Andrew Brown Notes Robert Spencer’s UK Supporters

At the Guardian, Andrew Brown takes a look at some Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller’s European links, noting the views of Anders Gravers of Stop Islamisation of Europe, Geller’s support for the English Defence League, and Spencer’s association with Douglas Murray. Last year’s dinner fiasco is raised:

Spencer was invited to supper by Murray of the Centre for Social Cohesion when he visited England last autumn, only for the evening to break up before it had even started when a bunch of EDL skinheads turned up at the restaurant, invited along by a supporter of Spencer who was making a video about him and had been interviewing them, too. The difference between the EDL and the various “Stop Islamisation of [your country here]” on the one hand, and the Centre for Social Cohesion on the other, while obvious to Murray, does not seem to have occurred to the American videomaker.

This was an incident I blogged on at the time. (The videomaker was Martin Mawyer, an anti-gay Christian fundamentalist. Spencer and Geller maintained that Mawyer’s views on homosexuality were his own affair, although they changed their minds and acted shocked when his views reached Dutch media and embarrassed Geert Wilders.)


Spencer was the subject of a fulsome interview in the Catholic Herald in 2007, which was, in turn, plugged by Damian Thompson in the Daily Telegraph; Thompson was then the Herald’s editor-in-chief, and now is a leader writer on the Telegraph. “Major bookstores, gutlessly, refuse to stock Spencer’s work,” wrote Thompson then, “so here is a link to his main titles…

Thompson and I quarrelled, terminally, when I criticised him for reprinting without checking another Spencer-linked story about a mob of Muslims closing down a hospital in Sydney, which turned out to originate from the imagination of a neo-fascist group there. He hasn’t spoken to me since. Neither, though, has he used anything from Spencer on his blog. It looks as if some of the respectable English right has learned its lesson, but in America, Spencer and Geller are still taken seriously.

No response from Thompson so far.