AWL: No ‘pandering to the Islamists’

John O’Mahony (Sean Matgamna) of the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty takes issue with Ridley Scott’s film Kingdom of Heaven:

“The Islamics [sic], played by Arab Muslim actors, have tremendous dignity, in contrast to some of the film’s most prominent Christians. The Islamics are merciful and humane, the Christian villains blindly and bigotedly brutal, war-provoking, and evil.”

This is “the reverse of the general situation in our world”, O’Mahony asserts. “In our world, it is not the non-Muslims and anti-Muslims who now shout with fanatical faith in their religion like the Crusaders in one of Ridley Scott’s scenes who shout ‘God Wills It!’. It is a large part of modern Islam.”

He concludes: “It is a shame for any reason to pander to the Islamists as this film does, concocting a fable not of enlightenment but of a Guardian-style quisling spirit towards assertive political Islam, one of the worst enemies of enlightenment and tolerance in the world we live in.”

Solidarity, 2 June 2005

Elsewhere in the same issue, under the headline “Muslim school stopped”, the AWL reports approvingly that “campaigners in Nottingham have stopped a local school becoming the fourth Muslim state primary in the country”.

An anonymous comment on the AWL’s website reads: “I am in favour of secular education. But I fear for the AWL when you run a story as this with no mention of racism. When you say local people were worried about lack of resources ummm don’t people say the same about asylum seekers and immigrants etc. These questions are never as straight forward as is portrayed in this article. By the way why choose a muslim school to be refused?” See here