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Guess Who’s Not Coming to Dinner? The English Defence League

Little Green Footballs picked up on my recent blog entry about the Christian Action Network’s recent visit to the UK with Robert Spencer, during which the CAN met up with the English Defence League:

And look who’s hanging out with the English Defense League now, on a tour of Britain with wacko fundamentalist nutbag Martin Mawyer and his “Christian Action Network” — none other than Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch.

Robert Spencer responds:

Charles Johnson is lying — again. During my recent trip to the U.K., I did not “hang out” with members of the English Defense League. I did not meet with them, then or at any other time. What’s more, the link Johnson provides [that’s me! -RB] to establish this “hanging out” doesn’t even say I did meet with them.

What happened was that during August CAN director Martin Mawyer conducted an interview with some balaclava-wearing EDL leaders somewhere outside London, who were then were invited by CAN’s Jason Campbell to a meal at a restaurant in London the next night, at which Spencer would be dining with Douglas Murray, Adrian Morgan, and some other British conservative “anti-Jihadi” types. The original plan was for dinner at a restaurant called the George, but Spencer writes in another blog entry that due to the nature of the discussion they were asked to leave by the management (his entry includes the venue’s phone number, so that his minions can cause some vengeful annoyance).

Spencer’s rebuttal to Johnson highlights a comment by Morgan suggesting that the EDL showed up as the main party was leaving, and that the EDL did not come on to wherever the group adjourned:

Robert is right. He did not meet with the EDL members – their arrival at the George coincided with the exodus of those who had been there earlier.

The EDL members did not attend the meal and left the vicinity of Crossharbour early and, like myself, they did not attend the dinner.

…The EDL had been invited to the George pub (unbeknownst to Robert Spencer and other invitees) because Martin Mawyer had – the day before Robert Spencer arrived in Britain – been interviewing these individuals for a documentary.

Morgan also wrote earlier that “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”, which together with the above is strongly suggestive that there was a deliberable wish by some who were there to avoid association with the EDL.

Morgan also makes some general observations:

This “guilt by association” tactic, made by people who were not at the event, is insidious. I – on the other hand – 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. Does my talking to them make me a member of their group, in league with “forces of Evil”?

…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.

…The British blog that Johnson quotes attacks the “association” of Martin Mawyer and the EDL…If interviewing people is a crime, (it is a crime for those on the left, it seems) then journalism itself might as well be outlawed.

Of course, I never suggested it is a “crime” to “interview people”, but the cosy manner of the interview combined with Mawyer’s well-known views on Islam and the invitation to dinner suggest a commonality of interest that is worth taking note of; I admit I couldn’t resist adding a critical coda of my own, but other people are welcome to make their own judgements. Further, “forces of Evil” is not the kind of rhetoric I use.

UPDATE: 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.

14 Responses

  1. The original plan was for dinner at a restaurant called the George, but Spencer writes in another blog entry that due to the nature of the discussion they were asked to leave by the management (his entry includes the venue’s phone number, so that his minions can cause some vengeful annoyance).

    You really are quite unable to extract the salient points of an issure, aren’t you?

    One encounters more and more cases of self-censorship which is a fundamental danger to any democracy seeings it makes free and open debate impossible. Spencer’s banning from the resto by management attests to the degree of fear now prevalent in England vis à vis Islam.

    Instead of informing us about Spencer revealing the phone number of the restaurant ( an entirely appropriate thing to do), you ought to be asking yourself how such an outrageous gesture of censorship could have ever come about.

    Imagine being banned from a restaurant simply because the management doesn’t like the topic of your conversation!?

    The fear of Islam in Britian is palpable and there you are, all Lilly Thompson, baying; “one ringy-dingy, two ringy-dingy”…as though such details it were of any importance.

  2. Good. Just like any groups discussing how to blame all blacks or Jews for everything would be banned as well.

  3. The person who comes here as “June” is JW’s “Hugh”.

  4. Good. Just like any groups discussing how to blame all blacks or Jews for everything would be banned as well.

    Since when are D. Murray and R. Spencer blaming all Muslims for everything? What they criticise are certain tenets of Islam that can and have been used by radical Muslims to commit acts of mass murder. Both are merely trying to draw attention to the fact that some passages in Islam’s core texts can be interpreted in such a way as to justify such acts.

    Just curious; do you ever fly transatlantic…

    What’s important to retain here is that censorship, borne of blind fear of radical Islam, has driven the managers of this restaurant to go to the extreme of banning people from even having a conversation about it, thereby proving the point that both Spencer and Murray are making.

    A note about LGF: I used to post there but stopped about 4 or 5 years ago. I was enraged by those “muzzies-seethe-‘n-whine-Mecca-delenda-est” postings and reacted by commenting that Muslims were, first and foremost, human beings.

    The comment was deleted.

    You post a comment denouncing those who’d nuke Saudi Arabia by pointing out that Muslims, Saudis included, are actually human beings, and LGF reacts by deleting you comment

    Charles Johnson is a stinky old hippy; just as shallow and as superficial as they come. For years he posted derogatory and defamatory screeds denouncing all Muslims without ever bothering to make a disctinction between the radicals and the moderates, and now we embrace him!

    As I said, shallow and superficial.

    • “The person who comes here as “June” is JW’s “Hugh”.”

      My my, that is interesting. It would certainly explain a lot.

      “Since when are D. Murray and R. Spencer blaming all Muslims for everything? What they criticise are certain tenets of Islam that can and have been used by radical Muslims to commit acts of mass murder. Both are merely trying to draw attention to the fact that some passages in Islam’s core texts can be interpreted in such a way as to justify such acts.”

      Like this for example. Jihad Watch is nothing more than the 1000s of other websites we have on the net. The difference? This one focuses on Muslims. Others focus amongst other things on “Black people are criminal scum” “Jews trying to take over the world” “White people are evil” “Obama is the anti-christ” etc etc.

      Jihad Watch, and Spencer and co’s articles are no different than any race bait articles by the KKK or the BNP or any anti-semitism inciting articles we can find online. They work under the guise that they are merely criticising certain tenets of Islam, all the time knowing full well, through the comments section, that the people reading those articles blame all Muslim for everything. When JW runs an article blaming Musli… I mean, accusing certain Muslims and Islam of allowing rape or murder and then linking that article to every rape or murder committed by a Muslim, to run articles trying to convince its readers that Muslims will always lie to you, that the prophet was a necrophiliac amongst others… the intended reaction is no different than an article run by the KKK showing us statistics of how black people commit moreviolent crimes, or how jails are filled with black criminals. The intention is to blame the whole community or group for those crimes. And that is exactly what JW does. Add to taht the blatant lies and twisting of the news (Mass paedo wedding in Gaza?) and you have more similarities. Ofcourse, if you really are Hugh from JW, you wont believe a word I say, since people who defend xenophobes and racists like Spencer and JW usually hear what they want to hear and dont listen or take in any criticism.

      Maybe thats why you will fail to see that because of JW’s and Spencers articles on “creeping Islamification” of England, you are blaming a restaurant kicking out these hate mongers on a “fear of Islam” rather than a hatred of hate mongers and liars. It doesnt even cross your mind that the restaurant does not want idiots like Spencer there not out of fear, but out pure dislike.

      But hey, youll believe Spencer rather than me. After all he appears almost on every US channel when they need an “expert” on Islam. Strange isnt it, that when they need an expert on Islam, 99% of the time its a non-Muslim known for his anti-Islamic views, but when they need an expert on Christianity or Judaism, its always a learned and respect Priest/Pastor/Reverend or Rabbi…

      “Just curious; do you ever fly transatlantic…”

      I havent had any need to fly transatlantic. Although just recently my uncle, aunt and cousins flew back to Canada from London. And then theres my Grandma who will be flying to the US and Canada in a few months. And ofcourse theres my mother, brother and sisters who flew to Canada 4-5 times in the past 3 years. Oh, and my other uncle is a pilot and his family gets to fly around a lot as well. So, no, I dont fly transatlantic that much, but other people I know do.

  5. […] reminds me, guess who has also been very cosy with each other? Richard reports: What happened was that during August Christian Action Network (CAN) director Martin Mawyer […]

  6. […] Comments More on the English Defence League’s friends and supporters  on Guess Who’s Not Coming to Dinner? The English Defence LeagueJulie Kennedy on Protests Lead to Unrest in BirminghamJulie Kennedy on Protests Lead to Unrest […]

  7. […] Posts Guess Who's Not Coming to Dinner? The English Defence LeagueEnglish Defence League Interviewed by Veteran US Anti-Gay BigotMeet the English Defence League […]

  8. […] Richard Bartholomew has more on these weird Americans and the EDL. […]

  9. Jihad Watch, and Spencer and co’s articles are no different than any race bait articles by the KKK or the BNP or any anti-semitism inciting articles we can find online

    Boy! It’s that 70’s show!

    If only…if only radical Islam was as easy to contain as the KKK.

    If only.

    So your family flies transatlantic?

    I hear the water’s warm this time of year.

  10. The EDL are a single issue group, fighting against militant Islam. We invite all people regardless of race, sex or sexuality to join us in this fight. If you want to know more, come to our forum at http://s1.zetaboards.com/EDL_The_Forum/index/ you will be most welcome.
    The EDL also have an informative media site which I recommend you visit first. http://www.edlmedia.com/
    Don’t believe the propaganda that the leftist media and the UAF spew out about the EDL and don’t believe the EDL either. Work it out for your selves, talk to both sides, and various other sources. That’s what I and many of the new EDL supporters have done, and is the reason why EDL support is rising fast.
    Hope to see you at the forum.

  11. […] these criteria, the most prominent is Douglas Murray, a neo-conservative author who has already distanced himself from the […]

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