August 04, 2009

Combating the BNP - Part II

In the last part of the series, the author concentrates on what steps the mainstream political parties and opinion makers must take to combat [the] BNP and challenge them head on the issues that give them support from parts of our community.

I think of one organisation in particular that claims to speak for British Muslims and has for a number of years now been issuing 'advice' to the Government on how to tackle Islamic extremism. It condemns Islamist terrorism but at the same time produces documents demanding vast changes to the way society is run, whether than be in education, employment, or the public sphere in general, while routinely denouncing anyone who dares to question its agenda as 'Islamophobic' and 'racist'.

I think of a group that deliberately fosters a sense of Muslim self-pity and a victim mentality (just as the BNP deliberately fosters white self-pity) at the same time as showing its own very flawed commitment to social cohesion through, for example, boycotting Holocaust Memorial Day.

The disgraceful slandering of anyone who dares criticise Islamist politics, or even specific aspects of Islamic doctrine as 'Islamophobic' and 'racist' is all too common, not just among Muslim activists but also among large segments of the so-called 'left', as is the manipulation of the discourse of anti-racism in an attempt to further an Islamist agenda.

Such false accusations of bigotry and racism have been thrown at perfectly decent and anti-racist individuals, and have the potential to ruin their lives and careers. When the 'race card' or in this case the 'religion card' is played too often, people start to get fed up. There is a real danger that people are starting to feel 'well, they're going to call me racist anyway so I might as well vote for the BNP'. And it's not just with the issue of Islam that this is happening.

There seems to be a consensus view among many who are known as 'Guardianistas' that patriotic sentiment and concerns about immigration and social change are intrinsically founded upon racist sentiment. People who express national pride are at best sniffed at with an arrogant and superior contempt and at worst are automatically assumed to be mindless, unenlightened bigots. As Graeme Archer put it in his excellent article on 'Creating the BNP':
you decide to make people feel guilty about symbols of national unity: only racists fly the flag, that sort of thing; you write long, hand-wringing articles in the press about ‘reclaiming’ the flag, which never quite spell out that which is obvious from your tone: that you have an instinctive disdain for the working-class, with their unthinking loyalty to country. Those flags! Flying from council-house windows! You never reflect on what would have happened to Britain in the mid-20th century were this not the case.
The supreme irony of this attitude is that in a clear example of condescending racism, these same white liberals are happy to support communalism among Britain's ethnic minorities and to glory in uncritically promoting and embracing separatist and supremacist attitudes from minority communities that they would denounce in white Britons. Such people are rightly described as being 'wracked by guilt and contempt for their own intellectual heritage', and the liberal Muslim author Tarek Fatah's experiences of Canadian society are equally true of our own:

[T]here is a tremendous amount of white guilt. The intelligentsia in this country in a selfish way tries to assuage this guilt. It caters to the most idiosyncratic behaviour of the immigrant and practices the racism of lower expectations. It sets standards of behaviour for our community, but when dealing with immigrants and especially the Muslim community, it does not expect them to live by the same standards.

This is a very real problem, one of a large number that need addressing if the BNP are to be sent packing, as they rightly should be. The deligitimisation of patriotism, the claims that reasonable concerns about immigration and its effects are 'racist', and the uncritical celebration of any culture and group bar that of the white British majority are all helping to feed into the rise of the BNP.

If mainstream politicians and opinion makers are serious about combatting the BNP, an organisation that remains ideologically racist and which is founded on neo-Nazi principles, they need to start addressing the concerns that have led to a significant number of people seeing it as 'speaking for them'. The Labour Party should particularly take note, given that 59% of BNP voters feel that Labour 'used to care about the concerns of people like me but doesn’t nowadays'. In tandem with this, anti-racists must continue to expose the true nature of the BNP, which is, as my recent report for the Centre for Social Cohesion shows, that it remains a party dedicated to racism and apartheid policies, and a party with numerous ties to neo-Nazism.

You can read the first part of the series here

eGov monitor

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

An excellent diagnosis of the alienation of the white working classes and the self-indulgent guilt-tripping of the sneering, intellectually snobbish chattering classes, and how they synergise one another.

Unfortunately this is about ten or fifteen years too late. The momentum has built up and any U-turn would require changing the course of a cultural oil-tanker.

Meanwhile, attitudes continue to polarise.

Anonymous said...

Finally a voice of sanity and brutal honesty....

Robert said...

The unnamed Muslim organisation Standing refers to is the Muslim Council of Britain.

It has never claimed to speak for all British Muslims. It does however have some 500 affiliates and certainly represents a substantial section of the Muslim community in Britain.

The MCB has a long history of working with Unite Against Fascism to combat the BNP.

It really is irresponsible of Lancaster Unity to publish this unpleasant and divisive attack on an organisation that is an important component of the anti-fascist movement. Frankly, you should know better.

The least you could now do is offer the MCB the right of reply.

Antifascist said...

'It really is irresponsible of Lancaster Unity to publish this unpleasant and divisive attack on an organisation that is an important component of the anti-fascist movement. Frankly, you should know better. The least you could now do is offer the MCB the right of reply.'

The MCB is more than welcome to respond, if it feels the need.

It's worth bearing in mind that the anti-fascist movement is allowed different views on how to deal with the likes of the BNP, and none of us are exempt from criticism, the MCB and Lancaster Unity included. If the criticism is based on valid concerns, I don't see a problem.

Anonymous said...

Sunny at PP doesn't seem that struck on these articles

"Edmund Standing, who wrote the farcial report on the BNP for a think-tank, has written another article for eGov Monitor offering lessons on how to ‘combat the BNP’. While some new and original thinking is sorely needed – all this article does is regurgitate more stupidity of the past.

Let me summarise his article: the rise of the BNP can be blamed on Muslim organisations and ‘Guardianistas’. It’s their fault because they perpetuate “Muslim self-pity and a victim mentality” (apparently there is a religious brand of self-pity too) and “white liberal guilt”. Oh and also we “need to start addressing the concerns that have led to a significant number of people [voting BNP]“.

As I’ve said before – the election of the BNP MEPs has brought out a bunch of self-styled commentators on race relations who have decided that the fault lies with the left and minorities themselves. Apparently, before the MCB came around we lived in a multi-racial utopia. The Guardian too apparently has such a stranglehold on the country’s media and politicians that it absolutely forbids any discussion of race, immigration and extremism. As a result, it’s obvious that people will be driven to the BNP because they can’t find anywhere that expresses their views.

It’s also interesting that the only time Edmund Standing mentions Muslims with relation to the BNP is when he blames Muslim orgs. Earlier he defended this by saying that the BNP’s issue is still race, not religion. I suppose the fact that most Muslims are brown-skinned folks and can thus be demonised more easily is irrelevant? I suppose the fact there was prejudice in the past directed at Catholics and Jews because of their religion is also irrelevant?

This sort of thinking isn’t just silly and easily dismissed – but it’s ideologically driven. It looks like the aim of people who write this guff isn’t to actually combat the BNP but simply bash the people they dislike (lefties, Muslim orgs). The BNP is simply used as the conduit for that bashing."

http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/5408/comment-page-1#comment-174152%20

Anonymous said...

This report was produced by the Centre for Social Cohesion. Their director, Douglas Murray, is on record for saying,

"Conditions for Muslims in Europe must be made harder across the board: Europe must look like a less attractive proposition."

The Centre for Social Cohesion is a Neoconservative think-tank with an anti-muslim agenda. In some ways, the CSC and the BNP have a symbiotic relationship.

Anonymous said...

"none of us are exempt from criticism, the MCB and Lancaster Unity included"

And quite right too. Only fascists disallow dissent.

Robert said...

"The MCB is more than welcome to respond, if it feels the need.... It's worth bearing in mind that the anti-fascist movement is allowed different views on how to deal with the likes of the BNP, and none of us are exempt from criticism."

The Muslim website ENGAGE has published a response to Standing, which answers his accusations against the MCB.

In the interests of balance, and in keeping with the principle that nobody (including Edmund Standing) is exempt from criticism, would it not be appropriate to reproduce this piece here at Lancaster Unity?

ENGAGE said...

ENGAGE have responded in detail (4 parts) to Edmund Standing's ridiculous paper. It is disappointing to see LU falling for his poorly researched paper which so transparently tried to underplay the BNP's anti-Muslim racism..

http://www.iengage.org.uk/component/content/article/1-news/449-cfsc-bnp-report-underplays-anti-muslim-prejudice

http://www.iengage.org.uk/component/content/article/1-news/462-edmund-standing-fails-to-understand-the-bnps-islamophobia

http://www.iengage.org.uk/component/content/article/1-news/466-edmund-standing-continues-to-get-the-bnp-wrong

http://www.iengage.org.uk/component/content/article/1-news/471-edmund-standing-continues-to-be-clueless-about-the-bnp

Nazi Casuals F*ck Off said...

This article reeks of blame-the-victim superficiality.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe you're publishing stuff from the Harry's Place school of dividing the anti-fascist movement.

This isn't a simple matter of "differing opinions", this is part of a long-running and calculated attempt to demobilise the most radical sections of the Muslim community until they sleep at the feet of New Labour. This is about removing them from the fight against fascism.

I think you'd do well to not publish anything by these people again. Their racism lurks close to the surface, and on sites like Harry's Place, their continuous witch-hunts against Muslims are assisting the BNP.

Please, don't publish these people on an anti-fascist site.

Anonymous said...

All forms of fascism must be tackled. Blaming the Labour Party is a pathetic attmept not to face up to the dual threat of extremism.

Anonymous said...

All forms of fascism must be tackled. Blaming the Labour Party is a pathetic attmept not to face up to the dual threat of extremism.

Well said. Of course there will viewers who agree with the Guardian approach but there are also many who don't so why are they trying to censure this debate? My understanding is that he says the BNP are motivated by race but they use the Muslims to become popular because some of their antics offend non-Muslims. Seems logical for without the fundamentalists the BNP wouldn't get anywhere pushing an anti-Islamic line. Keep up the good work LU and don't be sidetracked.

Don South said...

Thurrock Nazi's are coming under fire and getting wound up as the squeaky clean Colgate is getting a battering over her followers you tube site.

http://davestrickson.blogspot.com/2009/08/man-with-his-fingers-up-labours-fanny.html