Thursday, June 30 2016

EDL protest in Leicester Results in More Public Order Offences

 Ten people were charged with a mix of public order offences, suspicion of assaulting a police officer, possessing an offensive weapon and possessing a controlled substance, following a protest in Leicester by extremist right-wing group, the English Defence League (EDL). The static protest was allowed to go ahead in Leicester, although a march had been banned by Home Secretary.

One video shows an attack on a restaurant, followed by clashes with the police.


Pictures of the protests were also documented by the BBC that show the EDL clashing with the police in an attempt to break their cordon. One picture shows a member of the EDL holding a sign saying, “Britain is home to 3+ million Islamists. Why?” further highlighting the anti-Muslim rather than anti-extremist nature of the EDL.

This is yet another incident of violent disorder that the EDL brings to the streets of Britain in their attempts to incite hatred against British Muslims and Islam. In addition to the anti-Muslim environment created by the EDL in Britain, they are reported to be branching out and finding support among other Islamophobes in America. The Guardian reports that the EDL has developed strong links with the “Tea Party” movement in America and with prominent anti-Islamic personalities such as Pamela Geller.

Geller is reported to have said,

"I share the EDL's goals… We need to encourage rational, reasonable groups that oppose the Islamisation of the west."

Support from the well funded Tea Party movement could allow the EDL to spread its message here in Britain. Devin Burghart, vice-president of the Kansas based Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights says that “Geller is acting as the bridge between the EDL and the Tea Party. She plays an important role in bringing Islamophobia to the Tea Party”, in which “anti-Islamic tendencies have become far more marked.”

“As we move farther and farther away from the Tea Party origins, that were ostensibly around debt and bail-outs, social issues like Islamophobia are replacing that anger, that vigour. The idea that there is a war between Islam and the west is becoming commonplace.”

Meanwhile, Rabbi Nachum Shifren, a regular speaker at Tea Party conventions and a Californian senate candidate has called on British Jews to rally behind the EDL, saying, “The people of England are in the forefront of this war – and it is a war.”

The anti-Islam message is spreading across Britain, Europe and America and it seems the vanguards of those movements are coming together. In a statement by the Tea Party associated organisation, International Civil Liberties Alliance said, "It seems now that America and Europe are acting as one, and united we can never fail."

In addition, the vanguard that perpetuate anti-Islamic sentiment are fast becoming a political force to be reckoned with across Europe and also America. Commenting in The Guardian today, Ian Buruma notes that “populist parties stirring up fear of immigrants – specifically Muslim immigrants - have managed to gain enough power to set, or at least influence, their countries' political agendas,” – among them, Geert Wilders' party.

“The influence of these slick new populists, waging their war on Islam, goes well beyond their countries' borders. Nativism is on the rise all over the western world, and Wilders, in particular, is a popular speaker at rightwing anti-Muslim gatherings in the US, Britain and Germany.”

Now, more than ever, is the time to challenge these extreme narratives and ensure that our communities remain united rather than allowing these divisions to be sown. However, Buruma argues that the response from the mainstream has been “inexcusably soft.”

“It will no longer do merely to warn against racism or promote multiculturalism.”

“… people must be convinced that without controlled immigration – and not just asylum for refugees – Europeans will be worse off” and “the argument must be made more forcefully that it will be much harder to protect our societies against the revolutionary terrorism of radical Islam without the active support of all law-abiding Muslims. Europe will not be safer under politicians who claim that we are at war with Islam. On the contrary, their influence will make life not only less civilised, but a great deal more dangerous."

Last Updated on Monday, 11 October 2010 15:32


0 #3 RacismNaeem Shaukat 2010-10-19 06:52
I think that the Government should apply the same anti terroism laws on the EDL fanatics and should also class them whit fanatics. The organisations like EDL should be banned in the same way as they have banned organisations like Lashkere Taibbah in Pakistan. The west should should look into their own collars and put theor own house in order. The esxtremists should be dealt with on both side of the fence with equal force and complete justice.
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0 #2 The EDL ProtestJoel Hayward 2010-10-16 11:29
I had the unfortunate experience of witnessing firsthand the intimidating impact of the English Defence League protest in Leicester on 9 October 2010. I oppose all racism and religious intolerance and was upset by the evident anger and the placards and flyers that accused Muslims of violent tendencies. It was awful and reminded me of a brownshirt anti-Jewish protest in the 1930s.

I do not favour censorship or bans and I would not deny the Florida pastor or the English Defence League their right peacefully and without incitement to express their views, but I feel compelled to say that I certainly do not share their negative assessment of Islam's impact on our society.

I wrote this poem about that day in Leicester::

That city that day

I saw fear in Leicester
Sons and fathers whispering
Sentries standing guard
Mosques and shops
Empty inside crowded outside

I saw suspicion in Leicester
Waiting eyes watching
Looking for the arrival
Sighing with resignation
Minds chanting prayers

I saw calmness in Leicester
Brothers as bars on a steel rail
Older steadying younger
Wisdom with beards
Jaws clenched and no fists

I saw democracy in Leicester
Permissiveness in uniform
Reluctant toleration
Authority manifest
Allowing to limits not beyond

I saw hatred in Leicester
Empty eyes and open mouths
Knuckles and noise in grunts
Herded and cornered and held
Braying and jubilant in losing

I saw Old England in Leicester
The red and white of the nation
Their hollow emptiness
Protest and pride without point
The English Defence League

I drove home from Leicester
Weighing so much more
Mind’s eyes staring at stupidity
Memory blocking strangers’ curses
To hear the quietness of brothers
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0 #1 WHY???yo sam 2010-10-12 08:59
It is a shame that this group feels free to go around,under the freedom to demonstrate when their track record shows that 9 times out of 10 it ends with violent behaviour, when will the leaders of our country put measures in place to stop these huligans from wasting the tax payers money in managing their violent and distruptive demonstrations!!! ,that insite hatred to a specific minority group.
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