Woolwich street attackFollowing 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.”

At about the same time, arrests were being made in Essex and Kent following attacks on two different mosques. Similarly, there was a sharp increase in the number of incidents being reported to the government-funded service, Tell MAMA (Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks).

Before yesterday’s events, indicative data made available by Tell MAMA suggests that more than half of all recorded anti-Muslim incidents are perceived by victims as being perpetrated by people active within, or sympathetic to, various far-right groups and organisations.

Continue reading here.

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