Socialist Worker

Socialists stand with the oppressed

Issue No. 2357

Many Muslims in Britain today feel under siege. 

They are under attack from the mainstream politicians and extra state surveillance. 

They face tabloid front pages labelling them as violent extremists or child molesters. 

They are told they have to take collective responsibility for the killing of soldier Lee Rigby. 

The racist English Defence League (EDL) and the fascist British National Party are allowed to peddle their foul Islamophobia on the airwaves and the streets.

Is it a surprise that some decided they couldn’t take any more and planned an attack on an EDL rally?

That’s what six men in the West Midlands, who have been jailed for up to 19 and a half years each, were guilty of. 

They took a bomb, knives and shotguns to an EDL rally in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, last June.

They arrived after the EDL rally had finished and the attack didn’t happen.

Some have said that the actions of the Dewsbury men are equivalent to the violence of the fascists. 

This argument says that there are extremists on both sides and that socialists should oppose both equally.

But this ignores racism and oppression. 

The plan to attack the EDL was a reaction to discrimination. 

It is not equal to the violence of the state, or of racists or fascists who attack people because of their race or religion.

It was an act of despair against racist thugs.

Socialists can understand the rage that caused the men to plan the attack. But it isn’t the way to take on the fascists.

Had the attack gone ahead, it could have killed or injured people protesting against the EDL.

It could have generated sympathy for the EDL rather than weakening them.

And it could have helped the state increase the clampdown on Muslims and anti-fascists.

Even though the attack didn’t happen, EDL leader Tommy Robinson has used it to blame Muslims for violence and call for the state to deal with them all. 

This is from the leader of an organisation committed to race hate and thuggery. 

Its initials were spray painted on the walls of the burned out Islamic centre in north London last week. 

And EDL members openly sang “Burn the Mosque” in Lincoln town centre last Saturday.

Victory over fascism will not be won by killing individual fascists.

It will be achieved by mobilising mass opposition across the working class and confronting them where ever they organise. 

Fascism flows from the society we live in, which is built on inequality and racism. 

To beat it for good,we need to fight for a socialist alternative.


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What We Think
Tue 11 Jun 2013, 17:35 BST
Issue No. 2357
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