The EDL Dines Alone

Douglas Murray: Left dinner as soon as he learned EDL had been invited; didn’t know who CAN were

I recently posted a couple of blog entries (here and here) about what happened when members of the English Defence League showed up at a restaurant in London where Robert Spencer was preparing to dine with some British conservative “anti-Jihadi” types, in particular Adrian Morgan and Douglas Murray. Spencer was in town with a couple of members of the Virginia-based Christian Action Network; the day before, CAN director Michael Mawyer had conducted an interview with three balaclava-wearing EDL leaders, and his associate Jason Campbell (with whom Spencer had taken “strolls into a few mosques”) decided to invite them along.

However, Spencer’s British contacts were not pleased to discover at the restaurant that they were about to share a table with the EDL, and, as Adrian Morgan delicately put it, “Tensions between some of the anti-jihadist factions who had all been kindly invited by Jason to a meal caused splitting of the groups and confusion”. Extrication was eased, though, because, according to Spencer, the restaurant management had asked the party to leave anyway just before the EDL showed up , on account of the subject matter of their conversation.

Spencer’s near-encounter with the EDL and his association with Mawyer have since become a source of goading from Charles Johnson; Spencer retorts that that Johnson is a “libelblogger”, and adds that

I did not go to England planning to meet with the EDL, I did not make such plans there, and I did not meet with them…I will not work with racists, fascists, neo-Nazis, etc. Those who are inclined to buy Johnson’s guilt-by-association smears are invited to prove that I actually believe the things he is trying to pin on me… 

And now, Douglas Murray’s Centre for Social Cohesion has sent me a message asking me to publicise the following:

CAN asked Douglas to do an interview with them – upon seeing the presence of the EDL at the CAN discussion he refused to deal with them and left the venue. He did however give an interview to CAN at another location on the water front. He didn’t actually know who the CAN were, and always says yes to interviews, hence his appearances on other dubious channels such as the Islam Channel.  
 
He also did have dinner only with Spencer in a personal capacity later that evening.

Morgan, meanwhile, explains that

I…did talk briefly with the EDL members, to try to find out what sort of people they were (rather than believing the hype put about on internet weblogs).

My conversation took place on a walkway beside one of the docks, with neither Robert Spencer nor Douglas Murray present.

…I do not collude with or condone the EDL’s tactics of physical confrontation. I see such tactics as damaging – violence begets violence and benefits no-one, no matter how personally frustrated these EDL members may feel.

15 Responses

  1. “Family Values” California state assemblyman representing Orange County, Republican Michael D. Duvall, resigns for apparently not cheating on his wife. Well you have to take his word for it, or maybe believe that hypocrisy has been bred in. In my opinion the Republican Party has been taken over the most extreme religious right (people who love to push their beliefs on others while trying to take away rights of those they just hate) and that’s who they need to extract from their party if they real want to win. Good Luck, because as they said in WACO, “We Ain’t Coming Out”. He is just another name that can be added to the list of Republican 2009 summer of love: Senator John Ensign (NV), Senator Paul Stanley (TN), Governor Mark Stanford (SC), SC Board of Ed Chair, Kristin Maguire.

  2. Hmmm……..these EDL guys sound a lot like the NOI, except for the murders and all. The NOI are the guys who threw that big bash in DC that Obama attended. Then praised in the newspapers.

    I’m just glad I don’t associate with such folks……

  3. [...] The EDL’s American Friends. Posted in Uncategorized by modernityblog on September 11, 2009 2:54 pm Robert Spencer and his posse of anti-Muslim bigots were touring bits of the UK recently, but their planned dinner date with some Far Right EDLer didn’t take place as planned, Richard Bartholomew has the details: [...]

  4. [...] also a ”current affairs editor”: Adrian Morgan, who featured in the story I blogged here. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Woman Loses $4K to Scammer Posing as Friend on [...]

  5. But let’s get back to the real problem of political corruption, does anyone think this will get investigated and that things he voted on will need to be affirmed by the remaining members or will nothing happen? Do I hear Tammy Wynette, “Stand By Your Man” playing in the background? I remember not so long ago that other Orange County song favorite, “Stand By Your Tan” (for Tan Nguyen). But that’s another Orange County fool.

  6. The EDL are not racist, we have blacks and asians among us, I am of Irish background, my wife is of Filipino background, we are a pressure group of anti islamic TERRORISTS and nothing else

  7. [...] he had been at a dinner in a London restaurant when EDL leaders had shown up (he made it clear that he had left before they [...]

  8. [...] – having been goaded by Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs – made it very clear that he had left the restaurant before the EDL leaders [...]

  9. [...] come along without asking if that was acceptable to the other guests, who included Douglas Murray. I blogged on this fiasco, and on Mawyer’s lurid anti-gay views, and my posts were picked up by Charles [...]

  10. [...] was an incident I blogged on at the time. (The videomaker was Martin Mawyer, an anti-gay Christian fundamentalist. Spencer and Geller [...]

  11. [...] conservative think tank Centre for Social Cohesion, has liaised with Spencer on ‘counter terrorism’ issues, EDL sympathiser, influential in formulating David Cameron’s Prevent strategy addressing [...]

  12. [...] Richard Bartholomew has details of a meeting at the George Restaurant in east London in August attended by Jihad Watch’s Robert Spencer and Douglas Murray of the Centre for Social Cohesion at the invitation of the Christian Action Network. Also invited were the English Defence League, the group responsible for a number of recent violent anti-Muslim protests. [...]

  13. [...] Geller and Spencer were so wary of the EDL that Spencer made noises about “libel” when I discussed a dinner in London involving Spencer at which EDL members had shown up. Since that time, it has courted [...]

  14. [...] visited the UK in 2009, although at that time he wanted no association with the nascent EDL and he made noises about “libel” when it was suggested he had met figures from the group. For a time, [...]

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