Politics & Media
Jul 13, 2016, 06:57AM

Tommy Robinson: the Most Hated Man in the U.K.

The anti-Islamist is a pariah, but critics are shooting blanks.

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Tommy Robinson might be the most hated man in the U.K., although there's plenty of competition, post-Brexit. It's axiomatic in many circles that the former head of the English Defense League (he stepped down from the EDL in 2013) is a racist and bigot, and to denounce him is a way to affirm one's status as a progressive champion of egalitarianism and multiculturalism.

Robinson (whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon) doesn’t like the Islamism he sees in British life, and he's outspoken about it, which makes both genteel non-Muslims and Muslims uncomfortable and angry. The former football hooligan frankly critiques the canonical Islam texts, which Islamists take literally, and is falsely accused that he's accusing all Muslims of being extremists.

Robinson founded the EDL with his cousin, Kevin Carroll, in 2009 as a counter-jihad movement to combat the spread of Islamism and Sharia law in the United Kingdom. The group quickly became known for its street protests, some of which turned violent when left-wing groups such as Unite Against Fascism (UAF) showed up to counter-protest. In addition to working people uncomfortable with creeping Islamism, the EDL rank-and-file eventually came to include both heavy-drinking football hooligans and white supremacists.

Concerned about the growing extremism and booze culture within the EDL, Robinson left the group in 2013 for a short stint with anti-extremism think-tank Quilliam. He was then convicted of mortgage fraud and sentenced to 18 months in prison. Upon release, Robinson decided to launch the U.K. branch of the nationalist, anti-Islam group Pegida, which he vows will have none of the booziness or racist chants that marred the EDL’s reputation. He’ll campaign to ban all Muslim immigration to the UK for five years, prevent the building of new mosques, and ban the funding of mosques from abroad.

In his frequent TV appearances, in which he projects an intelligent, charismatic persona, Robinson is often ganged up on. His riveting appearance on a BBC television show ironically called “Free Speech” typifies his plight. The show was set up so that Robinson sits alone in a hostile audience, with a host biased against him and an anti-Robinson celebrity panel onstage. One audience member, who said he's from an Islamic diversity center, said that Robinson should be put on an island and bombed with anthrax. The host didn’t condemn this, and the audience clapped. A woman onstage called him a racist and bigot, repeatedly shaking her head to signal her virtue. “I'm a nice person,” she said, in the only actual “argument” she offered. Robinson must’ve asked her 20 times to name one racist thing he's ever said, and she couldn’t. The host didn't call her out on this.

At the root of Robinson’s problem is that he deals with hard facts, but he's up against people who don't reciprocate. Liberals care only about egalitarianism and harmony. Facts often contradict their goals, so they just ignore them or make charges of bigotry to obscure them. Unlike almost all of his non-Muslims critics, Robinson has actually read the Qur'an, the Hadith, and Mohammed’s biography. His conclusion that the Prophet Mohammed didn't live an admirable life worthy of emulation is considered poor manners among many progressives who lack the knowledge to even discuss the topic intelligently.

I've tried to find one racist thing Tommy Robinson has ever said, but failed. He's stated on national TV that he despises racism. Four Muslims came to his wedding. He left the EDL because of its growing racism, and he’s the one forced to wear a bulletproof vest and who’s taking the beatings from Muslims that have put him in the hospital. A Muslim threatened him with beheading in a street encounter. If he's guilty of anything, it's brutal honesty. The ideology he opposes happens to be connected to a popular religion practiced by people with skin darker than his. These people are successful at portraying themselves as victims to useful idiots who call all critics of Islamism “Islamophobes.”

It's natural that many Muslims don't like Robinson, although he never attacks them individually or claims they all think alike. As for his liberal critics who call him a racist, they look down on his accent but lack his courage and his knowledge of the topic. Robinson says his outspokenness has ruined his wife and mother's lives, but he's compelled to speak out.

Robinson’s checkered past, which some feel discredits his views, actually puts him in a unique position to speak honestly about a taboo topic. He's not a “respectable” member of society, so he's freed from the constraint of political correctness. He believes that the U.K. has opened itself up too much to a dangerous ideology, which should be anyone’s right. 

  • Quibble. He's probably the most hated among the Right Sort of People just short of Margaret Thatcher. To see how the sludge has spread, I looked at the Rotherham horror by searching "rock the multicultural boat" rotherham. Nauseating. The Right Sort of People seem to think complaining about Rotherham is akin to complaining in the US about Ruby Ridge or Waco. Means you're a knuckle-dragging moron.

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  • There all the times he said he wanted Islam banned from Britain. Also, his being pen pals with mass murderer Anders Brevik isn't a great credential. So yeah, nothing to see here.

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  • I can't find evidence for either of your claims, but that's the way it usually goes with this guy. People see what they want to see and they have their opinions, regardless of facts.

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  • While I admit I can be hyperbolic sometimes, I’m not pulling this out of nowhere.// I may not be quoting him accurately, given the way Tommy Robinson’s (AKA Stephen Lennon or Stephen Yaxley-Lennon or Paul Harris) accent lands on my American ears, but here goes: “I propose to end Islamic immigration, straightaway, instantly. And stop the building of mosques instantly. I would make it extremely difficult for anyone who wants to have an Islamist ideology. I would make it clear that if you want to have Sharia, you go to a country with Sharia. They all say they’re British nationals, yeah? Well, they’ve got dual nationality, because they’ve got to have their Pakistani nationality as well. So if you wanna go, then go. Get out of our country, and stick your human rights, as well.” The clip can be seen here: https://youtu.be/j06vNTx6z04 I don’t know about you, but I think this is really bigoted and racist as hell.// Anders Breivik wrote in his manifesto that he admired the EDL, and wanted to establish a similar group in Norway. He corresponded with EDL leaders on Facebook. Robinson denies chatting with him, but Robinson has a knack for getting some really shady characters in his orbit (I’ll expand on that in a minute). What’s interesting is that Breivik complained that the EDL wasn’t violent enough. My calling Robinson-Yaxley-Lennon-Harris a pen pal was snarky, especially since he denies ever actually chatting with Breivik. My take is that if a mass murderer writes that he admires the work of your organization, you’ve got to rethink your work and your organization.// In regard to Robinson getting some shady characters in his orbit, there have been quite a few EDL members who have gone on to be registered sex offenders. So in addition to quitting the group (or being forced out, depending which interview you read) because he couldn’t get the Nazi scum out, there’s also sex offenders. Not to mention his own history of arrests for domestic violence and assaulting a police officer; he’s been investigated for money laundering; he has done time for travelling on a fake passport and mortgage fraud.// The guy is a charlatan. He’s a snake shedding his skin as he moves from one group to another—the BNP, the EDL, Quilliam, and now Pediga, which is also facing allegations of racism and fraud. He’ll say what’s convenient if it gets him attention and money. There are reasonable discussions to be had about the conflicts and clashes arising from Muslims migrating into Europe. But Tommy Robinson deserves no part of it.// One other thing: in that video you linked to, where the man from the Islamic diversity center wanted to send Robinson to an anthrax-infested island, he also wanted to send accused ISIS recruiter Anjem Choudary.

  • Couple of items: Old poli sci truism; if a political establishment does not deal with important concerns of the populace, someone from outside may, likely will, show up who will so deal. You might not like him. See Trump, Donald. Second: It's not all or only about immigration. It's also about all the crap that comes with it. Search, as I say, for rotherham by starting with "rock the multicultural boat". Not only is this crap going on, the government not only colludes, but makes it difficult, or illegal, to mention it. See, as I say, Rotherham. That's the second layer of immigration issues.

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  • Tracey, I love your last comment, as if someone from an Islamic diversity center saying on TV he wants to kill someone is somehow better if he adds another person to the kill list. Amazing that you can't see the problem of a "religious" person from a diversity center speaking like this. Choudhary talks openly of wanting people killed all the time, and Robinson nothing even close to that, yet I know you see them as morally equivalent. Choudhary also grooms people to become terrorists.Anyway, your entire analysis is inaccurate through and through, but it's too long so I don't know if I'll have time to respond. You should have written your own article if you went to this length.

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  • I think I've figured this out, Tracy. You actually think that "Islam" and "Islamism" are the same thing. In your first comment, you claim Robinson has called over and over to ban "Islam," which is something he specifically states he does not want to do. Your comment is false. Then, you quote a video of him where he's railing against "Islamism," not Islam, and you present this as evidence of his "racism." Without even going into the matter of the ideology of Islam, which is what he critiques, not being a "race," it's obvious you don't even understand the key nomenclature, thus your inability to understand the issue.

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  • Sub. "not understand". Not necessarily. Could be understands very well but hopes to fool the unwary.

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  • I really wouldn't know what to say to someone who thinks you must rethink your work if a mass murderer likes it. Charles Manson said he thought the Beatles were telling him a race war was coming, so he killed to incite one. Did they "rethink" their work after that?

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  • Sub. Wrt the Beatles: Of course not. It all depends on the political utility. Nobody's going to ask Hillary! to disavow anything at all. Wouldn't be politically useful. Trump, otoh, would be required to disavow, say, the Boy Scouts or be considered a murderous homophobe.

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