Recently, a leading
light from the London Forum posted a copy of the racial nationalist Tyndallite organ Heritage & Destiny with
a note requesting me to read certain pages of an article, the pages with references to John Webster. He thought I would be
interested and he was right. The author of the article is the deputy editor of Heritage & Destiny Peter Rushton
who fancies himself as an historian but an historian who twists the facts and speculates an awful lot. The motive for this
article in European Socialist Action is to do justice to John Webster.
Rushton places Webster’s Islamic name,
Muhammed, in quotes, implying there is something suspect or phoney about it. Not only that, Rushton places the Islamic name
between John and Webster when it should read ‘Muhammed John Webster’. He also misspells Webster’s Islamic
name throughout. Rushton speculates and employs guess-work, something that any reputable ‘historian’ would not
do. Rushton says it is ‘probable’ that “Webster had disputes with fellow homosexuals in Mosley’s movement,
never becoming part of UM”. Rushton does not offer any proof nor evidence for this but simply plants the seeds of something
scurrilous and therefore defamatory. What was the nature of these ‘disputes’ and who were these homosexuals? He
continues with the claim that someone had quit the BUF in 1936 to join “William Joyce and other national socialists
in the Nordic League*”. Thereafter, Joyce and others formed the ill-fated National Socialist League after he was sacked
by Mosley from a paid position in the BUF, shortly after elections in 1937. It was Joyce who was responsible for the title
‘British Union of Fascists and National Socialists” without any thought to the obvious contradictions. One being
a theory of state and the other alluding to racial anti-Semitism leading to the exclusion of all Jews from society. A ‘national
socialist’ is an admirer of Adolf Hitler and his policies. A fascist is influenced mainly by Benito Mussolini and the
theory of the corporate state.
John Webster had started life as a teenage activist in the Salvation Army where his religiosity had been formed.
He later dabbled in communism and then the anti-Semitism associated with some forms of fascism. An article in the Sydney
Jewish News in March 1956 was published under the title ‘Webster and the Australian Party’. The following
“The Australian Party in New South Wales in which Mr Webster, one of its leading lights, recently offered Jews conditional
membership is not an organisation to which any self-respecting Jew would adhere. The Australian Party includes persons with
fascist and anti-Semitic backgrounds.
“Mr Webster who puts forward the policy of that party on the
Sydney Domain every week, is an Englishman with a long record of association with pro-Hitler and anti-Semitic movements in
England. Beginning his social career in the Salvation Army, he moved on to the Young Communist League and later joined the
“After he was expelled from that body he appeared during the
war as a leading figure in such fascist, pro-Hitler and anti-Semitic organisations as the British National Party. He
attempted to form another group, the English Legion, in February 1944. His policy was to spread anti-Semitic propaganda among
the workers and to form a loose organisation embracing all groups with nationalist leanings into a united front.
“During this time he had been evading national service but in March 1944 he appeared at Clerkenwell Police Court for
failing to obey a direction to undertake agricultural work. He claimed exemption as a conscientious objector on the
grounds of his opposition to the war and support for fascism. He subsequently complied with the order, telling his friends
that he would make as big a nuisance of himself as possible until he was kicked out.
the winter of 1946, Webster conducted classes in anti-Semitism and fascist propaganda and under his direction many letters
on these subjects were sent to the local press.
“By this time he had made a comparative success of his bookshop,
Essential Books, which he had opened in Taunton and then transferred to Bristol. It had become one of the main mail
order centres for the distribution of fascist and near-fascist material and listed in its catalogue the notorious Protocols.
“In 1947, he joined Mosley’s British Union [sic] and announced his three-point programme: clear out the Jews;
break the Labour and TUC dictatorships; and close down parliament. Since those days, Mr Webster has often made statements
denying his anti-Semitism but his record and his activities in Australia speak louder than his denials”.
Further to this
report from the Sydney Jewish News, John Webster continued to speak on the Domain in Sydney, drawing much larger
crowds than all the other speakers. He was doing this same thing at Speakers’ Corner in London where I listened to him
on a Sunday afternoon, attracting larger crowds than that of the Zionists nearby. He confessed he was bitterly anti-Semitic
but around the period of his association with Oswald Mosley his views changed. He said, “It was when Mosley said that
we could ‘use the Jews’ that I realised I had been wrong all the time in my hatred”, followed with, “I
wrote to the Jewish Chronicle to apologise. It was the only apology like that I have ever made and it is still the
only one I feel”.
John Webster converted to Islam in 1958 and was given the Islamic name of Muhammed. Rushton belittles
this aspect of Webster’s life with, “In 1959 he returned to Australia and after a few more years of life as a
Muslim, became part of the 1960s counterculture in Sydney”. Webster’s life as a Muslim did not end in the 1960s
because he was active as a Muslim speaker well into the 1970s in London. I heard him speak then with the total conviction
of an inspired convert.
a clearer understanding here are the words of John Webster, himself, on his journey to Islam. It is so familiar to many of
those who have converted. Basically, it is a dissatisfaction with the West and its disastrous policies.
(Muhammad John Webster served
as president of the English Muslim Mission)
“Born in London I was brought up Christian of the Protestant persuasion. In 1930, in
my teens, I was confronted with the problems normal to a reasonably intelligent young man, these problems being basically
relating to the reconciling of everyday affairs with the claims of religion and here I came across the first weakness of Christianity.
is a dualism which regards the world as sinful and seeks to turn its back on the realities of life, projecting its hopes into
a future world. As a result of this there is created a Sunday attitude towards religion which has no place in the rest of
the secular week. At this time in England there was a great deal of poverty and social discontent which Christianity made
no attempt to resolve.
emotional than knowledgeable, with the enthusiasm of youth I rejected the Church and became a communist. Communism has a certain
satisfaction at an emotional adolescent level but again it did not take long to realise the hateful nature of communism based
upon class warfare, in itself immoral. Having rejected the materialism of communism I turned to the study of philosophy and
unity which I observed all around me led me to identify myself with what is known as Pantheism, a natural law religion. We
in the West find it difficult to acquaint ourselves with Islam for since the days of the Christian Crusades there has been
either a conspiracy of silence or a deliberate perversion of Islamic matters. Anyway at the time living in Australia I asked
for a copy of the Holy Qur'an at the Sydney Public Library, when I was given the Book and was reading the preface
by the translator, the bigotry against Islam was so obvious that I closed it up. There was no Qur'an translated by a Muslim
weeks later in Perth, Western Australia, I again asked at the library for a copy of the Qur'an stipulating that the translator
must be a Muslim. It is difficult to put into words my immediate response to the first surah, the Seven Opening Verses: Then
I read something of the life of the Prophet (peace be upon him). I spent hours in the library that day, I had found what I
wanted, by the mercy of Allah. I was a Muslim.
I had not at this time met any Muslim. I came out of the library exhausted by the tremendous intellectual
and emotional experience I had received. The next experience, I still ask myself: was it true or was it something I had dreamed
up, for in cold print it seems impossible to have happened? I came out of the library intending to get myself a cup of coffee.
I walked down the street and raising my eyes to a building beyond a high brick wall I saw the words `Muslim Mosque'. I straightway
said to myself `You know the truth, now accept it'.
`La illaha illalah Muhammad ur Rasul Allah'* and so by the mercy of Allah I became a Muslim”.
- Our Choice’ compiled by Ebrahim Ahmed Bawany, 1961)
There is no racism in Islam, all men being equal before God. All Muslims are brothers within the Ummah.
Christianity preaches something very similar but it is rarely practiced. The Anglican church is currently tearing itself apart
over the issue of homosexuality, for example. Rushton takes a swipe at Webster by saying “he now opposed British imperialism,
believing in the brotherhood of man, regardless of race or colour”. This is followed with “he used the address
of the Islamic Cultural Centre, now the famous Regent’s Park Mosque”. It is still called the Islamic Cultural
Centre when I last had communication. The London Central Mosque is the correct title for the main building used for worship.
Intelligent people recognise
there is a common humanity and that we are not divided into a superior race and the rest being of little or no worth. The
sight of small children from Syria in great distress should be enough for our consciences and reduce the hardest, coldest
heart to tears.
Muhammed John Webster arrived at his truth after a long journey. Rushton speculates again with a touch of
malice. He writes, “Was the apparent crank “Mohammed” Webster acting as an agent of disruption on behalf
of some agency ...?” It is a piece of poison with absolutely no foundation and he never follows it through, again. On
the other hand, Rushton could be projecting something of himself there. I have a booklet in which Arthur Kemp, formerly of
the BNP, accuses Rushton of being a Marxist plant along with some facts to back up this claim. Other BNP officials at that
time were to later accuse Rushton of being a Searchlight agent.
People like Rushton hate Islam because it represents something
that challenges their alleged “racial nationalism” and their whites only world. Thus, Muhammed John Webster would
be a traitor to them all simply on account of his conversion to Islam. Rushton does not actually go that far but he leans
very much in that direction.
I have the greatest admiration for the gifted and courageous John Webster,
a man of an individualist nature who chose all the paths he travelled throughout his life. He came to realise that being ‘Jew-wise’
need not involve hatred. In itself, an important legacy.