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Britain First begins training for violent encounters

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britain firstUntil now the hate espoused by their members has been, although vitriolic, largely only verbal.

A recently-established anti-Islam group is said to be organising training in various fighting methods.

The group, Britain First, unironically calling themselves “the voice of the Silent Majority“, so far appears to be another version of the English Defene League, the EDL.

So another group for people with negative attitudes and prejudices towards Muslims to confirm each others’ biases, who embrace their hatred and encourage fear of Muslims in others.

Until now the hate espoused by their members has been, although vitriolic, largely only verbal.

That they are now arranging what have been dubbed “fight clubs” suggests that members of Britain First might be about to take things up a gear.

You only need to take a look at the comments on their posts to see examples of Islamophobia and hate; comments on this recent post demanding a burqa ban include:

“BAN IT – we don’t want it in England! Even shop assistants are wearing them in Boots, Fenwicks & M & S – I refuse to be served by anyone wearing one”

“Don’t ban the burka ban the people who were [sic] them ok”

“It feels like something evil is looking at me every time I come across some-one wearing a burka, do away with it, it is offensive to normal people.”

The burqa is perhaps the most visible sign of Islam in the West, and is largely perceived as misogynist and restrictive.

Conveniently, the voices of the women actually wearing them, who often protest that they do actually choose to do so, often go unheard.

And one result of the high visibility of veil wearing is that it is Muslim women who have suffered the most abuse – verbal and physical – recently.

Reports have consistently shown that Muslim women face more abuse than Muslim men, and includes people grabbing at their veils as well as shouting abuse and threats in the street.

A police spokeswoman in Leicester, for example, told the Leicester Mercury there had been 11 instances of religiously-based abuse aimed at women in the past year. There had also been one incident of a man removing a woman’s veil.
The perception of Muslim women as simultaneously oppressed and in need of saving but being a threat to “British” life is both strange and dangerous. It seems that in the minds of Islamophobes, there is no such thing as a British Muslim.

In the first case, veil-wearing can be used as an excuse to deride and abuse Islam and those who practice it; and in the second, it is pointed to as a visible example of ‘their’ perceived lack of integration with “ordinary” British life.

But with so much hostility facing British Muslims since the tragic events of 9/11, it is no wonder they may choose to keep to themselves.

Let us hope that, as with the EDL, Britain First eventually sputters to a halt and fades away. The alternative is much more alarming.

And as Asma told Channel 4, “We’re fed up of everyone in the media going on and on about Muslims. Surely as a country, we’ve got much bigger problems to worry about?”

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