Matthew Feeney at Reason.com:
Fox News presenter Brian Kilmeade recently interviewed Tommy Robinson (real name Stephen Lennon) of the English Defence League (EDL), saying that Robinson is doing “great work,” adding, “Tommy, we got your back and we’ll definitely look to keep in touch, it’s great what you’re doing.”
Robinson and the EDL have been getting increased coverage recently after their demonstrations following the murder of a British soldier last month.
The EDL is a group that describes itself as “…an inclusive movement dedicated to peacefully protesting against Islamic extremism.”
While peacefully combating Islamic extremism is a laudable goal, the EDL and its leadership have a history of violence as well as the predictable ignorant xenophobia that you might expect from an organization started by soccer hooligans. The EDL has very little public support and its contributions to debate over Islamic extremism in the U.K. can be boiled down to inciting paranoid nativists to protest.
Apparently England doesn’t have racist rednecks, they have paranoid nativists instead. How come it’s okay for Muslims in Eqypt to riot because some nobody posts a video about Muhammad on YouTube in the United States, but it’s ignorant xenophobia to get upset about a gruesome murder in broad daylight in your own country?
There are a growing number of people in the U.S. and Europe who see Islam as an existential threat to modern culture. To dismiss them as paranoid nativists and ignorant xenophobes may make it easier to ignore their concerns, but they have plenty of evidence to support their fears.
The politically correct position is that “violent Islam” is just a small fraction of Muslims who are righteously upset about Western economic exploitation. That position has some merit. But when a deranged lunatic is breaking into your house you really don’t care about the failure of our mental health programs.