Saturday, November 11, 2006

Fuckin' god damn vermin x2

"Racists who are racist towards racist racists are not racist at all." said a comedian at the Reading Festival this summer. I think there is a certain amount of clarification that needs to be made over the issue of the two court trials yesterday: Nick Griffin/Mark Collett and Mizanur Rahman. See below.

The issue is set upon by the Euston Manifesto crowd, they claim that we should treat Rahman and Griffin as the same, both are fascists and racist they say. I think this is wrong. Griffin and co are fascists and racists, but also they are legitimised and helped out by racist politicans trying to cash in on the Islamophobic climate and gain a few votes.

Rahman is different, because his views have come about as a reaction to what has been directed towards him, the fact that he has been subject to racism all his life and in recent years more so, means that more and more (mainly young and male) Muslims are being radicalised and turning to political Islam.

The systematic use of his case in the media and negative press coverage, while fascists in Bradford get let off the hook for calling Muslims "cockroaches" also contributes to this process. These Muslims are then kicked for reacting in a certain way (instead of doing the 'right' thing and kissing the hand that is beating you), just like they are being kicked and beaten for being Muslims initially.

The case of people reacting towards racism and political degradation with political isolationism is not new, Malcolm X, Hezbollah, Marcus Garvey etc etc Histomatist has a brilliant post (ages ago) on Hezbollah and Marcus Garvey here.

Garvey, born in Jamaica, was an opponent of colonial rule and became the founder of the 'Back to Africa' movement which took black America by storm after Garvey went on a lecture tour to the US in 1916. Garvey took pride in race so seriously that his organisation to some extent was a stylistic pre-cursor of the European Fascist movements of the 1920s and 1930s. Garveyites dressed up in military uniforms, and marched around as if they were storm troopers. By 1920, Garvey's group had over one thousand branches in more than 40 countries. Garvey himself approved of the American white supremacist terror group, the Ku Klux Klan (the KKK), because it sought to separate the races. 'On one occasion in early 1922 Garvey went to Atlanta, Georgia for a conference with Edward Young Clarke, Imperial Giant of the Ku Klux Klan, to see whether he could hope for Klan support for his Back to Africa program.'

Yet here's the beef. Garvey was a follower of Christianity who was happy to make kind remarks about Fascism at times - yet why didn't the vast majority of anti-fascists at the time not denounce his Universal Negro Improvement Association as 'Black Fascism', or a 'Christian totalitarian movement'? Why didn't 'progressive', 'decent' 'secular Leftists' condemn Garveyism as 'Christiano-Fascism'?

Might this have been because it was so patently obvious that the reason why black Americans (and black people internationally) rallied to Garvey was not because of his dodgy remarks about the KKK but because of oppression? It was not that they particularly wanted to go 'Back to Africa' - but because here at last was someone who talking about 'Black Power' at a time of racial segregation and massive racism in the US.

Yes Garvey has appalling politics and so does Rahman for claiming that 'those who insult islam should be beheaded' (for which he has now apologised.) The issue we should highlight though, is the systematic and racist treatment of Rahman, the letting of the hook of two white BNP members and the material roots of Rahman's views... oppression.

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