Racism

A tradition of resistance

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Socialist Review spoke to Hassan Mahamdallie, one of the contributors to the new book Say it Loud, about the fight against racism in Britain, the role played by socialists and the lessons for today.


How has racism changed in Britain over the past 30 to 40 years and what's been driving those changes?

Let's go back a little further - let's talk about the past 50 years. If you think about the first generation of West Indian and Asian and other groups that came to Britain to fill the labour shortages and rebuild Britain after the Second World War, they experienced naked racism.

The nature of Islamophobia

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Talat Ahmed's article, Islamophobia, Repression and Resistance (Feature, Socialist Review, September 2013), was an incisive analysis of the rise of Islamophobia while asserting the importance of class.

However, there is one line of Talat's argument I feel compelled to disagree with. This may prove to be a matter of emphasis; however, if so, I think it is a significant one.

Whipping up hatred

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Alan Gibson looks at the wave of anti-immigrant racism that has been marked by the "Go Home" vans and UK Border Agency raids at London tube stations.

The demand by judge Peter Murphy in August that a Muslim woman transgress her religious beliefs and reveal her face to a packed courtroom is just the latest in a series of Islamophobic outrages - all conditioned by a deepening anti-immigrant onslaught.

UKIP: A breeding ground for racism

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Ukip's success in last month's council elections underlined its move from the margins to a more significant force. Tash Shifrin looks at the roots of its emergence and how we should respond

We have had an ugly month of May, drenched by a double wave of racism. On 3 May the racist Ukip sailed in on a high spring tide, its 25 percent share of the vote in the county council elections making it the new third party in British politics. The party's triumph followed a campaign based on anti-immigrant scaremongering.

Remembering the Bristol bus boycott

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Fifty years ago this month a few committed activists from Bristol's 3,000-strong black community launched a remarkable and ultimately successful campaign. As in the rest of post-war Britain, housing was difficult to find. A "colour bar" existed in many places with signs in windows proclaiming "No Blacks or Irish". Young black men on a night out would run the gauntlet of "Teddy boys".

White women who befriended black men would often be shunned by their white friends, and even be labelled as prostitutes. The depth of this racism was a product of Britain's imperial past, whereby black and Asian people would be considered as uncivilised children, and portrayed as near savages in general public discourse. As in some other cities, such as Coventry and West Bromwich, the colour bar in Bristol extended to employment on the buses.

The Politics of Immigration

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Brian Richardson examines the battle lines being drawn around immigration. We also publish an extract from the updated pamphlet Immigration: The Myths Spread to Divide Us that puts the case for opposition to all immigration controls.

The next general election is still two years away, but the battle lines are already being drawn. In a series of carefully planned announcements, the mainstream parties have all made it crystal clear that immigration will be at the top of the political agenda. The 2015 election looks set to herald the most racist campaign in a long time.

Hamstrung by racism

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Why has racism returned to the "beautiful game"?

The beginning of a new year is traditionally regarded as one of the highlights of the football season. As we enter 2013 however, the self-proclaimed "beautiful game" limps on, hamstrung by a series of events which have exposed the racism that remains endemic and continues to leave an ugly stain. By the end of 2012 this had led to the resignation of former Commission for Racial Equality chair Herman Ouseley from the FA Council and the start of serious discussions about the establishment of a breakaway black players union.

UKIP and the crisis of conservatism

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Strong votes for the United Kingdom Indepedence Party (UKIP) in recent by-elections has led to speculation that Britain may have shifted to the right. Jonathan Maunder argues that, although UKIP's vote is concerning, its root cause is a deep seated crisis in the base of the Tory party

The strong votes received by the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) in three by-elections in late November prompted speculation about the existence of a new right-wing mood in Britain. UKIP won 5.7 percent of the vote in Croydon, 11.8 percent in Middlesbrough and 21.8 percent to come second in Rotherham - the last result being its highest ever election vote. Opinion polling regularly puts UKIP on around 10 percent of the vote.

The tragedy of Salman Rushdie

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The controversy about Salman Rushdie's novel The Satanic Verses in 1989 revealed the hypocrisy of the ruling class and stoked Islamophobia. But, argues Gareth Jenkins, Rushdie's new memoir reveals someone who has travelled a long way from his former identification with the oppressed

On 14 February 1989 Ayatollah Khomeini, the leader of Iran, issued a fatwa against Salman Rushdie for having written a book "blasphemous against Islam". That book, The Satanic Verses, published the previous September, had already stirred up controversy - spectacularly, when it was burnt on the streets of Bradford - with calls for it to be banned in Britain (many other countries had already banned it).

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