Category: EDL News Published on Wednesday, 13 June 2012 17:32 Written by Pyrus Hits: 721
Not all EDL supporters will proudly wear their EDL shirts outside of an EDL demonstration. As well as the genuine interest that the EDL logo can attract, there is always the very real risk of having to deal with misconceptions or even open hostility.
Since our beginning we have made a point of distinguishing our criticisms of Islamic extremism from the sort of prejudice that leads people to mistreat others based solely on their religious identity. But despite this, there are still those who confuse the two and who, quite wrongly, accuse EDL supporters of making exactly this mistake.
The result is that we see EDL supporters demonised as ‘the sort of people who hurl insults at Muslims’. Despite the obvious irony, there are some who then seize upon this opportunity to hurl insults of their own. Sadly, the arguments themselves get buried under a barrage of name-calling.
That’s why we should applaud those who aren’t afraid to face this hostility and prove that we are, at the very least, an organisation made up of well-meaning people.
Last Monday night, members of the EDL East Anglian Division attended the Shed Scooter Rally in Kings Lynn. It should have been a fun night with plenty of music and entertainment. Unfortunately, one of the bands – a ska band named ‘The Selecter’ – decided that they weren’t just entertainers but also the moral police.
The East Anglian lads had attended the event dressed in their EDL shirts, and for this they were subjected to a torrent of abuse from the band’s lead singer. After speaking to the organisers of the event, the East Anglian Division members agreed to leave so as not to ruin the event for anyone else.
Unwisely, one EDL supporter then posted a comment on Facebook that suggested that the band’s next gig would be disrupted. And that was it – the blogosphere erupted in outrage, not at the band for haranguing members of the audience for daring to support an organisation of which they apparently disapproved, but for a single ill-advised comment posted on Facebook in the wake of the affair.
The East Anglian Division most certainly did not cause any trouble at the event, nor is there any credible risk of EDL supporters disrupting the band’s future gigs (quite frankly, we’ve all got better things to do).
You really do have to wonder about the motives of those who would make this non-event into more than it was.
We gather than the gist of the abuse directed towards the EDL supporters was that they were in some way ‘racist’. Whilst we’re used to the accusation that opposing militant Islam is evidence of racism, it’s always worth debunking that blatant and offensive falsehood. The EDL is open to people of all races and religions, and we are proud of our diverse membership. Unlike racists, we do not judge people on the colour of their skin, nor do we judge people based simply on their choice of religion.
Our quarrel is with extremism – with those who promote it and those who fail to act against it. Islamic extremism is the number one threat to our national security and a challenge to the rights and freedoms that we all enjoy. But the government is doing precious little to combat it. That’s why we campaign against Islamic extremism – not out of prejudice, but out of a conviction that more needs to be done to combat a form of extremism that is a threat to everyone, Muslim and non-Muslim alike.
Describing our position as racist is both ignorant and offensive. 'The Selecter’ may not agree with our views, but that’s no reason to level abuse at our supporters.