Saturday, June 01, 2013

Should opposition to bigotry be consistent and principled, or selective and hypocritical?

No, that's not a trick question. Some people seem to be genuinely unsure about the right answer.   —Jeff Weintraub

          => From Peter Tatchell (at Harry's Place):

The BNP [British National Party] & EDL [English Defence League] claim to oppose Islamist extremist bigotry but in reality they generalise and abuse all Muslims. Many of their protests are menacing, even violent.

Islam is not the problem. Islamist fundamentalism and violent jihad are what we should focus on opposing. It is important to make a clear distinction between Muslims and Islamist extremists. Don’t confuse the two. Unite to isolate the main threats: the Islamist far right and its BNP and EDL equivalents.

I support today’s Unite Against Fascism (UAF) counter-protest against the BNP. But UAF is not consistent. UAF commendably opposes the BNP and EDL but it is silent about Islamist fascists who promote anti-Semitism, homophobia, sexism and sectarian attacks on non-extremist Muslims.

This silence and inaction by the UAF is a shocking betrayal of Muslim people – abandoning them to the Islamist far right.

Islamist fascists want to overthrow democracy, establish a clerical dictatorship, suppress human rights and kill Muslims who don’t conform to their hard-line interpretation of Islam.

It is time the UAF campaigned against the Islamist far right, as well as against the EDL and BNP far right.

          => From Sarah AB (also at Harry's Place):

I don’t believe either of the recent posts on the UAF notes its connection with Michael Adebolajo, one of the Woolwich murderers.  According to this article he spoke at a rally organised by the UAF at Harrow Central Mosque back in 2009.
We are not scared of Kuffar … my brothers remain in your ranks and do not be scared of these filthy Kuffar.  They are pigs … Allah says they are worse than cattle.
It shouldn’t be left to the anti-Muslim far right to condemn such bigotry and hate.  The UAF publicity for this very event stated:
Racist bigots including the BNP-linked English Defence League and “Stop the Islamisation of Europe” are planning on holding an anti-Muslim protest outside Harrow Central Mosque on the evening of Friday 11 September. Unite Against Fascism has called a solidarity vigil in response to defend the mosque from racists and fascists.
Yet they seem happy to team up with people who seem quite as racist and fascist as the EDL.
[JW: "Kuffar" means "non-believers". In contexts like this, it's generally used as a derogatory term, and the expression "filthy Kuffar" makes that intent pretty unambiguous. Those statements by Adebolajo come from one of the video clips attached to the article. Incidentally, I've noticed that in Britain, even more than in the US, the word "racist" tends to be used to cover all forms of racial, ethnic, and/or religious bigotry. As for "fascists" ... well, that has become an all-purpose term of abuse and condemnation everywhere.]