Class War are not reknown for reasoned criticism, no Chomky's to be found here, and that is to be welcomed. Ideally it should be a humourous and refreshing antidote to the likes of the Scum and the other tabloids it was largely established to parody. It seems recently however that Class War aims to go one better than the Scum having written to the website http://www.islamophobiawatch.com claiming "we are proud to be Islamophobic" before adding just as we are proud to be ‘Christianophic’, ‘Judeophobic’, ‘Hindoophobic’, ‘Buddhaphobic’, and whatever other mumbo- jumbo bullshit that the black crows of the Priestocracy try to foist upon us.'
This diatribe ends
"As proof of our suitability for inclusion on your hitlist/blacklist may I draw your attention to our latest issue and the article on Islam (just so you won’t think that we may have put that article in just for the glory of being on your hate list, check any other issue of Class War, or our website and you’ll find numerous insults to both mohammed (piss on him) and his modern day would be Torquemadas)."
Class War have featured three pieces on their newswire laying into Islam in the last two months, claiming as they do their anti-religious agenda. It seems strange then that in a Christian country Class War should choose to focus on Islam rather than the religion of the society we live in. Class War only features one anti-Christian story in the same period, laying into Christians for exercising their right to protest outside Jerry Springer the Opera.
We could not find any ‘Judeophobic’ (isn't there another word for that?), ‘Hindoophobic’ or ‘Buddhaphobic’ on their newsire, we did find a piece advertising a reggae dance raising money for Jah Spirit, a Hackney based Rastafarian fighting to keep his business on Broadway Market (2) so presumably Class War are not rastaphobic, nor do they seem to be mumbo-jumbo pseudo-pagan-phobic after wishing stone age visitors a happy solstice recently.
So what's behind Class War's attack on Islam? Well the motivation seems to be islamophobia.com's list of islamophobes which includes the National Secular Society and Peter Tatchell. Now the void agrees that this may be slightly unfair and somewhat without foundation, it seems to be down to their participation in the recent and much villified failure the march for free expression (3).
This event, which only attracted slightly over 100 people was organised by posh fash' The Freedom Association in co-operation with various groups from the left and right including the National Secular Society and UKIP.
In reality the event was an excuse for Islam-bashing, the day also attracted criticism due to the focus on the Danish cartoons depicting Mohammed as well as the attendance and support of the BNP and their bastard child Civil Liberties.
We were in touch with Peter Tatchell at the time, the full story can be found here (4). Whilst we still believe his attendance was slightly naive we could find no fault in what Tatchell said and his reasons for being there, however there was some controversy over what he did actually say on the day (in the comments here (5).
Desperate to court controversy it seems that Class War has jumped on the back of this unholy alliance of the left and right and come down firmly on the right side of the fence.
Presumably they would defend their actions by claiming that they are not attacking Muslims but Islam as a religion, no gods, no masters an' all that. Islamophobia however has a slghtly different meaning. The Runnymede Trust offers an eight point definition of islamophobia (6) here one of which reads "Islam is seen as inferior to the West. It is seen as barbaric, irrational, primitive and sexist.", an attitude that Class War presumably are proud to share!
It goes without saying how divisive and damaging to the working class crass, schoolboy statements like this are, motivated I hope by immaturity and bravado rather than genuine prejudice.
The point will be argued that Islam is not a race, a boring arguments which merely shows an understanding of the lack of scientific validity of the term race. The OED (7) defines race as: "3 a group of people sharing the same culture, language, etc.; an ethnic group. 4 a group of people or things with a common feature."
"USAGE Some people now feel that the word race should be avoided, because of its associations with the now discredited theories of 19th-century anthropologists and physiologists about supposed racial superiority. Terms such as people, community, or ethnic group are less emotionally charged."
So can we let Class War off on a technicality? .. I think not. As both the right and the left are lining up to lay into the Muslim community , perhaps it's time to remember the atrocities carried out in the name of the cross, or even the athiestic and murderous instincts of Stalin and Hitler.
All of the religions named by Class War (and that includes Buddhists, you pseudo-fluffy feudalists you) have carried out atrocities, and all should be open to criticism and debate. But to single out one over the others, or to presume to deny the right of freedom of religion carries the charges of both racism and authoritarianism and Class War are treading a dangerous and sadly well trodden path.