HOPE not hate

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A very British Ramadan

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 31 July 2013, 08:57


With just over a week left to go of this year's Ramadan, I thought I would share an excellent article written by Julie Siddiqi for the Huffington Post.

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/julie-siddiqi/ramadan-britain_b_3658318.html

In it, she explains what Ramadan means for her and celebrates a number of initiatives where British Muslim communities are reaching out to other communities.

HOPE not hate has supported many of these initiatives, partly because they are just good but also they are important. Following the inexcusable murder of Lee Rigby, Britain's Muslim communities have face a rise in attacks and threats. Just as it was important for Muslim organisations to publicly condemn the actions of the Woolwich killers, so it is now important for British society to reach out and show solidarity with British Muslims.

As we said back in late May, the extremists are the few and We Are The Many.

We have been promoting The Big Iftar, where Mosques have opened their doors to the general public, and also the Dine@Mine initiative, which has seen hundreds of non-Muslims sign up to have meals at the homes of Muslim families.

Anyway, please read the article. I think it is spot on

 Posted: 31 Jul 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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In the final stretch

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 30 July 2013, 12:49


Just over 24 hours ago we launched an appeal to raise £5,000 to respond to the anti-immigrant rhetoric that is increasingly being used in the media and by politicians.

I'm delighted to say that we have just passed the £4,500 mark, meaning we have just £500 left to raise.

With your help we can reach our £5,000 target today:

https://donate.hopenothate.org.uk/page/contribute/a-taste-of-things-to-come

 Posted: 30 Jul 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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New target reached

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 29 July 2013, 19:26


This morning we launched a bid to raise £5,000 to challenge the increasingly hostile media and political anti-immigrant rhetoric and the on-going anti-Muslim hatred and violence.

A few minutes ago we just passed £3,500, meaning we have just left £1,500 to raise.

Can we do it by midnight tonight? It's a tall order but with your support we can do it.

You can make a donation here:

https://donate.hopenothate.org.uk/page/contribute/a-taste-of-things-to-come

 Posted: 29 Jul 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Almost half way there

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 29 July 2013, 13:37


A couple of hours ago we launched an appeal to raise £5,000 to counter some of the negative anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim rhetoric that is being push out by politicians, some newspapers and extremists like the EDL.

I'm delighted to say that after just two hours, we are almost half-way there. As of ten minutes ago we had raised £2,420.

The money will go towards producing a new national HOPE not hate leaflet, along the lines of our We Are The Many campaign; localised leaflets for our 15 priority areas of the country; and a social media initiative to bring Muslim and non-Muslim communities together.

The main parties are spooked by the rise of UKIP and last week's advans calling on "illegal immigrants" to hand themselves in was a PR stunt to give them impression that the Government was tough on the immigration issue.

Left unchecked we will see more of this. Please help us remind politicians that there is a consequence to ratcheting up the rhetoric on immigration.

https://donate.hopenothate.org.uk/page/contribute/a-taste-of-things-to-come

 Posted: 29 Jul 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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A taste of things to come?

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 29 July 2013, 11:59


Last week the Government deployed two advans in London telling ‘illegal immigrants’ to hand themselves in voluntarily or face arrest and deportation. This follows on from a Home Office tweet, earlier this month, warning “There will be no hiding places for illegal immigrants with the new #ImmigrationBill”, accompanied by a picture of a handcuffed man of Asian appearance being placed into a van.

Of course these advans and tweet had little to do with reducing immigration but was the Government trying to head off a surge in support for UKIP. Politics is about to get very dirty.

The rise of UKIP has spooked the main political parties and they are all ratcheting up their rhetoric on immigration as a consequence. By all means have a proper debate about immigration but lurid headlines and cheap political soundbites only add to the problem.

In the immediate aftermath of Woolwich we applauded the resilience of British people for refusing to allow extremists to win. But now our unity is being tested and it is time for us to take a stand. Today we are launching an appeal for £5,000 to ensure a voice of HOPE is heard.

The £5,000 will pay for:

  • A national We Are The Many leaflet
  • 15 local leaflets for our key target areas
  • A social media campaign to bring together Muslims and non-Muslims

Can you chip in a few quid to help us?

https://donate.hopenothate.org.uk/a-taste-of-things-to-come

The inexcusable killing of Lee Rigby has been followed by a wave of attacks on Britain’s Muslim communities. Only last week a man was charged with murdering an elderly Muslim man in Birmingham and planting three bombs outside mosques. Virtually every day we have scaremongering anti-immigration headlines in the national newspapers. And now we have the advan gimmick.

Help us spread the We Are The Many message

https://donate.hopenothate.org.uk/a-taste-of-things-to-come

A few weeks ago we stood together and said We Are The Many. Now we need to get that message out into local communities and ensure we continue to stand united against extremism, hatred and racism. And by doing this loudly and confidently we can tell our politicians – of all parties – that there will be consequences if they play fast and loose over race and immigration.

Because if we don’t then this ad campaign is a sign of things to come.

 Posted: 29 Jul 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Banter or inflammatory?

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 29 July 2013, 11:41


I was away at the end of last week so I missed this image that was doing the rounds on twitter. It depicts a row of soldiers firing flaming arrows with the caption: "If there's something strange in your neighbourhood, who you gonna call?"

Underneath the image - in large text - is the answer: "Mosquebusters".

This image caused great hilarity amongst EDL supporters, including its leadership who happily re-tweeted it.

Is this just banter - as they will claim - or something more inflammatory?

It is probably both. Most EDL supporters will undoubtedly see this as harmless fun, but given that recent spate of attacks on Mosques, including several arsons, this has a serious side. It gives an insight into the anti-Muslim mind-set of EDL supporters and their casual belief that violence is the answer.

And the truth is that while most EDL supporters will just view this as harmless banter, we know from experience that there will be some in their ranks who take it more seriously and view these sorts of images as an encouragement to carry out attacks.

The last point I would make is the hypocrisy within the ranks of the EDL. The very same people who will denounce me for reading too much into this image will inevitably be outraged by the next Anjem Choudary PR stunt.

Anyway, you can see the tweet and image here:

https://twitter.com/knockoutdal/status/360162867649069056/photo/1

 Posted: 29 Jul 2013 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Ukrainian student charged with murder

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 22 July 2013, 20:43


A 25-year-old Ukrainian man has this evening (July 22) been charged with the terrorist-related murder of Birmingham pensioner Mohammed Saleem.

Pavlo Lapshyn, a post graduate student from Dnipropetrovsk, will appear at Westminster Magistrates Court tomorrow.

Because this case is now sub judice HOPE not hate is unable to provide any further information about Pavlo Lapshyn. We would urge others to exercise caution as we cannot afford to compromise this court case.

 Posted: 22 Jul 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Police seek bomb ID suspect

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 17 July 2013, 18:29


West Midlands police have issued a picture of a man they would like to question in relation to the bomb left outside a mosque in Walsall last month.

The image shows a man, believed to be white, in his 20s or 30s and of slim to medium build.

Anyone with any information that could help establish his identity is asked to contact the dedicated hotline 0800 096 1233 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

 Posted: 17 Jul 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Tipton bomb was an attack on all of us

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 16 July 2013, 08:55


While police are still searching for the person(s) who planted the nail bomb in Tipton last Friday, one thing is abundantly clear: the bomb was an attack on all of us.

While much has been made of the notoriety of the Tipton mosque (being the place of worship for the young men who were once held in Guantanamo - the so-called Tipton Taliban) and the significance of the day (Lee Rigby's funeral), the media has largely ignored the location in which the bomb was left.

The nail bomb exploded in the street at the back of the mosque, where most of the houses are occupied by non-Muslims. And it was in their gardens where most of the nails landed and it was their windows that were shattered.

Fortunately this fact has not been overlooked by the local council, the police and local faith leaders and it has helped shape their response. It has also not gone unnoticed by the residents of the street and they are understandably furious that their neighbourhood has been targeted.

While no-one has claimed responsibility for the attack it would appear most likely that the mosque was the target. However, as with all terrorist offences, everyone can become victims.

There are many interesting similarities between the Tipton bomb and the bombing campaign undertaken in London 1999 by former BNP member David Copeland.

I, together with the then BBC journalist Graeme McLagan, wrote a book about Copeland. It followed the police investigation, utilised Copeland's psychiatric reports, retraced his far right activity and the literature that helped shape his warped mindset and, most interestingly, correspondence with Copeland himself.

Three similarities struck me as I watched the news of Friday's bomb attack. Firstly, it appears that the device was a rudimentary nail bomb. Secondly, if people attending Friday prayers were the intended target then the failure to understand that the time had been moved because of Ramadan mirrors Copeland's failure to realise that the Brick Lane market (the scene of his second bomb) was on a Sunday rather than a Saturday. Finally, the mixed nature of the local Tipton community is similar to Copeland's complete lack of understanding that white people lived in Brixton (the scene of his first bomb).

Bombings, by their very nature, are indiscriminate and the victims are not always those the perpetrators intend. So while it is vital that we clearly stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the Muslim community it is important to remember that this was an attack on us all.

 Posted: 16 Jul 2013 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments

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A time for solidarity

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 15 July 2013, 08:47


The post-Woolwich backlash: Anti-Muslim incidents and far right protests since the killing of Lee Rigby

The post-Woolwich backlash: Anti-Muslim incidents and far right protests since the killing of Lee Rigby

Last Friday a bomb exploded outside a mosque in Tipton, West Midlands, in what police have described as a “terrorist incident”. People could be forgiven for not knowing much about it as the bomb attracted very little media attention. However, a bomb it was, pack with nails, and its intention was to kill and maim. That it failed appears only to be because the busy Friday prayers were put back because of Ramadan.

This is the latest in a growing number of violent and Islamophobic attacks on mosques and other Muslim buildings. HOPE not hate has recorded 22 incidents against mosques and other religious buildings and schools since Lee Rigby was murdered and there are quite possibly many more that we do not know about.

We have produced a simple infographic of incidents across the country.

Download PDF | Download JPEG

I have repeatedly said that British society has stood up against hate since Lee Rigby’s death. The alleged killers said that they wanted to start a war in London and the English Defence League duly obliged by playing their part. However, the vast majority of British people – Muslims and non-Muslims – have rejected the wishes of these extremists. As I wrote in the editorial of the new issue of HOPE not hate:

“Much of this was the result of increasingly confident and mature Muslim communities. Most Muslim organisations instantly denounced the Lee Rigby’s murder and the ideology that appears to have fuelled it. They welcomed, and took strength, from the support that others gave them, especially other faith communities. Likewise, David Cameron’s initial comments was welcomed by Muslim organisations and was in sharp contrast to the ‘war on terror’ rhetoric of previous years.

More importantly, ordinary people refused to let the extremists win. Most people understood that the actions of two people do not reflect the views of the British Muslim communities. Likewise, the vast majority of people saw the EDL as part of the problem. This positive mood was exemplified by the story of the trustees of York mosque inviting EDL demonstrators in for tea and ending up playing a game of football with them.”

However, there has been a violent reaction. In the days immediately after Lee Rigby’s murder there was a sharp spike in anti-Muslim attacks and abuse. This might have calmed down since then but the continuing attacks on Mosques and other Islamic buildings is a sharp reminder of the hatred that is out there and the violence that a few extremists are willing to use. It is only through luck that no-one has yet been killed.

It is disappointing then, amidst this hatred, that some journalists have attacked Tell MAMA, an organisation established last year to monitor and encourage reporting anti-Muslim hate crime, and even the very concept of Islamophobia. It is easy, sitting in their comfortable offices, to pick faults with Tell MAMA (an organisation HOPE not hate is proud to support) and downplay the level of violence. It is not they who are greeted by a nail bomb going off as they go to their place of worship or have to be woken from their beds in the middle of the night because someone has maliciously started a fire.

None of the journalists who attacked Tell MAMA and the concept of Islamophobia, have made a comment about Tipton.

I am fortunate, and proud, to sit on the Government’s Anti-Muslim Hatred Working Group with academics and representatives from British Muslim organisations. At our last formal meeting we discussed Woolwich and the fear of a violent backlash against local Muslim communities across the country. I heard stories of volunteers sleeping overnight in mosques to protect them from physical or arson attack and there was a real nervousness amongst ordinary Muslims. Fortunately these fears receded as it became apparent that the vast majority of British people accepted that an entire faith could not be blamed for the actions of two people and they took strength from the support that others showed.

I fear that following the bomb in Tipton, and other recent incidents at mosques across the country, this anxiety will be rising again amongst ordinary Muslims.

Now, more than ever, British communities have to stand together, both in solidarity and against hatred. It is now Ramadan, a month of reflection and fasting for Muslims. HOPE not hate is proud to be supporting a number of initiatives across the country aimed at bringing communities together. We will be supporting the Big Iftar, which will see dozens of mosques open their doors to the wider community over the weekend of 27 July; Dine@Mine, at which Muslim families host meals for non-Muslims; and an initiative by the Mosques and Imam National Advisory Board (MINAB) to deliver food to those who need it.

Against the background of bombs, fasting and extremism, it is vitally important to remember that the extremists are the few and We Are The Many. But we cannot take this for granted. So let us use the month of Ramadan to not only show our solidarity to the Muslim communities but also to reflect on what we have in common.

 Posted: 15 Jul 2013 | There are 9 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Anjem's circus is out again

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 13 July 2013, 17:13


Yesterday Anjem Choudary took his small group of supporters to Regent Park mosque in his latest protest against the military takeover in Egypt.

There were 15-20 of his supporters there but no indication that anyone in the mosque had any interest in his extremist message.

Here are a couple of photos from the event:

 Posted: 13 Jul 2013 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

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The extremes we fight.

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 12 July 2013, 23:32


Today was always going to be an emotionally charged day. No-one could fail to be touched by the image of Fusilier Lee Rigby's son wearing a T-shirt, proclaiming his dad as his hero, while he held his mum's hand at the funeral.

The murder of Drummer Lee Rigby, may he rest in peace, was a senseless and evil act which the perpetrators justified, with their politics of hate and their perverted interpretation of the Koran. These men have been caught and will be subject to British justice which is the right response in our democracy.

Their evil act cannot be used to justify a cycle of violence targeting the British Muslim community. In the weeks since the awful events in Woolwich we seen several high profile attacks on Mosques and Muslim communal buildings. And today we are learn of a suspected nail bomb in Tipton, Sandwell. This attack is made even worse as it not only occurs on the day of such a heartbreaking funeral but it is also the most holy month in the Muslim calendar, Ramadan.

After the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby, the supporters of HOPE not hate made it clear that We Are The Many and that these people, extremists on both sides, don't represent us or the country that we want to live in. It's time to unite again, to grieve and to remember but also to provide support and reassurance to the people who are scared and vulnerable. We Are The Many and we will not be intimidated.

 Posted: 12 Jul 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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HOPE not hate magazine issue 9 now out

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 12 July 2013, 09:08


HOPE not hate magazine issue 9 is now out

HOPE not hate magazine issue 9 is now out

I'm delighted to say that the new issue of the HOPE not hate magazine is now out. It is a really fantastic issue and includes a special report into Woolwich and its aftermath, the conclusions of our discussions on UKIP, a critique on the failure of some to condemn Islamic extremism and a really interesting study on homophobia in Africa.

Dovid Katz, in Vilnius, looks at the development of the ‘Double Genocide’ revision of history that hurls the crimes of Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia into the same pot and Dave Porter interviews the London Recruits, the 1960s students who went to South Africa to spread the ANC message.

There is a debate about the rights and wrongs of banning Pam Geller and Robert Spencer from entering the UK, an examination about how the media treated Stephen Lennon and Anjem Choudary in the aftermath of Woolwich and we have a map of serious anti-Muslim incidents and EDL demonstrations.

To order your copy, click here: http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/gethope/issue9

 Posted: 12 Jul 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Anjem's demo proves to be damp squib

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Sunday, 7 July 2013, 09:51


Anjem Choudary, outside the Egyptian embassy yesterday

Anjem Choudary, outside the Egyptian embassy yesterday

With much excitement radical hate preacher Anjem Choudary announced on Friday afternoon his intention to hold a demonstration outside the Egyptian consulate in London for yesterday afternoon to protest against the military's overthrow of President Morsi.

As is common with his statements and tweets it was full of hyperbole and bluster.

After yesterday's demonstration I wonder whether he wished he had kept his mouth shut on Friday and spent the weekend out with his wife and kids. Only 40-50 people attended the protest and given that it was held outside the Egyptian embassy, as opposed to the advertised Consulate, virtually no members of the public would have seen it.

Worse still for Anjem, the protest came to a sudden end as a number of pro-Morsi supporters took issue with him during his speech and began shouting him down. Anjem stepped back for self-protection and was immediately surrounded by some of his bigger supporters. He continued speaking for a minute or two but then he stopped and the event broke up. As some of his supporters were remonstrating with some younger Morsi supporters, some of the old Morsi supporters began chanting and singing their deposed leader's praise.

However, there was still enough time for Choudary and other speakers to blame Israel for it all.

It would appear that Choudary had expected a bigger turnout but supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, who he had been expecting to attend, had decided to hold their own protest this afternoon.

 Posted: 7 Jul 2013 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Who is fundraising for whom?

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 3 July 2013, 20:41


In happier times. Igler and Spencer in New York together last September

In happier times. Igler and Spencer in New York together last September

Earlier today I blogged about how a man called George Igler, Director of London-based The Discourse Institute, was fundraising for a legal challenge to the Home Secretary's ban on Pam Geller and Robert Spencer entering the UK.

Robert Spencer, writing on his Jihad Watch website, has hit back claiming that Igler is not raising money for their legal case. He writes: "There are people and/or parties that are raising money on our UK legal woes. They are fraudulently misrepresenting themselves as acting as our agent or coordinator, or in some way working with us on our legal challenge to British authorities."

He goes on to add that: "Let us state it most emphatically: we have nothing to do with Mr. Igler, the Discourse Institute."

Spencer goes on to attack HOPE not hate for "another underhanded Leftist attempt at subterfuge, designed to confuse people and divert them from the genuine outlets for our defense."

Don't shoot the messenger Robert. This is the message written by The Dialogue Institute and posted on a number of 'Counter-Jihadist' blogs on 29 June.

Discourse Institute Seeks Legal Challenge to Theresa May’s Exclusion of Robert Spencer & Pamela Geller from the UK

Thanks to Andrew Bostom:

From The Discourse Institute, which champions European free speech reform:

USD 20,000 sought to challenge Theresa May’s exclusion of anti-Jihad speakers

Reply-To: <discourstat@discourseinstitute.org>

We find ourselves stunned by the exclusion from the UK this week, on the orders of Home Secretary Theresa May, of the anti-Jihad speakers Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller. The entry ban, attached to this donation request, is in force for a minimum of three to five years.

Salafist preachers freely enter Britain, and incite murders of the kind carried out in London on May 22nd, when serving Fusilier Lee Rigby was mown down and decapitated on his way to the Woolwich army barracks.

The legal precedent for this exclusion is that of the refusal to grant entry to the Dutch MP Geert Wilders, for a speech in the House of Lords in 2009 . An accomplished legal team however, enabled Mr Wilders to enter Britain by resoundingly overturning this exclusion order in the High Court.

The Discourse Institute has successfully engaged the same team to prepare and win an identical case. The cost of doing so however is £13,000 (USD 20,000).

If you would like to assist us, by providing the financing capable of immediately challenging this exclusion, please ring +44 20 7193 7295; and your call will be routed to the institute’s director.

George Igler can also be reached at: george.igler@discourseinstitute.org

* I'll come back to George Iglar tomorrow as I have lots more to say about this man, but for now I just wanted to set the record straight and show that he has been sending out fundraising letters claiming to be raising money for Geller and Spencer.

 Posted: 3 Jul 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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George Igler replies to link with EDL leader

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 3 July 2013, 11:53


George Igler has responded to by blog about his presence in New York last September at the launch of SION.

So, here is his reply:

"Mr Lennon is the bravest man it has ever been my privilege to meet. It was sad that the Cameron government found it necessary to imprison him for needing to go to the US to speak truthfully about Islamic extremism in his home town."

 Posted: 3 Jul 2013 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Igler and Lennon

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 3 July 2013, 10:51


I've just written a blog about George Igler, the Director of The Discourse Institute, who is co-ordinating the legal challenge to overturn the Home Secretary's ban on Pam Geller and Robert Spencer entering the UK.

As I mentioned in the blog, Igler addressed the founding conference of SION last September.

Here is a picture of Igler on the platform. Next to him is EDL leader Stephen Lennon.

Addition:

George Igler has just sent me this reply to the blog:

"Mr Lennon is the bravest man it has ever been my privilege to meet. It was sad that the Cameron government found it necessary to imprison him for needing to go to the US to speak truthfully about Islamic extremism in his home town."

 Posted: 3 Jul 2013 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Meet George Igler, Geller and Spencer's city friend

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 3 July 2013, 10:31


Igler, speaking at the launch of SION last September

Igler, speaking at the launch of SION last September

Over the last couple of days I've reported that Pam Geller and Robert Spencer are raising money for a legal challenge to the decision by the Home Secretary to ban them from the UK.

It seems that this challenge is being co-ordinated by the London-based The Discourse Institute, which operates from an address in St James's Square. It is led by George Igler, a former City-based political policy analyst.

The Discourse Institute believe that the exclusion of Geller and Spencer is similar to that of Geert Wilders, in 2009, when he was initially prevented from showing his anti-Muslim film in the House of Commons. The same lawyers who acted on behalf of Geert Wilders have apparently be hired to act for Geller and Spencer.

Of course, it would appear that The Discourse Institute is quite selective in the free speech campaigns and from a quick look at the organisation's website it regularly defends the EDL but seems not to offer these same freedoms to Muslims who are being silenced.

In one recent posting, about the disastrous Infidel demo in Ashton-under-Lyne in mid-June, Igler attacks the police for deliberately playing down the demonstration, which he believes was only the latest example of the authorities "actively concealing the extent of street level disorder in Britain, since Lee Rigby’s killing."

Quite what his agenda is I don't know but he claims in his blog that there were 3,000 on the demo, though he does not provide any evidence for this. HOPE not hate had a team out monitoring the demo and it is clear from our photos that the numbers were no more than 150. In fact, the demo was so poorly attended that the Infidels and Casuals United have decided to go back there this weekend.

Igler is also quite well known on the anti-Muslim 'counter-Jihad' (CJ) scene. In September 2012 addressed the launch meeting of SION - Stop Islamization of Nations - the group founded by Geller and Spencer. And guess who he was sitting next to on the platform, yes, EDL leader Stephen Lennon.

The EDL leader had entered the US with a false passport and was later imprisoned for several months.

So, anyway, The Discourse Institute is looking to raise $20,000 for the legal challenge. We are presuming that the $25,000 Geller and Spencer are trying to raise is all part of the same amount.

Whether they will be successful, I have no idea. But drawing comparisons with Geert Wilders seems widely off the mark, not least because he was an EU citizen and had rights of movement that are clearly not held by Geller and Spencer.

In the meantime, anyone with any information on George Igler and The Discourse Institute, please do email me at nick@hopenothate.org.uk

Igler enjoys a drink with EDL leaders Stephen Lennon and Kevin Carroll

Igler enjoys a drink with EDL leaders Stephen Lennon and Kevin Carroll

 Posted: 3 Jul 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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The petition is not quite what it seems

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 2 July 2013, 15:28


American anti-Muslim activists Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer seem determined to challenge the Home Secretary's decision to ban them from the UK. Yesterday they launched a fundraising driver to raise $25,000 to challenge the ban in a British court and today the Wall Street Journal claims that they have instructed British lawyers.

So far, they have raised $1,075 towards their total, from 14 funders. Surprisingly, no-one has taken up the offer to receive a signed Stop Islamization of Nations (SION) poster by donating $5,000.

Not sure which lawyers they have instructed but I would advise that they keep an eye out on this fundraising appeal.

Anyway, Geller has also launched a petition calling on the Home Secretary to repeal the ban. Despite being set up on 26 June - six days ago - it has so far received just 8,009 signatures. Geller thinks this is great, but a closer look at who has signed reveals that it is not quite what it was cracked up to be.

Far from being a petition of British citizens calling on their own Government to let the pair in, it is in fact a petition open to anyone in the world.

I've looked at the last 500 people to sign the petition and found that only 164 are from the UK. A bigger number are from the US (199) while other countries represented are Canada (37) and Australia (22). Other people who have signed the petition are from Singapore, Romania, Poland, Nigeria, India and Greece.

What is more embarrassing for Geller and Spencer is that 87 of the last 500 people to have signed the petition refused to actually give their name.

I really am not sure how impressed the British Government is going to be with this petition and I really doubt the Home Secretary will be swayed into changing her mind.

By contrast, HOPE not hate collected over 27,134 names in the same time period. And we have names, email addresses and UK postcodes for them all.

 Posted: 2 Jul 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments