Socialist Worker

Nothing but contempt for Kilroy-Silk

by Martin Smith
Issue No. 1884

FROM THE front pages of the Sunday Express Kilroy-Silk whines that he's "angry with the BBC for suspending him".

He's angry? Millions of ordinary people are enraged about his disgusting ideas.

In his column in the Sunday Express, and under the headline "We Owe Arabs Nothing", he claimed that they contributed nothing to the world apart from oil, and referred to Arabs as "suicide bombers, limb amputators and women repressors".

If you replaced the word Arab with the word Jew or black these views would have never been printed.

The fact is Arab culture is one of the cornerstones of civilisation. Arab societies helped pioneer the development of medicine, mathematics and music. Even the symbol of English nationalism, St George-a man admired by Kilroy-Silk-was, in fact, an Arab!

Over 90 percent of the population of the Arab states are Muslim, and that is Kilroy-Silk's real target.

Would it be correct, let alone acceptable, to label all Americans as "gun-toting, electric chair worshipping, murdering imperialists"? No, of course not.

Just like all faiths, Islam contains a broad spectrum of views. As the Stop the War Coalition showed, the vast majority of Muslims want to be part of an integrated and tolerant society.

Kilroy-Silk's venom is not just confined to Arabs. In another column he ranted, "Are you fed up of some bleating blacks and Asians blaming their own failures on how their forefathers were exploited by the British Empire? Why don't they stop whining and get a life?" And in another he described Ireland as "a country peopled by peasants, priests and pixies".

Asylum seekers, liberals and those with HIV have all been victims of his rotten, bigoted views. But the fact is Kilroy-Silk keeps coming back to the question of Islam and Muslims.

These diatribes are part of a much wider assault on Muslims in British society. Islamophobia is on the increase. Since 11 September there has been a 300 percent increase in racist attacks on Muslims in Britain. The police arrest and harass Muslims in Britain with impunity.

In France, and there is even a case in the UK, young Muslim women are being excluded from school for wearing the hijab (headscarf). I have yet to hear of any kid being sent home from school for wearing a crucifix or Jewish skullcap.

Even sections of the so called liberal press are infected with this disease. For example Will Hutton, in last week's Observer, argued the secular world must object to Islamic sexism.

Why just Islamic sexism? What about the sexism of the Catholic Church or the homophobia and sexism of the Christian fundamentalist groups in the US? Islamophobia should be as unacceptable as racism.

Kilroy-Silk and his supporters have one last card up their sleeve-they claim they have the right to freedom of speech.

Of course Kilroy-Silk can write or say what he likes-but I don't see why my TV licence money should pay for it. Furthermore, when by expressing your views you spread hate, bigotry and lies, the rest of us have the right to say that it is offensive and not acceptable.

And remember that this man's newfound love of freedom of speech doesn't stretch too far. This is the same man who spent much of the 1980s urging the Labour Party to expel socialists.

Kilroy-Silk is trying to go on the offensive, calling on Middle England to come to his defence.

Well, I think we should call on all of Britain - Christian, Muslim and atheist, black, Asian and white-to send Kilroy - Silk back where he belongs: the gutter.


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Sat 17 Jan 2004, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1884
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