Following the hideous scenes in Woolwich yesterday, I was invited to write a piece for a new independent news and commentary site, The Conversation.
The Conversation is an independent source of news and views, sourced from the academic and research community and delivered direct to the public. To find out more, click here.
I’ve reproduced part of the article below. If you want to read it in full, you can do so here.
EDL uses an old playbook to spread message of hate
It was unsurprising that little more than a few hours after yesterday’s horrific murder, the far-right arrived in Woolwich. Emboldened by the afternoon’s events, the English Defence League’s (EDL) leader Tommy Robinson announced:
“They’re chopping our soldiers’ heads off. This is Islam. That’s what we’ve seen today … Islam is a religion of peace. It’s not. It never has been. What you saw today is Islam. Everyone’s had enough.”
A quick post to direct people to an article I’ve just had published on the Concilio CIC website. You can read the article by clicking here.
For those of you who don’t know, Concilio CIC describes itself as “a One Stop Information Source on the Activities of Far Right Groups in the United Kingdom”. But that doesn’t really do it justice.
Concilio CIC is a consortium whose partners include social researchers and academics, civil society organisations, and various community activists and practitioners who are undertaking work on Far Right extremist groups and raising awareness of their activities. The consortium looks at how faith-based symbolism and community engagement is being used by Far Right groups to cause divides between faith communities, as well as how international networks such as the ‘Counter-Jihadist’ Network are making an impact here in the UK. If you want to know more about Concilio CIC, then you can visit their website by clicking here.
To whet your appetite, here’s the opening paragraph from the article:
“The atrocities committed by Anders Breivik in Norway last year shocked many. Motivated by an explicit hatred of Islam and a belief in the creeping ‘Islamification’ of Europe, Breivik’s justification for such heinous crimes were far from unique. In fact, much of Breivik’s rhetoric had clear resonance with many organisations, groups and individuals that identify with far-right and neo-Nazi ideologies”
To continue reading, click here.
You can read the article on the University website by clicking here.
There is also an online poll connected to the opinion piece. You can vote on this by clicking here.
And if you don’t fancy either of those, you can read the piece below:
Do you agree that the UK has ignored the threat from the far right?
Dr Chris Allen
“As news began to break about the atrocities committed in Oslo and Utøya on 22 July, a number of media outlets began to suggest that Al-Qaeda (AQ) was behind the attacks. Disparate reasons were put forward as to why this might be so: Norway’s involvement in Afghanistan and Libya, a recent decision to deport a Muslim cleric and the decision of a Norwegian newspaper to reprint the Danish ‘Prophet Muhammad cartoons’. The next morning, The Sun newspaper was emblazoned with the headline, “Norway’s 9/11”.
For anyone who has read the post by Gary Younge on Comment is Free entitled, ‘When you watch the BNP on TV, just remember: Jack Straw started all this’, many I’m sure will conclude that he makes some good points. Not least when he notes that:
…there is little doubt that once the BNP is on Question Time, Jack Straw – or indeed anyone in the New Labour hierarchy – is in no position to take the fight to it. The same is true for most of the rest of the British political establishment that will be represented on the panel – they have either actively colluded or passively acquiesced in the political trajectory of the past decade.
But it is no accident that this happened on New Labour’s watch and no small irony that Jack Straw should set himself up as Griffin’s opponent.
In fact I couldn’t agree more. Why put up against the BNP’s Nick Griffin the very man that started the whole niqab furore a few years ago?
As the Labour Party goes into meltdown and the end of Gordon Brown’s tenure at number 10 seems to be coming to its timely climax, the country go to the polls today to vote in European and local elections. When the results of the European elections are announced, much of the focus will be on Labour’s share of the vote and the impact this has on Brown’s demise. But what about the number of votes picked up by the BNP?
According to the Institute of Community Cohesion (iCoCo), support for far right parties such as the British National Party (BNP) is smaller in the UK than in other parts of Europe. But following its success in winning a seat on the Greater London Assembly (GLA) last year, the party now has strong hopes of winning seats in Europe.
A recent report by the National Community Forum (available here) has once again highlighted how some white working class people in today’s Britain feel that their concerns on a range of issues are being ignored. In fact many believe that the Labour Government have abandoned them completely.
Based on a series of interviews that were undertaken on four predominantly white housing estates around the country, the report found that some in the white working classes felt a sense of resentment, unfairness and betrayal. As a result, many were prone to believe the many rumours that are routinely spread by the far-right about migrants and other minority communities thus exacerbating tensions between them.
One particular issue was the belief that white working class families were failing to be allocated their rightful social housing due to immigrants who were – or so it is alleged – going straight to the ‘front of the queue’.