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Saturday, October 16, 2004

UK: Racism 'is the new terrorism' as attacks rise in Ulster

From the Independent:
Community leaders in Northern Ireland have warned that racism is threatening to replace terrorism in a rising tide of attacks and incidents on immigrant families.

Three hundred incidents of racially motivated intimidation have been reported this year and the authorities fear that aggressive racism has become a permanent feature of post-Troubles society in the province. A former Belfast councillor said: "We're beginning to think racism is the new terrorism."
When the attacks began to mount a few years ago it was hoped that they would prove a passing phase, but it appears they are here to stay. The communities affected by the wave of violence include blacks, Chinese, Portuguese, Filipinos, Lithuanians, Poles and Muslims. In the case of Muslims, hostility appeared to mount in the wake of the 11 September 2001 attacks on the US.
Mr Justice Coghlin, a judge in Belfast, said: "It is almost beyond credibility that after 30 years of sectarian strife this community is now turning itself on foreign nationals."


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