Sunny Hundal has written in the Guardian this week about the recent departure from the EDL of its former leader, Tommy Robinson. Robinson left the violent organisation after saying its street ‘demonstrations’ were “no longer productive”.
EDL street demonstrations are essentially a series of glorified pub crawls, but it has undoubtedly been the violence that made the EDL a prominent entity. Most of its supporters relished the idea of Brits taking on extremist Muslims on the streets. Robinson himself was a key proponent of threats, recently saying at a speech : “The Islamic community will feel the full force of the English Defence League if we see any of our citizens killed, maimed or hurt on British soil ever again.” The Guardian too revealed the violence inherent to the EDL’s core years ago. And yet, Robinson, aka Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, now says he has given it all up for “more democratic means”. This seems questionable since he was trying to intimidate anti-fascists just days ago. He has neither denounced his previous views nor distanced himself from his thuggish activity of the past.
So if Robinson hasn’t turned into Gandhi overnight, what is his plan?
Hundal goes on to explore in greater depth the thinking that went into Robinson’s departure. You can read the rest of the article on the Guardian website, here. He concludes by linking to Nathan Lean’s book, The Islamophobia Industry (Pluto, 2012), in his assessment that “There is a growing Islamophobia industry in the United States, and it’s likely Robinson will join it. What was intended as a move to destroy extremism could end up making it stronger.”
Check out Nathan Lean’s award-winning book by clicking the cover image below.
“This concise, accessible and illuminating book meets one of the most urgent needs of our time. Lean has provided a compelling counter-narrative that reveals the vested interests and highly organized networks of those who preach the virulent Islamophobia that is not only endangering world peace but is also corroding the tolerance and egalitarian ethos that should characterize Western society. This book should be required reading.”
Karen Armstrong, author of A History of God, Islam: A Short History and Muhammad
“Islamophobia is not only about ignorance and fear. Some people purposefully nurture it and use it as a political strategy. Nathan Lean’s The Islamophobia Industry shows what is happening behind the scenes. It is an essential book for anyone who wants to understand the rationale and objectives behind those who foster this new racism against Muslims.”
Tariq Ramadan, Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at Oxford University and author of The Quest for Meaning