Socialist Worker

People’s Assembly will challenge Islamophobia

by Chris Nineham, Stop the War Coalition national officer
Issue No. 2024

The first People’s Assembly, in March 2003, drew together those who opposed war and Islamophobia (Pic: Ray Smith)

The first People’s Assembly, in March 2003, drew together those who opposed war and Islamophobia (Pic: Ray Smith)

The Stop the War Coalition has called a People’s Assembly on Islamophobia and the “war on terror” on Saturday 18 November. The Muslim community is facing a racist onslaught from politicians and the media.

A huge number of people want to respond to this. The assembly will be our chance to stand up and be counted. It’s also a chance to make the link between attacks on Muslims and the wider “war on terror”.

The reason why the government, Tory leader David Cameron and the media are demonising Muslims is because of the disastrous situation in Iraq.

It is no coincidence that Jack Straw and others chose this moment to open up this onslaught. The warmongers on both sides of the Atlantic are facing defeat - their wars are unravelling. That’s the other reason why it is an important moment to have a People’s Assembly.

The last two weeks have been a turning point. Politicians are now having to face up to the fact that everything we predicted about their wars was correct.

The People’s Assembly is a platform for us to unite in response to their appalling attacks, and to launch a new round of anti?war activity.

It is important that the assembly looks like a cross?section of the people of this country. That is why we want delegations from local Stop the War groups, trade unions, student bodies, mosques and community groups.

There will be sessions on the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as on Islamophobia. Speakers already confirmed include Tony Benn, Respect councillor Salma Yaqoob, playwright David Edgar, Walter Wolfgang from Labour’s national executive, broadcasters Mark Steel and Yvonne Ridley, and former Guantanamo detainee Moazzam Begg.

Mohammed Abdul Kahar and Abdul Koyair, the two brothers who were arrested and then released after the botched police raid in Forest Gate, will speak.

Noreen Fatima, the vice president of the students’ union at London Metropolitan University, will describe the attacks Muslim students face on campus.

She will be joined by students from Imperial College where management have tried to ban the niqab.

People’s Assembly Islamophobia and the War on Terror

  • How are the attacks on Muslims linked to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?
  • How can the anti-war movement counter those attacks in its continuing campaign to end the Bush-Blair wars?

Open to delegates and observers £6/£4 l Saturday 18 November

l 10.00am to 5.30pm l Camden Centre Judd Street, London WC1H

Phone 020 7278 6694 E-mail [email protected]

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Article information

Sat 28 Oct 2006, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 2024
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