posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 8 October 2013, 11:18
We are reacting with cautious optimism to news from the Quilliam Foundation that English Defence League (EDL) leaders ‘Tommy Robinson’ (Stephen Lennon) and his cousin Kevin Carroll are leaving the EDL.
In its statement, Quilliam announces that Robinson and Carroll can “no longer keep extremist elements at bay” from the group they founded in Luton in 2009.
However, what is less clear at this stage is whether Robinson and Carroll are renouncing the racism, Islamophobia and violence that they promoted, or for the anti-Muslim hatred that followed in their wake.
Since Robinson/Lennon descended with 100 supporters in a drunken riot on the night Drummer Lee Rigby was murdered in Woolwich, there has been a large spike in anti-Muslim incidents – including mosque arsons, bombings (with the alleged perpetrator also accused of murdering a Muslim grandfather), desecration of Muslim graves and the Metropolitan Police recording a sharp rise in Islamophobic crimes in the capital.
There are still many questions over the future of the EDL post-Robinson/Carroll, and what happens to all the thugs they have so gleefully whipped up.
Said HOPE not hate director, Nick Lowles: “We celebrate Quilliam’s efforts here, but only a complete renunciation of the violence and hatred the EDL leaders have promoted, and a turning away from the anti-Muslim rhetoric they have championed, will be enough for the many thousands who have suffered from the EDL’s ugly actions over the past three years.
“EDL supporters have called for mosques to be burned, holy books to be destroyed, Muslims to be deported, they have cost us £10m in policing bills, brought disorder to our streets, and many, many more have been sentenced for acts of violence, gun possession, paedophilia and other crimes.
“To claim they represented working class Britons was laughable: HOPE not hate and others have worked closely with unions, faith groups and the real working class of Britain to oppose the blind hatred and violence promoted via the EDL and its counter-jihadist backers. What happens now to those wealthy individuals who have backed the EDL leaders to the hilt? We doubt they, or Lennon/Carroll, will disappear so quickly from the scene.
“Merely setting up a new party or anti-Muslim organisation will not be enough to convince anti-hate campaigners, and those interested in democratic government, that Lennon and Carroll have truly renounced their ways. We hope they have. Well done to Quilliam but many questions still remain.”
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Posted: 8 Oct 2013 | There are 2 comments
Comment 1 | From: B31 Antifascist | Date: 8 October 2013, 11:29
This does in absolutely no way shape or form mean that Lennon and Carroll have had a 'road to Damascus' conversion and have become antifascists but it does mean yet another split for the far right, and yet another giant leap into fascism for what remains of the nazi EDL. But UKIP could well snap him up now. The fact they've already stoked up attacks on mosques/Muslims and even gurdwaras that they need to be accounted for by society stinks of closing the stable door after the horse has bolted.
Comment 2 | From: Glenn | Date: 8 October 2013, 12:13
Robinson and Carroll have fast become persona non grata among the right wing extremist community - victims of the 'do one' rank and file that make up the EDL, North West Infidels, BNP, etc. They have seen the way the wind is blowing and jumped ship. Both have been claiming the 'moderate' ground in their rhetoric. If you read the social media of the extremist right, the two of them have become a laughing stock as a result, and the troubles of Guramit Singh Kalirai haven't helped their cause.
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