Published on Tuesday, 25 September 2012 16:05 Written by Gerry Gable
We reproduce and endorse the following call by Unite Against Fascism. We have also written an open letter to the Muslim Debate Initiative in response to their invitation to Searchlight to attend the debate.
We oppose this for the following reasons:
1. We believe the EDL is a fascist organisation. Fascism stands for: the total annihilation and mass murder of its opponents including trade unionists, liberals, social democrats, socialists, communists, Jewish, Muslim, black, Asian, lesbian, gay and large sections of humanity. Its also stands for war, the destruction of all democracy and freedom.
2. Many EDL demonstrations have led to the EDL running riot, causing damage to public property, local businesses and places of worship, including Mosques, Sikh and Hindu temples; and violently attacking innocent Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Asian, African and Caribbean communities.
3. EDL demonstrations also result in a huge loss of income to the areas it targets, as town centres often are closed down for all or part of the day on Saturdays, the busiest trading day of the week.
4. EDL demonstrations openly incite violence and racial and religious hatred, using offensive slogans such as "Burn down a Mosque" and "Allah is a paedophile".
5. Such people are hardly legitimate spokespersons on Islamophobia and Islam. They deliberately stoke up violence, racism, Islamophobia and hatred.
6. Fascists often claim that their liberty and freedom of speech is threatened when people call for no platform to be given to them.This is not true. Their freedom is NOT threatened if the Muslim Debate Initiative, BBC, student union or any other organisation choose not to give them a platform.
7. Freedom of speech does not extend to the right to violence, threaten violence, incite racial or religious hatred. EDL demonstrations infringe the freedom of the majority of people in the towns it targets as most people who would normally go to their local area choose to stay away due to the threat of violence, and those that work are often forced to stay at home or cut their hours due to workplace closures.
8. If given a platform the EDL will use this platform to gain publicity, credibility and legitimacy to build support for its campaign of hate, at a time when support for its mobilisations is actually decreasing.
9. This is why the anti-fascist movement has a “No Platform” policy. We defend freedom of speech for the majority of humanity that fascism threatens.
We ask those that agree with us and support freedom to join us and demonstrate against the platform given to the EDL.