“…I can see that the far Right has had a certain degree of success by bashing Muslims. The BNP is poised to win 4, 5 seats perhaps in the European Elections: and they’ve done so by conflating popular xenophobia and anti-immigrant prejudice while claiming that British Muslims are conspirators in a Al Qaeda-esque plot to rape our women, steal our jobs, and wreck our country.
I know this strategy works. It is a lot easier to play on racist fears, than it is to make the rather wonkish and somewhat aesoteric case: that a pluralist culture needs to defend liberal democracy.
So, should we do it? Should we enlist anti-Muslim bigotry in the struggle against Islamist politics?
No of course we fucking shouldn’t. And what an utter disgrace it would be, if we did.
We’ve done the converse, in fact. We’ve challenged the tropes of anti-Muslim bigotry: in posts and in comments. We’ve argued against the “taqqyiah” slur. We’ve challenged the essentialist view of Islam that is peddled by Islamists and anti-Muslim bigots alike. We’ve supported liberal and democratic political movements in countries with majority Muslim populations.
As Norman Geras points out, the very opposite of all this has been taking place in the anti-Zionist camp…”