| ||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.
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."
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