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Fellow Question Time panellist, Bonnie Greer, admitted today she had to restrain herself from slapping Griffin last night, before adding she was glad she hadn't because he was 'totally trounced' on the show. 

 The Guardian, October 23, 2009.

CRUSADERS' SWORDS HONED ON POLITICAL OPPORTUNISM
by Robert Edwards

Attacks upon Muslims have broadened to include an all-out offensive against the Islamic religion, with one British nationalist leader condemning Islam as an “evil” religion. Such emotive language strikes at the very heart of British traditions of religious and civil liberty and so is it fair or legitimate to make such blanket condemnations on the basis of an individual’s interpretation of history and the role of organised religion within it? Moral judgements such as the “evil” label can often rebound on the accuser and here we begin what some regard as a long overdue critique of the new Islamophobia sweeping across the nationalistic movements in Europe.
Years ago, the only real bogeyman of patriotic groups was the threat of international communism and the intensity of one’s hatred of communism defined the depth of political commitment. The Cold War and the myth of the arms race gave expression to ideological differences that endured right up to the collapse of the Soviet Union.
One of those instrumental in exaggerating the Soviet threat in its last decades was Donald Rumsfeld, serving US presidents from Ronald Reagan onwards. The “external threat” was an essential component in the West’s justification for interfering in the internal affairs of other countries ... anti-communism being a long-time favourite of American imperialism.
Today, Rumsfeld keeps up with his old tricks but with one big difference. The Islamic “threat” has replaced the “evil” Red Empire of the old Reagan era. You could say that the end of the age of ideology heralded by the collapse of the Soviet Union then gave birth to the new myth of a “clash of civilisations” now being promoted by the allies of the neo-conservatives in Washington. It transpires that the Soviet Union was, for a long time, incapable of an effective attack upon the West and that the system was benign to the point of being helpless. Nevertheless, Rumsfeld and his kind perpetuated the myth of the Red menace in order to lend an alibi to American global aggression. The end justified all the lies, according to the US State Department.
It is the same with the Muslim world today. See how our leaders justify illegal acts of international aggression by way of claiming to defend our dwindling freedoms. As always, it is the external threat from what are perceived to be the enemies of those freedoms and from this we see the creation of the most monumental travesties of truth and justice.
Ask yourselves, if Islam is so evil and such a threat to democracy and human rights then why did no one make mention of this when the CIA was supporting and financing the Mujahideen in Soviet-occupied Afghanistan? Then, it was expedient to love Islam so long as Muslims did America’s bidding ... but, as soon as it became convenient, Muslims became the scapegoats and were as expendable as the Taliban, formerly favoured by the United States.
All of this stinking humbug and hypocrisy characterised the face of US foreign policy ever since the end of the Second World War.
In Britain, we are witnessing a nationalist movement behaving in the very same way. The demonisation of Islam is now viewed as a very convenient vote-catcher in the present climate of tight security. Our nationalist leader, writing in the March issue of the BNP’s Identity magazine, claims, “This is the threat that can bring us to power!”. You would think he had just discovered the secret of eternal youth or the alchemist’s magic of turning base metal into gold. So now, the secret to gaining power lies in the resurrection of crusading knights in an old mediaeval war against the infidel Saracen. This latter-day crusader sees the new Jerusalem bathed in the blood of Islam and himself raised to the heights of power on that alone. Never mind constructive policies for building Britain as a land fit to live in.
Our great nationalist leader also sees this as an opportunity to sweep away all those “hysterical” anti-Semites who have plagued the movement since it first began. We just need to keep very quiet concerning his own anti-Jewish credentials. In the very same issue of Identity we learn that many Jews are now becoming more sympathetic to the survival of white Europe and now the West, our great leader claims, is the only possible life-raft for the Jewish people “if Israel sinks beneath a Muslim tidal wave”. He is offering the Jews sanctuary in a world he perceives to be plagued by the evil Muslims intent on world domination where the Jews have become the victims once more. Tell that to the persecuted Palestinians.
Our great leader has decided that the world has changed to fit in with his own world of political expediency and opportunism. The intensity of anti-Islamic feeling engendered by the “reformed” BNP has parallels with the anti-Semitism of an Arnold Leese insofar that the religion as originally conceived by the Prophet Mohammed is vilified as the source of all human evil. All that is missing is “The Protocols of the Learned Imams of Islam”, forged by the hands of the secret police. But then our great leader can tear quotes out of context from the Qur’an to “prove” that all Muslims are out to murder all Jews and Christians while they sleep securely in their beds at night.
There are many colourful passages in the Qur’an that are written in the style of the time ... just as there are many passages in the Bible that echo the customs of a long-past desert people existing under harsh conditions. You must read these passages within that context.
Then, of course, there are pockets of fundamentalism within Islam that commit the same sin as our great nationalist leader and adopt literal interpretations for purely political ends. In that sense, they share a similar mindset. It is a monomania of extraordinary proportions, directed against an imaginary external threat that calls, respectively, for a “holy war” between them and us.
The myths being created by the reformed BNP are easily taken apart. In the March issue of Identity, Bill Baillie, a supporter of European Action, challenged the current BNP line that says Islam has only ever advanced through military conquest. This is what he wrote:
“Recent articles in Identity have described how Islam was spread across the world by military conquest. This is true but in many instances Christianity was spread in almost exactly the same way. It was Charlemagne, the grandson of Charles Martel, who converted the Saxons and the Lombards at the point of a sword in 785. This was at the behest of Pope Adrian I who extended the Christian Empire from the Ebro to the Elbe.
The Americas were also converted by military might. This began in 1520 when Hernando Cortez killed over 50,000 defenders of Mexico City in the cause of Christian evangelism. During this time of Spanish and Portuguese conquest native Americans were slaughtered in multitudes”
He concluded, “The image of gentle missionaries preaching the gospel to grateful savages is far from the truth ... it was just as militaristic as Islam”.
Identity’s editor, in his response, failed to answer Bill’s points satisfactorily, simply stating that the BNP remains secular and non-sectarian. But how can he honestly make such a claim if the raison d’être of the BNP is now based entirely on waging war against an entire religion and that the assumption of power is to be based entirely on Muslim-bashing. How non-sectarian is that?
Attacking Islam as a religious system is an act of supreme folly and more so when the attacker deceives himself into believing that such a political line will ultimately reward him with political power. You need much more than that if you wish to be embraced by the British electorate nationwide. You need good policies that will secure a prosperous and secure life for all our people. You need the positive hope of a constructive programme ... not the negative hatred for a belief system with a different tradition to our own.
Many of those now obsessed with the “clash of civilisations” are guilty of further hypocrisy, especially when it concerns their new found Jewish friends who they really loved all along. I refer to the high and mighty moralising concerning women’s rights and freedom of expression. According to Talmudic Law, it is unacceptable for a devout Jew to even shake hands with a woman, as male supremacism finds its highest expression in Jewish law. In fact, women have far more rights under Islam than those living within orthodox Judaism.
As was pointed out recently, any list of Islamic male chauvinism will find its equal and direct match in Judaism. So what is all this humbug and hypocrisy from the new Friends of Israel now gracing the pages of Identity with promises of asylum in Europe?
Islamophobia is the new anti-Semitism that once wooed the mob in nineteenth century Eastern Europe and Russia. The very same anti-Semitism that inspired the Czarist pogroms and forced the Diaspora to the West and beyond. The very same tales of world domination and the undermining of Christendom are employed once more to instil a fear and loathing of something “alien”. Substitute Islam for Judaism and you have rank hypocrisy from those who now condemn “hysterical anti-Semitism”.