- Frank Gardner
- Security Editor
Launched in London a new database to help counter extremism.
The Extremism Monitoring and Analysis Network aims to counter “hate speech and extremist ideologies by identifying extremist individuals and organizations of all religions.”
The database, which currently contains 150 names, includes far-right extremists, anti-Semitic tweeters and a hard-line interpretation of Islam. Included beside each individual on the list are acts and words of hate that have drawn attention to the individual concerned.
And on the list is a former BBC presenter, Kitty Hopkins, because of her statements that discredit Muslims. It also includes Buddhists from Sri Lanka and Burma.
Who are on the list?
Of the 150 people on the list, 85 are Islamic extremists, 10 Jewish extremists, nine Christian extremists, as well as six white supremacists, Indian nationalists and Buddhist extremists.
There are also 28 organisations, most of which are Islamic organisations. Among those on the list are ten people and three organizations from the United Kingdom, while the rest are distributed around the world, but the majority are in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar.
The list was launched last week at the Queen Elizabeth II conference center with the support of a number of officials including the head of the British Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee Tom Tugendhat, the Islamist author Eid Hussein, and Julia Ebner, an expert on far-right and neo-Nazi organizations.
Ebner provided a harrowing and detailed account of the proliferation of online new member organizing of far-right activists during the coronavirus pandemic.
She said that since January 2020, there have been 789 anti-Semitic incidents across the UK, in addition to 90 attacks on telephone poles by conspiracy theorists. Her lecture included a picture of British neo-Nazi women participating in the “Miss Hitler in the UK” competition.
She added that video games play a big role in organizing new followers, as players rank higher according to the amount of hate propaganda they can promote.
Eid Hussein, a former supporter of Hizb ut-Tahrir, said that the first victims of Islamist militant groups were usually Muslims. He added that the militants hate pluralism in Western societies, and they attack what he called “the citizenship of individuals” as well as the principle of equality between men and women.
He said that the way society treats women is an indicator of the health of that society.
The Extremism Monitoring and Analysis Network is not the first organization to create a database of extremists. Significant work has been done in this field involving the Henry Jackson Society, King’s College and the International Institute for Strategic Research.
The UAE embassy also distributed to journalists a database of supposed terrorists living in Qatar, during the dispute between the two countries.
But Muhammad Hindi, founder of the Extremism Monitoring and Analysis Network, believes that the latest database is the most comprehensive of all forms of trans-religious extremism. He said he hoped to use additional researchers and expand the database to start a working dialogue with the British government.