For many years, I’ve understood the involvement of British fighters in the Spanish Civil War, to have been made up of people from a variety of different backgrounds, who took up arms to combat the spread of Fascism in Europe.
The motives of those who decided to join the International Brigades, has also been well documented in publications such as Greater Manchester Men Who Fought in Spain and even George Orwell described his own experiences in the literary classic Homage to Catalonia.
The families of International Brigade participants, have also sought to explain the reasons why their parents, and grandparents decided to leave the relative security of the United Kingdom, and travel to Spain, to take up arms against the Nazi backed army of General Franco.
Descriptions have vividly recalled, how through the Communist Party newspaper The Daily Worker, reports of Nazi atrocities and acts of random killings, along with the full scale persecution of intellectuals, Jews, Communists, Democrats, Homosexuals and the disabled, helped to mobilise many Briton’s in the fight against National Socialist ideology and practice.
This is why it has come as a shock to many Iraqi’s, that British convert or “revert” to Islam Yvonne Ridley, has joined, what many are describing as the uniquely British Jihadist mantra, that British Muslims fighting in Syria, and now Iraq, are somehow similar, if not alike, to those who fought in the Spanish Civil War’s International Brigades.
In an article for the London based pro-Palestinian Middle East Monitor, Ridley wrote a somewhat curious article titled The Difference Between Muslims and Miners, and after informing her readers about her mother and family, begins to describe the actions of the International Brigades as being the Socialist Jihad of their time.
We are also treated to some stories of barbarity and butchery from Ms Ridley at the hands of Iraq’s Maliki and Syria’s Assad but at no point does she mention either the Syrian or Iraqi communities here in the UK, which stem into the many thousands, and possibly explains why her article has been left to a London based Pro-Palestinian website and is gathering some interesting responses from both Syrians and Iraqis who actually live in Great Britain.
As a simple observer, it is fascinating that Yvonne Ridley should draw comparisons to Assad’s actions in Syria with those of the Nazi Holocaust, when at the time of her being a well known presenter on Iran’s state run Press TV the same pay masters within the Iranian state also funded the notorious conference on the Holocaust which denied it’s existence and whose guests included famous Holocaust deniers and the Ku Klux Klan.
It is also curious why Ms Ridley should wish to welcome ISIS with “Garlands and not handcuffs”, when the Guardian newspaper described her in 2004, as being “a hard-drinking, hard-nosed news reporter until her capture by the Taliban and subsequent conversion to Islam”, which ultimate lead her, and some other interesting characters, right into the arms of the Stop the War Coalition.
Violence in other countries seems to be the bread and butter for Britain’s Anti-War lobbyists, and so does the need for its ongoing presence in the Middle East, as now Yvonne Ridley can apparently understand why Britain’s "Sunni" ISIS militants go off to fight in Iraq and Syria, while in 2006 the Stop the War Coalition allowed Sheikh Zagani, the foreign affairs spokesperson for the hard lined Shi’ite militia leader Moqtada al-Sadr, to speak at an “anti-war” demonstration in London in front of 100,000 British people.
What is the most tragic element of Ms Ridley’s article, is the clear absence of what is actually happening to the people of Syria and Iraq. Not once are the displaced even mentioned, let alone the dead, or an account of the terror which has been created among their children by those that include an estimated 400 British citizens.
What is also truly shocking, if not horrifying in the article by Yvonne Ridley, is that not once has any attempt at balance been given to the needs of the Iraqi or Syrian people. Instead they have been cast aside in the interests of those who feel that they can indiscriminately kill in foreign countries and then return to the United Kingdom, where a government seemingly wishes to provide them with immunity.
by Hussein Al-alak and published by the London Progressive Journal