Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Allegations of ‘Islamophobia'

Dear Andy,

I am writing to you on behalf of the Steering Committee of Green Left. We are very concerned about the allegations of ‘Islamophobia’ being thrown at us by Barry Kade and the fact that you have now given him a full thread to develop this further – this despite a request from Duncan Chapple of Socialist Resistance to stop attacking us. This is causing great offence to members of Green Left, many of whom have been battling hard against Islamophobia and in the anti-war movement. I myself am the Green Party’s delegate to Stop the War Coalition. Furthermore, many of us have worked hard to support the anti-war and anti-Fascism movements both inside and outside the Green Party. We have also played a central part in the effort to get an agreement in Birmingham re Salma and have suffered some attack from others in the party as a result.

To then be attacked on your website is doubly insulting. I cannot help but think that at a time when we are trying to work closely with Socialist Resistance and others in Respect, that this is a deliberate attempt to drive a wedge between us. Let me be clear about this, Green Left would like to focus on Left unity. We have no intention of diminishing in any way our criticisms of homophobia for the sake of some on the Left who regard LGBT rights as dispensible. We believe that all rights – and that includes those of Muslims – are bound together. The postings referred to were not in any way Islamophobic and merely raised some question s about the policy of the Respect Central Committee at the time. I do not think it appropriate here but we have not launched any criticisms or attacks on some in Respect on our website and have tried to build a progressive alliance. I consider your efforts and those of Barry Kade to be detrimental to this. I would hope that Barry Kade would issue a retraction of some of his allegations re Green Left and you would desist from publishing such attacks on Green Left.


Joseph Healy


Green Left


Anonymous said...

Dear Joseph, and the Green Left Steering Committee on whose behalf you write.

I am sorry to see that you have (in my opinion) grasped the wrong end of the stick.

I made no such accusations against the Green Left.

You can read my side of this story here.


I hope we can clear up this misunderstanding in a calm and clear way.


Anonymous said...

I too fully support the efforts of the Green Left to build some much needed left unity. This activity is vital for getting the maximum number of ecosocialists and other progressives elected to parliament and local councils next summer.

However, I do believe that the debate on SU has been misconstrued. Barry made what I thought was a useful contribution to the ongoing challenge for the left in allying ourselves absolutely with those who experience oppression. He did not to my reading say that the Green Left or the Green Party was Islamophobic.

That Harry's Place - no friend to any anti-racist progressive - then jumped in to try and demonstrate that this proves some friction between greens and other sections of the left was predictable and intended to damage the broader left. I for one hope their attempts can be overcome in an amicable fashion.