Tommy Robinson and Kevin Carroll are announcing their departure from the English Defence League. This move has come after many months of deliberation and many years of constant efforts by Robinson and Carroll to prevent the EDL from being infiltrated and co-opted by racists, anti-Semites, fascists, neo-Nazis, and far-right elements. Increasingly, Robinson’s time has been taking up with patrolling and policing EDL demos to keep out these infiltrators and far-right ideologues. He has decided, and my AFDI colleague Pamela Geller and I strongly endorse his decision, that his time is better spent working for the defense of England and human rights against Sharia and Islamization in different and more effective ways.
This has been a long time coming. Back on June 30, 2011, Pamela Geller wrote: that because of the “neo-fascists that had infiltrated the administration of the group,” she was withdrawing her support from the EDL.” In looking at the same evidence, I wrote, “I agree wholeheartedly.” Tommy Robinson immediately issued a statement to SIOA, saying: “We repudiate any individual, group or writing that favors anti-Semitism, neofascism, and any race-based ideology. Any rogue elements within the EDL who go against our mission statement and our beliefs will be removed from the organization; we are determined to remain true to our mission. Anti-Semitism will not ever be tolerated within the EDL.”
These statements drew the ire of some counter-jihad bloggers who apparently didn’t mind the racists and anti-Semites within the EDL, and who addressed an Open Letter to Pamela Geller denouncing her and me for drawing back from the EDL. But a huge group of counter-jihad bloggers declared their support of our stand. When Robinson assured us that he was just as concerned about these elements as we were, and was working to root them out of the EDL, we continued to support the organization.
Now, over two years later, it is clear to all of us that the best way to proceed is to leave the EDL behind and move forward in new directions. This shows the utter mendacity and bankruptcy of the leftist and Islamic supremacist claim that our support of the EDL demonstrated that we ourselves were racists and fascists — as if that weren’t clear enough already. It also exposes the backstabbing and skullduggery of those in the counter-jihad movement who excoriated us for raising these entirely legitimate concerns. Our struggle in AFDI and SION, which continue to stand with Robinson and Carroll, is now and has always been for the freedom of speech, the freedom of conscience, and the equality of rights of all people before the law. We look forward to working with Robinson and Carroll in the future as we continue this great struggle for freedom.