On 30 March in Bradford there was a Unite Against Fascism meeting organised by a SWP member called “Muslim Youth Against EDL, BNP and Islamophobia”.
The advertised speakers included some from the Lib Dems, Respect and the Muslim Public Affairs Committee UK (MPAC).
For those unacquainted with MPAC this sounds like a pretty bog standard line up for a UAF event: ruling class politicians and unelected “community leaders” who have nothing to say about the poverty and unemployment facing working class youth in Bradford.
However, despite its bland name, MPAC is not just another conservative, communalist group like the MCB or the Muslim Parliament.
Since MPAC was founded in 2000 it has built up a reputation for propagating anti-semitic conspiracy theories and flirting with Holocaust denial.
One of MPAC’s founding members, Asghar Bukhari, wrote to Holocaust denying “academic” David Irving in 2000 with a £60 donation saying: “You may feel like you are on your own but rest assured many people are with you in your fight for the Truth”.
Bukhari told Irving another author “suffered like you in trying to expose certain falsehoods perpetrated by the Jews”.
If you look at the MPAC website now, it denies Holocaust denial but criticises Muslims who commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day and states: “Remembering the Holocaust means to Muslims remembering Palestine and how we were robbed, enslaved and murdered because of what the Europeans did to the Jews, and then allowed many of those same Jews to do to us what had been done to them”.
The suffering of the Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank is real. However, to accuse Jewish Holocaust survivors of seeking the mechanised extermination of the Palestinian people is monstrous.
In September 2006 the Report of the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Antisemitism accused MPAC of promoting the idea of a worldwide Zionist conspiracy and using material taken from neo-Nazi, white nationalist, and Holocaust denial websites.
The report also says “[t]he use of ‘Zionist’ as a replacement for ‘Jewish’ is common on the MPAC UK website” and that MPAC has articulated antisemitic conspiracy theories through the language of anti-Zionism.
Throughout their website they talk of the “zio-press” and how Hollywood and TV is dominated by Zionists. This is just recycling the old antisemitic canards of Jewish control of the government and media that have been used for hundreds of years.
The National Union of Students has no-platformed MPAC for its publication of “antisemitic conspiracy theories and inciteful racist material”.
MPAC’s hatred is not just aimed at Jews. They applaud an Iranian regime that executes and tortures LGBT people and women, just for daring to try to live their lives.
The English Defence League are vile violent Islamophobes. When they seek to attack Muslim communities, workers of all colours need to unite with them to smash the EDL. However, anti-racists cannot ally with racist and reactionary organisations like MPAC who are feeding off the fear the EDL provoke.
UAF and its supporters in the SWP argue that UAF consistently challenges racism. If this is not just fatuous rhetoric it must mean they do not invite peddlers of homophobia, misogyny and racist conspiracy theories like MPAC.