Unite Against Fascism, Islamophobia And Antisemitism
There is a problem in Britain and parts of Europe, that problem is anti-Muslim bigotry.
Most of it seems to be a refocused form of existing xenophobia and racism, that are common to many European countries, including Britain, on the weakest.
The levels of social deprivation and poverty faced by many Asians in Britain is well-known and documented, but more so in areas where there is a predominantly Muslim mix. They are often treated like second class citizens. Bigots and neofascists like picking on who they see as weak or vulnerable, that’s why they pick on Muslims for the moment. Their targets have changes over the decades, other ethnic minorities, but the bigot’s and neo-fascist’s basic methods haven’t, stir up hatred.
This type of bigotry however it masks itself should be combated, from the violent racism of the EDL to the casual anti-Muslim joke. It is wrong and socially cancerous to society and individuals.
So I welcomed the recent Unite Against Fascism initiative against Islamophobia and other forms of racism.
Others might have their reservations concerning the UAF, as a SWP front, but I think if they are going to combat racism that I am prepared to pass over, momentarily, the SWP’s previous mistakes, whilst they do good work.
Astute readers will notice that the original letter from the UAF includes a passage deploring the rise of antisemitism as well, which is to be welcomed:
“We, the undersigned, are deeply concerned by the rise in fascism, Islamophobia, antisemitism and racism. The English Defence League has organised events across the country, stirring up hatred, Islamophobia and racism – running riot in some cases and provoking violent attacks on Muslim, black and Asian communities and on Mosques and Mandirs (Hindu temples)
Imagine, however, my surprise when I read an email on the 6th November’s event and saw something missing.
Yes, that’s right, opposition to antisemitism had somehow been dropped from the event’s main propaganda. There’s a small bit is on a flyer and a previous email, but all of the Facebook links leave it out.
I assumed it was a simple slipup, so I looked on the Facebook page of the UAF.
Nothing mentioning *specifically* opposition to antisemitism, as the letter had.
In fact, the UAF replies were tetchy, defensive and avoided dealing with my questions, directly. I suppose the UAFers didn’t know what was going on, but couldn’t exactly admit it.
Now I’m prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt in this instance, but I think that the UAF should employ better proof readers and make sure that they don’t forget about opposition to antisemitism in all of their documentation.
The UAF need to spell out their opposition to antisemitism on Facebook and in their links, clearly, and not make it appear as an afterthought.
Update 1: Please let me remind any of my new readers to absorb my comments policy, in particular the bit:
“So if you are hung up about the existence of Jews, Muslims, the Roma, immigrants, “foreigners”, the French, the Irish, etc and feel the need to express your petty hatreds and xenophobia, do it elsewhere. “
Update 2: For UAFers and anyone else interested in combating antisemitism and racism then the CST’s yearly Antisemitic Discourse in Britain is vital reading.
Update 3: Lancaster Unity has a good dissection of the xenophobia and hate mongering found amongst the worst tabloids in Britain over the last week or so.