The English Defence League (EDL) are planning to march in Dudley against the building of a new Mosque in April following clashes between them and anti racist campaigners in Birmingham a few months back when they marched in the town centre.
Unite Against Fascism activists in Dudley along with trade unions, churches and community groups are planning to challenge the EDL.
The EDL claim to be a non racist group concerned about the growth of militant Islam in Britain.
However, the group have been linked with attacks on Muslims and Asian-owned businesses when they marched in Luton on May 24.
In March last year the EDL marched in Birmingham inciting violent clashes and more than 30 people were arrested by police.
The blame for these racial clashes must be placed on the doorstep of the British government and the British media who continue to hide the real reasons behind the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the control of Middle Eastern energy resources in the hands of Western corporations.
Muslims protest against British soldiers because the illegal war in Iraq has resulted in the oil resources of Muslim countries being bartered off among Western powers and many war crimes against the Iraqi and Afghan people.
A draft document of the U.S./Iraqi “Strategic Framework Agreement”, the deal that former U.S. president George Bush forced on the the Iraqi government before he left office was leaked to the Guardian, on March 7, 2008 and to the Arabic newspaper (Middle East) on August 6, 2008. (Chalabi: October 23, 2008)
The document revealed that the U.S. attempted to impose an oil law on the Iraqi parliament since 2006 which would guarantee international oil companies control of Iraqi oil.
The U.S. also intends to control Iraqi airspace and the Iraqi government will have no control whatsoever or legal jurisdiction over U.S. military or planes. The U.S. military will be able to defend what they perceive as military threats internally and externally in Iraq without cooperation or consent from the Iraqi government, nor will the Iraqi government be able to hold the U.S accountable for the killings of Iraqi civilians.
The treaty indicates a colonial occupation rather than democracy and has been rejected by some political sections of Iraqi society such as the Sadr movement as well as the Fedila party. There are also other political groups on the outskirts of the political process that rejects the treaty such as the influential al Sunni Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq.
The U.S. is even using threatening tactics to get their own way. The UK Independent revealed that the U.S. has threatened to hold back $50bn in Iraqi foreign reserves which they currently held in the US Federal Reserve Bank of New York until the Iraqi government sign the treaty.
As for war crimes the evidence is abundant. In November 2006, a U.S. soldier was sentenced to 90 years in prison for the brutal rape and murder of a 14 year-old Iraqi girl and her family.
The 23 year-old, along with three other soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division conspired to rape 14 year-old Abeer Qassim al-Janabiin in Mahmoudiya, a village around 20 miles south of Baghdad and then murdered her, her six year-old sister and her mother to cover up their crimes.
In another report back in 2008 on the Inter Press News Service website, U.S. soldiers confessed at a Unitarian Church event that they were ordered to run over Iraqi children, ordered to prevent wounded Iraqis from entering hospitals, and ordered to target and kill every Iraqi military-age male. (IPS: October 2008) These orders are war crimes.
In light of the cases above is it any wonder that some Muslims have marched against British occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan? Is it any surprise that some Muslims have referred to British soldiers as ‘butchers’?
For the families of British soldiers who in their eyes have fought for the highest freedoms and to protect the world it is only natural that they would be angry towards anyone who would dare to call their father, brother, sister etc., a butcher or murderer; but the facts are that a close inspection of what these wars are really about and listening to the confessions of soldiers who have deserted the war because of their conscience, and retell the atrocities they have witnessed would force even the most staunch patriot to take a closer look at what the so called war on terror actually means.
The EDL and other far right groups will continue to feed off media stories and blatant lies about Muslims in order to gather support and justify their marches of hate, however the Muslims who do oppose what is going on would be better off winning over the British public through debate rather than insult. Reasonable people can be won over with reasonable debate and it is strategies such as this that will defeat the EDL and more importantly give people the means in which to question the media and government more closely.
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