Tuesday, 4 June 2013

From the Mirror by Owen Jones:

EDL protesters
You can accuse the English Defence League of lots of things – being a bunch of racist thugs, for a start – but they’re not lacking in irony.

Last Monday, EDL goons were snapped doing Nazi salutes on their London demo. Don’t tar us all because of the actions of a few, some of them moaned. But that’s exactly what they have done to Britain’s Muslims.

The disgusting murder of 25-year-old Lee Rigby sickened people of all faiths and none.

His two-year-old son will grow up without his dad, and one day will have to be told about his horrifying last moments. As the Muslim Council of Britain put it, it was a “truly barbaric” act with “no basis in Islam”. Muslims marched in Ilford and Barking in memory of Lee Rigby.

But it hasn’t stopped the EDL hijacking a horrendous tragedy to incite hatred against Muslims.

Meanwhile, Muslims have faced abuse on the streets and Twitter. Mosques have been attacked, including with a petrol bomb in Grimsby. Bombing mosques to spread fear and hatred – sounds like terrorism, doesn’t it?

It is a hijacking that goes against the wishes of Lee’s own family. “We would like to emphasise that Lee would not want people to use his name as an excuse to carry out attacks against others,” they’ve said.

Like so many of us in our diverse country, he had friends with different religious beliefs and cultures. His regiment has also damned those seeking to exploit his death as “wrong and disgraceful”. It’s not just the EDL either. The BNP’s Nick Griffin – the David Brent of British fascism - has used this to try to turn us against each other.

We have a proud history in this country of taking on racists and fascists. Working men and women took on Oswald Mosley’s Blackshirts in 1936. “They shall not pass,” they yelled. Hundreds of thousands died fighting Hitler and Mussolini.

Those marching against the EDL and the BNP stand united. The racists want us to clash with our neighbours. Let’s listen to Lee’s family – and not let them.

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