The Socio-political Context of Islamophobic Prejudices



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1 There is a debate on the definition of the Haitian Revolution as the first contestation of European supremacy, given the demands of equal rights regardless of race which have been put forward, along with the prise of power by non-whites.

2 Victims of genocide by the Nazis : 6 million Jews, 200,000 or more Gypsies, thousands of political opponents and homosexuals.

3 Non-discriminatory clauses are also presented in other documents : the Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention of the ILO, No. Ill (art. 1,1958) ; the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (art. 1, 1965) ; the UNESCO Convention (art. 1, against discrimination in teaching, 1960) ; the UNESCO Declaration on Race and Racial Prejudice (art. 1, 2, 3, 1978) ; the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief (art. 2, 1981) ; the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the American Convention on Human Rights (Organisation of American States) ; the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (Organisation of African Unity).

4 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (UN, 1966, art. 13) ; International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966/1991, art. 27) ; Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and. Linguistic Minorities (UN, Dec. 18, 1992) ; Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (Council of Europe), Document of the Copenhagen Meeting of the Conference on the Human Dimension of the CSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe).

5 Set in motion in part by the Socialist Party for its own interests, not supported by the Communist Party -that great defender of universalism in the abstract — this mobilization of immigrants and of their descendants, largely of Maghreb origin, had little impact and future. It was comprised of a militant current which demanded the simple social recognition of immigrants, and others which were more radical in their demand for equality.

30% could be a sufficient proportion for impressing an orientation to ways of acting within a civil society. All depends on the political power and/or influence on the media of the concerned cultural majority.

6 The terms liberal and Liberalism as employed here in no way refer to a theory of the minimal role of the State in the economic and social spheres, nor do they convey the notion of economic neo-liberalism. They are used in their theoretical and historical sense, which is in fact more Anglo-Saxon than Franco-French. Historically, this sense has existed in France, although the philosophy of Classical Liberalism has been almost entirely supplanted by the Republican doctrine (Jaurne, 1997) or transformed by it, so that it lost its original meaning.

To give a simple yet striking example of the rise in social inequalities, according to a report by Caritas from October 2013, 6% of the population of Spain lived on 307 Euros per month in 2012, which is twice as much as in 2008. The number of millionaires had increased by 12% in 2011. The Guardian Weekly, October 18th, p. 13. Wealth Gap in Spain is EU's Biggest.

7 Of which a new slogan describes the current facets in the United States : God, Gays and Guns.

8 The open discourse of the Republican Party since the 1970s has been to reduce the size of the State and of social entitlements. Two factors intervene. Its electoral base wants to maintain its economic and cultural status ; the financial sector estimates that the return on capital has decreased too much since the 1970s and that the cost of the State has become too high. This electoral base has demanded and obtained the opening of borders for the exportation of capital in countries where the salaries and production costs are lower, as well as the abolition of the separation between the investment activities and commerce of banks (Clinton, 1998). It has also created false financial products, encouraging poorer social categories to get into debt and creating bubbles and financial crises. Nonetheless, a new phenomenon in the past four to five years has been the harshness by which a fraction of the Republican Party, such as the Tea Party, has applied this program and reaffirmed its identity referents (family, Christianity, contempt for the poor, morality, exclusion of all lands of deviants including homosexuals). It is noteworthy that the more this current destroys the State, the more the pro-Democrat coalition of the poor, the middle-class struggling with backward social mobility, wealthy liberal elites, Blacks, Chicanos, immigrants, non-whites and cultural deviants, is reinforced. The history of the Parti Québécois' cultural shift is similar. From a defender of the interests of the middle class and of ascending francophone elites that muzzled the nativist, racist and xenophobic fringe of the party, it now has for its main base the voices of cultural Catholics alarmed by their loss of status and power in society.

9 We should remember that 80% of Gypsies in Germany, or more than 200,000 persons, were exterminated in Nazi camps, and 100% of those established in Croatia. France detained Gypsies but did not hand them over to the Nazis. Germany refused to recognize the genocide of Gypsies until 1979 (Delpha, 2013, 11).

10 In Texas, where the rejection of Obamacare is the strongest in the United States, 10% of Whites do not hold insurance, as opposed to 40% of Blacks and Chicanos. Corine Lesnes, 2013. "Texans à votre santé !" Le Monde, October 21rst.

11 50% of immigrants in the 1990s affirm that they regularly frequent a place of cult, compared to 20% of immigrants of European origin, 40% of Arab immigrants, regardless of the period of arrival, and 31% of native-born Canadian adults. Those of Middle Eastern and Western Asian origin, mostly Muslims, do not display a high degree of religiosity : 33% versus 65% for those of South Asian origin and 56% of South-Eastern origin (Clark & Schellenberg, 2006).

12 Gray critiques any notion of 'meliorism', i.e. the belief that the material and moral condition of humanity improves over time in an irregular yet inevitable manner. Sen is critical of the school of rational choice which reduces rationality to the realization of an immediate objective, without taking into account the beliefs, moral ends and convictions of individuals.



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