Whilst 99.99% of worshippers of the Muslim faith do not support ISIS, Islamophobes everywhere are logging onto Twitter and Facebook with the sole intent of spewing toxic hatred against every Muslim, no matter now liberal and peacemaking. Within minutes of the press announcement following the New York terrorist murder, death threats pumped out with vitriol against all Muslims. Every hater on the net was soon busy blaming an entire faith for the actions of a tiny minority.
All it takes to stir professional bigots such as Pamela Geller, Douglas Murray, Katie Hopkins, Paul Golding and Tommy Robinson into action, is a tragic report of a suspected terrorist incident. No sooner are ambulances on the scene, the extreme rightwing scapegoating begins in earnest, deliberate trolling from notorious haters designed to bully, harass and marginalise Muslim minority communities throughout the Western World and to drive a wedge between America, Europe and the Middle East. So ready is the anti-Muslim propaganda machine to swing into action, far right rabble-rousers have often turned up at scenes of non-terror related incidents wrongly believing them to be terror-related.
No-one is faster off the mark than Donald Trump. Not even Tommy Robinson (real name Stephen Yaxley-Lemon), who has a nasty habit of appearing at the scene of suspected terror incidents to thrust cameras in police and ambulance crews’ faces whilst bodies are still warm. Seeking to blame all Muslims for everything wrong in the world, Trump and belligerent bosom buddy Steve Bannon shamelessly capitalise on the anguish of victims with outpourings of vengeful bigotry.
Let us make absolutely no bones about this – The extreme right’s intent is every bit as deadly as ISIS. The end game of White Nationalists and Islamophobics alike is a “clash of civilisations” (the latest term for the far right’s lusted for race war) – A final battle of biblical proportions which will result in the mass slaughter of (mostly brown or black-skinned) Muslims living in Western societies, and deadly, possibly even nuclear warfare between the West and the Middle East. Such a battle (though most certain not to come to fruition) is the racial fantasist’s wet dream, the blood lust for genocide – the ultimate far right snuff fantasy.
For the extremist far right mindset, the “clash of civilisations” is God’s will, and will ultimately result in the death of Jews as well as Muslims, plus everybody else who does not repent and follow Jesus Christ at the eleventh hour. (The irony of course being that these bigots are as far from being Christians as it is possible to be.)
The first lie out of the traps, used by Islamophobic bigots after each and every ISIS-linked terrorist attack is that the far right are relatively peaceful compared to Islamic extremists. As if anyone has forgotten about Auschwitz…
In the revisionist cloud-cuckoo land of the alt right, today’s Nazis are nothing to do with yesterday’s Nazis, even though many Islamophobic Twitter profiles openly glorify the Waffen SS, and share phrases and memes venerating Adolf Hitler.
Just because ‘only’ one person was killed at Charlottesville, fascist defenders continually play the numbers game, trying to portray their deadly allegances to genocidal hate as “better than ISIS”. You do not need to be a first-class historian or mathematical wizard to understand that Islamic extremists have not, and will never match the total death toll of Adolf Hitler and his genocidal regime.
Stephen Yaxley Lennon is unashamably remunerated to troll hate – a fact that Twitter should be aware of, but refuse to take action on. At a time when paid Russian trolls fall increasingly under the spotlight, other, more racially-charged purveyors of hate such as the Luton Liar, continue to be shown the green light from @twittersupport no matter how false and inflamatory their dialogue is. Yaxley-Lennon has been temporarily banned in the past, not for bigoted content, but for personal harassment. Much like ex Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulus who lost his account for the same reason. Unfortunately it appears that once you receive the “blue tick” from Twitter, your extremist political output is beyond censor. The only way you will lose your account, is not for denying the genocide in Myanmar, or telling lies about the faith of Islam in regards to paedophilia, but purely and simply for engaging in personal abuse. (Fortunately a lot of the far right do this on a regular basis so still get suspended rather a lot).
Every so often, from time to time, Twitter management will go to press with a promise to get tough on hatred and extremism, and hardened optimists still get taken in by such false promises. It is amazing PR for the company to pretend they will get tough with haters, when in reality, for the greatest of offenders, it is always business as usual.
Even when Katie Hopkins tweeted about wanting a Hitlerite “Final Solution”, Twitter failed to remove her from the platform, despite thousands of complaints and a campaign by Resisting Hate members.
When push comes to shove, the most popular haters, be they Richard Spencer, Pamela Geller, Tommy Robinson, Paul Golding, or Katie Hopkins, will never lose their accounts because each time their fans log onto Twitter for updates, significant revenue is accrued by the company (similarly with Facebook). No matter how disgusting, prejudical, or hate-crime inspiring a prime user’s account is, controversy generates big money, which is the main reason why multiple “Terms of Service” breaches for the top verified accounts are deliberately ignored by website moderators.
Violent, or even deadly hate-crimes don’t happen within a vacuum. Especially not in today’s technological age. Whilst printed media is still a factor in nurturing destructive prejudice against minority groups (as is family-nurtured racism, peer pressure bigotry, and just hanging out with a bad crowd in the bar who loathe anyone who happens to be non-white) – the ubiqitous nature of online hatred, in particular via social media, most definitely shapes the mind of the hate-crime offender from any starting point, nurturing raw bigotry and intolerance, and shaping attitudes towards a siege mentality where violent action, (although rarely called for by the professional bigots themselves), becomes a self-justifying necessity in the paranoid mindset which has been successfully-programmed to believe Muslims, refugees, foreigners and non-white people are “swamping” and “taking over” unless “drastic action” is taken.
Horrific terror attacks, like the one that happened in New York, are outrages of absolute evil. The nihilistic slaughter of New Yorkers going about their every day business, cycling home from work or study to be mown down by fanatics, is horrendous beyond belief. If it hadn’t been for the quick-thinking actions of the security forces, the death toll could have been even greater, which is a deeply chilling thought.
Despite Neo Fascist lies that antifascists support terrorist organisations like ISIS, the truth could not be further from this. ANTIFA fighters pushed back Islamic extremists from Rojava and continue to have an impact in the fragile situation currently playing out in Syria. Everything that religious murderers stand for is rejected by anarchists and antifascists a hundredfold. The skewed philosophy of deadly intolerance towards anyone who doesn’t share their religious beliefs actually puts ISIS firmly into the same deadly dogmatic category as National Socialists. ANTIFA have proven to be up for the challenge of combating hate from any quarter, something that the beer-bellied drunken football hooligan bigots of the EDL have never once attempted to do.
Also quick to scream abuse at passing Muslim families the ‘soldiers’ of the “Taliban Hunting Club” would run a mile if they ever came face to face with actual extreme Islamists. As would the ‘hard football lads’ of the FLA.
In the spirit of unity and reconcilliation, aware of how far-right Twitter trolls always accuse ordinary Muslims of “doing nothing to stop terror” in the wake of any terrorist attack, a group of peace-loving female Muslims approached John Meighan (leader of the FLA) asking him for assurances of their welcome and safety if they joined in a future FLA march. This was an admirable overture of solidarity and highlighted by our own organisation, Resisting Hate. Sadly, this hand of friendship was overwhelmingly rejected by the FLA leadership who blocked all requests for unity on site. Instead they chose to ‘combat’ the ISIS threat by allowing far right speakers to deliver Islamophobic lectures on non-terror related rants such as the non-Islamic practise of FGM, and the equally non-religious extremist-inspired child abuse that occured in Rotherham.
Opposing terror, for the FLA, just as with the EDL, simply means the continued demonisation of all Muslims.
A previous Resisting Hate article highlighted the plans of senior FLA officials to create mayhem when crowd numbers reach a significant size.
Worldwide, the amount of Muslims who agree with, and support the actions of ISIS and Al Qaeda are miniscule. However it is always the ordinary, law-abiding vast majority who suffer for these events beyond their control. Ordinary Buddhists living in the west, with no allegiance to the Myanmar regime, are quite rightly not tarnished with the genocide against the Rohingya people, however it is always, without fail, the ordinary, everyday non-problematic non-white man or woman in the street who is confronted by racist bigots, and assaulted or abused for their (assumed) race or religion.
Walk through any American, European or British city, and you will struggle to find many, if any, apologists for Islamic State terror, and yet, if you read Twitter, follow Facebook, or listen to Donald Trump’s comments on TV, you would not believe this to be the case. Click on the White House-approved far right conspiracist site InfoWars, and they will tell a totally different story, as will Breitbart and Prison Planet (fake news organisations who create false facts to push their intolerant anti-Muslim agenda.)
In Britain Muslims wearing religious dress, or spotted in the close proximity of mosques or other Muslim religious buildings have been subject to hate crimes, especially in London and Manchester following a surge in far right activity related to the spike in terrorism. People just trying to go about their ordinary, everyday lives feel the brunt for acts of evil which they absolutely do not support.
Such people do not deserve to suffer fall-out from the actions of extremists whose tenuous faith link is condemned outright by British Imams.
When Tommy and Katie tweet far right lies about Western Muslims celebrating murderous terrorist attacks (lies no more grounded in truth than #pizzagate) the consequences can be deadly. The so-called “revenge attack” carried out by a van driver from Wales is a stark warning that radicalised far right terrorists can be just as deadly as ISIS.
For Western Muslims, discrimimination is becoming an everyday fact of life. Be it discrimination at work, abuse in the street, or being targeted for being non-white and in control of a vehicle (stop and search!) Settled Muslim communities collectively shudder each and every time a bomb goes off, or a vehicle ploughs into crowds, fully aware that they, as non-terrorists will be in the firing-line for hate. All these people want to do is live their lives free from the stigmatisation that comes with being members of a visible faith group. Instead they are constantly vilified by a rabid rightwing media and an increasingly toxic social media landscape.
The longer social media is allowed to spread hatred and lies, the more intense this discrimination becomes.
After the horrific Manchester concert bomb, bigoted Twitter users tweeted disgust that the Greater Manchester Police were making an effort to protect Muslims from hate crimes. A common fascist response was that the GMP were “taking the piss”, and that Manchester’s Muslims had brought physical attacks and mosque-burnings “on themselves” for the deadly bomb they had absolutely nothing to do with. The myth of culpability with extremists sadly persists for Muslims, and is likely to feature in the aftermath of the New York attacks also. The more Donald Trump pontificates about banning Muslims, the more ordinary law-abiding US Muslim families will suffer.
The overwhelming longing for Western Muslims everywhere, is to live lives free from hate, however, the antagonistic mindset of the ISIS terrorist perversely admires the Islamophobic far right for creating hate. Reciprocal anti-Muslim hatred stirred-up in response to terrorist acts is admired by the leadership of ISIS as much as the deadly acts of terrorist killing itself. Every Muslim hated and discriminated against following “revenge” for an ISIS killing, is ultimately viewed by the terrorist organisation as a possible future recruit. The goal of ISIS is to drive a wedge between multicultural communities.
When haters fight terror with hate they doing exactly what ISIS want them to do.
If a significant number of US or UK Muslims secretly supported ISIS, they would actually be encouraging their own persecution. Both ISIS and the fascist right oppose multiculturalism, people of different faiths living peacefully side-by-side, which is why ISIS have made a nasty habit of striking during election campaigns in the hope they could boost the fortunes of intolerant rightwingers. Remember back to the timely French and UK election bombs…
Any far right thug who thinks going on the rampage, ripping off headscarves, burning down mosques, beating-up and killing Muslims, is “revenge” against ISIS, think again. Besides becoming a category A criminal who will ultimately end up serving a predictably long sentence behind bars, you are also doing the terrorists’ job for them.
Actual revenge should be inflicted upon actual culprits, not innocent people who worship mainstream Islam.
By helping alienate otherwise peaceful and well-adjusted Muslims, you are encouraging disillusionment that ultimately prolonges the caliphate, and ensures terrorist attacks commited against the West will continue into the future. Not that Donald Trump, Katie Hopkins or Tommy Robinson care less about alienating whole Muslim communities, and any future repercussions to public safety. They are too busy cheerleading hate.