By Ted Belman
Yesterday I posted two posts, Experts weigh in.. and Strict Sharia in the UK: First Our Ban, Now Planned Arrests from Atlas Shrugs under the title Melanie Phillips is on the wrong side of this issue. Both articles dealt with Melanie’s reaction to the banning of Geller and Spencer from Britain.. Melanie took great exception to me doing so without “doing my homework”. She pointed out the Andy Bostom had it wrong about her position on Ed Husain. While she held such views at one time she subsequently publicly repudiated him here. For this I apologize. I should have contacted her before posting it.
She also brought to my attention her Saturday post where she states her case on the EDL and on Geller and Spencer. Its a must read.
I am rubbing my eyes at the hysterical responses to my blog post on the British government’s banning order against anti-jihadi activists Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer. People will have to read what I wrote, alongside the attacks on me by Ms Geller and Mr Spencer, to decide for themselves whether their responses were proportionate — or could even be considered an accurate or fair representation of what I wrote.
Unlike the two of them, I have no wish to indulge in such ad hominem — and counter productive – vitriol. I would just make the following points.
First, you would hardly think from their reaction that I actually opposed – and in the strongest terms – the order banning them from Britain. Furthermore, I spoke of them merely as ‘anti-jihadis’ and gave unambiguous credit to Robert Spencer’s scrupulous scholarship.
Theonly aspect on which I said in this piece that I parted company with them was over their endorsement of ‘groups such as the EDL and others which at best do not deal with the thuggish elements in their ranks and at worst are truly racist or xenophobic.’
I did not call the EDL racist or neo-Nazi. I do, however, believe it contains thuggish elements.
Its leader, ‘Tommy Robinson’, has criminal convictionsfor assault and football hooliganism.
He is a former member of the unquestionably racist British National Party. Some members of the EDL have been pictured making Nazi salutes at rallies. The EDL exploits the very real threat of jihad, as well as the often violent attacks against its own members, to mask its own demonstrably yobbish behaviour. You can see examples of such behavior, throwing bottles at the police, here or here, where Tommy Robinson decided to go on a bender in Luton and started gratuitously throwing missiles at the police from a distance, boasting he would ‘hit a police officer on the … head’.
‘The Islamic community will feel the full force of the EDL if we see any of our citizens killed maimed or hurt’.