The Anti-Fascist fight at home

This article by Adam Murray was first published in the 02 September 2023 issue of Unity.

UNSETTLING news broke last week when three Nazi flags were attached to lamp posts under the cover of night outside the Iqraa Mosque in the Ashley Park area of Dunmurry on the 22nd August. Two of the three flags bore the SS ‘totenkopf’ and lightning bolts.

Sadly this is by no means the first anti-Islamic hate incident in the north in recent years. In 2017 an Islamic Centre in Carrickfergus had a severed pig’s head left on their doorstep. Photos were taken outside that same centre in 2018 when 8 people dressed in KKK robes posed outside the building carrying crosses.

In 2021 the Donegall Pass premises of the Belfast Multi-Cultural Association were targeted in an arson attack.

A second arson attack took place in 2022, finally forcing the BMCA from the area. Mere yards up the road there looms a large British flag painted on a wall, the words ‘Donegall Pass UVF 1913-2013’ underneath.

Across Ireland far-right mobs gather outside detention centres and hotels where asylum seekers and refugees have been placed by the state.

In May this year we witnessed the most shocking arson attack on a migrant camp in Dublin, when far right thugs set fire to the tents and the meagre belongings of some of the most vulnerable, desperate people.

In response to the recent attempt in Belfast to intimidate the local Muslim community, Unite Against Racism organised a community protest in Dunmurry Park, which took place last Saturday and which was well attended by several hundred people on short notice.  A broad range of speakers had been assembled: representatives from BMCA, Iqraa Mosque, PBP, NIPSA, UNITE, End Deportations Belfast, the women’s movement, Amnesty and local Christian churches all spoke out against this act of hatred and voiced their solidarity with the local Muslim community. 

A representative from the mosque spoke of his 30 years living in Belfast, and how this is the only country his children have ever known.

A key theme throughout the day was that there is only one race – the human race.

Many of the speakers laid the blame for the rising levels of hatred in the north targeting asylum seekers, refugees and minority ethnic communities squarely at the feet of the Tory government.

Several speakers emphasised the need for solidarity between communities. They spoke of the connections between racism, xenophobia, islamophobia, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and other forms of prejudice and bigotry.

When anti-fascists gather it’s a rainbow coalition of different parties, movements and backgrounds.

When fascists gather it is with other fascists, and they don’t care where they come from.

It is beyond hypocrisy the Irish far-right have no trouble working hand in glove with the British far-right, who are as anti-Irish as they are anti-Islam.

Whoever placed those Nazi flags in Dunmurry sought to cause fear and terror, but the community protest transformed that narrative into one of solidarity, unity, and anti-fascism.

In Ireland we have many fascists. Some may be lone individuals, fed a steady drip of poison on the internet, lurking on message boards.

We are also plagued by a plethora of fascist parties and organisations. There are significant unanswered questions about where they get their funding.

There are fascists lurking amongst paramilitary gangs in the north.

Some such fascists will wear the poppy and go to WW2 Remembrance Day memorials, while sporting swastikas under their collars or up their sleeves.

They spit on the memory of all WW2 allied veterans.

Thankfully across Ireland there is a strong anti-fascist spirit, with people keeping a watchful eye online, infiltrating the ranks of the fascists, exposing their internal communications, painting over their propaganda, ensuring they are unable to promote their vile ideology in public, organising counter-protests and demonstrations.

And it is vitally important it continues to be so, for we can never rely on the bourgeois state to keep fascists in check.

The bourgeois state is beholden to finance capital, and finance capital deploys fascism as a defence mechanism when it feels threatened.

We must all be actively anti-fascist, challenging prejudice and hatred. What differences may exist on the left must never supersede the need for unity on the anti-fascist front at home.

No Pasaran!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *