Before I go any further I must make one thing plain. It shouldn’t be necessary, but I’m afraid it is, given the political illiteracy now prevalent on much of the so-called “left” and the dishonesty prevalent on the Islamist religious right: Islamism (or Islamicism) is not the same as Islam …or being a Muslim, OK? Got that? Islamism is a political ideology – you’re allowed to criticise ideologies, OK? Islamism isn’t the same as being a Muslim, just like being a “patriotic” citizen of the UK doesn’t make you a member of the BNP or a supporter of the English National Movement, or whatever that lot of hooligans are called.
One of the greatest successes of the religious lobby (spearheaded by militant Islamicists, then backed up by opportunist Christians, including the official C of E), has been to get religion the same protection in law that race is given. It’s a nonsense, but it’s now enshrined in law in Great Britain.
Anyway, my point is this: Islamicism (not Islam) is plainly a real threat to ordinary working class people of all races in Britain today; it’s also plainly a form of fascism.
A commentator on another site recently described me as a “supporter of the war on ‘terror’”. Now, I’m not entirely sure what he meant by that description: after all, I marched against the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and I belong to an organisation (the AWL) that calls for the withdrawal of troops from both countries.
I suspect that what’s meant by this person is that I and my comrades believe that there is such a thing as Islamicist terrorism (without the scare-quotes round ‘terror’), that it’s a form of fascism, and that it must be fought - even if the US and UK governments and military aren’t the best people to do that.
For some time, bien pensant liberal/”left” opinion has been that there is no (or, at least, no significant) Islamicist terrorist threat: it’s all been got up by western politicians for their own nefarious purposes. The award-winning British film-maker Adam Curtis, in his series ‘The Power of Nightmares” appeared to argue that position, as did the dishonest, smug, US film-maker Michael Moore, when he urged people to chant:
“There is no terrorist threat.
You need to calm down, relax, listen very carefully, and repeat after me:
There is no terrorist threat.
There is no terrorist threat!
There… is… no… terrorist… threat!”
Those who don’t simply deny the reality of Islamicist terrorism, tend to then go on to sort-of-justify it on grounds of third -worldist economics…the problem with that semi-justification is that like Bin Laden and (now) Abdulmuttalab… most of these Islamicist terrorists are rich boys.
Well, I just hope that in the light of rich boy Farouk Abdulmuttalab’s nearly-successful Islamicist mass-murder of 278 passengers on the descent into Detroit, not to mention those on the ground who would have been killed, the Graun‘s message will get through:
“This latest rich-boy terrorist – echoes of Bin Laden – had been known to the authorities for two years. He is said to have been on a list of more than half a million people with links to radical Islamist terror groups. Yet none of these authorities had much clue how close Abdulmutallab’s links now were, let alone what he could come within seconds of accomplishing. With hindsight, the watchers were not sharp enough. Their databases were not good enough. This surveillance regime must be improved, where practicable and proportionate. But this is not the first time that a bomber has emerged out of left-field. The same thing happened in the 7/7 attacks in London, in the botched car bombings of 2007, and on 9/11 itself. The latest plot confirms there are more people out there trying to terrorise westerners than the strongest state in a free society can ever entirely predict or control.
“When he was overpowered, Abdulmutallab was said by witnesses to be “screaming about Afghanistan“. Yet it would be a too convenient simplification to see this attack as some sort of act of revenge for that war. Abdulmutallab’s life history, as it is now emerging, seems to be much more driven by exposure to manichean radical Islamism in Nigeria, Britain and, in particular, Yemen. The explosive chemicals and the syringe which he used on NW253 were sewn into his underclothing in Yemen. The methods used in Friday’s attempted attack have echoes of a failed Yemeni-based suicide attack on Prince Muhammad, the head of Saudi counterterrorism operations, in August. The Christmas airliner bomb plot did not take place because of western policy in Afghanistan. The west could withdraw tomorrow from Afghanistan and the continuing danger from jihadist terrorists would still be as great as it is today.”
Whilst it’s good to have the Graun recognise the threat of Islamicism, we do have to note that the self-same publication gives a column to a piece of scum (Seumas Milne) who wanks over Islamist “success”, and even gloats that 9/11 (when, let us remember, thousands of working class Americans died) was a “success”:
…an object lesson in “my enemy’s enemy is my friend” determining a political stance, from a public-school-educated posh-boy who has the nerve to sneer at heroic Iranian protesters as “gilded youth”…”