• First published in 2004 as Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion (BNOR).

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EDL at “Free Speech and Human Rights” Conference at European Parliament

The International Civil Liberties Alliance reports:

On 9 July 2012, at the European Parliament in Brussels, writers and representatives of human rights and civil liberties groups from eighteen countries held the first International Conference for Free Speech and Human Rights, sponsored by the International Civil Liberties Alliance.

…The highlights of the conference were the presentation and signing of the 2012 Brussels Declaration, a foundational document to defend freedom of speech, civil liberties and human rights, and the presentation of the Defender of Freedom Award by Canadian humourist Mark Steyn to Lars Hedegaard, founder of the Danish Free Press Society and the International Free Press Society.

The event has received some attention due to the involvement of the English Defence League and representatives from Vlaams Belang and the Dutch Freedom Party. EDL leader Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (“Tommy Robinson”) took the opportunity to attempt to call on Richard Howett, a Labour MEP who has previously described the EDL as “racist thugs”. Howett writes:

It’s not often when you find a constituent has knocked on your office door in the European Parliament, that you’re relieved you were out at a meeting – but I was when the caller was the so-called leader of the Far Right English Defence League (EDL), who sickeningly try to call Luton in my constituency their “home.”

The fact he called came in a bizarre twitter message saying “Outside Richard Howitt’s office! Knock Knock,” after I had exposed a clandestine meeting Tommy Robinson was taking part in with neo-fascist MEPs.

This morning I found a copy of the book the meeting was discussing – a publication which calls all mosques “houses of war” –  left in my personal mailbox, together with a handwritten note: “You spineless coward, Love Tommy!”

The event was billed as a “relaunch” of the ICLA, and the participants appear to overlap with the crowd that took part in a “counterjihad leadership summit” in London in September.

The ICLA website has a list of speakers, including a couple of individuals I’ve noted previously: Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, a “friend of the EDL” who was inducted into a “chivalric order” by Gen “Jerry” Boykin back in October; and Magdi Allam, an Italian ex-Muslim who was baptised by the Pope in 2008.  I noted Lars Hedegaard’s International Free Press Society here. Other participants included Gavin Boby, although billed for his “Law and Freedom Initiative” rather under the better-known “Mosquebusters” name. Yaxley-Lennon is not himself listed on the site, although he apparently did speak; according to a certain “Kassandra”, writing on a website called New Europe:

looking sweaty and nervous, [he] claimed that Luton was the centre of a plot by the Islamic world to bring Britain under their authority.

The ICLA’s “Brussels Declaration” focuses on the “Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam”, which was adopted by the Organization of the Islamic Conference in 1990. The Cairo Declaration stresses shariah as the basis for human rights, in ways that limit aspects of the UDHR; the ICLA apparently see this document as the key to understanding how Islam, through the OIC, plans to “enforce sharia in the world”. The signers of the ICLA’s “Brussels Declaration” therefore “solemnly require of their governments and civil society” not to involve themselves with any activities involving “known proponents of the Cairo Declaration or societal sharia enforcement” (aside from discussions on “transition of their codification and implementation of human rights to the UNDHR definitions”). Presumably those organisations which fail to meet this “solemn requirement” will get a knock at the door from “Tommy”.