Tuesday, 12 January 2010

'ISLAM4UK' CALL OFF WOOTTON BASSETT PROTEST AND GROUP WILL BE BANNED

Exploring 'Islam4UK's Relationship with the British State

By ‘Malatesta’

Indymedia

Following Islam4UK’s decision to call off its demonstration
at Wootton Bassett Home secretary Alan Johnson has
announced that Anjem Choudary’s group is to be banned as of
Thursday. This causes little surprise as the establishment
was clearly rattled by events leading up to, and on, Sunday
at Wootton Bassett which caused a counter demonstration by
locals, the EDL and far right groups as well as a media
blackout. Rumours abounded that Islam4UK had set off for
Wootton Bassett on Sunday which sparked an immediate
counter-demonstration with the EDL managing to ferry a
couple of hundred supporters into the town.

Islam4Ucked Choudary announced his intentions to
demonstrate last week but was in negotiations with the cops
over the actual date. The police need advance notice to
organise especially for controversial incidents like this
which they knew had caused serious outcry from across the
political spectrum and media. However, no date was
finalised. It was rumoured that Islam4UK had set off anyway
on Sunday in 4 coaches but were apprehended by the cops
before they got to the town. This is proving very hard to
substantiate. At the town was a number of angry protestors
from the local area as well as the EDL who had bussed in to
confront Choudary. However, they did not get the
opportunity to discuss the situation with him. That
Choudary’s provocative intention to demonstrate was
insulting, stupid, and bound to cause a media flap is
beyond doubt. Choudary is a dab hand at creating publicity
for his group without actually doing anything. He had
announced a march in London last year which was then
cancelled following ‘threats’ and he will have known that
he would never make it to Wootton Bassett without serious
police presence, public opposition and the attendant media
event. His inflammatory desire for media publicity was
quelled by the blackout on Sunday. Choudary says that the
protest is to publicise the death of innocent Muslims but
what he is doing in effect is furthering anti-Muslim
feeling in the UK. And he must know it. The banning of his
group has created more media attention for Choudary and he
will no doubt simply reorganise under another a name. The
only way to stop this is to arrest him which would then
ensure the martyr status he know doubt reveres and it is
doubtful the government would do this. However, by banning
his group he will be seen by some as martyr by some.

Whose Purpose? Islam4UK is a deeply suspicious little
organisation and given to making impossible proclamations
such as the Islamification of the UK, the banning of
alcohol and turning Buckingham Palace into a mosque. These
ridiculous demands are clearly never going to be met so the
question is why is he making them and who is going to
benefit from it all? Islam4UK are connected to the illegal
Al Muhajiroun who advocate Sharia law and are pro-Al Qaeda.
The Islam4UK website reads “Go forth and proclaim Islam
whether the disbelievers like it or not.” Choudary is a
preacher spreading the word of Islam but does he seriously
think the majority of Brits are going to put down their
bacon sandwiches and pints and get on their knees 5 times a
day? The UK is a secular society with only about a quarter
of the population tending towards serious religious
observance. Deliberate provocation is part of Choudary’s
strategy and it creates a subsequent media event on which
he thrives. Egos aside, why is he spending so much time
organizing things that will never happen? Islam4UK could
serve two purposes, both beneficial to the state. The first
is that they attract extremists and potential security
threats and they can then be more easily monitored. The 2nd
is that it gives the government yet another excuse for
cracking down on free speech and the right to demonstrate.
Banning this ‘anti-Afghan war protest’ by Islam4UK can also
be a precedent to banning an anti-war march organized by
the left.

The Far Right Reaction Opposition to Choudary’s plan was
swiftly organized. The EDL issued a call to arms, the BNP
leadership said they would physically oppose it and a
Facebook group set up by Jo Cleary attracted ½ million
people in a matter of days. However, the anti-Islam4UK
reaction could also be an anti-Islam one. One admin on the
Facebook site was a supporter of Nick Griffin, another a
member of “If you live in England, speak English” group.
This indicates a less moderate grouping than at first
sight. Referring to Islam4UK as ‘rats’ and ‘filth’ on his
rabid BlogSpot, BNP ‘legal advisor’ Lee Barnes was raving
away, claiming that Islam4UK did turn up but fails to
substantiate anything he says, quoting from another far
right source. The alleged arrest of Choudary is proving
difficult to substantiate but what is clear is that they
did not get to the town to face the counter-demo. Barnes
also claims a tacit agreement between Islam4UK and the cops
to demonstrate and that the cops and media were working
together to hide ‘the truth’, whatever that maybe in
Barnes’s noggin. Last week, the BNP had grandly announced
Nick Griffin’s decision to physically block the Islam4UK
march but he was nowhere to be seen. He was no doubt at
home having his tea or in Brussels. The media blackout
would not have been beneficial. Again according to Barnes,
the rival National Front flew into action arriving about
several hours after the event. If there was a media
blackout about the incident this would deny Choudary his
publicity fix. The press would only be able to report the
following Monday. Some from the far right website are
claiming 500 turned out. The Telegraph claims 200 and a
clip from Sky News on YouTube showed a handful of casuals,
some masked, hanging about in the cold. However many turned
out, it sounds like a bit of an anti-climax for all
concerned.

Conclusion That there was a large and vocal opposition to
Choudary’s demonstration is not in doubt. However, on the
day few people turned up to oppose it. The BNP failed to
act on their proclamation of physical opposition and stayed
in. The NF maintained a tiny presence after the event. The
EDL claimed a victory by getting 200 in the area so
quickly. The outcome? A few chilly hooligans, Islam4UK
banned and another media coup for Choudary who will no
doubt re-emerge with another group making equally absurd
demands and in flaming anti-Muslim sentiment whilst he does
so.

‘Malatesta’ NB: all material by ‘Malatesta’ is copyright free. Please pass it on to anyone who may find it useful.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Under Section 3 of the Terrorism Act 2000, the Home Secretary has the power to proscribe organisations he/she believes are “concerned in terrorism”. Voicing one’s support for the popular resistance against the US-UK occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan may constitute "glorification" for the purposes of anti-terror legislation. This legislation could also be possibly used to proscribe left organisations who defend people's right to take up arms against tyranny and foreign occupation. Similar legislation was used in Denmark last year to imprison six members of the Fighters and Lovers collective who produced and sold t-shirts with FARC and PFLP emblems on them.

We should defend "Islam4Uk" against this ban without giving them one iota of political support. We defend them because this legislation can be used against any anti-imperialist organisation and call for the scrapping of all "anti-terrorist" legislation.

Cogsy (m-l)