Socialist Worker

New targets for Islamophobic 'witch-hunt'

Issue No. 2185

Postgraduate teacher Reza Pankhurst has become the latest victim of Islamophobia.

He has been accused of Islamist “infiltration” of the London School of Economics (LSE). He has rightly dismissed the allegations against him as a “McCarthyite witch-hunt”.

Pankhurst spent four years in Egyptian prisons for his membership of the Hizb ut-Tahrir Islamist group.

Pankhurst was detained with two other Britons in Cairo in 2002, where he was tortured.

He said individuals were being “hounded because of their views”.

The LSE has defended his right to “freedom of expression within the law”.

The attacks on Pankhurst follow home secretary Alan Johnson’s decision to ban the Islam4UK group.

Membership of Islam4UK, and its parent organisation, Al Muhajiroun, will be a criminal offence punishable by up to ten years in jail.

Socialist Worker does not agree with the politics of these groups but banning organisations is a clear attempt to silence dissent.

The idea is to whip up hatred against Muslims as part of the justification for the “war on terror”.

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Article information

Tue 19 Jan 2010, 18:59 GMT
Issue No. 2185
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