Socialist Worker

David Cameron steps up racism against Muslims

by Tomáš Tengely-Evans
Issue No. 2485

David Cameron

David Cameron (Pic: Number 10/Flickr)


David Cameron used his New Year’s message to ramp up the racist assault on Muslims.

He warned that Muslims had to show “loyalty” in Britain’s new imperialist war.

“If you walk our streets, learn in our schools, benefit from our society—you sign up to our values,” he said.

This is just the latest attempt to brand Muslims as the “enemy within” as our rulers try to justify their new imperialist war.

One Muslim family from Waltham Forest in east London was stopped from boarding a flight to Disneyland in December.

The father Mohammed Mahmood Tariq spoke to Socialist Worker. He told of his “total surprise”, as they had been “ten steps away from the plane”.

The family is still waiting for an explanation. “It’s simple to me,” Mahmood said.

“It’s because we are Muslim. If we were white British we would wouldn’t still be waiting for an explanation.

“But we’ve got no freedom here—we’re treated like second class citizens.”

The Tories are spearheading their Islamophobic offensive with the “Prevent” agenda, first introduced by Tony Blair’s New Labour.

But the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 now legally forces public sector workers to look out for signs of “radicalisation”.

David Cameron dismissed claims that it is targeting Muslim children as “paranoia in the extreme”.

But Haras from Waltham Forest Prevent Watch said, “It’s an Islamophobic policy—the raw data reflects that, with 67 percent of referrals being Muslim.”

According to figures from Prevent Watch referrals increased by 500 percent in 2015.

Ifhat Smith, from Hackney in east London, told Socialist Worker, “My 14 year old son was in French class discussing the environment. He used the term ‘ecoterrorism’.”

A couple of days later he came home to tell Ifhat, “I was asked if I was affiliated to Isis.”

Witchhunt

Mainstream commentators have helped to whip up this racist witchhunt. Now they are are wringing their hands and complaining about such “excesses”.

But this is the logical conclusion of the Tories’ state-sponsored Islamophobia.

Ifhat said, “I think something so draconian will always have excesses—the best thing is to scrap it.”

The Tories thought that they could force Muslims into silence—but they’re beginning to resist.

Tayyabah organised a 100-strong meeting in Waltham Forest last month.

She told Socialist Worker that Prevent was, “causing a lot of confusion”.

“Many parents didn’t understand the policy,” she added.

“There have been meetings on Prevent. But we needed something more grassroots to raise awareness.”

Stand Up to Racism in Newham, east London, released a broad-based statement last month signed by local Imams.

Now the Waltham Forest Council of Mosques has called for a boycott of Prevent.

Irfan Akhtar from the council said, “It’s the first time a council of mosques has said it in that way, but we’ve been pretty much shunned since 2007.

“The government starts with saying, ‘You guys have got the problem, not us.’

“But we’re not with the extremists—we’re on the side of the majority that will be branded as extremist by this.”

He added, “If we talk about imperialist wars or Israel they can’t take it and say we’re soft on terror.

“Anyone who can see the horror of this policy we should work with us against Prevent.”


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