EDL’s hatred shows that Islamophobia needs to be taken seriously

The Guardian’s brave and insightful undercover investigation into the activities of the EDL should finally persuade Westminster politicians to take the issue of Islamophobia and anti-Muslim violence seriously. Our own research supports the findings of the Guardian investigation, most importantly concerning the extent to which the EDL is fuelled by visceral, violent anti-Muslim hatred.

The video that accompanies the Guardian report should leave no room for doubt that members of the EDL are echoing sentiments about Muslims they have adopted from sections of the mainstream media and the BNP. It is no coincidence that Nick Griffin has been peddling exactly the same hatred towards Muslims for the last decade. Similarly, a cursory examination of the records of Islamophobia Watch over the last five years provides a sense of the extent of Islamophobia in the mainstream media.

Daily Mail commentator Peter Oborne is right to argue that it has become “permissible to fabricate malicious falsehoods and therefore foment hatred against Muslims in a way which would be regarded as immoral and illegal if perpetrated against any other vulnerable section of society”.

Robert Lambert and Jonathan Githens-Mazer at Comment is Free, 1 June 2010