Socialist Worker

Flood of racism led to terror attacks

Issue No. 2262

Socialist Worker sends solidarity and sympathy to the families, friends and comrades of the victims of the massacre in Norway.

Anders Behring Breivik’s vile manifesto, which sought to justify his actions, made the horror all the more stark.

These murders were not the act of a psychopath—they were the actions of a man following the logic of a racist ideology which demonises Muslims.

Islamophobia is the thread that runs from the top of society through to the gutter that Breivik and his fellow racists crawl out of.

Breivik and the fascists target everyone who stands up for tolerance. Trade unionists, students, socialists and LGBT people are all the enemy.

Even when the mainstream media finally acknowledged that Muslims had not carried out the attack, deep Islamophobia was exposed.

Reports claimed that Muslims were at the root of the problem because their presence has “destabilised” European countries. While Breivik was being condemned, it was implied that he had valid concerns.

Islamophobia has become the respectable racism. It is not just the English Defence League (EDL) and assorted fascists and racists who attack Muslims.

When politicians and their media lackeys do so, they deny they are being racist because they do not talk about “race”.

Instead the racism is couched in references to “culture”.

Most recently David Cameron, Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy have all publicly denounced multiculturalism.

This has become a code for saying that there is something wrong with Muslims’ culture.

This week Belgium joined France in making it illegal for a woman to wear a burqa in public.

Such laws legitimise the bigotry of the fascists.

Politicians and media commentators rightly express outrage at the attacks in Norway. But they need to look a bit closer to home for the fuel that is feeding the racists.

Brevik wanted to start a race war and he thought the conditions were ripe. He wanted to use the poison of Islamophobia to mobilise his friends in the EDL and others across Europe.

What happened in Norway could happen anywhere. We have an urgent task. We need to get organised and confront the racists wherever they raise their heads.

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