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?”)
Christine Tasin is co-leader with Pierre Cassen of the far-right Islamophobic campaign group Riposte Laïque and its front organisation Résistance Républicaine.
Cassen and another Riposte Laïque activist were found guilty of inciting hatred against Muslims in 2012, and earlier year Tasin herself was convicted on the same charge, receiving a 3-month suspended prison sentence and a €3000 fine.
Regrettably, on 18 December Tasin won her appeal against that conviction. According to Breitbart London, her legal costs were covered by Daniel Pipes. They report Tasin as saying:
“Last Thursday was a great day for freedom of expression in France. I said, in Belfort, in 2013, before the mobile Eid abattoir that ‘Islam is sh*t’ to Muslims who had recognized me and attacking me because I claim my Islamophobia.
“I was sentenced to a fine of €3,000 including €1,500 suspended after the Belfort court considered that I had incited hatred against Muslims. The court in Besançon has now acknowledged that one has the right to express opinions and I did not encourage hatred against Muslims, and I can think and say that Islam is a threat to France, that it is a freedom of expression.
“The Resistance to Islam and all those who, in France, fear that freedom of expression is disappearing, and that blasphemy has become a crime again are relieved”.
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.
Britain First deputy leader Jayda Fransen abuses worshippers outside Gillingham mosque last month
It is of course the case that the mainstream right-wing press has played a major role in whipping up the atmosphere of Islamophobia that has allowed far-right anti-Muslim hate-groups to flourish. Nevertheless, yesterday’s Sun featured a very effective exposé of Britain First. You can read it here.
The report is based on an interview with Matthew Lester, the former BF member who to his credit recently broke with the organisation and visited a mosque in Crayford that had previously been the victim of BF harassment in order to apologise.
Matthew Lester’s message is clear – Britain First is a would-be paramilitary organisation that represents a significant threat to community cohesion and “has to be stopped”.
We recently remarked, in connection with the New Daily Patriot falsely attributing a quote to Zakir Naik, on how the far right happily post and repost transparently fake Islamophobic propaganda without making the slightest attempt to check its accuracy.
Here is another recent example, from Britain First’s Facebook page. It quotes Marco Polo as stating that “the militant Muslim is the person who beheads the infidel, while the moderate Muslim holds the feet of the victim”. As you can see, it has proved quite popular, having been shared nearly 1,800 times.
This appeared yesterday on the Facebook page of far-right group Britain First. As you can see, the post has now been shared nearly twenty thousand times.
The picture may look familiar. That is because it is a well-known far-right fraud that has been circulating around the internet in various forms for several years now. Its claims are almost entirely inaccurate.
Tohseef Shah, who sprayed the words “Islam will dominate the world – Osama is on his way” and “Kill Gordon Brown” across the plinth of a war memorial in Burton upon Trent in May 2010, was not in fact fined £50. Having been convicted of criminal damage, he was ordered to pay £500 in compensation as well as £85 costs.
There were complaints that he hadn’t been charged with a racially or religiously aggravated offence, which would have carried a heavier penalty, but the CPS had decided against that on the grounds that the offence was politically motivated and “no racial or religious group can be shown to have been targeted”.
Saphir News has reported that Caroline Fourest – the French “left-wing” Islamophobe who wrote Brother Tariq: The Doublespeak of Tariq Ramadan – has been successfully sued for defamation over comments she made in June last year on the radio station France Culture.
Fourest was responding to the attacks on two Muslim women in Argenteuil, one of whom lost her baby after being kicked in the stomach by her assailants. This followed an earlier incident in which a 17-year-old woman named Rabia Bentot (pictured) was punched and kicked by racists, who also tore off her headscarf while shouting “dirty Arab” and “dirty Muslim”
Instead of Fourest declaring her outrage at the assaults, and her solidarity with the victims, this self-styled feminist expressed scepticism about the women’s accounts.
Fourest claimed that Rabia Bentot was being manipulated by her father and by the Coordination contre le Racisme et l’Islamophobie, assisted by what Fourest described as the “communalist” website Oumma.com, and she suggested that the story of an attack might well have been fabricated. Even if an assault did take place, Fourest asserted, the police had not excluded the possibility that Rabia was the victim of violence by her own family, who could have beaten her up as punishment for living too free a lifestyle.
Needless to say, Fourest offered no evidence whatsoever to back up these disgraceful slurs.
Not ever having watched a single episode of the TV show The Apprentice I admit I missed this, but on yesterday’s programme two contestants were “fired” by Alan Sugar for reportedly failing in their task of selling luxury candles.
One of them was Nurun Ahmed, who wears hijab. In response to her departure Katie Hopkins tweeted: “Nurun has left the building. Thank crap for that. The token headscarf wearer is no more.”
Notice announcing the cancellation of the BNP meeting, and Richard Edmonds addressing the audience with Cliff Le May looking on
Last week Labour and Conservative politicians in New Addington, including local Tory MP Gavin Barwell, united to issue an admirably firm statement opposing an anti-mosque campaign by the far-right British National Party. The fascists were not happy. They accused the statement’s signatories of “putting ethnic minority groups before the indigenous Brits” and setting aside their political differences to “conspire on an issue they all very much agree on – the Islamisation of Britain”.
The joint statement was important for its exposure of the BNP’s central role in the anti-mosque campaign, which has reportedly been run by the party’s Croydon & Sutton organiser John Clarke. The BNP itself has tried to play down its involvement, claiming that it was merely responding to a local initiative, having been “approached by concerned residents seeking the BNP’s knowledge and experience in dealing with proposed mosques popping up in every town and village in our green and pleasant land”.
As one of the BNP’s opponents told the Inside Croydon blog: “They are pretending to run a community campaign, claiming it’s not political. They are leafleting, knocking on doors, as well as running a street stall once or twice per week.”
The culmination of the BNP’s fraudulent “community campaign” was to be a public meeting on Sunday at the Addington Community Association centre. However, the ACA cancelled the booking, apparently in response to pressure from Croydon council, leaving the BNP without a venue. But they arrived at the ACA anyway and held their meeting outside the building, self-righteously complaining that they were the innocent victims of an attack on free speech.
Very few of those mythical local residents who had supposedly turned to the BNP for leadership actually turned up for the meeting. Considering that the party claimed to have persuaded two thousand people to sign its anti-mosque petition, and had invited them all to attend, the level of support was derisory. Inside Croydon estimated the numbers at “fewer than 30”. Nor were any “concerned residents” represented on the platform, which consisted of just two speakers, both of them notorious fascists.
Today Richard Dawkins has recommended that his 974,000 Twitter followers should follow the sick anti-Muslim parodist who uses the handle JihadistJoe.
Here is one of JihadistJoe’s recent tweets: