Category: EDL News Published on Thursday, 04 October 2012 13:50 Written by Ignominius Hits: 3823
The kindly folks at the Muslim Debate Initiative had arranged an open debate with Tommy Robinson, the leader of the English Defence League. This is something that we have desperately needed in this country for some time. Intelligent debate on the issues surrounding both sides and how we can address those issues. Out of the blue, the MDI have cancelled at the last moment. According to communications received, it would appear that threats to disrupt the debate - the exercise of freedom of speech on both sides of the debate, was under threat from the anti-fascists. On the advice of the police and the local Camden council who hire out the hall. The apparent threat is not from Muslims who allegedly are keen to hear the debate but rather from the likes of the so-called anti-fascists.
Here is one of several email exchanges between the Muslim Debate Initiative(MDI) and the EDL:
We have new developments, please keep the 4th of October. We are
planning to use .......... in London. We will invite VIPs and other
members of the audience (who we can be sure are not UAF). The event
will be private and invite only. It's the only way to get free speech
these days it would seem.
Please keep the 4th October in the diary for Tommy.
Will update you soon,
It is good to see that the MDI are not bowing to the anti-fascists and their attempts to block free speech. Despite some sources who claim that Tommy and the EDL have declined the challenge, with the cancellation of the original date and with Tommy's busy schedule it has been impossible to re-arrange a suitable time and date. The challenge still remains open and when Tommy has the time he will take up that challenge.
Open intelligent, informed discourse on issues has been the very bedrock of democracy since the foundation of Athens to modern Western democracies. Discussion and debate is how civilised people reach a concensus of opinion and agreements. Without this important freedom we cannot have democracy. If we cannot exchange views, opinions and ideas because someone or some group use violent threats to shutdown that interchange then we have lost democracy. This is exactly how Hitler and his Brown-Shirts behaved during 1930's Germany when the political opposition were threatened or intimidated to the point where there was no gainsaying to the Nazi political agenda.
This shutting down of free speech is distinctive of those who hate democracy and prefer totalitarianism. Those who claim to be defenders of society from facism are using those very same tactics that Hitler and his thugs used to shut out the opposition and to pursue their totalitarian agenda. It is ironic that those who claim to be fighting fascism should act like fascists, but even more frightening that they should act like enemies of civilization.
No Platform for fascists, they say. Don't let the EDL spread it's corruption. As if the simple minds of the common people were unable to make up their minds for themselves. No need to let the EDL have their say; of course not, we are right and they are wrong, they say; with all the bigotry of the narrow-minded who rather not have their positions argued and their so fervently held beliefs challenged.
The Enlightenment, the Reformation, freedom of thought and conscience were bought at the risk of expressing views that were not only unpopular; they were considered to be heresy. It was the freedom to argue that gave us the civilization we have today. One of open minds, open discussions and the freedom of thought to be allowed to hear both sides of the argument and make up our minds for ourselves. Not to be told by some goverment, or self-styled "anti fascist" organization that has the sheer arrogance to decide the agenda, to say who can speak where, when and on what, and to deny that chance to everyone they disagree with. That is fascism.
People might not like what the EDL or Tommy has to say, but the democratic process can only be served by allowing him to say what he has to say. In the same way, Muslims must also be allowed to have their say, no matter how offensive we might find what they have to say to us is.
" ... the peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race;
posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are
deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier
impression of truth, produced by its collision with error."
John Stuart Mill, On Liberty. 1869.