Anti-racists and socialists have to act now to make sure the attack in Westminster on Wednesday isn’t used to deepen racism, bolster police powers and justify more wars.
Calls for revenge and a sharper crackdown on Muslims are growing.
Paul Nuttall, leader of the racist Ukip party and serial liar, released a statement yesterday, Thursday. He said, “Nobody should be claiming anymore that this stuff has ‘nothing to do with Islam”.
He added, “Muslim communities must do far more to cut this cancer out of their midst. There should be no more pussyfooting around agonising whether ‘Prevent’ strategies risk stigmatising people.”
Ukip’s former leader Nigel Farage said, “We have now a fifth column living inside European countries.”
The Daily Mail newspaper’s editorial asked yesterday, “Who knows how many IS-trained terrorists are among the hundreds of thousands of migrants who have fled Europe from war zones?”
It added, “How can the Left go on lethally idolising those such as US traitor Edward Snowden, who put countless lives at risk by alerting terrorists to the authorities’ monitoring methods?”
“If our phones have to be tapped by the spooks—then so be it.”
It is time to redouble the calls for unity and solidarity with Muslims and migrants
Not to be outdone, the Sun newspaper’s editorial said, “Some suburbs in our biggest cities have already been turned into Muslim enclaves where citizens meet few outsiders and many believe they live in an Islamic country”.
London mayor Sadiq Khan called a vigil in Trafalgar Square last night for the victims of Wednesday’s attack. Most people there were against a mood of revenge and racism.
But home secretary Amber Rudd made a nauseatingly hypocritical speech about how “we are all connected”. This from the Tory who wanted companies to post up names of their foreign workers.
It is time to redouble the calls for unity and solidarity with Muslims and migrants. We have to contest the voices that want to strengthen the police and justify imperialism.
The government is trying to use the attack to pose as the champions of “the national interest”. It must not be allowed to get away with it.
That means opposing racism whether it comes from the Britain First fascists who have called a “march against terrorism”, from Ukip or from the Tories.
It also means blaming those who have presided over 15 years of the “war on terror”.
The shattering of so many countries from Iraq to Afghanistan to Libya has slaughtered hundreds of thousands of people and made attacks inevitable.
'Muslims aren't to blame,' says witness to aftermath of attack
Dani Singer was on Westminster Bridge as the attack took place on Wednesday.
“I was on a bus on the south side of the bridge when the car hit people,” they told Socialist Worker. “The place was blocked up quickly and people were lying all over the road.
“I rushed to a man who had a nasty head injury and stayed with him until the ambulance came.”
For Dani, the response from ordinary people was incredible. “The NHS workers just came running out of St Tommy's hospital.”
The media, including Channel 4 news, was quick to name an Islamist as the culprit—a man who it soon became clear was in prison. “Channel 4 should hang their heads in shame,” Dani said.
“They were looking for the first name, saw a brown face and body and said it must be him."
Dani, who is part of the LGBT+ Against Islamophobia group, sees blaming Muslims for the attack as part of a longer term racist assault.
“That Muslims are to blame fits into a well-known narrative," they said. “You just have to look at the amount of money that's been put into Prevent since 2007.
“Muslims are an easy target and people aren't jumping onto a band wagon, they're just staying on it.
“People can get involved in anti-racism groups like ours LGBT+ Against Islamophobia and Stand Up To Racism.
“But even people who aren't ready to join a group, we can encourage them to ask where 'facts' are coming from so they don't accept just what's said.”
Unite Against Fascism counter-demonstration: Don't let the racists divide us - no to fascist Britain First! Saturday 1 April, central London. Details tbc go to www.facebook.com/events/1291586427589114/