These men and women wish for a return to the age of the Flintstones even though they will arrive at the march on comfortable modern public transport paid for through the taxes of a successful liberal democratic capitalist state. They will buy their halal baps paid for on giros donated to them by the same system. And they will be mobilised by mobile telephony and the Internet - along with other ingenious technological advances borne of Western ingenuity (allowed to burgeon in our flourishing secular society).
Al Muhajiroun (Islam4UK is its latest name after its former names Al Ghurabaa and the Saved Sect were banned by the former Home Secretary John Reid in 2006) has a history of being provocative. Recall its conference "The Magnificent 19", praising the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Al Muhajiroun also has a history of producing terrorists. On the 29 April, 2003, Asif Hanif, who attended some of Al Muhajiroun's circles, carried out a bombing of a café in Tel Aviv, Israel, that killed three people and injured 60 others. In 2006 another individual connected with Al Muhajiroun detonated a bomb in India, killing himself and destroying an army barracks. In 2007, five young Muslim Britons with Al Muhajiroun connections - Omar Khyam, Waheed Mahmood, Anthony Garcia, Jawad Akbar and Saladhuddin Amin, - were convicted of a multiple bombing plot to use fertiliser bombs which police say could have killed hundreds of British people. The men were caught after police and MI5 launched a massive surveillance operation. The targets included the Bluewater shopping centre in Kent, the Ministry of Sound nightclub in London and Britain's domestic gas network. Al Muhajiroun’s list of terror connections is too long to detail in full here.
Who is likely to hold a counter demonstration to Al Muhajiroun’s march? The English Defence League (EDL). Although the EDL is due to be holding a demonstration that Halloween Saturday in Leeds, it now seems highly unlikely that they will miss out on an opportunity to demonstrate against the likes of Choudary face to face on London’s streets. This is why the EDL was set up after all - not to demonstrate against communists and left-wingers - but to expose through demonstrations the likes of Choudary and his gang of Britain-hating extreme Islamists.
So, if the EDL decides to show up, will the Unite Against Fascism (UAF) crowd show up as they always seem to when the EDL organize any kind of public demonstration? And if they do show up, whose side will they be on? Presumably not the EDL’s side, who in their eyes are fascists and racists? Then will they be supporting a terrorist-linked Islamofascist group as they march across London calling for imposition of a legal system that would see half of their members executed for one reason or another? Are the UAF really going to back the freedom of expression of a group which has publicly called for the bombing of Britain by Al Qaeda, the beheading of Danish cartoonists and the Pope, and dresses its womenfolk head to toe so they look like ghosts from the Dark Side (suitable though that might be for Halloween)?
If the UAF do decide to show up as a counter presence to the EDL, then how will the Islamist entities within the UAF tell the core UAF supporters to react? Presumably the UAF non-Muslim factions can just about bear their marriage of convenience with the Islamist factions (MCB, Stop the war coalition etc) within the UAF, but can they go so far as to support a group like Choudary’s with blood on its hands? (I imagine there are a lot of frantic meetings going on at the UAF headquarters right now. Hopefully those leftists who have for a long time wanted to cut Islamist ties will now see that they have no choice but to say goodbye to the living hypocrisy that is the Black Red Alliance.).
Personally, I’d like to see Islam4uk’s march banned. Those marching under the Islam4uk banner are racist, bigoted, brainwashed fools who abuse Islam and the decent Muslims that live peaceably and progressively in Britain today. They do not merit freedom of speech, let alone Britain’s other freedoms. Islam4uk supporters hate Britain and the West, so what on earth are they doing here? These people should go to some pent-up, troubled dustbin of a country like Islamic Saudi Arabia and live under Shari’ah law there if they believe in it that much. They should stop trying to fob off a corrupt, barbaric, failed legal code on Western democracies which left their kind of theocratic barbarism behind many centuries ago.
If the EDL and the UAF are intent on holding peaceful rallies then so be it. But what are they going to achieve? What does all their flag-waving and ranting get at the end of the day apart from a two minute slot on the evening news and a whole load of policemen focused on them rather than on people like Islam4Uk, who are the real troublemakers in British society?
Both sides should just grow up.
Yes, the far right needs putting in its box in the UK. The BNP and other far right nonses need debating into the ground by the mainstream and the UAF has a real job to do in making sure that the far right is exposed at every turn. The BBC putting Nick Griffin on Question Time is a start - let the mainstream put its most eloquent debaters on the same panel to squash him and his nonsensical extremist ideology.
Yes, the EDL has a point too - extreme Islamists are out of control in many parts of Britain and are using and abusing almost every institution that the average Brit used to be able to trust. There are huge problems in Britain with Muslim faith schools, many Muslim women living the lives of slaves, block voting in local elections, local government corruption, Islamist “no-go” areas and the racist propaganda of groups like Islam4UK and Hizb ut Tahrir who teach the Muslim youth they are superior in all ways to dirty “kuffar” rather than equals.
But why demonstrate about these inequalities? Write about them, debate them, vote for change, set up a new political party if necessary to express your point of view (if you feel the mainstream is not listening) but why close down whole town centres on Saturdays when the poor old shopkeepers there are suffering enough anyway from the global recession without your presence there? If you want to stop extreme Islamism, join the British army and go murder the Taliban. If you can’t join the army, then become an activist. Crowds are not as powerful politically as they used to be - you’ll make more progress by setting up an EDL stall beside an Al Muhajiroun dawah stall on Tooting Broadway or Wimbledon High Street these days or taking down an Islamist website.
I have made clear in the past that the EDL’s strategy is wrong. They are doing Bin Laden’s work for him when violent or extremist perpetrators enter their group (they always will) who cause friction in public demonstrations with British Muslims. The presence of extremists within the EDL helps demarcate between Muslim and Non Muslim when they intended originally to demonstrate the irreconcilable differences between Britons (including peaceable, progressive Muslims) and extreme Islamists. The UAF simply magnifies the EDL’s unintended demarcation by wrongly painting the EDL as a racist entity and by putting forward crowds dominated by Muslim males to confront their every protest.
Both the UAF and the EDL are being played and they should wake up and smell the coffee.
To become what they were set up to be, the UAF needs to distance itself from its Islamist allies and the EDL needs to demarcate itself completely from the BNP and other far right groups. These should be two straightforward steps. Alas, all that happens is the two groups try to smear each other.
If the two groups were clever, they’d see the Halloween Shari’ah March as an opportunity to ally against the real enemy amongst us. After all, the real fascists marching that day will be Islam4UK. If at the recent protests between the UAF and the EDL Hitler’s Waffen SS had marched on by, would both groups have waved them on? This Halloween Islam4UK march is a perfect scenario to roll out the lesser of two evils principle and unite in abhorrence at what Al Muhajiroun is proposing.
The hypocrisies of the UAF will be on full show if the EDL do turn up on Halloween Saturday to protest against Islam4UK and the UAF support the extreme Islamists. Human rights, xenophobia, free-expression, feminism, homosexuality, democracy, abortion - all championed in the past by leftist politicians and incompatible with the Shari’ah law proposed by either Islam4UK or the UAF’s Islamist friends. EDL will be strengthened massively if the UAF is shown to be cavorting with Islamonazis.
This is likely to become a big first test for the Black Red alliance; the odd Islamist Leftist compact that exists for lack of other bedfellows. A really uncomfortable day for them. Leftist friends from the past like Stonewall (the enemy of Islamists) will be looking on and will be furious unless the UAF articulates itself far more clearly than it has done in the past. It could be a fascinating Saturday if the authorities allow it to go ahead and all three factions actually show up.
Hopefully the Islam4UK march will be banned by the authorities and the UAF will not have to face such quandaries (which are capable of destroying its very soul). Social cohesion should and must always come first. Then everyone can enjoy Halloween for what it is - a secular festival which is an excuse to dress up, carve pumpkins, trick or treat and generally make fun of all things terror.
As for Trafalgar Square, well it does need a bit of sprucing up. With their designs, Islam4UK could have unwittingly provided the Aunt Sally town planners were looking for. Whilst Nelson must remain forever, why not a rainbow statue to celebrate Britain’s gay community, a column for Cheryl Cole and other independently successful British women, and, finally, a fountain to celebrate all those thousands of immigrants who have come to Britain, added to the nation’s rich fabric and assimilated into British Society, recognising it is one of the most liberated societies on the planet. If anything, Britain needs liberating further not having itself dragged back into the Dark Ages by a bunch of sadistic half-wits wearing black sheets, crazy beards and pyjamas cut above the ankle in expectation of floods.