16/07/2018 by socialistfight
By Turan Basri
Red London, Islamophobia, Fascism, Tommy Robinson, Racism, Far Right
On Saturday 14th July there was a counter anti-racism demonstration against a combined pro-Trump and ‘Free Tommy Robinson’ rally, which was attended by a broad coalition of left groups, trade unions and anti-racists. In this counter-demonstration a group called ‘Red London’ had a banner with the wording “Paedo Gangs and Racists off our Streets’’. What was wrong with this one may ask? I would argue what was right with it? Let’s look at what Gerard Batten of UKIP had to say to the racists, neo-Nazis and fascists who attended the demonstration on the other side of Whitehall, and who are attempting to build a street movement against the left;
“The great British media do not want to talk about the group identity of the rapists, or the ideology that inspires them.”
“The rape gang members are predominately followers of the cult of Muhammad…. “They can justify their crimes to themselves because their ideology tells them that non-cult followers are lesser human beings.”
He added: “The founder of their cult was himself a paedophile who kept sex slaves. And he is held up to be a perfect model for them to follow for all time.’’
This narrative has been perpetuated by the right wing media and populist politicians for a number of years since 2011, despite Batten claiming that the British media are frightened of discussion of this subject. This has resulted in an increase of hate crimes against Muslims and anyone that may be considered to look like one, an increase of 47% in 2016 with attacks on mosques doubling during 2017. What is absolutely shocking is that there seems to either be a low level of awareness of the people that produced this banner, or a case of right wing penetration into the left. While some debate has raged around ‘Lexit’ and the subject of borders and immigration, this goes way beyond that. It is adopting the argument and rhetoric associated with the Nazis who the left are now engaged in struggle with. Because the word ‘Muslim’ is omitted is irrelevant and to dismiss this by using this omission as some justification for this banner is either very lazy political thinking, or something much more sinister. Who on earth would consider a banner against ‘paedo gangs’ when attending a demonstration against the far right who are on exactly the same platform? What were they thinking? To ask many people the question today ‘’who would you most associate with child grooming gangs?’’ the question would undoubtedly be answered incorrectly in the affirmative that the perpetrators would be Muslim. Many people would be unable to distinguish between the blurring of lines on this banner as these false accusations against the Muslim community have been seared into the public consciousness. To attempt to justify this in a perverse attempt to claim ‘ownership’ of the subject is ludicrous, you don’t steal the far right’s thunder by using the same language, their argument is dismantled through providing the facts and a detailed analysis, not jingoist one liners.
What the left do in all cases is to side with the oppressed, this not only includes the victims of child abuse but also includes the Muslim or Asian community, who are being deliberately targeted. A number of people have challenged this banner online, and even more remarkably have then been accused of being apologists for child abuse, resulting in petty name calling, or even attempting to draw lines along leftist sectarian political lines. This debases the argument completely and if this is their level of thinking and debate over what is a very important and relevant issue, I suggest that they need to seriously reflect on their political stance and reasoning. This does no justice at all to the victims of child abuse and actually contributes to the narrative of child abusers being involved in ‘street’ gangs. This simplistic view fails to take into account any of the complexities involved and that child abuse is a product of material conditions and alienation, involving factors such as the inequality gap, the night time economy where victims are often isolated and whereby the perpetrator has the ability to silence the victim, classist profiling and general attitudes to young people where the victims are often not believed by the Police, alongside many other social issues. The fact that the majority of child abuse is carried out by lone individuals (consisting of 80% white males within this particular grouping) and not gangs seems to escape the producers of this banner. This is clearly inappropriate but of more interest to Red London seems to be the need to piss off all of those on the left that they don’t like, or agree with. This is childish and it’s about time they grew up.