As the EDL lace up their heavy-set boots and head for the streets of Woolwich, their leader, metaphorically carrying with him his long list of criminal convictions, will be preparing his fascist propaganda.
Tommy Robinson and his followers (the phrase “in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king,” comes to mind) are intent on running Islam and its teachings out of the country and are using criminal acts from Muslims as evidence for their cause. Their next stop is set for Woolwich, following the death of a man and the broadcast of an ITV video showing a bloodied man claiming to be fighting for Allah.
The militant anti-Islamic today ordered the march toward Woolwich, exactly three months after he was released from prison for possessing a fake passport, following the killing of an alleged British soldier in a suspected jihadist attack - note the words ‘suspected’, the motives of the attack have not, as yet, been confirmed.
I’m sorry, Mr Robinson, but I think you’ll find the problem isn’t with Islam. You see, the real issue here is with extremism and you pointing at every news story involving a Muslim and shouting “SEE! I TOLD YOU,” isn’t going to cut it.
Islamic terrorist attacks account for fewer than 100 deaths in the UK – which, of course, is too many. But, in recent years, we've seen the IRA apologise for the death of 1,800 “non-combatants” alone, I can guarantee the knuckle-draggers won’t be chasing Irish men down the road on St Patrick’s day.
Lest we forget that Anders Breivik, a Christian, killed 69 people – mostly teenagers – on and around the island of Utøya, Norway and the many, many school shootings by mostly white, non-Muslim people in the United States.
At no point in this piece do I intend to defend any murder or act of terrorism, but we should certainly not tar an entire religion with the same brush as a result of the sinister actions of a few.
The EDL are claiming that since the attack took place, their Facebook page has had over 3,000 new ‘likes’ – do not be one of those people, you’re only giving credence to an organisation dedicated to the hatred of an entire sect of people. The group would have you believe that each and every practicing Muslim will behead you for hanging a St George's Cross from your roof – it’s not true.
And, I’m sure, EDL-apologists around the country will claim I’m a journalist, paid by the government to keep acts of violence by Muslims quiet. Were that true, I’d have many more pairs of nicer trainers, I promise you.
At the time of writing this column, too few details exist to write a well-rounded opinion piece on the Woolwich situation, but the furore the EDL is creating on Twitter is unsettling. As we speak, the tweet from the fascist group’s official Twitter account, which calls its members to arms, has over 775 retweets, considerably more than my own which intended to warn the police of possible violence (a measly 17).
So don’t blindly follow the first man who gives you someone (or a group of millions) to blame, for he himself is spinning you a yarn and recruiting for the hopeful fruition of his sinister ideals.