How brave Muslims are being silenced

theguardian: by Nick Cohen —

The most vocal attacks on a group fighting Islamophobic attacks are not racist yobs but friends of the Islamist right

Tell MAMA is the only pressure group that undertakes the hard but necessary work of encouraging Muslims to report religious assaults. MAMA stands for Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks and its workers use the information it collects to persuade the police to take sectarian violence seriously.

I admire Tell MAMA because it follows the cases that rarely get national attention: reports that Ulster loyalists are behind threats to Muslims in Northern Ireland or news of yobs insulting worshippers when they leave a mosque. It ensures that abuse of Muslims does not become an accepted fact of British life and offers a way into a criminal justice system, which is meant to protect their rights.

Naturally, Tell MAMA and its founder, Fiyaz Mughal, have enemies. They receive, as one might expect, racist abuse from supporters of the English Defence League. The rightwing press isn’t much better. Mughal despairs of the “there’s no such thing as Islamophobia” pieces that do the rounds. But it is not the “Tory press” that is stopping Tell MAMA from holding meetings in mosques. Nor is the EDL threatening to destroy its efforts to contain anti-Muslim violence.

Those squalid victories belong to the Islamist right. “We are being targeted by charlatans who are leading Muslim communities off a cliff,” Mughal told me. “I think we have 18 months before we lose a generation of young Muslims.”

If you are astonished that a charity fighting Islamophobia is being targeted by Islamists then you have no right to be surprised by the manner of the attack. Across our hysterical country, the supporters of the “new politics” seek to turn their opponents from reasonable people with ideas worth debating into the enemy, the alien, the “other”.

For Corbyn and his comrades, doubters are automatically “Tories”. They may have been Labour supporters or, indeed, Labour MPs all their adult life. They may have intelligent leftwing objections to Corbyn’s willingness to indulge every form of anti-western violence on the planet. They may even oppose Corbyn on the unimpeachably anti-Tory grounds that he is guaranteeing a decade of Tory rule.

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