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Saturday, 5 June 2010

My England: My EDL [by Cherry Oh Baby]

- by Cherry Oh Baby

I’m 22 years of age, female, ¾ English, ¼ Welsh. I was born in Germany, as my father was an RAF serviceman. I had a very happy childhood and both my parents worked hard to install such values as manners, the importance of education and working for rewards. Okay so I wasn’t an angelic child but I don’t resent any punishment I received due to bad behaviour. My father joined the RAF when he turned 17 and has only recently left to become self employed. I think most of my patriotic values come from my father, always being proud of his nationality and working to pay his way in life. He installed into me the importance of our heritage. After being based in a couple of different RAF bases, we moved to England for the second time round in my life in 1999. I stuck at school, despite being somewhat of an outcast in a state school - possibly because of my upbringing. I left with 9 GCSEs, all grade D or above. Immediately I went into an apprenticeship after leaving school, and even after I achieved my qualification I continued to work right up to this day, not once having received benefits, even now whilst I’m in some serious financial hardship I still continue to pay my own way. I may be blowing my own trumpet but I think I’m a pretty good citizen.

Initially, I first heard about the EDL from a lad I knew from school on Facebook. After feeling the pressure of becoming more and more of a second-class citizen in my own country, I decided to do some research on just what the English Defence League were about. I must say, it was almost like love at first sight! A diverse community of all creeds, colours and ages all standing up to fight the oncoming volatile situation of extremist beliefs amongst the Islamic community. We all remember where we were when the first news of 9/11 or 7/7 hit you - to this day it still brings tears to my eyes, and my heart aches if I think of it happening again. After joining the EDL Facebook group and my local division group, I’ve become more involved with demos and spreading the real meaning behind the EDL.

So why EDL and not some far right political party such as the BNP? I am not racist, nor am I fascist. I embrace diversity and denounce discrimination of any kind. I myself have been racially attacked, being questioned: “Why are you out without your white men?” - before having my finger dislocated by a young Pakistani male on a night out with my girlfriends shook me a fair bit, to say the least, but I don’t hold that against the Pakistani community.

My division has become stronger and stronger since I’ve joined, and after meeting a fair few members of my division and other divisions, I’ve somewhat felt a family-like connection with them. Standing together on the streets of Britain, flying our flags of red white and blue and singing our hearts out are now fond memories for me.

I have a relative, who many years ago, married an Egyptian Muslim. They raised 3 beautiful children and he and his beliefs were welcomed into my family without a second thought. As a consultant, he was fairly well off and the family decided to up roots in the UK and move to Egypt, where they had better prospects for the future. Not one of us saw what was to happen in the coming years. Increasingly, he became controlling and mentally abusive. I do not wish to go into the details, but it came to the point where my relative had to return to the UK and seek refuge in a hostel until they felt safe to start a new life. My relative has recently stated this:

“I spent the weekend reading up on the EDL just to see what my niece is on about! I fully agree with the things they were saying and actually thought about joining you lot in London. I lived in a Muslim country for 5 years and am bringing up my 3 children to be moderate Muslims. Islamic Extremism killed my marriage and family unit. It is NOT the real Islam but a man made one to suit all the trouble makers and Muslim born racist !”

Just some food for thought there.

I am just one member of the thousands from the famous EDL. I am proud and will never surrender.

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