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Thursday, 1 April 2010

Yaqoob, the Dudley Mosque and the Sep Demo in Brum

[Martin Smith of Unite Against Fascism and the SWP.]

Councillor Salma Yaqoob (of the Respect party) often speaks for you and me, as one of the ‘people of Birmingham’ . Actually, she does not speak for me. And neither does she speak, I think, for the majority of people who are neither far-left (as she is) nor Islamist (as she is). Her communalist party, Respect, is a mainly Muslim party with a few far-leftists thrown in for good measure. Her constituents are mainly Muslim too.

The city centre, during the EDL demonstrations, ‘was not some oasis of calm’, as Yaqoob put it, partly because of the Asian Muslim gangs being led by her friends in the Socialist Workers Party. I know. I saw it. I was there. I saw the national sectary of the SWP (a leader of Unite Against Fascism), Martin Smith, inciting the Muslim gangs on to attack both the police and the English Defence League. (Actually, mainly the police, as could be seen on a BBC Midlands clip of Martin Smith arguing violently with the police.) How could the EDL cause that much trouble when most of the time its members were quarantined in Bennett’s pub? The Muslim gangs, on the other hand, were stalking the streets of Birmingham throwing missiles and, as the Birmingham Post and Mail’s photos show, carrying baseball bats. As for Yaqoob being ‘scared’. It is hard to be scared of a group of people barricaded in a pub and surrounded by the police.

A UAF-er once said that he was affronted by the ‘No more mosquesplacard of the EDL. Well, the vast majority of an area in Dudley didn’t want another mosque either. They were ignored. Are they all ‘fascists’ and ‘racists’ simply because they aren’t members of UAF and the SWP? If the EDL is genuinely racist and fascist, then perhaps it is simply a case that we need another group that dare criticise Islamism and the Islamification of many parts of the country. It is not ‘fascist’ to argue against a religion that can itself be fascist and is often racist as well (as it is in Saudi Arabia and the Sudan). The UAF-er also said that ‘many white non-Muslims from Birmingham stood shoulder-to-shoulder’ with the Muslim Asians. I didn’t see them. I only say Martin Smith, and other activists from the SWP, on the front line leading the Asians on to battle. I didn’t see any black people in the ranks of the UAF demonstrators either.

Another person said that 'the anti-fascists aren’t as bad as the fascists'. The SWP leadership of the UAF does not believe in Parliamentary democracy. The Islamists they support do not believe in multiculturalism. Indeed in Palestine and Pakistan they tend to kill those who disagree with them and also those of are culturally different. The far-left itself would do very little to help multiculturalism when all it is really doing is trying to politicise Asian youth and turn them into revolutionary leftists (which is a silly dream). In most Islamic and Muslim countries there is no multiculturalism or pluralism. There is Sharia Law, theocracy, military dictatorships and other despicable aspects of state organisation. These things may well be what many members of the EDL don’t want to happen in this country.

Salman Mirza wrote that ‘Islam and Christianity both come from the Middle East’. Why didn’t he mention Judaism as well? As it got something to do with the ancient and vehement anti-Jewish strain of much Islam over the centuries – way before the creation of Israel and ‘the Occupation’? Perhaps that’s why one EDL member was flying the Israeli flag. The British fought against Nazism and its anti-Semitism (as another letter writer also mentions), so we don’t now want to succumb to Islamo-fascist anti-Semitism, which now resides under the name ‘anti-Zionism’. Islamic anti-Semitism pre-dates it.
And after all this the chairman of Birmingham Methodist Church, Reverend Bill Anderson, wrote to the Home Office and West Midlands Police asking them to ban the protest by the English Defence League). I wonder if the Reverend has ever thought about how his fellow Christians are treated in Islamic states and Muslim countries. The demo was, after all, a protest against Islamic ‘extremism’. Many Islamic states are extreme in their attitudes towards - and laws against - Christian and all non-Islamic religions. (Remember the destruction of the ancient Buddhist temples in Afghanistan?) In Pakistan the situation at the moment is very bad. Christians are being killed and their houses being burnt down. The situation is also terrible in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Sudan/Darfur and virtually every other Islamic state or Muslim country.

No doubt the Reverend Anderson does a lot of inter-faithing with moderate Muslims. The niceness of the inter-faithers, however, only helps sanitise the differences between religions. In any case, not much attention is given to this new religion - the Inter-Faith religion - by Islamic extremists. In the world outside these inter-faith meetings, things are often very bad. When inter-faithers – and many journalists of regional newspapers - sanitise or ignore these problems and realities, this will certainly not help matters.

The Birmingham Post also said that ‘contrary to some statements in the wake of the trouble, the majority of the protesters involved were from Birmingham and surrounding area not outsiders’. This was a roundabout way of saying that most, if not all, of the trouble makers were Asian Muslims (along with their far-left friends) and not, in fact, BNP and EDL members from ‘outside the city’. Many Birmingham people already knew that! Some of us didn’t get our stories fed to us by Unite Against Fascism, the Socialist Workers Party and Respect councillors.

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