The bickering, backstabbing and pseudo-intellectual debate of student socialism.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Tackling the Racist backlash

The issue of racism is raising its head again in the student movement. The two Manchester students removed from a plane at gun point for flying with dark skin are unlikely to be the only ones to feel its effect. Already the government is putting pressure on NUS to line up with it in “facing down extremism on our campuses” a sign that its war on “terrorism” abroad is coming home in a big way. The signs are that NUS is willing to accept the framework of Bush and Blair’s rhetoric and from there the only way is down. Gemma Tumelty’s guardian article is a case in point.

After the NUS fiasco over Lebanon it’s record on opposing the Bush/Blair “war on terror” is already poor and we could be about to see that translate into a failure for our students at home. What is needed now more then ever is an organised force within the student movement that can put forwards an alternative strategy on fighting the racist backlash against our students. We need a response based on an understanding that imperialism is creating an “enemy at home” and raising racial tensions as a result. If we are to successfully break the backlash we need a united campaign against racism which rejects that framework of “terrorism and civilisation” and stands clear on the point that the issue is racism.

The starting point must be a campaign based on radical students in the anti-war movement, Muslim communities and the NUS. A starting point that lines us up against Bush and Blair’s wars at home and abroad.


At 5:23 PM, Blogger A soft socialist said...

Gemma wouldn't have been my 1st choice for NUS Pres.

But that article is very sensible and doesn't contain a hint of racism within it. Quite the opposite.

She talks about fighting the rise in racism. Or have I just misread it?

At 8:57 PM, Blogger Cliffite said...

I'm not suggesting that Gemma is racist or that she doesn't believe in fighting racism.

My point is by excepting the framework of "the war on terror" she and NUS will be unable to challenge racism and Islamophobia.

At 1:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rob, there are people 'at home' that want to kill you and I over Iraq etc. But there are also people at home that want to kill you and I because we drink beer and have sex, and won't accept the caliph, a bit like that twat that went for Galloway, then John Reid.

I'm afraid those people are the enemy mate, and they're here. Not only are they the enemy of you and I, they are the enemy of largely peaceful and rational people that make up the vast bulk of the muslim population of the UK, who are no different to any other non-violent faith group, and should not be treated as such.

Do you think that the targetting of civillians that has come to be defined by the term 'terrorism' is progressive, or to be ignored? I actually believe that terrorism as a tactic is worth fighting, even more than the concept of war itself. But the simple fact is that democracy comes from within, and that democracy comes from below. I would argue for a radical redifinition of the war on terror, and a focus on curing social ills and removing injustice as a way of removing the ammunition that terrorists use.

I don't think western foreign policy 'causes' terror, in the same way that I don't believe that you sleeping with my partner 'causes' me to punch you in the face. But I'd definitely say that it is a relevant factor!

Rob, the best way of challenging Islamaphobia is for Islam to disown the perverts who adapt and twist it for their own malign purposes. There is a case for distinguishing these people from noramal everyday muslims, because the vast bulk of muslims don't blow up civillians on the tube, regardless of their feelings on foreign policy. They are thus distinguished in se. The thing, as they say, is evident in itself.


Post a Comment

<< Home