Bigots, racists, and fascists are seizing on the reaction to the 7 July bombings in London to launch attacks on Muslim people.
What we said in our first reaction to the bombings is now urgent: “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”.
Trade union branches should contact local Muslim community groups and mosques to offer support and assistance in physical defence against the bigots.
Kamal Raza Butt was beaten to death by racists who first called him “Taliban” in Nottingham on Sunday 10 July. Mosques have been set on fire in Leeds, Belvedere in Kent, Birkenhead in Merseyside, and Telford in Shropshire, and there have been many smaller-scale attacks in other areas.
The bombers, on the evidence, were followers of al-Qaeda, a particular reactionary political group. Al-Qaeda is a variant of political Islamism, a political movement which seeks to create, by force, a state run according to what the Islamists say are the rules of the Koran, written 1400 years ago.
Across the world, people of Muslim background are the main victims – and the main opponents – of groups like al-Qaeda in the countries where they are active. Predictably, Muslims were among those killed by the 7 July bombings.
To attack Muslims at random because of the crimes of al-Qaeda is as stupid and vile as attacking Christians at random because of the crimes of Franco’s fascism in Spain. Political Islam is a very different matter from everyday Muslim religious observance.
We stand in solidarity with Muslims, and people of Muslim background, in Britain under threat from anti-Muslim racists – just as we also stand in solidarity with the trade union movements and socialist parties which fight in the front line against political Islam in the countries where it is strongest.