On 26 May four young men from East London were jailed for at least four or five years each for an attack in July 2010 on a local school teacher.
Gary Smith, a religious education teacher at Central Foundation Girls’ School in Tower Hamlets, east London, was beaten unconscious with a metal rod and a brick as he walked to work. He is still unable to work full hours.
The men, who pleaded guilty, attacked him solely on the grounds that he was teaching Muslim girls about religions without being a Muslim himself.
The attack and the trial went unreported in the Guardian, for example (though Nick Cohen mentioned them in his column in the Observer). They went undiscussed in the local labour movement. In the school itself, staff were strictly instructed to keep quiet about them.
The thought, presumably, was that any publicity for the affair would encourage BNP and EDL-type racists who target Muslims.
In fact it gave a quasi-monopoly on coverage of the affair to papers like the Daily Mail, which gave it EDL-type coverage. The silence of the labour movement must also have discouraged local non-fundamentalist Muslims who were shocked by the assault from speaking out to condemn it.
One Islamic-fundamentalist group, the Muslim Public Affairs Committee, has commented. MPAC condemns the attack, and blames it on the claimed fact that: “the only religion being taught at the mosques is a pacified version of Islam... the four men didn’t find this appealing enough”. Conclusion: mosques should push a more strident and political version of Islam.
To keep quiet about the misdeeds of Islamic clerical-fascism, on the grounds that any fuss will encourage the racists, only leaves the field open for the racists and Islamists.