How 'hate' hurts globally

Iganski, Paul and Sweiry, Abe (2016) How 'hate' hurts globally. In: The globalisation of hate : internationalising hate crime? Oxford University Press, Oxford. ISBN 9780198785668

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We sat down for dinner with three armed guards defending the restaurant door. That’s when we first started mentally drafting this chapter. We weren’t in the heat of a war zone. It was a cold March evening in Brussels. Our dinner companions were two dozen or so colleagues attending the Facing Facts Forward conference on a victim-centred approach to hate crime in Europe (CEJI 2015). Earlier in the day we were discussing how to improve the reporting of hate crime. Now, with the guards at the door, we were mindful that we were a potential target of hate violence ourselves. We pondered on what our chances of survival would be if what the restaurant owner feared actually came to pass. A former police officer, he insisted on arranging the guard when he heard that the dinner booking was made by a Jewish organisation. On seeing that one of us wore a kippa, a Jewish head covering, he respectfully but forcefully insisted it not be worn in the city, so that we minimise our chances of becoming the victims of hate violence. Thankfully, we enjoyed our dinner in peace and left the restaurant and the Belgian capital without incident. Others have not been so fortunate—as a recent spate of fatal attacks against Jews in Europe testifies. Occasional high profile incidents of extreme hate violence such as these in Europe have occurred against a backcloth of rather more frequent routine violence in which prejudice, hate or bigotry plays some part. Elsewhere in the world, acts of hate violence resulting in many fatalities have had extreme consequences and profound impacts upon the communities of people afflicted. In this chapter we unfold the spatial and psycho-social consequences of hate violence—every day and extreme, local and global—which, we argue, when viewed from a global perspective provide evidence of a major global public health problem that requires a paradigm shift away from a narrow criminal justice focus on the problem of ‘hate crime’. We argue that there needs to be a shift of thinking and focus towards a public health approach to the problem of ‘hate violence’.

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21 Oct 2015 05:08
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15 Apr 2024 23:50