(Readers, please welcome Haddock, a new contributor to LoonWatch.)
Co-founder of the English Defence League, Stephen Lennon (aka Tommy Robinson) is to be appointed “deputy leader” of the British Freedom Party come May 5th, 2012, just a few short hours before an EDL demonstration in Luton, according to EDL News.
The BFP, which came about due to a split within the British National Party (which itself came about due to a split within the National Front organization), has increasingly focused their bigotry onto Muslims in an attempt to make racism more “acceptable” in the eyes of a segment of the public who may find some of the “old guard” racism (Blacks, Jews, etc.) problematic.
The two organizations decided to form an alliance in November, 2011 after agreeing that they had a better chance at “helping the Cause” if they worked together. The intended platform for the new alliance is typical fodder for anti-Muslim racists; calls to “ban the Burka,” forbid the establishment of new mosques, “madrassas” (by that they mean any Islamic schools) and “Sharia law” in “all forms”, including “Sharia finance.”
Another strategy they have decided on is to “Focus” on the “non-Islamic” population, in order to convince “useful idiots” of all colors and creeds to set themselves upon the Muslim population; all the while still holding onto their “regular” racist beliefs.
I find it hard, for example, to picture them hanging out with their fellow Black, Jewish, and Hindu Islamophobic cohorts as “buddies,” after everything is said and done.
Some of their other loving policy suggestions include the following vignettes,
“End to mass immigration, except for vital (highly qualified positions). Immigrants must undergo health check, have a sponsor, have sufficient funds to support them and their families and must be able to speak/write English.”
“Have a system in place to regulate all mosques & madrassas”
“Leave the European Union.”
“Promote Christian values.”
The BFP has also decided to be extremely creative and change their name to simply British Freedom, so that people won’t confuse them with the BNP. In a strange twist of irony, the parent organization of the BNP, the National Front, is beginning to see a comeback after jumping on the anti-Muslim bandwagon. The organization was popular among the far-right in the 1970’s, when it was more socially acceptable to advocate “roots” racism. According to Islamophobia-Watch,
“At next month’s London Assembly, local council and mayoral elections it [National Front] is putting up 35 candidates – the highest number it has fielded for 30 years. Among its hopefuls is a businessman once convicted of assaulting an anti-racism campaigner who hopes to be the first directly elected mayor of Liverpool; a former BNP supporter arrested for burning a copy of the Koran; and Derek Beackon, the notorious far-right councillor.”
This just demonstrates the power of Islamophobia. The fact that a nearly defunct organization that had its heyday in the late 70’s, is able to momentarily drag itself out of bed while in a drunken stupor proves that the anti-Muslim niche works. The same is true for the BNP, who has in recent years hopped onto the “it’s the Muslims vs. the rest of us” bandwagon, despite the fact that its members still hold onto their other racialist beliefs. But hey, “the enemy of my enemy, is my friend”, right?
If there is any silver lining in all of this, it is this; most British people simply don’t like thugs who resort to violence to make their points. This is why the EDL is viewed as an embarrassment (at least publicly) even to some racists; they reveal what racism is truly about, and reality face to face makes most people uncomfortable.
That’s bad publicity for people trying to impose an agenda onto others. Recall that Hitler eventually abolished the SA because he realized that his street thugs were making a bad impression on his so-called “noble Cause.” Bob Pitt of Islamophobia-Watch says it better than me:
“Some have suggested that the EDL-BFP lash-up is an example of the classic fascist strategy of building a movement with a physical force and an electoral wing. The theory behind the strategy is that by showing you control the streets and can intimidate your opponents you win admiration as a powerful movement that will be able to impose order on society and this translates into increased votes.
But this strategy is based on the successes of Mussolini and Hitler in situations of extreme economic, social and political crisis, where large numbers of people turned to the leadership of the far right out of sheer desperation. No crisis of such proportions has occurred in Britain and despite the current economic problems there is no sign of it doing so any time soon. Consequently when the far right takes to the streets of the UK with a mob of racist thugs this doesn’t impress people with the strength of the organisation and boost electoral support. Quite the opposite – voters are repelled by a movement whose public face is that of a gang of violent hooligans.”