So why was this man in the news today? Well, he’s converted to Islam. An extreme form of Islam in fact. The jihadist, kafir-slaughtering variety to be precise.
My first reaction to this story was to think that this was very strange, almost surreal. But not for long. After reading the article in full I soon remembered that, actually, this isn’t at all surprising because there aren’t many tangible differences between the philosophies (for want of a better word) of Islamic extremists and Nazis. They're called Islamofascists for a reason, after all.
Myatt (now known as Abdul Aziz ibn Myatt) supports the killing of any Muslim who breaks his oath to Islam and wants to see the creation of a Muslim superstate. He goes on (and on):
"The pure authentic Islam of the revival, which recognises practical jihad (holy war) as a duty, is the only force that is capable of fighting and destroying the dishonour, the arrogance, the materialism of the West . . . For the West, nothing is sacred, except perhaps Zionists, Zionism, the hoax of the so-called Holocaust, and the idols which the West and its lackeys worship, or pretend to worship, such as democracy. They want, and demand, that we abandon the purity of authentic Islam and either bow down before them and their idols, or accept the tame, secularised, so-called Islam which they and their apostate lackeys have created. This may well be a long war, of decades or more — and we Muslims have to plan accordingly. We must affirm practical jihad — to take part in the fight to free our lands from the kafir (unbelievers). Jihad is our duty."Those similarities in full, then:
Dedication to the principle of war? Check.
Belief in a Zionist conspiracy? Check.
Holocaust denial? Check.
Denunciation of democracy as a sham? Check.
Commitment to preserving a "pure" race? Check.
The parallels between extremist Islam and Nazism are obvious and plenty. Apart from having to grow a big beard, the transition will have been seamless for Myatt. He can continue to spout exactly the same hateful lies and racist bile that he has always done. Perhaps the biggest difference is that he could now in all feasibility join the Respect "coalition". Obviously they would never have tolerated his views when he was an avowed Nazi, but now he’s converted to the most extreme interpretation of Islam I’m sure he’d be very welcome. After all, as long as he's speaking from an anti-materialist, anti-American, anti-Zionist platform he'll find plenty of friends there. Galloway and Myatt unlikely bedfellows? Don't count on it.
Update: Coincidentally, Oliver Kamm has written a piece on the overlap between the far-right and Respect in The Times today, going into far more detail than I could hope to. Alternatively, it can be read on his blog.