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Where is the condemnation?



Howard Fuller (Branch Secretary, PCS South West Thames, Personal Capacity)

Having just finished reading your article on the Beslan school massacre I am astounded by the lack of condemnation on the tactic of targeting KIDS by these supposed freedom fighters. There can be no justification, Socialist or otherwise for what happened. Starving and denying children food and water, shooting them in the back when they tried to escape is beyond the pale of basic humanity.

This at a time when your colleagues in "Socialist Worker" fail to condemn the massacres of poor black civilians in Sudan, going so far as to describe the Jangaweed as "puny" despite the fact they have murdered 30,000 plus, raped and tortured countless others and driven a million out of their homes. All this with the complicity and direct assistance of the extreme Islamic
government in Khartoum.

What is going on here. With the SWP it is obvious that they do not want to say or do anything that might upset their potential Muslim voters. Are you and your network going to go down that unprincipled and communalist path as well? Working with individual and progressive Muslims is one thing. Conceding the political agenda to violent bigots is another.

The trouble is you see any criticism of Islam as "Islamophobia" and the SWP see criticism of themselves as "witch hunting". With an attitude like that all the mistakes of the past will be repeated.

Perhaps comrades should take some time to read "The Trouble with Islam" by Irshad Manji, a lesbian Muslim activist. She at least preaches tolerance and calls for a better future. Her criticisms of the authoritarian streak in Islam raise so many parallels with the way the left is. Time for change don't you think comrades

A Little too Analytical

Andy Newman

I think that the tone  of Jim's article on the Beslan massacre was a little too "analytical", and the full scale of the horror didn't really come through.

But I think it was written it before the full atrocity was known.

Robert Fisk wrote an article about a year ago on Chechnya where he described how Russian soldiers had raped young girls as they lay dieing. Someone heard a soldier shout "Hurry up Kolya, finish while she is still warm" as his daughter's corpse was abused. Fisk asks the question if you were that parent, or brother or sister wouldn't that make you a terrorist.

On the other hand, isn't the same true of the people of Beslan, what revenge will they now demand? The whirlpool of hatred spins faster and deeper.

I agree in not condemning the violence of the oppressed. But I think it would have been right to express solidarity with the grief, and to acknowledge that this is an atrocity for which there can be no justification, Horror piled upon horror.

Doesn't condone atrocity

Matthew Caygill

If I had written the article I would have put a stronger and more expicit condemantion, but crtainly I don't think there is anything in the piece that condones atrocity. Howard Fuller's letter is full of strange amalgams between the Socialist Unity Network and the SWP.

Have we said any criticsm of Islam is Islamophobia? Who has conceded any agenda to violent bigots? Irshad Manji's Trouble with Islam is interesting - see her web-site.



Bit Colder than  I thought

JIm Jepps

I had a look again at the article I wrote and it probably is a bit colder than I thought when I typed it.

I think the idea that the article supports terror is wrong, and this stuff about Islam is nothing to do with the events or article - so far we only have the Russian government's word for it that these were 'outsiders'.

It is interesting to note that while Howard Fuller expects me to fill paragraphs with grief and horror at this awful event he devotes not one word to the thousands of children killed by the Russian government.

I think Andy's point about a cycle of violence is absolutely correct. When we look at people's 'right' to become terrorists and murders due to their own grief there is no way out of the situation - it's only through a political analysis of the why's and who's can we come to a plan about how to end the tragedies piled upon tragedies.


 

September 2004

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