The bombings in London

Submitted by AWL on 7 July, 2005 - 6:12

The Alliance for Workers' Liberty condemns the bombings of the Underground and buses today (7 July) in London. The victims were a random selection from London's diverse population, many of them people on their way to work.

The al-Saha website has posted a statement in which "al-Qaeda in Europe" claims responsibility. "The time has come for the revenge [on the] crusading Zionist nation of Britain... a response to the massacres carried out by Britain in Iraq and Afghanistan... The heroic Mujahedeen carried out a blessed raid in London. Britain is now burning with fear, terror and fright..."

Such political Islamists have been terrorising and massacring socialists, trade unionists, feminists, democrats, and other people for many years in the countries where they are strongest. As socialists, we uphold the values of human life against this reactionary current.

We are against imperialism and against capitalism - but in the name of a democratic, socialist, human alternative, not in the name of a reactionary rage against the modern world.

We stand in solidarity with the victims of this sort of terrorism all across the world - and more especially with the labour and socialist movements at the front line of the struggle against political Islam, who work in the hardest conditions to mobilise the workers, the jobless, and the small farmers to stand up for their own rights and their own emancipation against both IMF-driven global capitalism and against the reactionary, anti-human ideologies that batten on the backlash against that global capitalism.

We pledge ourselves to redouble our solidarity with movements like the new trade unions and the Worker-communist Party in Iraq, the Labour Party of Pakistan, the FNPBI and other unions in Indonesia, and the Socialist Workers' Party of Algeria.

We call on the British labour movement to commit itself to solidarity with those movements.

It is the responsibility of the international labour movement to deal with the political-Islamist reactionaries, and it can only do that by developing its own independent politics, utterly hostile to all efforts by Tony Blair and his like to use the backlash against the terrorists to promote their own ends. The immediate effect of the atrocity will be to let Blair and Bush off the hook on debt, poverty, and climate change. The labour movement should resist that diversion.

We denounce any scapegoating of Muslim workers and youth, of the sort that was seen in some places after the 11 September 2001 attack in New York. We call on the labour movement to mobilise for physical defence wherever mosques or Muslim neighbourhoods are attacked by racists feeding on the backlash against the bombs.

We call on the labour movement to resist any attempt by Blair to use the backlash against the bombings to promote yet further attacks on civil liberties.

The attack came at the same time as London Underground is trying to cut station staff jobs. The Underground bosses should drop, right now, their attempt to pretend that the unions, in their defence of staffing levels, are exaggerating the tasks of safety and security on the Tube.

Political Islam is a political current; and the mass of people of Muslim religion or background are its prime victims and opponents. It is "anti-imperialist" only in a reactionary sense. Its hatred of US imperialism is no more progressive than fascists' hatred of Jewish finance-capitalists.

It has its own roots and its own logic, and cannot be dismissed as just the "bitter fruits" of evil US and British policies, any more than Nazism could be dismissed as just the "bitter fruits" of the US/ British/ French carve-up of the world after World War 1, requiring no special condemnation or opposition in its own right.

We condemn both political-Islamist terrorism and US and British imperialism. We stand in solidarity with the new labour movement and women's movement in Iraq, against both the US/ UK occupation and the political-Islamist or neo-Ba'thist "resistance" which inflicts on the people of Iraq's cities (especially, in recent months, the Shia people) the same horror inflicted on the people of London today.

Download the statement as a pdf here.
*****

Click on the following links to read the AWL's responses to similar attacks in recent years, and the general ideas behind them.

11 September 2001
Questions and answers on war and terrorism, October 2001
Madrid, morals, and moralism
After Madrid
Beslan: pathology in the name of liberation

Comments

Submitted by AWL on Fri, 08/07/2005 - 19:10

We condemn terrorist attack on London

On the morning of 7 July 2005 civilian people in London faced barbaric Al-Qaeda terror, where tens of people died and hundreds injured. We strongly condemn this barbaric Islamic terrorism and we stand shoulder to shoulder with innocent people in London and express our profound condolences to the families of the victims, and to those who are the innocent casualties of this savage act.

This is part of the continuance of the war between America, Britain and their alliance on one side and the Islamic terrorist groups in the other which victimises innocent people everyday all over the world, affects their daily lives and creates a dark and scary environment for the people.

Innocent people from New York, Baghdad, Kabul, Madrid, Hewler and numerous other places around the world have all been the victims of this dark situation created by America, Britain and their Allies under the name of “war on terrorism” and the Islamic Terrorist groups under the name of “resistance” for over four years now.

After any disaster happens people on both sides confirm their willingness to continue this war and keep on with their ways of war, this was clearly seen at the G8 meeting today and from the terrorists groups just a few days ago.

The only way to end this dark situation for people around the world is in the hand of progressive people and anti-war movements around the world. Both sides need clear messages from progressive people to say no to this scenario of making everywhere a battlefield, it needs the demonstration of the millions who came out on 15th February 2003 to say no and demand security and equal rights for everyone and to put an end to this dark scenario. Progressive people need to demand an end to the multiculturalism policy in Europe which supports the discriminatory practices and influences from Islamic groups.

This is the only way to put an end to disasters like what happened today in London and are happening almost every day in different parts of the world such as in Iraq and Middle East.

07/07/2005

Referendum Congress for Independence of Kurdistan (Iraq)-Abroad Organization

Submitted by AWL on Fri, 08/07/2005 - 19:16

We condemn Islamic terrorism in London

Once again, terrorist crimes have shocked and outraged the world. This time, the victims were the people of London. The bombings in London’s underground and a bus on 7 July have left more than fifty dead and over 700 wounded. The Worker-communist Party of Iran gives its most heartfelt condolences to the families of this tragedy; our hearts are with the victims and survivors.

All evidence points to the terror attack on London being the work of Islamic terrorists - a continuation of the crimes committed in Bali, New York, and Madrid. It must be strongly and unequivocally condemned by all. Such attacks are part of the wretched and cruel track record of the Islamic movement against innocent people, which places bombs in public places, carries out assassinations, killings, torture, execution and repression. The victims of this movement are women, freedom-seekers, socialists and innocent people in streets, on public transportation and discothèques. Civilised humanity must stand up to this beast and relegate it to the dustbins of history.

The murder of innocent people in London is another instance in the race of terrorists, which began on September 11 on the world stage between Islamic states and movements on the one hand and western states led by the United States on the other. Both are armed to the teeth and feeding off each other. In the meanwhile, the victims of this war and slaughter are only innocent and ordinary people.

This race must be ended. We mustn’t allow this terrorist act to become another excuse for western governments to expand their militaristic operations, slaughter the people of another country and limit civil rights and freedoms in western society. Our call is for civilised humanity to come to the fore and put an end to the barbarity of both sides. Humanity must rid itself of state and non-state terrorism. This is the task of civilised humanity, socialists, freedom-seekers and egalitarian and humanitarian people everywhere.

Worker-communist Party of Iran
8 July 2005
www.wpiran.org

Submitted by AWL on Fri, 08/07/2005 - 19:21

A Londres comme à Bagdad, solidarité avec les victimes de l'impérialisme et du terrorisme.

Comme à Bagdad : le crime terroriste a procédé de la même manière à Londres, frappant des civils, des travailleurs, des femmes, des enfants, des vieux, au hasard dans les transports en commun.

A qui profite le crime ? Comme toujours c'est très clair : le premier effet de ces attentats sauvages est de mettre en difficulté la mobilisation contre le sommet du G8 à Edimbourg. Leurs auteurs l'ignorent peut-être, mais en bloquant le métro londonien, le Tube, ils aggravent la pagaille et la désorganisation déjà provoquées par les privatisations, et se rangent aux côtés des destructeurs des services publics et des transports collectifs !

Qui est à même de combattre le terrorisme ? Certainement pas Blair et les chefs d'Etats du "G8". Ils sont le ventre d'où sort cette bête immonde. Ils traînent avec eux "Al Qaïda", introduit en Irak dans les fourgons de l'occupant US, comme une nuée l'orage. Les poseurs de bombe "islamistes" ne combattent pas l'impérialisme mais font son jeu et l'entretiennent, quand ils ne sont pas tout simplement ses agents provocateurs. Ils servent de prétexte à un déploiement policier et à une surveillance des migrants qui, on le voit bien, favorisent la répression mais ne protègent absolument pas les simples citoyens des attentats.

En mars 2004 les peuples d'Espagne ont réagi au crime commis à Madrid et à sa tentative odieuse d'utilisation par Aznar en chassant celui-ci et en imposant un retrait sans conditions des troupes espagnoles d'Irak. Le rapport de force en Grande-Bretagne est plus difficile, mais c'est cela qui doit inspirer l'action des militants.

En France, vigilance -pas au sens de "Vigipirate", mais au sens des travailleurs et de la démocratie : la crise des institutions et la possibilité de puissants mouvements sociaux sont telles, que des crimes similaires tomberaient bien pour les tenants de l'ordre établi. Nous nous protégerons du terrorisme en refusant toute union sacrée et en comprenant que c'est en chassant les chefs d'Etats impérialistes qu'on l'éradiquera avec eux !

Submitted by AWL on Fri, 08/07/2005 - 19:29

Les attentats Ă  la bombe de Londres
Déclaration de l’Alliance for Workers Liberty du 7 juillet 2005 à 17H

L’AWL condamne les attentats à la bombe, commis ce jour (7 juillet) dans le Métro et les bus à Londres. Les victimes sont issues au hasard dans la population diverses de Londres, beaucoup d’entre elles se rendaient à leur travail. A l’heure où nous rédigeons cette déclaration, les rapports officiels font été de 37 morts et de plus de 700 blessés.

Le site Web Al-Saha a publié une déclaration dans laquelle, « Al-Qaida en Europe » proclame sa responsabilité. « Le temps est venu de la revanche contre les croisés de la nation sioniste de Grande-Bretagne…en réponse aux massacres commis par la Grande-Bretagne en Irak et en Afghanistan…Les héroïques Moudjahidin ont porté leur attaque bénie à Londres. La Grande Bretagne est désormais en feu, dans la crainte, la terreur et l’effroi… »

De tels islamistes politiques ont déjà terrorisé et massacré des socialistes, des syndicalistes, des féministes, des démocrates et d’autres gens depuis de nombreuses années dans des pays où ils sont plus forts. En tant que socialistes, nous soutenons les valeurs de la vie humaine contre ce courant réactionnaire.

Nous sommes contre l’impérialisme et contre le capitalisme – mais au nom d’une alternative humaine, socialiste et démocratique, pas au nom d’une rage réactionnaire contre le monde moderne.

Nous sommes solidaires des victimes de cette sorte de terrorisme partout dans le monde, et plus spécialement des mouvements ouvriers et socialistes qui sont en première ligne dans la lutte contre l’Islam politique, qui agissent dans les conditions les plus dures pour mobiliser les travailleurs, les chômeurs et les petits paysans pour la défense leurs droits et pour leur émancipation par eux-mêmes à la fois contre le capitalisme globalisé sous la conduite du FMI et contre ces idéologies inhumaines et réactionnaires qui surgissent en réaction contre le capitalisme globalisé.

Nous nous engageons à redoubler d’efforts dans notre solidarité avec des mouvements comme les nouveaux syndicats et le Parti Communiste Ouvrier en Irak, le Labour Party du Pakistan, le FNPBI et d’autres syndicats en Indonésie, et le Parti Socialiste des Travailleurs d’Algérie.

Nous appelons le mouvement ouvrier britannique à s’engager lui aussi dans la solidarité avec ces mouvements.

C’est la responsabilité du mouvement ouvrier international de traiter la question des réactionnaires de l’Islam politique, et il peut le faire uniquement par une politique indépendante, totalement hostile à tous les efforts de Blair et de ses semblables d’utiliser la réaction aux terroristes pour promouvoir leurs propres buts. L’effet immédiat de ces atrocités sera de laisser Blair et Bush à l’écart des questions sur la dette, la pauvreté et le changement climatique. Le mouvement ouvrier doit résister à cette diversion.

Nous dénonçons les tentatives de faire des travailleurs et des jeunes musulmans les boucs émissaires, comme on avait pu le voir en certains endroits après le 11 septembre 2001 à New York. Nous appelons le mouvement ouvrier à se mobiliser pour assurer la défense physique des communautés musulmanes et des mosquées partout où elles sont attaquées par les racistes nourris du ressentiment créé par les attentats.

Nous appelons le mouvement ouvrier à résister à toute tentative de Blair d’utiliser la réaction aux attentats pour promouvoir plus avant ses attaques contre les libertés civiles.

Cette attaque survient alors même que les patrons du Métro londonien essayent de supprimer des emplois dans les équipes des stations. Les patrons du Métro doivent abandonner, immédiatement, leur tentative et leur affirmation selon laquelle les syndicats en défendant les effectifs des équipes exagèrent les besoins en matière de protection et de sécurité dans le Métro.

L’Islam politique est un courant politique ; la masse des gens de religion ou de culture musulmanes sont leurs premières victimes et leurs premiers opposants. Ce courant n’est « anti-impérialiste » que dans un sens réactionnaire. Sa haine de l’impérialisme US n’est pas plus progressiste que la haine des fascistes contre les financiers et les capitalistes juifs.

Il a ses propres racines et sa propre logique ; il ne peut pas être rejeté seulement comme les « fruits amers » de la politique diabolique des USA et de la GB, pas plus que la nazisme ne pourrait être rejeté comme les « fruits amers » du découpage du monde par les USA, la GB et la France après la Première Guerre Mondiale, ne requérrant aucune condamnation ou opposition particulière.

Nous condamnons simultanément le terrorisme de l’islamisme politique et l’impérialisme US et britannique. Nous sommes solidaires avec le nouveau mouvement ouvrier et le mouvement des femmes en Irak, à la fois contre l’occupation US et britannique et contre la « résistance » islamiste et néo-baasiste qui inflige aux populations des villes d’Irak (et plus particulièrement, ces derniers mois, à la population chiite) les mêmes horreurs que celles infligées aujourd’hui à la population de Londres.

Submitted by AWL on Fri, 08/07/2005 - 19:35

Submitted by Janine on Sat, 09/07/2005 - 07:48

WE MUST UNITE AGAINST HATRED.
The officers and members of East Ham Branch RMT offer
Condolences to the families and friends of all those killed and injured in the atrocious attack on our Cities Transport System.
The callous, cowardly murderers and the group of fanatics that attacked our staff and passengers on Thursday 7th of July are enemies of the working class. Because of their barbaric actions ordinary working people have lost friends and relatives, many others have had their lives ruined forever by injury.
They did not attack big business or a greedy government,
they are not working for some high holy principle, they do not speak or act for the Muslim community of our country or any other country. The leaders of the Muslim community word wide have condemned these murderous scum and their organisations.
These despicable barbarians kill ordinary working class people regardless of race, religion or colour. We must unite against this evil as a union that represents members from every community in our country.
We have a Multi cultural city that we can be proud of and the staffing of the Underground reflects that. We are a large and diverse family that works together through all kinds of adversity. We must come together now as a group of workers and give support and strength to each other.
The BNP and other racist groups will try to make some headway using this atrocity to fuel their sick manifesto. We can not allow that bigotry and diatribe to creep into our working environment. Only by carrying on in true Union tradition of working class solidarity can we beat these contemptible murderers. If we show that we can not be divided along religious or racial lines, if we show that we stand together as one against bigotry and barbarity, if we unite in one body of working class solidarity then these blood-soaked jackals can never win.
Rick Grogan for Easthammer.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 10/07/2005 - 01:52

In reply to by Janine

And from the man the AWL racists tried to ban from the ESF:

Living together takes effort

Every individual can play a part in fighting terror

Tariq Ramadam

Saturday July 9, 2005

The Guardian

The message of the criminals who attacked London is plain: "We can strike western societies from within; no one is safe from terror; we have the means to choose the right time, the right places, the right symbols." We must acknowledge that their message, coming the day after the announcement of London's victory to host the Olympic games in 2012, was strong and terrifying.

The objective of these attacks is to make us realise how fragile our societies are. From this feeling of fragility arises fear - for oneself and of the Other.

On Wednesday Londoners were united in joy. Now we face the risk that fear will build walls of doubt and misunderstanding between them. All could come to feel that they are potential victims: of Muslim extremists on the one hand; of rejection and racism on the other. The proponents of the "clash of civilisations" theory will have won if we allow ourselves to become suspicious towards people of other faiths and cultures.

Where does and where shall our strength lie? First, we must condemn these attacks with the strongest energy; Muslims in unison with wider British society. But to condemn is not enough. Our values, our societies, our common future require that we become aware of our shared responsibilities. Yes, London is a multicultural society but - in common with the rest of Europe - it will preserve its pluralistic equilibrium only through the personal engagement of every individual in their daily life, within their own neighbourhood.

Muslims must speak out and explain who they are, what they believe in, what they stand for, what is the meaning of their life. They must have the courage to denounce what is said and done by certain Muslims in the name of their religion. They will not reassure their fellow citizens by pretending to be "like them", saying only what they want to hear and becoming invisible. They have to assert their identities, refuse simplistic discourses, promote critical and self-critical understanding and get out from their intellectual, religious and social ghettos. European societies need to see European Muslims involved in the society's questions of the day: citizenship, school, unemployment. Their strength must lie in refusing to be victims and in becoming active citizens, politically engaged both domestically and internationally.

In the name of the rule of law, democracy and human rights, we cannot accept that the rights of individuals (Arab or Muslim) be trampled upon, or that populations are targeted and discriminated against in the name of the war against terrorism. The strength of democratic societies relies on their capacity to know how to stand firm against extremism while respecting justice in the means used to fight terrorism.

We shall achieve this balance only if every citizen, after the shock of this attack, makes the effort to get to know his neighbour better - his difference, his complexity, his values and hopes. It is not enough for progressive, open-minded people to say, "This is not Islam!" It is urgent that such people meet and act alongside Muslims - practically, concretely, daily. More and more Europeans are becoming passive, comforting themselves with pious vows and idealistic discourses: they want concrete measures against terror but think that "living together" will happen with no effort, as if by magic.

Terror will crash down on us if we fail to understand that a pluralistic society requires the personal and daily commitment of every citizen. Criminals, no doubt, will continue to kill, but we shall be able to respond to them by demonstrating that our experience of human brotherhood and mutual respect is stronger than their message of hate. Our lives are fragile, but our commitment to our ideals is strong.

· Tariq Ramadan is a Muslim academic. His books include Western Muslims and the Future of Islam

www.tariqramadan.com

Submitted by Janine on Sun, 10/07/2005 - 18:03

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

What? So the fact that Tariq Ramadan opposes the bombings means that he can not be a reactionary? I don't think so.

I'm getting a dread feeling that there are sections of the left who, having finally realised that they have to condemn jihadi-terrorism, and going to try another approach. They will say that every Islamist who opposes the bombings is OK, no matter how reactionary, and will denounce as "racist" those of us who continue to take a principled stand against their politics.

It stinks.

Oh, and it would be "racist" if we opposed someone because of their race - or, at a push, their religion. We oppose Tariq Ramadan because of his politics.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 09/07/2005 - 13:42

http://www.islamophobia-watch.com/islamophobia-watch/2005/7/7/awl-blame…

Alliance for Workers' Liberty statement on London bombings blames "political Islam".

AWL website, 7 July 2005

Given that the AWL includes organisations like MAB under that heading, the irresponsibility of this accusation is really quite disgraceful.

Click to read more ...

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 14/07/2005 - 16:21

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

What a site! I can't believe that 'Islamophobia Watch' is maintained by anyone claiming to be any kind of socialist. If Bob Pitt is who I think he is, he's a white male, and his fingering of the entire left in Muslim countries (and non-religious Muslims in general) is therefore sickeningly racist. I'd understand it as the usual reactionary manoevring from the theocrats of the IHRC, but a white Brit Trot - no way!

This guy is in wonderland - it must be the same Bob Pitt who supported the Taliban, and saw the killers of working-class New Yorkers not as a bunch of god-bothered privileged brats (Saudi Arabia's answer to Otis Ferry), but as an expression of the struggle of the impoverished masses against imperialism. The pompous arse "took sides" in Afghanistan, but did this mean heading off to become the first non-Muslim (?) member of the non-sexist, rational cadres of the Taliban? Did it hell! It meant addressing tiresome ideological tracts to the central committee of the Splitters' Front of Judaea. I'm sure old Bob knows his Arabian and central Asian history - that Islamism has a powerful imperial tradition itself, and that it remains a tool of western imperialism. Doesn't stop him saying the opposite.

Such racist arrogance though - how *dare* he even begin to slander the Muslim left after its sacrifices? No doubt the Iranian socialists who dangled after the last misguided alliance with Islamists 'failed' (like a few British arses passing motions in pubs have succeeded!) because in the end they were Islamophobic too. How *dare* he sustain this Eurocentric conceit that secularism is a western invention (and Muslim secularists westernised) - atheism and rationalism flourished in India when Anglo-Saxons were painting themselves up and sacrificing their firstborn males to Woden.

Why is it racist? Well, would he dream of supporting the revolt of Timothy McVeigh-type survivalists and Rapture nuts against the Washington government - even while they butchered and liquidated American trade unionists and left activists? If not there, why apply different standards to Muslims? In what other part of the world have these sections of the middle-class 'left' in rich countries decided to disown and betray their 'foreign' comrades in favour of religious orthodoxy? The racism is in the answer to questions like this, in the selective 'take-me-to-your-leader' attitude.

Would he deny an Irish Catholic the right to criticise her religion, accusing her thereby of Paisleyite sectarianism and betrayal of republican struggle? If not, why deny Muslims the same right? Not just Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Kenan Malik, Maryam Namazie, or even Irshad Manji (all deemed 'Islamophobic' and racist by mr one-white-man central-committee) - but each and every ordinary Muslim.

This guy might not be racist - the alternative is that he's insane (maybe he would support a populist McVeigh revolution!).

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 19/08/2005 - 18:00

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Perhaps the AWL statement should have noted that the London bombs were obviously a response to the Iraq war and Blair must share the blame. Having said that, they were an entirely irrational and unjustified response. For one thing the bombs were not planted by Iraqis, but by Pakistanis and a Jamaican. The only connection these people had with Iraq is that they were the same religion as most Iraqis. The motive must therefore be considered primarily religious and not political, so focussing on the Islamic fundamentalist aspect is entirely justified.

Furthermore, critics of the AWL should read the statements from the Iraqi and Iranian socialists reproduced above. These are people who understand the reality of Islamic fundamentalism. They do not seem so inclined to be soft on it as the comrades safe in their European homes tend to be.

Incidentally, surely only an Islamic fundamentalist could see an invasion to remove a secular dictator as an attack on Islam? Removing Saddam has actually brought Shi'ite Islamists to power in Iraq. They (and od course Halliburton) are probably the only people who have so far benefitted from the invasion.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 11/07/2005 - 11:21

together with the CPGB's statement the best one, I read!

for socialism!

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