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Is the EDL Racist?

This is my first video based blog addressing the many lies that the EDL employ in attempting to deflect criticism and winning wider support. The most strenuously denied accusation is that they are a racist organisation. Whilst anti-Muslim bigotry uses near identical tactics of demonisation, dehumanising tropes and negative stereotypes to classic racism, the excuse that Muslims aren’t a race is too easily deployed as an obstacle in the path of the accuser. For this reason I have only included examples of pure racism in this video. I have also chosen not to include neo-Nazism which would by definition qualify as racist behaviour, as I plan on addressing this in a future blog.

It could be argued that racist language by individuals at 8 demos which have drawn up to 3,000 supporters over a period of 4 years isn’t conclusive proof that the EDL is a racist organisation. I would counter that by saying that leaders, organisers and stewards at demos are required to instruct attendees not to use racist language, which is an unusual request to make of adults in a non-racist organisation. It’s also worth noting that at no point in any of the clips does anybody challenge or question the use of racist language. I would also point out that cameras are not able to capture the words of every demonstrator at every march for the duration of the day.

To bolster my case I have included links below to screenshots taken of EDL members on social networking sites using explicitly racist language. This is just a small sample taken from their reaction to the riots of summer 2011 and the Stephen Lawrence trial.

Click images to enlarge

EDL Riots 2

EDL Riots

EDL Riots 3 EDL Riots 4 EDL Riots 5

EDL Riots 7 EDL Riots 8 EDL Riots 9

EDL Riots 10 EDL riots 11 EDL Riots 13

EDL Riots 14 EDL Riots 15 EDL Riots 16

EDL Riots 17

EDL Riots 18 EDL Riots 19 EDL Riots 6EDL Riots 20

EDL Riots 25

EDL Riots 22 
EDL Riots 23

Again, some EDL sympathisers may argue that this is only two dozen examples from a period of four years where the EDL’s social media pages have attracted up to 100,000 users. I would ask them, why do the EDL seem to attract a disproportionate amount of people who are comfortable using racist epithets and displaying open hostility to people on a purely ethnic basis?

To add a little more scientific weight to my case I will provide some telling results from polls in which EDL members and supporters were asked to answer direct questions.

demos.co.uk files Inside_the_edl_WEB.pdf 1320079341

As the table above shows, as part of the Demos ‘Inside the EDL’ study of 2011, the voting preference of 1,295 EDL supporters was measured. 34% of the participants expressed a preference for the racist BNP, which is 17 times higher than the general population, whilst 14% chose the xenophobic UKIP, which is nearly 5 times higher than the general public.

The slides below are taken from Matthew Goodwin’s ‘Men of Violence? The Drivers of Public Support for the EDL’ study which polled 1,666 members of the general public. 298 were classed as EDL sympathisers, 124 self identified as EDL members, and the remainder were considered neither.

Men of Violence  The Drivers of Public Support for the English Defe... (1)

The slide above shows that those sympathising with the EDL have a clear antipathy towards immigrants, multiculturalism and diversity.

Men of Violence  The Drivers of Public Support for the English Defe... (2)

This slide shows not only an inclination towards ethno-Nationalism but also biological racism. As the slide states, these figures point to a more openly racist inner core to the EDL with a xenophobic circle of sympathisers.

Men of Violence  The Drivers of Public Support for the English Defe...

Perhaps surprisingly, the above slide shows that the primary concern for EDL members and sympathisers is immigration and asylum, not Islam or even ‘militant’ Islam. At least a degree of proportion can be found within the rank of the EDL, as Muslims are beaten into third place by concerns over the economy. It’s not apparent whether concerns with immigration are based on fears regarding unemployment, welfare resources and the economy, or xenophobia and racism. But previous slides may provide an insight.

The next three slides illustrate the factors which are most likely to predict support for the EDL. The methodology is explained first.

Men of Violence  The Drivers of Public Support for the English Defe... (5)

Men of Violence  The Drivers of Public Support for the English Defe... (3)

As far as EDL sympathisers are concerned, by far the strongest indicator of support for the EDL is xenophobia, with an inclination to violence in second.

Men of Violence  The Drivers of Public Support for the English Defe... (4)

Not much needs to be added to the summary of the last slide. The key point worth re-iterating is that the EDL core membership is far more likely to be driven by classic racism and be pro-violence than not only the general public, but also the sympathiser. This would go some way to explaining why the more casual supporters are often oblivious to the extreme hardcore, and are confused by the accusations of racism. They may not actually spend a great deal of time socialising online or attend demos with the EDL, so are therefore less likely to have been exposed to the overt racism as the anti-EDL activist.

Is it possible to claim that the EDL is a racist organisation given the information I’ve presented here? The evidence would suggest that it attracts racists and xenophobes in numbers vastly disproportionate to the general public. It also suggests that the closer the individual identifies themselves with the EDL, the higher the probability is that they hold racist views. Add to this the fact that the leadership have a history of support for the BNP and it’s not surprising that they feel at ease doing this in EDL circles. The fact that the group’s raison d’etre is opposition to a religion practised predominantly by people of Asian, Middle Eastern and African origin provides the perfect cover for racists to be able to vent their hate with slightly amended terminology. Despite the disingenuous mission statement and lip service from the leadership, it’s undeniable that the EDL is riddled with racists and it isn’t a coincidence.

All screenshots used can be found in the link below.

http://twitpic.com/photos/EDLNewsXtra

Links to the full reports used are below.

http://www.slideshare.net/matthewgoodwin1/isdtapva2013

http://demos.co.uk/files/Inside_the_edl_WEB.pdf?1320079341

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” …… man of Asian appearance.”

"... a man of Asian appearance."

It’s political correctness gone mad. How typical that British law enforcement and media are using such a vague term to describe the perpetrators of crimes. It’s almost as if there’s a conspiracy to keep the true identity of these criminals a secret. Everyone knows what they really mean. Jack Straw knows it, senior police officers know it, even ‘Asian’ community leaders know it. No one wants to admit it, but when the term ‘Asian’ is used, what they really mean is Muslim. But everyone’s afraid of offending or upsetting the Muslims because they’ll be called racist.

Or so it goes. This is a fairly sanitised paraphrasing of a common response from Islamophobes to the reporting of crimes committed by Asians.

Armed men rob bookies in Rochdale – menmedia.co.uk 05/05/11

“The thieves are both described as Asian men….”

Appeal over Pilcher Gate stabbinghttp://www.nottinghamshire.police.uk 18/12/11

“The attacker is described as an Asian man….”

Sex assault victim chases attacker through Kensingtonhttp://www.fulhamchronicle.co.uk 30/11/11

“The suspect is described as an Asian man….”

Police hunt for B’mouth sex attackerhttp://www.jackradio.com – 20/01/12

“One of the men is described as Asian looking….”

Bradford father is injured by Tyersal road rage attackerhttp://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk – 15/12/11

“He is described as Asian…”

Man grabbed by throat in street attackhttp://www.dailyecho.co.uk – 05/01/12

“The man is described as Asian….”

Police hunt sex attackers: detailed description givenhttp://www.burytimes.co.uk – 17/06/10

“The wanted men are all described as Asian….”

Sex attacker still at large after CCTV blunderhttp://www.thisislocallondon.co.uk – 03/06/09

“The woman’s attacker is described as an Asian man….”

Menace of the bus sex attackershttp://www.oldham-chronicle.co.uk – 11/11/11

“He is described as Asian….” 

These are the kind of reports that illicit the rants similar to the one that opened this post. Below is an excerpt from an article on the official EDL blog titled ‘What it means to be Asian’.

The Oxford English dictionary describes the usage of the word ‘Asian’ as follows: “In Britain Asian is generally used to refer to people who come from (or whose parents came from) India, Pakistan, or elsewhere in South Asia”. If the British press are anything to go by, this country is plagued by attacks committed by ‘Asians’.

This statement flies in the face of right wing claims that there is a media blackout when it comes to ‘Muslim crime’.

Some commentators have claimed that by identifying the perpetrators as Asians, the press are being racist. But, at first glance at least, they are merely reporting the facts – if they didn’t reveal the extent of ‘Asian crime’, then how could we possibly look into identifying the causes that make crimes committed by this subsection of the population so common? But, of course, there is a problem. Asia is big; taking up, as it does, 30% of the surface of the globe, and with a population of approximately 3,879,000,000. Can we really trace criminal behaviour back to the cultural attitudes of so massive and diverse a place? What more do we really learn about crime (and about the possible ways of combating it) by identifying the perpetrators as Asian? Not a lot.

This is either faulty logic or deliberate disingenuity. In an attempt to steer the reader towards the required conclusion, the writer is creating the impression that there is a genuine effort to get to the root of the problem with sociological analysis. There is also the insinuation  that British Asians share identical cultural attitudes to native Asians rather than non-Asian Britons, thereby accusing them of being unwilling, or unable to assimilate to or adapt to ‘Western culture’. They also discard the possibility that environmental, social, economic and familial issues might be factors in the anti-social behaviour of some Asians. What could the real cause possibly be?

So why do they do it? Well, there’s still the defence that it’s merely descriptive. As the dictionary example illustrates, the usage of the term Asian has narrowed in this country so that it generally refers to those of Indian or Pakistani heritage. But this is still a huge number of people and, crucially, it refers to a huge number of different cultures and beliefs…….

Again, feigning their distaste in generalising so as to narrow the field even further, only to go on to make their own sweeping generalisations. It’s essential for the EDL in particular to make the distinction between Muslims and the Hindu and Sikh communities. It creates the illusion of them being inclusive and not out and out racists, whilst also appealing to extreme minorities in these communities who may also have an anti-Muslim agenda.

Let’s hit the nail on the head. Asian crime is a lie. It doesn’t exist. Not only does the ethnicity of the perpetrators mean little to nothing (and suggesting otherwise would certainly be racist), but there are very good reasons for supposing than very often when the media say Asian, they really mean Muslim. The importance of identifying Islam as a major contributing factor is demonstrated by the arrests for child-grooming that have recently swept across the country. If we’re to prevent these terrible crimes from occurring then we need to be honest about who is committing them and which ideologies they ascribe to. This article really should have referred to a ‘Muslim sex gang’ – that would be the truth, and that would have helped us to understand why the crimes were committed. For example, we’ve explained before how the example of Islam’s prophet Mohammed (that all Muslims are supposed to follow) sets an incredibly dangerous precedent. Combine this with the hostility that is too often to be found in British Mosques and which is spread by radicals that the government has as yet failed to confront, and you reach the ghastly conclusion that many Muslim men see little wrong with applying the example of the prophet (sex with young children)  to those who they regard as ‘dirty kuffar’ (non-Muslims, not worthy of the same rights as Muslims under the Sharia – Islamic Law).

Bang! Any pretence of an academic approach is suddenly abandoned, possibly as the scribe realises there’s no way to make the accusation with logic or integrity. It took them a while to get there, but eventually we arrive at the ubiquitous Islamophobic lie that Islam promotes and encourages paedophilia. Therefore any gang of Asian men who groom vulnerable young girls into a life of drugs and prostitution are simply pious Muslims observing the example of Muhammad. Any violent crime such as assault or mugging committed by “men of Asian appearance” are usually attributed to the jihadist mentality that views non-Muslims as an eternal foe. I have dealt with both of these well worn tropes in these posts Myth-Conceptions Pt. II: Death to the Infidel and Myth-Conceptions Pt. IV: Muhammad & Aisha. Whilst searching for articles for this subject I stumbled across a thread on a Yahoo! message board that perfectly encapsulates the attitude of the Islamophobes on this issue.

“As per usual the PC brigade just cannot bring themselves to call this vile gang of paedos a Muslim Gang. Hopefully this will be another negative piece of news tagged to the Muslim community that will in time add fuel to the anti-islamic fire. No to Islam in UK”

“wake up its not racist its the truth do gooders like you will ruin this once great country its been going on for years they been getting away with it for years because people wont speak up if it was a gang of white men assaulting asian girls there would be riots sick of people with no backbone pulling the race card when it suits”

“I do`nt like Jack Straw, but at least he had the balls to call a spade a spade. These vile muslim gangs are brought up to treat women as sub human and when caught, we have the PC brigade shoving their oar in and making excuses for the s$%^&.”

The sentence I’ve emphasised makes my point for me, straight from the horses mouth. But I’ll continue anyway. The many people that share the opinion and hatred of those above seem to be missing a crucial point. The news articles above, taken from local  press, are reporting crimes where the perpetrator is still at large. The descriptions given are for the purpose of identifying the criminal not to apportion blame to a specific section of the community. While certain sections of the national press may have a political agenda where it’s not only acceptable but necessary to stipulate explicitly when they feel Muslims not ‘Asians’ are to blame. Local press, by and large, has no such motive. It is intended to inform, promote and involve the community it serves, not divide and antagonise with controversy and provocative sensationalism. Therefore finding the criminals becomes a process of elimination. This process will naturally involve narrowing the criteria of the perpetrator’s appearance. As the EDL article itself states, the use of the word Asian to describe ethnicity in the UK is almost exclusively limited to people of Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Sri Lankan heritage. Chinese, Japanese or Koreans for example would be described as Oriental, especially for the purpose of making an identification.

Another problem the Islamophobes seem to neglect is, that unless it is made obvious by distinctive attire or communicated by the perpetrator, how does one determine with certainty which religion (if any) a person belongs to during the act of a crime which may have taken place at night? It’s also important to consider that in the event of police carrying out enquiries, questioning individuals and setting up identity parades, which would be the more useful information? The suspect being Asian or the possibility he may be Muslim? Surely it is easier for someone to conceal their faith than their ethnicity? An Asian Muslim could conceivably claim to be a Christian (the 2001 census recorded 8,000 Pakistani Christians in England and Wales) to avoid arrest, but how on earth would they be able to deny being Asian?

If every such press report replaced the word Asian with Muslim, using national percentages this would implicate 31% of UK Muslims who are not Asian, casting suspicion on innocent Black, White, Arab, Turkish and Persian Muslims. It would also exclude some 8% of British Pakistanis, a similar number of Bangladeshis, 87% of British Indians and approximately 250,000 British Sri Lankans. A hypothetical ID parade of Muslims could include a Somali, a Malaysian, an Indonesian, a Bosnian, a Pakistani, a Palestinian, an Albanian and a white British convert. All of whom would have vastly differing skin colours, hair colouring and facial features. The fact that Islamophobes ignore or are oblivious to the diversity within the Muslim community is an indication of how they have racialised Muslims in order to disguise anti-Pakistani racism, or ‘Paki bashing’ to use the pre 9/11 terminology.  Wouldn’t a sincere person want the most accurate criteria possible used so as to minimise the risk of miscarriages of justice?

This must call into question the actual motives behind the Islamophobes’ approach to this issue. Is their priority bringing the criminals to justice or demonising Muslims? Does their desperate need for guilty Muslims outweigh any genuine concern for victims of crime?

Allow me to repeat a quote highlighted earlier.

“Hopefully this will be another negative piece of news tagged to the Muslim community that will in time add fuel to the anti-islamic fire.”

Does anymore need to be said?

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