Two sides of hate faced each other today in West London. As Britain remembered those who had died in past wars, 30 Islamist extremists, under the banner of Muslims Against Crusades (MAC), hurled abuse, burned poppies and waved their hate-filled placards. A few metres away 60 supporters of the English Nationalist Alliance and the English Defence League pushed their own intolerant message.
Let us be quite clear, both groups are as reprehensible as each other. In fact, such is the symbiotic relationship between the two that they actually need each other to justify their own existence. For the MAC the presence and activities of the EDL prove how white British society is the enemy. For the EDL the Islamist extremists are proof of the violent nature of Islam. They are two sides of the same coin of hate.
We stand opposed to both sides. We oppose the racism and Islamophobia of the EDL just as weoppose the religious bigotry and antisemitism of the MAC. To hear these Islamist extremists publicly deny the Holocaust and call for the formation of a Muslim Waffen SS Division – as they did today – should rightly sicken every anti-fascist just as much as the racist bile spat out by the EDL and ENA.
We think it is important to criticise both groups publicly. Criticising one group but remaining silent about another leads – correctly – to charges of hypocrisy and double standards. Only by criticising the actions of tiny extremist groups can we say with any validity that neither speaks for the wider communities and religions they claim to represent.
And in criticising both extremist groups I believe that we are in tune with the majority of British people, who want to live in peace and without the hatred and violence extremists bring.
by Nick Lowles 11.11 2010