Tommy Robinson Vs. Weyman BennettEDL
On 24th October, EDL Leader Tommy Robinson and UAF Joint Secretary Weyman Bennett were both guests on BBC Radio West Midlands.
Our thanks go to the host, Adrian Goldberg, for ensuring a fair and balanced debate, but we would like to follow up a couple of points. Firstly, the claim that a Taliban fighter was found with an Aston Villa tattoo is from a military source, and was considered trustworthy enough to be published in the Daily Telegraph. Secondly, it is no doubt true that a number of individuals from Birmingham that were held in Guantanamo Bay were never actually charged with an offence (and we certainly shouldn’t leap to conclusions about their guilt). But if examples such as that of Moazzam Begg are anything to go by, then there is certainly enough evidence to believe that there is plenty of support for the Taliban amongst the Muslim community in Birmingham.
However, despite the many good reasons for demonstrating in Birmingham, the issues that we are highlighting affect the whole country. As we’ve discussed before, wherever there is a hint of radical Islam, you will find the English Defence League. So we shouldn’t be required to justify our presence anywhere that we choose to hold a demonstration. This country has a problem with radical Islam – some areas more than others – and until the government, the media and the Muslim community take the steps necessary to deal with it, we will keep holding demonstrations and we will continue making people like Weyman Bennett froth at the mouth.
During the interview Tommy made clear that there is an important distinction to be made between extremist Islam and the rest of the Muslim community. Communities are made up of people – often very different from one another – and although they may subscribe to a common ideology, or at least all regard themselves as being part of a community that is based on that ideology, they will have a multitude of different views. To say that the Muslim community has a problem with extremism therefore shouldn’t be a controversial statement. It does. And to say so certainly doesn’t mean that we’re tarring all Muslims with the same brush.
Islamic extremism is an Islamic problem, and the Muslim community needs to get its house in order. That’s not an excuse for ‘picking on Muslims’, as some would have it, it’s a clear indication of what it is we want. We don’t ‘have a problem with Muslims’ simply because they’re Muslims; instead, our problem is with extremism. We don’t want to live in a society in which places of worship are used to incite hatred, or in which charities and advocacy organisations work to undermine our democracy, or in which people are attacked because of their religion or their sexuality, or in which there is a very real risk that so-called home-grown terrorists could one day kill more innocent men, women and children. More Here