And just who are they you might ask? Some of you may remember them as Socialist Organiser or even (if you are old enough) Workers Fight or even the International Communist League. Led by veteran Trotskyist Sean Matgamna its' actually a group of barely 100 members with perhaps just one tiny group of co-thinkers in the Australian outback.
Their members are renowned for "shouty" behaviour at every meeting they
There's more. They don't like Islamism either. For reasons best known to themselves they consider political Islamism a threat to women, gays, trade unionists and Jews no less. I really cant think why?
And at times they can be quite stringent in their criticisms of such movements as Sean Matgamna's recently republished article Political Islam,Christian fundamentalism, Marxism and the left today shows. However according to the Weekly Worker the piece:
..sparked outraged responses on social media outlets from hundreds of people, drawing angry accusations of Islamophobia, racism and pro-imperialism
Not sure about the "hundreds" bit, I'm not convinced it would have attracted that many readers, but then you know these lefty types their maths are never very accurate when it comes to reporting numbers. One of the AWL members, former PCS, now student union activist Rosie Huzzard blathers on:
Surely comrades can see that the use of language here is racist? 'Primitive' and 'sharpening their knives' buys into some seriously dodgy stereotypes. It also continually conflates 'Muslims' with 'Political Islam' as if the two are inevitably linked, e.g. "The existence of large Muslim minorities in Europe is making political Islam a force well beyond the traditionally Muslim world: the Islam which failed outside the walls of Vienna over 300 years ago is now a force in the great cities of Europe."
I know that Sean goes on to attack fundamentalist Christianity, but I don't think that absolves him from the comments made, which are not made in a vacuum, and I think are highly offensive.
Now here's the rub. This was published some years back. Do the comrades not read the material their guru Matgamna produces? OK, I know there's a lot of it, but this stuff is where the AWL differentiate themselves from the rest of the Trots and I would have thought essential reading.
But this is a student union activist we're being lectured by, you know the sort. The type that bans Sombrero's and false moustaches at Halloween parties "in case Mexicans are offended". (The Times reported that today, no link I'm afraid it's behind a pay wall).
Still Jim Denham one of their more sober minded supporters replies in more considered terms:
Re "Islamophobic narratives": we should avoid, whenever possible, using the word "Islamophobic" which is used by fundamentalists and their apologists to deligitimise all criticism of Islam and/or Islamism and equate ideological criticism with "racism": a long-running campaign that, unfortunately, seems to have gained some support within the AWL.
Bigoted prejudice against people who are Muslims is almost always racism and based on their ethnicity, not their beliefs.There is a fundamental difference, which must not be blurred. We should talk/write about "racism" not "Islamophobia."
By the way: if Sean's article is "racist" then so is a lot of Marx's writings.
However in the myopic world of Trotskyism such things are of great import. We are now obviously one more step closer to socialism.
I will leave you with one word of wisdom from comrade Janine Booth (one of the AWL "worthies") who in all seriousness tells us:
I am a great advocate of words being used, and read, in line with their literal meaning.
Well there's a thought.