We are seeing a mass media led panic about Islam. This is generating a new mass right wing movement seeking to mobilise the public against one of Britain’s small ethno-religious minorities. This right wing mass movement will find that success comes easier than any of our left wing mass movements. Thats because the far right are targeting a vulnerable ethnic minority whom the police, the media and the state want to target already. We on the the left, on the other hand, are proud to take on the most powerful groups in society – the capitalist class – who own and control much of our society, and whom the media, the police and the state are designed to protect. It takes massive and persistent struggle to win even the tiniest of reforms to benefit the working class. But it only takes a few small demo’s for the right to succeed in dragging us into a pogrom atmosphere. Muslims are a soft target for right wing bullies, a movement of bullies who are too weak and intellectually feeble to address the real problems that the English working class actually faces.
1) Muslims make up just 2.7% of the population of Britain. 2.7% of the population are not about to impose Sharia. Get a grip! Don’t panic!
2) Only a minority of Britain’s 2.7% Muslim population are Islamicists. The majority are ordinary working class people like you and me trying to make a living and raise their families.
3) There is no ‘global Islam’. This is a fantasy of Islamicists, Islamophobes and an imperialism desperate to manufacture an enemy to keep us docile (read Orwell’s 1984 on the states need for an enemy for domestic cointrol). In reality Islam is fractured and fragmented, with most of its armed movements being animated by local disputes. They are not about to unite. Hezbollah and Al Qaeda are deadly enemies. Iran and the Taliban are enemies, the list goes on. There is no ‘global Islam’ about to invade us, turn our tiny 2.7% minority of British Muslims into a homogenous fifth column and impose a Sharia inspired dictatorship on Britain.
Islam is not a credible threat. Its even less credible than the mythical bogeymen the western right manufactured in the cold war. It turned out that Russia was never about to invade us, and never had the capacity. Neither did Saddam Hussein’s evil dictatorship have weapons of mass destruction or pose a threat to us. Can you see a pattern here? The right wing are always exaggerating and manufacturing threats to keep us docile and divided. Those who buy into the ‘threat of Islam’ have weak minds, no understanding of politics, geography or history and are those easily stampeded into a mass panic.
4) We DO face an immediate threat from our own governments and ruling classes, however. We are about to see the final destruction of our welfare state by either Labour, the Tories or a mixture of either of these with the Lib Dems through massive cuts. We will see our wages and pensions cut to the bone. This is combined with the increasingly authoritarian nature of the British state. In order to make these cuts and anti-working class attacks, our rulers will need to divide the working class. The Islamophobic panic is a perfect tool for this. Islamophobia will turn out to be the biggest enemy of the British working class, the non-Muslim majority as well as the Muslim minority.
I just wait to hear the pretend ‘leftist’ Islamophobes respond to my argument with discourses of Muslim birth rates ‘outbreeding us so they can take over’. These are old discourses, used against Jews, Irish Catholics, or any other minority who are made the scapegoat. They never come true. Islamophobia is merely a veil to disguise the underlying racism of these right wing movements. This is one veil we should not hesitate to rip from the face of the EDL, the BNP and the rest of the far-right rabble!