Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Campaign for end to Islamophobia

Islamophobia has grown in recent years, becoming a kind of 'respectable racism', not only in this country but across Europe. Like all forms of racism, it divides the working class - as well as being an affront to the dignity and rights of those directly on the receiving end.

But there has also been resistance to this tide of racism, going back to the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks and the beginnings of the movement agianst the 'war on terror'. Stop the War announced three campaigning principles and objectives when it was launched: opposition to wars in pursuit of US aims, defence of civil liberties, and rejection of racism directed towards Muslims.

The racism continues - and so does the movement which opposes it. This is a movement that has organised the greatest and most multi-racial demonstrations in our history, undermining and challenging the climate of Islamophobia generated by media and politicans. With the election of two MEPs for the Nazi BNP, there is renewed urgency to the calls for a united movement in response to the fostering of racist division.

It's a hopeful sign, therefore, that various individuals and organisations are joining with Stop the War to instigate a new initiative challenging Islamophobia. There's a launch meeting this Friday in London, addressed by George Galloway MP, Daud Abdullah (Muslim Council of Britain) and Lindsey German (Stop the War convenor), amongst others, which will hopefully kickstart a series of rallies and meetings across the country.

Here in Tyneside we're discussing a similar meeting for September, aiming to bring together as many people of all backgrounds to unite against the racism that accompanies war and imperialist occupations.

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