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Denounce the AWL’s Racist Article

The Alliance for Workers’ Liberty has published an outright racist article on its website.

Despite the objections of some AWL members who oppose this anti-Muslim racism, they have refused to take it down. The article, which is by one of its founders, Sean Matgamna, is still on their website – and they have even put it in a prominent position.

The article uses classic anti-Arab and anti-Islamic imagery and themes; it even claims that the very presence of Muslims in European cities is a threat. Worse still, it talks of the “Gates of Vienna”, a reference to anti-Muslim writings that celebrate European Christendom’s defeat of the Ottomans in 1683.

Just read the language they have used. Then take out the word Muslim and insert the word Jewish and ask yourself if this is racist:

“Like desert tribes of primitive Muslim simplicity and purity enviously eyeing a rich and decadent walled city and sharpening their knives […] so, now, much of the Islamic world looks with envy, covetousness, religious self-righteousness and active hostility on the rich, decadent, infidel-ridden, sexually sinful advanced capitalist societies.”

And here is the passage that says that Muslim inhabitants of European cities are a threat:

“The existence of large Muslim minorities in Europe is making political Islam a force well beyond the traditionally Muslim world: the Islam which failed outside the walls of Vienna over 300 years ago is now a force in the great cities of Europe.”

Now political Islam is not growing in Europe – this very claim is a staple of racist Islamophobes like the English Defence League, Melanie Phillips and the European far right. But even if it were, for any political organisation to blame “the existence of large Muslim minorities” for this, let alone to raise the spectre of the Gates of Vienna – that is, of a Muslim invasion of Europe – is an utter disgrace and clear example of racism.

The whole Labour movement should condemn this. Student unions and trade unions have Black and Minority Ethnic groups, equalities and safe space policies: AWL members should be brought to task and asked where they stand on this racism.

AWL members who want to continue to play a role in representing workers and students should dissociate themselves from this statement and demand that the AWL do the same.

If they will not, the AWL must understand that they will be branded across the movement as a group prepared to spread racist fear and hatred of Muslims.

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4 Responses to Denounce the AWL’s Racist Article

  1. John Grimshaw

    November 4, 2013 at 10:04 am

    “Like Northern tribes of primitive pagan simplicity and purity enviously eyeing a rich and decadent walled Roman city and sharpening their knives…so, now much of the Pagan world looks with envy, covetousness, religious self-righteousness and active hostility on the rich, decadent, infidel ridden, sexually sinful advanced capitalist countries..”

  2. Bob

    October 28, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    Thank you for publishing this, for too long the AWL have got away with publishing articles that are deeply offensive. Let’s call time on their Islamophobic bile.

  3. Kady Tait

    October 28, 2013 at 10:41 am

    Your bark appears to be worse than your bite, Mark.

  4. Mark Osborn

    October 27, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    woof, woof, woof

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