Meanwhile, the far-Right and anti-immigrant parties have used September 11 for electoral gain - demonising Islam and its cultural and religious practices.

'But the extreme-Right is not alone in prioritising these themes', says author Liz Fekete. 'Government policies on race relations and integration have changed dramatically since September 11. In fact we are entering a new era in domestic race policy, where old, discredited ideas of monoculturalism and assimilation into the dominant White, European Christian culture are once again in the ascendant. And the hidden cost of September 11 is an
unashamed racism.'

The Institute of Race Relations draws attention to the fact that the War Against Terrorism
- increases Eurocentrism - damages the principle of refugee protection - engenders discrimination
- denies civil liberties - legitimises human rights abuses

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News in Brief; April 2002

 

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