How a Planned Anti-Mosque Protest Represents the Extremist Agenda of the English Defence League
In this guest-written opinion piece, we take a look at what may be a worrying extremist activity in Plymouth.
The English Defence League is set to stage a protest against the construction of a mosque in Plymouth on April 13, 2013. The Facebook page dedicated to the planned protest claims to have over 350 confirmed protesters.
Abundance of Hypocrisy
This leaves many people wondering as to just why so many individuals have such a strong objection to the opening of a mosque. After all, the leadership of the English Defence League (EDL) claim that their grievance is not with Islam but with the extremists that are willing to resort to terrorism in the name of their god. The fact that the protest is based solely on the basis of the construction of a mosque appears to show these claims to be rather unreliable. The depressing fact is that in my opinion this is just one of the many examples of the huge abundance of hypocrisy of the English Defence League. The planned protest will undoubtedly be of significant cost to the taxpayer, as per usual for the seemingly pointless protests staged by the English Defence League.
When conversing with one of the organisers of the protest I was not only surprised by his intolerance of ANY Muslim, but more so by his complete lack of knowledge of the teachings of Islam. I found it obvious that he had never even read the Koran, let alone studied it. He was ignorant of the very subject that he attempts to educate others about. At the moment he reached his peak in articulation he stated “Islam is a sick backward satanistic barbaric ideology”. In order to test his clearly in-depth knowledge of Islamic teachings and culture I asked him to define the term Jihad for me. I am still awaiting his reply.
It should be known that this man, who shall go unnamed, is one of the more senior members of the Plymouth division of the English Defence League. His deluded views are therefore only to be expected. Let us not neglect to acknowledge the fact that the founder and unelected leader of the English Defence League, Steven Lennon, has shown on many occasions that his arguments are illogical, inconsistent, and based on ignorance. For example, in this clip from a Newsnight interview, when asked by Jeremy Paxman: “Have you read the Koran?” his answer is “No”.
It is apparent to me that English Defence League was born out of a blind hatred for those who are different and has concentrated its effort into expressing and encouraging Islamophobia. The ignorance of the leadership of the English Defence League is so vast it is almost inconceivable. They simply do not seem to know what they are talking about. The reason they are portrayed by the press as nothing more than a bunch of unintelligent, bigoted, extremists is because, as far as I can see, that’s exactly what they’ve demonstrated themselves to be.
They seem unaware that Britain is a multi-cultural society and one which is tolerant of ethnic diversity. The members of the English Defence League are hindering the efforts of humanitarians everywhere. If they weren’t causing so much harm to Muslims and people of foreign heritage, and Plymouth’s culture of tolerance, I would feel sorry for them.
Guest Writing for InPlymouth.com
This is a guest post by Elliot Mashhadi. If you are interested in writing for inplymouth.com apply to [email protected]