Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/401/4560
Fight racism and Islamophobia
PAUL MACKNEY, general secretary of NATFHE, the college and university lecturers' union, has spoken out against the dangers of an Islamophobic backlash after the London bombings.
"The police logged some 70 anti-Muslim incidents within 24 hours of the bombings," he said. "Newspapers reported arson attacks on mosques and Sikh temples at Leeds, Belvedere, Telford and Birkenhead.
'We have to ensure that the backlash does not turn on our Muslim brothers and sisters. We stand with them in opposition to the bombings and against the racism that identifies them as a problem."
The inflammatory language of the editorial statement in The Sun on 8 July showed why the growth of racism and Islamophobia is a danger. It ranted: "In the name of New York, Washington, Bali, Nairobi, Madrid and now London, we shall have vengeance and justice…
"Britain is crawling with suspected terrorists and those who give them succour. The government must act without delay, round up this enemy in our midst and lock them in internment camps. Our safety must not play second fiddle to their supposed 'rights'."
JOURNALISTS AT The Sun's US-based cousins Fox News channel, part of Rupert Murdoch's capitalist print empire, said that the London bombings had worked "to the western world's advantage…" They put terrorism back on the top of the G8 agenda instead of global warming and African aid.
Another Fox News presenter wondered why the International Olympic Committee had missed a golden opportunity by not awarding the 2012 Olympics to France. "It would have been the one time we could look forward to where we didn't worry about terrorism. They'd blow up Paris, and who cares?
"The British should let the French have the Olympics – let someone else be worried about guys with backpack bombs." An American media watchdog criticised these comments as "callous reactions to the bombings that took dozens of lives."
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In The Socialist 14 July 2005: