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Standing up against clerical fascism at home and abroad

This is a guest post from Howie’s corner

At the weekend millions of ordinary Pakistani men and women defied the threats of the Taliban and went to the polls to cast their vote. A small number paid for that right with their lives.  They are not alone:

  • In Bangladesh thousands of supporters of Hefazat-e-Islam rampaged through the streets of Dakhar demanding death to the atheist bloggers whilst at the same time pretending to be part of a movement for democracy.
  • In Tunisia Salafist thugs fire-bombed and burned down three offices of the main Tunisian trade union last year. The attacks continue.
  • In Egypt the Muslim Brotherhood continue with their attempts to suppress all opposition and introduce an Islamic state.
  • Saudi Arabia continues to fund groups (like Al Nursa in Syria) that use extreme violence to promote the domination of the fundamentalist Wahhabi version of Islam that was previously alien to many Islamic nations.

The growth of these intolerant, misogynist and violent movements across the Middle east is disturbing and they should be opposed by all Trade Unionists across the world.

According to The Times yesterday there has been a growth of such people in our Universities, with Islamic Societies being hijacked by extremists who bully and intimidate. They breach the human rights of women by trying to enforce gender separation in meetings and violence is never far away.

Neither is the intolerance as threats of death are made towards homosexuals and non-Muslims, which go beyond the right of free speech to the realm of inciting hate and must be cracked down on by the authorities.

And yet there is some cowardice in facing up to these problems. No one should be afraid of speaking out against such extremism. In the Universities the NUS and UCU should be at the forefront of fighting back against these people who are nothing more than an Islamic equivalent of the BNP.

And no one would hesitate to picket and fight back against the BNP.

Yet when it comes to Islamists some people get all “politically correct” or worse. These people wreck our institutions of learning because they despise secular education, and education for women in particular.

Yet some of these people continue to find friends. The SWP seemingly backs the Hezefat-e-Islam movement in Bangladesh as does George Galloway it would seem.

In a speech to a meeting in East London he made the following, rather chilling remarks:

On Saturday he called  for “a peaceful revolution that will remove this gangster government. The media is now under the almost total control of the Hasina government”. He claims there “has been an almost total media blackout about the massacre.”

Galloway added this threat,“I’m against hanging anyone but it’s a fundamental truth in politics that those who live by the sword will die by the sword. There has to be an end of the politics of revenge.”

Perhaps he’d like to remind some of his audience that that should apply to “atheist bloggers” but I doubt that would suit his agenda (whatever that really is these days).

Galloway works for Press TV, which is the mouthpiece of the Iranian Government, the same one that hijacked the election for President in case anyone has forgotten. Oh and still tortures and rapes its prisoners by the way.

His increasingly bizarre world views included a sterling defence of .. North Korea, the world’s largest prison camp.

And yet he still manages to retain his admirers on the so called left.

The clerical fascists or Islamists, what ever you would like to call them are a threat and the people that really suffer from their actions are ordinary Muslims, men and women who simply want to get on with their lives.

There can be no appeasement with these thugs and terrorists, they have to be resisted wherever they raise their ugly heads.

Democracy can and must prevail.