Anti Muslim Bigotry

Strange bedfellows

In an interesting post about the EDL and their background, Hope Not Hate makes the following point about some of the surprising people aligning themselves with the EDL.

The announcement that the EDL has formed both LGBT and Jewish divisions has caused discomfort not only among the hard core of heavy drinking “laddish” homophobes among its casual ranks, but also notably on the extreme far-right. The forming of self-interested “divisions” within the EDL umbrella conflicts with the organisation’s insular aims, but also highlights how desperate the EDL is to define itself as the complete opposite of what it in reality is.

That Jews or members of the LGBT community can align themselves with and stand shoulder to shoulder with Nazi-saluting football hooligans, or worse still the likes of Mike Heaton who was imprisoned in June for stirring up racial hatred, says much about not only the endemic nature of Islamophobia in this country, but also the damage to the cohesive political narrative in this society. Of course, the tiny numbers of the Jewish and LGBT people who support the EDL are in no way representative of their communities, but the seemingly endless onslaught against Islam from the national media and an unnervingly uncritical acceptance of an identity agenda by some on the left have resulted in divided views in the wider, and generally secular anti-fascist movement on how best to tackle the growth of the EDL

One of the key themes of this blog has been the alignment of the far left, and misguided liberals, with far right Islamist groups who are explicitly anti-semitic or homophobic. While this doesn’t excuse members of the LBGT or Jewish community aligning themselves with the EDL, it is perhaps a symptom of the failure of a significant proportion of the left to hold a consistent and principled line against the racism and bigotry of both the far right fascist movement and the far right Islamist movement.