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Centre for Fascist Studies opens at Teeside University

29th January 2013

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Teeside University has established a faculty that will be used to monitor Fascist attacks and to study extremist far-right politics.

The Centre for Fascist, Anti-Fascist and Post-Fascist Studies, which will be run by Professor Nigel Copsey and Dr. Matthew Feldman, opened on National Holocaust Memorial Day this month.

Professor Copsey, who wrote a report on the far-right English Defence League Party (EDL) recently, spoke of his belief at the centre’s opening that there could be more incidents in the future that share similarities to the bombing and shootings carried out by the Anders Behring Breivik in Norway in July 2011.

Dr. Feldman said: "Over the last year there is no evidence for increased support for the far right. The BNP are fragmented and split and there is growing disillusionment with the EDL.”

He added:  "For the first time since, I believe, the National Front in the late 70s and early 80s, the far right is really going for popular support. It's moving out into the mainstream, with some success."

Raheem Kassam, director of campus watchdog Student Rights, explained the importance that “all extreme ideologies are confronted, and one of the most important tools in confronting extremism is through academic study and analysis, to allow us to understand what drives such ideologies."

He added: "Fascism in the 21st century is still inherently anti-Semitic, and the growth of anti-Islamic sentiment is a new and developing trend. However, it is important to remember, as Christopher Hitchens wrote, that fascism also rears its head within Islamist ideologies - a reality that few have yet been comfortable in broaching."

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