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Thursday, 29 July 2010

Telegraph & Argus: Don't Ban the EDL Demo in Bradford

- author undisclosed

[Bradford's Telegraph & Argus] suggest[s] that a proposed EDL demonstration in Bradford should be banned.

I am not a member of the EDL, and think that the demonstration would be a mistake, but I deplore your reporter's lazy journalism, in employing the term (T&A 27th July) "race hate protest". The EDL is not the BNP, which regards the “white race” as “superior”. The EDL claims it has no "racial" views, and simply opposes militant Islamism. Islam is NOT a race. EDL's literature claims to welcome all "races".

Your proposal would stifle free expression of opinion, despite the weasel words of local politicians. Reports of EDL demonstrations show that any violence has been provoked and led by opponents of the EDL, notably the UAF, which shares its leadership with the Trotskyist SWP. From banning demonstrations, it is a short step to the banning of unpopular or unfashionable opinions (I could quote Voltaire). It is NOT an offence - yet - to be against militant Islam. Once we start "banning" opinions (unless designed to promote violence) then we lose everything which is special about being British.

However, I hope the EDL will decide for itself not to demonstrate in Bradford.

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