By Pete Norman
So, it’s been months in the making, and has been feted (by the organisers, at least) as “The first Worldwide Counter-Jihad Initiative meeting and public demonstration”, bringing together the massed ranks and most brilliant thinkers of the “Counter-Jihad” movement in a move no doubt intended to create a perfect storm where the guttering flame of Muslim-hating far right loony conspiracy theorists would somehow reignite, grow stronger and bring forth enlightenment to the rest of the world, who would be awestruck by the intelligence, lucidity and not-at-all-foaming-at-the-mouth-rants of the speakers.
Now, this Talking-a-load-of-bollocks-a-thon had, for some reason, been organised on exactly the same day as Stockholm Pride. A spokesman for the SDL (the delightful Isak Nygren, who is against inter-racial relationships) has claimed that this was unintentional, but LGBT activists, and many others in Sweden and beyond are extremely suspicious as to whether this is “Pink-washing”. I’m going to be generous and say that it’s a pure coincidence, just like the pure coincidence of the Finnish Defence League trying to march with a Pride March in Tampere / Tammerfors recently, or the EDL deciding to have a demo on the same day as Bristol Pride, and inviting a transsexual EDL supporter to speak. That’s quite a few coincidences. Far be it from me to suggest that the EDL and their strange friends are using other people’s sexuality as a stick to beat Muslims with.
So, why did they decide to have a demo / mutual appreciation meeting in Stockholm? Well, the official reason given is;
“Stockholm was chosen for the Global Counter Jihad rally because of the actions of an Iraqi-born Swedish citizen, Taimour Abdulwahab al-Abdaly, who travelled to central Stockholm on December 11, 2010 in order to commit mass murder in revenge for Sweden’s ‘silence’ over cartoons of Islam’s founder and the presence of Swedish troops in Afghanistan. Al-Abdaly succeeded only in killing himself, but his jihad plot is particularly noteworthy because he turned to jihad violence and hatred in England, at the Luton Islamic Centre.”
Now, there’s no actual evidence that he was radicalised at the Luton Islamic Centre, but this article; http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/terrorism-in-the-uk/8198882/Stockholm-bomber-was-thrown-out-of-Luton-mosque-for-trying-to-recruit-extremists.html would suggest he arrived pre-radicalised. Apparently he stormed off when his views were confronted, and was barred entry. OK, maybe with hindsight ostracising him wasn’t the best move, but then again Luton’s Muslim community did an awful lot more to persuade him of the error of his ways than the EDL did. You know, the EDL. Who have their power base in Luton. Some Defence there.
So, back to the events in Stockholm. Here’s a list of the announced speakers at their demo, with the official EDL explanation of what they represent after their name, followed by some unnecessarily snarky comments from me.
Robert Spencer - Executive Director of the American Freedom Defense Initiative and co founder of Stop Islamization Of America (SIOA).
Self-proclaimed expert on Islam. Self-taught, too. Runs the notoriously Islamophobic and one-sided website ‘Jihadwatch’.
Pamela Geller - Director of Jihad Watch, author of many books on Islam and jihad and co-founder of SIOA.
Loon. Campaigned against the “Ground Zero Mosque” despite it not being anywhere near Ground Zero. Hates Barack Obama, and is a leading ‘Birther’. She also thinks he’s a secret Muslim.
Tommy Robinson - Joint spokesperson for the EDL and joint Party Vice Chairman of the British Freedom Party
Tommy Robinson is a pseudonym that he still uses, despite his real identity being revealed years ago. Convicted football hooligan, shortarse and ex-BNP member. Has since joined the BFP, who are like the BNP but with an even worse logo. After three years of the EDL, he still hasn’t managed to install a transparent and open membership scheme, or explain what happens to the money people donate. Has put on quite a bit of weight recently, and allegedly got so drunk the night before the recent Bristol demo, that he spent the next day sleeping it off. Tendency towards misadventure / hanging out with scumbags every time he leaves British soil.
Kevin Carroll - Joint spokesperson for the EDL and joint Party Vice Chairman of the British Freedom Party
Kevin is legendary amongst the EDL as being the other one, and is exactly twice the height of Stephen Yaxley-Lennon – sorry, Tommy Robinson. Once – completely by accident – signed the nomination papers for a BNP candidate, but claims he doesn’t support them.
Anders Gravers - Founder of the SIO movement, the leader of SIOE (Stop Islamisation of Europe) and leader of SIAD (Stop Islamisation of Denmark).
Gravers is, basically, a failed local Politician who runs on a single-issue platform (Hating Muslims), and consistently gets less voter support than Herpes would.
Richard Abrams – Swedish Defence League
Ah now. No show from him on the day, as the organisers – just in the nick of time – discovered that Richard has a few *cough* fringe interests, mainly Nazi Occultism and “Reclaiming the Swastika”. No, really. Do the EDL ever do background checks?
Mimosa Koiranen Finnish Defence League
Ah, Mimosa, Mimosa. Together with a couple of other FDL activists, tried to join a Pride March in Tammerfors / Tampere, and was told in no uncertain terms to sling her hook.
Rune Hauge – Norwegian Defence League
What can I say? The NDL, always great value for money. Rune recently organised a demo in Stavanger, which according to his original estimate, was going to bring 3000 demonstrators. He then adjusted this to 600, and on the day, somewhere between 20-40 turned up. As against the 800-1000 counterdemonstrators. This was going to be “The first proper NDL demo in Norway”, so I can only imagine he’s as disappointed as the organiser of the “first proper NDL demo in Norway” two years ago.
Michael Stürzenberger - The Freedom Bavaria / Die Frieheit Bayern
Die Freiheit (that’s how you spell it, EDL) is a tiny political party that is very keen on Geert Wilders, Xenophobia and not convincing anyone they’re not bigots.
Pavel Chernev - Stop The Islamisation of Europe, Bulgaria
Pavel is a discredited far-right politician who likes punching people and trying to use MP’s exemption from prosecution to avoid an assault charge.
Debbie Robinson - The Q Society (Australia)
Never heard of them, but their website says “Our members insist the bedrock of this society must remain Judaeo-Christian in ethics and values on which our mainly Western European forefathers have built the Australian Nation.” Don’t seem to have many supporters other than Robert Spenser.
Philip Traulsen - Danish Defence League
Unreconstructed neo-Nazi. Likes to hang out at Blood and Honour Gigs, and was relieved of his duties as organiser of the EDL’s Aarhus fiasco – you know, the massive collection of “Counter-Jihad movements” that was going to turn the tides – but presumably is OK to hold a speech at a later demo.
So, how did demo day go? Well, they waddled along to Norra Bantorget, all 50 or so of them, to be met by about 200 counter-demonstrators (alternative sources say about a hundred each). According to leading Swedish anti-Fascist organisation Expo, the majority of Swedes inside the demonstration area were Journalists, there wasn’t a single Swedish speaker, and the organiser of the demo – the rather putrid Isak Nygren who doesn’t think inter-racial couples should have children as this would result in making their children “mentally disturbed” for some reason – gave the opinion that Expo Journalists should be executed. He couldn’t say how many members the SDL have either. Ironically, the “Counter-Jihad” pillocks gave their speeches from a street named after Olof Palme, an outspoken and much loved Socialist Prime Minister, who was murdered by a right-wing nutter.
So, what does this mean for the EDL & the “Counter-Jihad” movement as a whole? Well, you came to Stockholm. You couldn’t find a single Swede to speak for you – other than the weird racist tit who thinks Journalists should be executed, but then again he wasn’t actually invited to speak, and the Swede you’d originally invited to speak revealed himself to be a total Hitler-Licker, and, erm, other than that, you basically made dicks out of yourselves, but all got a free weekend away thanks to the gullibility of your donors. Sorry, ‘supporters’. You gathered a tiny amount of people, many of whom Anders Behring Breivik (and both the prosecution and defence in his trial) considered a major influence on him, and even with the most well-known voices in the ridiculously named “Counter-Jihad” movement, you still couldn’t attract more than 50 people. That speaks volumes.