Tag Archives: Islamophobia

Another racist moron in court for terrorism offences

Tomas Mair, the fascist terrorist who murdered Jo Cox MP in June this year has – to nobody’s surprise – been found guilty and jailed for life.

Mair is unusual amongst wannabe fascist terrorists in that he actually managed to kill somebody before he got caught. Nevertheless, as we’ve pointed out before, there have been no shortage of attempts over the last few years.

Just last week, Roger Smith, 46, of Summerwood Lane, Clifton, Nottingham went on trial at Nottingham Crown Court facing various charges under the Explosive Substances Act and Terrorism Act.

According to the Nottingham Post, Smith “had gunpowder, crossbows, knives and chemicals at his home because he wanted to defend the country from an attack from ISIS”.

We don’t know if Smith was a full-blown fascist, but like others on the far-right, Smith claims to believe that ISIS is an existential threat to our very society:

Prosecutor Michelle Heely told the jury: “He was asked about his views on Muslims and ISIS. He said that ISIS was a threat to the entire Western civilisation, and that if there was another Lee Rigby-style attack, he would be the sort of person who would help to stop it.

“He has it in his mind that he is going to defend the country from an attack by ISIS, and he has gathered his weapons, got his patriotic flags ready, and made explosives at home in order to do that.”

It’s hard to imagine many people would have slept better had we known Smith was looking out for us. Most likely, many people would have feared – with good reason – that he intended to use his new toys not for defence, but for attack.

Smith also described Islam as a “religion of terror”, a fairly standard Islamophobic canard.

Predictably the Post doesn’t use the words fascist, terrorist or even racist anywhere in it’s coverage, instead describing him as a “self-proclaimed survivalist”.

The BBC meanwhile, went with the headline “Accused ‘not an Islamophobic madman’,” because who hasn’t stockpiled weapons for the coming apocalypse?

Elsewhere in the media, the story has been largely ignored.

Would a brown-skinned person in the same situation be treated with the same kid gloves? Clearly not. Despite the conviction of Thomas Mair it’s clear that the clear and present threat of fascist terrorism continues to be of no interest to the mainstream media.

Smith – of course – denies the charges.

“Burn the mosque” chant East Anglian fascists

On Saturday the East Anglian Patriots bussed a couple of hundred fascists into Lincoln for a demo that threatened violence against Muslims and sought to deny freedom of workship in the city. An anti-fascist counter demonstration was also held. The fascists, led by a Lincoln Infidels banner, chanted “Burn the mosque” and “Allah is a paedo”. The Infidels are an openly Nazi splinter from the EDL.


They also listened to speeches from people including “Wolfie” Smith, a man whose speciality seems to be inciting racial violence. He recently posted “DEATH TO ALL MUZZIES KILL THEM ALL” and “BURN EVERY MOSQUE IN THE COUNTRY … BURN THEM ALL WITH THE MUZRAT SCUM IN THEM”. He has also referred to Muslims as “SAND NIGGER[s]”. The local organiser was an EDL supporter called Alex Banos who has previously said that if the mosque is built it will be “coming down”.


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The march was organised by a group of former EDL members calling themselves the East Anglian Patriots. The EAP and their supporters clearly share Wolfie’s views. On hearing the news about the murder of Lee Rigby the EAP posted about Muslims that “THEY’VE KILLED ONE OF OUR BOYS IN WOOLWICH … KICK THE BASTARDS OUT NOW!” When reporting that Gillingham mosque had been attacked in revenge their followers posted “Throw boiling tar over them set fire to them” to which EAP responded “Happy days!”. “Great news keep on lads” posted another fan, “yes this is a start in the right direction” and “I would be out whipping some muzzie ass all over town tonight”. Other responses on the page included this from Wendy Wooley: “Kill the fucking lot off them if you want just give me a gun and I will do it point blank straight in the head”. Lj High: “march on the muslim areas and kill them all…..”

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These are people who support arson, murder and genocide as a response to the Lee Rigby murder. Just like how the men who killed Rigby saw all British soldiers as the enemy, these “patriots” see all Muslims as the enemy and would be happy to see them ethnically cleansed.

The EAP were pleased with the turnout in Lincoln and have said they will be back. They are also organising a demonstration against the Skegness halal slaughterhouse on Sat 6th July.

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We cannot sit back and let these fascists gain support and win the argument simply by shouting the loudest. There has been a 10-fold increase in attacks against Muslims since the Woolwich murder, including numerous arson attacks against mosques. The threats being made by groups like the EDL and the EAP are not idle talk – these people mean to act on them.

We need a well-organised anti-fascist response to forthcoming demos by working in the local communities and linking up with wider anti-fascist networks for support to prevent these people getting a platform for their sick views and incitement to violence.

Far right threaten Muslim conference

Thanks to the anti-fascist who posted a heads up about a possible EDL demo on Indymedia:

Nottingham EDL are trying to shut down a Family Retreat conference at the University of Nottingham for the sole reason that it is being held by Muslims. Calling the organisers “Jihadis” and the event a “hate speech conference” they are encouraging supporters to contact the East Midlands Conference Centre to get the event cancelled and are threatening to hold a demonstration if it goes ahead. In fact, the family event is a very apolitical one, focused mainly on doctrinal issues within Islam. But then the speakers do have beards…

It seems that the EDL only have issues with the event because it is organised by and for Muslims. Of course, if a Muslim group were to protest and try to shut down a Christian event, the EDL would be baying for blood. Apparently, it’s alright when it’s the other way round though. It seems they are only in favour of their own freedom of speech but want to silence others.

The conference is scheduled to take place from Fri 29 March – Mon 01 April at the East Midlands Conference Centre on Nottingham University’s main campus.

East Midlands Anti-fascists have done a bit more digging and found that this is part of a larger campaign by Casuals United who are inviting not just the EDL but all the explicitly fascist groups, like the NWI and EVF, to harass universities into cancelling events.

East Midlands top dog Tony Curtis is claiming to be organising a demo against the family event sometime over Easter weekend, saying that one of the speakers condones the rape of children and the killing of gays. As usual, he doesn’t provide any evidence and given he was also claiming that calling people ‘pakis’ is not racist recently, we aren’t very convinced by his claims.

Casuals United are claiming that:

Main speakers are hate preachers who call f0r female genital mutilation, gays and non Muslims to be killed and who praise terror attacks.

They also say that “This is the same mob below that we stopped at Reading Uni” referring to a talk that was due to be given by Abu Usamah at-Thahabi that was stopped by a student anti-extremist  group (not the far right). However, at-Thahabi is not scheduled to speak at the Nottingham event so it’s unclear what the link is.

If the University of Nottingham event really is going to feature men who promote misogynist and homophobic actions then it should be shut down, by the wider community not a bunch of racist fascists. However, so far the far right’s case for being there looks decidedly shaky.

Pig’s head man had links to EDL

Liam Ferrar has admitted religiously aggravated harassment of the Muslim community after he left a pig’s head at the door of a community centre on Christmas Day.  Much was made of his drunkenness in court, although the act seems to have been premeditated – he acquired the pig’s head during the summer and kept it in his freezer and the As Salaam group’s imam, Mohammed Lockhat had received “malicious communications in relation to pig’s heads and blood” before the head was left.

Ferrar is clearly none too bright. He played a police liaison role during the Thurnby Lodge protests so was well known by police. He carried out the act in full view of CCTV and was easy to identify by officers.

Ferrar was described as a member of the Forgotten Estates group, a group led by EDL activist Chris Hopewell. As if to further underline the central role the EDL have played in the protest movement, well known EDL drunkard James Elliott has also been arrested on charges relating to unauthorised protests against As Salaam this week. Members of the Muslim group have claimed that protestors have been intimidating and used racist language against them.

Unfortunately, Forgotten Estates have been rewarded for their threatening behaviour. Earlier this month, Leicester Mayor Peter Soulsby agreed  to give Forgotten Estates the lease on the disused Scout hut that had been promised to As Salaam without paying rent for 2 and a half years. The idea that an EDL-run organisation will provide a centre that welcomes the whole community is laughable.

Pig head attack on Thurnby Lodge Muslims

A pig’s head was left at the doors to a community centre where Muslims pray on Boxing Day. The Thurnby Lodge Community Centre in Leicester is currently used by the As Salaam group whose controversial plans to takeover a disused Scout Hut in the area met with protests this summer. Muslims attending the regular prayer sessions have said they have been intimidated by the protestors, although the groups involved have claimed that their motives are not racist.

A Muslim who attends the Wednesday prayers at the centre said “Muslims are prohibited from eating pigs and whoever did this obviously knew that and were setting out to be offensive and make fun of something very serious to us.”

The latest news is that three people have been arrested in connection with the incident – a 40-year old woman and two men aged 37 and 46. It will be interesting to see whether there are any familiar faces.

We recently reported on how the main group protesting As Salaam, Forgotten Estates, was headed by a Leicester EDL activist, Chris Hopewell and that the EDL’s local organiser, Craig Elliot had been spotted at demonstrations. The EDL are not the only far right group who tried to exploit tensions between different communities over the affair – Nick Griffin attended protests along with the local BNP and hapless liars, Leicester Casuals United also stuck their oar in.

Infantile “hate crimes” like this are the kind of thing that the far right specialise in – just witness Nottingham EDL’s very similar attack on the site of a mosque in West Bridgford and EDL member Kevin Smith’s efforts in Dudley. However, it now seems as though new generations are apeing the efforts of these racist elders. Recently a 13-year old boy was arrested in connection with a string of racist attacks in Bingham, including putting a ham-wrapped burning cross on the doorstep of a Muslim family.

Academics studying fascism in the UK have suggested that the implosion of the organised political fronts for racism and anti-Muslim prejudice, the BNP and the EDL, is resulting in a rise of “lone-wolf” far right attacks. Without any official demos to go to, racists are acting autonomously to intimidate the people they hate. Indeed, Faith Matters have recorded 496 self-reported Islamophobic incidents in the past nine months of which 1 in 10 was against a mosque. It seems that, as their organisations collapse, racists are going back to taking matters into their own hands.

Racist attacks in Lincoln and Bingham

Earlier this month, a gang of drunken racists who attacked a student in Lincoln were found guilty of racially aggravated assault and harassment and jailed. The group shouted racist abuse at University of Lincoln student, Nadir Ali, before punching and kicking him. An Irish shopper who tried to intervene also received racist abuse.

Meanwhile, last Friday in Bingham a Muslim family had a cross wrapped in ham and set on fire left on their doorstep in a clearly religiously-motivated act of harassment. This is exactly the kid of spiteful childish act that the local EDL specialise in. After all, it’s not long ago that Nottingham EDL activists Chris Payne, Nicky Long, Wayne Havercroft and Robert Parnham left a pig’s head on a stick at the site of a mosque in Nottingham.

Chris Payne (2nd from left) and friends: Local specialists in pork-based hate crime

Anti-Muslim attacks are an increasingly prevalent “hate crime” and it is groups like the EDL and BNP who are inciting them and their supporters who are carrying them out.

Skegness slaughterhouse: Not a racist campaign?

We’ve already said quite a bit about the BNP and NF involvement in the anti-halal slaughterhouse campaign. But what about the supposedly mainstream page set up by Tess Turner? The admin of Say No to Halal slaughter in Skegness has said she won’t be demonstrating because she doesn’t “want to be part of something as extreme as the National Front.” However, a quick look at her Facebook page suggests that she does hold islamophobic and racist views.

A recent post complains about how “these barbaric people are all set to take over the world”.  “Our government are letting this happen to our Country,I fear for my children and my grandchildren” she continues. This looks like another reheated counter-jihad conspiracy theory about Muslim takeover of the world, in the mould of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Muslims are a small and widely discriminated against minority in this country and have a tiny influence in rural Lincolnshire. The idea that they are taking over is pure nonsense.

I notice that all of the page’s anger is directed at halal and Muslims rather than kosher and Jews, perhaps because Muslims seem like an easier target and fewer people are willing to defend them.

Further evidence that the page is motivated by xenophobia rather than a principled concern for animal welfare can be found in the fact that, like the BNP and NF, the campaign only focuses on halal slaughter and does not generalise at all to factory farming and cruel practices more widely. In the early days, a number of animal rights activists and vegans joined the group but they were kicked out for “having a go” at the meat eaters who dominate the group.

Turner justified this with some rather tortured logic. “i could quite easily become vegetarian it wouldn’t bother me”, which begs the question of why she doesn’t if she cares about animal cruelty so much? What is her agenda? “but” she continues ,”if a million people turned veggie tomorrow, no less animals would be killed”. That’s just rubbish. In 2011 the average meat eater ate 26.1 animals. If 1m of those went veggie 26.1m fewer animals would have to be killed each year. That sounds like quite a big deal for the level of animal suffering in farming if you ask me.

“If an animal is going to be bred to feed us, the least we can do is give it a good life … and a humane and pain free death” Turner concludes. That’s all well and good in principle but begs the question of why the campaign doesn’t tackle our “indigenous” factory farming practices and production line slaughterhousing? Is it because, in the logic of the National Front, these practices aren’t “alien”? Because they involve British cruelty for British animals? Until these questions can be answered, the “mainstream” Skegness campaign looks rather suspect.

You can take the man out of the BNP, but you can’t take the BNP out of the man

Leicestershire County Councillor Graham Partner who was formerly a member of the BNP, but quit to stand as an independent, is being investigated for distributing a leaflet criticising Muslims.

The leaflet claimed “narrative of victimhood comes easily to followers of Islam” and accused “Muslim hard-liners” of being “by far the greatest persecutors of other faiths.” Two county councillors and two parish councillors lodged a complaint, and the county council’s standards board is now investigating.

Partner claims the complaints are “politically motivated” and insists that the piece was actually written by Daily Express columnist Leo McKinstry. If true, it would be telling that nobody could tell the difference between the ramblings of a fascist and the output from a “mainstream” newspaper.

Anybody who has had the misfortune of witnessing any of the online exchanges between local BNPers and EDL members will realise that this is relatively tame. This isn’t to suggest it’s any good. Deliberately blurring the distinction between Islamic extremists and Islam as a whole is a recurring theme in the statements of far-right groups across Europe. By positing a homogeneous mass of reactionary (homophobic, sexist, terrorist) Muslims as a threat, the far-right can then present itself as “progressive” while pushing through a regressive agenda.

It goes without saying that the very real Muslim “hard-liners” that Partner claims to be concerned about will only be strengthened if Muslims as a whole perceive themselves to be a target.