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    John Brissenden

    I find it very difficult to imagine the existence of a Parliamentary Committee on Islamophobia, much less it publishing a report. Incidentally, had you visited the Committee's website, you would have seen that Iain Duncan Smith was a member of the Inquiry responsible for the report.

    Judy

    Thanks for the info on IDS, John. I've updated the post to include it.

    John Brissenden

    You're welcome. I've only skim-read the report myself, although the recommendations seem sensible. What did you make of it?

    Joanne

    Regarding your reference to Wilhelmine and Weimar Germany:

    This reminds me of when I was studying for a masters of international politics...a really long time ago. The professor was an older European man, and I couldn't understand why he grimaced when someone in the class said that student protestors represented the conscience of society. Or words to that effect. It may not have been as overblown as it sounds here.

    Eventually, I understood why. The student only had anti-Vietnam, anti-nuclear, or pro-civil rights demonstrations as a point of reference. I later learned, however, that students and professors in pre-Nazi Germany also were also politically active: in favor of the Nazis.

    Rather than saying that students (professors, journalists, etc.) are the voice of political conscience, it may be more accurate to say that they're the voice of political fashion. Or tht they're the voice of the Zeitgeist, i.e. spirit of the times. Or the first voices of a new Zeitgeist just emerging.

    Now we see demonstrators--students and otherwise--who draw on anti-Semitic AND leftwing themes. Both that professor in student would be rather confused today.

    Actually, anti-Semitism and leftism were not always on opposite sides of the barricades. The left in the 19th century was also anti-Semitic. Duhring, Proudhon, Marx, Guesde, for instance. The left only began to stand against the anti-semites during the Dreyfus affair. And that alignment stuck (more or less) until the late 1960s-early 1970s.

    Leslie

    It is a shame an educated, intellectual person can talk so openly and racist. In a discussion on Jewish Connection- JewishConnection.com - someone stated that "intellectual" racists are the worst kind because they have higher status in society and the chance to change things if they choose...verses "Students and activists" who protest all the time and little or no change occurs, at least not quickly.

    Joanne

    Yes, Leslie, I could see that "intellectual" racists could do more harm, especially if they have impressive credentials.

    It is my impression that many people do not have the knowledge or self-confidence to evaluate issues on their own, except for issues that affect them directly. So, they'll tend to listen to someone who is articulate and seems authoriative. This goes doubly so for someone on the Left saying things that cross the boundary into anti-Semitism. There are still plenty of people out there who think that, by definition, the Left is anti-racist and can't possibly be anti-Semitic.

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