Quilliam Foundation Abused by Advertised “Former EDL” Speaker

Last week,  the moderate Muslim Quilliam Foundation announced a “roundtable” event, entitled “Former EDL Members Speak Out”; from the blurb:

…Despite the EDL’s prominence… relatively little is known about the group’s internal workings, its methods of recruitment, its overall strategy and its future plans. For the first time ever, Quilliam is able to bring together former senior members of the EDL who have renounced the group and are willing to speak out against it publicly and to answer questions about the organisation and their time inside it.

Speaker bios:

Harry Burns was formerly a senior member of EDL’s London division. Within London he helped to mobilise members and organise transport for demonstrations outside of London. He was also involved in the group’s logistics and its online activism, helping to run their youth website. He was present at many of their early London meetings.

Leighton Evans was a well-known foot soldier for EDL’s London division. In addition, he was an online activist for the group and helped to organise demonstrations and produce leaflets.

Alas, however, Evans has now made a posting to an anti-EDL Facebook group called “Exposing Racism“:

 i refused to go along with what the quilliam wanted me to do which was renounce the edl. i wont do that and it was never on the agenda in my email exchanges with ghaffar hussain. he said i’d be asked why i joined, what i did, why i left and what i think know. he then released that load of old bollocks which i was never party to.

Posting as the admin for another group, Evans opines further that Quilliam consists of “fuckers”, and that Hussain is a “cunt”.

I understand that Burns has also dropped out (although he’s refrained from attacking Quilliam); he recently emerged as the “leader” of a purported new anti-extremism group calling itself the “Anti-Extremism Alliance”. The East London Advertiser reported earlier this month:

Representatives from several organisations including anti-extremism body Quilliam Foundation and pro-integration group Muslim Voices are calling on Tower Hamlets Council to step in over the matter.

Harry Burn, leading the organisations, said: “I thought that we’d seen the back of these groups in Tower Hamlets. They portray a horrible message and most Muslims I know despise them. We are trying to get Muslims and non-Muslims to say no to any sort of extremism.”

Ghaffar Hussain, head of Quilliam’s outreach and training unit, called the hosting of the group in Tower Hamlets “very worrying”.

The proposed protest also gained the support of Peter Tatchell. It is perhaps significant that in the run-up to the event, a Facebook group called NiceOnesUK – where Burns posts as “Arry Bo” – disappeared from view, and the named organiser changed from Burns to Adam Barnett of One Law for All.

Evans and Burns are both close to Charlie Flowers, the abusive cyber-thug who has threatened to have his friends “slap” me “upside the cheek” (I got off lightly – Flowers has threatened someone else with a stabbing “in the face”). Flowers has over the past year or so insinuated himself into various moderate Muslim groups, which then provide him with a façade of credibility. Flowers has boasted about how he has brought different groups together, so it seems likely that he played a role here.

Although Flowers presents himself as a political activist, he’s actually a vigilante who uses the internet to act out a self-righteous fantasy of self-empowerment through harassment and abuse. Just yesterday, he decided once again to use a sock-puppet to spam Twitter with abusive messages about me – these attacks tend to occur late on Saturday nights, when Flowers is perhaps “tired and emotional” (background here). Presumably this latest self-debasing outburst was prompted by Flowers’ frustrations over how the planned Quilliam event failed to pan out.

Some of Flowers’ friends either don’t know what he gets up to, don’t care (sadly, this includes British Muslims for  Secular Democracy, a  group which I broadly support), or refuse to believe it. Others, however, actively get a kick out of being a part of his anti-social activities; Burns is perhaps one of these, as indicated by goading messages which he has left on this blog under the name “Arry”.

Although, unlike Evans, Burns hasn’t expressed hostility towards Quilliam, he does hold views that would have been awkward had they come up at the roundtable. Here he is again on Facebook:

EDL only focus on Muslims Gavin. Jews and their religion make as many demands as Muslims, I don’t really see much difference. The Jews in Stamford Hill rattle of the same crap about us as do the Muslims in Whitechapel. If you’re going to come here and moan about the country and it’s people then don’t be surprised when people start to dislike you. So much trouble throughout the world between Muzzies and Jews, why have they brought their crap to our country?

Latte can you explain why Jews have been kicked out of so many countries?

Oh dear.

Meanwhile, EDL sites claim that Burns as Evans were “not high-ranking EDL”, and that they had been to only “a handful of demos”.

UPDATE: Burns has now posted a statement on the main NiceOnesUK website. He complains that Expose “has it in” for moderate Muslims who are against extremists, and adds that he himself is part-Jewish and that his fiancée is a Muslim. Further:

Seeing as our group of Muslims and non-Muslims are constantly bitched about by Expose, it was worth a shot to see if they lapped up the anti-Jew and anti-Muslim rhetoric from me. And yes they did. They are obviously aware of the Muslims who are involved with and who comment on NiceOnesUK,  just because Expose are cunts there’s no need for them to take everybody else for one.

This seems to be suggesting – weirdly – that he posted some “anti-Jew and anti-Muslim rhetoric” in order to see if Expose would believe he really meant it. The fact they did believe it proves that they are “cunts” (a word of which Flowers and his friends are inordinately fond, by the way). He goes on:

Due to me and my fiancee’s circumstances we will be taking a break from this whole scene, I’ve departed company with the guys and girls at NiceOnes and left them to it… People who know fuck all about others that they have never met in their life but are all to eager to spread misinformation about them and to slate them for their efforts in bringing sides together obviously haven’t got anything better to do, so it’s probably not about to stop.

To read one of Flowers’ cronies complaining of “misinformation” is rather too much to take.

(H/T to Islamophobia Watch for Facebook links)

5 Responses

  1. You can always contact me directly you know Mr.Bartholomew, either on facebook, e-mail arrybo@live.co.uk, or on me new blog http://pubrules.wordpress.com/about/

    I don’t bite and it’s better than getting titbits from facebook or websites second hand. Not sure what the interest in meself is all about, I ain’t no big player or nothing but you know where to come if you want any goss (on meself, not other ppl course).

    Arry/Harry/Fatty

  2. […] like to know where these “claims” have come from. The actual reason Evans dropped out, according to Facebook postings he authored, was because he never had no […]

  3. […] I blogged last month, the Quilliam Foundation recently announced a meeting at which two “former senior members of […]

  4. […] in London. Barnett’s name replaced that of the original organiser (one of two ex-EDL members who were due to speak to the Quilliam Foundation a couple of weeks later) when the event started getting press […]

  5. […] now, Richard Bartholomew had been following it, as the NiceOnesUK website is gone: UPDATE: Burns (me) has now posted a statement on the main […]

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