Socialist Worker

Nazis exploit the climate of racism

Issue No. 1768

THE LANGUAGE used by Bush and Blair to justify their war drive is giving encouragement to racists and Nazis. In the US racist attacks took place within days of the destruction of the World Trade Centre on 11 September.

A week later the FBI was investigating 40 race related attacks. Amongst the victims were Balbir Singh Sodhi, a 49 year old Sikh who was killed in a drive-by shooting at a petrol station in Arizona. Adel Karas, a 48 year old, was shot dead in California.

In Britain newspapers like the Express have fed the climate of racism that has branded people with a Middle East background as 'terrorists'. The front page headline in the Sunday Express last week screamed, 'They're Here'.

An Afghan taxi driver in Twickenham was violently assaulted five days after the attacks in the US. He was left paralysed from the neck down. A 19 year old Muslim woman in Swindon was battered with a baseball bat in what the police believe was a revenge attack.

In Birmingham two Sikh councillors were attacked. Muslim and Chinese graves were desecrated in Everton in Liverpool. In Wishaw, Lancashire, shops owned by Muslims have been attacked. Mosques have been daubed with racist graffiti in Bolton and Oldham. In Bolton worshippers, including young children, were inside the mosque when a petrol bomb attack was launched.

These attacks are in the same area that the Nazi British National Party (BNP) has been targeting since winning a significant number of votes in the general election.

The Nazis want to whip up race hatred. The BNP has a targeted campaign attacking Muslims. It describes them as 'the enemy within'.

The BNP has published a leaflet that says Islam is 'spawning psychotic mass murderers abroad and vicious rioters in our own towns'. The Nazis' propaganda shows a picture of the destruction at the World Trade Centre next to the words, 'Islam is all about love and respect.' Blair and Bush have tried to mouth some platitudes against such racism.

Blair has been forced to write in a London-based Asian newspaper, 'I want to assure you that the vast majority of decent people in Britain realise that neither you nor Islam is in any way responsible for what happened in the US. 'Blaming Islam is as ludicrous as blaming Christianity for Loyalist attacks on Catholics or Nationalist attacks on Protestants in Northern Ireland.' Yet every day Blair and Bush are seen stoking up war fervour against the 'enemy' in the Middle East. This can only give more confidence to Nazis and racists who want to use the current climate to increase their influence.

It is even more important to build support for the anti-Nazi Respect festival in Oldham on Saturday 20 October. It is a chance to expose the Nazis' lies and show black and white unity in the face of racism. Getting support for the Anti Nazi League in your workplace, school or college can help build an atmosphere against the Nazis across the whole of Britain.


Carnival against the Nazis Saturday 20 october, Werneth park, Oldham Called by North West Region TUC and Oldham United Against Racism For more details phone the ANL on 020 7924 0333 or visit www.anl.org.uk


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News
Sat 29 Sep 2001, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1768
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