Fearing that Pakistani/Muslim youths may take to the streets once again, the T&A has successfully campaigned against the proposed march by the English Defence League (EDL) describing the EDL as ‘Far-right’ and likely to whip up hatred against Muslims in the city. In the T&A’s two-page Comment of 26 July 2010 calling for the EDL march to be banned, the editor writes “We believe that if the march were to go ahead it could only damage community relations and threaten the prosperity and harmony of the city and district.” This is restated in response to the published letter by .... when the editor writes: “Our primary concern is for the safety of Bradford’s citizens, the protection of local property and businesses and the safeguarding of the city’s reputation on the national stage.” (T&A 23 August 2010).
Since the damage caused to local businesses and to the city’s reputation was NOT caused by the BNP in 2001 but by Bradford Pakistani youths in an ‘orgy of violence’, I really don’t understand why it is the EDL who should be banned rather than Bradford Pakistani/Muslim youths. It can only mean the ban has been sought out of fear that Pakistani youths may cause more mayhem on local streets again – as they did in 1995, 1988 and 2001. Thus freedom of speech and the right to protest peacefully has been sacrificed to appease a militant Pakistani minority who may be ready to engage in an ‘orgy of violence’ again! Put another way, a minority has trumped the civil and legal rights of the majority (not unreasonably I assume the vast majority of people in Britain today believe in freedom of speech and the right to protest peacefully). As for those who don’t behave and break the law they should be arrested, charged and brought to trial – surely the police, having learnt lessons from the 2001 riots are capable of doing this.
Having said that it is perfectly understandable that so many Bradfordians have signed your petitions, because they don’t want to see their city centre turned into a battleground. But had you rephrased the wording of your petition, asking the question if readers agree the EDL should have the right to protest against Islamic extremism and express their concerns about Islamisation (Muslim enclaves) around Britain, perhaps a similar number would have supported the EDL’s right to protest and freedom of speech.
Opinion polls have repeatedly shown that a majority of British people have real concerns about the growth of Islam here in the UK. In the British Social Survey of January this year 52 per cent said they thought Britain was divided along religious lines, with 45 per cent saying they thought diversity and multiculturalism had had a negative impact, and 55 per cent they would be concerned if a large mosque was built in their neighbourhood. (British Social Survey, January 2010.) In another Ipsos MORI poll last year, 60 per cent agreed with the statement that Britain was divided along religious lines. (Mori poll for the Equality and Human Rights Commission, January 2009.) Meanwhile 64 percent said it should be illegal for Muslim women to wear a burka in public places such as banks and airports (ComRes poll, February 2010).
Not only are the EDL concerned about cultural jihadism (Islamisation) taking place in many urban districts around Britain but so are the British Muslims for Secular Democracy (BMSD), who are very critical indeed of those who argue for more Islamism (please check out their website).
Instead of taking a stand in defence of liberal values the T&A has sided with the forces of illiberalism (I know for a fact that a number of those involved in the anti-EDL campaign in Bradford are long time supporters of the British Communist Party and other Marxist-Leninist groups) and you really have been duped. But they are very devious people unlike the vast majority of ordinary Bradfordians we meet in everyday life. Please think about this: the very same forces who are now calling for the EDL to be banned to appease Pakistani Muslim youths who may riot, are the very same people who backed the ill treatment and cruel incarceration of dissidents in the former Soviet Union (such as Alexander Solzhenitsyn) as they were denied freedom of speech.
Following the demise of their precious ‘socialist’ USSR many of these Marxist-Leninist forces turned to Stalin’s 1930s tactic of Popular Frontism and embraced moral relativism and political correctness as a means of forming alliances with ‘progressive’ forces (church leaders, regional business figures, newspaper editors and trades unionists) in order to mount campaigns opposed to anyone critical of multiculturalism (like the EDL) whom are then branded as racist and ‘far right’.
I have to say I am not a supporter of the EDL but since they accept support from non-whites (Afro-Caribbean, Hindu and Sikhs etc) and carry banners bearing the words ‘Black and White Unite’, its hard to see how they are racist. As for the EDL’s pro-British stance and anti-Islamism I see nothing at all wrong with this at all. Winston Churchill was a British patriot and anti-Islamist (see quote from his book The River War below*). Moreover had Churchill been alive today and spoke as he does below you would have been calling for him to be censured or worse – and your Popular Front nihilistic Left-wing friends would have been right behind you!
Finally, as you will know many hundreds of Americans took to the streets of New York over the weekend to protest against plans to build a mosque close to the site of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers resulting in nearly 3,000 deaths and although the issues are different, the core concerns are exactly the same as those expressed in opinion polls here in the UK (see above) and by the EDL – namely real concerns about the growth of Islamism and the Islamisation of many urban districts.
*) Churchill quote:
“How dreadful are the curses which Islam lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live.
A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property‹either as a child, a wife, or a concubine must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Individual Muslims may show splendid qualities. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen; all know how to die; but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it.
No stronger retrograde force exists in the world.
Far from being moribund, Islam is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science -the science against which it had vainly struggled -the civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome.” (The River War, Winston Churchill, 1899.)