Police massively outnumbered English Defence League protesters their Luton demonstration this morning.
Small numbers of English Defence League supporters appeared at a demonstration against Luton Islamic Centre this morning, which was held at Crawley Road car park.
Despite the group’s announcement yesterday evening that the demonstration was “on hold”, a few supporters from Northern divisions came out.
On the 31 December-2 January 2015, Luton Islamic Centre are organising a conference entitled “Return of Khilafah and Jihaad, the correct understanding”. The purpose of this conference is to clarify to the Muslim community, the deviated beliefs of ISIS, Al-Qaida, and their followers. From the supporters of ISIS are the UK based group Al-Muhajaroon.
Luton Islamic Centre has been in the forefront of warning against violent extremism and its advocates. We have produced and distributed across the UK, tens of thousands of anti-extremism leaflets, including 50,000 leaflets entitled: “Al Muhajaroon, the extremist cult exposed”. We have also funded the publication of several books written to refute the ideology of Al Qaida. (pdf link: http://www.calltoislam.com/pdf/Al-Muhaajiroon%20-%20The%20Extremist%20Cult%20Exposed.pdf)
The PEGIDA demonstration in Dresden last Monday, in which an estimated 17,500 people protested against immigration and the “Islamisation of the west”, was widely condemned as a shocking example of xenophobia and intolerance that has no place in Germany.
Needless to say, on the British far right PEGIDA has been hailed as an inspiration in the fight to stem the Muslim takeover of Europe. It has certainly renewed the enthusiasm of former English Defence League leader Stephen Lennon (“Tommy Robinson”) for Islamophobic street protests, and he has tweeted his intention to try and emulate PEGIDA’s success when his ban on associating with members of the EDL runs out next July.
Another person to be impressed by PEGIDA’s achievements is Helen Hims, who is chair of the Wells branch of UKIP and vice-chair of the party in Somerset. She retweeted a number of approving comments on Monday’s demonstration (“German anti muslim protestors demand an end to Islamisation with record high turnout”, “Growing Anti Muslim marches in Germany….Excellent!”) earlier this week, including one from Lennon himself (“Germany is waking up, are we?”)
The English Defence League’s Isle of Wight organiser Carl Worrall was up in front of magistrates yesterday for sentencing, having pleaded guilty to one count of harassment and one count of racially or religiously aggravated harassment.
According to police, the charges arose from incidents at a coffee shop in Newport on 27 October and 1 November. From Worrall’s account, this would appear to be the branch of Costa Coffee in St James Square.
As MEND points out, the 1 November incident evidently followed an EDL protest outside HM Prison Isle of Wight. This was provoked by the leaking of an internal bulletin from the National Offender Management Service, which reported that a prisoner who had recently converted to Islam had been found with a homemade ISIS flag and “detailed escape plans involving taking a member of staff hostage”.
Based on a shock-horror account in the Sunday People, the EDL claimed that the prisoner had “planned to behead a guard” – a piece of scaremongering that even the Daily Mail refused to swallow, reporting instead that it was thought the plan was “an attempt to escape, rather than to harm”.
The photo above is of Carl Worrall at the EDL protest outside the prison. Looking on is Dave Bolton of the national EDL, which shows that this was an officially endorsed event, not just some local initiative.
A man branded a “vile, reprehensible bigot” by police after he sent offensive photographs and social media posts to an Islamic community centre near Truro has been spared jail despite saying he will continue to share his views on Facebook.
Eric King, aged 60, was handed a four-day-a-week curfew and a suspended sentence when he appeared before Truro magistrates on Tuesday.
King, of Wheal Eliza Close, St Austell, smeared dog excrement on images depicting the prophet Mohammed having intercourse with a pig and of a naked woman squatting on an Islamic State flag with the letters “IS” scrawled across her buttocks and posted them to Tipu Choudhury, general secretary of the Cornwall Islamic Community Centre at Carnon Downs.
At an earlier hearing, King admitted sending two indecent or grossly offensive messages to the centre via its Facebook page and sending an indecent or grossly offensive letter to Mr Choudhury.
Gail Hawkley, for the prosecution, said when King was arrested he told officers he was a member of the English Defence League and the British National Party. When asked if he would stop after he had been to court he said: “I shouldn’t think so,” said Ms Hawkley, who added: “[He said] ‘I was hoping that whoever saw the letter would kill themselves’.”
Tommy Robinson, the co-founder and former leader of the far-right English Defence League (EDL) has indicated that he will support Ukip in the next general election, saying that the anti-EU party “understands the threat Islam poses 100%”.
Explaining where his political loyalties lie, Robinson, 32, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley Lennon, said: “I’m a working class lad, I come from parents who were immigrants and generations of Labour voters. I should be Labour but they don’t represent me. What we have now is people like me – working class people – moving towards Ukip without knowing what Ukip is really about.”
He continued: “But we do know we agree about the EU and immigration. I’m sure every other of their policies will go against working men like me, but they understand us. I don’t really even have a problem with immigration, as I said, I’m the son of immigrants, but it’s this Islamic ideology that everyone else is failing to address.”
Pressed on his understanding of Ukip’s stance to the Muslim faith, Robinson hinted at back-door communications with the anti-EU party: “I’m not at liberty to go into details but all I know is that 100% Ukip fully understand the threat of Islamic ideology.”
Robinson left the EDL in October 2013, supposedly because he had concerns about the “dangers of far-right extremism” and doubted the productiveness of the marches he used to organise. However, he has now indicated he will return next summer: “I wouldn’t rule out organising these kind of marches in the UK but I’m on license so I can’t contact the EDL. On 22nd July I have my freedom of speech back.”
Despite spending time with “moderate Muslims”, and even working briefly with the anti-radicalisation thinktank the Quilliam Foundation, Robinson is convinced that a divide between Muslims and non-Muslims will lead to conflict in Britain. “The UK is heading to civil war. Whether it happens in five, 10 or 20 years, there will be bloodshed. I left the EDL and went and spoke to moderate Muslims but I really don’t believe this issue will be solved, it’s too big. I have done a lot of searching and there’s no answer. It terrifies me. Things are just getting worse.”
The sentencing of eight English Defence League supporters for violent disorder was temporarily halted on Monday after one of them demanded to be updated on the Sydney cafe siege.
Judge Richard Bond briefly adjourned the case after being verbally abused, urged to “pass proper sentences” on Islamic extremists, and asked: “Any news on the Australian hostages?”
Some of the defendants walked around the dock at Birmingham crown court during the outbursts, which also included chants of “No surrender to the Taliban.”
Judge Bond had already sentenced three of the men when one of them shouted “If there were proper sentences for extremists, the EDL wouldn’t be here” and another asked for news of events in Australia. The judge then left the courtroom for several minutes, before returning to continue to address the defendants and explain their sentences.
Among those in the dock over violent scenes at an EDL rally in Birmingham city centre was Otis Bloodworth [pictured], who attended the protest event in July 2013 wearing Union Jack boxing gloves and shorts. CCTV footage played to the court showed Bloodworth, of Skegness, Lincolnshire, punching a man who was being led away from the event by stewards.
The 35-year-old, who has 43 previous convictions dating back to 1997, was arrested and taken to a police station in March after an appeal for information on the BBC’s Crimewatch programme. When questioned by officers as to whether he had any medical conditions, Bloodworth said he had “Islamophobia” and refused to be represented by a Muslim solicitor.
Clockwise from top left: Ashley Rowland, James Cocks, Melvyn Parker and Jason Harris
An English Defence League supporter who hurled a fire extinguisher at police officers at “almost point blank range” as violence flared in Birmingham has been jailed.
Ashley Rowland was among up to 300 people involved in bloody clashes with police during a demonstration in the city centre on July 20 last year. Thirty officers were injured with one needing hospital treatment.
Judge Richard Bond said Rowland was the most heavily-involved of more than 50 defendants due to be sentenced over the violence and had moved between various pockets of trouble.
He chanted racial and anti-religious slogans with others and aggressively confronted officers in Centenary Square.
A far-right shock jock operating a pirate radio station out of house in Herne Bay has been raided by police.
Officers burst into Davey Russell’s detached home near the Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital. Broadcasting and communications watchdog Ofcom led the raid, which saw radio equipment removed from the house.
Russell, 44, is a leading member of the English Defence League (EDL) and runs what he calls an internet talk/rant show on his station Motiv8 Radio.
In a camera rant on his Facebook page following his arrest, Russell says strange lines and messages began appearing on his computer in the days before his arrest. “I am being severely looked at,” he says. “It’s not good people. Something has got to be done. Do you understand? Something has got to be done.”
Russell also tells his 3,500 followers that 14 police officers and five Ofcom officials came to his house while he was in bed and seized equipment, including a mixer, a hard drive, a computer and a transmitter with a reach of five miles.
“This has all but wiped me out,” he says. “It was overkill. This is not a big outfit, but it’s something we have to suffer. We are not earning money out of it. I might just get a slap on the wrist and get the kit back, most of which is my disabled son’s. But this has been an attempt to silence us.”
Ofcom and Kent Police say the raid was carried out because Russell, a married father-of-two, was suspected of breaching section 35 of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006. The section of the Act relates to installing, using or establishing a station for wireless telegraphy without a valid licence.