The Norwegian far-Right extremist Anders Behring Brevik who murdered 77 people in cold-blood in July had his first public hearing today. As I’ve said before whilst the far-Right targets Islamism, they are both two sides of the same coin.
Read our conclusion to One Law for All’s report, Enemies not Allies: The Far-Right published recently:
The July 2011 atrocity in Norway has put the spotlight on the far-Right once more. There are numerous organisations and political parties with similar platforms to that of Anders Behring Breivik, which have gained and are gaining influence, including winning parliamentary seats. This is due to a number of factors, including the unprecedented attack on people’s welfare and livelihood, the respectability afforded anti-immigrant policies, the ‘war on terror’, appeasement, the ethno-cisation of the world, and multi-culturalism – not as a positive lived experience, but as a social policy that has segregated communities and the world. Today people everywhere are divided into religions, cultures, nationalities, and ethnicities and our humanity, universalism and citizenship have been deemed irrelevant.
Though the far-Right appears to target Islamism, they are two sides of the same coin. Islamism is also very much an extreme Right movement.
And whilst there are obvious differences within far-Right and Islamist groups as there are in any phenomenon, the differences are not fundamental. The ‘hate cleric’ Anjem Choudhary supports stoning to death as do more ‘liberal’ Islamists like Tariq Ramadan. The ‘liberals’ have merely adapted their language and changed tactics to better dupe public opinion. The same is true with the far-Right. There is fundamentally little difference between Anders Behring Breivik’s Knights Templar and the EDL or SIOE. What they want is the same; their tactics are different. The EDL and SIOE are merely better at duping the public.
In his 1500 page European Declaration of Independence, Brevik says, ‘Organisations like EDL, doesn’t have an official extreme political doctrine [emphasis ours]. When they “bait” the UAF, and Jihadi youth (in the thousands) in to rioting, they ensure that the riots are covered by national and international press…. It also results in increased polarisation. Is it really that bad that more Europeans are shocked out of their slumber?’ He adds later, ‘Instead of condemning and rejecting organisations like EDL it is essential that conservative intellectuals contribute to help them on the right ideological path’. Clearly, the various organisations see themselves as part of the same movement; the groups addressed in ‘Enemies Not Allies’ are all mentioned by Breivik. They often work together and defend each other’s words and actions (even if ‘only’ to legitimise atrocities by explaining why they happened and threatening more to come).
The far-Right and Islamists have similar ideologies, characteristics, tactics and aims. Both rely on religion. Both use a language of hate and are extremely xenophobic, misogynist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic. Both rely on indiscriminate violence and terrorism to intimidate the population at large. They are dogmatic and punish free thinkers and dissenters. They use threats and scaremongering to push forward their agenda. Both are vehemently anti-working class and the Left. They believe in the superiority of their views and culture and deal harshly with anyone who transgresses…
The world they have in mind is equally bleak, segregated, hateful and inhuman.
Much of the language and symbolism of the far-Right is Christian, and makes reference to the crusades. The BNP’s Nick Griffin has spoken of a ‘traditional, upright, decent and honest Christianity that defended Europe from Islamic conquest, the Christianity of the Crusades and the Christianity of our forefathers’. The EDL’s Tommy Robinson has said, ‘We don’t care whether you arrived here yesterday, you are welcome to protect our Christian culture and our way of life’. Similarly, Islamists use Islam as their banner and call for Sharia law and the Caliphate.
Nick Eriksen, until recently the BNP’s London organiser, has said: ‘Rape is simply sex. Women enjoy sex, so rape cannot be such a terrible physical ordeal. To suggest that rape, when conducted without violence, is a serious crime is like suggesting that force-feeding a woman chocolate cake is a heinous offence’. Sheikh Maulana Abu Sayed, a Sharia judge, has similarly said marital rape is ‘not aggression because when they got married, sexual intercourse was part of the marriage’. In fact, he says, ‘calling it rape is a major aggression’.
BNP candidate and activist Mark Collett has said of AIDS that ‘Blacks, drug abusers and gays have it. So really, I’ve got no problem with AIDS. In fact I would call it a friendly disease’. 28 Likewise, the Islamic Education and Research Academy chairman, Abdur-Raheem Green, argues that homosexuality and adultery are ‘inexcusable, and justly punished with severity’.
The BNP’s Nick Griffin has called the holocaust a “Holohoax” saying: ‘I am well aware that the orthodox opinion is that 6 million Jews were gassed and cremated and turned into lampshades… I have reached the conclusion that the “extermination” tale is a mixture of Allied wartime propaganda, extremely profitable lie, and latter witch-hysteria’. 7 The Islamic scholar Yusuf Al Qaradawi who has been hailed as ‘progressive’ by former London mayor Ken Livingstone, has likewise said: ‘Throughout history, Allah has imposed upon the (Jews) people who would punish them for their corruption. The last punishment was carried out by Hitler. By means of all the things he did to them – even though they exaggerated this issue – he managed to put them in their place. This was divine punishment for them. Allah willing, the next time will be at the hand of the believers’.
Support of Violence
Both rely on indiscriminate violence and terrorism to intimidate the population at large and justify their abominations. In fact, both target civilians and place collective blame. Breivik said his massacre in Norway was ‘atrocious but necessary’. John Jay, a Stop Islamization of America board member says ‘[…] every person in [I]slam, from man to woman to child may be our executioner. […] there are no innocent [M]uslims’. Regarding Israel and ‘the poor, terrorist Palestinians’, Pamela Geller of Stop Islamization of America states, ‘I say to Israel, stand loud and proud. Give up nothing. Turnover not a pebble. For every rocket fired, drop a MOAB [Massive Ordinance Air Blast bomb]’. Islamists are exactly the same. ‘Progressive’ Islamic Scholar Yusuf Al-Qaradawi has justified suicide bombings by saying: ‘Israeli women are not like women in our society because Israeli women are militarised’. Even when they renounce violence for public consumption, the violence is always justified. The EDL’s Tommy Robinson has said about a May 2011 attack of a meeting attended by Labour councillors and the National Union of Teachers in Barking, ‘I would condemn the attack if there was any violence. But I can completely understand their frustration. People are so fed up with the leftist agenda’.
Use of Threats and Scaremongering
Suhaib Hasan, Secretary General of the Islamic Sharia Council says, ‘If Sharia law is implemented, then you can turn this country into a haven of peace because once a thief’s hand is cut off nobody is going to steal. Once, just only once, if an adulterer is stoned nobody is going to commit this crime at all. We want to offer it to the British society. If they accept it, it is for their good and if they don’t accept it they’ll need more and more prisons’. In a July 25th 2011 interview on the Norwegian atrocity, the EDL’s Tommy Robinson said, ‘We are against extremism and all kinds of violence but you need to listen. God forbid this ever happens on British soil. It’s a time coming. You’re probably five or ten years away… I believe it could and it’s not a threat, it’s a wakeup call to say listen we don’t want this to happen but we need to address the problem’.
Use of victim status
The EDL’s Tommy Robinson has spoken of the Emblem of St George being banned at a school and said at a rally that the EDL was formed ‘…To combat a two-tier system. One rule for them, and another rule for us. And it’s true, it’s oppression. That’s exactly what it is. It’s apartheid. Its kid gloves for their community, and iron fist for our community’. Islamists and their apologists do this all the time. Mehdi Hassan, the political editor of New Statesman, likens criticism of Lutfur Rahman – the new Mayor of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets who has close links with the extremist Islamic Forum of Europe – to McCarthyism.
Use of Islamophobia and racism
Both the far-Right and Islamists have co-opted rights and anti-racist language to gain legitimacy. Far-Right groups will say they are not racist to evade scrutiny and even invite non-whites to join. Islamists speak of Islamophobia and the ‘right’ to Sharia law in a bid to silence criticism by labelling it racism.
It’s important to note that a fight against Islamism is not a fight against Muslims; it’s a defence of rights and freedoms. Muslims or those labelled as such are the first victims of Islamism and many are at the forefront of battling it. Nowhere is opposition against Islamism and Sharia law greater than in countries under Islamic rule.
It is also not a fight against immigrants. Islamism was brought to centre stage by the US Cold War policy of creating a green Islamic belt around the then Soviet Union. It was not concocted in some immigrant’s kitchen. In fact, many immigrants have fled Islamism and Sharia law and continue to fight it here. Moreover, many of the Islamists in Europe are European born. ‘Hate cleric’ Anjem Choudary is one such example.
The Fight against Islamism and the Far-Right
Whilst the fight against Islamism is an historical task and duty, it must go hand in hand with a fight against the far-Right, particularly in Europe, Australia and North America.
Clearly, any opponent of Islamism today must also be an anti-fascist, but not the pro-Islamist and anti-racist Left version of anti-fascism. This grouping is only interested in opposing its ‘own’ fascists, including Unite Against Fascism, Socialist Workers Party, and George Galloway. United Against Fascism even joined the Islamist Muslims against Crusades counter rally against One Law for All’s rally in June 2010. Another form of ‘anti-fascism’ that must be resisted is the sort we are increasingly seeing amongst secular groups that have joined hands with the far-Right against the Islamic and ‘foreign’ versions of fascism, such as the French Riposte Laique and others at the 2010 Conference on the Islamicisation of Europe.
Groups like SIOE and the EDL are as hateful as the Islamists; they are enemies not allies. Clearly, our enemy’s enemy is not necessarily our friend.
According to women’s rights campaigner, Rahila Gupta, ‘Recent anti-racist alliances, such as the one against the EDL in Tower Hamlets, which includes Socialist Workers Party and the East London Mosque, reveals the capitulation of the left to the fascists within while organising against the fascists without. We should be sophisticated enough by now to construct a politics that is simultaneously anti-racist and anti-fundamentalist so that vulnerable groups like women, lesbians and gays and religious minorities do not get hung out to dry. As feminists we have been abandoned by those who should have been supporting our right to make ‘legitimate criticism’. They feel now, during the War on Terror, is not the right time. In a racist society, it is never the right time. When we expose the underbelly of our communities we are told that we are providing ammunition for racists. For us it isn’t a choice. We can’t hide one evil to fight another’.
This fight also includes challenging multi-culturalism, which the far-Right and Islamism use to show that the ‘other’ is different, thereby validating identity, separation and ‘clash of civilisations’ politics. The idea of difference has always been the fundamental principle of a racist agenda. The defeat of Nazism and its biological theory of difference largely discredited racial superiority. The racism behind it, however, has found another more acceptable form of expression. Instead of expression in racial terms, difference is now portrayed in cultural terms.
Today, more than ever, there is a need for a renewed anti-fascism that stands firm against both the far-Right and Islamism. It is within this context that the One Law for All Campaign fights against Sharia law in Britain. In the face of regression and abomination, its banner is humanity without labels. It holds the human being sacred and nothing else. And it unequivocally defends citizenship and universal rights, freedom, equality and secularism for people not just in Britain but everywhere.
August 10th 2011
To read the full report, go to One Law for All’s website.