Socialist Worker

Letters - Apologies aren’t enough for institutional Islamophobia

Issue No. 2504

Suliman Gani, who was falsely accused of supporting Isis by David Cameron

Suliman Gani, who was falsely accused of supporting Isis by David Cameron (Pic: c/o Suliman Gani)

Police organised a rehearsal of a terrorist attack at the Trafford Centre near Manchester on Tuesday of last week.

A man dressed in black played the part of a suicide bomber. He shouted “Allah Akbar!” three times before a simulated explosion.

The police had spent five months planning every detail of this rehearsal since the atrocity in Paris last November.

At a press conference Muslims condemned the action.

Labour councillor Yasmin Dar asked, “Don’t they realise the hurt this caused?” She explained, “To use the term Allah Akbar implies that Islam condones terrorism.”

Azhar Shah, from Saath Saath community group based in Longsight, said, “We know the police apologised afterwards, but apologies are not enough.

“Why are Muslims always in the front line? This must never be allowed to happen again.”

Nahella Ashraf from Stand Up To Racism called it “religious and racial profiling”. She said, “It shows Islamophobia in the police force.”

Mohammed Azam from Oldham said, “Ten years ago Greater Manchester Police was found to be institutionally racist, what has changed? I want to see some heads roll.”

Mark Krantz, Manchester

  • David Cameron now says he’s sorry for calling south London imam Suliman Gani a supporter of Isis.

    He says it was a mistake. But he knowingly smeared a man to skew an election, and didn’t take it back until voting was over.

Sam Dyson, Peterborough

  • Spin doctor Lynton Crosby was knighted this month.

    He was behind the Tories’ disgraceful Islamophobic campaign in the London mayoral election. They used tactics last used by the fascist British National Party. It didn’t work.

Sasha Simic, East London

Don't let new union law scare us out of strikes

The new Trade Union Act means, despite small concessions, that it will soon be virtually impossible to strike in very large numbers “within the law”.

The best way to defend the right to strike is to use it. I work in local government and my union, Unison, has just backed off from balloting for industrial action over pay.

The reason given was that turnout in a recent indicative ballot was low.

But the people who did vote voted for all-out, indefinite strikes.

There’s a determined minority of workers who are fed up with the destruction of the public sector and the pay freeze.

And they are prepared to do something about it.

Instead of backing down Unison should have looked at how to build on that.

The Tories are weak and divided. United strikes could bring down this government and its loathsome Trade Union Act.

Local government worker, West Midlands

Corruption starts at home in London

i recently watched a Commons select committee chaired by Keith Vaz.

They are examining so called “dirty” money that is being used to purchase many millions of pounds worth of property in London.

Last year David Cameron said he was going to do something about it. But has he? What difference is there now?

Last week he called Nigeria a corrupt country. What about Britain?

As a teacher I am what’s called a key worker. This means I can select a shared ownership deal. But the last offer I had was for a two bed flat in south London, full price £530,000.

I won’t go into the maths but it is utterly ridiculous that this is put forward as help to buy. It is more like help to keep the London housing bubble inflated.

This bubble is fuelled by dirty money, prices are kept high and hardworking people are priced out of their city.

Politicians turn a blind eye. For far too long, property has been used as a money making machine.

There has to be a limit on landlords who sometimes own 50, 100 or more houses. First time buyers have little chance.

Please let me know if I can join any protests.

Name and address provided

Big swing in Bristol

The election of Labour’s Marvin Rees in the Bristol mayoral election—like that of Sadiq Khan in London—is a kick in the teeth to racists.

That a city so associated with the history of slavery has a black mayor is something to celebrate.

Labour won control of the council too. It got big votes from the working class areas.

The Green party suffered setbacks with its vote mainly coming from the more affluent areas.

Labour’s success is a real sign of the impact of Corbyn’s leadership. He came to Bristol many times during the campaign.

But it remains to be seen if the new council will stand up to austerity. Many councillors are from the Labour right.

A good start would be the removal of library cuts.

Huw Williams, Bristol

Result was not so bad

Your article on the recent election results suggested Labour “could do better” (Socialist Worker online, 6 May).

This ignores the elephant in the room—the continual press hostility to Jeremy Corbyn. This has been intense from when he ran for leader, throughout the debate over bombing Syria and most recently the stitch up over antisemitism.

This article needs to look at all the facts.

Dick Banker, via email

ScotRail mind the safety gap

A man was permanently injured last week falling between a railway carriage and platform at Dumbarton East station in Scotland.

The platform was unattended and there was no guard on the train.

The RMT union wants guards returned to ScotRail trains.

Anna Potrykus, by email

Let’s repeat French history

In May 1968 in France the student movement led to the biggest general strike in history.

Some nine million workers put Paris on lockdown. These revolutionary events can and will be repeated.

Learn the lessons!

Kenny Cairns, on Twitter

Take over the care homes

Care homes are in crisis. These should be co-operatives where all the workers share in the business.

Paying virtually no wages to care for the most vulnerable in our society is a disgrace.

Who profits? Only the greedy owners.

I know my family have had experience of these care homes.

Derdriu Ni Cathmhaoil, on Facebook

There’s work to be done

Your article asks, “Do we have to make warships to save jobs?” (Socialist Worker, 11 May). There’s plenty of work to be done cleaning up the filth of the nuclear industry in as safe, decent and environmentally friendly a manner possible.

As an ex-shipyard worker I know we could do it.

Phil Johns, on Facebook

Cameron’s summit a joke

David Cameron held an anti-corruption summit in London last week.

It’s a joke. A bunch of crooks meeting a bunch of crooks telling each other not to get caught.

Ro Pegg, on Facebook

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