Another week, another racist onslaught against Muslims

Another week, another racist onslaught against Muslims

By Eddie Truman

“Ban The Veil” screamed the Daily Express, in Glasgow Imam Shamsuddin is subject to a violent assault, in Liverpool a Muslim woman has a veil ripped from her face by a man shouting racist abuse, in Falkirk a mosque was deliberately set ablaze.

The cause of this renewed wave of attacks on the Muslim community?

Home Secretary Jack Straw’s political ambitions. Such is the all pervading climate of Islamophobia, it is now regarded as a political badge of honour to outbid your political rivals in being seen to be racist towards Muslims.

So now we have a situation in which Labour Party, yes Labour Party, ministers are falling over themselves to match the rhetoric of the British National Party. Incredibly, Race Relations minister, yes you read that right, Phil Woolas, joined the row over the teaching assistant suspended for wearing a veil by demanding that she be sacked.

Complaining that Nick Griffin had once been prosecuted for far milder remarks about Muslims, the BNP this week said: “Mr. Griffin’s warning now seems a distant echo compared to the repeated calls in recent days from government ministers for Muslims to start adapting to our British way of life.”

Not wanting to be outflanked on the right by Labour, the Tories joined in by accusing Muslim leaders of encouraging “voluntary apartheid” in Britain by shutting themselves away in closed societies and demanding protection from criticism.

Proud of the role that it had played in whipping up fear, violence and hatred, the Daily Express declared that 98% of Britons wanted to ban the veil. A small detail I know but that was in fact 98% of Daily Express readers who had phoned in to the newspaper.

Polly Toynbee in the Guardian, always eager to give ‘secular’ cover for the Islamophobes, complained that the number of Muslim women choosing to wear the veil was increasing and it was therefore legitimate to get stuck into them.

Voice readers must ask themselves why it is that we are seeing a constant increase in the targeting of Muslims in this way. It has nothing whatsoever to do with concerns for women’s rights or the eradication of ‘differences’ in society and everything to do with the inherently racist agenda of Western imperialism as it prepares for a further extension of the recolonisation of the Muslim world.

Article for Scottish Socialist Voice, newspaper of the Scottish Socialist Party.