. In the Name of Iraq? Luton Protesters Are Out of Touch | London Progressive Journal
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In the Name of Iraq? Luton Protesters Are Out of Touch

Fri 20th Mar 2009

What words can be used to the describe the protesters of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jammah, who recently took to the streets to greet the Royal Anglian Troops on their return from Iraq, with placards and chants and veiled women, shouting abuse at the soldiers as they marched in Luton.

The non-Iraqi group which organised the protest, is lead by an unemployed Asian who is allegedly in receipt of £25,000 worth of state benefits per year, and has also been quoted as saying that he is remaining in the UK because he likes “the fish and chips“ and wants to see all drunks flogged and women in Burkhas.

After the protest was staged, the Ahlus Sunnah have since been shocked by the public outrage to their actions and have claimed the response, is a consequence of the “racist nature of the British public”. For those of us who actually have roots within Iraq, many have found the demonstration to be counter productive, insensitive, racist, grotesque and crude. Many Arabs believe the group was even exploiting the Iraqi question to stir up racist divisions.

At risk of sounding simplistic, no Iraqi is currently receiving the equivalent of £25,000 per year in handouts, from either the "Iraqi" regime, international aid agencies or host countries. In fact, only last year the Iraqi government ended ration support to over five million people and, as it is commonly known, poverty within Iraq has lead to a dramatic growth in the sex trade, drug trafficking and kidnapping, with international news agencies reporting on the high levels of malnutrition among children and that some families have even been known to hunt in rubbish dumps for left over food.

The leader of Ahlus Sunnah, Mr Anjem Chowdry has also been fortunate, that his home in Luton is not being made the target of Mehdi Army or Badr Brigade death squads, that his mum, dad, wife and children, are not having holes drilled in their bodies under torture, or his female relatives are not experiencing rape, or being shot in the face for doing something basic like having a job. It’s fortunate that Mr Chowdry’s group can even afford the luxury of calling Britain "racist“, when in fact this delusional person doesn’t even understand the true meaning of the word.

Racism is when you have teenagers being crucified, or priests beheaded for being a priest, in attacks orchestrated by outside organisations, which came in with the occupation. Racism is when a country experiences hospitals being made the battle ground for those who are seeking to ethnically cleanse native Iraqi‘s of all ethnic groups. Racism is uprooting generations of people and forcing them into refugee camps along a country’s border, or imposing a higher rate of taxation upon minority groups. Racism is the forced separation of families, where men and women have been targeted by militias because they have been in a “Shiite/Sunni“ mixed marriage.

As for the drunks that Mr Chowdry wants to “flog”, it shows that his movement lacks even the basic understanding of human compassion, that he should want to see people publicly abused as a punishment for what is essentially a substance misuse problem which often has its roots in traumatic experiences, particularly in the case of troops and civilians caught up in war. Of course, such groups as his are too busy abusing people to have even read reports that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has lead to a growth in alcohol and substance abuse among Iraqis and British troops alike. The absence of psychological support and functioning public facilities has meant that many Iraqis are turning to substances, in the attempt to survive what is going on around them.

But why should this be of concern, when shouting abuse at soldiers can grab the headlines of a national newspaper, which in the name of Iraq allows non-Iraqi groups to inform a country that you like “Fish and Chips” and your ultimate perspective is seeing the “flag of Allah” flying over Downing Street, that they see no shame in this, when silence exists over one million people dying as a result of the British governments actions. In this sense at least, these Muslim extremists and Britain's tabloid newspapers may be said to be singing from the same hymn sheet. After all, as it is said in Britain, the empty vessels always make the loudest noise.
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