OMG, Have you heard what Tommy has done?!

For people who've been keeping up with news, :O What do you make of it? Share your opinions, I'd like to know what you have to say!

Personally, I had the shock of my life! In all honesty, I feel like this move has been well thought out. I'm not going to buy into it and I assume that the underlying reason behind his actions are to encourage others to think that he is the "good guy" with a "good cause".

It's about time he realised that organising marches and demonstrations were very pointless and didn't achieve anything at all, except for a good day out in the sun. I'm glad in some ways, but this isn't an end to all the racism, hatred and islamophobia. It will go on, trust me!

And for all of you who haven't kept up with the recent headlines, then here I am, telling you that... English Defence League leader and founder Tommy Robinson has left the group saying that he has concerns over the "dangers of far-right extremism". *A big hmm*

He also claims, according to the BBC that: "When some moron lifts up his top and he's got the picture of a mosque saying 'boom' and it's all over the national newspapers, it's me, it's when I pick up my kids from school the parents are looking at me, judging me on that.

And that's not what I've stood for and my decision to do this is to be true to what I stand for. And whilst I want to lead the revolution against Islamist ideology, I don't want to lead the revolution against Muslims. I believe that the revolution needs to come from within the Islamic community and they need to stand up. And I believe this is a step forward not a step back."

You should seriously check it up right now. A simple google search will tell you all about it.

Ta-ra. Hummus is back by the way. She's fine.


Tommy Robinson may have quit the EDL – but he's no Gandhi

Imagine Nick Griffin announcing he's leaving the BNP because he found out that some of his fellow travellers are a bit racist. It would sound ridiculous, given that hatred of non-whites has been the raison d'etre of the British National party. So what do we make of Tommy Robinson, the (former) leader of the English Defence League, quitting the group and saying its street demonstrations are "no longer productive"?

EDL street demonstrations are essentially a series of glorified pub crawls, but it has undoubtedly been the violence that made the EDL a prominent entity. Most of its supporters relished the idea of Brits taking on extremist Muslims on the streets. Robinson himself was a key proponent of threats, recently saying at a speech : "The Islamic community will feel the full force of the English Defence League if we see any of our citizens killed, maimed or hurt on British soil ever again." The Guardian too revealed the violence inherent to the EDL's core years ago. And yet, Robinson, aka Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, now says he has given it all up for "more democratic means". This seems questionable since he was trying to intimidate anti-fascists just days ago. He has neither denounced his previous views nor distanced himself from his thuggish activity of the past

So if Robinson hasn't turned into Gandhi overnight, what is his plan? Sources close to him say he is setting up a new organisation with many of his old colleagues from the EDL. A staffer at the counter-extremism thinktank Quilliam Foundation, which helped him leave the EDL, said he wants to "adopt a mainstream, sensible way of countering extremism". Quilliam says it persuaded and worked with Robinson to leave the EDL as a means to counter and deflate extremism in the UK. It's a laudable aim but it may very well backfire for them, depending on what Robinson does next. This could involve setting up his own anti-extremism thinktank – although I doubt Robinson relishes doing extensive research and writing long reports that no one will bother reading. It would certainly bring joy to the rest of us if he spent the rest of his years doing that. More likely and more worryingly, he will form a detoxified version of the EDL without the street demonstrations or the name.

There are good reasons to be wary of his plans. Robinson has always generalised about Muslims, saying he wants to stop Muslims coming into the UK and singling them out for suspicion and scrutiny. Has he changed those views? It doesn't look like it. Will he campaign against the old EDL and their extremism? That also seems unlikely, though he probably won't have to since the EDL will almost certainly collapse after some infighting. Griffin must be popping champagne corks, since the rise of the EDL hit his rival organisation hard in terms of momentum and enthusiasm.

But there is one group that will almost certainly be breathing a sigh of relief today. Many neo-conservatives in the UK and the US found the EDL to be a bit of an embarrassment, since it said what they wanted to but gave those views an aura of far-right thuggishness. And there lies the biggest danger. Robinson has always been a publicity seeker and trouble-maker. He hasn't renounced his own views or activities, and he will be welcomed by the respectable wing of the "anti-jihadis" who will want to use him to join their xenophobic crusade against Muslims. There is a growing Islamophobia industry in the United States, and it's likely Robinson will join it. What was intended as a move to destroy extremism could end up making it stronger.

"How many people find fault in what they're reading and the fault is in their own understanding" Al Mutanabbi

Phew. I sighed a sigh of relief when I double checked that the Quilliam Foundation is not the same organisation that Issue 20 spoke of. That's separate and by the name of the Abdullah Quilliam Society. 


Quilliam foundation are the dodgy ones (former extremists not potentially under the pay of MI5 who consider themselves to be almost the only non extremists in the world...[ok slight exaggeration]). If this is real, they have pulled off a massive coup.

On the other hand hours before the announcement Tommy was campaigning for the EDL.

He has previously wanted to get into politics but his links to the EDL have prevented him from moving forward, so this is more likely just a rebranding.

It will be interesting to see what happens.

"For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens 'as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone'" - David Cameron, UK Prime Minister. 13 May 2015.