Apr 23 2012

European version of Al-Qaeda

The far-Right terrorist Anders Behring Breivik who killed 77 people – mainly youth – in a shooting spree and car bombing in Norway said Al Qaeda serves as an inspiration to far-right activists. ‘We want to create a European version of al-Qaeda’ he said.

And this goes to the crux of the matter.

Whilst the European far-Right (and its American counterpart) seems to be at odds with Islamism, in fact they are very much the same. As I’ve said many times before, Islamism is our far-Right. They are – all of them - enemies not allies.

Clearly, any opponent of Islamism today must also be an anti-fascist, but not the pro-Islamist Post-modernist Left variety of anti-fascism, which is only interested in opposing its ‘own’ fascists whilst allying with Islamists. 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.

According to women’s rights campaigner, Rahila Gupta:

Recent anti-racist alliances… reveal 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.

You can read more in One Law for All’s report entitled Enemies not Allies: The Far-Right here.


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  1. 1

    It is a long time since I ceased to draw any distinction between christians and muslims. There are only atheists and the enemy.

    1. 1.1
      Maryam Namazie

      I make a huge distinction between Christians and Muslims and the Far-Right. The far-Right is a political movement that needs to be challenged politically. Many people who might consider themselves Muslim or Christian would be our allies in battling them…

      1. Kevin Alexander

        I agree. The distinction should be between those who want to rule my life and those who will respect my equality. I don’t care what you believe.

      2. BecomingJulie

        Moderate theists are acting as enablers for extremists. The very idea that “God exists”, in and of itself, is the root of the problem. Believing falsehoods is a necessary condition (even if not a sufficient one) for committing atrocities.

        As long as the idea persists that it is anything short of reprehensible to believe in imaginary sky-daddies, people will use the whims and caprices of said imaginary sky-daddies to claim justification for abuses of human rights — and the message that it is OK to believe in imaginary sky-daddies is being endorsed loud and clear by enabling, moderate theists.

        The line in the sand is drawn, and there are no half measures. You are either with us or against us.

        1. Maryam Namazie

          This is absurd. What you fail to see is that there are many religious people who are also opposed to political religion and there are many atheists who are arses and who believe in other ridiculous things like keeping immigrants out or banning the koran. If your principles don’t begin with the human being first you can go very wrong and that’s where you’re headed. Even though I’m an atheist I’m unequivocally against your politics. No half measures there.

        2. Sarah

          You’re a fascist and a bigot. “With us or against us” “Moderates enable extremists [citation needed]” Pthuh! I spit on your politics. Get rational.

  2. 2
    Raging Bee

    Your post is so rambling and vague that it loses credibility. For starters, you’ve made no attempt to define who, exactly, constitutes “the pro-Islamist Post-modernist Left variety of anti-fascism, which is only interested in opposing its ‘own’ fascists whilst allying with Islamists;” and what specific harmful policies they advocate. The paper you cite refers to “Unite Against Fascism, Socialist Workers Party, and George Galloway;” but how relevant are either of those groups? Is Galloway even still an MP?

    1. 2.1
      Bernard Hurley

      Is Galloway even still an MP?

      Seen the news recently?

    2. 2.2

      Funnily enough, when I read “the pro-Islamist Post-modernist Left variety of anti-fascism, which is only interested in opposing its ‘own’ fascists whilst allying with Islamists”, I immediately thought of George Galloway (btw, yes, he is an MP again having won the Bradford West by-election within the last month) and Ken Livingstone who has a good chance of once more becoming Mayor of London.

      Why did I think of those two specifically? Because they have a track record of posing as anti-fascist left-wingers while courting, and receiving, support from Islamic/Islamist individuals and groups.

    3. 2.3

      ‘You’ve made no attempt to define who, exactly, constitutes “the pro-Islamist Post-modernist Left variety of anti-fascism, which is only interested in opposing its ‘own’ fascists whilst allying with Islamists;”

      Unite against fascism, Socialist workers party, and George galloway are the Pro-islamist post-modernist left Maryam speaks of. I’d throw in Ken Livingstone too.

      They happily oppose fascists of the British National Party variety, but ignore the Islamist varient in their own ranks. In fact, they even go as far as court the Islamist variety.

      That probably has something to do with the fact that both Islamists and the left oppose US led militarism and Imperialism.

      We’ve seen this play out when the post-modernist left allies itself with Islamists to shut down free and fair comment on Islam and Islamism. We see it play out when they oppose free and fair comment at universities. We see it play out when they ally themselves with Islamists who are wrecking havock everywhere they go.

      ‘and what specific harmful policies they advocate. The paper you cite refers to “Unite Against Fascism, Socialist Workers Party’.

      See above.

      ‘and George Galloway;” Is Galloway even still an MP?’

      George Galloway recently won a land-slide victory in Bradford. He’s back in business. Thanks in part to, yep, you guessed it, courting Islamists.

  3. 3

    ‘and Ken Livingstone who has a good chance of once more becoming Mayor of London.’

    Oh, please no.

  4. 4

    This illustrates the complicated nature of political struggle in general and the “strange bedfellows” effect in particular. When the local authoritarians use a foreign authoritarian threat to push their agenda the “enemy of my enemy” effect seems to kick in with the local liberals who can’t help but see the foreign group as potential allies. The variety and range of these groups in the various nations and regions makes these interactions tremendously complicated.

    Of course since most of these groups are male dominated there seems to be an all too common willingness to throw women under the bus in the interest of better relations between the groups. Notice how far the US has abandoned support for women’s rights in Iraq and Afghanistan in order to make nice with extremists. I’m not sure there was much choice after screwing the wars up so badly, just noticing the dynamics.

    It seems that the real problem is how nationalism complicates things. Grouping people ideologically based on the location of their birth and/or residence introduces a non sequitur to the substantive issues of authoritarian vs popular rule, capitalist vs socialist economics, etc. It would seem natural for those who favor individual rights and equality before the law to be universally allied against those who seek to (or actually do) impose plutocratic, theocratic or totalitarian regimes, but nationalism seems to break us down into thousands of little squabbles about whose king is more or less bad. Of course national governments have the effective monopoly on the use of force so I guess we’re stuck with a certain amount of this for the time being.

  5. 5

    The Enemy of my Enemy is NOT my Friend.

    Social Conservatism is Tribalism in a Suit, relying on the “us-vs.-them” mentality to gain support. First it was the Italians who were the problem, and then it was the Vietnamese, and then the Chinese, then the Lebanese, and now its Muslims [in the context of Australia]. Social Conservatives/the Far Right will always find an enemy-figure against whom to “unite” and rally.

    Those people who are genuinely interested in criticising Islam and addressing the relevant human-rights issues that relate to it need to understand this.

    1. 5.1
      Bernard Hurley

      Many of us who most vehemently attack political Islam have a long history of opposing the far right; we understand the issues are and and we do not need lectures on political etiquette. But you can’t blame such as us if both the far right and the post-modernist so-called left choose to muddy the waters. It is their propaganda that confuses the struggle for human rights with racism and imperialism. It is they who have popularised a mind set and form of language that gives succour to the most extreme of Islamic clerics. Are you suggesting that those who oppose political Islam simply act as if this mindset had any basis in reality and accept this form of language?

  6. 6

    Well, I’ve had my share of tussles with the far-right and find it utterly repellent. That said, I found that booklet a tedious effort in guilt by association relying on tendentious reasoning. I’ve seen the same thing and the same reasoning (hacking quotes out of context, relying on the nastiest possible interpretation of motive etc.) applied to none other than yourself.

    As to the rest of this: look, in the fight against Islam the Left’s record has been atrocious when it hasn’t been abominable (or do I have that the wrong way around?). If I had the political record the left does on wimping out or being an outright bumsucker to the extreme Islamic right, I would be very modest indeed. I wouldn’t start shouting at the people who actually do have the guts to face this head on and have done so.

    1. 6.1

      What has “the left” done wrong? Isn’t it a bit .. ironic to write something like that on a blogpost where it was that far right-wing extremists who murdered 77 people?

  1. 7
    Yes to profiling of Muslims? | Maryam Namazie

    [...] on one’s passport) how can you assume that they (or Norwegians for that matter) are potential Breiviks or far-Right [...]

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