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In the wake of the horrific Westminster terrorist attack, far-right groups are attempting to divide communities by stepping up their scapegoating of Muslims.
Far-right bigotry and racism is being assisted by divisive and counter-productive government anti-terrorism measures such as 'Prevent', which Tory prime minister Theresa May now wants to expand.
Prevent is clearly discriminatory as it largely targets people from Muslim backgrounds. Prevent pressures staff in public services, including teachers, to effectively act as government spies, stifling democratic debate on issues such as war, terrorism and racism.
Yet, according to police chiefs, the main growth in extremism is not Isis-inspired groups but that of far-right organisations and far-right websites. It was only ten months ago that a neo-Nazi shot and stabbed to death Labour MP Jo Cox.
The election of billionaire bigot Donald Trump and his racist policies - such as a travel ban on six Muslim majority countries and building a 1,000-mile wall along the Mexican border to stop migrant workers - has fuelled race hatred and given confidence to far-right groups to go on the offensive, in the US and across the world.
In the UK there has also been a rise in racism and racist attacks on minorities and migrant workers in the run-up to and since the Brexit referendum.
Unfortunately, Jeremy Corbyn mistakenly supported a Remain position, allowing the anti-EU campaign to be dominated by right-wing Tory and Ukip xenophobes, like Trump-supporting Nigel Farage.
This is despite most working class people's anger over the EU being about austerity and being economically left behind by capitalist globalisation.
It is also despite Corbyn's long-held position (like the Socialist Party's) of left opposition to the neoliberal EU.
Scapegoating minorities and migrant workers won't reverse the massive government austerity cuts in services, such as education, the NHS, and public housing. Nor will it lead to new investment in industry and decent paying jobs.
These pressing social problems flow from the failure of the capitalist system - a system that exploits all workers for profit, increases wealth inequality, and which, since 2008, has been bailed out to the tune of trillions of pounds by successive governments.
Millions of people worldwide have marched in recent months against Trump's bigotry, in defence of the NHS, and against EU and Tory government racist policies over refugees.
The fight to defeat austerity is also a fight to stop racism and division in the working class.
We need unity and mass movements to roll back Tory government and capitalist attacks on our living standards, and to eradicate the conditions that breed terror - poverty, war, oppression and exploitation.
Migrant workers (52)
Article dated 29 March 2017
The Socialist, weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party
Lessons from history
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