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Videos of the initial EDL protest which sparked the unrest are surprising. The largely male group of white skinheads is standing under banners with headlines like "Sharia law means the execution of gays and mutilation and stoning of women". I know: it's slightly odd seeing a group of skinhead guys who profess themselves keen on gays — outside Soho at any rate. The other EDL banners are equally surprising. "Black and white unite", "We are not BNP and we are not racist" and "We hate the Nazis as much as we hate Muslim extremists". Is all this cynical positioning or genuine? In an interview, EDL "spokesman" Paul Ray said they were opposed to "all devout Muslims". The EDL say they are not BNP, but there are certainly BNP people who have been involved with them and as a result, and because of Ray's awful comment, I think it important to have nothing to do with them. Last month, a group of EDL supporters came to an interview I was due to give in east London. I told them that I thought they were BNP-linked, could have nothing to do with them and left the area.

In Birmingham, the EDL's banners claiming they were not BNP were to no avail. Self-appointed "anti-fascist campaigners" need fascists to give themselves purpose and are often keen on violence themselves. And there was Salma Yaqoob whipping up a group of young Muslim men, describing the streets of Birmingham as "our streets". The mob battled with police and eventually the EDL, kicking some of its members to the ground, reportedly burning Union flags and getting in response some equally disgusting, racist and thuggish behaviour from some of the EDL crowd.

It's a surreal sight, seeing one side waving "stop the fascist BNP" banners, and on the other side a group waving banners that say they are not the BNP. But it is a sign of things to come. In the following weeks, Birmingham again and then Harrow in north-west London, descended into the same violence, with self-described anti-Islamists and young Muslims clashing in the streets.

For years, our political class has allowed militant Islam to thrive in Britain and ignored those who have been warning of the consequences. Now the entirely predictable street-level response has begun. In the ensuing noise, as actual fascists from all sides try to clear the ground for themselves, those of us who hate them all will need all our care and caution to work out who is who.

Déjà-vu often leaves you slightly disorientated. If recent weeks are anything to go by, its opposite cannot but leave you feeling very bleak indeed about the future into which this country is heading. 

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Simon
October 29th, 2009
12:10 PM
I don't think a non-violent organisation like the EDL should have anything to do with neocons who support the invasion of other (Muslim) countries in order to 'democratise' them and impose an alien value system. The EDL are apparently a purely defensive organisation and it is right that they should disassociate themselves from the likes of Mr Murray.

Anonymous
October 18th, 2009
3:10 AM
I find it somewhat interesting that Mr Murray, who's youtube video's and fame where exposed to me actually by my research on the EDL (from the "lionheartuk" blogspot, would decry their organization and it's members as skinheads, and make claims about their conduct when he was neither present in Birmingham nor can provide evidence as to their occurance at all. I have searched for video footage of violent acts or incitement by the EDL at Birmingham, and cannot seem to find any video at all. On the other hand, there is oodles of video footage of UAF inciting violence and muslim "youths" attacking police with bricks, and charging down streets attacking innocent people unconnected with the protests. Of all the arrests, I'm not aware of any being of EDL members. Getting back to my orginal comment, one of the founders of the EDL (and current leader of it's so-called St George Division), is an ideological duplicate of Mr Murray and a promoter of his video's and opinions of which He has displayed and commented on, on his website blog since long before the EDL came into existance. I would say quite frankly, that Mr Murray (and His video's on youtube) have provided significant influence and moral impetus to the EDL's creation itself and his lack of offering direction may have brought about it's actions. It is the above reason that the BNP have made the EDL a proscribed organization for their members, seeing it as Mr Griffin mentioned on Mr Darby's blog that the EDL are essentially a "Neo-conservative, Zionist plot" to bring the BNP into disrepute. One thing that (after watching many such video's) disturbs me about Mr Murray and his comments, is that whilst his central theme remains against the so-called Islamisation of Europe and the dangers of lost liberties as a result of "political Islam", He speaks both in terms of optimism for a change of direction, and lements a lack of it.. But He himself provides no direction to those who agree with him such as messr's Wilders, Miss Ali and others (such as the EDL) as far as what actions are to be taken, and what direction to move in. Leaving those from the middle-classes who call for direction action, such as protests.. no other possible avenue to voice their support for Mr Murray and his opinions. It's all well and good to spotlight a problem, and to decry that "something must be done, and done quickly" but when you do not offer any reasonable solutions.. you must expect that those who agree with you, will start developing both reasonable and unreasonable solutions themselves. I find it unfortunate that the courage of Mr Murray's convictions, leaves him with no cause of action.. but to "voice concerns". In short, without being on a horse, you cannot hope to alter it's direction. Mr Murray and his friends, need to back a horse.. before the race closes, instead of making adverse comments to all the riders.. who are attempting in their own way to win the same race.

MC
October 5th, 2009
2:10 AM
Mr. Murray-- I don't know why you think that Paul Ray's saying they (EDL) were opposed to all devout Muslims is an "awful comment". Presumably, devout Muslims follow closely the tenets of their faith. They are therefore obliged to regard us non-muslims as enemies and to advance the dominance of Islam in every way possible. This is not to say that they are all terrorists but terrorism is not the only weapon at their disposal. The most important and effective is demographic conquest which all European countries are now suffering. Then there are the rioting, the threats of violence if they are "offended", the anti-discrimination lawsuits, the demands that we must change our way of life to suit them, the assaults on our ancient liberties such as freedom of speech. Anyone who cares about the survival of Western civilisation must be opposed to the presence of devout Muslims in our midst. I am not advocating violence against them but a good first step would be to at least stop any further Muslim immigration to Europe. We must also stop fighting amongst ourselves and witch-hunting so-called racists.

Nigel
September 30th, 2009
4:09 PM
One of the better articles about the EDL demonstrations. When discussing Islam, we are very careful to not tar every Muslim with the same brush. We make distinctions like secular, liberal, traditional and extremists Muslims, or talk in terms of percentages when discussing what Muslims think. But we don't have that data when it comes to the EDL. For example, we don't know what percentage of them sees this issue as one of ideology and what percentage sees it as skin color. We are left with sweeping generalizations like 'they are all BNP and should be banned' or 'a few of them have links to the BNP so let’s not associate with any of them'. Generalizations that would not be acceptable if they were applied to the Muslim community and they shouldn't be made when talking about the EDL if the same standards are to be used. If people don't want to live in an Islamic theocracy, then there will have to be an effort at the grass roots level to build a multi-ethnic consensus and demonstrate to their politicians that people are concerned. The EDL may not be perfect but they have actually made a go of this.

TDK
September 26th, 2009
10:09 AM
In the following weeks, Birmingham again and then Harrow in north-west London, descended into the same violence, with self-described anti-Islamists and young Muslims clashing in the streets. I agree with you about both sides being repellent. However in Harrow, the EDL are reported (eg the BBC) to have called of their demonstration. Therefore the violence in Harrow could not have been anti-Islamists and young Muslims clashing in the streets but rather the so called "anti-fascists" going on the rampage. Hat tip: http://pubphilosopher.blogs.com/pub_philosopher/2009/09/who-was-doing-th...

Michael Burleigh
September 24th, 2009
10:09 AM
Very good article which does not fall for the well-tried Leftist trick of using Fascism in an inflationary way to smear people with legitimate concerns.

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