Thursday, 13 February 2014

Salma Yaqoob (Former Leader of Respect) on Afghanistan

First posted: 31st March, 2010


i) Introduction: Good and Bad Wars
ii) Afghanistan: Another ‘Occupation’?
iii) Al Qaeda is Not a Threat!
iv) The Muslim and the Non-Muslim Dead
v) Respect’s Very Own Utopia

Introduction: Good and Bad Wars 

The undertext of what Respect and Salma Yaqoob say is that they are against all wars. Well, not all wars. They frequently tell us that Hamas and Hezbollah are ‘freedom fighters’ and ‘liberation movements’ who are fighting a war against ‘Zionist oppression’ and ‘Zionist imperialism’. Thus Respect is for the war against Israel. It doesn’t speak out that much about any of the other wars and conflicts which are occurring in the world today either. That is because it is only against the wars fought by the US, the UK and perhaps also European countries. More specifically, it is against wars fought by ‘capitalists’ or ‘imperialist powers’. Again, this means that there is not much criticism of the wars in Darfur/southern Sundan, Somalia and other African countries. No. These are not ‘capitalist wars’ or ‘imperialist wars’. They are often wars fought be Muslims – sometimes against fellow Muslims. That is why the Yaqoobins keep shut about them. And any wars that China, Cuba, Venezuela and even North Korea engage in would never have an ‘anti-war colition’ formed against them. So Respect is far from being the pacifist party it hints at being (but, of course, would never state).

Afghanistan: Another 'Occupation'?

Yaqoob talks about ‘the occupation’ of Afghanistan by Western troops. She deliberately uses that term to bring the One and Only Occupation – ‘the Occupation’… of the West Bank and Gaza by Israel - to people’s minds. She is not, of course, talking about the occupation of Tibet by China; the occupation of Kurdistan by Muslim Turkey, Muslim Iran and Muslim Iraq; the occupation of southern Sudan by the jihadist Janjaweed. She is not even talking about the many non-Afghanistan jihadists, mainly Arabs, who have occupied Afghanistan since the 1980s and after. No. She is only talking about white or kafir occupiers. The ‘imperialists’, or ‘colonialists’, or ‘Zionists’. All the ‘ists you read about in leftist student publications (except for jihad-ists).

What has the British Government got to gain from its involvement in Afghanistan? If we are not there to help the Afghans and destroy terrorist bases, then why are we there, Yaqoob? Of course she may well know. But she doesn’t have the decency to tell us. Not in this article or any others. I mean it may be all ‘about oil’ or ‘realpolitik with Pakistan’. So why doesn’t Yaqoob say that? (Perhaps she does say that to her close friends or on some obscure Trot or Islamist site.) She didn’t tell the audience on Question Time ‘what the Government really has to gain’ from Afghanistan. No. Either she hasn’t thought about this or she knows that such outright honesty and cynicism about the war would cause her political suicide, at least in mainstream politics. Thus she wouldn’t be photographed any more. She wouldn’t want that. In that respect, she is very much like her good friend, the exhibitionistic tyrant-lover, George Galloway.

Al-Qaeda is Not a Threat!

Yaqoob does say, however, that this war is ‘based on lies’. But yet again she doesn’t have the decency to tell us what these lies actually are. So let us rely here on Dr. Mohammed Naseem of the Central Mosque of Birmingham, who is a friend of Yaqoob’s. (She is also a media representative/spokeswoman for Birmingham Central Mosque.) One Government ‘lie’ which Naseem mentions is that al Qaeda ‘is a threat’. Why does Naseem think al Qaeda is not a threat? He gives two mind-numbing reasons:

1) Firstly, Naseem tells us that Osama bin Laden, in his isolated cave in Afghanistan, will have no electricity. Therefore he could not, even if he wanted to, control a global terrorist network. Naseem says that without electricity bin Laden will not be ‘able to control a world wide organisation’. People must be ‘extremely naive’ to believe ‘that Al-Qaeda is a threat to the world’.
2) Secondly, al-Qaeda is also not the threat that it is presented to be (by the platonic Media - with a capital ‘M’) because it has ‘never approached’ Naseem himself or any other Muslim he knows.

I can therefore conclude that one of the Government’s ‘lies’ which Yaqoob mentions, but does not - and could not - state, is that Al-Qaeda is a threat.

What would ‘make us safe’ then, Yaqoob? She tells us that the Government is lying about the situation in Afghanistan. She does not tell us what those lies are. She says the war in Afghanistan ‘will not make us safe’. She does not tell us what would make us safe. In these empty statements Yaqoob is displaying something that strongly characterises IslamoTrots and Trots nowadays. And that is that they are against everything but not strongly for anything. They have no grown-up policies of their own. Thus all the IslamoTrots can do is criticise not only the Government, but everything that isn’t leftist or Islamist enough for them.

The Muslim and the Non-Muslim Dead

Yaqoob says that ‘with the parades in Wootton Bassett we congratulate ourselves that we’re so civilised that no loss goes unmourned’. Well, talk about a critical and sarcastic statement! Talk about a cynical statement. What, exactly, is she saying here? She is calling the British people hypocrites. That is, we are ‘so civilised that no loss goes unmourned’. And yet ‘if you’re Afghan, no one even counts your death’. This accusation of hypocrisy isn’t aimed at the British Government; which is something Yaqoob would probably claim. It was ordinary British people who attended the ‘parades in Wootton Bassett’, not the Government.

Yaqoob doesn’t genuinely mourn Afghan deaths either. She uses Afghan deaths as political capital. She makes use, politically, of Afghan deaths.

And have you ever noticed that it is only the Muslim dead she cries about? Actually, not even the Muslim dead who have been the victims of other Muslims (as in Iraq). No. Only the Muslim dead who have been victims of Western or Israeli military forces. These facts alone show us that her tears for the dead only flow for selected peoples – Muslims killed by non-Muslims (as in Afghanistan and Palestine); not even Muslims killed by Muslims. In any case, when Muslims kill Muslims the IslamoTrots always blame the West for this too. So even when Muslims kill Muslims the Islamists and Islamo-Trots actually believe that it is non-Muslims who are ultimately responsible for Muslim-on-Muslim conflict and death. The little children who are the Arabs and the Muslims of the world get off scot-free because the white middle-class IslamoTrots, who live in the West, think that non-European and Arab Muslims are too childlike, morally and politically, to be blamed for anything. Thus we Westerners, to IslamoTrot minds, are the bad parents of every piece of shit that happens in the Arab and the Muslim world. Isn’t this what Edward Said taught the students and leftists of American and Europe? Of course all this is racist and relativist. It cannot even be dignified by the term ‘inverted racism’.

Respect’s Very Own Utopia

Yaqoob is very keen on absolute statements such as ‘there’s absolutely no acknowledgement of Afghan people’s suffering’ or that the war in Afghanistan is ‘based on lies’. All IslamoTrots speak in this Dave Spart kind-a-way. Everything has to be extreme. Their words have to be absolute. Their opposition to ‘the Government’, ‘the Press’, ‘the Zionists’, ‘the Islamophobes’, ‘the racists’, has to be absolute. Only absolute statements fire up absolutists like the IslamoTrots her support Respect. No shades of grey are ever allowed. No complications.

Yaqoob gives the impression that

i) Respect is against all wars.
ii) That she wouldn’t be like any other parliamentary politician if she had real power.
iii) That Respect is different from all established parties.
iv) That Respect would invest like no other party.
v) That Respect would tell the truth like no other party.
vi) That Respect would serve ‘the people’ like no other party.
vi) That Respect would spend on health and education like no other party has ever done.

Thus Respect makes the sort of promises that the German Nazi Party or the Russian Bolshevik Party made. That tacit promise of a Utopia that is never spoken of as ‘a Utopia’. (Marxists and Trots think that only ‘Utopians’ speak of Utopia.) The promise of Utopia is always there but it is hidden. It is implied. It is never spelled out because any honest and truthful spelling out would show Respect to be yet another party which lies and distorts. Thus it would be seen as the extreme IslamoTrot party that it really is.

Another couple of absolutist statements. She says that Afghan deaths are ‘not on anybody’s radar’. On no one’s radar? Well, for a start, they are on Yaqoob’s own radar. They are also of the radars of many Muslims. They are on the radar of Respect. On the radar of the Stop the War Coalition. On the Guardian’s radar. The New Statesman’s. And on the radars of numerous British academics. Etc.

Yaqoob should also retune her TV because I have heard lots of accounts of non-military Afghan deaths. On the BBC. On the Channel Four News. On the ITV. In the Guardian. In the Independent. In the New Statesman. Of course what Yaqoob really means is that her issues and her ideological positions are not broadcast enough. But that’s what every politician cries! And we know that the IslamoTrots would love to control the airwaves and the entirety of the press. They are such democrats at heart.

What Yaqoob really means by ‘Afghan deaths are not on the radar’ is that they are not on the radar of all those she thinks of as being right wing, or ‘neo-liberal’, and so on. Even in these cases I would wager that there are lots of right wingers or whatevers who know full well about the civilian deaths in Afghanistan.

In addition, what Yaqoob also means is that the complete pulling out of Afghanistan is not on everybody’s radar. Not every person has radar that is ideologically identical to Respect’s own. In any case, there are certain conflicts which are not on Yaqoob’s radar either. Is the plight of the southern Sudanese Christians and animists on Respect’s radar? What about the persecution of Copts in Egypt and of Christians in Pakistan, are they on Yaqoob or Respect’s radar?

There are many other Yaqoobin absolute statements. Take her claim that with British MPs there is ‘absolutely no acknowledgement of Afghan people’s suffering’. Well, this is quite simply untrue. That doesn’t matter to her because only the complete rejection of all British politicians, and even the supporters of the British political parties, can justify such Yaqoobin absolutes. These absolute statements are what are required by the absolutist and extremist political party - Respect. Yaqoob has to sell her supporters absolute and extreme facts about all governments and parties because an extremist and absolutist party such as Respect requires such absolute and extreme statements.

*) Salma Yaqoob, Birmingham Respect, ‘The real debate we should have about Afghanistan’, January 5th, 2010,

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