You are viewing blog items for June 2013.
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 27 June 2013, 13:09
The Metropolitan Police have asked the Home Secretary to ban the EDL march in Woolwich this Saturday. The march is supposed to be the culmination of a seventeen mile walk across London by EDL leaders Stephen Lennon and Kevin Carroll.
It would appear that the Met request only relates to the final mile of this walk which Lennon had urged EDL supporters to join.
Posted: 27 Jun 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 26 June 2013, 16:45
I’ve just heard the news that American anti-Muslim rabble-rousers Pam Geller and Robert Spencer have both been banned from entering the UK.
As you know, they were heading here to address an EDL demonstration in Woolwich on Saturday and spread their anti-Muslim hate. This is both a victory for common sense and people power.
Over 26,000 people signed the HOPE not hate petition calling on the Home Secretary to prevent these anti-Muslim activists from entering the UK. Others soon took up the call and sent their own letters in. Together, we let the Home Secretary know the strength of feeling on this issue.
This once again proves that people have the power to force change if we decide to use it.
Thanks again to everyone who signed the petition
Posted: 26 Jun 2013 | There are 25 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 25 June 2013, 17:09
On Saturday morning EDL leader Stephen Lennon claims that he intends to walk seventeen miles through the streets of London to raise money for a young girl who needs medical treatment abroad. The route he has selected takes him through the heart of London's East End, and past the East London Mosque, before continuing on through Newham and then across the river to Woolwich. He has said that he will be accompanied by his side-kick Kevin Carroll until the last mile when he has invited his EDL chums to join him until they reach the place where Lee Rigby was murdered.
I really can't believe this is serious. It's surely a wind-up and publicity stunt by Lennon as he will know full well that either the police will not allow him to march - and certainly not along his intended route - or local people will prevent him. However, he seems determined to walk, or at least attempt to walk, the seventeen miles to Woolwich.
Having been rebuffed by Help for Heroes, Lennon now claims to be raising money for a 2-year-old girl who has cancer and needs treatment abroad. He claims, on a recently released video, that the treatment would cost the NHS £250,000 but they are refusing to pay. He uses his appeal video to list wasted public money - from foreign aid to Thatcher's funeral - so as to prove what an awful country Britain is.
Of course Lennon neglects to mention that one of the biggest drain on public money in recent years is himself and his travelling band of racist thugs. An EDL demo costs the taxpayer anything from £250,000 to £1,000,000 to police. Just their recent demo in Sheffield is believed to have cost £500,000. And just think what the policing bill will be on Saturday if he is allowed to march the seventeen miles through East London to Woolwich?
If Lennon really cared about young Amelia-Mae then he could just sit at home and stop wasting more public money on his stupid stunts and just encourage his followers to donate.
But of course Lennon has a wider agenda and that's about himself and whipping up anti-Muslim hatred. I can't help but believe that his is just using young Amelia-Mae's tragic story for a cheap publicity stunt and an excuse through which he intends to arrive in Woolwich, on Armed Forces Day, in order to rally his racist mates on the spot where Lee Rigby was killed. It will be here, in Woolwich, that Lennon will be joined by the most high profile anti-Muslim rabble-rousers in the world - Pam Geller and Robert Spencer.
Amelia-Mae deserves her treatment abroad but she and her family also deserve not to be used as a political pawn by a man who is determined to use the cover of a fundraiser to provocatively walk through the heart of London's Muslim community in a bid to whip up hatred and divide communities.
Lennon is stooping to a new low.
Posted: 25 Jun 2013 | There are 5 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Sunday, 23 June 2013, 10:31
Pam Geller is America's leading anti-Muslim agitator. Next Saturday she wants to address an EDL demo in London. We are calling on the Home Secretary to ban her entering the country.
This is a taste of her warped mind:
In 2008 Geller posted a letter saying that Malcolm X had impregnated Ann Dunham, Barack Obama's mother
In a 2009 blog post, she wrote that Obama had slept with a crack whore and posted nude photos of Obama's mother, supposedly taken in 1960 by alleged black communist Frank Marshall Davis.
She has also said: "One thing is for sure: Hussein [Obama] is a Muhammadan. He's not insane . . . he wants jihad to win. That's what he is doing. Of course, to the Western mind, the rational mind, the logical mind, the American mind, that is insane."
To co-sign our letter, click here:
Posted: 23 Jun 2013 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Sunday, 23 June 2013, 09:41
We are currently writing a briefing on Pam Geller and Robert Spencer to accompany our letter which will be handed in to the Home Office tomorrow. I thought, though, that I would share a few choice quotes from Robert Spencer.
This anti-Muslim rabble-rouser claims that he does not dislike all Muslims but only the Jihadists. The problem is, for Spencer, they are one and the same.
Here are a few of his thoughts on why militant Islam is indistinguishable from other Muslims.
“The spokesmen for Islam in the western world know how to play the game. They know how to present their cause in a way that is not only regarded as acceptable by the societal mainstream, but also reasonable, and one might say just. They will appeal to democratic institutions and their human rights, in the full knowledge that given the power to do so they would abolish those institutions and deny those rights to others.”
“There is no reliable way for American authorities to distinguish jihadists and potential jihadists from peaceful Muslims.”
“I have written on numerous occasions that there is no distinction in the American Muslim community between peaceful Muslims and jihadists. While Americans prefer to imagine that the vast majority of American Muslims are civic-minded patriots who accept wholeheartedly the parameters of American pluralism, this proposition has actually never been proven.”
Given that he claims that there is no different between 'Jihadists' and the vast majority of Muslims who peacefully follow their religion, how can he really claim that he doesn't oppose Islam and all Muslims? And how can he really wonder why people in the UK don't want him here.
To add your name to the letter calling on the Home Secretary to prevent him and Geller from addressing the EDL demo next Saturday:
Posted: 23 Jun 2013 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 22 June 2013, 06:45
Over the past week I've been reporting how hundreds of people in Shrewsbury have shown their solidarity with the local Muslim community's right to worship in the face of a nasty and racist campaign led by BNP and EDL followers.
Over 700 people signed the HOPE not hate open letter in support of the proposed Prayer Centre in the Shropshire town. 648 of these people were from Shrewsbury itself, while the bulk of the others were from other parts of the county.
On Thursday, Shropshire Council voted to allow the former council building to be turned into a Prayer Centre.
Yesterday afternoon I sent an email to the 708 people who signed the letter thanking them and highlighting how the letter, and the subsequent media attention, helped change the nature of the Prayer Centre debate for the better.
Since then I've been inundated with replies and offers from local people to get more involved in HOPE not hate. One of the best emails was from a member of the Bangladeshi Welfare Society who thanked us all for our efforts and looked forward to the day when they could repay their gratitude.
Other messages have been similarily supportive:
"This is fantastic news I was born in Shrewsbury and raised there. My family spent many Fridays travelling out of Shrewsbury to pray. I am currently living abroad but still have family there and visit often. I would personally like to thank you and the team for such support it is great...so thank you. If I was in Shrewsbury I would definitely be more involved but at the moment I am happy to support as much as possible virtually. Thank you and good luck in your next ventures." - Najat
"Well done! Keep up the positive work." - Sam
"It is so good to feel that we could reply to the EDL in such a positive manner. I felt so angry in reading the comments against the Prayer Centre but I felt so much better when I knew that hundreds of other people felt like me and were prepared to stand up and be counted. I love hope not hate." - Angela
It is easy to become bogged down in protesting 'against' something or being simply being 'anti', but emails like these - when you can see that we've made a positive difference to communities under attack - make our job all worthwhile.
Posted: 22 Jun 2013 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 21 June 2013, 11:19
HOPE not hate is currently compiling a dossier on Pam Geller and Robert Spencer which will be submitted with our letter to the Home Office next Tuesday. The dossier will explain why we believe that these two people should not be allowed into the UK to attend the EDL demonstration in Woolwich on Saturday 29 June.
So far, 11,382 people have co-signed our letter.
In the meantime, I thought I would share the views of a number of commentators and scholars about Robert Spencer:
“The principal leader…in the new academic field of Islam-bashing.”
“Spencer’s readers are carefully steered away from all contact with the Islamic interpretative tradition, which equals or exceeds that of any other religion, because any scholarly knowledge about Islam would expose all his extremist interpretations to ridicule.”
- Robert Crane (Ex-Nixon Aide, author)
“[Robert Spencer] has no academic training in Islamic studies whatsoever; his M.A. degree was in the field of early Christianity”
“The publications of Spencer belong to the class of Islamophobic extremism that is promoted and supported by right-wing organizations, who are perpetuating a type of bigotry similar to anti-Semitism and racial prejudice. They are to be viewed with great suspicion by anyone who wishes to find reliable and scholarly information on the subject of Islam.”
- Carl Ernst (Islamic Scholar UNC)
“[Robert Spencer] uses the Internet to spread misinformation and hatred of Islam and presents a ‘skewed, one-sided, and inflammatory story that only helps to sow the seed of civilizational conflict’.”
- Benazir Bhutto (Late Prime Minister of Pakistan)
“Robert Spencer is an extremist, right-wing anti-Muslim rabble rouser.”
- Robert Dreyfuss (Nation Magazine Editor, Contributor to Rolling Stone and Mother Jones)
“Mr. Spencer espouses a view of Islam as a system of belief which is essentially violent, undemocratic, totalitarian, exclusive and at war with all non-Muslims. Mr. Spencer in fact goes as far as to equate Islam with fascism.”
“Spencer’s historical argument is dubious. It emphasizes violent passages in the Koran, while downplaying the passages that urge peace and goodwill. It applies a moral standard to Islamic empires that certainly could not be met by the Roman empire or the empires established by the Portuguese, the Spanish, the French and the British. In the Spain of Ferdinand and Isabella, for example, Jews had three choices: convert to Christianity, leave the country, or be killed. No Muslim empire legislated or systematically enforced such a policy toward its religious minorities.”
“Spencer glibly jumps over entire centuries in linking, say, the savagery of the Ottomans in Constantinople with the savagery of Hezbollah in Lebanon or the Taliban in Afghanistan.”
- Dinesh D’Souza (Conservative scholar, pundit and author)
“Robert Spencer, a prolific anti-Islam writer and a leading Islamophobe who is bent on distorting Islam and demonizing Muslims, has persistently argued that violence and terrorism employed by Muslim extremists is rooted in the Quran and its message. Spencer calls the Quran, a book sacred to Muslim, ‘the jihadists’ Mein Kampf,’ in reference to Hitler’s memoir.”
- Louay M. Safi (Islamic Scholar)
To read more quotes, and to learn more about Robert Spencer, I would suggest people visit: www.spencerwatch.com
Posted: 21 Jun 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 20 June 2013, 19:05
Here are a few choice quotes from anti-Muslim activist Pam Geller:
1. President Obama is the "love child" of Malcolm X.
2. "Islam is not a race. This is an ideology. This is an extreme ideology, the most radical and extreme ideology on the face of the earth."
— Pam Geller On Fox Business' "Follow the Money," March 10, 2011
3. "Obama is a third worlder and a coward. He will do nothing but beat up on our friends to appease his Islamic overlords."
— Pam Geller, AtlasShrugs.com, April 13, 2010
4. "Hussein [meaning President Obama] is a muhammadan. He's not insane … he wants jihad to win."
— Pam Geller, AtlasShrugs.com, April 11, 2010
5. "I don't think that many westernized Muslims know when they pray five times a day that they're cursing Christians and Jews five times a day. … I believe in the idea of a moderate Muslim. I do not believe in the idea of a moderate Islam."
— Pam Geller, The New York Times, Oct. 8, 2010
6. "Now do I see everything through the prism of Israel? No, I don't, but I do think it's a very good guide. It's a very good guide because, like I said, in the war between the civilized man and the savage, you side with the civilized man. … If you don't lay down and die for Islamic supremacism, then you're a racist anti-Muslim Islamophobic bigot. That's what we're really talking about."
– Pam Geller, The New York Times, Oct. 8, 2010
(source: Southern Poverty Law Center)
Posted: 20 Jun 2013 | There are 8 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 20 June 2013, 18:28
Shropshire Council this afternoon gave the go-ahead for a Prayer Centre in Shrewsbury. The planning application had become fiercely contested by the EDL and the BNP, who both launched social media campaigns against it. Some of the postings were so extreme and threatening that three people have been arrested.
In response to this outburst of hatred and prejudice, a HOPE not hate meeting in Shrewsbury decided to issue a open letter in support of the Muslim community's right to worship. Over 680 people, all but 50 from Shrewsbury, co-signed the letter in just five days. It was handed in yesterday to the leader of Shropshire Council.
The Bangladeshi Welfare Society, which had bought the dis-used building, were overwhelmed and heartened by the support of those who signed the letter. Up until now, the local Muslim community had to use a room in a local church.
The letter itself received substantial coverage in the Shropshire Star and on Radio Shropshire. It has also brought together dozens of local people who are now wanting to continue positive anti-racist campaigning in the town.
Posted: 20 Jun 2013 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 20 June 2013, 16:28
We've uploaded some information from our Counter Jihad Report on Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, the two peddlers of hate invited to the UK by EDL leader Stephen Lennon to speak at a rally in Woolwich on Saturday 29th June.
Please co-sign our letter to the Home Secretary asking that she stops them from entering the UK.
Posted: 20 Jun 2013 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 20 June 2013, 15:06
Senior Muslim leaders in Britain have expressed concerns that a controversial Saudi preacher who arrived in London this week could exacerbate sectarian tensions. According to a really good piece on Huffington Post, they feared Mohammad Al-Arefe's presence could "negatively impact the peaceful co-existance amongst the Muslim community".
While many people look just at the extremism on the right wing, it is important to also monitor those who deliberately stoke sectarian tensions within the Muslim communities too.
Read the full article here:
Posted: 20 Jun 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 20 June 2013, 12:39
The EDL want the people behind this advert, which calls Muslim "savages" to speak in London. Let's stop them coming in.
Posted: 20 Jun 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 19 June 2013, 10:54
340 people have co-signed our letter of solidarity with the Muslim community of Gloucester after a man tried to burn down their mosque.
If you live in Gloucestershire and believe that an attack on the Muslim community is an attack on us all, then please add your name to our letter and encourage all your friends to do likewise.
Posted: 19 Jun 2013 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 18 June 2013, 07:08
Over the last few weeks supporters of the BNP and EDL have been spearheading a campaign against a Shropshire County Council decision to sell a former church building to the Bangladeshi Welfare Society for use as a Prayer Centre.
There has been a facebook page set up to oppose the plans which carried so many vile threats that three people have been arrested. There have been protests, including a Casuals United demonstration a week last Saturday which attracted 30-40 people.
However, the good people of Shrewsbury are refusing to let the extremists have it all their own way. Following a really successful HOPE not hate meeting in the town last Wednesday, attended by 26 people, a letter has been drawn up in support of the Prayer Centre which will be presented to the Chair of the Council’s Planning Committee ahead of their meeting on Thursday.
The letter, which has so far been co-signed by 558 people in Shrewsbury, focuses on the right of all faiths to have a place to worship. It has gained the support of a wide cross-section of the local population and received a good write-up in the Shropshire Star newspaper.
The letter can be read here:
The letter was considered an important and immediate response to the social media campaign being waged by local extremists and it was a desire to show that the EDL and BNP supporters did not speak for the majority of local people. And certainly, from the feedback both we received and that on the local newspaper website, many people felt pleased and relieved that this initiative had been undertaken.
Another local HOPE not hate meeting is already being arranged and it is hoped that the letter will provide a platform for more general myth-busting and positive campaigning in the town.
Posted: 18 Jun 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 14 June 2013, 09:46
HOPE not hate is currently have a wide-ranging discussion with its supporters about our future direction and priorities. The meetings were initially set up to talk about the rise of UKIP and if, and how, we should respond. However, given recent events there has obviously been a lot of interest in the re-emergence of the EDL following the Woolwich murder and our views about Islamist hate preachers.
I have done two meetings this week, one in Shrewsbury and last night in Luton. Both were really interesting and thought-provoking. It was the first time we have had a HOPE not hate meeting in Shrewsbury so it was great that 26 people attended. In addition to the national picture, many wanted to discussed the controversy surrounding the purchase of a building for use as a prayer room. A number of ideas came out of the meeting to dispel myths and show solidarity with the local Muslim community.
Luton is obviously a town I know well, so it was good to catch up with a few old friends. I was surprised about the frankness and honesty of the problems within Luton and a real determination from some in the room to tackle some of the difficult issues that all too often get overlooked.
The biggest meeting of the past week was in Leicester, where over 70 people attended.
There are more meetings next week, including those in Oxford, Reading, Brighton, Eastleigh, Preston, Thurrock, Stockport, Sheffield, Southampton, London, Harrow, Bournemouth, Lancaster and Dudley. There are probably one or two others that I have forgotten.
I number of new local HOPE not hate groups are being formed as a result of these meetings and details of these will be released soon.
Posted: 14 Jun 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 5 June 2013, 16:06
HOPE not hate are shocked and dismayed about reports of a firebomb targeting a Muslim centre in North London. There can be no excuse for violence and political extremism. This attack, at the Al-Rahma Islamic Centre, was seemingly designed to incite fear and anger on the streets of London. Whoever is ultimately shown to be behind this attack, it's clear the EDL and other extremist groups are fostering a climate of hate that allows outrages such as this to be perpetrated.
The people behind this attack are as hate-filled as the Woolwich killers. The people who inspired this attack are little different from those who inspired the Woolwich killers. This is the politics of hate.
We need to stand by the Muslim community to show our solidarity with the belief that an injury to one is an injury to all. We must ensure that this tragic event does not create a cycle of extremism and retribution. HOPE not hate will continue to campaign against all forms of extremism and stands with the mainstream who have so strongly declared in recent days that "We are the Many".
Posted: 5 Jun 2013 | There are 7 comments | make a comment/view comments