Alan Lake and a Couple of Friends

Searchlight has posted online a report from September about the English Defence League, focusing on Alan Lake:

EDL representatives have addressed anti-Islamic gatherings in Sweden and Germany, they are co-organising a demonstration in the Netherlands and will, this month [September, blogged by me here], attend a protest against a planned Islamic centre near Ground Zero in New York.

….The driving force behind these links are two men who have been guiding the EDL from the shadows, Alan Lake and his close friend whom we know only as “Kinana”.

The two men are believed to have met at Kensington Temple, in Notting Hill Gate, west London, which belongs to the Elim Pentecostal Church, a protestant evangelical church, elements of which have attracted controversy for their hardline views on Christianity, homosexuality and Islam.

It is believed that Lake has moved away from the church but Kinana has maintained his links.

Kensington Temple is a successful and large Charismatic church, pastored by Colin Dye, and it has featured on this blog a couple of times; I would prefer the term “conservative” to hardline, although Dye is has had links with Christian Right lobby groups such as CCTV, and the church has hosted the anti-Islam speaker Sam Solomon. I actually visited his church once, in early 2003; I recall he prophesied an easy victory in Iraq, followed by mass conversions to Christianity. However, the church is not particularly “Right Wing” in the way that some American churches obviously are – and of course, just because Lake and “Kinana” have attended that does not mean they have any personal assocation with the people running the church. Lake does, though, have sympathies with Christian fundamentalism – on 4Freedoms he posted a very strange chart linking the theory of evolution with totalitarianism.

“Kinana” was also mentioned in an Observer report in October, and in a Daily Mail report in January:

Alarmingly, the EDL is becoming more sophisticated and those orchestrating its activities at the top are far more astute than its foot soldiers. I meet two of the EDL’s key figures in a Covent Garden pub – a respectable looking man called Alan Lake, and a man who goes by the moniker ‘Kinana’.

Lake is a 45-year-old computer expert from Highgate, north London who runs a far-right website called Four Freedoms. This summer he contacted the EDL and offered to both fund and advise the movement.

His 4Freedoms page is here. On Facebook he calls himself “Kinana Nadir”, and he associates with an “English Defence League Pakistani Christian Division” – “Kinana” is a reference to the story of Kinana ibn al-Rabi’, a Jewish leader who according to a source for the life of Muhammad was tortured and killed on Muhammad’s orders for refusing to divulge the location of a treasury.

According to the cyber-thug Charlie Flowers, Lake is a personal friend of his, and Lake’s Facebook page includes Flowers’ music band among his “Likes”. Flowers has links of his own with the EDL, and held the megaphone for Guramit Singh when Singh made his notorious jibe about Muslims “burning in Hell” at a rally in support of Geert Wilders. However, Flowers claims that he is not himself EDL, that he disagrees with some of what the EDL stands for, and that this is also the case with some ex-EDL associates of his: in particular, Matthew Kaplan and Joel Titus. However, there are claims that Flowers’ cousin was at an EDL rally in Leicester (see comment here). Flowers justifies having all these links because he’s “libertarian situationist”, although when it comes to people he doesn’t like he plays a game of “Six Degrees of Asghar Bukhari” to uncover an conspiracy of Islamic extremism – this includes me, and the fact I once got information from MPACUK about fake postings being made to the MPAC discussion forum inspired him to create a Glenn Beckesque flow chart on the subject.

Flowers also recently posted on Facebook about a meeting with Lake :

just got back from a two-hour meeting in the John Lewis cafe between me, Abdullah al-Andalusi, Paul Williams, and Alan Lake. They talked about stuff like Descartes, secularism,atheism, Marx, and the human condition… and I went “duuuuh”.

Al-Andalusi directs the Muslim Debate Initiative, which has debated the EDL (and the BNP) in the past (Williams is also associated with it). Flowers sees himself as some sort of broker encouraging debate “between all sides”, and thus showing up elements of the left that don’t wish to debate; a poster to Indymedia using the name “CamdenAntifash” (in fact an anti-vivisection activist named Mandy Ford) claims that (square brackets in original):

Thanks to Charlie Flowers [who isn’t EDL] there is peace in London including in Camden between anti racists, ex EDL, Muslims, Jews, anarchists [and even possibly current EDL]… Thanks to Charlie Flowers what could have been a potentially volatile situation has been calmed down in Camden

Nice idea: except that Flowers is a phony. For him, political activism is about manipulation rather than debate, and that includes making bogus postings to Muslim websites, spreading lies, making threats of violence, and publishing home addresses to intimidate when it suits him – the full background is laid out here. The only question is whether his motivation is ultimately rooted in a political project or whether he’s simply having some sort of mid-life crisis.