Firstly I would like to rewrite a journalist's passage by simply substituting the word ‘EDL’ with ‘Islamists’. Here it is:
Don’t you realise that if Islamists got into power, free speech would be one of the first things to go?
Don’t these journalists know about Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, many Gulf States, and many other Islamic states both today and in the past? One journalist said that the EDL ‘has the power to say just about anything it wants’. The same is true of the upholders of Islam.
Many Muslims agree so much, on the surface, with tolerance, free speech and, at the moment, with the proposed legislation against ‘religious incitement’. This essentially means their free speech; tolerance towards Islam from non-Muslims; and legislation to protect Islam and Muslims from all criticism. Many Muslims are explicit about what they want from proposed legislation. Criticism against Islam and Muslims, no matter how inoffensive and well argued, is by definition ‘offensive’ – that favourite word of many Muslims. Many Muslims talk about laws against ‘religious hatred’. There’s more religious hatred and violence in that outrageous book, the Koran, than anything by Tarrantino or Peckingpa. (Have journalists read it or have they had its nice passages passed onto them by Muslims?) The Koran reminds me of Hitler's Mein Kampf. They are both anti-Semitic, repetitive and obsessive. And yet one is classed as a work of religion and the other one of politics. Only Mein Kampf is stigmatised. Religion seems to get away with all manner of perversities, as long as they are religious perversities. Perhaps I should class anti-Islamism as a religion!
I would like to write a piece for a regional newspaper about Islam. But I know that it will never happen. Perhaps that’s why they don’t respond to my stuff on Islam and Jihad. They are reasoned and well-argued. I haven't ever even received a one-word reply. Perhaps I should adopt that regional-journalese style in which I make very biased and strong political points, but intersperse them with references to Eastenders, fish ‘n’ chips and interjections of ‘Eh!’. Anila Baig, the Muslim writer for the Sun, adopts this rather clever and patronising tactic. (If a Muslim woman likes Pop Idol, then Islam can’t be that bad.)
So perhaps that’s why people support the EDL. They realise that institutions like the regional newspapers and other groups and individuals are essentially lying about Islam. Those non-Muslims who are naïve about Islam, or who are politically using Islam for their own non-Islamic ends (extreme leftists and liberals), are feeding the EDL. Don’t join the anti-'Islamophobia' chorus.