Europe's Other Red-Green Alliance

Dave Hyde

When Gerhard Schroeder and his Social Democrats formed a government with the Green Party in 1998, the USA and the rest of Europe looked on with concern. Aside from a shared competitor -- former Chancellor Kohl's discredited Christian Democratic Union -- the worldview of these two parties seemed worryingly dissimilar. Germany's world partners worried that this Red-Green Alliance would either fall apart and bring the country down with it or, in trying to compromise, would accede to some of the more radical factions in each party. The members of the parties knew, though, that they had been brought together through electoral success, and their actions would, in due course, be judged by the German electorate.

Five years on, buttressed by two formidable leaders in Schroeder and Fischer, Germany's governing alliance has moderately muddled through to another term, both dignified and tainted by government. Now, however, Europe is now hosting another, more worrying alliance between a different shade of red and a different shade of green: European Socialist and Islamist factions that have placed themselves at the head of the peace movement in Britain and elsewhere. This new red-green alliance should worry the whole of Europe, if not the West, because the damage they are doing will be stopped by no ballot box.

On February 15 of this year, the UK saw its biggest ever political demonstration: nearly one million people marched through the streets of London under the slogan "Don't Attack Iraq - Freedom for Palestine". This march, jointly organised by the left wing Stop The War Coalition (STWC) and the Islamist Muslim Association of Britain (MAB), was the greatest achievement yet of a new force on the British political scene: an alliance of the broad left and the Muslim community. Each side of the red-green alliance was led at its cutting edge by the false certainties of their respective political extremes: the hard left on one side and radical Islamism on the other. On the face of it, such a mingling of communities might be seen to help British Muslims - who languish at the bottom of too many socio-economic ladders - to integrate into British society. But a closer look shows that, in fact, the new red-green alliance almost as bad for ordinary Muslims as it is for ordinary Jews.

STWC was launched shortly after 9/11 by the trotskyite Socialist Workers' Party (SWP), as a vehicle for protest against the proposed war in Afghanistan. It has steadily grown to the point where it is now a genuine coalition, if only of the far left. The MAB has close links to the Muslim Brotherhood and follows the Brotherhood's radical Islamist line very closely. Its senior officers support Hamas and publicly justify Palestinian suicide bombings. Their definition of "Freedom for Palestine" does not involve the permanent presence of a Jewish state alongside it: MAB banners at the march read "Palestine forever from the sea to the river".

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Images of Feb. 15, 2003 rally from MABonline.

April 2003

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