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alp227 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-05-11 03:19 PM
Original message
David Cameron speech criticised for boosting English Defence League
Source: The Observer

David Cameron was accused of playing into the hands of rightwing extremists today as he delivered a controversial speech on the failings of multiculturalism within hours of one of the biggest anti-Islam rallies ever staged in Britain.

Muslim and anti-fascist groups questioned the prime minister's judgment and sensitivity to the issues, saying he had handed a propaganda coup to the hard-right English Defence League as 3,000 of its supporters marched through Luton chanting anti-Islamic slogans.

Some of crowd were jubilant, saying that Cameron "had come round to our way of thinking". Paul Bradburn, 35, from Stockport, said Cameron was "coming out against extremism".

Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011/feb/05/david-ca...
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provis99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-05-11 03:21 PM
Response to Original message
1. the English Defence League likes Cameron?
Are they aware he is not ethnically English, but is descended from Scots? You know, the people that the EDL want to kick out of Britain? :eyes: :crazy:
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madrchsod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-05-11 03:46 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. there`s a scottish defence league.
the EDL has 500 or so registered forum members.
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provis99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-05-11 04:18 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. well, I learn a new thing everyday.
I wonder if the Scottish ones want to ship the English back to Germany? Neither one likes the Polish immigrants in Britain, I imagine.
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cloudbase Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-05-11 03:44 PM
Response to Original message
2. Hmmmmmmm.
A right wing politician gives a speech in Munich about how his country should be more nationalistic and exercise wariness over foreign influences.
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pampango Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-05-11 04:39 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. Merkel already declared that multiculturalism has failed. Cameron is just trying to keep up.
One conservative playing catch-up with another.

Since surges in Islamophobia hype seem to take a while to jump the Atlantic, I wonder how long it will be before a repub politician expresses the sentiment that multiculturalism has failed here, too. (Pam Geller doesn't count. She probably already has the memo and is blogging about it.) Would it be asking too much for said repub to make his speech in Germany as Cameron has? :)
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alp227 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-05-11 09:49 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. haha i can't wait for Sarah Palin to say so and for that to be played repeatedly in ads n/t
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madrchsod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-05-11 03:56 PM
Response to Original message
4. stromfront thinks they are traitors to the white people!
i guess the EDL`s only problem is the muslims....according to stormfront members from england a scotland the EDL accept blacks and jews.

sometimes ya need a score card to see who hates who and why.
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LeftishBrit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-05-11 04:40 PM
Response to Original message
7. Wow
A member of the English Defence League says that Cameron is 'coming out against extremism'! A member of the EDL talks about extremism as though it's a bad thing!!! You couldn't invent such irony.

A link to a good organization:

www.hopenothate.org.uk
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DeSwiss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-05-11 06:32 PM
Response to Original message
8. Multiculturalism....
...is a two-way street.



- K&R
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Tx4obama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-05-11 10:06 PM
Response to Original message
10. Good article regarding Cameron on link below
Muslims must embrace our British values, David Cameron says
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...


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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-05-11 10:23 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. I liked this section of the article which should be read in its entirety.
All Britons should believe in basic values of freedom and equality, and actively promote them, he said. That means ensuring that immigrants learn to speak English and that all schools teach elements of a common culture and curriculum.
. . . .
Mr Cameron will drew a clear distinction between Islamist extremism as a political ideology, and the Islamic faith itself. We need to be clear: Islamic extremism and Islam are not the same thing, he said.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/dav...

Seems to me that Cameron would condemn the extremists on the pro-British right just as he does the extremists on the Muslim right.

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MemeSmith Donating Member (183 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-06-11 04:09 AM
Response to Reply #11
16. That was an observation I voiced when I heard that.
That his insistence that British values included a commitment to equality on the grounds of race, creed, gender or sexuality would place organisations like Christian Voice in the 'beyond the pale' category. I'm happy wiht that, British Taliban, that they are.

So far, he's claiming to champion values that I hold, so I'm prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt.
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MemeSmith Donating Member (183 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-06-11 02:06 AM
Response to Original message
12. Check everything, when reading about the EDL
There is an agenda in the British media that routinely misrepresents the EDL and unjustly conflates them with racist, fascist and nationalist organisations.

I would suggest checking the EDL's website for yourself, before you come to any conclusions about what their aims are. One example is that they are routinely associated with the racist British National Party, when in fact, membership of the BNP will get you kicked out of the EDL, because they explicitly condemn racism. They are a multi racial organisation, with members from many faiths.

In their mission statement, they outline 5 principles:

1. Human Rights (This section includes statements in recognition of the contribution of non indigenous cultures to a dynamic and evolving English culture, including recognition of the qualities of Islam)
2. Democracy and the Rule of Law (Condemning Sharia, in favour of one law for all, and championing the self determination of all, including muslims)
3. Public Education (To promote a comprehensive public understanding of all aspects of Islam in the context of its impact on English life)
4. Respecting Tradition (Seeks to assert a core English tradition that embraces non indigenous influences - Includes the statement that the EDL is keen to draw its support from people of all races and faiths.
5. International Outlook. (Prepared to work with foreigners who share their goals - Specifically a struggle against Sharia)

I'm a card carrying liberal with a big and small L, but I can't disagree with anything that they claim to stand for in this statement. They're not asking for a racially pure UK, or suppression of foreign influences. They celebrate a multi-cultural Britain, but want an end to excessive tolerance of those who advance a fundamentalist religious legal system that opposes our commitment to international declarations of Human Rights.

Also, as the recent Luton demonstration proved, if the police keep United Against Fascism away, the EDL are perfectly capable of protesting peacefully.

They have a terrible PR position, and as a new organisation will need to purge their ranks of individuals who pay only lip service to the commitment to human rights.

This is not saying that they couldn't be disingenuous, but I've been watching this story for many months, now, and what I see is a lot of propaganda, from the BBC in particular, that doesn't stand up, when I checked the facts.

Best Regards,

MemeSmith
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Turborama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-06-11 02:40 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. Indeed, check EVERYTHING when reading about the EDL ...
Edited on Sun Feb-06-11 03:22 AM by Turborama
(Note to Mods, this is not Copyrighted)


The English Defence League

Summary

The English Defence League (EDL) is a racist organisation that engages in direct action demonstrations against the Muslim community. Although it claims only to oppose Islamic extremism it targets the entire Muslim community and its actions deliberately seek to whip up tensions and violence between Muslim and non-Muslim communities. Many of its protests have resulted in violence and it taps into a general Islamophobia in society which is both growing and mainstream. What started as a loose network of football hooligans is now developing into a new social movement.

Origins

The English Defence League (EDL) emerged in Luton in March 2009 in the aftermath of a protest by a handful of Islamist extremists at the homecoming parade of the Royal Anglian Regiment through the town.

Anti-Islamic in its outlook, it now has thousands of supporters across the country. What began as a loose alliance of people around various social networking websites is increasingly turning into an organisation with a national, regional and local structure.

With the demise of the British National Party in recent months the EDL is now the largest rightwing threat in the UK today, with over 55,000 supporters on Facebook and able to bring anywhere from 100 to 3,000 people out onto the streets.

Leadership

The key figure in the group is Tommy Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, a former British National Party (BNP) member. Lennon has recently been charged with assaulting a police officer.

Number two in the EDL is Kevin Carroll, Yaxley-Lennons cousin. He signed the nomination papers for Robert Sherratt, a BNP candidate in Luton in 2007 who was also an activist in the tiny nazi group, the November 9th Society.

The organisation is supported by Alan Lake from North London who has links to Christian evangelical groups in Britain and the USA and sees the EDL as both a street army and a bridgehead towards the creation of a larger anti-Islamic movement.

When Lake addressed an anti-Islam conference organised by the Sweden Democrats last year he spoke of a battle on many fronts, the EDL being just one. He identified a need for people that are ready to go out in the street and boasted that he and his friends had already begun to build alliances with football supporters. We are catching a baby at the start of a gestation, Lake later told The Guardian. We have a problem with numbers. We have an army of bloggers but thats not going to get things done.

Football fans are a potential source of support. They are a hoi polloi that gets off their backsides and travels to a city and they are available before and after matches.

Lake operates a series of anti-Islamic websites, of which the EDL forms just a part. He is in touch with Christian evangelical groups, both here and in the US, has had discussions with middle-ranking officers in the UK Independence Party and is now suggesting that Britain needs a Tea Party-type organisation.

Structure

The EDL is run by 15 key people across the country who co-ordinate activists via email and social networking sites, such as Facebook. It uses social media in a way that no other far-right organisation does in the UK. It is because its method of organising is different from traditional models that the police and other statutory bodies have been slow in understanding its threat and potential.

It claims to have dozens of divisions around the country. Over the past few months the EDL has begun to organise meetings and events on a regional basis. National mobilisations are coordinated centrally.

Politics

While the EDL is publicly opposed to Islamic extremism it still lacks a coherent message or vision. Even within the organisation it means different things to different people. The EDL serves as an umbrella for a range of other groups and activists. The leadership is at pains to reject any charge of racism and fascism, regularly claiming that fascists are violently removed from demonstrations, but the reality on the ground is quite different.

The EDL is quick to highlight the involvement of black and Asian supporters. For example, Guramit Singh, from Leicester, is a leading EDL member and is often put up as the groups spokesman to deny the organisation is racist, but he and the other non-white activists are few and far between. At the EDL protest in Bradford there were fewer than ten non-white people in an EDL crowd of over 800.

EDL demonstrations are always accompanied by anti-Muslim chanting and signs. More general racist chants are heard and there have been examples of Hindus and Sikhs being abused and even attacked by EDL supporters.

EDL protests have been frequented by members and former members of the BNP, the National Front, the Racial Volunteer Force, the British Peoples Party, Blood and Honour and Combat 18. Since the decline of the BNP in recent months a growing number of the partys activists, including organisers, have been turning up at EDL events. While the EDL leadership tries publicly to distance itself from these people there is no attempt to stop the racist chanting or the general anti-Muslim abuse.

Football hooligan links

The EDL is largely organised through what remains of the football hooligan network, and current and former football hooligans will make up at least half of any EDL demonstration. Rival football gangs, who would normally fight one another at every opportunity, have come together for EDL events. For example, at a recent EDL protest in Leicester hooligans from Watford and Luton travelled up on a coach together. Wolves, West Brom and Aston Villa three West Midlands clubs whose hooligan fans hate one another join up at EDL events, as have Bradford and Leeds hooligans.

There have, however, still been clashes between different hooligan gangs at EDL events, and hooligan gangs in some cities where EDL protests have taken place have not taken kindly to the arrival of hooligans from other areas.

Violence

Since its inception the EDL has staged over thirty protests across the country at which there have been violent clashes with both anti-fascist protesters and the police, leading to several hundred arrests in total. More than 5 million of taxpayers money has been spent on policing these demonstrations. The violence directed at the police has grown in recent protests, for example in Leicester four police officers were put in hospital after they came under attack from EDL supporters armed with bottles, smoke grenades and even firecrackers, which were used to scare police horses.

In addition there is unquantifiable damage to businesses where the EDL holds protests, both physical damage to premises, fixtures and stock and loss of profits where businesses have to close or customers are put off coming into town. Such losses may not be covered by insurance, or insurance premiums may rise as a result.

The EDL focuses its protests on towns with large ethnic or more particularly large Muslim communities such as Bradford, Oldham, Leicester and Preston. After the EDL protest finished in Leicester hundreds of the participants went on the rampage in an attempt to attack the local Muslim community. On some occasions mosques are daubed or damaged, or bacon or pigs heads are placed on the premises.

The EDL is increasingly staging spontaneous flash protests to get around liaising with police over marches, which could be banned. In Oldham on the anniversary of 9/11, 120 EDL supporters at a flash protest clashed with police leading to eight arrests.

Individual EDL activists are staging increasingly provocative protests. In Gateshead six EDL supporters were arrested for inciting racial hatred after burning the Koran and posting a video of the event on YouTube, leading to clashes with the police as EDL supporters gathered outside the local police station. There have been other EDL activities in Blackburn, Wolverhampton, Stockport, Portsmouth, Nuneaton and Kingston to name but a few.

International links

The EDL leadership is increasingly trying to establish links with like-minded groups in Europe and North America. Its international links include:

Sweden EDL guru Alan Lake addressed a Sweden Democrat conference in September 2009 at which proclaimed that it was necessary to build an anti-Jihad movement. He spoke of the need for people that are ready to go out in the street and boasted that he and his friends had already begun to build alliances with football supporters.

Germany A hundred people rallied at the Dutch Embassy in Berlin to support the Dutch Islamophobic politician Geert Wilders. The Islamphobic Pax Europa Citizens Movement and the stridently anti-Muslim and leftist Politically Incorrect blog run by Stefan Herre, a teacher from Cologne, organised the event, which was also attended by Portsmouth members of the EDL.

France EDL leaders travelled to France in early July to meet representatives of the Identity Bloc and Vrit, Valeurs et Democratie (Truth, Values and Democracy). Identity, which has fewer than 1,000 members, is not anti-Jewish and even has contacts with some hardline members of the right-wing, ultra-nationalist Jewish Defence League. VVD is a website launched in December 2009 which is neo-conservative, anti-Islam and claims to be part of an anti-Sharia Alliance. The EDL visit came shortly before an attempt to launch a French counterpart of the EDL in early September. There is the League 732 and the French Defence League (LDF). The LDF wants to work with the JDL, in contrast to League 732. However, the LDF is a curious mix of Identity followers, hooligans and autonomous nationalists who are not particularly willing to work with Jews.

Netherlands The EDL linked up with the Dutch Defence League to hold a rally in Amsterdam on 30 September, in support of the anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders. He distanced himself from the EDL and the rally was an embarrassing flop.

United States Eight EDL supporters travelled to New York to attend a protest against the planned Islamic centre two blocks from Ground Zero on the anniversary of 9/11. However Tommy Robinson was refused entry to the USA. The event was organised by Stop Islamization Of America and was addressed by the former US Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton, Geert Wilders and the New York Senate candidate Gary Berntsen. The organisers of the event later publicly defended the EDL despite its link to violence, football hooliganism and racism.

There are also several Facebook groups that are spin-offs from the EDL.

They include the Norwegian Defence League, Russian Defence League, Belgium Defence League, Australian Defence League, United States Defence League, Serbian Defence League, Norsk Defence League, American Defense League, Italian Defence League/Casuals United, Swedish Defence League, German Defence League, Cyprus Defence League, Chinese Defence League, Canadian Defence League, Lebanese Defence League, Nigerian Defence League, Indian Defence League, French Defence League, Indonesian Defence League and the Ulster Defence League.

Conclusion: the threat from the EDL

The EDL poses the biggest threat to community cohesion in Britain today. Its activities are designed to increase tensions in communities with a large Muslim population and especially in areas that have had problems in the past. By demonstrating in these areas they embolden local racists and seek a violent reaction from local Muslim youths, which in turn will lead to a new cycle of violence.

It should be remembered that the race riots in Oldham and Bradford in 2001 were sparked by small groups of white racists seeking trouble. In Oldham it was a group of 12 football hooligans, many linked to the nazi terror group Combat 18, who ran down a predominantly Asian street attacking people and their property. In Bradford it was a small group of Combat 18 and National Front supporters who attempted to hold a protest in the city centre despite being banned by the Home Secretary.

By the very nature of how the EDL organises and its preferred type of confrontational protests, the group will be a magnet for more extremist, violent and politically motivated groups and individuals.

Just as importantly, however, the EDL taps into and increases the general Islamophobia in society and any publicity and trouble resulting from EDL protests simply confirm, in the minds of many, the incompatibility of Muslims with life in a Western democracy.

To dismiss the EDL simply as a bunch of racist thugs or a street version of the BNP underestimates both its significance and its danger. It is a threat that is potentially far more significant than anything we have seen in Britain for a very long time because it is just one manifestation of a much bigger cultural and political battle against Islam that has only just begun.



From: http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/English-Defence-League


You may also be interested to read:


* The Extremist Defence League The English Defence League likes to parrot its worn out mantra, We are not the BNP and we are not nazis, over and over again. Simon Cressy takes a closer look and finds a different story. Searchlight Magazine October 2010

* English Defence League leader scurries into the shadows The far-right English Defence League reacted badly to the unmasking of its secretive leader Stephen Yaxley-Lennon in last months Searchlight. Searchlight Magazine August 2010

* The BNP past of the EDL leader Nick Lowles and Simon Cressy expose Tommy Robinson Searchlight Magazine July 2010





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MemeSmith Donating Member (183 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-06-11 04:04 AM
Response to Reply #13
15. Thanks for the additional input
Which, of course, is part of the 'everything' that needs to be checked.

It's largely an opinion piece, with many claims, but little support links or references.

Some guilt by association. Some smearing.

One example, on violence. It depicts the EDL as a violent organisation, because of violence that has taken place at previous protests. The EDL claim that this violence was caused by the police failing, or declining, to prevent United Against Fascism protesters from attacking the EDL, in order to set them up for exactly such a smear.

In the latest protest in Luton, the police finally prevented UAF from getting to the EDL. The result? a peaceful EDL protest, exactly as they had claimed.

Check everything, including opinion pieces, from wherever they origniate.

The EDL may be a front organisation for racism, or may be lying about opposing only Sharia and truly Islamophobic. Only real evidence, and not opinion pieces, will reveal the truth about that. Check, check, check. Don't listen to any opinion, including mine.

In my opinion, Guramit Singh will turn out to be a liability, rather than an asset. While being an example of a multi-ethnic, supposedly inclusive membership, I've heard him speak and I'm convinced that he is a genuine Islamophobe.

I could be wrong, though. Maybe he is truly representative of their views. Maybe they are lying. Check. Check all sides. Don't believe.

Bottom line, for me, for now: They claim to oppose Sharia in Britain, while acknowledging the rights of British Muslims to pursue their religion in freedom. The claim to oppose violence and champion freedom of speech. I agree with all of that. If they turn out to be who they claim to be, I have no problem with them. If they don't, I'll oppose them.

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MemeSmith Donating Member (183 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-06-11 12:38 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. By way of checking...
I tracked down a recording of the leader of the EDL being interviewed by Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight.

He's not a highly educated man and appears to lack the guile to do anything other than speak from the heart about his convictions. He became impassioned and animated, stumbling over his words as he tried to make his case.

Among his principal points:

The EDL would welcome Muslim members. (Full marks, if true - he seemed sincere)
Discrimination against women, Jews and homosexuals is beyond the pale. (Again, he seemed passionately sincere)
Islam, in its fundamentalist, unmodified, 7th Century form, is incompatible with modern, Western human rights and needs to reform from within. (I agree)
Sharia should not be implemented in the UK, or afforded any recognition in UK law. (I agree)
Until recently, the authorities in the UK were wary of challenging culturally-based criminal activity from Muslim gangs, for fear of being branded racist. (Recently corroborated by a leading member of the former Cabinet )

In the video report before the interview, the journalist put one of the local leaders of the EDL on the spot about the idea that the EDL hates Muslims. He didn't have a prepared answer and answered from his heart. He gave this analogy.

"Being against the Nazis didn't mean that you hated Germans. We're against the ideology, not the people." (Paraphrased.) I stopped the recording, rewound, and listened again, paying careful attention to his eyes. It wasn't hate, or racism. It was concern about human rights, and an apparently sincere willingness to embrace Muslims. (My subjective evaluation)

If I reviewed the recording carefully, I could probably find something that I didn't agree with, but in general, I'm even more convinced that the popular press on the EDL is little more than disinformation.

I'm a liberal, pro-equality, pro-human rights, anti-racist, secular democrat. So far, I don't have a problem with the EDL. I don't doubt that like any organisation they have some idiots in their number, but they're not the BNP or the National Front, and their opposition to Sharia is a politically liberal endeavour.
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LeftishBrit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-06-11 02:00 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. They are not just opposed to Sharia
Most people in the UK, including many Muslims, are against the incorporation of Sharia into British law.

The EDL is basically against Muslim immigrants in the UK.

'Islam, in its fundamentalist, unmodified, 7th Century form, is incompatible with modern, Western human rights'

True (as for any unmodified religion), but Muslims in the UK are not all 7th-century fundies, any more than all Christians are far-right fundies


'Until recently, the authorities in the UK were wary of challenging culturally-based criminal activity from Muslim gangs, for fear of being branded racist. (Recently corroborated by a leading member of the former Cabinet )'

There are some predominantly-Pakistani gangs (not specifically 'Muslim' gangs) in this country that sometimes cause trouble, as there are gangs including all ethnic groups. Their pimping activities are not 'culturally based'. There is said to be a tendency for pimping *gangs* often to be of ethnic-minority origin, while pimps who operate individually are often native British (though neither is always the case) - but no culture approves of such activities. The authorities aren't always effective at tackling gangs, but it is not due to a 'fear of being branded racist'; that is a typical RW tabloid talking point. And Jack Straw might be nominally Labour, but on many issues is to the right of his current Tory counterpart Ken Clarke.

The EDL in fact do have significant links with the BNP, though officially they are independent of them; and also with the American Tea Party.

One should not take the words of the leaders of such organizations - Griffin of the BNP also claims not to be racist. Kelway may not be highly *formally* educated but he's not a well-meaning simpleton. He certainly had the 'guile' to build up a movement and organize it quite efficiently, and present it as something far more innocent than it is.
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MemeSmith Donating Member (183 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-06-11 05:00 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. Maybe they are lying.
Most people in the UK, including many Muslims, are against the incorporation of Sharia into British law.

'The EDL is basically against Muslim immigrants in the UK.'

Is that a fact, or your opinion? If it's a fact, what is it based upon?

Maybe they are lying, but nowhwere in their Mission Statement do they speak against Muslim immigrants. In fact, they describe British Muslims in relation to their 'fellow Britons' and speak in defence of their human rights.

'...Muslims in the UK are not all 7th-century fundies, any more than all Christians are far-right fundies'

Which would be why the EDL want moderate British Muslims to be protected from having a fundamentalist form of their faith imposed upon them, as they argue in their Mission Statement.


'Until recently, the authorities in the UK were wary of challenging culturally-based criminal activity from Muslim gangs, for fear of being branded racist. (Recently corroborated by a leading member of the former Cabinet )'

'There are some predominantly-Pakistani gangs (not specifically 'Muslim' gangs) in this country that sometimes cause trouble, as there are gangs including all ethnic groups. Their pimping activities are not 'culturally based'. There is said to be a tendency for pimping *gangs* often to be of ethnic-minority origin, while pimps who operate individually are often native British (though neither is always the case) - but no culture approves of such activities.' Nobody is suggesting that the culture approves of pimping. The suggestion is that the cultural basis of their pimping activities (and gang rape activities) is based upon their cultural views of women in their own community, in contrast to their views of women in the indigenous British population. The question would be whether they pimp or rape Muslim girls as well as non Muslim girls. Jack Straw's suggestion, corroborated, as I recall by the associated BBC report was that there is a particular disposition in Bangladeshi gangs (or was it Bengali?) towards raping white girls. If it is really predominantly perpetrators from one national group and predominantly victims from another, surely, that's culturally based, no? It doesn't mean that their wider culture overtly advocates that activity, but there has to be an investigation into how the correlations come to be there.

'The authorities aren't always effective at tackling gangs, but it is not due to a 'fear of being branded racist'; that is a typical RW tabloid talking point.' How do you know what the motivations of individual police officers are?
After the Oldham riots, one of the findings of the investigation that followed was exactly that the authorities were over indulgent of immigrant communities and failed to deal with problems that had an ethnic component, out of nervousness over the race issue. It was a severe criticism of the local authorities, in that area, including the police.

'And Jack Straw might be nominally Labour, but on many issues is to the right of his current Tory counterpart Ken Clarke.' I agree, but while he was criticised for inflammatory speech (proving the EDL's point about being branded racist if you speak out) he was not criticised for lying about particular problems existing with gangs from one particular ethic group that happened to be Muslims, targeting victims of another ethnic group that happened to be non Muslims. Jack Straw made an ethnic, or national argument about the issue. The EDL have siezed upon the religious and cultural element. For me, the issue needs more research, with an open investigation that is not afraid to look at all of the issues. That turns out to be what the EDL is proposing.

'The EDL in fact do have significant links with the BNP, though officially they are independent of them; and also with the American Tea Party.' I noted that their leader used to be a member of the BNP. Peter Hitchins used to be a Marxist. The EDL are not 'independent' of the BNP. The EDL have banned the BNP. The BNP are a proscribed organisation for EDL members. Stephen Lennon, the man interviewed by Paxman, spoke out against racism and all the other major forms of discrimination. He spoke with a conviction that seemed convincing. In the video report, he addressed a local meeting while drunk, exactly the kind of time to show his true colours. He used the phrases, 'our Hindu brothers,' and 'our Sikh brothers' to a receptive and similarly lubricated crowd. I cannot imagine Nick Griffin using such rhetoric, under any circumstances.

'One should not take the words of the leaders of such organizations - Griffin of the BNP also claims not to be racist.' The BNP, however, bans non whites from membership, while the EDL positively encourages the recruitment of all races and creeds. I've seen Nick Griffin deny being racist, then be asked whether the BNP would admit non white members. He sat in silence. Lennon told Paxman that he was not anti Islam, except in its fundamentalist 7th Century form. Paxman challenged, 'Would you admit Muslims into the EDL?' Lennon did not hesitate before replying, 'Yes.'

'Kelway may not be highly *formally* educated but he's not a well-meaning simpleton. He certainly had the 'guile' to build up a movement and organize it quite efficiently, and present it as something far more innocent than it is.' I don't know who Kelway is. The interviewee, as I mentioned, was Stephen Lennon, aka Tommy Robinson.

I also don't know whether they are in fact less innocent than they claim. What I do know is this, the BNP's publications and rhetoric are carefully worded, but still functionally racist and anti immigration. The EDL's publications and rhetoric are inclusive, anti-discrimination, pro-human rights and at worst neutral on immigration. From your comments above on Sharia and a fundamentalist interpretation of Islam, it would appear that you agree with what they claim to support.

As I've said, they could be lying, but their words and actions do not so far bear out the claim that they are anything other than what they claim to be. They oppose Sharia. They propose equality, including racial equality. The argue for an inclusive British culture that they claim is enhanced by immigrant influences.

I'm not claiming that they are angels, but I am convinced that they are getting an unfair press, that is seeking to silence criticism of fundamentalist, extremist Islam in the UK, and I can't imagine what would be the motivation for that. If they are truly denouncing violence and discrimination and championing inclusivity and human rights, shouldn't we at least be giving them credit for having evolved?
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LeftishBrit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-07-11 03:57 AM
Response to Reply #20
21. Their mission statement is amazingly mealy-mouthed but look further on their site
'Islam seeks to dominate. If it can't do it by forceful, bigoted words then it will do it by violence and intimidation.

...Unfortunately Islam's history suggests that it knows no other way, but to intimidate, to kill, to threaten and to dominate. Yet people like Mr Paxman are prepared to turn a blind eye to all this in the name of 'social cohesion' and 'multicultural appeasement'. When will they wake up? Perhaps only when the Muslim mobs are at their door and they need police protection!'

And quoting an opinion from the mainstream-right Daily Mail:

'a Tony Blair and Labour Government Policy to "flood" the Islands of Britain with "MASS MUSLIM/ISLAMIC IMMIGRATION" from outside the EU to socially engineer Britain's communities from within and in turn, grab the block muslim vote to hang onto power... THIS IS TREASON OF THE HIGHEST ORDER... '



The EDL have close links with football hooliganism and go around with a clear intention of intimidating others and/or starting clashes with the more hot-headed Muslims. Their name - the English Defence League - is a clue. If they were simply against Sharia they might call themselves the Religious Freedom Defence League or even simply the Anti-Sharia League. They are basically saying, 'English culture is being taken over by these foreigners - we must fight back!' And it isn't. Three per cent of British people are Muslims. The idea that a tiny minority are 'imposing their culture' on 97% of the population is classic of those who wish to inflame the population against minorities. It's similar to the antisemite who claims that they 'aren't against Jews; just against those Zionists who are controlling business and the media in our country' or the racist who claims that 'I've nothing against Blacks, but they have more rights than the whites these days!' or the homophobe who claims that 'I don't hate gays; I'm just against their imposing the homosexual agenda on the rest of us!'

There are unpleasant Islamist groups in the UK, but they are no more representative of British Muslims than, I'm glad to say, the EDL is of the British as a whole!

'but I am convinced that they are getting an unfair press, that is seeking to silence criticism of fundamentalist, extremist Islam in the UK'

Seriously, have you ANY idea what the British Press (most of it) is like?! That is about the last thing they would do! Large sections of it are extremely xenophobic.
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MemeSmith Donating Member (183 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-07-11 08:37 AM
Response to Reply #21
26. Are we opposing them, or who we imagine them to be?

"
'Islam seeks to dominate. If it can't do it by forceful, bigoted words then it will do it by violence and intimidation.

...Unfortunately Islam's history suggests that it knows no other way, but to intimidate, to kill, to threaten and to dominate. Yet people like Mr Paxman are prepared to turn a blind eye to all this in the name of 'social cohesion' and 'multicultural appeasement'. When will they wake up? Perhaps only when the Muslim mobs are at their door and they need police protection!'"

This is lazy and incautios language, because in the two statements that you have cherry picked, the author used only the word Islam, without any of the qualifiers that they add in their mission statement. Elsewhere in the article, however, he does clarify that his complaint is against "Islamic extremists" and "radical Islam". In particular, in the summing up paragraph, the author makes clear that the focus of their concern is with "Islamists" and "Islamism" further clarifying that he is referring to a barbaric, 7th century imperialist movement...

It's difficult to challenge their Mission Statement, based on these two generalisations. If this were the common tone of the website, it would be clear that they are anti-Islam in any form, but they do make clear that they embrace moderate Islam as a part of British culture, that they regard moderate British Mulsims as their fellows, that they invite British Muslims to join in the fight against extremism.


"And quoting an opinion from the mainstream-right Daily Mail:

'a Tony Blair and Labour Government Policy to "flood" the Islands of Britain with "MASS MUSLIM/ISLAMIC IMMIGRATION" from outside the EU to socially engineer Britain's communities from within and in turn, grab the block muslim vote to hang onto power... THIS IS TREASON OF THE HIGHEST ORDER... '"

I can't find this quote, so I don't know who it's from, or how it is relevant. Could you add a link?


"The EDL have close links with football hooliganism"

How do these alleged links affect the validity of their stance against extremism, or support the claims that they are a far right, racist, fascist front? They say that they are committed to peace. When given the chance last weekend to prove that, when the police finally did their job and kept UAF from attacking them, they proved that commitment by assembling their largest ever gathering and staging a successfully peaceful protest. They explicitly ban violence. They protest peacefully. We may disagree with them. They may even want to ban Islam in all its forms. That's not illegal. So long as they protest within the law, what more can we ask of them?

"and go around with a clear intention of intimidating others and/or starting clashes with the more hot-headed Muslims."

They stood still and made their protest, peacefully. In order to avoid clashes with more hot headed Muslims, the only practical course of action would be for them to stay home and abandon their human rights to assembly and free speech.

"Their name - the English Defence League - is a clue. If they were simply against Sharia they might call themselves the Religious Freedom Defence League or even simply the Anti-Sharia League." Perhaps, they see fairness, equality and freedom as values that they identify with English tradition and the proposed introduction of legal systems that would deny English Mulsims full access to those values as a threat that prompts a defence.

I mean, when the top law lord suggests that Sharia should be given the force of law:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1031611/Sharia-...

that is a tangible threat. Defence doesn't seem such an inappropriate word. Not necessarily one that I would choose, but it doesn't trouble me. Those are, after all, my liberties that they are defending, and those of English mulsims.

"They are basically saying, 'English culture is being taken over by these foreigners - we must fight back!'"

That's a straw man argument. They aren't basically saying that. You're basically saying that they're saying that. Let's debate them on what they do say.

Problem is, when you read what they do say, it actually doesn't seem so unreasonable. I know, you prefer 'mealy mouthed.' I see opposition to Sharia, support for human rights and one law for all, racial and religious equality, homosexual rights. What's not to like? They could be a bit more careful when they are writing, but having a shotgun aimed at you can probably make you a little sloppy with your vocabulary.


"There are unpleasant Islamist groups in the UK, but they are no more representative of British Muslims than, I'm glad to say, the EDL is of the British as a whole!"

Again, the EDL agree with you, and say that they want British Mulsims to be protected from those extremists, so that they can freely evolve a form of Islam that is compatible with their homeland (which the EDL make clear, is the UK).

"'but I am convinced that they are getting an unfair press, that is seeking to silence criticism of fundamentalist, extremist Islam in the UK'

Seriously, have you ANY idea what the British Press (most of it) is like?! That is about the last thing they would do! Large sections of it are extremely xenophobic."

I was specifically referring to the coverage that I watched on the BBC, where the anchors referred to the EDL with the usual far right perjorative descriptions, then interviewed several critics of the EDL, who went on, unchallenged, to describe them as fascists. The BBC showed footage of UAF supporters struggling with police at a previous EDL protest, and implied that it was the EDL that caused the violence. They invited nobody from the EDL, or anyone prepared to present the real facts. It was a pure, intentional smear job.

In all of the journalistic material that I have seen about the EDL, only the Newsnight interview had any integrity, mainly because they couln't spin any nonsense that wouldn't get immediately challenged. Lennon made no arguments against immigration, in the way that Griffin would. He spoke only against extremism and an unreformed, fundamentalist interpretation of Islam. Paxman had nothing on him, because it was evident that there is nothing beyond smear and innuendo that you can genuinely lay against them.

You can't accuse them of violence, because they are attacked by Muslim hotheads. You can't accuse them of violence, because they are attacked by the UAF. You shouldn't argue that they are provoking this violence by peaceful assembly, because you would be, in effect, making the domestic abusers defence "She asked for it."

Whether the EDL are good, bad or indifferent, they have a right to gather and protest for their views, so long as they do not break the law, and, when given the chance to do that, that's exactly what they did.
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LeftishBrit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-07-11 09:52 AM
Response to Reply #26
27. They have a right to gather
Edited on Mon Feb-07-11 09:57 AM by LeftishBrit
and I have a right to consider them, and all xenophobic 'culture warriors', as scum of the earth.

The Islamic extremist group, that they claim to have been founded to oppose, has been banned (and so it should have been, IMO) - so what are they fighting now?

As regards the Law Lord's remark: he did NOT recommend adopting Sharia for the country as a whole, or even that it should trump the law of the land for Muslims specifically. What he said was that the law could not prevent Sharia courts making decisions on minor issues - just as rabbinical courts have been doing for over 100 years for instance- though if there is a conflict with national law, then national law wins.

I don't think that there should be any legal recognition given to ANY religious body, whether sharia courts, rabbinical courts, or letting bishops sit in the House of Lords. But why imply that there's a particular threat to the 'English' from Muslims? Sharia are not taking over Britain, any more than the 'Zionists', the 'coloured immigrants' with their 'rivers of blood' (cf Enoch Powell) or 'the homosexual agenda'!


ETA: See this recent news item - is this just an attack on Islamic extremism?:

http://www.luton-dunstable.co.uk/News/Councils-will-ign...

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MemeSmith Donating Member (183 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-07-11 11:35 AM
Response to Reply #27
33. Re: They have a right to gather
"They have a right to gather and I have a right to consider them, and all xenophobic 'culture warriors', as scum of the earth."

A right that I support and defend.

"The Islamic extremist group, that they claim to have been founded to oppose, has been banned (and so it should have been, IMO) - so what are they fighting now?"

Al Muhajiroun was first banned in 2005 and Omar Bakri Muhammad was slyly banned from re-entering the UK, when he took a trip abroad. Anjem Choudary, however, merely went on to reform Al Muhajiroun in 2009, along with another group, Islam4UK. This group was only banned last month. What do you imagine Mr Choudary and his supporters are planning now, to give up their dreams of a Caliphate? We don't ban the functional organisation. We only ban the name. The organisation and its supporters remain, along with their ambitions. They'll just be called something else, now.


"As regards the Law Lord's remark: he did NOT recommend adopting Sharia for the country as a whole, or even that it should trump the law of the land for Muslims specifically. What he said was that the law could not prevent Sharia courts making decisions on minor issues - just as rabbinical courts have been doing for over 100 years for instance- though if there is a conflict with national law, then national law wins."

And in saying that, he was mistaken. The law could prevent Sharia courts making decisions on minor issues, if there was the political will to craft laws to prohibit Sharia courts. The reason that this is a wiser course, is that Sharia tribunals are binding in UK law, under arbitration legislation, if the parties agree to be bound by their rulings. This places the vulnerable members of the Muslim community in jeopardy, because they cannot assert their objection to such arbitration, if it exists, in the face of social and familial duress. The whole point of our national laws is that they protect the weak and handing invisible, oppressed women over to patriarchal courts who do not recognise that they have equal rights is fundamentally counter to our commitment to equality in the UK. Lord Phillips was utterly negligent in his duty to make the statement that he did. Even if he were merely stating the current legal position, he had a duty to frame it within a call for a change in the law. That he didn't makes this statement a threat to the liberty of vulnerable British citizens and residents, who are not afforded an equal voice by their community, culture and religion.

"I don't think that there should be any legal recognition given to ANY religious body, whether sharia courts, rabbinical courts, or letting bishops sit in the House of Lords. But why imply that there's a particular threat to the 'English' from Muslims? Sharia are not taking over Britain, any more than the 'Zionists', the 'coloured immigrants' with their 'rivers of blood' (cf Enoch Powell) or 'the homosexual agenda'! "

I know that we agree on the issue of Sharia.

The EDL do not argue that the English are under threat from Muslims, but that the Muslim English are under threat from radical Islam and the proponents of an oppressive legal system.

"ETA: See this recent news item - is this just an attack on Islamic extremism?"

No, but it is in line with item 4 of their mission statement, Respect for Tradition. As a Zen Pagan, I'm not singing from the same songsheet as them on this one, but likewise, I don't see anything wrong with what they wrote. It's the same as Christian Voice (another group not on my Solstice card list) getting a cancer charity to turn down a donation from the proceeds of Jerry Springer, the Opera, by threatening to picket their offices. I don't agree with it, but it's not illegal, or even wrong, in my opinion. They're standing for what they believe in. It's a human right that I defend, along with your right to consider people scum.

Ironically, it was Salman Rushdie who most powerfully voiced the essential truth on freedom of speech.

He said that you only really believe in fredom of speech, when you're defending the expression of a view that you find abhorrent.

So long as the EDL stay within the law, whatever their cultural ambitions, they do not deserve the labels that are routinely laid upon them, particularly when they so vociferously champion the essential values of British liberal tradition and support, as they do, the equal rights of women, all races, the religious and homosexuals.


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LeftishBrit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-07-11 11:58 AM
Response to Reply #33
35. OK, I have a similar LOATHING for Christian Voice
Their actions are not illegal but they are CERTAINLY wrong. They are just like those who would wish for Sharia Law - and ten years from now the ultra-Islamists and the Christian Voice types will be campaigning together in the interests of social conservativism.

Giving people the right to freedom of speech is NOT the same thing as regarding their views as valid, or as championing the 'essential values of British liberal tradition'. It is NOT part of 'liberal tradition' to threaten councils into using particular words to acknowledge Christmas. The ONLY duty that a council or other government organization has with regard to Christmas, as far as I'm concerned, is to give its employees a decent holiday at the time so that they can celebrate the occasion as they choose. It is NOT the job of a government organization to uphold Christianity, any more than it is its job to uphold Islam or any other religion. Keep ALL religion out of government and law!

Moreover, they are repeating untrue slurs. No council or government has sought to undermine Christmas in the last 350 years; Oliver Cromwell was the only one who did. 'Winterval' was not a politically-correct invention of local councils, but a winter sales promotion by a store, which had nothing to do with Christmas. And so what anyway? Even if someone chooses to call Christmas Winterval, does that stop you from celebrating Christmas in the way that you choose? It seems to me that here it's the EDL who are seeking to suppress free speech!

And should I really need to be saying all this on a liberal board? Doesn't it say something that the Tea Party and Michael Savage are enthusiastically supporting the EDL? Are they just being misled by the media - or are they recognizing kindred spirits?


'They're standing for what they believe in.'

So were the Blackshirts.


'He said that you only really believe in freedom of speech, when you're defending the expression of a view that you find abhorrent.'

Defending the expression of a view is one thing. Defending the view is another. It would be one thing if you said that the EDL deserve freedom of speech like anyone else but are still abhorrent; another to regard them as defenders of liberal values.
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MemeSmith Donating Member (183 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-07-11 12:28 PM
Response to Reply #35
36. Re: Similar Loathing
Stronger than I would have worded it, but we have a lot of commonality, there.

"It would be one thing if you said that the EDL deserve freedom of speech like anyone else but are still abhorrent; another to regard them as defenders of liberal values."

Well, to the extent that they defend equality for all races, religions, genders and sexual orientations, they are functionally defending liberal values.

When they attack liberal values, then they're not.

As for the Blackshirts, what was wrong with them was not their beliefs, but, like the extremists that we jointly condemn, their willingness to use violence to impose their political will. If any organisation, any at all, were proven to advocate violence to further political ends, I will condemn them. If, however, they denounce violence and insist that peaceful protest is the way, then I don't have a problem with them, even if they're campaigning against my views.

If it can be proven that the EDL are lying about their stance on violence, then I'll oppose them. Also, if it turns out that, like some other pro-English groups, that they regard 'English' as synonymous with 'Christian' then they can go swivel. There is a fair chance that that's exactly what they mean by Respect for Tradition, particularly in light of the council letter. If that's turns out to be the case, I'm breaking up with them, and I want my ring back.


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LeftishBrit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-07-11 12:46 PM
Response to Reply #36
37. 'what was wrong with the Blackshirts was not their beliefs' - Are you serious?
Do you think that endorsing Hitler and Nazi-ism, and supporting hostility to British Jews, was OK; and that it's only the violence that wasn't?

There is a difference between 'everyone should have freedom of speech if they don't explicitly endorse violence' and 'everyone's views are valid so long as they don't explicitly endorse violence'. What's important is not only one's tactics in campaigning for one's ideal society, but the type of society that one is campaigning for. Presumably, the aim of the campaigning is to create, or get closer, to one's ideal society; therefore the nature of the desired society is relevant. The law may only be concerned with the tactics; but we as individuals can condemn groups for campaigning for bad causes as well. It doesn't mean that we put them in prison for it; it means that we oppose them.
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MemeSmith Donating Member (183 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-07-11 01:08 PM
Response to Reply #37
38. Fine lines
We're onto Salman Rushdie's point, here.

I don't condemn the Blackshirts for their beliefs, but for their willingness to use violence. That includes violence by proxy and therefore endorsing others who would use violence. This would obviously include the Nazis. Again, if the Nazis were just a bunch of vicious old men who stood around on street corners waving banners and fuming against the evils of some imagined international conspiracy, we wouldn't hold them up as the epitome of evil. It was actually the killing of 6 million Jews that did it. It was the actual violence.

Even if the Blackshirts were not explicit in their advocation of violence, but merely primed susceptible proxies to carry out acts of physical hostility towards their victims (Beck and Palin), that would still constitute violence for me. For this reason, their support for hostility towards British Jews manifested a willingness to use violence that I would condemn.

For this reason, I don't see a parallel between the Blackshirts standing up for their beliefs and the EDL or Christian Voice standing up for theirs, so long as the EDL are genuine in their condemnation of violence. I do believe that Christian Voice do go beyond the pale, in some cases, and have been convicted for it. If the EDL do likewise, I would expect the same.

I don't have to agree with the views of the Blackshirts to stand up for their human rights and the more I abhor their sentiments, the closer I am to Rushdie's ideal.
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MemeSmith Donating Member (183 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-07-11 03:58 PM
Response to Reply #38
40. On reflection
I think that violence alone is too narrow a term to describe the transgressions of the Blackshirts. Incitement to violence, as I mentioned, would be another, but also incitement to hatred.

There were undoubtedly more.

At this stage in the discussion, it's probably redundant, but I had a think about it and it wasn't tight enough for me.

Thank you for the civilised tone of your contributions.
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pampango Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-06-11 05:11 AM
Response to Reply #13
17. "Michael Savage, became the first popular media figure to publicly announce support for the EDL"
American radio host, Michael Savage, became the first popular media figure to publicly announce support for the EDL, when, following the Poppy Burning protest by Muslims Against Crusades in November 2010, he stated, "How does England take the Islamofascists spitting on their war dead, without letting the English Defence League wade into them with pipes and beer bottles, I'll never understand".

The EDL is reported to be developing links with anti-islamic elements within the Tea Party movement in the US through individuals associated with the Ground Zero Mosque controversy.

In October, 2010, Rabbi Nachum Shifren traveled to England to speak at a rally. In his speech, he called Muslims "dogs" and told the EDL that "History will be recorded that on this day, read by our children for eternity, one group lit the spark to liberate us from the oppressors of our two governments and the leftist, fifth column, quisling press, and that it was the EDL which started the liberation of England from evil."

Matthew Goodwin an academic who specialises in the study of far-right extremism has argued that the press are more sympathetic to the Islamophobia of the EDL than they were to the anti-Semitism of the National Front in the 1970s:

The reason why the EDL's adoption of Islamophobia is particularly significant is that unlike the 1970s, when the National Front was embracing antisemitism, there are now sections of the media and the British establishment that are relatively sympathetic towards Islamophobia. It is not difficult to look through the media and find quite hostile views towards Islam and Muslims. That is fundamentally different to the 1970s, when very few newspapers or politicians were endorsing the NF's antisemitic message.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_Defence_League
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MellowDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-07-11 10:33 AM
Response to Reply #13
28. The pictures you use are ironic...
indeed, many on DU were all for France banning the Burka and have no problem with it. I guess DU and the EDL have a lot in common?
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T_i_B Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-07-11 10:37 AM
Response to Reply #28
29. Like I said, EDL are thick as pigshit.
You can't make a credible argument against the burkha if you go round wearing balaclava's, hoodie's and hockey masks in a bid to avoid getting recognised and to intimidate anyone who disagrees with you.
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Turborama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-07-11 11:00 AM
Response to Reply #28
31. Yes, I thought so too. Here's another one wearing an "EDL Burqa"...
Edited on Mon Feb-07-11 11:18 AM by Turborama


And this one looks reminiscent of a disinformed Teabagger...



More: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/gallery/2011/feb/05/englis...
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Turborama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-06-11 03:09 AM
Response to Original message
14. For Everyone's Information...
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pampango Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-07-11 04:46 AM
Response to Original message
22. Cameron 'livid' after multiculturalism speech comes under fire
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/cameron-l...

David Cameron was forced yesterday to defend his controversial claim that multiculturalism can foster Islamic extremism, after attacks from Muslim groups and Labour MPs. The shadow Justice secretary Sadiq Khan accused Mr Cameron of "writing propaganda for the English Defence League", while Muslim groups said he was attempting to "rip communities apart".

Mr Cameron's comments were made on the same day as the anti-Muslim EDL held a big demonstration in Luton, prompting accusations that he was playing into the hands of the far-right. Stephen Lennon, the EDL leader, reportedly said of Mr Cameron: "He's now saying what we're saying. He knows his base."

Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation, a Muslim youth group, accused the Prime Minister of trying to "score cheap political points" in a way that would "rip communities apart". He said: "Singling out Muslims as he has done feeds the hysteria and paranoia about Islam and Muslims. Multi-culturalism is about understanding each others' faiths and cultures whil.rbeing proud of our British citizenship.

"It would help if politicians stopped pandering to the agenda of the BNP and the fascist EDL."
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
We are used to conservative politicians knowing their "base" and "scoring cheap political points" at the expense of minorities. Perhaps the British haven't seen as much of this pandering as we have. Sounds like Cameron is adapting to using the "fear factor" to his political advantage, if not to the betterment of a multi-ethnic society. Our repubs can "enlighten him on the many uses that fear has in getting people to vote for you.
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T_i_B Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-07-11 06:15 AM
Response to Original message
23. We do seem to have an upsurge in pro-EDL trolls on here
For the record, anyone who claims that the BNP and the EDl are unrelated is a blatant, hopeless liar. The EDL are also as thick as pigshit, as can be seem from the below report.

http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/bungling_demo_picked_wron...

BUNGLING right-wing activists protesting about fast food menu changes staged a demo outside the wrong restaurant.

The English Defence League is angry KFC is piloting a halal menu and has withdrawn the 'Big Daddy' bacon burger from some stores.

Six protesters staged a demo outside the Penistone Road KFC in Sheffield.

But a KFC spokesman said the store is not one of 84 branches nationwide trialing the halal menu.


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robcon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-07-11 07:09 AM
Response to Reply #23
24. That's an untrue smear, T_i_B
T_i_B: "For the record, anyone who claims that the BNP and the EDl are unrelated is a blatant, hopeless liar."

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T_i_B Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-07-11 07:20 AM
Response to Reply #24
25. No, there is plenty of crossover of membership
And it's well known so don't try and pretend otherwise.

The BNP and EDL both claim to ban members from the other group but in reality they could not survive if this was actually enforced by either party.
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MemeSmith Donating Member (183 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-07-11 11:44 AM
Response to Reply #23
34. I'm interested in the truth. Can you supply an info?
Can you supply any data on crossover membership between EDL and BNP?

If they're bulls**tting about the ban, they're going to go way down in my esteem.

I like their commitment to equality and human rights, but I have said, they could be lying.

Any help?
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Turborama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-07-11 01:20 PM
Response to Reply #34
39. Just in case you missed this link in my reply to you earlier....
Edited on Mon Feb-07-11 01:20 PM by Turborama
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MemeSmith Donating Member (183 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-07-11 03:59 PM
Response to Reply #39
41. Thanks for that.
I skipped it, because I thought it was just a signature file.

I'll check it out, thouroughly.

Many thanks.
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MemeSmith Donating Member (183 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-07-11 04:24 PM
Response to Reply #41
42. Seriously, thanks for that
Oh my ferkin gawd!

They're complete Nazis!, like, not figuratively! Complete with Waffen SS tattoos, and salutes and swastikas!

I accept my public education with humility.

End of, end of, end of any discussion about whether they may be lying.

They're lying.

Game over.

I really want my ring back.

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Turborama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-07-11 10:58 AM
Response to Original message
30. The Guardian's Comment Is Free: Cameron on multiculturalism - Blaming the victims
Edited on Mon Feb-07-11 11:08 AM by Turborama
The shallowness of the prime minister's speech merely showed how much more work he and his colleagues have to do

* The Guardian, Monday 7 February 2011
* Article history

David Cameron had an opportunity this weekend to say something interesting and relevant about a subject important to anyone who lives in Britain: how hyper-diverse societies can not only cohere, but thrive. He flunked it. What the prime minister offered instead was a mix of cliches, tired thinking and some downright offensive terminology. Nor did Mr Cameron's straw man of multiculturalism bear much likeness to the realities of life, both good and bad, in multi-ethnic Britain. His remarks may have been meant as a summary of the latest thinking on race relations from a new-look, socially liberal Conservative party; but through their shallowness, they merely showed how much more work Mr Cameron and his colleagues have to do.

It is worth underlining that serious contributions to a debate on multiculturalism, whatever their perspective, should be welcomed. That is part of what living in a diverse society is all about. By the same token, however, they should be made with due consideration of context how such remarks might be interpreted and what impact they might have. Race relations in this country have moved on since the bad old days of Enoch Powell's rivers of blood and Margaret Thatcher's talk of "swamping" but innocent people are still harassed, harmed and even killed for the simple fact of where they or their parents or grandparents come from.

Mr Cameron made his speech on the same day as 3,000 supporters of the English Defence League marched through Luton chanting such slogans as "Allah, Allah who the fuck is Allah". For the prime minister to talk about community cohesion right before one of the biggest anti-Islamic rallies Britain has ever seen, and not to have made even a passing criticism of the EDL instead confining his remarks to "Islamist extremism" is irresponsible. The fact that Nick Griffin hailed Mr Cameron's remarks as "a further huge leap for our ideas into the political mainstream" should be taken seriously by the prime minister's team as a sign that his remarks were not sufficiently clear. This is surely not the sort of company any mainstream politician wants to keep.

Timing aside, Mr Cameron's speech was also flawed in structure and details. Terrorism, the nominal subject of his talk, is a completely different subject from racial integration yet the prime minister rolled the two into one. He directed his fire at "state multiculturalism", where "we have encouraged different cultures to live separatbe lives" but stopped short of his argument's logical conclusion, which would be to call a halt to faith schools. The argument that much of what is wrong with race in Britain today is the failure of ethnic minorities to integrate has been gaining currency for years. Nor is the prime minister's call for "a new vision of society" original (remember Gordon Brown and his Britishness); although his "muscular liberalism", a phrase redolent of muscular Christianity, that term of British imperial self-congratulation, is poorly chosen.

What this view ignores is the numerous ways in which ethnic minorities are still discriminated against whether it is being stopped and searched by the police or in the jobs market. As Trevor Phillips, the chair of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, rightly pointed out yesterday: "If people can't get jobs, you can't expect them to integrate." To exhort the disadvantaged to pull up their socks without giving them sufficient means to do so is a spectacular example of blaming the victims. One other qualm about the prime minister's speech is what it says about his own standing. Governments normally bring out such dog whistles when they are faltering, just as New Labour did after Iraq. After only nine months at No 10, and with his approval ratings on the slide, Mr Cameron is already resorting to such tactics. He surely has a serious contribution to this debate, but this reads like the speech of an anxious politician.

From: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/feb/07/edi...
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pampango Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-07-11 11:05 AM
Response to Reply #30
32. "Nick Griffin hailed Mr Cameron's remarks as "a further huge leap for our ideas" - Thanks, David!
With "friends" like you, British Muslims hardly need "enemies" like the BNP and EDL. ;(
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