Of course, as Schroeder and Fischer have shown, marriages of convenience exist in politics all the time; coalition-building necessarily involves working with people with whom one does not always agree. It is true that some on the left have argued that the direct opposition of the MAB and other Islamists to so many core principles of the left - social equality, freedom of (or from) worship, civil libertarianism - makes common ground impossible. The Weekly Worker newspaper warned that "At the same time as our secularist and Marxist comrades are being murdered by groups allied to the MAB, we are lining ourselves up as co-sponsors of demonstrations. This is like communists lining up with Nazis sympathizers on demonstrations during World War II, because we are both against British imperialism - at the same time as communists are being executed by the Nazis in Belsen." But these restraining voices are in a minority. For most on the left - and not just the far left - who know little about the Muslim community and even less about radical Islamism, marching with the MAB equates to marching with the Muslim community. And this is the real danger of this red-green alliance, as the Weekly Worker points out: "it confirms to the Muslim population of Britain that one particular right-wing reactionary faction is recognized and officialised by the left. It is a slap in the face to all those secularist and socialist activists in that community who have fought for so long, both here and abroad, against their minority factionalist politics"
At a time when the Muslim world seems increasingly torn between Islamism's absolutist certainties on the one hand, and calls for reformation and modernization of the Muslim world on the other, the left does the Muslim community a disservice by accepting Islamists as their representatives. The more that radical Islamism spreads in the British Muslim community, the more that community is going to feel alienated from British society, and the harder it will be for British Muslims to prosper. One would expect the left to do everything it can to integrate the Muslim community, for the sake of multiculturalism if nothing else. But if the MAB are at the head of a million demonstrators in London, then the government, police and the media will all treat them as a mainstream representative body for the Muslim community. And if British Muslims do the same, and accept the MAB's international Islamist agenda as their own, then the advance of radical Islamism in Britain will have been aided by the very people who should be trying to stop it.
Understanding the new Red-Green alliance also helps explain the surprising resurgence of antisemitism in Europe.
Much of the left, and all Islamists, refuse to accept the existence of Israel as a permanent feature in the Middle East. This is for different reasons, and once again they have different ends in mind, but it is on the issue of Israel that their cooperation is at its most harmonious. And although anti-Zionism is not the same as antisemitism, it is remarkable how often both sides reveal antisemitic motivations and feelings whenever they get onto the subject of Israel. Both the left and Islamists, for instance, believe in conspiracies. Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a Muslim Brotherhood leader and one of the most prominent religious authorities in the Muslim world, thinks that cultural globalisation, including the culture of sex, pornography, abortion and even fast food, are all used to serve the interests of Israel and Zionism.
Palestine Times, which supports Hamas, recently published an editorial complaining that "Zionists and Zionist-controlled publications around the world", along with "Jewish-controlled Hollywood", have made "the vilification of Islam and Muslims a top priority". Sheikh Rashid Ghannouchi, a leading Tunisian Islamist scholar based in Britain, warned that "The Zionist threat is endangering the Islamic nation and the world, and is a threat to values, family and religion. It aims to get rid of everything good about humanity."
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