Unite Against Fascism sends its condolences to the family and friends of the soldier murdered yesterday in Woolwich. There can be no justification for such a terrible attack on an individual.
But we must recognise that fascist organisations such as the English Defence League and British National Party are trying to use the murder to whip up racism and direct hatred against all Muslims.
EDL thugs attempted to start a race riot in Woolwich last night. Mosques have been attacked by racist thugs. These fascists and racists should be condemned and opposed. We must not give a quarter to those who would judge an entire religion, race or nationality by the actions of a few.
We do not hold Norwegian Christians responsible for the actions of the fascist Anders Breivik, whose 2011 rampage left 77 dead. We do not hold white people collectively responsible for Timothy McVeigh, the US neo-Nazi whose 1995 Oklahoma City bomb killed 168 people, or for David Copeland, the former BNP member who planted bombs across London in 1999. Nor should anyone suggest that Britain’s Muslims are collectively responsible for yesterday’s attack.
The fascist organisations that are trying to stir up trouble and racist violence in the wake of the Woolwich killing do not care about the dead soldier, his family or the interests of any community. They want only to see Muslims attacked and a race war on our streets. UAF condemns them and opposes their attempts to call “demonstrations” to exploit these issues.
UAF also calls on the media and politicians to stop using inflammatory language that feeds the fascists and racists. We must challenge Islamophobia wherever it raises its head. We must reject those who want to divide our communities and set them against each other, and stand fast to the ideals of anti-racism, multiculturalism and respect for all.
Update: See also “Statement on Woolwich atrocity from Ken Livingstone, former Mayor of London and Honorary President of UAF”, UAF, 23 May 2013