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What happens in England stays in…wait, not really

14 December 2010 IslamophobiaToday 3 Comments Email This Post Email This Post

EDL Poster Event

Here is the history of the English Defence League according to Wikipedia:

The English Defence League (EDL) is a far-right political group operating in the United Kingdom that was formed in 2009. Its stated aim is to oppose the spread of Islamism, Sharia law and Islamic extremism in England. The EDL uses street-based marches against what it labels as Muslim extremism. It presents itself as being multi-ethnic and multi-faith, and states that it opposes only “jihadists”, not all Muslims. However, some EDL members have chanted “We hate Muslims” at pro-Palestinian demonstrators in London on 13 September 2009.

So, what is exactly happening on February 5th in the UK? The English Defence League (EDL) is “peacefully protesting” in the streets of Luton – a large town in Bedfordshire, England. They are protesting to support their “continue[d] fight of the Islamifcation” of England.

The above image of the EDL thugs shows them wearing a football (soccer) jersey with…ski masks on, and of course they happen to make a “peace sign” with their hands. The above image is not the only thing that is troubling, the text surrounding the image is as troubling. The EDL believes that there is an Islamification taking place in England at large, and they believe that “bringing it back to where it all began” is the right way to go. They say that the teachings of the Qur’an advocates a backwardness.

They want to go back to the way it was, whatever that means. Also, they say that the event is peaceful but the the last sentence says otherwise: “We will never back down we will never be silenced and we will never be beaten.” No one is trying to beat you. No one is trying to silence you. No one is telling you stay away, but everyone is trying to show that your ideology is creating a fiasco. Here are some more images to display their peacefulness:

English Defence League intimidate a young Muslim woman on train en route from Bolton to their protest march in Manchester, Jan 2010. Photo source: Daily Mail

EDL members meet at a rendezvous pub before travelling to Manchester

There happens to be many more images, but you get the picture. I will just add a video of these “peaceful” thugs:

Now, one might ask how does the EDL tie in to America? They are in the UK, and we are here in America. The connection is that according to the guardian.co.uk, Terry Jones has accepted an invitation to their event in February:

The English Defence League (EDL) said it was “proud to announce” that the US pastor, who caused outrage with plans to burn the Qur’an on this year’s anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, would be attending the event in Luton in early February. Jones confirmed that he would be arriving in the UK.

I don’t have to make the connection here. It is clear why the EDL wants someone like Terry Jones to come speak at their event. But wait, according to a press statement by the EDL, they try to backtrack on their invitation:

The English Defense League wish to correct a falsehood that is being propagated by the international media: we did not invite Terry Jones to speak at any EDL event, he approached us and we agreed in principle but we have since taken an indepth look at him and his church . Terry Jones won international notoriety by threatening to burn the Koran. We believe firmly in upholding the principles of free speech and free expression, and believe that he should have been free to do so, and protected by law enforcement authorities from those who would have tried to harm or kill him had he done so.

At the same time, we strongly disapprove of burning the Koran, precisely because we believe in those principles of free speech and free expression. We do not believe the Koran should be burned, but rather read, so that people come to understand its inherent violence, supremacism, and hatred and contempt for non-Muslims. It is essential that people know what the Koran teaches, so they can see how far its teachings are from the free traditions of England that we have pledged our lives to uphold and defend.

This is normal behavior from extremists groups like the EDL. They are constantly backtracking and trying to keep their image as clean as possible. Now, is there a problem with Islamic extremism? Yes, of course. Is every Muslim a terrorist? No.  Is there a problem with EDL and their extremist views? Yes, of course. Is every person in England part of the EDL? No. Groups like the  EDL, like Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA), misinform and convince people that any Muslim who follows their religion, has to be a terrorist.

Analyzing and understanding groups like the EDL are important. Groups or movements like these can and have been created in America. Groups like, Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA), the Tea Party movement, etc…”Surprisingly” the EDL already has connections with Tea Party movement:

The English Defence League, a far-right grouping aimed at combating the “Islamification” of British cities, has developed strong links with the American Tea Party movement.

The EDL also has strong bonds with Pamela Geller, the executive director of SIOA:

Geller, who denies being anti-Muslim, said in one of her blogs: “I share the EDL’s goals… We need to encourage rational, reasonable groups that oppose the Islamisation of the west.”

And it just happens that Pamela Geller is someone who opposes the Islamic center near “Ground Zero” a cause-celeb amongst Tea Partiers. Pamela Geller does not work alone, her close friend Robert Spencer is a co-founder of SIOA and an ardent supporter of the EDL.

Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller

Spencer amongst other statements has said,

“The EDL deserves the support of all free people.”

The link between the EDL, the Tea Party movement and SIOA is clear, they share an anti-Muslim mission and a sense of purpose that links them across shores and boundaries.

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3 Comments »

  1. With reference to the top photo, I suspect that’s not a “peace sign” gesture, it’s a “V for Victory” gesture.

  2. If they invited Terry Jones who’s from a small town in the south both sides are desperate to make something out of themselves.

  3. Going back to where it all started refers to the EDL forming in Luton as a direct result to Muslims burning the union jack an hurling abuse at British soldiers returning from Afghanistan.
    The EDL is not a fascist or racist group and has multi racial membership but opposes the increasing amounts of sharia courts and no go areas for non Muslims as well as the ultra pc way that no one is allowed to criticise Islam without threats of violence yet a returned threat would be an arrest able offence.
    If you do not like the culture of Great Britain then why travel all the way across Europe to settle here? There are many Islamic countries that agree with your ideas of marrying children, oppressing women and persecution of gays

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