August 20, 2010

JOY AND FUN:

Rightwing blogs lead war on Islam in America: New York blogger Pamela Geller is at the forefront of campaign against mosque near Ground Zero (Chris McGreal, 8/20/10, guardian.co.uk)

In Atlas Shrugs, Geller lays bare her sympathies with extremist groups across the globe. She has vigorously defended Slobodan Milosevic, the former Serbian president who died while on trial at The Hague for war crimes, and denied the existence of Serbian concentration camps in the 1990s.

She has allied herself with racist extremists in South Africa in promoting a claim that the black population is carrying out a "genocide" of whites.

The website also carries a picture of Geller hugging Geert Wilders, the far-right Dutch politician who advocates banning the Qu'ran and the construction of new mosques, and runs a support campaign for him as he faces trial for incitement to hatred.

Geller has also spoken out in favour of the English Defence League. When the anti-Islamic organisation was planning a rally outside parliament earlier this year, she wrote: "How I wish I could be there to stand with the English Defense League".

Geller has claimed regular contact with the EDL leadership and recently published a screed by the organisation's spokesman, Trevor Kelway. She said in one of her blogs: "I share the EDL's goals ... We need to encourage rational, reasonable groups that oppose the Islamisation of the West and not leave it solely to fringe groups like the BNP."

Geller has also said the EDL is misrepresented. "The EDL is routinely smeared in the British media, as the Tea Party activists are smeared in the US media ... There is nothing racist, fascist, or bigoted about the EDL," she wrote.

While mainstream politicians in Britain and other parts of Europe generally steer clear of the likes of the EDL, Wilders and Serbian war criminals, Geller is providing a bridge between foreign extremists and prominent politicians in the US.

Wilders is scheduled to appear on stage at the September 11 anti-mosque rally alongside Gingrich, Bolton and Gary Berntsen, a candidate for the US Senate.


This is England: Masked like terrorists, members of Britain's newest and fastest - growing protest group intimidate a Muslim woman on a train en route to a violent demo (BILLY BRIGGS, 2nd January 2010, Daily Mail)
Some of the men hide behind balaclavas, others wear black hoodies. A few speak on mobile phones, their hands pressed against their ears to block out the cacophony.

'It's already kicking off in Manchester. This could be tasty,' shouts one. These are some of the most violent football hooligans in Britain and today they have joined together in an unprecedented show of strength. Standing shoulder to shoulder are notorious gangs - or 'firms' as they are known - such as Cardiff City's Soul Crew, Bolton Wanderers' Cuckoo Boys and Luton Town's Men In Gear.

The gathering is remarkable, as on a match day these men would be fighting each other. But it is politics that has drawn them together. They are headed for Manchester to support a march by the burgeoning English Defence League. [...]

The rise of the English Defence League has been rapid. Since its formation at the start of the summer the group has organised nearly 20 major protests in Britain's cities, including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Luton, Nottingham, Glasgow and Swansea.

Its leaders are professional and articulate and they claim that the EDL is a peaceful, non-racist organisation. But having spent time with them, there is evidence that this movement has a more disturbing side. There is talk of the need for a 'street army', and there are links with football hooligans and evidence that violent neo-Nazi groups including Combat 18, Blood and Honour and the British Freedom Fighters have been attending demos.

Violence has erupted at most of the EDL's demonstrations. In total, nearly 200 people have been arrested and an array of weapons has been seized, including knuckledusters, a hammer, a chisel and a bottle of bleach.

As the EDL gains support across the UK, Muslims have already been targeted in unprovoked attacks. In the worst incident, a mob of 30 white and black youths is said to have surrounded Asian students near City University in central London and attacked them with metal poles, bricks and sticks while shouting racist abuse. Three people - two students and a passer-by who tried to intervene - were stabbed.

Following the Manchester protest, when 48 people were arrested during street violence, the Bolton Interfaith Council Executive issued a stark warning that race relations were under threat and Communities Secretary John Denham compared the EDL to Oswald Mosley's Union of British Fascists, who ran amok in the Thirties. In response to these fears, the National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit, a countrywide police team set up to combat domestic extremism, has been investigating the EDL.

'The concern to me is how groups like this, either willingly or unwillingly, allow themselves to be exploited by very extreme right-wing groups like the National Front and the British Freedom Fighters,' Metropolitan Police chief Sir Paul Stephenson has said.

Enhanced by Zemanta
Posted by Orrin Judd at August 20, 2010 12:28 PM
blog comments powered by Disqus
« WAIT, SO BEING MALE ISN'T A DISEASE?: | Main | »