Quilliam out of their depth with Tommy Robinson

Picture of Tommy Robinson, a clean-shaven white man with an aggressive look on his face, being arrested by a London police officerThis week Tommy Robinson (real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon), the erstwhile leader of the English Defence League, announced that he was leaving the organisation he helped found to start some kind of new anti-extremism organisation which wasn’t “street-based”. Lennon was helped in this by the Quilliam Foundation, which portrays itself as an anti-extremism think tank and which includes a number of figures from the “former extremists” circus of a few years ago, including Muhammad Mahbub “Ed” Husain and Maajid Nawaz, a former British Hizb-ut-Tahrir activist who was jailed in Egypt under Mubarak for HT activity. Quilliam claimed that Lennon and Kevin Carroll left because “they feel they can no longer keep extremist elements at bay”, and according to him:

I have been considering this move for a long time because I recognise that, though street demonstrations have brought us to this point, they are no longer productive. I acknowledge the dangers of far-right extremism and the ongoing need to counter Islamist ideology not with violence but with better, democratic ideas.

Robinson was not asked to elaborate, it seems, on which “extremist elements” he disliked within the EDL. I’m guessing the reason is an internal schism in which he looked likely to get thrown out anyway — those sorts of things go on all the time in far-right sects (and Marxist ones too, come to that). The EDL is and always was an extremist group itself under Robinson’s leadership, because it’s an organisation that engages in street violence. Robinson himself was at the demonstrations where obscene slogans about the Prophet (sall’ Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) were shouted by large numbers of people, and where their men tried to break through police cordons and damaged surrounding property. He has been arrested a number of times for public order offences related to his EDL activities, been jailed for using a false passport to enter the USA, and also has convictions for drugs offences and assault on a police officer (who intervened in a domestic incident between him and his partner). The EDL’s core is composed of football “casuals”, or hooligans; Robinson knew this all along.

I’ve seen Lennon on TV and know his ability to turn on the waterworks to protest that he’s not a racist (he then showed us a girl he claimed is his daughter, who is black), but I’ve also seen a video of someone telling an EDL rally in Newcastle this past May “send the black c**ts home” (allegedly that man is a “key EDL operative” and had been brought onto the stage by Robinson himself). There have always been racists in the EDL and there have always been tensions between pro- and anti-BNP elements as well as rivalries between supporters of different football clubs; their sole brain, an IT consultant called Alan Lake, suggested a link with UKIP which, at least under the last government, made a name for itself in Islamophobia, hosting Geert Wilders and showing the film Fitna at the House of Lords.

Quilliam are themselves quite out of their depth with Robinson. They have not previously dealt with violent extremists but rather people with separatist beliefs and ideologies such as salafis and Hizb-ut-Tahrir. Their idea of an extremist is someone who seeks to bring the khilafa back or someone who believes that believing in the evolution of the human species makes you unfit to be an imam. It is a huge mistake to facilitate Robinson in trying to set up any kind of non-violent anti-extremist organisation, because Robinson’s organisation has never made any distinction between Islam itself and extremists, or between the actions of individual Muslims or small groups of Muslims (e.g. the Luton demo, the murder of Lee Rigby) and of Muslims in general, their demonstrations and slogans being aimed clearly at Muslims in general, and Robinson has also never contributed anything on an intellectual level. I have never seen articles by him printed in a newspaper or magazine, for example. His “anti-extremist” stance is a very thin cover for an organisation founded on anti-Muslim street violence. So he could not reasonably be expected to lead, other than as a figurehead, any non-violent, non-street-based, anti-extremist organisation — there will likely be someone pulling the strings behind the scenes.

That they should “help” Robinson in setting up such an outfit reflects a lack of courage on their part. They should have simply told him to go away and concentrate on his non-political activities such as the business he runs, or used to run, in Luton. The organisations which are of anything like his ideological stripe are formed of people with degrees who can write a coherent article about politics, like Douglas Murray; whatever else they are, they are not thugs and serial violent criminals and do not need the services of one. Robinson and Carroll have nothing to offer except violence and Quilliam should have refused to entertain them, as there is no need for them to have a public platform and it is in the Muslims’ interest (which Quilliam should supposedly have at heart) that they not have one.

(More: Salma Yaqoob, Mehdi Hasan, Yvonne Ridley, The Staggers, Ben Quinn @ The Guardian.)

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  • Angie

    excellent article

  • Ayub Patel

    Rather than let rip a torrent if vitriolic bile towards the Quilliam group, I’d rather applaud the effort. It may well all go Peter Tong & the Quilliam lot will have been the victims of some elaborate charade by the man with at least a dozen names. Islam lets face it is under attack & I for one will give owt a chance even if it appears to be the most hopelessly stupid alliance ever known to man.

  • Pingback: Yaxley-Lennon and Quilliam might get grants but will they deliver after the cameras have gone? |()

  • M Risbrook

    Rubbish article. Completely misses the point. Looks like it was written by a lefty with no knowledge of who the EDL and Quilliam actually are - or more importantly - who their paymasters are.

    The left (and sadly thousands of Muslims) go down the avenue that the EDL are simply a bunch of racist thugs and football hooligans. Nothing could be further from the truth. They are a professionally run and well financed by Zionists in Israel and NYC. Even the BNP managed to work that one out after inititally suspecting they were state and they publicised it. Quilliam is also a Zionist funded outfit run by two previously obscure and insignificant individuals, one of which was a stooge in HT and the other wasn’t even a member. Both of which became millionaires overnight courtesy of the taxpayer because it is an outfit that promotes the government’s Zionist cause. Quilliam is no friend of Muslims and does not have their interests at heart.

    I do not find Tommy Robinson leaving the EDL for Quilliam surprising in any way. After all he’s moving from one Zionist tentacle to another. For the past year or so I have been suspecting that the Zionists will soon pull the plug on the EDL as they have achieved everything that they can achieve from it. An EDL shorn of its funding, its smart leadership, and its talented webmasters will shortly implode and evaporate. My intelligent guess is that the Zionists are in the process of extracting a handful of people they deem useful from the EDL and finding them new homes for their next project before they finally scuttle the ship.

    With hindsight it could be argued that the EDL cocked up. It ended up being tarnished with the same racist and violent image as the BNP and C18 which thwarted their potential as an organisation with widespread public support. Whether this was a genuine cock up or whether it was deliberately intended only the Zionist elite knows. Quilliam could well be the next up and coming tool of the Zionists and it will be a dangerous development for the Muslims. Far more than the EDL and this time you won’t be getting the far left to counter it. The far left doesn’t understand Zionist strategy. Muslims will be fighting this one alone…

  • www.islamicate.co.uk

    I must say I am extremely skeptical of Tommy Robinson’s association with Quilliam, which Quilliam have used to show their ‘success’ in de-radicalisation so as to legitimise their existance. What is interesting to note is that Tommy hasn’t really denounced the views which have been associated with him in the past and despite this, Quilliam have proceeded to ‘work with him’. Quite where this is going I’m not so sure, but I do fear that this may signal the start of Quilliam ‘upping the anti’ against Muslims in Britain.

  • ali khan

    If ever proof was needed for the doubters then this is it. I mean how obvious does it have to be. Birds of a feather indeed! and to further what risbrook has mentioned, JDL…….EDL. pretty much in your bloody face.

    As for those ***ts called quilliam i hope they all get ebola. cant stand anyone of them. When that maajid harps on about islamism it just makes me want to barf, I mean WTF is he on about? After all the money quilliam have had and all their moaning about extremism what do they achieve. Tommy bloody robinson!! (who as far as i know has never been a muslim). Talk about desperate.

    @28b7ca37165b2a06ebf8407132edd078:disqus with a few minor reservations i more or less agree with your comments. Bang on mate. Correct me if i am wrong your not a muslim right?

    @ayubpatel:disqus ‘Islam lets face it is under attack’ - then why would you give

    filth like quilliam the time of day.

  • ali khan

    its meant to be @28b7ca37165b2a06ebf8407132edd078:disqus i dont know how those numbers got there

  • ali khan

    **** me. I mean risbrook