Amid rising anti-Islamism, xenophobia and racism in the West, a recent report by professor Ivan Kalmar - "Is Islamophobia the New Anti-Semitism?" - analyzes the relationship between two forms of hatred over the course of history. Claiming that "Islamophobia is the new anti-Semitism," it serves as a useful warning to prevent the erosion of freedom, democracy and human decency. Professor Kalmar's report, recently published by the Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA) suggests that "recognizing the similarities [between anti-Islamism and anti-Semitism] strengthens the fight against Islamophobia." In recent years, the West - especially Europe - has seen a surge in hate crimes which point to rising racism, anti-Semitism and anti-Islamism, causing grave concerns among the Muslim populations in those countries. The SETA report provides crucial analysis regarding recent discussion of the phrases "Islamophobia is the new anti-Semitism" and "Muslims are the new Jews."
Exemplifying this by analyzing the use of these phrases within the media and blogosphere, the report penned by Kalmar referred to Charles B. Anthony's column in the Middle East Eye which reads, "I make no bones in saying this: Muslims are the new Jews. Perpetually vilified in the press, scapegoated by politicians and attacked in ever-increasing numbers on the streets, Muslims are punished for their faith and their culture, shackled to the jailer of prejudice drunk on his own self-righteous thirst for supremacy."
Kalmar's analysis concludes: "The proposition that Islamophobia is the new anti-Semitism neither affirms nor denies that anti-Zionism can also function as a new form of anti-Semitism. The phrase ‘Islamophobia is the new anti-Semitism' serves as a warning." The report also states that "Islamophobia today displays some of the warning signs that should have been recognized in the ‘old' anti-Semitism of the 1930s, and if we don't recognize these then we imperil the freedom and safety not only of specific target populations but of everyone." In his analysis, Kalmar stressed the need for rigid determination in the fight against Islamophobia, saying, "It will save freedom, democracy and human decency today."
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