Sunday, October 08, 2006

THE WRONG COLOUR BOMB

Last Monday, a terrorist plot was uncovered in Lancashire. Police officers found a cache of chemicals and equipment for making chemical weapons, apparently the largest such cache discovered in this equipment. As Lenin stated,

You'd have thought this would be national front page news, wouldn't you? After all the hype, at last we have solid evidence of terrorists attempting to perpetrate a murderous outrage on the population - prosecutors say the pair had "some kind of master plan".

Except...

Except, of course, that the men charged are not Asian Islamists, but white fascists. Robert Cottage, who has been charged for the explosives haul, stood for the BNP in Colne at the last elections.

Last month, 17 alleged neo-Nazis were arrested in Belgium for preparing terrorist attacks in Flanders. These people, described by prosecutors as "people with an extreme right ideology who clearly express themselves through racism, xenophobia, Holocaust denial, anti-semitism and neo-Nazism" were also involved in making bombs and other chemical weapons. Again, this story barely made the news at all, even though today Belgians go the polls in local elections where it is expected that the far-right Vlaams Belang party will make gains.

Yet, compare the media blackout that accompanies fascist violence with the hysteria that surrounds this (Muslims write "FUCK OFF" on the driveway of one of our boys) and this (Muslim taxi-driver refuses to take blind woman and her guide-dog). It is now open season for any hack to write whatever racist horseshit he can come up with about Muslims. So far, British Muslims have been astonishingly restrained and undemonstrative about the treatment that is meted out to them by British journalists and newspapers. But this sort of scapegoating can only end badly.

The media in Europe has forgotten what fascism really looks like. The only websites that really covered the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Cable Street - where 300,000 East Enders fought to stop Oswald Mosley's British Union of Fascists marching through Whitechapel and Bethnal Green - were left-wing blogs and two newspapers (the Guardian and the Mirror).



So let us remind ourselves what real fascism looks like:

Alec McFadden was dozing in his armchair when a loud bang on his front door brought him to his senses with a jolt. Looking out of the window of his Wallasey home, he saw a young man half slumped in the driveway. "I couldn't see his face but he looked like he was in some sort of trouble, like he needed help," says McFadden. "I opened the door just a bit to ask if he was OK and he threw himself at me and started hitting me around the head."

What McFadden did not realise at the time was that he was not being punched but stabbed. "I think it went on for a couple of minutes before I managed to get the door closed. I turned round and my daughter was screaming. It was only then, as I put my hand to my face and felt the blood, that I realised what had happened."

McFadden was attacked because he was a lifelong Union man, and had demonstrated against the rise of the BNP. Similarly, as Matthew Taylor's Guardian investigation reveals, two Leeds teachers who have spent their lives campaigning against the BNP and other fascist groups suffered a fire bomb attack. And a Yorkshire Evening Post journalist who has exposed far-right activities in West Yorkshire for 30 years has also been targeted for a beating. Each of these people were targeted because their pictures appeared on Redwatch, a website which openly advocates violence against opponents of Nazism.

These are not threats of terror and violence. These are not baseless allegations, of the kind we read about Muslims every day in our papers. This is reality, and yet apparently nothing can be done to close the site down. Imagine if it were an Islamic website - the Sun would have launched a vigilante campaign by now and politicians would have been pressurised into taking action.

The rise of anti-Muslim press coverage and the rise of neo-Nazi violence are two sides of the same coin. We must all stand up to both - I know this quote has become a bit of a cliche, but nevertheless Edmund Burke was right in saying "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

5 Comments:

Blogger minifig said...

I totally agree - it's foul the way the media are breathing down the neck of any pathetic muslim-related story (for example, Straw's veil comments this week - news? no. backlash? none that I've seen) as though they are the demons in our midst, yet white-boy facism isn't worth the column inches.

Goes back to what we were discussing last week - are we the baddies? well, yes.

12:43 PM  
Blogger Snowball said...

minifig - there has been a rise in racism on the streets as a result of Straws comments about the veil - see the Islamophobia Watch website perhaps.

2:16 PM  
Blogger Snowball said...

For example here

2:19 PM  
Blogger minifig said...

Thanks for the pointer, although I think the story requires some sort of context. Race and religious-based attacks are pretty common, which although a terrible thing in its own right, might make the link between Straw's comments and this particular act slightly more tenuous...

3:01 PM  
Blogger Newfred said...

Well said Paddington. I like to think that I say and do what I can to challenge racism, but sometimes I feel it's not clear what the best thing to be done is.

Like the new design, by the way!

7:54 PM  

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