People Before Profit condemn the attack on a Muslim teenager and her sister in Dundrum last Sunday. The teenager was assaulted by a gang of youths, thrown to ground, kicked and had her hijab torn off in what may well have been a hate crime.
These attacks have occurred in a climate where incitement and hate speech are on the rise. Far right leaders like Donald Trump have had a significant role in ramping up hatred and xenophobia globally. It is often argued that the bile spewed by racists is free speech, but last Sunday’s attack shows the dire consequences this kind of incitement can have. Hate speech is not free speech and should not be given a platform.
However, the hostile atmosphere for Muslims cannot be blamed on the global far right and their fringe counterparts in Ireland alone. A diet of Islamophobia has been served up for the last two decades in the mainstream media in Ireland and in Europe as US and EU leaders have sought to win ideological support for their wars in the Middle East and North Africa. This has created the conditions whereby a minority of people act on the hatred that has been stirred up and commit this kind of attack.
People Before Profit stand in solidarity with the victims. We will continue to work with, communities and organisations all over Ireland to fight for a safe society that is free of racism and bigotry.