Hateful Media

I have already discussed fascism and how it's characteristics are reflected in the modern world. But without the means of propagation, fascism along with other extreme ideologies, would rightfully remain on the fringes of society, scorned by most and only embraced by the most deranged flotsam in the sea of humanity.

The emergence of these ideas into mainstream consciousness has accelerated with the explosion in social media usage. Extreme ideas are disseminated covertly under the guise of divisively written news items, opinion pieces or simply comments responding to a mainstream source.

Social Media sites are infested with accounts set up purely to spread hatred and herd unsuspecting consumers towards fascist or other extreme ideologies. The accounts may belong to individuals who have accumulated vast numbers of followers, alternative “media outlets” or even extreme political groups. The accounts will often share the stories from the same unreputable sources, increasing the reach of fake or exaggerated news, and in the eyes of the consumer, making the items more trustworthy. Cross sharing posts also helps to ensure that the accounts gain the same followers, unifying their message of hate.

Typically, these extreme accounts will exclusively post news where the perpetrator is a particular group. These days, the target is commonly Muslims.

The stories will often be 100% true, but it is the relentless targeting of Muslims which is the problem. Relying on such accounts for news consumption results in a skewed world view where it seems most of the ills of the world are caused by Islam and its adherents. Crimes which we know are committed by all groups, whether it is simply fraud and robberies, through to vile rape and murder, will seem to be mostly perpetrated by Muslims. Barbaric events occuring in Muslim majority countries will push the notion that Muslim culture is incompatible with the West. Posting videos of Islamic events taking place in the UK such as Ashura, or simply of Muslims praying in public, is done with the intention of making Islam seem like an alien invasive force, threatening the existence of “British culture”. Muslims are framed as the  “other” - a homogeneous group lacking individuality and humanity.

The process of dehumanisation is an important target of extremism - whether this is the far right dehumanising religious or ethnic groups, or Islamic extremists dehumanising non believers.

Hateful Media makes this possible.

Additionally, there are the ultra-extreme accounts which deliberately post fake stories and videos in order to inflame hatred towards the target group.  These accounts may not last too long before being banned, but often achieve what they set out to do. Once a fake story or video is out and shared enough times, it is impossible to retract.  For every consumer of the fake story who learns the truth, there will be hundreds of consumers who never learn and accept the fake message.

Take for example a post I saw some time ago by a prolific Islamaphobic Twitter account based in Canada.  The user posted a video showing some tanned individuals laughing and abusing a dog by throwing the animal over a high fence.  The sound was distorted to make it difficult to make out what they were saying or the language being used. The user captioned the video to indicate that the individuals were Syrian refugees in Germany.  Of course, this prompted a torrent of outraged replies expressing their disgust at Syrians, refugees and Muslims. It seemed that trying to outdo each other, repliers to the thread escalated what they believed to be the correct punishment for the perpetrators and refugees in general, suggesting they should be incarcerated, deported, tortured or killed.  However, the video was not of Syrian refugees in Germany, but was actually of drunk Israeli teenagers in Tel Aviv. This was identified by one viewer of the thread and even linked the news article (https://www.haaretz.com/.premium-18-year-old-arrested-over-dog-abuse-video-1.5355017).  Unfortunately, in a thread with over 500 replies and a video which had been shared over 2000 times, it is unlikely that the truth was seen by more than a handful of people - a victory for the extremists and a useful contribution to their aim of spreading hatred against Muslims.

It is worth at this point, mentioning that these methods of dehumanisation and creating an enemy are nothing new. Propaganda has been disseminated by more traditional means for centuries to achieve the same aim. Even in recent decades, both tabloid and “respectable” press continually publish divisive sensationalist headlines designed to outrage the public in as few words as possible and encourage a purchase. Outlets such as the Daily Mail are notorious for this, and their contribution to the hateful environment in which we find ourselves should never be underestimated.

By often reading such press, and following Hate accounts, consumers find themselves submerged in a rancid swamp which distorts their view of reality. Every post they see is designed to prompt outrage at “the establishment” or ill feeling towards other racial or religious groups. They feel like their eyes have been opened and that they are uncovering a world hidden by the mainstream. They feel like they have found the truth and are part of a cause, fighting against evil “global” forces. While treating mainstream news sources with suspicion, they will unquestioningly absorb articles from the purveyors of hate, their world view shunted so far to the extremes that they will ravenously devour opinions which regular people would balk at.

It is in this environment which leaves the Hateful Media user teetering on the brink of fascism, and most susceptible to the final steps of radicalisation. Most of the time, people will go no further, and may even pull back from the brink as real life experiences soften their views. However, an increasing number of people, perhaps those with a limited real world social life or a circle of friends of homogeneous mind, will step over the brink. Whether they themselves seek out interaction with extremist groups, or whether they are groomed by extremists, the consequence is that they enter the dark dangerous world of extreme activism from which it may be difficult to return from intact.

It is for this reason that any decent person, anyone opposed to extremism should be mindful of the intentions of the accounts they follow. Hateful media should be reported with the aim of removal. The extremists will claim this is an infringement of free speech. No, hate speech is not free speech - such actions are required in defence of our tolerant society and are a means to protect our vulnerable people from radicalisation, whether that be from fascists, Islamists or any other extremists vying to inflict their hateful ambitions on the public.

Bigots For Britain

Background

In March 2018, a new political party was registered with the Electoral Commission. The party was named For Britain and was founded by fiercely anti-Islam activist Anne Marie Waters.

Waters has been on the fringes of the UK political scene for some time, starting out with the Labour Party, before moving on to UKIP.  Standing as candidate for Lewisham East, she managed 9% of the vote, after a divisive campaign where she called for mass deportations, the closure of mosques and an end to migration from Muslim countries.

It's a small world when it comes to bigoted circles. Waters was involved in the launch of Pediga UK, named after the German anti Islam movement, along with former BNP member and EDL founder Stephen Yaxley-Lennon aka Tommy Robinson, and Liberty GB chairman Paul Weston. The movement flopped with little interest from the British public, but it brought her closer to far right peers across Europe. Another associate of Waters is former BNP member Jack Buckby who stood as a candidate for Liberty GB to contest the seat of murdered Labour MP Jo Cox.

While no other political party contested the seat out of respect for the murdered MPs family, the far right Liberty GB party insisted Labour had “blood on its hands” for allowing the spread of multiculturalism, and that this had led to the murder of Cox by a racist thug closely associated with other far right groups in Britain.

In 2017, Jack Buckby led Anne Marie Water’s campaign to become leader of UKIP, thus further cementing Water’s place amongst the far right in British politics. It is telling that Water’s leadership bid was opposed by many prominent names associated with UKIP, such as Nigel Farage who himself wasn't afraid to push racist propaganda in order to secure Brexit, as they considered her “too bigoted”. When one is too bigoted even for the likes of Nigel Farage, then we can safely position her on the far right of the political spectrum.

After controversially losing the UKIP leadership contest to Henry Bolton, who appeared to have little support within the party, Anne Marie Waters went on to form the pro Brexit anti-Islam party For Britain.

For Britain's Manifesto

Water’s formed For Britain, as her hardline anti-Islam stance had little support within UKIP at the time.  Nigel Farage’s choice of new leader Henry Bolton, said that the wrong leader being selected could result in UKIP becoming the “UK Nazi Party”.  Nigel Farage himself felt that the party should distance itself from “Nazis and Bigots” - something which was not entirely successful, but that’s another story.

Therefore, For Britain was formed broadly on similar ideological lines as UKIP but with an added anti-Islam ingredient.  

If you read the previous article in this blog, you will see that one of the characteristics of fascism is “Selective Populism”.  The fascist will often assert that they, and only they, speak for the silent majority who are being ignored by the ruling classes and mainstream politics.  For Britain immediately begin their manifesto with the classic trope - “Manifesto for the Forgotten Majority”.

So let’s have a look at a few policies from the manifesto.

Immigration

As expected of a pro-Brexit Far Right political party, there are a lot of ideas about immigration in the manifesto.  One particular point states:

British citizenship may be obtained after a period of 10 years’ residence – those applying for British citizenship must be able to show economic self-sufficiency for that period and to be of good character, have no criminal record, and have no involvement with seditious or violent ideologies. Those who have expressed refusal to integrate in to the wider culture of Britain will be refused citizenship and will face deportation

What are “seditious or violent ideologies”?  Well, as explained in the Islam section, the party believes Islam is by definition a violent ideology.  It also believes one cannot be loyal to both Islam and the nation, and so they also consider it seditious.  Therefore, it appears that this point in the manifesto is barring practicing Muslims from becoming citizens.  How will For Britain test for this? Will they trust citizens to fill out a questionnaire and tick a box stating their loyalty and non-involvement of seditious or violent ideologies?  Maybe some prospective citizens will require interrogation to make sure.

And how about the last sentence in the paragraph. “Those who have expressed refusal to integrate..”.   How is this assessed? What is integration? Is wearing traditional cultural clothing an example of refusing to integrate?  Not celebrating Christmas? Not supporting the England cricket team? Or perhaps prospective citizens need to integrate into the wider culture of Britain by getting drunk on a Saturday night and waking up to a full English on Sunday morning?

UK Constitution

The manifesto bullet points a written constitution they would like to see inforced in the UK.  Here’s a few of them:

 

  • The right to participate in the democratic process – either as candidate or voter – the only legal restriction placed upon speech shall be direct incitement to violence i.e. the words used clearly and objectively call for violence
  • The right to express any opinion on any matter without legal sanction
  • The right to express and state matters of objective truth
  • Freedom to associate with any non-violent group or philosophy without fear of legal sanction from the state (or loss of livelihood except if separate and objective evidence demonstrates that said association has directly impacted a person’s ability to perform his/her duties as specified in their employment contract)

The above points have been designed to protect those who can currently be prosecuted under hate speech laws.  This is a favourite of the Far Right who feel their freedom of speech is being infringed by laws which prevent them from openly abusing people of different cultures, faiths, sexualities and political viewpoints.  

Effectively the above points would allow people to say what they wanted as long as they did not use phrases such as “Mr X should be killed”.  It will be perfectly fine for a prominent personality with millions of followers to state that a certain group is trying to destroy your way of life. That would just be an opinion, and any psychotic follower inspired by those words to take action against the group in question, would be no fault or responsibility of the personality who spoke those words.

Foreign Affairs

This section of the manifesto is crammed to the brim with some of the far rights favourite topics internationally.  There are some points which are valid and some which are contradictory. On one hand the human rights abuses of certain countries such as Saudi Arabia is rightly raised along with suggestions of ending arms sales to such countries.  On the other hand there are points specifically regarding support for Donald Trump (a foreign president mentioned in person which is bizarre for a political manifesto) and Israel, stating that the UK will stand with these two countries in opposition to the rest of the United Nations.  Here’s a selection of points:

  • Defend the state of Israel, its right to exist, and it’s right to self-defence
  • Recognise Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel
  • Stand with Israel against the United Nations and other biased bodies
  • Recognise and confront the anti-Western bias of the United Nations and demand this be brought to an end
  • That white farmers in South Africa are subject to race-based abuse and an attack on their human rights by a racist government.  For Britain will offer all assistance, including asylum, to white farmers fleeing racist hate and oppression in South Africa

 

While rightly criticising abuses in Islamic countries, there is not a hint at reprimanding Israeli human rights abuses against Palestinians. Instead it seeks to mimic the American relationship with Israel.

And then we have For Britain repeating the claims made by a number of White Supremacist groups that South African white farmers are being specifically targeted by a racist government in a campaign of “white genocide”.  This is a claim which has been spread by a far right survivalist Afrikaner group called the Suidlanders, although statistics show that levels of violence against white South Africans is no different to the levels of violence against black South Africans.  Even the Right Wing Afrikaner group AfriForum maintain that the farm attacks are part of a broader crime problem in South Africa and are not racially motivated.  Nethertheless, the “white genocide” of South African farmers is a cause which far right groups around the world have latched on to, and here we have For Britain also nailing it’s colours to the conspiracy.

Law & Order

A selection of aims of For Britain appear to specifically target Muslims and racial minorities:

  • Abolish all distinct racially or religiously aggravated offences, inciting hatred based upon religion, and all statutory aggravating factors based upon the victim’s personal characteristics
  • Create a new criminal offence of wearing a facial covering in public or other specified places, subject to the wearer being able to demonstrate a good reason, which shall exclude compliance with a religious obligation or cultural norm

 

The first point is to remove hate crime.  So specifically abusing someone due to their race or religion will carry the same penalty as abusing someone for no particular reason - i.e. there basically will not be a penalty unless there is physical violence.  Even then, an attack such as tearing the hijab from a Muslim ladies head, while screaming abuse at them, will be regarded simply as a minor assault with very little punishment and no deterrent for such behaviour in the future.  Other kinds of current hate crime such as throwing swine products at a Mosque or Synagogue will be considered to be minor acts of vandalism, again with no punishment to deter further attacks.

The second point has the clear aim of banning the burqa and niqab from British streets.  For Britain, like many other islamaphobic groups, consider face veils as a “security risk”.  Perhaps some of these people actually do believe it is a security risk, but in reality they see the garment as alien and are unable to reconcile it with British culture, and feel uncomfortable around wearers.  This is purely a xenophobic measure which will make little difference to the lives of non-wearers of the burqa or niqab, but will have a huge impact to the families affected by the ban. The far right groups will claim that the women wearing these garments are oppressed and forced to do so by their husbands or parents.  In some cases this may be true, but equally there are thousands of women who wear the face veil without coercion, because they believe they must to comply with their religion. Banning the face veil will basically mean imprisoning such people in their own homes. This scenario works for For Britain and other islamaphobes in that the women will be out of sight and out of mind.

Education

Far right groups have long maintained that there is institutional left wing bias in the British education system.  They hate that British children are taught about other religions and cultures, and about gender identity. Here are a few promises For Britain make with regards to education:

  • Allow parents to exclude their children from mosque visits, or to object to mosque visits  
  • Ensure that if schools teach religion, they teach the truth about that religion, not propaganda
  • Ensure that respect for British culture is taught to children in schools, and ensure that children feel part of a cohesive and united Britain that is respectful of its history and teaches children of great British achievements in the world
  • End the employment of teachers who refuse to teach the value of British culture (the National Union of Teachers may not refuse to teach the curriculum without consequence)

 

Many a time I have read the outrage rants of an islamaphobic parent telling his or her shocked followers how their school has taken their child to visit a mosque and have a talk by an imam.  Well, this is Islamic indoctrination isn’t it? Never mind that the same school will also visit Hindu temples, Sikh Gurdwaras and Jewish Synagogues. These people believe there is a specific plot to turn Britain into an Islamic state, and the islamification process is beginning at school.  

The second point above does not mention Islam by name, but is clearly aimed in that direction.  For Britain want to ensure children are taught the “truth” about each religion. When you read up on For Britains lengthy discussions on Islam, you will see what they believe to be the “truth”.  To For Britain, Islam is a violent ideology where adherents are encouraged to kill or convert non believers with the ultimate aim of conquering the entire world in the name of Islam. They have specific “truths” they would like to teach children with regards to the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh).  The aim of this is to turn the future generations of children into islamaphobes, and alienate Muslims, starting at childhood.

Islam

This is the big one for Anne Marie Waters and basically the entire reason For Britain was conceived.

Rather than go straight to For Britain’s aims with regards to Islam, we can also look at a summary of what For Britain believes, as this underlines a number of concerns which have been expressed throughout this article:

  • That Islamic culture is incompatible with British and Western culture
  • That mass immigration from Islamic societies has made Britain less safe and less free
  • That Islamic culture is violent and oppressive and this violence and oppression stems from the religion itself
  • That free speech is the cornerstone of democracy and must be defended
  • That our right to criticise religion has been severely compromised as a result of Muslim immigration
  • That the safety, rights, and freedoms of women and girls have been sacrificed to placate and facilitate Islam

 

So no ifs, no buts, Islamic culture is incompatible with British and Western culture.  For Britain fanatics will say they are talking about Islam the ideology, not Muslims. No, the adherents of Islam are Muslims.  The people who partake in this culture are Muslims. For Britain are saying Muslims are not compatible with British culture. They are not specifically talking about Jihadists or even the more non-compromising but not-jihadi fundamentalists. They are talking about any practicing Muslim.  They are saying the religion of all Muslims in Britain (approx 6% of the UK population) is violent, and its existence makes Britain less safe.

Let’s look at a sample of For Britain’s aims with regards to Islam:

  • Ban madrassas and inspect and regulate Islamic schools
  • Investigate mosques and close those found guilty of inciting violence (non-British imams will be deported)
  • Deport non-British members of ‘grooming gangs’ and apply heavy penalties of at least 20 years imprisonment for others
  • Support ex-Muslims and ensure that people are free to leave Islam without penalty; those who threaten ex-Muslims (apostates) should be prosecuted and deported if appropriate
  • Prosecute and/or deport those found guilty of threatening violence against critics of Islam
  • Ensure that police and government facilitate freedom of speech and the right to criticise Islam
  • Hold a public inquiry in to Islamic doctrine – including the Koran and hadiths – and the fundamentals of sharia law, and fully inform the British public as to its values

The first point is an odd one.  In Islamic countries such as Pakistan, madrassas often take on the entire education of a child, which means essentially, they only learn about Islam and little else.  However, in the UK, a madrassa is basically an evening class which teaches kids how to read the Quran in Arabic. Sometimes the madrassa will just be in someone’s living room, or sometimes it will be in a mosque.  It runs alongside their normal daytime education rather than replaces it. Therefore, Anne Marie Waters is confused or she really does want to ban kids from learning to read the Quran.

Regarding the second point, using For Britains definition mentioned in the Law and Order section, this means a direct call to violence, and this is fine and sensible.  However, it also implies every mosque in the country will need to be individually investigated. How will they do this? Law enforcement officers who understand the various languages spoken by Muslims in this country, stationed in each mosque?  Every mosque installed with CCTV and the footage studied meticulously by religion scholars to determine if violence is being incited?

The third point - deporting non-British grooming gang members, and ensuring British nationality ones are imprisoned for at least 20 years. The reason this is mentioned here rather than in the Law and Order section is that For Britain believe that “grooming gangs” are a uniquely Islamic problem.  I agree that vile crimes such as this should be harshly punished, more so than they are currently, but it appears that contrary to For Britain’s Law and Order policy, they want to treat “Islamic” grooming gangs differently to other sex offences.

Another campaign point for groups like For Britain is the treatment of ex Muslims.  Again, For Britain seem to have contradicted their Law and Order policy by having offenses which are specifically for a certain group of victims.  As per the Law and Order policy there should be no separate racially or religiously aggravated offence which “Threatening” an ex Muslim would come under.  To be clear, I am aware that some ex Muslims do suffer and live in fear in the UK, and in no way am I belittling what they must go through - but it does strike me as hypocritical to offer one group protection different to any other person whose life is being threatened, at the same time as wanting to abolish other forms of hate crime.  

The fifth point is similar, apart from in this case the victim would be a “critic of Islam”.  Someone threatening a critic of Islam would be treated differently to someone threatening a critic of Judaism, Christianity, Fascism, Communism etc etc - specifically, Muslims are being targeted in discriminatory fashion with penalties which do not match similar offences committed by other groups.  Again, I believe threatening someone over their views is abhorrent and should attract harsh penalties, but shouldn’t all offenders be punished similarly regardless of their religion?

The final two points are there to ensure the general public are formally told about For Britain’s “truth” about Islam, and that this can be spoken about without reprisal.  Their version of the “truth” anyway. The one which paints British Muslims to be followers of an evil ideology which instructs them to kill or subjugate non-Muslims.

It is telling that they chose to save this point as the final one on the entire manifesto, as this is what Anne Marie Waters has been dreaming of since embarking on her anti Islam crusade several years ago.  

She wants the public to be told about Islam the way she believes it to be.  

She wants to alienate Muslims from the neighbours, colleagues even family.  

She wants to encourage Muslims to be abused and even attacked.  

She wants Muslims to be reviled by the public, and shamed into leaving their religion - even specifically creating a protected route away from Islam for people who want to escape the abuse she has brought down on them.

She simply wants to eradicate Islam from the UK and has come up with a number of means to do so without specifically banning the religion.

Final Thoughts

But For Britain are just a minor insignificant party, it shouldn’t matter should it?  

There is not a chance that For Britain will ever gain power - maybe they won’t even get an MP into parliament.  

The problem is that any group with significant support can influence government policy. Shout loud enough, threaten to win enough votes from the ruling party, and they may borrow some of For Britain’s policies to placate the voters.  After all, it happened with UKIP - with just a few MPs in parliament, and the threat to win more, they forced the government to call a referendum on membership of the European Union.

 

 

 

Fascism Today

What is Fascism? 

“Fascist” and “fascism” have been part of public vernacular for over 70 years, but unfortunately are little understood and often mis-defined. 

The word “fascist” will often be used refer to authority figures, or to describe the curtailment of a freedom. 

For some people, this will be the be and end all of the term, and consequently start using it to describe police services doing their job, or even anti-racist activists trying to stop bigots from spreading their hate. Popular media culture has certainly not helped here in spreading the misconception. To an extent, neither have some anti fascist activists who may also be prone to using the term a little too loosely to describe people who are certainly bigoted, but not actual fascists. 

So what is a fascism and who can we consider to be fascist in today's world? 

In 1995, A man called Umberto Eco wrote the “Eternal Fascism” essay describing a number of characteristics of Fascism, drawing on his experience growing up in 1940s Italy under Benito Mussolini. These characteristics are widely accepted as accurately describing what constitutes fascism, so can be used as the basis to search for the existence of the ideology in today's world. 

I should emphasise that holding individual characteristics from the list below does not make someone a fascist, but exhibiting a number of the characteristics is a strong indication that this is the case. 

The Cult of Tradition 

The modern fascist will often look back wistfully to the past, believing it to be a far more agreeable time. British fascists for example will proudly reflect on the empire and colonies, while conversely also harking back to the years before immigration opened up from the commonwealth. 

Imagery from the past will feature strongly - historical figures associated with past glories such as Winston Churchill, or going further back, images of the crusades and their fight against the “barbarian” masses threatening western civilisation. 

The Rejection of Modernism

This is an extreme take on conservatism. Modern attitudes, studies or discoveries which threaten (the cult of) tradition are strongly opposed by the fascist. 

This will manifest in many forms in today's world. The denial of climate change and often opposition to renewable energy is a trait of the fascists who want to protect their investment in traditional industries regardless of the impact on the future - it is no coincidence that opposition of climate change science is almost always on the right wing of politics. Social science and advances in psychology will be ridiculed and dismissed out of hand. The needs of a changing world will be blindly rejected to conserve the status quo. 

The Cult of Action for Action’s Sake 

Fascist individuals and groups rely on a frequent call to action in order to draw in those with little interest in intellectual discourse.

Often, attendees of the march will have limited understanding of the issue they are marching for, other than the propaganda slogans they have been fed and have blindly accepted. In fact, many attendees will promote issues unrelated to the organisers intention, but this will not matter as the net effect is the same - a swollen loud angry crowd unified in hatred.

2018 saw pro Brexit and anti Terror marches become “Free Tommy” marches with attendees protesting the incarceration of far right activist Stephen Yaxley-Lennon aka Tommy Robinson.

A well attended Football Lads Alliance (FLA) march against terrorism became an anti Islam event with several prominent attendees speaking against Islam and immigration. 

Several marches have featured banners from the anti Islam For Britain Party, UKIP, Make Britain Great Again, and ethno-nationalists Generation Identity - all taking advantage of attendees raised on hateful rhetoric to boost their own groups. 

Disagreement is Treason

One clear characteristic of the wave of populism sweeping the world in the past few years, is that those who oppose the aims of fervent nationalists are viewed as traitors.  

In Britain, this characteristic has become more visible primarily due to the 2016 referendum to leave or remain in the EU. The feeling amongst certain groups that those who support the European Union are traitors has grown to the point that any criticism of the decision to leave the EU, or the way it is being managed, is considered a direct attack on the sovereignty of the nation. Many of those who voted to leave are angered by any subsequent analysis of the impact of leaving the EU, demanding loyalty over critical reasoning.

Criticising the actions of the British Empire or revered historical figures such as Winston Churchill is also viewed as treasonous - particularly if the criticising party originates from outside the UK at which point it works hand in hand with another characteristic, Fear of Difference (discussed in the next point). Even critics of an ally of the government and hero of populism, Donald Trump, are viewed as traitors by the British hard right.

This appears to be even more so In the United States, where there is a cult of hardline Trump supporters who will consider any opposition to their president - from Democrats or within the GOP itself as treasonous. Also, as with the UK, criticism of prominent historical figures in US history will lead to accusations of hatred of the nation from flag waving patriots.

Fear of Difference

Perhaps the most obvious characteristic of fascism, but also one which often results in run-of-the-mill bigots being incorrectly labelled as fascists, is Fear of Difference.  

For a number of years, the primary focus of this fear has been the adherents of Islam. Terror attacks put Islam under the microscope, and has resulted in an entire industry of hate forming with the purpose of attacking the religion from every angle possible. Criticism ranges from valid questions about the compatibility of certain literal interpretations of scripture, to absurd attacks on cultural elements which have very little to do with core beliefs.  

This has been exasperated by the wars which have ravaged the Middle East and resulted in millions of refugees fleeing to Europe - a catastrophe which the far right have thrived on, allowing their movements to swell and a once hidden racist undercurrent to burst into full public consciousness. Pan-European movement Generation Identity has emerged as a consequence, and individual far right nationalist organisations have gained traction. Even mainstream parties have shunted to the right in order to attract support from the growing populist and often unashamedly racist attitudes of their voting populations.

Both mainstream and social media have been complicit in the dissemination of hatred towards those deemed different. Newspapers such as the Daily Mail and Daily Express sell issues on the basis of highly divisive headlines designed to stir up fear and hatred of immigrants and Muslims. The pro-Leave referendum campaigns in Britain strongly drew on these feelings to threaten the voters with hordes of immigrants if the UK remained in the EU, and the tactic worked. It now seems to be not just acceptable, but the norm to abhor multiculturalism and diversity, with the far right mockingly using these terms whenever any crime is committed by a migrant or non-indigenous citizen. 

The growth of Islamaphobia in particular has been a godsend for closet racists, who are now able to publically air their bigotry as long as the target is a Muslim. The defence of “Islam is not a Race” is used to shield them from being associated with the negative connotations of racism, while “Islamaphobia is a made up word” prevents anti-Muslim hatred from ever becoming as reviled as racism. 

Obsession with a Plot

This is another strong characteristic of fascism, and clearly present in the far right movements today. There are several “plots” which the far right are obsessed with at the moment - some will be limited on a national scale, whilst others transcend national and continental boundaries.

One such plot popular amongst the European far right is that of a plan to overrun Europe with migrants from the 3rd world. There are various flavours to this plot, with different perpetrators.  

For example, believers of the Kalergi Plan are sure that various world leaders are secretly enacting a plot which will “dilute” European culture and identity with non-European migrants, in order to create a European population which is less independent and easier to control. Others may not specifically call it the Kalergi Plan, but will insist that European civilisation is being deliberately weakened by “Cultural Marxism” and/or “Globalists” to create a more compliant population. They will prove this pointing at the huge influx of migration happening around the world, suggesting that the troubles have been purposely started to achieve this aim.

Such conspiracy theories were also peddled in 1930s Germany - in fact “Globalists” and “Cultural Marxists” have always been thinly veiled descriptions of successful and prominent Jewish people. It’s not surprising that the number one alleged protagonist for these plots is a Hungarian billionaire Jewish man called George Soros.

On a national level, the far right in Britain are pushing the idea that there is plot to silence those who criticise Islam or immigration. Stephen Yaxley-Lennon aka Tommy Robinson, along with various other prominent far right activists are constantly claiming their free speech is being curtailed, yet simultaneously constantly appear on mainstream media. Publicity photos showing these activists with tape over their mouths has been popularly shared over social media. It seems that the irony of Adolf Hitler and his National Socialist Party using exactly the same imagery claiming that their free speech was being curtailed in late 20s Germany, is lost on today’s far right.

Enemy is Simultaneously too strong and too weak 

For some years, this tactic has been used to describe immigrants the world over. Whether we are talking about hard right Republicans and their attitude towards migrants crossing the US southern border, or the far right in the UKs views on refugees from the Middle East and Africa. 

The migrants will be painted as a fierce fighting-age invasive force who will destroy western civilisation and unleash a wave of irrepressible violence and destruction. Muslims will be accused of attempting to take over society through devious manipulation with the ambition of creating an islamic state. Simultaneously, the migrants will be accused of having weak barbaric culture, an unwillingness to work and a lack of intelligence. Aspects of the migrants culture such as their attire and traditions will be roundly mocked. The fascist will see themselves as superior to the migrant, whilst also afraid that the small % of migrants amongst their population will destroy their way of life. 

Contempt for the Weak and Machismo 

These two characteristics go hand in hand with the modern fascist. There will be contempt for those perceived as weaker than their role requires. This is often seen with regards to police officers attempting to engage with the community. Videos of officers joining in activities at a Caribbean festival, or Pride event will attract the wrath of fascists who want their law enforcement officers to be distant, authoritarian and impassive. 

The language used by fascists is also designed to show contempt for those opposing them by associating them with “weak” stereotypes. “Soy” and “Cuck” are the obvious examples, mostly used to describe men who do not exhibit what they regard as required masculine characteristics. 

Meanwhile, chauvinist groups such as Patriots Prayer/Proud Boys will be lauded and held in comparison to members of opposing groups they see as weak - images of unfit, alternative sub culture counter protesters used to emphasise the power and strength of the fascist movement. 

Selective Populism

Today's far right movements and prominent individuals constantly claim that they speak for the silent majority, the disenfranchised, the victims of the elite. They will claim that their media reach proves that their opinions are shared by the majority, and attempt to influence Government. 

It was such populism which resulted in a British Conservative government agreeing to hold a referendum on membership of the EU. Since the resulting leave decision, prominent Leave campaigners have insisted that they represent the will of the people, and have gone as far as threatening civil unrest if the leave decision is not implemented to their expectations. 

Conclusions

Fascism is alive, kicking and gaining traction day by day in today's world. We mustn't get caught in the trap of comparing the ideology today with the fascist regimes of yesteryear. Today's fascists will deny what they are by arguing that they do not want a one party state, or they do not want to inflict genocide on the Jewish population. Or they will claim that the "real" fascists are the anti hate activists who attempt to disrupt them. This is all a smoke screen designed to disassociate themselves with the negativity of the ideology they follow, and hope to strengthen with more recruits from a gullible public. 

 

 

 

 

Animosity Avenue - a novella

Animosity Avenue is a story told from the perspective of two close friends who begin to drift apart, heading in disparate ideological directions. 

Jason Alexander falls under the influence of his older brother on his release from jail and becomes involved in far right activism.

Waqar Ali takes a deeper interest in his religion, when he makes friends with a group of young Muslims who attend the mosque of a charismatic Salafist imam. 

As their friendship irreparably fails, so does their chance of a normal life as they head towards catastrophe. 

Download Animosity Avenue from any of the vendors in the below link… 

https://www.books2read.com/u/3yD2KJ