“Deviationism” was a term of opprobrium employed by both the Stalinist and Maoist flavors of Communism. To be accused of “Deviationism” — or even worse, “Right-Deviationism” — was a passing-bell for the career of a Communist apparatchik. The tiniest variation from Party dogma could bring down the dreaded charge on anyone perceived as a possible threat to those at the top who wielded absolute power.
The Communists have hardly been the only ones to cry “Deviationism!” or one of its modern variants. The Left in general likes to pronounce frequent anathema on those who deviate from the straight path, and the Right is not immune to the same sort of behavior. Being out of power and ineffectual never inhibits the spirit of infighting — someone is always being accused of “hijacking” the cause for nefarious purposes.
Needless to say, the same tendency can be observed among different groups that oppose Islamization and sharia. The British organization “One Law for All” can hardly be tagged as “right-wing”, but it is opposed to sharia, and we would expect it to be on the same side as the conservative wing of the Counterjihad.
However, the group does not seem to reciprocate this feeling, and has made a point of disassociating itself in no uncertain terms from the “racists” of the English Defence League. Aeneas at the International Civil Liberties Alliance has a report on the latest from One Law for All:
Will One Law For All Save The World From Sharia By Creating A Socialist Utopia?
Will the ‘Enemies not Allies’ seminar, due to take place in London on 26 January 2011, organised by a group called ‘One Law for All’ turn into an ideologically driven demonization session against the English Defence League and other components of the Global Counterjihad? The following quote from the ‘One Law for All’ website perhaps suggests that this will be the case:
The One Law for All campaign is holding a seminar to expose how important debates including on Sharia law have been hijacked by the far-Right to promote their racist agenda, and by anti-racist and anti-war groups to defend Islamism, both at the expense of people’s rights and lives. The seminar will focus on: The British National Party, the English Defence League, Stop Islamisation of Europe (also Stop Islamization of America), the Stop the War Coalition, the Respect Party, and Unite Against Fascism.
To imply that the EDL are ‘far Right’ is ridiculous; it has a very diverse group of people in its ranks, including members of ethnic minorities and the gay community — hardly the hallmarks of a traditional ‘far right’ organisation. It seems that left wing groups will always try to demonise anyone who does not share their own particular political viewpoints — ‘far right’ is just a label of demonization when it is casually applied in this way.
In a comment on her blog on 24 September 2009, Ms Namazie states in relation to the EDL:
First off, their name makes the hair on my neck stand up. English Defence League — please. Sounds nationalist and exclusive — and definitely not coming from the rights focused perspective we are.
She goes on to say:
In my opinion opposition to Sharia has to be done within a framework of defending the rights of all — not just the ‘English’.
She really does seem to have a very low opinion of the English, the people who have given her and her fellow refugees such support and succour. It must be remembered that Ms Namazie who is a Central Committee member of the Worker-communist Party of Iran, does not come from a position that is ideologically neutral. Human rights and communism do not have a very good track record of being harmonious bedfellows, so why should we place our trust in people like Maryam Namazie to ensure that we remain free? Despite the left wing’s apparent capture of the human rights establishment, this does not expunge the record of communism and the left in the field of human rights. Can we truly believe that communism has suddenly developed a humanitarian impulse rather than its customary ruthlessness? How many people will end up in the gulags of the future on the orders of communist ‘human rights’ organisations?
To make the claim that groups like the EDL have somehow ‘hijacked’ the campaign against sharia is ludicrous. Perhaps ‘One Law for All’ is concerned that a group like the EDL is having far more success in opposing sharia than it is; perhaps it thinks that only the political left is allowed to have an opinion on important matters of public policy. That would hardly be the approach of a genuinely inclusive and open organisation, would it? We must remember that it is not the EDL that is attempting to exclude people from the debate on sharia!
The EDL is quite clear in its mission statement that it is an inclusive organisation:
The EDL is therefore keen to draw its support from people of all races, all faiths, all political persuasions, and all lifestyle choices. Under its umbrella, all people in England, whatever their background, or origin, can stand united in a desire to stop the imposition of the rules of Islam on non-believers.
It is also keen to link up with people from other countries, whatever their ethnic background:
The EDL is keen to join with others who share our values, wherever they are in the world, and from whatever cultural background they derive. We believe that the demand for sharia is global and therefore needs to be tackled at a global as well as national level, so that this demand will never be succumbed to.
The EDL is clearly an inclusive as well as outward looking organisation.
Sharia, funded by petrodollars, is gaining power in Britain and elsewhere in the world. We appear to have a political class in the West that seems determined to facilitate the ability of sharia to infiltrate and erode our institutions. Sharia, it would appear, is endorsed by the state, and as such it will take a united effort to defeat it. It will mean that groups that differ in other areas of policy will need to work together in solidarity in this difficult quest. Even groups like ‘One Law for All’, that seem determined to fight this battle alone, have a role to play if they are serious about the mission on which they claim to have embarked. To defeat the global sharia movement will take a united front. This united front by necessity will be composed of right and left, it will be composed of people from many countries, and many cultures. The global network is growing, and the EDL is an integral and essential part of that network. It has established international and intercultural links with people who want to stand up to the tyranny of sharia. It has travelled to other countries and met with many people.
In conclusion we might well ask, what does the EDL add to the debate that One Law For All does not? The first thing would be that it tries to open up the discussion, not close it down by making sweeping judgements about others who are standing up against sharia. The EDL does not write people off as extremists, or as racists without good reason. Ironically, it does not do what its detractors are always accusing it of.
Like it or not, the EDL and the Global Counterjihad are here to stay.