Reactions to Manchester Bombing Show How Anti-Muslim Bigots Are "Useful Idiots" for ISIS

Published on
by

Reactions to Manchester Bombing Show How Anti-Muslim Bigots Are "Useful Idiots" for ISIS

A multi-faith vigil in St. Ann's Square in Manchester, UK. (Photo: Twitpic/@JamieGrierson)

If you want to defeat ISIS, listen to former ISIS hostage Nicolas Henin. The group is “heartened by every sign of overreaction, of division, of fear, of racism, of xenophobia … [and] drawn to any examples of ugliness on social media,” the French journalist wrote in November 2015 in the wake of the Paris attacks. “Central to their world view is the belief that communities cannot live together with Muslims, and every day their antennae will be tuned towards finding supporting evidence.”

Get that? Islamophobia plays right into the hands of ISIS. Wittingly or unwittingly, anti-Muslim bigots have become recruiting sergeants for a group they profess to hate and claim to want to destroy. The Islamophobes, to borrow a line from Lenin, are ISIS’s useful idiots.

"Wittingly or unwittingly, anti-Muslim bigots have become recruiting sergeants for a group they profess to hate and claim to want to destroy."

Consider their reaction to the latest terrorist atrocity: Monday’s suicide bombing at a concert hall in Manchester, England, which killed 22 people, including an 8-year-old girl. Could ISIS, which claimed the horrific attack, have asked for a better response from its useful idiots on the British right?

MailOnline columnist and talk radio host Katie Hopkins — you might call her the U.K.’s Ann Coulter, except with a much lower IQ — has a long history of demonizing Muslims and took to Twitter in the hours after the bombing to demand a “final solution” (she later deleted her Nazi-esque tweet after being reported to the police). Hopkins, who once called Islam “the problem” because it is a “backward religion,” also tweeted that “Western men” should: “Stand up. Rise Up. Demand Action.”

Allison Pearson, a columnist with Britain’s biggest-selling broadsheet newspaper, the Daily Telegraph, who has in the past described Muslim immigrants as coming from “some backward culture,” chimed in too. “We need a State of Emergency as France has,” she tweeted in response to the Manchester massacre. “We need internment of thousands of terror suspects now to protect our children.” Innocent until proven guilty? Please.

Then there is Tommy Robinson, former leader of the far-right English Defence League (think of a British Richard Spencer but, again, with a lesser intellect and a long history of criminality and violence). Robinson arrived in Manchester on Tuesday to accuse British Muslim residents of that city of being “enemy combatants.” They want to “kill you, maim you and destroy you,” he told his YouTube audience of fellow far-right bigots.

You can almost hear them cheering in Raqqa.

Read the full article at The Intercept.

Mehdi Hasan

Mehdi Hasan is the political director of the Huffington Post UK and a contributing writer for the New Statesman.

Share This Article