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Racists are ‘trying to form a transnational challenge to Islam’

Tentative links are developing between supporters of the reactionary Tea Party movement in the US and right-wing fringe groups in Britain opposed to what they call the “Islamification” of Europe.

The movements are not yet formally aligned, but the racist English Defence League (EDL), which insists that Islamic fundamentalism will soon engulf Britain, is busy building bridges with US figures who take a similar anti-Islamic position.

One such is candidate for the California state legislature Rabbi Nachum Shifren, who plans to visit England next week in a trip partly sponsored by the EDL. The trip was organised by EDL activist Roberta Moore, who has formed a “Jewish division” of the group. She said that the rabbi would speak at an October 24 rally in London.

“He plans to speak about the dangers of Islamification both in this country and in America,” she said. “We have the same objectives as the groups in the US, and we want to exchange information and work with them.”

Nottingham University Professor Matthew Goodwin, an expert on extremist groups in Britain, warned:

“We’re seeing groups across Europe trying to form a transnational challenge to Islam. Going to the US is particularly interesting because the far-right in Britain has never gone that way before. It has always gone toward Europe. If it does forge strong links to the Tea Party, it would be important because the Tea Party has significant resources.”

Rabbi Shifren, who has given anti-Islamic talks at Tea Party events, boasted in an interview that he planned to warn Britons their country is being lost as “fundamentalist Islam” gains strength. “I see England going down and I want to cry out and do everything I can to prevent that, to work with the EDL,” he said.

Morning Star, 16 October 2010

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