Statement from the Anti-Fascist Network on the Woolwich murder.

The Anti-Fascist Network deplores the murder of a young man in Woolwich yesterday and our condolences go out to his family and friends. We also deplore the use of this incident by the far right to stir up Islamophobia once again.

By calling a ‘terrorist alert’ the government has shamelessly sought political capital from what was clearly an isolated act of brutality by a couple of lone psychopaths claiming to be Muslims. There are maniacs in every community and grouping, not least the far right. The loss of a life in such horrific circumstances is always a tragedy for those involved, just as it was when fascists killed Altab Ali or when the police killed Blair Peach.

Meanwhile the Muslim community has conducted itself with dignity, and a huge number of individual Muslims have spontaneously taken to social media to disassociate themselves from any kind of sectarian violence.

Unlike the EDL, now virtually a spent force, who have chosen to use this man’s death to go on a recruiting drive and encourage attacks on minorities. The Internet is now buzzing with ‘patriots’, nationalists and fascists eager to exploit the situation – please don’t encourage them by carelessly repeating their drivel.

We will all need to be vigilant, and work with our communities against any rise in fascist activity.

We reproduce below a statement from the Muslim Council of Great Britain:

“This is a truly barbaric act that has no basis in Islam and we condemn this unreservedly.

Our thoughts are with the victim and his family.We understand the victim is a serving member of the Armed Forces. Muslims have long served in this country’s Armed Forces, proudly and with honour.

This attack on a member of the Armed Forces is dishonourable, and no cause justifies this murder. This action will no doubt heighten tensions on the streets of the United Kingdom.

We call on all our communities, Muslim and non-Muslim, to come together in solidarity to ensure the forces of hatred do not prevail.”

– Muslim Council of Great Britain

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