British Muslims for Secular Democracy are extremely alarmed by the recent “Independence Day” parade in Poland which was in fact the largest gathering of far right groups and individuals that has taken place in Europe since the end of the Second World War.
We strongly condemn the slogans that were raised during the march such as “Clean Blood”, “White Europe” and “Pray for an Islamic Holocaust”.
We are particularly concerned due to the participation of British far right groups in this gathering which indicates an emerging coalition taking shape between individuals and groups with similar homophobic, anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim sentiments across national boundaries. We have a significant Polish community in the UK who are peaceful, law abiding and blend in positively within the British society. However there is an apprehension that some members of the community may get influenced by the abhorrent views resulting in hostile interactions between them and members of the Muslim or other minority communities in the UK.
BMSD would encourage all British, European and other western democratic parties, religious groups, human rights organisations and activists to come together to counter this divisive and toxic narrative, just as we work together to counter the equivalent religious extremist ideologies. Failing to do so, it can have serious repercussions on our way of life, liberties, security and the harmony of our societies which are built on core values of mutual respect, tolerance and peace.
Dr Shaaz Mahboob of BMSD said, “We need to recognise and acknowledge the threat of far right extremism taking shape within our communities and within the West. This threat can only be defeated if British Muslim communities work together with all other organisations including faith based and non-faith based groups to condemn and counter all forms of extremism, forming a unified stance for the sake of our future generations”