Tommy Robinson gives his account on the EDL.
This is one of the most important lectures I have heard in a long time. I cannot recommend this enough.
My comments to some online critics of this lecture, some of whom probably did not watch the video:
Robinson was never racist. He did once view all Muslims as a threat but never all immigrants or foreigners or Arabs or Pakistanis. He began to become friends with anti-jihadist and anti-Islamist Muslims and apologized for stereotyping all Muslims. He now works with Quilliam Foundation.
Islam is not a race. It is a religion and should be as open to criticism as Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Scientology, Mormonism, astrology, whatever. Islamism is not a race. It is a political agenda based on oppressing non-Muslims and apostates under Sharia. Jihadism is not a racial problem. It is a religious and political problem born of violence committed by Islamic fanatics out of religious obligations to subjugate Muslims and non-Muslims alike according to their insane belief system.
…and yes Islamism, Salafism, jihadism, radical Islam, Wahhabism, Deobani ideology, Qutibism is born out of colonialism and imperialism and racism as apologists for Islamism claim. Indeed it is born out of a love of and desire to see a revival of Islamic colonialism and imperialism and a continuation of the racist imposition of Islamic customs born of ultraorthodox Judeo-Christianity wedded to pre-Islamic pagan Arab culture from which Islam was born (stir in a little Zoroastrianism as well).
There is nothing new about Islamism and jihadism just as there is nothing new about Christian militarism. Both ideologies have terrorized mankind for many centuries and are born out of the writings in the holy books. Religion is not race. Political radicalism based upon religion is a threat to all of us. All governments worldwide must be secular.
I hate all religions but especially Islam. I hate the Koran which I have read several times. I hate the Hadith even more. I hate the Bible. I mean it when I say hate. I have Muslim friends and family just as I have Christian friends and family. I cannot understand the mental and moral gymnastics they must put themselves through.
I agree that at some point EDL painted all Muslims with a broad brush as my first comment indicated. I think Tommy Robinson also agrees with you on that which is one of the reasons he left EDL, the other obviously being his legal troubles. He has renounced that view and is far more conciliatory toward mainstream Islam now than I will ever be. I am clear to state that the best Muslims are the least Islamic ones. Radical Islam is product of the Koran and the Bible and the Hadith and the example of the Caliphs and scholars of Islam. It is not a perversion of Islam.
I think it is pretty clear that what happened to EDL is similar to what happens to many activist organizations. They attract crazy people who push the group toward the extreme. The leaders and founders try to hold on to the reins are steer the group back toward its objectives but once the crazies outnumber the sane it is almost irreversible. This has happened with Occupy Wall Street, Anonymous, and many other movements. The far right and far left, as well as anarchists, libertarians, communists, theocrats and paranoid conspiracy theorists have a way of turning anything they touch to shit. Add to that list people who think RT and Press TV are good sources of news and political analysis.