14th December, 2011
30th November, 2011
The Sunday Times have formally investigated the English Defence League’s backers and have confirmed that two key individuals in particular are involved. You can read the full article here. A few extracts:
A property tycoon and a City-based financier quizzed by police over his links to the gunman who slaughtered 69 people in Norway are exposed today as key figures behind the rise of the far-right English Defence League (EDL).
A Sunday Times investigation has revealed that Ann Marchini, a mother from Highgate, north London, and Alan Ayling, a former director of an investment fund, have sought to mould the thuggish anti-Muslim group into a credible political force. They are both linked to the murky world of the online “counter-jihad” movement from which Anders Behring Breivik drew ideological inspiration before committing his massacre in Norway in July. They have remained in the shadows until now by using aliases on the internet to mask their true identities.
…..Marchini, who is thought to be in her fifties, runs a buy-to-let property empire from her £1.6m mock-Tudor home in Highgate, a leafy suburb usually associated with liberals…..She is said to have helped organise a “pivotal” meeting between EDL figures and anti-jihad thinkers in July 2009 and recently attended a discussion where the EDL agreed to consider an electoral pact with the right-wing British Freedom party (BFP).
…..Ayling, 57, has been operating under the alias “Alan Lake”. He is an IT expert and was a director of Pacific Capital Investment Management until January this year. The fund was dissolved in August. Last month Ayling was interviewed by officers from Scotland Yard at the behest of Norwegian police who were investigating whether he was a possible “mentor” of Breivik. Paal-Fredrik Kraby, an Oslo police prosecutor, confirmed that “the man known as Alan Lake” had been questioned.
…..In an interview with a Norwegian newspaper nine days ago, Lake denied having any contact with Breivik. However, he admitted to having met a prolific anti-Islam blogger called “Fjordman”. “People ought to read him, he is good,” Lake said. Breivik named Fjordman 111 times in his manifesto.
17th November, 2011
The mass-murdering Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik has been declared insane. In a 243-page psychiatric report following 13 meetings between Breivik and a team of psychiatrists, Breivik has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, a severe psychotic mental disorder.
It has been recommended that Breivik should be indefinitely confined to a secure unit at a psychiatric hospital, potentially for the rest of his life, with reviews every three years to determine if he is still a danger to society. The public prosecutor in the ongoing terrorism investigation told a press conference that the psychiatrists evaluating Breivik’s mental state had “described a person who lives in his own delusional universe”. The report will be formally presented at Breivik’s next court appearance, on 16 April 2012.
As discussed on Pickled Politics here, the English Defence League recently issued a public statement on their official Facebook page finally admitting that their agenda is racially-motivated (it turns out that part of the EDL’s statement was practically identical to the statement made by Anders Breivik during his court appearance just two days previously), and the EDL have also announced a formal alliance with the Far-Right “British Freedom Party”.
It is worth noting that EDL leader Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (aka “Tommy Robinson”) is on record as explicitly stating that he does not think Breivik is insane and that he actually shares some of Breivik’s opinions:
“We share some of his opinions, and his fear, but not what he did in Norway 22 July. I do not think he is insane. I think that his approach was insane. Breivik dared to come forward with his opinions, and was tough, in some regards. People need to understand that Breivik is not alone in these feelings.”
Readers can therefore draw their own conclusions about the implications of the EDL leadership claiming that they share the “opinions”, “fear” and “feelings” of an individual whom psychiatrists have now certified as psychotically insane.
· Two EDL members have now been sentenced to 10 years in prison for attempting to blow up a British mosque. Full details via EDL News and BBC News.
· It turns out that British Freedom Party leader (and EDL ally) Paul Weston has regularly written articles for the virulently anti-Muslim website “Gates of Vienna”. The website was repeatedly cited in Anders Breivik’s manifesto. In fact, the rhetoric and terminology used by Weston in his articles is very similar indeed to Breivik’s statements in his manifesto (by severly). Weston himself appears to take no responsibility for the poisonous influence of such propaganda on people like Breivik; instead, in an article cross-published on the EDL’s main website, Weston has bizarrely blamed Jeremy Paxman, the BBC and “the entire political/liberal left” for Breivik’s mass-murdering actions and any similar future atrocities. More details here.
14th November, 2011
The English Defence League issued the following public statement yesterday on the EDL’s official Facebook page where they finally confirmed that they are indeed motivated by racial reasons. If the terminology in the statement sounds familiar, that’s because it’s identical to the explicitly racist propaganda of the BNP, Neo-Nazis, and white supremacist websites such as Stormfront, complete with references to “race”, “dilution”, “genocide”, “indigenous” and “wiping us out as a race”. A screenshot of the EDL’s statement is displayed below:
For the convenience of readers who may wish to quote the statement elsewhere, here is the transcript:
10th November, 2011
More than 170 English Defence League members were arrested in London on Remembrance Day in order to prevent a “breach of the peace”.
The reasons for the arrests were the threats of violence which senior EDL figures had posted on the internet beforehand. Three EDL members who had been arrested were released specifically on police bail, with further inquiries pending.
The most incriminating message of all was posted by Michael Rafferty, a senior EDL leader from the group’s ‘Combined ex-Forces’ (CxF) division. As reported in The Independent, police have confirmed that Rafferty had claimed that the EDL had access to guns and would bring them to London on Remembrance Day.
Rafferty had also claimed that the EDL have snipers and other armed members, and were prepared to open fire against the police. A screenshot of Rafferty’s sinister Facebook message is displayed below, which includes Rafferty’s repeated threats of an armed war being started on the streets of Britain.
Michael Rafferty was subsequently stopped by police in London’s Whitehall area on Remembrance Day and searched for guns, although none were found on him. The EDL had also made direct threats against the Occupy LSX camp outside St Paul’s Cathedral, claiming that the protestors had ridiculed what the EDL referred to as “our religion”.
The Guardian have reported that the EDL posted Facebook messages threatening to burn down tents in the Occupy LSX camp if they were still outside St Paul’s on Remembrance Sunday; The Guardian have also confirmed that EDL members tried to enter the camp, with the most recent incident occurring on Thursday night.
Shortly after the arrests of EDL members on Remembrance Day, the EDL released a statement making the following threat against the Police and the British Government:
Of course, making threats is a repeated pattern of behaviour for senior EDL figures.
For example, EDL leader Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (aka “Tommy Robinson”), an ex-BNP member who recently claimed that Islam is a “race”, is on record as recently accusing “every single Muslim” of collective guilt and publicly making a direct threat of EDL-led retribution against what he terms “the Islamic community” en masse. Similarly, The Guardian have confirmed that EDL financier & strategist Alan Lake was the author of a horrifying “Final Solution” blueprint targeting the entire British Muslim population and anyone perceived to be sympathetic towards them, including death threats against British Prime Minister David Cameron, Deputy PM Nick Clegg and the Archbishop of Canterbury (by richards). Lake is currently being formally investigated by the Norwegian police to ascertain his ideological influence on the terrorist Anders Breivik.
8th November, 2011
· Reuters news agency are reporting that English Defence League financier & strategist Alan Lake is now being formally investigated by the Norwegian police in order to verify if he was an ideological influence on the mass-murdering Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik.
· The Guardian have formally investigated and independently confirmed Alan Lake’s authorship of a “Final Solution” blueprint targeting the entire British Muslim population along with anyone perceived to be sympathetic towards them, including death threats against British Prime Minister David Cameron, Deputy PM Nick Clegg and the Archbishop of Canterbury. You can see a screenshot of Lake’s horrifying “Final Solution” here and here.
· Alan Lake was interviewed by the Daily Mail in 2010 and openly discussed his involvement with the EDL as a financier and strategist.
· Channel 4 News, describing Alan Lake as “the EDL’s chief financier” during their investigation of the EDL’s connections with Anders Breivik, have confirmed that Lake was interviewed on Norwegian television in April 2011. In that interview, Lake confirmed that he has funded the EDL.
· Video footage is available of Alan Lake attending a meeting in London with senior EDL leaders Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (aka “Tommy Robinson”), Kevin Carroll and Roberta Moore, in a video released on 20 March 2011.
17th October, 2011
English Defence League leader Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (aka “Tommy Robinson”) has a history of making statements indicating that his actions are racially-motivated. For example, during an interview on 27 January 2010, Yaxley-Lennon made the following remarks:
“Within 30 or 40 years in this country we are a complete minority to Muslims, because of the Muslim demographics…..Our culture and our race will disappear in this country.”
More recently, Yaxley-Lennon gave an interview to Adrian Goldberg at BBC Radio West Midlands on 22 October 2011. It’s available via Youtube here. Yaxley-Lennon made some particularly self-incriminating statements towards the end:
“The black community and the white community in Birmingham are treated with iron fists. The Islamic community are treated with kid gloves and that’s just the way it is. And it’s not on, You can’t have a two-tier policing system. There can be no master race. And I’m sorry, but there is a master race in certain areas of this country and it’s Islam !”
Therefore, Yaxley-Lennon is now on record as 1) essentially claiming that there are 3 races in Birmingham, namely white, black and Muslims, and 2) describing the religion of Islam as a “race”. Apart from the fact that Yaxley-Lennon’s description of what he claims to be the three communities in Birmingham would raise some eyebrows amongst the city’s sizeable Sikh and Hindu populations, his remarks also make a mockery of the EDL’s claims that their bigotry isn’t racially-motivated “because Islam is not a race”.
The implications of Yaxley-Lennon’s statements are even more disturbing when you bear in mind the following fact: As a result of his speech during the EDL’s demonstration in London on 3 September 2011, Yaxley-Lennon is also on record as publicly accusing “every single Muslim” of collective guilt for 7/7 and publicly making a direct threat against what he terms “the Islamic community” en masse:
“EVERY SINGLE MUSLIM watching this on Youtube, on 7/7 you got away with killing and maiming British citizens, you got away with it. You had better understand that we have built a network from one end of this country to the other end, and we will not tolerate it, and the Islamic community will feel the full force of the English Defence League if we see any of our citizens killed, maimed or hurt on British soil ever again.”
11th October, 2011
Halesown News reports:
A MUSLIM book stall in Cradley Heath market was stormed by over 25 thugs from the English Defence League this weekend. The shocking attack occurred in front of shoppers, many of which were women and children, at the market at 2.30pm on Saturday. The local Ahmadiyya Muslim book stall and Qur’an exhibition was attacked and volunteers were manhandled and abused by members of the Far Right organisation.
“We have the book stall to raise awareness of our work in Britain and in the local community we are proud to be British Muslims and this incident saddened us.
“Our motto is ‘Love for All – Hatred for None’ and we do not meet violence with violence so we just stood there and did not respond to the provocation.”
I thought the EDL lot were against violence and British values huh? So much for that pretence. via @HopenotHate
On Boxing Day in 2009, Cradley Heath Mosque and the local Islamic Centre was burnt to the ground by arsonists.
27th September, 2011
This is a guest post by Haroon Ravat.
Many observers trace the origin and development of the English Defence League to a poppy-burning publicity stunt staged by the group Muslims Against Crusaders (MAC) at last year’s Armistice Day commemorations. For many British Muslims like myself, the actions of MAC left us in a precarious situation with the tabloid press intent on providing front page publicity to a fanatical fringe and strengthening the EDL argument that we are a minority of fifth-columnists who cannot be trusted in relation to our loyalties to Britain. Muslims who adopted a principled anti-interventionist attitude towards the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan also felt that they could no longer articulate their position without being connected somehow to the opinions of Anjum Chaudhry’s band of merry but troubled men.
The recent murders of Haroon Jahan, Shahzad Ali and Abdul Musavir forced a much needed realignment in public opinion towards Britain’s largest and arguably most visible minority. Brutally run over whilst protecting local shops from looters, the principle of laying down your life in order to protect the innocent was thought to be an archaic concept from bygone eras of conquest and marauding tribes. However, within a moment of tragedy the boys recovered for many thousands of British Muslims the true meaning of the word ‘jihad’, which means ‘to struggle’ in Arabic from the nihilists of Al-Qaida.
12th September, 2011
As recently highlighted by The Guardian, the ugly reality of the English Defence League has been exposed in a newly-published report by Dr Matthew Feldman and Dr Paul Jackson at Northampton University’s Radicalism and New Media Research Group. The report was formally released during a major international conference recently hosted by the RNM; it is based on extensive independent research and is a truly brilliant analysis of all aspects of the EDL. The results are damning to say the least.
The full report can be downloaded for free as a PDF document via the RNM’s website here.
Some of the key findings are as follows (from p.56 of the report):
From the outset, among leaders and followers it is clear that the EDL has had sustained connections with the BNP and other extreme-right groups. Moreover, the EDL might profess itself a single issue, counter-jihadist movement, but its failure to adhere to this line leaves it looking like all previous racist extreme-right groups. This failure makes it even more difficult to ignore the neo-Nazi methods, antecedents and current connections of the EDL’s leaders and its followers.
Consequently, these profiles allow four conclusions. Firstly, the EDL is unarguably connected to the BNP and other far-right groups, whether by previous association or by shared interest. Secondly, some of these far-right individuals have possessed significant weaponry that identifies them as potential ‘lone wolf’ terrorists. Thirdly, EDL leaders and followers have engaged in criminality, especially racially aggravated incidents. Fourthly, the EDL engages in doublespeak that powerfully questions their claim to be a single-issue, non-racist movement.
19th August, 2011
The English Defence League’s leader Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (aka “Tommy Robinson”) recently gave an interview to the Norwegian media and made the following dubious statements about the mass murdering Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik:
“We share some of his opinions, and his fear, but not what he did in Norway 22 July. I do not think he is insane. I think that his approach was insane…Breivik dared to come forward with his opinions, and was tough, in some regards. People need to understand that Breivik is not alone in these feelings.”
Yaxley-Lennon previously appeared to make a threat at the end of his interviews with the BBC’s Newsnight and CNN shortly after the massacre in Norway, which was immediately noticed by Newsnight host Jeremy Paxman and CNN anchor Becky Anderson. Curiously, Yaxley-Lennon is also on record as making exactly the same claim about Far-Right anti-Muslim terrorism occurring in the United Kingdom “within the next 5 years” several months before Breivik’s attacks in Norway.
A detailed Pickled Politics article about the EDL’s links to Breivik can be read here. More recently, British counter-terrorism officers have confirmed that they are now investigating and monitoring the EDL in the same way that they investigate potential Islamist terrorists, and that this is a direct consequence of Breivik’s murderous actions.
Furthermore, Paul Ray aka “Lionheart”, one of the EDL’s original founders who is being investigated by the Norwegian police for his links to Breivik, has now stated that Breivik is indeed part of a wider Far-Right movement, including possible cells in the UK. The Norwegian police are expanding their investigations in conjunction with Scotland Yard to possibly include the questioning of a number of British citizens. Multiple photographs of various EDL supporters brandishing guns have also recently surfaced, and some examples can be seen via Hope Not Hate here.
15th August, 2011
Another blow to the EDL’s purported claim to be only against Islamic extremism:
A member of the English Defence League will appear before a judge today accused of racially-motivated vandalism after a mosque was sprayed with graffiti.
Charlotte Davies, 19, of Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, was charged after an attack on the Nasir Mosque in Hartlepool and a shop and guest house in Shotton Colliery in November last year… Two men also accused of the attacks will enter pleas at a later date
8th August, 2011
Throughout the looting/riots, the EDL attempted to capitalise on the situation, and use it as an excuse to promote themselves and as an excuse for some violence.
Cambridge saw EDL vigilantes clear Mill Road (an important road in the town centre) of imaginary looters, only to be told by local traders that they were not welcome. Meanwhile a senior Met police officer warned of more attempts by the EDL to hijack local communities defending themselves, with places like Enfield being hit.
Nor did the EDL stick to its alleged belief of only being anti-Islamic extremism. An EDL gang attacked a bus with black youths on it in London, whilst EDL posters online flooded forums with racist language directed primarily against blacks:
The English Defence League have reverted to type, with torrents of sickening anti-black racism on their divisional Facebook walls, peppered with the N-word, and description of black people being “monkeys” and “apes”. Since their existance, the moderators have tried to brush all of their non-Muslim racism under the carpet, pretending that the EDL have only one enemy, Muslims, but since the rioting began in London, the far right group have switched tack to virulent anti-Black racism of an extreme and disturbing nature.
Now graffiti is going up condemning the riots, signed by the EDL. Compare and contrast such behaviour with how many victims of the looting reacted. In Birmingham, Tariq Jahan, the father of one of the three men killed by looters, called for calm:
Today we stand here to plead with all the youth to remain calm, for our communities to stand united. This is not a race issue. The family has received messages of sympathy and support from all parts of society … I lost my son. Blacks, Asians, whites – we all live in the same community. Why do we have to kill one another? Why are we doing this? Step forward if you want to lose your sons. Otherwise, calm down and go home – please.”
Others held vigils or banded together to clean up the area. If there is a silver lining in all this senseless violence and destruction then it will be the renewed bonds that now exist between many people in the worst affected areas, which is what a healthy society depends on.
1st August, 2011
Pickled Politics senior editor Sunny Hundal briefly mentioned the following subject in his recent article discussing the fact that the atrocity in Norway highlights “a new form of prejudice”, but it’s worth providing further details. Pamela Geller is the American author of the virulently anti-Muslim blog Atlas Shrugs and the executive director of the organisation “Stop Islamization of America”; like SIOA’s co-founder Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch, Geller was repeatedly cited in the 1500-page manifesto of the Far-Right Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik (described by the Norwegian police as a “Christian fundamentalist”).
Geller herself, who is originally from a Jewish background but describes mainstream liberal Jews as “lost souls” and “self-hating wretches”, was given a huge public platform by Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News last year during the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque” controversy. She has consistently been at the forefront of promoting extremely bigoted anti-Muslim propaganda; you can read a comprehensive list of examples via Media Matters for America here and here, and via The American Muslim here.
It turns out that Pamela Geller received an email in 2007 from a Norwegian contact who sounds disturbingly similar to Breivik. Geller approvingly published the email on her Atlas Shrugs blog on 24 June 2007 without naming the author; in response to a query from one of the commenters there, Geller confirmed that she was deliberately hiding the author’s identity so that he would not be investigated and prosecuted. After the recent massacre in Norway, Geller quietly edited her article in order to remove the email’s explicit references to weapons, ammunition and equipment; unfortunately for Geller, her actions have been noticed by multiple readers and the original unedited version of the article had already been cached elsewhere. (More details, including relevant URL links, can be found here).
Therefore, this has the following possible implications:
1. Pamela Geller had personally been in contact with Anders Breivik and even promoted his email on her own website, but she deliberately hid his identity in order to protect him (and did not report him to the authorities) despite being aware of Breivik’s extremely violent rhetoric and the fact that he was stockpiling weapons & ammunition;
2. Alternatively, Geller was not emailed by Breivik himself but there is currently another violent Norwegian out there with aims and attitudes which are disturbingly similar to those of Breivik, and whose identity Geller is deliberately hiding.
29th July, 2011
The Guardian have now confirmed that English Defence League financier Alan Lake was indeed the author of a horrific “Final Solution” blueprint targeting Britain’s entire Muslim population, anyone perceived to be sympathetic towards them, and senior members of the current British government such as Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy PM Nick Clegg. The Archbishop of Canterbury was also included in the list of targets for execution. Lake wanted to open a debate on the subject and therefore requested in his message that supporters should provide further suggestions for people who should be killed.
The millionaire businessman Alan Lake, who wrote “it would be great to see them executed or tortured to death”, posted the message on his “4Freedoms” website on 23 May 2010. According to The Guardian, although Lake removed the references to execution and torture the next day, he still claims that “the fundamental point of that piece is correct” and that he is “holding people responsible for the consequences of their actions”.
As discussed in the Pickled Politics article summarising recent developments involving the EDL’s public response to the atrocity in Norway along with the organisation’s connections to the terrorist Anders Breivik (described by the Norwegian police as a “Christian fundamentalist”), during his BBC interview with Newsnight’s Jeremy Paxman on 25 July 2011, EDL leader Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (aka “Tommy Robinson”) claimed that he does not know Alan Lake despite the fact that Lake himself has publicly admitted to his considerable involvement with the organisation. A detailed overview of Lake’s background, his affiliations with multiple extreme Far-Right groups and Christian fundamentalist organisations, and his extensive activities in both Europe and the United States to further the EDL’s agenda can be read via Hope Not Hate/Searchlight here.
A screenshot of the original message by Alan Lake is displayed below (via EDL News and 1 Million United). Along with the threats of extreme violence, particularly noticeable are the similarities to the virulent hostility towards Muslims en masse and the death threats against politicians which are also present in Anders Breivik’s 1500-page “manifesto”. Incidentally, according to Channel 4 News, it turns out that Lake was interviewed on Norwegian television in April 2011.
26th July, 2011
A compilation of continuing developments focusing on the English Defence League’s public response to the atrocity along with Breivik’s own connections to the EDL :
1. Fresh from his court appearance during which he was convicted of leading a violent brawl involving 100 football supporters, EDL leader Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (aka “Tommy Robinson”) was interviewed by Becky Anderson on CNN’s “Connect the World” programme on Monday evening. The anchor noticed what appeared to be a threat at the end of the interview and challenged Yaxley-Lennon about it. The full transcript of the CNN interview (link provided above) also includes the observations of a former Neo-Nazi who was interviewed immediately after Yaxley-Lennon, both in relation to the massacre in Norway and his damning response to Yaxley-Lennon’s own anti-Islam assertions on behalf of the EDL, especially the close parallels with historical Far-Right bigotry towards Jews.
2. Yaxley-Lennon was interviewed in further detail by Jeremy Paxman on BBC’s Newsnight later on Monday evening. Along with refusing to answer most of Paxman’s questions, Yaxley-Lennon recited almost exactly the same memorised statements that he’d made on CNN, from his “words of condolence” at the beginning to what appeared to be a threat at the end. He became increasingly belligerent and aggressive as the interview progressed, and by the end he was loudly ranting. Paxman also noticed the “threat” and challenged Yaxley-Lennon about it.
· Furthermore, Yaxley-Lennon told Paxman that he does not know Daryl Hobson, despite the fact that Hobson is one of the EDL’s main organisers. A photo of Yaxley-Lennon with Hobson is displayed at the top of this PP article (via Hope Not Hate/Searchlight). Hobson himself has also confirmed that the terrorist Anders Breivik was in contact with the EDL.
· Yaxley-Lennon also told Paxman that the millionaire businessman Alan Lake does not finance the EDL, despite the fact that Lake himself has now publicly admitted to funding the organisation. A detailed profile of Lake can be read via Hope Not Hate/Searchlight here, including details of Lake’s extensive involvement with the EDL and the scale of his international activities to further their agenda.
25th July, 2011
The BNP and EDL were under greater pressure last night after their connections with the Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik were laid bare:
The Norwegian fanatic has been in close contact with hundreds of British right-wing extremists for two years, it emerged last night. He chatted about ‘tactics’ on social networking sites with hundreds of members of the English Defence League (EDL) and the British National Party (BNP) and attended demonstrations and meetings here… Breivik has claimed he was recruited by two English Right-wing extremists at a UK meeting in 2002 attended by seven others.
It is good to see that far-right groups are being put under increasing scrutiny. For years we have seen neo-Nazis and their allies convicted of various terrorism-related charges, from plotting terror campaigns to detonating nail bombs. Yet much of the mainstream media has rarely focused on this threat, apart from when trials were going on. Even then, the coverage has seemed muted at times. This should be a wake up call for many that there are armed and dangerous far-right extremists out there, who are willing to slaughter their fellow citizens in the name of their twisted ideology.
Nor should the EDL and BNP be ignored in this debate. Whilst they will publically disown convicted terrorists like Anders Breivik, there is a significant overlap in many areas of their respective ideologies, which is why Anders Breivik was able to get on with so many BNP and EDL activists.
21st June, 2011
This should do wonders for the EDL’s image:
Stephen Lennon, 28, led Luton Town supporters and chanted “EDL till I die”" as they clashed with Newport County fans in Luton, a court heard. He was charged with using threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour during the clash on 24 August last year. He denied the charges but was convicted after a trial on Monday at Luton and South Bedfordshire Magistrates’ Court.
Nor was this his first conviction:
Lennon, who has previous convictions for assault, possession of cocaine and disorderly behaviour, shook his head upon hearing the verdict.
6th June, 2011
The English Defence League’s “Sikh” spokesman Guramit “Singh”, who recently posted a message on Facebook publicly announcing his resignation, was interviewed by BBC West Midlands radio a few days ago. The issue of Guramit’s potential excommunication was one of the subjects mentioned during his radio interview; it was subsequently discussed in detail by a number of other programme participants, and Guramit received no support whatsoever from any of them. You can read a full transcript of the programme here.
I will highlight a number of relevant extracts below:
Guramit: “At the end of the day I’m not representing the Sikh culture – the religion…..I don’t represent Sikhs, I don’t represent Hindus, Christians, Catholics, Muslims – I don’t represent anybody apart from people who are sincere to our cause. The members of the English Defence League, we represent them and that’s all I’m here to do.”
False. Guramit deliberately uses the characteristically Sikh name “Singh” during his public activities in conjunction with the EDL, even though it’s not actually his real surname. In one of Guramit’s earlier public statements, he explicitly claimed that he considers himself a “servant of the Sikh Nation”; he also explicitly claimed that he considers the Guru Granth Sahib (the Sikh scriptures) to be his “Guru” and that Sikhism has “taught him a lot”.
Guramit has also now issued multiple public statements, in writing, repeatedly claiming that the EDL are the modern-day ideological counterparts of the 10th Sikh Guru Gobind Singh’s historical Khalsa, and repeatedly referencing (and grossly misrepresenting) Sikh theology & history in order to justify his own actions.
2nd June, 2011
There have recently been a series of further Sikh signatories to the joint statement condemning the English Defence League and any Sikhs who join them. Examples of notable individuals who have recently publicly voiced their support are several popular UK-based Sikh musicians along with Sikh councillors such as Hardial Singh Rai (Barking & Dagenham) and Pavitar Kaur Mann (Slough).
However, the most high-profile Sikh signatory so far has been the acclaimed Indian ghazal singer Jagjit Singh, who was recently in the UK for a major concert tour. Jagjit is extremely famous among more than a billion South Asians worldwide, and continues to have a successful career which has spanned approximately 40 years. Although he is trained in Indian classical music and also occasionally records albums of religious music, he is most famous as a ghazal maestro. In fact, he is widely regarded as the world’s greatest modern-day Indian proponent of the genre. Jagjit regularly performs at international concerts to huge audiences.
24th May, 2011
Regular readers will be aware of my recent article (Part 1, Part 2) highlighting the full scale of the English Defence League spokesman’s continuous lying in his extremely dishonest, rambling “open letter” directly addressing the numerous British Sikhs who have condemned the EDL. The next day, Guramit posted the following message on Facebook, suddenly announcing his resignation:
Readers can make up their own minds about the accuracy of the “reasons” stated for his departure, considering Guramit’s extensive track record of disingenuously being somewhat economical with the truth.
The EDL’s main website has been noticeably silent about Guramit’s resignation; there were also no tributes to (or mention of) him by the senior speakers at the EDL’s demonstration in Blackpool during the weekend. The lack of a public tribute or any words of gratitude by the EDL’s leader Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (aka “Tommy Robinson”) is also glaringly conspicuous.
However, during the past few days, Guramit’s secretary Hel Gower has posted the following “goodbye message” on Facebook. She uses some — shall we say — interesting words to describe Guramit:
Hel Gower, of course, is also on record as openly supporting the BNP and the neo-Nazi “British First Party”, as per the following screenshot from Facebook:
One of the very few honest public statements made by Guramit included the following assertion about Sikhism:
“My religion teaches that the truth will always prevail.”
Indeed it does. Ironically, it has been proven that Guramit himself was repeatedly lying his head off during his ignominious tenure with the EDL. How unfortunate for the EDL, although some would correctly describe it as poetic justice.
Guramit has posted a characteristically petulant Facebook response to my article:
It’s quite revealing about his own mentality that Guramit assumes that was what I was referring to, not to mention his embarrassingly hypersensitive reaction. And, of course, Guramit once again hypocritically accuses other people of “making up lies”.
Having said that, since Guramit has no objection to his BNP & neo-Nazi-supporting secretary openly referring to him as a “Paki” then he’s clearly taking self-abasing sycophancy to previously uncharted depths.
And once again, Guramit’s unwise public outburst betrays his ignorance of the following very pertinent advice by the late great President Abraham Lincoln:
“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.”
23rd May, 2011
This article is a direct continuation of Part 1, which was published yesterday, and discusses further extracts from the EDL spokesman’s recent open letter to numerous British Sikhs who have condemned the EDL. Readers are therefore strongly advised to read Part 1 first before continuing below.
“One of my closest international allies is Rabbi Shiffren.”
This is the same Rabbi Shifren who has been condemned by numerous senior Jewish leaders for his anti-Muslim fanaticism, ended up having to be forcibly thrown out of a conference by five conservative rabbis after he started screaming abuse at Reverend Jesse Jackson, and is on record as making the following extremely derogatory remarks about Muslims during a speech at an EDL demonstration in October 2010: “In those so-called freedom centres, they plot to destroy and kill us. We’re still waiting for the Muslims to make peace with each other. They eat each other alive, like the dogs that they are…”
It is worth remembering that the EDL also have international links to Jewish convicted terrorists who are not only completely banned from entering Israel, but are also part of groups which the FBI have officially designated as terrorist organisations.
“A Sikh who truly understands his or her religion will understand the true message of the English Defence League. Our battle against militant Islam”
False. As a result of multiple interviews by the BBC (see here and here), Guramit is on record as publicly claiming that there is absolutely no difference between “militant Islam” and Islam in general. In fact, his public speeches at EDL rallies have repeatedly included remarks demonising Islam full-stop along with Allah, the Prophet Mohammad, and Britain’s entire Muslim population, frequently using extremely obscene language (see here, here and here). Therefore, when Guramit uses the term “militant Islam”, he means that Islam itself is by definition inherently militant.
22nd May, 2011
Further to my recent article highlighting Guramit “Singh’s” ongoing doublespeak and religious hypocrisy in his public statement responding to the excommunication ultimatum, the English Defence League’s “Sikh” spokesman has issued a very long, extremely dishonest “open letter” directly addressing the numerous British Sikh supporters & signatories of the joint statement which condemned the EDL and any Sikhs who join them. I’m not going to link to the EDL’s website directly, but if you Google “EDL open letter ideological opponents” then you’ll be able to locate the letter. Alternatively, you can read it in full via another website here.
As a Sikh myself, I’ll address a series of extracts from Guramit’s rambling letter:
“I’m writing with regard to the document you signed, a document issued to you by members of the turban campaign, something that slanders not just myself but also the English Defence League…..This is me reaching out to all those people who have been hoodwinked into believing slander from the ideological opponents of the EDL…..This was the turban campaigns next lie, as you can probably guess this is getting ridiculous considering that members of the turban campaign claim to represent the whole of the Sikh community, I would never claim such a thing. I only represent those who are sincere to our cause no matter what colour creed or religion”
20th April, 2011
After their electoral disaster in last year’s elections, the BNP have increasingly faded from view. As the author of a new book on the BNP, Matthew Goodwin, points out, the BNP has only really been focused on electoral success for the last decade or so:
Born into the spring of 1982, during its early years the party steered clear of elections. It was not until the arrival of Nick Griffin as chairman in 1999 that a serious quest for votes commenced. Influenced by his time in the 1970s National Front, and inspired by its more successful French counterpart, Griffin went about revamping the BNP under a strategy of “modernisation”. The goal was to attract a broad and stable electorate by detoxifying the brand, adopting community-based activism and throwing resources at local and European elections.
At this point, it seems unlikely that the BNP will pose a serious electoral threat in the near future, as the anti-Griffin rebellion grows and senior figures leave or have left already. But, as Matthew Goodwin argues, there is still space for an “anti-immigrant populist party”. This opens the way for the EDL.
18th April, 2011
Further to the recent Pickled Politics article highlighting the EDL’s “Sikh” spokesman Guramit Singh’s admission of hatred towards other South Asians, some further information about Guramit himself is continuing to come to light.
Doublespeak in action
A new Youtube video focusing specifically on Guramit is an excellent compilation and definitely worth watching in full. The repeated juxtaposition of Guramit’s disingenuous assertions about the EDL compared with the ugly reality demonstrates the point particularly effectively. You can watch the video via Youtube here.
“I consider the Guru Granth Sahib to be my Guru”
In response to the recent ultimatum, Gurmait subsequently released a public statement on the EDL’s main blog declaring that he refuses to leave the EDL irrespective of the ultimatum and threatening retaliation (including making a sinister threat to involve unspecified supporters from “outside the Sikh community”) if any attempts were made to excommunicate him.
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Further to the joint statement by numerous major British Sikh & Hindu temples and organisations condemning the EDL and any Sikhs who join them, followed by the recent ultimatum issued to the EDL’s “Sikh” spokesman Guramit Singh, some more facts about Guramit himself are coming to light.
“I f****** hate the Pakis”
As can be heard in the Youtube clip below, a BBC Three documentary about the EDL included audio footage of Guramit Singh secretly referring to other South Asians as “Pakis” and describing his hatred of them. Perhaps it’s time Guramit actually looked in the mirror.