Translated by a contributor to Tjen Folket Media.
We publish below an article written by the organisation Kampkomiteen, the article was first published on the 16th of June. But is still relevant as the fascists in SIAN keep holding their square meetings. We have removed the dates of demonstrations that have already taken place :
SIAN (Stop the Islamization of Norway) is not engaged in religious critique as they claim. They harass and assault Muslims. They wish to ban Islam and as a consequence describe Muslims as assailants and terrorists.
That a group of people, on the basis of religion or culture or national origin, is dehumanized and blamed for “everything that is going wrong” and the position that “our” culture is being threatened, is typical rhetoric for fascist groups. Where open Nazis talk about Jewish conspiracy, SIAN talks about Eurabia. This is also a conspiracy theory, where SIAN claims that politicians and antiracists cooperate with Muslims to destroy Europe and establish a Caliphate.
SIAN claims that they themselves are pacifists, but that they wish to deport people through force and describe Muslims as a violent threat to society, and in this way, SIAN contributes to making Muslims a legitimate target for people like Manshaus and Breivik. One must be complete without history and be willing to cover one’s eyes and ears to consider their rhetoric and provocation as anything other than an endorsement of fascist terror. While handing out flyers in Drammen on Saturday, June 13, Lars Thorsen pepper-sprayed a 16 year old antiracist who confronted him, and in an email to Aftenposten, he wrote: “I neutralized him in the most humane way that I was able to, with legal pepper spray. He was lucky that he could go home without his teeth in a plastic bag.” SIAN’s supposed pacifism, in other words, is purely a lie.
Every summer, a small group of their members tour the country and pollute the air with hours-long tirades where they, among other things, call Islam “camel shit” and spread racist myths. Last year, they ended their “show” by burning the Koran in Kristiansand. This has nothing to do with freedom of speech, but rather everything to do with people being forced to listen to chauvinistic hate speech and harassment. There is no reason to allow for this under the cover of free speech. Free speech for fascists would necessarily entail having a responsibility to allow oneself to be subject to hate speech and persecution. Therefore, it is the duty of antifascists to demonstrate against these chauvinistic events from SIAN.
Nor can we ignore the fact that Muslims are a particularly vulnerable group in the West today, as a result of the many imperialist wars against countries like Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and Libya. The wars have created millions of refugees, and thereby have also created a need for a scapegoat. The Western states rile up fear of religious fundamentalism in order to justify to the people the fact that they are constantly waging wars against Muslim countries. Muslims are especially threatened by persecution today, and this is no coincidence, and it requires special attention from anti-imperialists and antifascists in order to understand what is happening and why, and then primarily in order to act accordingly.
Even though all forms of resistance against SIAN are positive, and even though all should fight in the way that they can, there are some ways that are better than others. Many are partial to peaceful demonstrations, like balloon parties in another part of the city, or silently turning their backs to the events. But this does not stop SIAN from spreading their fascist propaganda. By demonstrating in this manner, one in practice accepts the fascists’ statements. One may perhaps show that they do not like the fascist propaganda, but they are nonetheless totally tolerated. We therefore urge people to clearly and loudly show that fascism is not acceptable.
To turn one’s back to the fascists also creates a sense of defeat and weakness among counter-demonstrators. Nobody feels good about turning their backs on racism, and silently listening to Islamophobic hate speech for two hours at a time. This is a recipe for disarming and cowing people, instead of the people taking the power in their own streets and squares back and driving the fascists away.
We therefore urge all antiracists to challenge and confront them, something we know is the only thing that really works – take their propaganda away from them, drown them out, do whatever you can to hinder them from exercising both verbal and physical violence against others. Be ready to meet them in these places:
– 29. august kl. 13-15: Eidsvolls plass, Oslo
– 12. september kl. 13-15: Østre Torg, Hamar
Let us know if you know of more demonstrations, and do not hesitate to contact us for help in arranging a counter-demonstration.
Tjen Folket Media trenger din støtte. Vi får selvsagt ingen pressestøtte eller noen hjelp fra rike kapitalister slik som rasistiske “alternative medier”. All vår støtte kommer fra våre lesere og fra den revolusjonære bevegelsen. Vi er dypt takknemlige for dette. Vi overlever ikke uten, og du kan gjøre ditt bidrag ved å støtte oss med det du kan avse.