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The word ‘mathaba’ apparently means ‘centre’; ‘Al Mathaba’ was the name given to Libya’s spy network. Mathaba.net is also the name of an ‘independent news agency’, based in the UK. Just recently, the ‘news agency’ published an interview, ‘Doing the New Right thing by people’, with a local fascist, Welf Herfurth. Although the article fails to mention it, Herfurth is one of the handful of regular contributors to the site. It does inform the reader, however, that “This interview was [originally] published by Destiny magazine, a leading Australian nationalist magazine”, published by the fascist Australian Protectionist Party, a recent (September 2007) split from the Australia First Party, led by Doctor James Saleam.
Obtaining details of the origins and purposes of the mathaba.net site has proven to be a little difficult. Alexa states that the address for the ‘Mathaba News Network’ is BCM Mathaba, 27 Old Gloucester St, London, England WC1N 3XX, UK, the location of a number of other businesses and groups of one sort or another. It also states that the site has been online since October 19, 1999; it was apparently designed by GreenNet, which describes it as “a Pan African and Alternative News portal”, and which is also designated as being the African Mathaba Network. According to another source:
At Mathaba we provide an example that people can be united in their goals while maintaining healthy differences of culture, nationality and opinion. We encourage the search for alternative solutions to realize human rights and freedom, and evolve those ideas into concrete living works that benefit our world…
In addition to Herfurth, among the other regular contributors to Mathaba are:
- Sahib Mustaqim Bleher (UK);
Walter M. Brasch (USA);
Harris Brio (USA);
Karen Dabrowska (UK);
Deborah Gabriel (UK);
Flávio Gonçalves (Portugal);
Diana Lee (USA);
Stephen Lendman (USA);
Nicola Nasser (Isratine);
Kuumba Chi Nia (USA);
Ardeshir Ommani (USA);
Tony Ryan (Australia) and;
Satya Sagar (India).
Brio is “a non follower of the Holocoustian faith” according to one blog comment, while Karen Dabrowska is the author of a travel guide to Iraq(!). Deborah Gabriel is a journalist, the author of a book called Layers of Blackness: Colourism in the African Diaspora (2007), and a Pan-Africanist.
Flávio Gonçalves, on the other hand, is another member of the New Right, and like Herfurth maintains a blog. Kuumba Chi Nia is a sometime member of the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party, a Pan-Africanist micro-sect established by Ghanian politician (Prime Minister and President) Kwame Nkrumah (1909–1972), allegedly described as the ‘Lenin of Africa’ by CLR James. Ardeshir Ommani is a co-founder of the American-Iranian Friendship Committee, and has written extensively on Iran/US relations.
Tony Ryan is the other Australian, in addition to Herfurth, who contributes to mathaba.net; at one point, Ryan was a member of something called ‘Australia Independent’s Alliance’, apparently a creature closing resembling the ‘Save Australia Alliance’, one of right-wing maverick Tony Pitt’s innumerable political projects. On the site of Israel Shamir, Satya Sagar is described as ‘our friend’. Preliminary investigation would seem to suggest that what unites the regular contributors to Mathaba is anti-Semitism and/or some form of anti-US imperialism.
Or perhaps not.
Sahib Mustaqim Bleher is an interesting bloke; he refers to the Holocult on his blog, and doesn’t appear to be particularly well-disposed towards Jews or their presumably exaggerated claims to persecution by the Nazis. A German-born Muslim convert, Bleher lives in England, and until recently was General Secretary of The Islamic Party of Britain, when in June 2003 the Party suspended its activities. The Islamic Party was founded by Bleher and another convert, David Musa Pidcock, in the wake of the Rushdie affair of 1989.
Both The Party and Bleher get a mention in the February 2007 edition of Searchlight in an article by Gerry Gable about Troy Southgate’s “New Right Group”:
…Not only did [the audience at a New Right meeting] listen dutifully to [Michele] Renouf’s usual ranting but, with only a slight ripple of resentment, they sat through another anti-Jewish tirade from Dr Sahib Mustaqim Bleher, the German-born convert to Islam who is now the general secretary of the Islamic Party of Britain. He supported Renouf’s views of Jews, saying that Muslims were not the root of the world’s problems, Jews were.
Bleher, who describes himself as a “flying Imam” has his own blog in which he describes the Holocaust as the Holocult and the recent Holocaust denial conference in Iran as “the most important milestone in their [the Iranians’] history since the Islamic Revolution under Khomeini”…
A Good Muslim, (like Dazza the Good Christian), neither Bleher nor his Party like homosexuality much either:
Question Forum : Islamic View On Homosexuality (March 9, 2002)
Would an Islamic nation in Britain tolerate homosexuality? By tolerate I mean allow people to live their lives this way without state interference. Christianity does not tolerate homosexuality but it is not punishable by death. Would an Islamic state therefore ‘condemn to death’ Britain’s 6.6 million homosexuals?
To start with, the figure of 6.6 million (or more than 10% of the population) sounds propagandistic. Whilst few dare speak out against the practice of homosexuality due to the pressure exerted by gay rights groups and echoed in the media, the majority of the population do not regard it as an acceptable way of life. Islam condemns and outlaws homosexuality. As far as Islamic law is concerned, the rules are that the state does not interfere in the privacy of people’s homes, but it would need to safeguard public decency by preventing any public advocacy for homosexuality. Such activity would come under the heading of public incitement. The death penalty the questioner mentions only applies to a public display of lewdness witnessed by several people.
The best account of the bizarro current represented by Herfurth, Gonçalves and chief national anarchist ideologue Troy Southgate remains that of Graham D. Macklin, ‘Co-opting the counter culture: Troy Southgate and the National Revolutionary Faction’, Patterns of Prejudice, Vol.39, No.3, 2005 [PDF]. Also of relevance is Alan Wolfe, ‘A Fascist Philosopher Helps Us Understand Contemporary Politcs’, The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 2, 2004 [PDF]. More generally, Kevin Coogan’s Dreamer of the Day: Francis Parker Yockey and the Postwar Fascist International (Autonomedia, New York, 1999) remains the definitive account of the post-war fascist politics which inform Southgate and others in their wanderings in the political wilderness. In Australia, the tendency’s enormous weakness is perhaps best symbolised by the involvement of individuals such as Darrin Hodges, aka the Anglo-Australian National Community Council.
Although Southgate’s impact on left-wing counter-cultural concerns has been completely negligible, this case study of the NRF’s wanton intellectual cannibalism shows that groupuscular fascism poses a clear danger, particularly for ecological subcultures whose values are profoundly different from the ecological agenda mooted by the far right. The increasing ability of groupuscules like the NRF to absorb and mirror left-wing and environmental causes, effortlessly refracting their concerns about globalization and liberal democracy through their own antisemitic and racist framework, creates a dangerous conflation between ecology and anti-immigration as a way of restoring the ‘organic balance’ of nature. If this article is anything to go by, then anarchist, ecological and global justice movements need to remain on their guard in order to ensure that the revolution will not be national-Bolshevized.
See also : APEC : New Reich / “National Anarchists” (September 8, 2007) | APEC : Neo-Nazis (September 14, 2007) | All Heil the New Reich* (September 18, 2007) | Anarchist statement on the New Right (October 21, 2007) | “Pathetic Australian anarchist statement on the New Reich” (January 16, 2008)