Are the antis really so anti?
But the group United Against Fascism (UAF) still want to stick their oar in and organise a counterdemonstration in the form of a vigil followed by a rally.
It was UAF who managed to halt a British National Party (BNP) news conference back in June, so concerned are they about freedom of speech.
Whatever you think about the BNP – and I and many more who value freedom don’t think much – they’re an official political party with representation in the European Parliament and several British local councils. If these useless prats in UAF really wanted to do damage to the BNP, they’d use debate.
The protest planned for tomorrow is described in the Independent (which manages to ignore hyphenation completely and talks of a “counter demonstration” as if a shop-fittings salesman were about to give a little show, but that’s by the bye).
The organisers, a group called Stop Islamification of Europe, say they always work with the police, they hate racism, but they don’t like Islamification. Sounds good to me, as long as they mean that.
A spokesman, Stephen Gash, is quoted as saying, “We mean what we say and we say what we mean regarding racism, because we don’t tolerate any kind of racism, but Islam itself is another matter.
“We are against any form of totalitarianism and basically we regard Islam as the nastiest form of totalitarianism ever devised.
“We fundamentally oppose any introduction of sharia law into England, the UK and the European Union.”
Which all seems rather reasonable. However, UAF say on their website:
Islamophobia – bigotry against Muslims – is as unacceptable as any other form of racism. [Er, racism? Is Islam a race? When did that happen?]
Its aim is to divide us by making scapegoats of one community, just as the Nazis did with the Jews in the 1930s.
Today they threaten the mosque, tomorrow it could be a synagogue, temple or church.
Today they threaten Muslims, tomorrow it could be Jews, Hindus, Sikhs, blacks, gays, travellers or Eastern Europeans.
And today you threaten those protesting against creeping Islamification, but tomorrow it could be people campaigning for freedom of speech in an area you don’t happen to like, so you’ll try to silence them.
Just as you did with Nick Griffin of the BNP. Being united against fascism but wanting to trample on freedom of speech is a rather contradictory stance that only woolly-minded so-called antifascists could think up.
Labels: Islam in the UK