We have been having an ‘interesting discussion’ in the comments box of this blog between some EDL supporters and some left wing anti-fascists.
The EDL supporters posting here are keen to 1) deny that they are racists, and 2) some also claim that they are not against all Muslims, only the Islamic extremists. So we should leave them alone!
Response to 1): While not classic racism purely based upon skin colour, any attacks on Muslims is still rotten and poisonous. It is sick and dangerous to scapegoat religious and ethnic minorities. Remember that the Jewish people, while being ‘white’ were scapegoated and persecuted by the Nazis for their religion and ethnicity. Not all ‘ethnic cleansing’ is classic ‘racism’ – but it is still an evil to be opposed. Defend the rights of Muslims and other minorities to freedom of worship and belief!
Response to 2): There are more effective ways of stopping the extremist minority amongst Britain’s Muslims than by going in mob-handed and marching around with aggressive gangs of football hooligans. No wonder people react against the EDL! The vast majority of Muslims in Britain are against the Islamic extremists as well. Why not start by reaching out and uniting with this moderate Muslim majority, to help marginalise the extremists? So the EDL’s tactics have failed, if its aim was genuinely to combat extremism.
But the danger is that the EDL will not just target Islamic extremists, but victimise all Muslims – despite the protestations of some of its spokespeople. The first EDL march in Luton ended up attacking random Asian businesses. And after the Manchester EDL march passing Asians were abused – we dont know if they were Muslim, Hindu, Sikh or whatever. Furthermore some EDL marchers carried placards against all Mosques, and chanted slogans against all Muslims in general. To cap it all, long term veterans of the National Front and the BNP were tolerated in all these EDL marches, along with skinheads doing stiff arm Nazi salutes.
Therefore the EDL supporters posting here, if they are sincere in what they say, are being extremely naive about the dangerous forces they are helping to unleash. I have no doubt that unless it is stopped the EDL (or somthing like it) will turn into a ‘pogrom’ against all Muslims in Britain.
Perhaps some people will be unfamiliar with the term ‘pogrom’?
The wikipedia entry tells us: “A pogrom is a form of riot directed against a particular group, whether ethnic, religious, or other, and characterized by killings and destruction of their homes, businesses, and religious centers. The term was originally used to denote extensive violence against Jews – either spontaneous or premeditated – but in English it is also applied to similar incidents against other minority groups.”
And if Muslims defend their homes from such a pogrom, then they will be portrayed by the media as the violent ones. Such a situation could easily spark off an ethno- religious civil war in Britain, which the tiny Muslim minority will of course loose. This will lead to terrible suffering – and also make sure that the working class is bitterly divided and unable to defend itself against the coming cutbacks in jobs and services. Thats exactly why fascists and other sinister far right elements are leaping on board the EDL bandwagon.
Thus it is possible to conclude that the EDL risk stirring up a terrible anti-Muslim pogrom. If the UAF were not there to stop the EDL we would see a repeat of the violence in Luton, but on a larger scale. Thank goodness for the UAF and others!
I have other questions. If the EDL are just a protest against Islamic terrorism, then why did their movement not take off after the atrocities on Sept 11th 2001 in New York or 7th July 2005 in London? Why now? I believe it is because the recession and the crisis of capitalism has now changed the situation for the worse. In an economic crisis societies are often shaken by irrational frenzies of hatred and bigotry. People are loosing their jobs, homes and public services, and forced deeper down into poverty – while the rich get richer! While big business and greedy bankers are to blame, it is hard to fight back against these powerful institutions. Thus a relatively powerless scapegoat is found instead. That was the terrible fate that befell the Jewish people in Europe after the 1929 wall street crash and the ensuing economic depression. Hitler rose to power and the German people made the Jews into their scapegoats. Thats what some people want to do to the Muslims of Europe in our time. Thats why the anti-fascist slogan is ‘Never Again!’
The tipping point in Britain was a tiny protest by a less than a dozen extremists from a fringe Islamicist group protesting against a march by returning soldiers from Iraq in Luton. Although it was a tiny protest, the newspapers put it on their front pages again and again, goading the ordinary people with it like a red rag with a bull – until a red mist began to blind the eyes of some young white english patriots. Like puppets on a string they responded to this sensationalist media event and thus was born the EDL.
All the greater injustices are ignored… the lies told by Blair to get us into the war in Iraq, the terrible waste of British soldiers lives in Iraq and Afghanistan, the deaths of perhaps a million Iraqi people caused by the war. And the other everyday injustices – millions thrown on the dole while the bankers line their pockets, old people and the sick made to suffer cutbacks and deeper poverty while the super rich pay hardly any tax, kids denied a decent education, the list goes on. But no one is protesting against these. The newspaper proprietors do not highlight these battles, or support working class people striking back.
Instead postal workers striking to defend jobs and public services will be demonised and scapegoated by the press in the same way as asylum seekers and Muslims have been. This is because the newspapers are owned by capitalists who hate the British working people. The Telegraph is owned by billionare tax exiles who live on their own private Island! They wont pay taxes to Britain, but they want to control our political life, creating and destroying political careers. The same is true of Rupert Murdoch who owns the Sun, the Times, the News of the World, SKY TV and much more. Murdoch, born in Australia, lives in America wants to control what the British people think and who we vote for. Of course they want us to march against Muslims and their Mosques – because it diverts our attention from themselves, because they, along with their super-rich capitalist chums are the real enemy of the people!
England and English culture is being destroyed. Companies like Mcdonalds fast food restaurants feed our kids total shit making them obese, surrounding us with a global capitalist culture that is destroying our English Heritage. Our townscapes are ruined by ‘developers’ that turn every English place into a ‘clone town’ with the same global shopping brands. Our pubs are taken over by giant global chains and made characterless. Our post offices and public services are closed down. Our countryside is ruined by industrial agriculture, our land poisoned, while Monsanto want to pollute us with their GM crops. Our foreign policy is controlled by the USA. Does the EDL or any other ‘patriotic’ right wing group raise even a murmur? NO! They are only interested in stopping one of Britains most hardworking ethnic minority groups from having the freedom to worship. Thats why the EDL are rubbish, and thats why I will be marching against them.