English Defence League leader Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (“Tommy Robinson”) has appeared on Michael Coren’s Canadian Arena TV show, discussing the recent attack on him and how he perceives the local situation in Luton. Yaxley-Lennon’s talking points were essentially a condensed version of a “New Year Message” which was posted on-line a few days ago.
News that Yaxley-Lennon had been attacked appeared just before Christmas on the Gates of Vienna blog, sourced to the EDL:
He was out driving, when he saw a car similar to his wife’s, driven by a blond white girl. The other car flashed its lights so Tommy pulled over.
A group of Pakistani youths wearing knuckle dusters poured out. Tommy was knocked out pretty quickly, and they gave him a good kicking.
He looks pretty beaten up, but no bones were broken, and no eyes or teeth are missing. He had a brain scan this morning. We don’t know the results yet.
He has spoken to The Sun, who asked whether he had called the police. Tommy said there was no point, as a racial attack on a white guy was of no interest to them.
An update to the post has an extra detail:
Message from Tommy: “They were shouting ‘allahu akhbar’ and ‘Merry Christmas, Tommy'”.
In his New Year statement, Yaxley-Lennon adds that his assailants were shouting “this is for our mosque”; the attack took place just after the council announced it was reversing a decision to sell some local land to a Shia Muslim group to build a mosque (the decision had been opposed by a separate campaign led by Yaxley-Lennon’s uncle). He also tells this to Coren, although he revises a couple of other details:
Coren: There were rumours that they were chanting “allah akbar” and “Merry Christmas Tommy” as they were kicking you. Is that true?
Yaxley-Lennon: No, the last thing which I can categorically say I heard was “we’re going to kill you, you white pig”. That was the final thing I heard before I was knocked out.
Yaxley-Lennon eventually did make a complaint to the police, although he won’t give evidence under oath:
where I live… you just can’t go to court and point at people.
According to the North West Infidels, which split with the EDL some time ago, Yaxley-Lennon was in fact assaulted by some local football hooligans as part of an internal dispute; the NWI claims “this is proper info from a good lad”, although no actual evidence is forthcoming. Of course, there are doubtless young local Muslims who would be willing to harm Yaxley-Lennon given the opportunity, either in revenge for EDL insults against Islam or because the EDL is seen as hostile to their community. However, that willingness is more likely to be determined by social circumstance rather than religious imperative.
Yaxley-Lennon makes a number of other accusations in his statements: he claims that police and media are covering up Muslim intimidation, and in his New Year statement he names a particular Muslim police officer as being “bent”. He also claims that a spate of car firebombings incorrectly thought to have been the work of the EDL had in fact been perpetrated by Muslims who were now in jail.
Michael Coren is an enthusiastically sympathetic interviewer, and on his blog he describes Yaxley-Lennon as
an anti-fascist, a supporter of free speech, and someone who is prepared to expose the authentic nature of Islam.
Coren also gives regular air-time to Paul Weston of the British Freedom Party, which has recently entered into an “association” with the EDL; Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer have also been guests on his show.
Coren is a member of the more intellectual end of the Catholic right, and he is particularly known for his objections to homosexuality.
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