EDL Uses Express and Mail to Highlight Christian Complaints at SION Conference

11 September saw yet another anti-Islam conference under the auspices of Pamela Geller’s “Stop Islamization of Nations” branding. Among the usual speakers was Kevin Carroll, vice-chair of the English Defence League and British Freedom. Carroll took the opportunity to brandish headlines from the Daily Express and Daily Mail that focus on perceived slights against Christianity in the UK:

Geller writes:

Mr. Carroll dramatically held up some British newspapers with headlines that are testimony to the degree of Muslim influence the British are living under today and the loss of their individual freedoms. These brave gents refuse to leave their homes in spite of the fact that their country is now in the second stage of Islamic transformation.

The first story, entitled “No Right to Wear a Cross at Work”, can be seen here. It concerns court cases brought by Christians who believe that their wish to wear a cross at work should enjoy the same protection as that given to symbols of minority religions. The UK government, following the London Appeal Court judgement of Eweida v British Airways plc [2010] EWCA Civ 80, takes the view that the wish to wear the cross is not a “requirement” of the Christian faith, and so should not be seen as an automatic right; however, the text of the Express article mischievously gives the impression that the government wishes to actively bring in a blanket “workplace ban”. The Appeal Court’s ruling may be wrong, but how is that the fault of Muslims? If anything, the efforts of immigrant religious minorities to achieve accommodation (such as those of Sikh bus drivers and conductors in 1969) have opened the way for (and have perhaps even inspired) Christian activism on the issue of wearing the cross. I discussed the background more broadly here.

The second piece, “Speak Up for Christianity PM Tells Archbishop”, can be seen here. However, as Liberal Burblings notes,  the text of Cameron’s speech does not support the Mail‘s interpretation of it. Again, though, how this relates to Islam is obscure [UPDATE: Although there is, of course, some hostility towards Rowan Williams in general for his views expressed in 2008 on shariah arbitration].

 UPDATE: A video of Carroll’s speech has now been posted on-line. Carroll (from 9 mins 33 secs onwards) claims that the Archbishop wants shariah to run “parallel” to British law (which is not in fact Williams’ view), and he made the claim that Williams was a “former member of the Socialist Workers’ Party”; this is not actually true, and is probably a garbled recollection of a Telegraph report (which I discussed here) about Williams’ involvement with the Jubilee Group in the 1980s.

As regards the issue of the right to display the cross, Carroll claims that the government wants to bring in a ban for the benefit of Muslims who may be offended by the sight of a crucifix, and that the ban will be enforced by the police. Pointing to his own lapel cross (which also incorporates a poppy), he affirmed that he would take “a bullet in my head” rather than remove it.

16 Responses

  1. how this relates to Islam is obscure.

    I suspect you’re being a tad generous there!

    This is the EDL co-opting Christianity for their ends just as the BNP did.

    And we all know it did not play well for the BNP in the end.

  2. In the 19th Century, British politics were about religion. In the last century, they were about class. In this, they are about race. Be in no doubt the likes of Carroll would not do these things if the majority of Muslims in this country had white skins.

    • Mike,

      You’re way off the mark about skin colour with EDL. If you think Kev Carroll would rather stand with a million white Muslims than a million brown/black Christians you haven’t been paying attention.

  3. Race definitely is a factor in the EDL. Many of their supporters have proven this by their constant use of racial slurs and racist attitudes.

    They may claim that they aren’t racist but the majority of their supporters are. They’re a fringe group comprised of the xenophobic, the misinformed and the very naive.

    Their support has been declining ever since they began and is based on false statistics and outright lies.

  4. FFS! Isn’t it about time we of the “Christian left”grew a set and told these retards exactly what is wrong with every tenet of their poisonous philosophy?

  5. […] Comments TheRealThunderchild on EDL Uses Express and Mail to Highlight Christian Complaints at SION ConferenceStylo on EDL Uses Express and Mail to Highlight Christian Complaints at SION Conference» EDL […]

  6. […] with this in mind that I note with interest Richard Bartholomew’s recent blog post highlighting Kevin Carroll’s – vice-chair of the English Defence League and British […]

  7. Before we start getting up on our moral high horses….remember EDL members are human beings too you know. And they are against Islamisation of the West. So am I….but I believe Islamisation is what we deserve for our abandonment of Christ. I doubt if many EDL members will agree with that though.

    Still, they are our brothers and sisters…and it is our job to gently guide them back to the Faith. It is up to them whether they respond or not. It is not our job to throw them to the wolves. Christ calls to them too.

    • If you are genuine, it may be a nice move, but ultimately do you think that religion will change their perspectives? After the Crusades, the attempts by Islamic armies to invade Europe (from 711 in Spain onwards) and the attempts by the Catholic church to set up its own fiefdoms in the Medieval Middle East, there is a problem.

      It would be all too easy for a Christian opponent of “Islam”, who is already not scared to use violence to get results, to adopt a pseudo-Crusader/Templar outlook, a bit like the weird Holy War ideology of Paul Ray, or the person he arrogantly claims to have influenced, Anders Behring Breivik.

      • Many already do adopt the pseudo-Crusader emblems etc….but not the Faith nor the doctrine. This is because of the ‘romance’ of Crusading….while the arrogance of the human spirit refuses to bend the knee to Christ. And of course to adopt the doctrine would mean making sacrfices and acting morally… which today’s secular culture decries. Yet ONLY the Faith will save them from eventual Islamic takeover.

        As always it is our duty to call ALL to Christ….as He is their God and Saviour too.

  8. […] EDL Uses Express and Mail to Highlight Christian Complaints at SION Conference (barthsnotes.com) […]

  9. […] EDL Uses Express and Mail to Highlight Christian Complaints at SION Conference (barthsnotes.com) […]

  10. […] “SION” conference (I discussed English Defence League involvement with this event here). The piece, by Aaron Labaree and published by Guernica, ascribes immoderate words to one of the […]

  11. […] website. Other speakers included David Yerushalmi, who has represented Geller in various lawsuits. Kevin Carroll himself repeatedly made false claims about the current situation in the United Kingdom and continued his […]

  12. […] an anti-Islam conference organised by Geller in New York on 11 September; Carroll memorably waved around British tabloid newspapers bearing headlines about Christianity in the UK. Robinson’s […]

  13. […] League, had travelled to New York with his deputy and cousin Kevin Carroll to take part in an anti-Islam conference organised by Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, and their reaction to the news is typically […]

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