Socialist Worker

State targeting of Muslims opens door to racist right

Issue No. 2267

The government has revamped its Prevent strategy—set up to combat “extremism”. It plans to target university students it says may be vulnerable to “radical Islam”.

Officials are telling lecturers, chaplains and porters to report Muslim students they think are depressed or isolated to the authorities. A panel, including a Scotland Yard detective, will then secretly monitor the student.

Since the launch of the “war on terror” in 2001, the top of society has launched a wave of attacks on Muslims.

Their way of life is questioned and their whole culture called “backwards”. Muslims are even described by some as the new “enemy within”.

Islamophobia has become respectable racism.

The words of Tory ministers and newspaper columnists fuel the racists and fascists of the English Defence League and British National Party.

Racists become confident to parade their bigotry through the streets and to attack Asian people, their homes and places of worship.

In Norway, it led to the Nazi Anders Behring Breivik killing 77 people. At first, without any proof, the British press declared it an attack by a Muslim extremist.

Yet there are no plans for university officials to report students who are vulnerable to right wing extremism.

Those at the top of society want ordinary people to turn on each other. They want us divided so that we can’t oppose their plans—whether that is imperialist wars or cuts that harm working people.

We should reject this and target those who are really to blame for our problems—the ruling class.

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What We Think
Tue 30 Aug 2011, 17:11 BST
Issue No. 2267
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