The looming threat of far right terror

14 Oct 2009 by CST

Johann Hari has a highly thought provoking article in the Independent (14.10.09), entitled "The looming threat of terror that comes from the far right".

The article is well worth reading in full. It includes some of the many terrorism arrests that have recently occurred around the British far right:

  • David Copeland, who's 1999 nail bombing campaign should serve as a brtutal warning of the threat posed by such extremists
  • West Yorkshire Police raids that found far-right groups in possession of 80 bombs
  • The fortuitous arrest of Neil Lewington in 2008, found to be carrying explosives on a train platform
  • The 2008 find of "the largest amount of chemical explosives ever found in this country", in the home of former BNP election candidate, Robert Cottage
  • The 2008 discovery of a large quantity of nail bombs as police investigated Martyn Gilleard on child abuse images charges.   

Hari then poses challenging questions about how popular perception and discourse relate to pro Al Qaeda terror, compared to its far right equivalent. This includes the following:

...There are dozens of far-right websites that explain – with handy video links – how to make bombs, and then urge you to head to the nearest mosque, synagogue or gay club. But as the New Statesman's Mehdi Hassan has pointed out, as far as public debate goes, it's as if these crimes never happened. While planned attacks by jihadis (rightly) dominate the news agenda for days, these remarkably similar plans pass unmentioned and unnoticed.This disjunction exposes a rash of hypocrisy. The parts of the right that gleefully blame all Muslims for the actions of a tiny minority are mysteriously reluctant to apply the same arguments to themselves...

...It shows the bigotry at the core of these make-all-Muslims-pay arguments: they see brown-skinned people as a homogenous mass who can be collectively punished, while they see white people as discrete units who should only be punished individually.

But these white bomb-makers also blast holes in the arguments put by some small parts of the left, who claim "terrorism" is only a response to "legitimate grievances". We can see that somebody like David Copeland simply had an insane hatred of black, Asian and gay people. It's a form of soft racism to fail to see that the same lunacy can happen to non-white people. The vile Islamist gang who wanted to blow up the Ministry of Sound really did say the women there were "slags" who deserved to die for wearing miniskirts. Sometimes (but not always), the grievances that drive violence are simply deranged and have to be resisted...

Hari next makes some valuable reminders about the extremism that lies at the heart of the BNP, and discusses the Question Time controversy. He concludes with this:

   But the country also needs to start acknowledging the danger of bombs thrown from the far right. David Copeland came from within the ranks of the BNP; so might the next one. The police need to monitor neo-Nazis as closely as jihadis, and the Government projects to prevent violent extremism should be working with white kids as well as Muslim children. We need to prepare ourselves now: the next person to bomb Britain might not look like Mohammed Sidiq Khan – he might look like me.

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