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Entertainment

Obama to receive IHRC's Islamophobia award Feb 21
By Islamic Human Rights Commission
Feb 13, 2014 - 5:30:15 AM

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Barack Obama is set to receive a dubious distinction from a UK-based human rights groups for his hostile policies towards Muslims.

The US president is among the nominees for IHRC's Islamophobia awards, an annual recognition of the disservice done to Muslims and their faith by public figures.

Obama has been nominated in the Americas category for "just about everything" - a description that covers his continued failure to close Guantanamo Bay and the horrific use of drone strikes in the Muslim world, claimed to eliminate so-called terror suspects but which have resulted in scores of civilian casualties.

The editor of the neo-con journal 'FrontPage Mag' Daniel Greenfield also features in the list for vilification and inciting hatred against Muslims. The online magazine is notorious for demonising Islam and hyping up an imaginary global 'Islamic threat'. Needless to say he will face stiff competition from fellow neocon Daniel Pipes, another household name in the US Islamophobia industry. Pipes' Middle Eastern Forum funds much of the Islamophobia Network in the USA

The pair are among a long list of nominees from around the world, selected by the public, which also features the surprise inclusion of Burmese freedom and democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi.

The 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner has been nominated for her continuing refusal to back citizenship calls by the country's oppressed Rohingya Muslim minority. The Burmese government's denial of statehood to the Rohingya is one of the main reasons they are described by the UN as one of the world's most persecuted peoples.

Along with her National League for Democracy party, Aung San Suu Kyi has tiptoed around the issue and has even refused to condemn the state-supported attacks that ravaged Rohingya communities in 2012. Shin Wirathu, the Buddhist monk believed to be behind the wave of anti-Muslim hostility sweeping Burma, is also among this year's nominees.

Egypt's General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the army general who conducted a bloody campaign to remove and then ban the democratically elected Muslim Brotherhood and put the Arab world's most populous nation firmly back on the road to military rule.

Although the awards are intended to be a tongue in cheek poke at public figures of all stripes, they do carry a serious message. Islamophobia is on the rise all over the world, particularly in the West, and the event serves to focus attention on the problem. Five genuine awards will also be given to people who have struggled against Islamophobia.

Islamophobia can be described as stereotypes, bias or acts of hostility towards individual Muslims or followers of Islam in general. In addition to individual acts of intolerance and racial profiling, Islamophobia leads to viewing Muslims as a greater security threat on an institutional, systemic and societal level and perceiving their views to be intrinsically problematic, violent or unethical.

The 2014 Islamophobia Awards are being held in London on 21 February at the Holiday Inn, Wembley, Empire Way, London HA9 8DS, starting 6.30pm. Press wishing to attend can do so from 7.45pm (or purchase a ticket and join the event from the start of dinner at 6.30pm) The event will consist of performances including comedians, gala dinner, and a fundraising charity auction. It will be streamed live on www.ihrc.tv.

Press should register in advance by emailing media@ihrc.org. Video and audio clips, as well as photographs will be available a few hours after the event.

Islamic Human Rights Commission
PO Box 598
Wembley
HA9 7XH
United Kingdom
Web: www.ihrc.org


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