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Tuesday, 14 December 2010

The Topsy-Turvy World of the Guardian

The following is a free inversion of Robert Lambert's (a Guardian journalist) article which basically says that the EDL is no better than Islamist terrorists - and thus they should be treated in the same way by the security forces!


On the face of it, this failed bomb attack in Stockholm appears to be an example of what is often described as "lone wolf" terrorism. Even if the English EDL patriot, John Smith, was acting alone, however, the description doesn't do justice to EDL strategists and propagandists who have been promoting, fostering and facilitating this kind of tactic for some time, encouraging all forms of insurgency, including small-scale, individual acts.

Police investigating the Luton connections of the dead Stockholm bomber will, of course, keep an open mind about his motivation and let the evidence direct their enquiries and conclusions. More immediately, Swedish and UK police will wish to establish whether the English patriot, John Smith, was acting alone or in a conspiracy with others. Investigations often reveal unexpected evidence and every individual case needs to be assessed on its own merits.

Whatever is finally uncovered about the shape and character of the plot, a predictable anti-EDL reaction to the news has already started to take shape.

The Islamists and the extremist Islam milieu that surrounds them have roots in Luton and will interpret news that the Stockholm bomber is linked to Luton as further proof that EDL members in Luton are terrorists, terrorist sympathisers, extremists and subversives.

But while pursuing those involved in EDL extremism with every means at our disposal, it would be wrong not to recognise the part that Islam and the Koran has played in fomenting violence in Luton and elsewhere.

In 2009 the Islamists staged an aggressive protest in Luton in response to a demonstration by the extremist fringe EDL in favour of British troops. Shortly afterwards a church there was firebombed.

Messages sent to the church left little doubt as to the anti-Christian nature of this act of political violence. Not only did the attackers wrongly conflate the Church with EDL, they also failed to recognise the extent to which the Church had been at the forefront of countering EDL propaganda for more than a decade.

As such the church in Luton is best seen as tackling two kinds of terrorism and political violence: EDL-inspired terrorism on the one hand and Islamism on the other. That the church is seen by both sets of opposing extremists as an enemy is proof positive of its effectiveness.

And if EDL-inspired terrorism warrants a multi-agency nationwide counterterrorism strategy that includes a strand in which community-based projects seek to prevent young people becoming EDL terrorists or supporters, then the same resources should be deployed to tackle extremist Islamism.

Although the UK counterterrorism strategy (Contest) and its "Prevent" strand have fundamental flaws that need to be addressed, it seems reasonable that the government should treat both threats with equal importance and in the same way. To afford primacy to one over the other as is the case at present is hardly calculated to inspire the white Christian community confidence, a necessary prerequisite for success in Prevent.

On the contrary, a failure to afford the same priority to both weakens the white Christian community's confidence and also has the potential to be used by EDL propagandists who seek to exploit reasonable white Christian community grievances to attract new recruits and supporters.
The Swedish link to Luton should be used as an opportunity to drive this insight home, not to dust off unthinking cliches about a British "breeding ground for EDL terror".

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