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Ex-EDL leader signals support for UKIP

Ex-EDL leader signals support for UKIP

Categories: Latest News

Thursday December 18 2014

The Huffington Post picks up on an interview in Newsweek magazine with the ex-founder of the English Defence League, Stephen Lennon, in which he declares his support for UKIP.

Lennon told Newsweek of his reasons for supporting UKIP stating, “I’m not at liberty to go into details but all I know is that 100% Ukip fully understand the threat of Islamic ideology.”

He added, “I left the EDL and went and spoke to moderate Muslims but I really don’t believe this issue will be solved, it’s too big. I have done a lot of searching and there’s no answer. It terrifies me. Things are just getting worse.”

“I don’t really even have a problem with immigration, as I said, I’m the son of immigrants, but it’s this Islamic ideology that everyone else is failing to address.”

Lennon’s choice of words are certainly interesting given that, during his leadership of the EDL, the far right movement claimed to be targeting ‘radical Islamists’ but didn’t seem to make much of a distinction between it and ordinary Muslims. At an EDL rally in Tower Hamlets in September 2011, Lennon addressed his supporters and said, “…every single Muslim watching this video on YouTube, on 7/7 you got away with killing and maiming British citizens…the Islamic community will feel the full force of the EDL if we see any of our citizens killed, maimed or hurt on British soil ever again.”

It would seem that nothing much has changed in his inability to distinguish between extremists and ordinary Muslims with his references in the Newsweek interview to “Islamic” ideology.

His so-called ‘conversion’ last year has already been held up against prejudicial remarks he has continued to make about Muslims. Islamophobia Watch has noted the various slips which reveal the ‘conversion’ to be nothing of the sort. For example, he retweeted the message below following the cancellation of a school tour in which he was due to speak about his decision to quit the EDL:

“aTRobinsonNewEra branded a thug for standing up to these Islamic brainwashed fucking orrible Muslims cos everyone is scared to upset them”.

As for UKIP, though the party’s constitution bars members from having previously been involved with far right organisations like the BNP, EDL or Britain First, there have been a number of embarrassing incidents recently, from the UKIP MEP’s chief of staff, Arthur Thackeray, who posted his support for the EDL/SDL on Facebook, to the party member, Malcolm Jackson, who was stripped of his membership for attending an anti-mosque rally in Rochester organised by Britain First, not forgetting the erroneous depiction of Westminster Cathedral as a mosque in a tweet criticising the BBC’s choice of location for an outside broadcasting (#thingsthatarenotamosque), that have raised serious concerns about the party’s anti-racism and anti-Islamophobia credentials.

Lennon’s endorsement of the party will do little to dispel those concerns.


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