EDL to screen anti-Islam film in East London


10:19 pm - September 16th 2012

by Sunny Hundal    


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The English Defence League are planning to screen the ‘Innocence of Muslims’ film trailer in East London next month.

EDL head Tommy Robinson said on Twitter today that it would be screened on October 27th, in Walthamstow.

Given how awful the film is, it is more likely to bore the hell out of its audience than anything else.

Anti-racist group Hope Not Hate’s Nick Lowles says that if the screening goes ahead then “he should immediately be prosecuted for incitement”.

The Labour MP for Walthamstow Stella Creasy tweeted in response

I don’t agree that screening the film should be cause for prosecution in itself. Under that logic, Liberal Conspiracy would also be liable as we also published the trailer.

However, the screening does give an enterprising group of British Muslims an opportunity for a good stunt to show their contempt for the EDL, without falling for his attempt at trolling.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


The report I read on the EDL presence at the US embassy protest said only four of them turned up. I expect the pubs were open. Unless they have free drinks this one will be a washout.

Yay, more riots!

There have been riots in Antwerp, also Sydney, Australia – a violent one which shocked the Australians who aren’t used to the black-flagged head bangers. I get the sense that in the UK it’s been quite muted compared to, say, Operation Cast Lead, when things got very wild in front of the Israeli embassy. Has there been anything in Bradford? Chowderhead only managed to get out 150 people in London.

Try this news report in the Pakistan press:

LONDON: The Muslim Council of Britain, UK’s largest Muslim umbrella body with over 500 affiliated local and regional organisations, mosques, charities and schools, has called on all parties concerned to halt violence sparked by outrage against an anti-Islam film.
http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012%5C09%5C14%5Cstory_14-9-2012_pg7_18

Yes, this is the perfect opportunity pwn the EDL. It’s such an obvious attempt at trolling, to provoke a riot so that they can say “see, we told you so”. Politicians can see this coming. Community leaders can see this coming. Religious leaders can see this coming. There is no reason to fall for it.

I often try to promote the idea of creative counter speech, responding in the same medium as that in which the offence was given. Fight a book with a book, a play with a play, a film with a film. The proper response to a screening of “The Innocence of Muslims” trailer is a crowd-sourced short film called “The Innocence of the EDL”. Ju-jitsu the trolls. Turn the focus back on them. Show who is really intolerant.

Let them show it and have their bit of fun.
If people try to stop them screening the film it will only deepen their sense of grievance and act as a recruiting sergeant for them.

Demonstrations against the film will be inevitable and the police should arrest whichever side resorts to violence.

If screening the film is halted ask yourselves the question: “What next – a public reading of the Satanic Verses”? And after that? …….

The remarkable continuing feature of British politics is the scant voting support for extremist and lunatic fringe political movements at elections, whether Mosley’s fascists, the Communists, the National Front, the Socialist Labour Party, the BNP etc etc. Where is Britain’s equivalent of the Tea Party in America?

8. So Much For Subtlety

Anti-racist group Hope Not Hate’s Nick Lowles says that if the screening goes ahead then “he should immediately be prosecuted for incitement”.

And thus we see Britain’s new blasphemy laws being used in defence of its de facto official religion. Great.

The Labour MP for Walthamstow Stella Creasy tweeted in response

What she did not tweet is the problem. She did not condemn the nutcases. She did not condemn the violence. She did not defend anyone’s right of free speech. All she really said is that such acts stand to embarrass her and make her take a stand, so please would everyone not force her to choose sides.

I don’t agree that screening the film should be cause for prosecution in itself. Under that logic, Liberal Conspiracy would also be liable as we also published the trailer.

So it is not a case of free speech but the fact that LC might be prosecuted? If you had not published the trailer would anything be different?

However, the screening does give an enterprising group of British Muslims an opportunity for a good stunt to show their contempt for the EDL, without falling for his attempt at trolling.

Really? And how might they do this? The purpose of the Islamists in bringing this film to light is to force everyone to make a choice – you are with them or against them. Enterprising – and by that I assume you mean moderate but don’t want to admit it – Muslims will be forced in the end to choose – with their community or with freedom. At least if the extremists have their way. So will people like you and everyone else in Britain. Either we become Dhimmis or we defend our freedoms. Your choice.

However, the screening does give an enterprising group of British Muslims an opportunity for a good stunt to show their contempt for the EDL, without falling for his attempt at trolling.

What’s the betting they’ll either get ignored or lumped in by the media with Anjem’s no-doubt present “counter-protest”?

I wonder how this blow-back will be in the UK.

When someone offers you obvious provocation. don’t rise to it. If someone yanks your chain, don’t, clang your bell. If someone rattles your chain, don’t snarl but yawn. That is what really pisses off your provoker – and it makes you look dignified. Anyone who rises to this kind of obvious bait is playing the EDL’s game.

Here’s a good piece by an Australian Muslim about the power the offender has over the perpetually offended.

http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/the-incredible-muslim-hulk-proves-to-be-no-friend-of-islam-either-20120916-260e8.html

“This is the behaviour of a drunkenly humiliated people: swinging wildly with the hope of landing a blow, any blow, somewhere, anywhere. There’s nothing strategic or calculated about this. It doesn’t matter that they are the film’s most effective publicists. It doesn’t matter that they protest using offensive slogans and signs, while protesting against people’s right to offend. It doesn’t matter that they object to insulting people on the basis of their religion, while declaring that Christians have no morals. This is baffling only until you realise these protesters are not truly protesting to make a point. The protest is the point.

It feels good. It feels powerful. This is why people yell pointlessly or punch walls when frustrated. It’s not instrumental. It doesn’t achieve anything directly. But it is catharsis. Outrage and aggression is an intoxicating prospect for the powerless.

Accordingly, it is not an option to leave an insult unanswered because that is a sign of weakness, rather than transcendence.

The irony is that it grants an extraordinary level of power to those doing the offending. It puts them constantly at the centre of your world. That’s why, when Gallup polled 35 Muslim majority countries, it found that of all the gripes the Muslim world has against the West, among the most pervasive is the West’s ”disrespect for Islam”.

And it is this disrespect that is the overarching grievance that subsumes others. Everything, global and local, can be thrown into this vortex: Swiss minaret bans, French niqab bans, military invasions, drone strikes, racist stereotyping, anti-immigrant politics, and yes, even films so ridiculously bad that, left to their own devices, they would simply lampoon themselves.

This is what gives Innocence of Muslims meaning: not its content, but its context. It’s a symbol of contempt, which is why protests against it so quickly turn into an orgy of anti-Americanism. So, ”Obama, Obama, we love Osama” they scream, mainly because it’s the most offensive rhyme they can muster. Osama, too, is a symbol; the most repugnant one in their arsenal. How better to prove you exist than to say something outrageous?”

However, the screening does give an enterprising group of British Muslims an opportunity for a good stunt to show their contempt for the EDL, without falling for his attempt at trolling.

In my very mouthy feminist days, chaps trying to be amusing would say something they thought amusing about women to get a rise out of me. They wanted my voice to rise hysterically. I’d roll my eyes in a “oh this again” way and change the subject. The best way of showing contempt – not worth the spit – is to ignore them. Why should Muslims get off their arses when they could be watching the telly to turn out at the EDL’s behest? Cos that’s what they would be doing.

13. Flat, Flash & Bereft of Demurity

Trailors will include “Milking it the royal sunny side up way” – working title “how to line your coffers wiff euros gov…”

In my opinion, the EDL wanting to screen this film does more to discredit it among ‘normal’ people than any amount of bans or acts by angry muslims ever could do.

It’s an interesting idea to show a counter-movie next to the showing, but no need to crowd source, just put a playlist of youtube clips of EDL dummies trying to make their point, that’s all you need.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BaZCaWH96xw for example

‘interracial law’ ‘muslamic infidels’ etc, it’s truly amazing what some people actually think.

15. Chaise Guevara

@ SMFS

“And thus we see Britain’s new blasphemy laws being used in defence of its de facto official religion. Great.”

Ahahahaha!

*Most Brits describe themselves as Christian.
*The Christian Church of England is officially entwined with the state.
*Our national anthem invokes the Christian god.
*The UK is home to roughly a gazillion Christian churches.
*Our calendar is organised around Christian red-letter days, with bank holidays for Easter and Christmas.
*Muslims, on the other hand, are a small minority who are regularly slandered and castigated in a tabloid press that presents Christians as victims.

And SMFS thinks that Islam is our “de facto religion”. I’m not sure whether this is genuine delusion, or self-deception. Either way, the phrase “blinded by hatred” springs to mind.

16. Richard Carey

Calling for the arrest of TR is typical of groups like Hope not Hate. They never seem to get the irony that they mirror the groups they oppose.

17. Petra from Blue Peter

If the EDL do screen it then local Muslims and anti-fascists should attend en masse. This is not the same as a march of pogromists through a minority ethnic or religious community intent on intimidation, violence or even murder. It’s a free speech question. Yes, anti-fascists should turn up in force both to see and to protect those who wish to see the film but also to prevent the EDL from using it to incite the pogromic violence it hopes to incite or as a pretext for a provocative march through the community after it has been screened. Perhaps interested Muslims could knock up a quick but watchable and reasoned rebuttal of the film and approach the EDL to show it at the same screening?

18. Chaise Guevara

@ 16 Richard

“Calling for the arrest of TR is typical of groups like Hope not Hate. They never seem to get the irony that they mirror the groups they oppose.”

I remember a UAF bigwig went on record saying “we don’t believe in freedom of speech for fascists.” Er, so that would include you, then! There are few things as annoying as a fascist anti-fascist.

Oh joy, “So Much For Subtlety” is back – I’d been missing my daily dose of long-winded apologetics for General Franco, but had feared his cranium had finally imploded from effort of banging on interminably about “freedom” whilst simultaneously advocating fascist clampdowns.

On good form I see – even though Sunny explicitly says he doesn’t think the EDL should be prosecuted, SMFS caries right along as if he had, fear-mongering about Dhimmitude and the treachery of the left, etc. I think SMFS should grow a beard and sign up with Anjem Choudary’s lot. With his perpetual sense of victimhood, paranoia, and lack of, erm, any intellectual subtlety whatsoever, he’d fit right in.

20. Chaise Guevara

@ 19 Larry

“With his perpetual sense of victimhood, paranoia, and lack of, erm, any intellectual subtlety whatsoever, he’d fit right in.”

From now on, I’m visualising him as Nigel Lindsay from Four Lions. You know, the one who keeps eating SIM cards.

21. Richard Carey

@ Chaise,

yes, I’ve been struck by similar expressions.

@ 17,

” Yes, anti-fascists should turn up in force both to see and to protect those who wish to see the film but also to prevent the EDL from using it to incite the pogromic violence it hopes to incite or as a pretext for a provocative march through the community after it has been screened.”

Surely, what you mean is “anti-fascists” should turn up to prevent, through the use of intimidation, the EDL holding any kind of meeting? It’s dishonest to suggest that these antis will “protect those who wish to see the film”. The most likely scenario is that they’ll use violence to get their point across.

22. the a&e charge nurse

Responses to the film have clearly overtaken it’s ludicrous content, although perhaps we should welcome it’s making because it seems to have done a a remarkable job in reflecting all of the nastiness, and intolerance simmering away under the surface.

I doubt if the film maker could have imagined in his wildest dreams the international dimensions a ‘carry on islam’ movie might have, or maybe he is an evil genius and anticipated it’s effect all along?
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/middle-east-live/2012/sep/17/protests-anti-islam-film-hezbollah-live

The violent consequences make it clear that islam can only ever be depicted in a way that fits with a prescribed view of what this religion means to those who practice it – and woe betide anybody who is not on message – to my mind that is a much more substantial issue than the cheeky antics of the EDL.

However, the screening does give an enterprising group of British Muslims an opportunity for a good stunt to show their contempt for the EDL, without falling for his attempt at trolling.

The best ‘stunt’ they could do is ignore the film entirely.

Don’t feeed the trolls.

@22 He’s definitely not an evil genius, though he is a bit of a shifty character – http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_EGYPT_FILMMAKER_PROBATION?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2012-09-15-06-44-20

“I don’t agree that screening the film should be cause for prosecution in itself. Under that logic, Liberal Conspiracy would also be liable as we also published the trailer.”

Depends whether you’ve broken the law. Even liberals can do that

”The best ‘stunt’ they could do is ignore the film entirely.”

You might as well say don’t get upset by the Satanic Vreses. I heard Rushdie being interviewed on the radio this morning. Friends and supporters of his gave public readings of that book at the height of the controversy back then. Was that a provocation too …. or is it just because this is the ”devilish EDL?”

I’d be interested to see them try this stunt, but the venue would probably pull out and cancel the thing after coming under pressure.
That, or the police would militarise the thing and sorround it with riot police.

The EDL are nothing but a bunch of thick-bloke losers, and that local MP is talking to us like children.
There should be no hysterical reaction to the EDL showing that film … anymore than there is when backward Saudi Sheiks come and speak to Muslim audiences in the Britain.
Apart from Harry’s Place, no one gives a damn about that.
And so should it be here. But I suspect it cant be.
Partly because the silly EDL have been demonised so much by the left, who could think of no other way of countering them.

27. Chaise Guevara

@ damon

“You might as well say don’t get upset by the Satanic Vreses. I heard Rushdie being interviewed on the radio this morning. Friends and supporters of his gave public readings of that book at the height of the controversy back then. Was that a provocation too …. or is it just because this is the ”devilish EDL?””

Well, it’s a provocation either way. But my opinion of the provokers is going to be coloured by whether I think they’re making a stand for free speech, or just being arseholes because they hate the people being insulted in the video.

To which I should hastily add that the greatest fault here lies with those committing violence, and that I wouldn’t prevent the EDL from screening the film if they want to.

”But my opinion of the provokers is going to be coloured by whether I think they’re making a stand for free speech, or just being arseholes because they hate the people being insulted in the video.”

I agree to a point. They are certainly trying to be provocative. But really, so what? No one has to take the bait. Part of the problem (IMO) is the left generally has exaggerated the potency and danger of the EDL so much that even MPs feel they should speak out when the EDL try to hold some march or event in their constituency.

On Sunny’s other site Pickled Politics, I was banned off the EDL threads (and there were a lot of them) by the moderator who produced them there.
For saying he kind of thing that I am here – that the EDL were not some really dangerous ”Nazi” or fascist movement, but more a product of lumpen working class ”football hooligan politics”. And that they weren’t really that different in their views to the guy I’m listening to over the internet right now, American Fox News radio and TV presenter Sean Hannity.
He just had Mark Steyn on as a guest, and together they talked about the scare scenario of American decline and dictatorships like China taking over world leadership and ”crazy Muslims” taking their Jihad into the heart of the West.

It’s the same kind of mentality as the EDL, but the EDL have a culture where they will not care about the wall of disapproval that is appalled by them. Whereas, more ”respectable” people would be cowed by that. But EDL supporters are more likely to give those who disapprove the two fingers.
Because of their (sub) culture.

I still think it was funny to be banned for saying things like that.

29. Chaise Guevara

@ 28 damon

“I agree to a point. They are certainly trying to be provocative. But really, so what? No one has to take the bait. Part of the problem (IMO) is the left generally has exaggerated the potency and danger of the EDL so much that even MPs feel they should speak out when the EDL try to hold some march or event in their constituency.”

Probably true. They do seem to be a bit of a bogeyman for many lefties – and a lot of righties too, who are desperate to disassociate from them (not that they should have to; Random Rightwinger A is not accountable for the actions of Random Rightwinger B). Certainly they’ve gotten to the point where news stories about them are likely to play scary music in the background.

“For saying he kind of thing that I am here – that the EDL were not some really dangerous ”Nazi” or fascist movement, but more a product of lumpen working class ”football hooligan politics”.”

Agreed. That’s almost the defining mark of the EDL: football camaraderie and/or violence redirected into a political movement. And, while they’re blaming the wrong people and using the wrong methods, I think that some of them (i.e. those not just along for a ruck) have reason to be angry. They have good pull in abandoned, disenfranchised towns, places where the big factory was shut down and now unemployment is through the roof and the government (and the last) doesn’t seem to care.

“I still think it was funny to be banned for saying things like that.”

I think it’s fucking ridiculous and rather precious to ban anyone for reasons other than abuse/harassment, serious libel, or outright trolling. But that’s just me, and in fairness I’m not aware of the details.

30. So Much For Subtlety

11. Rosie

Here’s a good piece by an Australian Muslim about the power the offender has over the perpetually offended.

What is good about this particularly self-serving piece of apologetics? It reminds me more of the Guardian’s post-7-7 “uppity” piece.

15. Chaise Guevara

*Most Brits describe themselves as Christian.
*The Christian Church of England is officially entwined with the state.
*Our national anthem invokes the Christian god.
*The UK is home to roughly a gazillion Christian churches.
*Our calendar is organised around Christian red-letter days, with bank holidays for Easter and Christmas.
*Muslims, on the other hand, are a small minority who are regularly slandered and castigated in a tabloid press that presents Christians as victims.

And SMFS thinks that Islam is our “de facto religion”. I’m not sure whether this is genuine delusion, or self-deception. Either way, the phrase “blinded by hatred” springs to mind.

De facto official religion. Quote correctly. You can insult Christians and you will not go to jail. Nor will liberals demand you should be. Our blasphemy laws do not apply to Christianity in practice. Which is not surprising as the Left campaigned to abolish them in the 1960s and succeeded. But now we have some new blasphemy laws that only protect one religion – say anything that offends Muslims and some on the Left will demand prison terms. So everything you say is true. Britain is an ex-Christian country. Muslims are a tiny minority. But still the law and the Leftist worldview protects Islam, not Christianity. We have Finlanded ourselves. Very few Finns were Communists either.

Apply whatever term you like to it. It remains true.

31. Chaise Guevara

@ SMFS

“De facto official religion. Quote correctly.”

If you keep the “official” bit, it becomes even less true. Which is saying something.

“You can insult Christians and you will not go to jail. Nor will liberals demand you should be.”

How many liberals demand that people who insult Muslims should go to jail? I’m not going to play silly buggers here and claim that anyone who does such a thing can’t be liberal. But who can you name that has genuine liberal attitudes yet makes a special case for jailing people who say nasty things about Muslims? Someone whose liberalism and fascist defence of Islam makes them a self-contradicting hypocrite?

No using the American definition of “liberal”, by the way. I don’t mean lefties. I mean “swing your arm all you like as long as it doesn’t hit my nose” liberal.

“But now we have some new blasphemy laws that only protect one religion – say anything that offends Muslims and some on the Left will demand prison terms.”

There was a certain amount of fuss over Jerry Springer: The Opera. I don’t know if you remember. And there are plenty of people who support kids being fed Christian beliefs as truth in school, or think we should integrate God into our official system more than we already do. But yeah, there are always idiots in every camp, mine included. I don’t hold you accountable for right-wing morons. Have the decency to do likewise.

“So everything you say is true. Britain is an ex-Christian country. Muslims are a tiny minority. But still the law and the Leftist worldview protects Islam, not Christianity.”

Sorry, but no. Even if you were right, and you’re not, we would not be an ex-Christian country. We are far more Christian than Muslim. We are probably more Christian than rationalist. Christianity is still built into the bones of this country, for good or ill. For good and ill.

32. Chaise Guevara

..And are we no longer a Christian country, nor a Muslim country, but a Soldiers country, now someone has been convicted for saying nasty things about soldiers? Or is that one isolated incident that we shouldn’t get all hysterical over?

Let ’em screen the film

This low level anti-intellectual film is for morons who love Kidulthood anyway

Plus they can have other “quality” EDL cinema too – Troll 2, The Wicker Man and Wiseau’s The Room.

”I think it’s fucking ridiculous and rather precious to ban anyone for reasons other than abuse/harassment, serious libel, or outright trolling. But that’s just me, and in fairness I’m not aware of the details.”

I think part of the problem was that there were so many EDL threads by the same guy, and I was being a bit too predictably negative.
Just cast your eye over some of them here.
http://www.pickledpolitics.com/categories/race-politics/edl

I suppose that I was getting a little frustrated that the debate on Pickled Politics just couldn’t get further than that sensationalist ”Shock horror – EDL support Norway killer” kind of stuff. Or making a big deal about a secret American financier … when anyone can see that they don’t need much financing.
I admit I blew a few raspberries.

To this day (like on LC) I think the EDL coverage and reporting hasn’t really moved on or got better. Anytime I mention the EDL-type sub class, you’ll get someone coming back saying, ”what, you think that’s what working class people are all like?”
Not understanding or wanting to understand that I’m talking about a sub-class or a strand within the white working class. The ones that will speak their minds to the point of being ready to fight about it. They don’t like the ”Islamisation” of particular areas they say. Like in Luton where they started. Where muslim lads make it a bit of a no-go area for people like them in the Muslim part of town. That’s what their man Tommy Robinson said. And he was filmed getting hit in the face by an Islamist guy when he was driving his car through there.

Separation of Church and State – Any party in the UK willing to put this in their policy?

@15:

Daily Mail reading Londumb moron spings to mind.

37. Chaise Guevara

@ Att

What’s wrong with The Wicker Man? And what’s the relationship to the EDL? Other than mobs of none-too-bright people, obviously.

38. Chaise Guevara

@ 34 damon

“I think part of the problem was that there were so many EDL threads by the same guy, and I was being a bit too predictably negative.”

Well, I guess you challenge people on their pet peeves at your peril (alliteration!)

I agree that LC and other sites tend to be a bit over-simplistic with the EDL, going with the true but clumsy “EDL BAD!” and not taking enough time to consider the group’s concerns, some of which are valid. Which doesn’t get you very far.

Are we not in danger of copying the Islamic rage over the showing of this film? Surely the question is how many people are actually interested enough to go and see it? A cinema that is a quarter full is no different to a group of people together watching a film in their house. There are a number of things that I don’t agree with but I wouldn’t stop anybody else from having personal views. Where do we draw the line and when do we start cutting off the heads of those who don’t share our beliefs…

@ SMFS

What is good about this particularly self-serving piece of apologetics? It reminds me more of the Guardian’s post-7-7 “uppity” piece.

I can’t see how you can read it like that. The message I got from it was “don’t be contemptible dickheads, if you want to be respected, co-religionists.” How on earth was it “self-serving”?

@ damon – I could never see why you were banned at Pickled Politics (sadly gone). You aren’t rude or abusive, and people could skate over your comments if they didn’t want to read them.

As for the EDL, some anti-fascists love to think they are re-fighting the battle of Cable Street. The EDL marching in large numbers through a predominantly Muslim area is one thing, but the EDL going to watch a film? The EDL holding insulting pub-quizzes next.

“And thus we see Britain’s new blasphemy laws being used in defence of its de facto official religion. Great.”

It looks as if the state of religious education in the UK is particularly poor, if this man has never heard of the Church of England.

42. So Much For Subtlety

31. Chaise Guevara

If you keep the “official” bit, it becomes even less true. Which is saying something.

No it means you are being deliberately thick.

How many liberals demand that people who insult Muslims should go to jail?

Quite a few in America right now. The Left tried to pass laws that would have made this film illegal. Not the Tories. The Left routinely responds to criticism of Islam with accusations of racism – which is (or can be) a crime.

But who can you name that has genuine liberal attitudes yet makes a special case for jailing people who say nasty things about Muslims? Someone whose liberalism and fascist defence of Islam makes them a self-contradicting hypocrite?

This is simply piddling around with the “No True Scotsman” argument you said you would not use. We have been down this path – every time I point out someone on the Left you deny he is a True Scotsman. Blair. The New York Times. The LA Times. Salon.com.

I mean “swing your arm all you like as long as it doesn’t hit my nose” liberal.

Oh you mean Tories? You’re using the term to refer to a group of people who no longer exist in British politics? Well that is a little dishonest as we both know it is irrelevant. As they no longer exist.

There was a certain amount of fuss over Jerry Springer: The Opera. I don’t know if you remember.

I do. Which got them nowhere. No one took them seriously. Just as the New York Times defended Piss Christ. Christianity is not our official religion. But even Salman Rushdie did not get 100% support at the time. Nor has anyone since. LC cannot bring itself to be civil about Ayaan Ali Hirsi for instance.

And there are plenty of people who support kids being fed Christian beliefs as truth in school, or think we should integrate God into our official system more than we already do.

I am sure. No doubt there are people who think the same thing about Hinduism and Sikhism. But they do not have the protection of the law or a loud and vocal minority supporting their demands. Unlike Muslim extremists.

Sorry, but no. Even if you were right, and you’re not, we would not be an ex-Christian country. We are far more Christian than Muslim. We are probably more Christian than rationalist. Christianity is still built into the bones of this country, for good or ill. For good and ill.

Sorry but yes. Christianity has not been a factor in British public life since, God knows, the First World War? Outside of Scotland anyway. Yes, Britain is built on a Christian past. We are a former Christian country. But we are not a Christian one now. The Churches have little to no influence and no power. They cannot stop being forced to adopt to Gay parents. They cannot even reduce abortion or divorce. They have no influence over Gay rights – indeed discriminating against Gay people is a crime that is prosecuted, but discriminating against Christians is not. We are a country of people who feel the need to tick some box and so tick Christian.

We are also a country where the majority of people can’t say what they think about a lot of things because it is either a crime or the Leftist media will bully the crap out of you for doing so.

Chaise Guevara, I wouldn’t really say that the EDL have any concerns that anyone can do anything about.
They don’t like non-integrating muslims like many Islamists (and even regular muslims) have chosen to be. They don’t like the ”foreignness” of how neighbourhoods with big muslim populations can seem.
I wouldn’t bother trying to understand their concerns. But I think trying to understand them is quite important. As people.

They are not ”Nazis” for the most part, just a type of white working class. The thick, stroppy, football hooligan type. They need to be opposed, but not the way it has been done so far … in my opinion.

Rosie, it was only the one mod who banned me off his own threads. The multiple EDL and BNP ones.
Remember the ”Killer questions for the BNP” threads?
I had said that I thought they were a bit daft too, and they were the most popular ones in Pickled Politics history. The guy got fed up with me saying he was overreacting or being sensationalist. Fair enough …. but it’s a view that anti-fascists will cling to.
Like a comfort blanket maybe.
Or like Obama said of Appalachian ‘rednecks’ four years ago, when he said they ‘cling to’ their guns and religion and backward views. I think anti-fasists cling to that, because they can’t come up with anything better.
It’s still pretty much the majority view of LC.
Remember Earwicga? She denounced me as a BNP supporter within a week of turning up as a moderator. Because she thought anyone who questions the anti-fascist point of view must be a fascist. That’s the way it works.

As much as it would have been almost impossible to do, a better way of dealing with the EDL, even when they wanted to march through Tower Hamlets, would have been to just let them. And encourage people their to turn the other cheek and ignore them.

Hard to do I know. When I was living in Belfast, I came to think that’s what each community should do when the other community wanted to hold contentious marches near or past their areas. Instead of mass mobilisations of residents to try to prevent the other community from marching. As that only increased sectarian hatred when they did that.

With the right kind of leadership from the anti-racist left, it might have been possible to difuse the antagonisism of EDL marches by using diffferent tactics.
But it wasn’t possible because of the tradition of ANL/UAF type people.

Saying that kind of thing, is what got me banned off those PP threads.

can you please get a life – Oh terribly sorry you are not allowed a life in this world. Mm? my best friend is a devout catholic and you all (religious people) seem to totally misunderstand why we are here. Can you just get off your knees and open your eyes ? this is it ? yes a harsh truth. were are jsut mammals on this earth by fortune of evolution alone then you die and thats it! Not very nice if you have any absurd mormon, jewish, catholic, muslim, hindu, greek orthodox christian, russian orthodox christian, Sunni muslim, shia muslim, moonie, i can’t be boththered to list anymore fiarytales? but better than a fairy story of something after. Be good! enjoy this wonderful planet – thats it ! really thats it! yes really thats it ?!

45. Chaise Guevara

@ SMFS

“No it means you are being deliberately thick.”

Sigh. You think you’re surrounded by stupid people, but actually you’re just surrounded by non-delusional people.

“Quite a few in America right now. The Left tried to pass laws that would have made this film illegal. Not the Tories. The Left routinely responds to criticism of Islam with accusations of racism – which is (or can be) a crime.”

And quite a few right-wingers would like Christian blasphemy to be jail-worthy. The right, or parts of it, routinely responds to criticism of Christianity with cries of “oppression!” and “harassment”, the latter of which can be a crime.

So what? There are lots of idiots and arseholes in the world. Your problem is that you edit said people out of your worldview unless they’re leftists.

“This is simply piddling around with the “No True Scotsman” argument you said you would not use. We have been down this path – every time I point out someone on the Left you deny he is a True Scotsman. Blair. The New York Times. The LA Times. Salon.com.”

No, the problem here is that you can’t come up with an answer, so you’re pretending I said “left” instead of “liberal”. And I was VERY clear that you shouldn’t conflate the two. You need someone who champions freedom of speech except where that speech criticises Islam. I assume you just can’t think of an example.

“Oh you mean Tories?”

No, they’re pretty authoritarian.

“You’re using the term to refer to a group of people who no longer exist in British politics? Well that is a little dishonest as we both know it is irrelevant. As they no longer exist.”

Again, no. I mean social liberals. You’re investing a lot of energy in dodging the question, I note.

“I do. Which got them nowhere. No one took them seriously. Just as the New York Times defended Piss Christ. ”

Which is good.

“Christianity is not our official religion.”

Are you incredibly ignorant, or do you just clamp your hands over your ears and go “La la la la” when a fact doesn’t suit you? Anyway: you’re wrong, surprise!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_religion#England: “The Church of England is the officially established religious institution[4] in England”

“But even Salman Rushdie did not get 100% support at the time. Nor has anyone since. LC cannot bring itself to be civil about Ayaan Ali Hirsi for instance.”

Who gets 100% support for anything ever?

“I am sure. No doubt there are people who think the same thing about Hinduism and Sikhism. But they do not have the protection of the law”

Could you show me this law that specifically protects Muslims? Just in case you’re making shit up.

“or a loud and vocal minority supporting their demands.”

Yes they do. Not only that, but they get a lot of support from the papers. I’m sorry the world doesn’t fit your pathological desire to be outraged all the time, but that’s just how reality turned out. If you decided to actually accept reality instead of tuning out the bits you don’t like, and then babbling nonsense on the internet as a result, you’d probably be a happier person and you’d certainly be a lot less annoying.

“Sorry but yes. Christianity has not been a factor in British public life since, God knows, the First World War?”

You’re right. The national anthem doesn’t mention God, it’s almost impossible to find a church in the UK, and only a tiny minority of us are Christians.

Oh, wait.

“We are a former Christian country. But we are not a Christian one now.”

Flat wrong. See source above. Will SMFS accept reality when faced with the evidence? (No – ed)

“The Churches have little to no influence and no power.”

This ought to be true, but isn’t.

“They cannot stop being forced to adopt to Gay parents. They cannot even reduce abortion or divorce. They have no influence over Gay rights”

So, your definition of “Muslim country” is “any country that doesn’t grant special privileges to Christians”?

“indeed discriminating against Gay people is a crime that is prosecuted, but discriminating against Christians is not.”

Probably because people aren’t denied jobs or refused entry to hotels for being Christian. You can’t prosecute a crime that doesn’t happen.

“We are a country of people who feel the need to tick some box and so tick Christian.”

True. But they still tick that box. Speaking of “no true Scotsman”, you’re now trying to say that all those Christians are the wrong kind of Christian. Well, you’re not the fucking pope.

“We are also a country where the majority of people can’t say what they think about a lot of things because it is either a crime or the Leftist media will bully the crap out of you for doing so.”

If they can’t say what they think, how do you know what they think?

By the way: “the Leftist media will bully the crap out of you” is code for “If I express my opinions, people sometimes disagree with me! WAAAAAAH!”

46. Truth's Spokesman 2001

“”‘*Muslims, on the other hand, are a small minority who are regularly slandered and castigated in a tabloid press that presents Christians as victims.”””

LMAO! Yeah all those fucking Muslims arrested, beheaded, tortured, banned from practicing their (FETID) religion, forcibly converted, and mosques and Qurans burnt down in the UK.
OH WAIT!
That’s Christians in almost all Muslim countries. Iran, Crapistan, Saudi, Holy Land.

Yeah…Those poor fucking Muslims.

47. Truth's Spokesman 12001

“And thus we see Britain’s new blasphemy laws being used in defence of its de facto official religion. Great.”

And I notice you ignore the important bit of this post for flippant remarks.

Remarks based on bullshit too…Islam is the fastest growing and BY FUCKING FAR the most socially active religion in the UK.
Only Muslim population (EVER GROWING) stops even more direct Islamic involvement in our Country.

Which is getting worse all the time anyway…as any Islamic ghetto in the UK will show with it’s own Laws, sex gang rape, child brides, forced marriage, rampant inbreeding, honour killing, female circumcision etc etc etc.

“And thus we see Britain’s new blasphemy laws being used in defence of its de facto official religion. Great.”

Important bit there? “Britain’s new blasphemy laws”. As that’s EXACTLY what this is.
Hypocrites.

48. Truth's spokesman 1000

Aren’t you disgusted that you’ve got endless articles slagging off people (mostly EDL of course because of the white hating/English hating agenda in this site) for SHOWING the film…..BUT NOTHING ABOUT THE FANATICS WHO BUTCHERED PEOPLE OVER THE FILM!?

Sums up this scum site and the scum that work for it.

49. Chaise Guevara

@ 46 Truth’s so-called spokesman

“LMAO! Yeah all those fucking Muslims arrested, beheaded, tortured, banned from practicing their (FETID) religion, forcibly converted, and mosques and Qurans burnt down in the UK.
OH WAIT!
That’s Christians in almost all Muslim countries. Iran, Crapistan, Saudi, Holy Land.

Yeah…Those poor fucking Muslims.”

You seem to be babbling to yourself. I was talking about the treatment of UK Muslims in the national press. If you can rub enough brain cells together to manage to respond to what I said when you purport to reply to me, let me know.

“Aren’t you disgusted that you’ve got endless articles slagging off people (mostly EDL of course because of the white hating/English hating agenda in this site) for SHOWING the film”

By “endless” you appear to mean “one”, and that article supports the right of the EDL to show the film. Babbling again!

“BUT NOTHING ABOUT THE FANATICS WHO BUTCHERED PEOPLE OVER THE FILM!?”

LC has a post about that. And a post about the people protesting against the film in the UK. And a post criticising the people who are angry over the film for not channelling their efforts into important issues. But I guess there’s none so blind as those who will not see.

[I await your thoughtful reply to the tune that I am quisling scum who apparently manages to hate white people while being one.]

50. Truth's spokesman 551000

LMAO!! All the articles are NOT criticising the TYPICAL, YET AGAIN, mass murdering Muslim mobs and madmen.
They just get mentioned. Mentioned in an article criticising everything else BUT them.

And as for ‘channelling efforts into other things’ hardly a criticism for cold blooded zealot UTTERLY ILLIBERAL murder is it!?

And many white people on here and on the Left in general hate being white. Commie/Islamist fanboy scum like Galloway, Benn, all who work on here etc etc.

And the only reason LC says EDL can show it is because of the ONLY reason they give…LC could get into trouble for hosting it themselves!

Be it digs at evil right wing (again…nothing fucking liberal about the left) Americans, evil film makers, evil Israelis, evil EDL (body count STILL ZERO!)….nothing about the EVIL murderers ALL their EVIL supporters and the fetid ideology (sorry, not The Tea Party or GOP) they killed for.

Hypocrites, quislings, cowards, appeasers, apologists….SCUM.

51. Chaise Guevara

@ 50 Truth

“LMAO!! All the articles are NOT criticising the TYPICAL, YET AGAIN, mass murdering Muslim mobs and madmen.
They just get mentioned. Mentioned in an article criticising everything else BUT them.”

Oh, you wanted an article attacking all Muslims everywhere? I suspect Sunny didn’t write one of those because it would be fucking stupid.

“And as for ‘channelling efforts into other things’ hardly a criticism for cold blooded zealot UTTERLY ILLIBERAL murder is it!?”

No. Good thing it wasn’t used to criticise murder. I think you need to learn to read before you whinge about articles.

“And many white people on here and on the Left in general hate being white. Commie/Islamist fanboy scum like Galloway, Benn, all who work on here etc etc.”

No they don’t. You just made that up.

“And the only reason LC says EDL can show it is because of the ONLY reason they give…LC could get into trouble for hosting it themselves!”

Except that LC has been consistently in favour of the right to free speech. Which you’d know if you had a clue what you were on about.

“Be it digs at evil right wing (again…nothing fucking liberal about the left) Americans, evil film makers, evil Israelis, evil EDL (body count STILL ZERO!)….nothing about the EVIL murderers ALL their EVIL supporters and the fetid ideology (sorry, not The Tea Party or GOP) they killed for.”

I love the way you think it’s illiberal to criticise people. It’s like wearing a sign around your neck reading: “I ARE STOOPID. LISTN TO MY OPINYUNS!!”

“Hypocrites, quislings, cowards, appeasers, apologists….SCUM.”

Nincompoop.

52. So Much For Subtlety

45. Chaise Guevara

Sigh. You think you’re surrounded by stupid people, but actually you’re just surrounded by non-delusional people.

No. I am not surrounded by either. You simply play at being stupid when it suits you.

And quite a few right-wingers would like Christian blasphemy to be jail-worthy.

Hard to think of one in the UK. On the other hand LC will come down like a ton of bricks on anything that may offend Muslims.

The right, or parts of it, routinely responds to criticism of Christianity with cries of “oppression!” and “harassment”, the latter of which can be a crime.

When was the last time someone went to jail for harassing a Christian?

No, the problem here is that you can’t come up with an answer, so you’re pretending I said “left” instead of “liberal”. And I was VERY clear that you shouldn’t conflate the two. You need someone who champions freedom of speech except where that speech criticises Islam. I assume you just can’t think of an example.

Except I don’t think anyone champions freedom of speech. You are simply hiding behind the No True Scotsman evasion yet again. It is meaningless. It does not help your argument one bit.

Are you incredibly ignorant, or do you just clamp your hands over your ears and go “La la la la” when a fact doesn’t suit you? Anyway: you’re wrong, surprise!

No I am not. We have laws on the books but they are not enforced. So they are irrelevant.

Who gets 100% support for anything ever?

I would have thought that blasphemy was one such case. But the Left goes beyond that.

Yes they do. Not only that, but they get a lot of support from the papers.

Sorry but when some Sikhs broke up a play which paper came out and endorsed their actions? They did not get any support.

You’re right. The national anthem doesn’t mention God, it’s almost impossible to find a church in the UK, and only a tiny minority of us are Christians.

Oh, wait.

Now you’re being thick again. Well done.

So, your definition of “Muslim country” is “any country that doesn’t grant special privileges to Christians”?

Muslim country, in this context, is your invention. Not mine. When you are forced to make stuff up you’re losing.

Probably because people aren’t denied jobs or refused entry to hotels for being Christian. You can’t prosecute a crime that doesn’t happen.

Umm, yes they are. Usually cleverly. Someone I know went to interview for a medical degree. They asked if said person supported abortion. Some thinking followed and the answer was no. Not offered a place.

By the way: “the Leftist media will bully the crap out of you” is code for “If I express my opinions, people sometimes disagree with me! WAAAAAAH!”

No it isn’t. It is simply a fact that the media will attempt as thorough destruction of someone as possible if they commit a thought crime. As we can see with Romney in America and as we have seen any number of times in the UK.

The BBC discussed the French cartoons. They did what they would never do for Piss Christ – they pixelated out the pictures. We have a new official religion. It is not Christianity.

53. Chaise Guevara

@ SMFS

“Hard to think of one in the UK.”

I could be wrong about this, but I believe that blasphemy was still a jailable offence when those guys tried to prosecute over Jerry Springer: the Opera. Certainly the last successful prosecution had delivered a suspended sentence, with the judge saying it was touch and go whether he’d be jailed. And I’m sure there are groups here and in the US who support it (my search skills can’t get past all the news reports of that girl in Pakistan).

“On the other hand LC will come down like a ton of bricks on anything that may offend Muslims.”

“Come down like a ton of bricks” is not the same as “demand that offending Muslims be a jailable offence”. Stop equivocating.

“When was the last time someone went to jail for harassing a Christian?”

I don’t know. So what? Maybe Christians rarely get harrassed to the point of it being illegal. We were talking about what people call for, and Muslims and Christians both have been known to attach potentially criminal labels to things that offend them.

“Except I don’t think anyone champions freedom of speech. You are simply hiding behind the No True Scotsman evasion yet again.”

No answer, then? Loads of people champion free speech, many on this very site. There are whole organisations set up for it. Fertile ground for you to find an example of someone who makes an exception for offending Muslims. I can think of an equivalent in another sphere: that UAF guy who says he believes in free speech, but not for “fascists”.

I’m actually slightly surprised you can’t find an example.

“No I am not. We have laws on the books but they are not enforced. So they are irrelevant.”

Who’s playing No True Scotsman now, eh? You claimed Christianity is not our official religion. You are wrong as a simple question of fact.

I love how your definition of “official Muslim country” is so lenient that we qualify because some people are worried about offending Muslims, but your definition of “official Christian country” is so severe that simply being an officially Christian country isn’t enough. No double-standard there, right?

“I would have thought that blasphemy was one such case. But the Left goes beyond that.”

Does it? Well, it wouldn’t surprise me that much: the left is a broad church and includes plenty illiberal people. Still gonna ask for an example of lefties supporting the fatwa against Rushdie, though.

“Sorry but when some Sikhs broke up a play which paper came out and endorsed their actions? They did not get any support.”

Sorry, but WTF does this have to do with anything? When one or more Christians start whining and demanding special treatment, they often get tabloid support. See Catholics and gay adoption; the homophobic hoteliers, people who demand to be able to ignore company dress codes because they’re Christian (who sometimes have a point, but not always).

“Now you’re being thick again. Well done.”

Insults attached to actual arguments? Fine with me. Insults in place of argument? That’s conceding the point.

“Muslim country, in this context, is your invention. Not mine. When you are forced to make stuff up you’re losing.”

There’s no point you lying about what’s on the thread, because anyone can scroll up and see you ranting about this being an officially Muslim country. If you honestly think I’ve misrepresenting you, presumably you can explain why? I assume this is just a stalling tactic.

“Umm, yes they are. Usually cleverly. Someone I know went to interview for a medical degree. They asked if said person supported abortion. Some thinking followed and the aswer was no. Not offered a place.”

Umm, that’s not someone being refused a job for being a Christian. Poor old SMFS has found himself arguing from a fantasy position again and has been forced to burble about things that are irrelevant.

“No it isn’t. It is simply a fact that the media will attempt as thorough destruction of someone as possible if they commit a thought crime. As we can see with Romney in America and as we have seen any number of times in the UK.”

WAAAH! CRITICISM!!!!!

“The BBC discussed the French cartoons. They did what they would never do for Piss Christ – they pixelated out the pictures.”

Yeah, that was pretty pathetic. But that was probably less to do with “respect” and more to do with not wanting their windows broken.

“We have a new official religion. It is not Christianity.”

Ooh, is it the worship of our lizard overlords? Or the saucer people? Or the reverse vampires?

By the way, I just went though and counted the number of times you’ve moved the goalposts in your last post. I make it five, with an option on six depending on how you resolve your indecision on whether this is a Muslim country. If your argument needs to shift around that much to stay alive, perhaps you should examine your beliefs to ensure they’re not an irrational, mangled mess. Just sayin’.

54. Raymond Terrific

Have to say, for a second or two I did get very indignant when I saw those religious idiots marching in British cities over the last two days attempting to get the government to make it illegal to offend them and their sky pixie. But it passed and I sat down with a nice glass of wine.

Can’t someone have a word with the Gideons so that they start leaving On the Origin of Species in hotel rooms and schools instead of bibles. You know…slowly-slowly, catchy-monkey

So, should it be illegal to call Mohammed a hamhead? Come on Chaise, you’re just about the biggest mentalissimo here. Get it sorted!

55. Chaise Guevara

@ Raymond

I’m gonna hang fire on whether or not that was a compliment until I find out what “mentalissimo” means…

FWIW, the answer from me would be “no”. It shouldn’t be illegal to insult people, let alone dead people, even if the insult’s been selected to give religious offence. Offence simply shouldn’t be illegal. Abuse and harassment should be, but the bar needs to be high.


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