Letter to the Editor

To whom it may concern,

I am a member of the National Executive of the United Kingdom National Union of Students. I have been informed that Mr. George Galloway M.P. is to be addressing audiences in Canada and more particularly at Concordia University.

I would like to take a moment to make people aware as to who this person is and what agenda he wishes to put forward.

He claims to be a progressive force in politics and describes himself as a socialist and a follower of Marxist ideology.

I would question whether any of these descriptions are worthy of the man.

Before I talk about Mr. Galloway it will be useful to know something of Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hizbollah, whom Galloway has publicly supported.

Nasrallah has called ‘Nazi atrocities’ a legend ‘invented by the Jews’ and called for the dissolution of the state of Israel on the grounds that “Anyone who reads the Koran and the holy writings of the monotheistic religions . cannot think of co-existence with them.”

He then went on to call the Jewish people a “cancer which is liable to spread again at any moment.”

He has also said that the only positive aspect of the state of Israel is that “if they [Jews] all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide.”

Nasrallah is clearly a bitter anti-Semite who often corrects people calling him an enemy of Zionism because he wants it to be known that he is a self styled enemy of the Jewish people.

Despite all this, Mr. Galloway said at a rally in London on July 22 2006 that he had come “to glorify the Lebanese resistance, Hezbollah, and to glorify the resistance leader, Hassan Nasrallah .” Mr. Galloway went on to wish aloud that more leaders in the Middle East were like Nasrallah.

No liberal, socialist, or progressive could tolerate the proliferation of homophobic, sexist, anti-Semitic, oppressive and theocratic governments like those supported by the ideology of Nasrallah.

Whatever one thinks of the Middle East crisis and whatever profound and legitimate criticisms one may harbour against the Israeli government, no person who glorifies the hate-crazed anti-Semitic Sheikh Nasrallah is worthy of being called ‘progressive.’

It is my opinion that Mr. Galloway is not what he claims to be.

He is not a progressive force, he is not a socialist and he is not a Marxist. I am a liberal. I am a socialist and I am a radical, but Mr. Galloway loves radicalism for radicalism’s sake.

It was these sorts of considerations that led the National Executive Committee of the National Union of Students to pass a motion condemning Mr. Galloway’s open support for racist leaders such as Nasrallah.

It is my belief that Mr. Galloway is a dangerous figure who seeks to emphasise division rather than to build bridges and who comes very close to glorifying terrorism and inciting violence were it not for his intelligent and eloquent use of language used to shield him from the law.

I sincerely hope that his trip to Canada does not sew the seeds of sectarian, cultural and religious division.

I hope that his trip to Canada does not give him opportunity to stir up hatred and encourage violence.

I hope people know who they’re dealing with when they come across the so called progressive Mr. Galloway.

Yours in Unity,

Sam Lebens

Member of the National Executive NUS

Co-convenor of the Anti-Racism Anti-Fascism campaign.

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