This leftist-Muslim partnership exists not just on the streets, but in the protest movement's heart. Britain's Stop the War coalition, which has organised more than 15 nationwide protests and hundreds of smaller events, was largely forged by two small, intensely committed bodies—the far-left Socialist Workers Party (SWP) and the Muslim Association of Britain, which is close to the international Muslim Brotherhood. These tiny groups have co-ordinated street protests by up to 1m people.And some referecnes to Nick Cohen and Paul Berman,
With its combination of an American-aligned foreign policy and a large, angry Muslim population, Britain is an unusual case among Western countries. But in many other places, too, Muslim grievance has been yoked to a broader anti-capitalist or anti-globalist movement whose leitmotif is loathing of the Bush administration and all its works.
An Italian Marxist involved in the “Social Forum” movement, which organises large, disparate gatherings of groups opposed to the existing world order, puts it this way. Almost everybody in the movement shares the belief that “capitalism and militarism” (both epitomised by America) are the main challenges to human welfare. If political Islam can blunt American triumphalism, then so much the better—even from the viewpoint of those who would never dream of donning a headscarf or upsetting a sexual minority.
Nick Cohen, a peppery writer for Britain's centre-left media, has put flesh on the Euston manifesto's bones by listing the sins of the Islamic-leftist compact. Political Islam, he says, is not just a disaster for many causes (like feminism and gay rights) that the left cherishes; it also overturns the Enlightenment idea that diversity of opinion is desirable.
Paul Berman, a professor at New York University, is one of several Americans of liberal background who have joined the British denunciation of Islamofascism. He says the left's refusal to take sides in the internal battles of Muslim countries (between dissidents and oppressors) reflects an “angelic blindness” which mistakes violent reactionaries for charming exotica.