In a recent post on his New Statesman blog Martin Bright takes issue with an article written by the notorious Holocaust denier Lady Michele Renouf who, he reports, “develops the most detailed description yet of the Zionist conspiracy of which I am supposed to be a part”. Bright’s piece is headed “Where the hard left and extreme right meet”, and he claims that Renouf’s article is “almost indistinguishable from the attacks on me from supporters of Ken Livingstone and the likes of Islamophobia Watch”.
Really? We’ve written quite a lot about Martin Bright over the years and you can check it all out here. We challenge Bright to produce a single post in which we’ve depicted him, à la Renouf, as part of some “Zionist conspiracy”. If Bright wants to polemicise against Islamophobia Watch, surely he could come up with something slightly less stupid than this.
Renouf’s position – she has a soft spot for the Islamic Republic of Iran because it organised a conference on the Holocaust which provided a platform for nutters like herself to promote their “revisionist” gobbledegook – is in any case hardly typical of the extreme right.
Nick Griffin of the British National Party – the only far-right organisation of any size and influence in the UK – no doubt had people like Renouf in mind when he condemned “those ‘hardliners’ who would rather attack the Jews than the Muslims”. He continued: “To even hint of making common cause with Islam – or put ourselves in a position when opponents can suggest to the masses that this is the case – is political insanity.” Instead, Griffin told BNP members: “We should be positioning ourselves to take advantage for our own political ends of the growing wave of public hostility to Islam currently being whipped up by the mass media.”
A wave of public hostility, we might add, to which the self-confessed Islamophobe, Martin Bright (“there is a lot in Islam to be afraid of”, as he explained to a FOSIS conference at City Hall a few years ago), has made a far from negligible contribution. And the BNP is happy to acknowledge his efforts. In 2006 the fascists applauded a Channel 4 documentary by Bright which chimed in with their own poisonous propaganda about the threat posed by mainstream Muslim organisations in Britain:
“Martin Bright of the New Statesman illustrated how the MCB which purports to be a ‘moderate’ organisation actually represents the most extreme and militant Islamic fundamentalists with links to the Jamaat al Islami [sic] and the Muslim Brotherhood which is itself linked to terror groups and has defended them.”
A case of “where liberal Islamophobes and the extreme right meet”, you might say.