‘Neither Washington nor mosque’

Thus the title to a blog post by Labour Party member and longtime leftist Dave Osler marking the anniversary of 9/11. What he means is that the Left should back neither US imperialism nor Al-Qaida terrorism. The word “mosque” is used as a synonym for the latter, thereby identifying all practising Muslims with the atrocities carried out by a minuscule minority – a theme more usually associated with the racist Right.

Outlining his proposals for combating the threat of further terrorist attacks, Osler writes that “Islamist networks can and must be infiltrated and smashed” – which would mean infiltrating and smashing Hizb ut-Tahrir, presumably. Since when did socialists support the right of the state to infiltrate and smash legal and non-violent political organisations? In fact, on the generally accepted definition of “Islamism” as a politicised version of the faith, organisations like the British Muslim Initiative would also fall victim to Osler’s “anti-terrorism” strategy.

Osler even charges the left with “regarding al Qa’eda as somehow allies of convenience in an imagined common anti-imperialist struggle”. As a contributor to the comments section of his blog points out, this echoes the right-wing idiocy peddled by the likes of Martin Amis who claims that “given the choice between George Bush and Osama bin Laden, the liberal relativist, it seems, is obliged to plump for the Saudi”.

What significant tendency on the left adopts the position of treating the 9/11 terrorists as anti-imperialist allies? None, so far as I know. Where can we find left-wing publications putting forward that argument? Nowhere.

See Dave’s Part, 11 September 2007