Tommy Robinson is not the first EDL member to join Quilliam
TOMMY Robinson has quit the English Defence League to join the Quilliam Foundation. Who are they?
In 2009, the Maajid Nawaz, Director of the Quilliam Foundation, said of the UK’s ban on Geert Wilders, the Dutch MP:
“Banning Geert Wilders from the UK is not the solution. Just as the ideas of non-violent Islamist groups like Hizb ut-Tahrir should be tackled through debate and argument, so should those of Wilders and others. Freedom of speech should be protected – so long as people do not use this freedom to call for violence against others.
“Wilders has evidently been convinced by the words and actions of Islamists and jihadists that Islam is inherently violent and intolerant. We therefore challenge him to an open debate in which we will argue that Islam is not an inherently violent religion and that, contrary to what he apparently believes, Muslims are not a threat to Europe and its values.”
Ed Husain, the co-Director of the Quilliam Foundation, said:
“Geert Wilders is undoubtedly an ill-informed, hate-driven bigot with many unpleasant views but he is not directly inciting violence. As a result, unlike in the case of Yusuf al-Qaradawi, I do not support the decision to ban him from the UK. By threatening parliament with a mob, Lord Ahmed is contributing to the negative portrayal of Muslims and their religion.”
In 2011, the QF trailed a meeting:
Summary: During the last two years, the English Defence League (EDL) has swiftly established itself as one of the leading far-right organisations in the UK. Despite seeking to present itself as a ‘non-racist’ organisation that is only concerned with fighting ‘Islamic extremism’, the group has repeatedly been exposed for its far-right links, criminal connections and use of overtly racist language at their official events. EDL events often end in violence, making it a major challenge for UK police forces nationwide.
Despite the EDL’s prominence, however, relatively little is known about the group’s internal workings, its methods of recruitment, its overall strategy and its future plans. For the first time ever, Quilliam is able to bring together former senior members of the EDL who have renounced the group and are willing to speak out against it publicly and to answer questions about the organisation and their time inside it.
Harry Burns: formerly a senior member of EDL’s London division.
Leighton Evans: part of EDL’s London division.
Photo: Maajid Nawaz, Executive Director of the Quilliam Foundation and formerly with the international Islamist Party Hizb ut-Tahrir, speaks to the media during a news conference at the Summit Against Violent Extremism in Dublin, Ireland, Monday, June, 27, 2011.