27 September: From the AfD to the Burkhini ban: why is Islamophobia on the rise?

burkhini-portraitThe election results in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in North-East Germany were shocking. Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) – an openly racist organisation with Nazi links – received over 20% of the vote. The out-and-out Nazis of the NPD gained 3%. At the coming elections in “cosmopolitan” Berlin, the AfD is polling at around 15%.

This is not just a German phenomenon. From Jobbik in Hungary to the Front National in France, the extreme right is growing in many countries. While politicians and the media use issues like the Burkhini ban in France to spread hatred against Muslims, racist and fascists are reaping the benefits.

Some on the left argue that socialists should reject religion and be able to criticize Islam. What does this strategy mean in reality? And how does the wave of anti-Muslim racism connect to recent attacks on migrants and refugees?

Pazhareh Heidari is a left-wing activist from Iran, and was a founder member of “Kopf Hoch” (“Head high”), organised to challenge the planned headscarf ban in Germany. She will discuss these questions with us and suggest what socialists and internationalists can do to stop the rising tide of racism and Islamophobia.

27 September, 7pm: Karl Liebknecht Haus KIZ, Rosa Luxemburg Platz, Kleine Alexanderstraße 28