Guest Article

By Frankie Rufolo

30th April 2020

Recently I was impressed by For Britain London’s short film “Behind the Front”, so I decided to follow it up with an article. When you type “The For Britain Movement” into a search engine, the words “far right” come up straight away. It’s important to look at the people who make this accusation, parroted by the mainstream media, and what they really believe.

Stand Up to UKIP, Unite Against Fascism and Stand Up To Racism – they’re the same group, under different names. If someone holds one of their signs when a few old bigots are in their town with National Front flags, I don’t think any less of those local people objecting to actual neo-Nazis. It’s the groups that provide these signs, produce the banners and arrange the counter-protests that should be ridiculed and despised. Diane Abbott’s organisation Stand Up To Racism is not serious about anti-racism; they are anti-West.

You can’t talk about SUTR without discussing the presence of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP). Formed from the Socialist Review Group in the 1950s, this minor party has failed to interest sufficient people in Marxism to enjoy electoral success. However, unlike the political dinosaur that is the Communist Party of Britain, the SWP have evolved with the times. Because they know their praise of murderous tyrants like Vladimir Lenin won’t attract anyone, this fringe party, in an attempt to draw people in, uses front groups campaigning on more popular issues: anti-racism, anti-war, anti-austerity and so on. One of these front groups, the street-protest movement Unite Against Fascism (UAF), now only operates through Stand Up To Racism. The leader of UAF and co-convenor of SUTR is Weyman Bennet, a member of the SWP’s central committee. He was arrested in 2010, along with 55 of his supporters, on charges of inciting violent disorder, and disrupted UKIP’s campaign launch in the snap election of 2017, breaking into the hotel venue, shouting aggressively and refusing to leave. It doesn’t matter how much Stand Up To Racism insist they’re not a front group – UAF is and it’s inseparable from Diane Abbott’s organisation. Another SWP front group SUTR work with is the Stop the War Coalition, led by Andrew Murray, a supporter of Kim Jong Un’s regime in North Korea. Though they might be against fascism, they’re certainly not freedom fighters.

The SWP not only praises Trotskyism, but openly supports Hezbollah, an Islamic terrorist group which aims to destroy Israel, denies the Holocaust and pushes anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, even accusing Jews of spreading AIDS throughout the Arab world. The terrorist group was deemed responsible for a suicide bombing in July 2012 which killed six Jewish-Israeli tourists in Bulgaria. Not only does the SWP support this violent anti-Semitism, it’s no safe space for women; in 2013 it emerged that the party leadership had all actively discouraged female members from going to the police to report sexual assault and rape by one of their senior figures.

The SWP, in its different forms, is perhaps the worst of the groups involved in SUTR and is seemingly a dominant force, but it’s not the only one. The director of activist group CAGE (formerly Cageprisoners created as a reaction to the ‘war on terror’) Moazzam Begg, has been invited to speak at “anti-racism” conferences. The former Guantanamo Bay detainee supported the Taliban as well as the deported Al-Qaeda-linked cleric Abu Qatada.

Stand Up To Racism also has links to the Muslim Council of Britain – the organisation that networks mosques and Islamic schools and which is Britain’s most prominent Muslim group. Its founder Iqbal Sacranie infamously said, during the Satanic Verses affair, that Salman Rushdie deserved to be “tormented for the rest of his life” and has described homosexuality as unacceptable. The MCB are staunchly opposed to Prevent and have even called on politicians to decriminalise the glorification of terrorism. They also condone ultra-conservative attitudes in Muslim communities, supporting Islamic schools in Britain which require girls as young as eleven to wear the hijab as a mandatory part of the uniform. In the past, other senior figures have also expressed extremist and intolerant views, such as Ibrahim Hewitt, who compared homosexuality to paedophilia. Far from opposing racism, the MCB have had a policy of boycotting Holocaust Memorial Day. They claim to be non-sectarian, but after the religious murder of Assad Shah in 2016, the MCB released a statement refusing to recognise Ahmaddiyyas like him as fellow Muslims. At the time, they were affiliated with Pakistani Islamist hate group Khatme Nabuwwat, which distributed leaflets in London mosques describing Ahmadi Muslims as “deserving to die” just weeks before the killing.

Another Muslim group involved in Stand Up To Racism and the Stop The War Coalition is the Muslim Association of Britain. It was set up by Kemal el‐Hebawy, a spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood – an international Islamic movement which condones violence against civilians and with members who have gone on to form terrorist groups, including Hamas and Al-Qaeda. The Brotherhood itself has been banned in some countries and could soon be proscribed in the US. The leader of the Muslim Association of Britain, Omar El-Hamdoon, has defended wife-beating. This misogynist was a speaker at SUTR’s national demonstration in 2015.

An associate of Weyman Bennett and a regular speaker at SUTR’s conferences is Azad Ali, director of Muslim Engagement and Development – or MEND. In 2010, Ali lost a libel case against The Daily Mail and was deemed an Islamic extremist by a high court judge after supporting the killing of British soldiers on his blog. Ali has also expressed support for the leaders of Hamas, claiming that the Palestinian terrorist group, which has called for all Jews to be killed, should rule a “future caliphate.” In March 2017, Ali wrote about the Westminster Attack, refusing to call it terrorism. Other senior figures in MEND, such as Sufyan Ismail, Heena Khaled and Siema Iqbal, have also made anti-Semitic statements, yet have been hosted at “anti-racism” conferences. Another of MEND’s organisers, Sheikh Suliman Gani, has been described by politicians as an extremist imam and is opposed to homosexuality. He also believes women should be subservient to men. He’s even believed to have attended a rally organised by Anjem Choudary. In 2010, he told worshippers in his mosque to boycott Ahmadiyya businesses, describing Ahmadi Muslims as “deceptive.” However, discriminating against a minority religious community didn’t stop this imam from speaking at a Stand Up To Racism protest in Croydon.

The many groups that form Stand Up To Racism do not take anti-Semitism seriously and even go as far as to support it. Far from building bridges, these Islamist groups only fuel sectarian divisions within Muslim communities. When they’re not shouting “fascist scum” at liberal people, they’re supporting violent theocrats and apologising for the most oppressive regimes in the world. Abbott’s organisation is not serious on racism, which is why at their protest outside UKIP’s conference in Torquay, activists called ethnic minority members of the patriotic party “coconut” and “race traitor.”

I’ve seen this behaviour for myself. At a pro-Brexit and free speech rally, SUTR activists assumed a mixed-race friend of mine was on their side because of her skin colour and called a South Asian mate of mine a “Nazi.” They’re a joke – but unfortunately, so is the mainstream media. I’m against all racism – and that includes left-wing racism. That’s why I’m proud to be a member of For Britain.