A British campaign group against racism and Fascism says the far-right English Defense League is a “conveyor belt for potential terrorists,” warning the Home Office of threats posed by the group.
Nick Lowles, director of the campaign group Searchlight, said the revealed links between EDL and Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian Christian terrorist that killed 77 people in Oslo last month should prompt officials to take a more decisive action against the far-right EDL. The terrorist has repeatedly admired the far-right extremists in his manifesto and has claimed he has hundreds of EDL supporters as Facebook friends.
The EDL has insisted Breivik's praise of the group is a one way matter and that the group does not endorse his views, a claim disputed by Lowles.
“Indeed, several EDL supporters have written approvingly of the car bomb that ripped through the administrative heart of Oslo. Even its leader, Stephen Lennon, while distancing himself from the murders of young people, claimed that Breivik was articulating legitimate concerns,” Lowles wrote in an article on Searchlight's webpage.
Lowles also said the Home Office has so far refused to classify EDL as a far-right extremist organization and is treating it with complete leniency as “a law and order issue”.
Lennon told the media in the aftermath of the Norway massacre that it is a sign of “growing anger in Europe”.
“People should look at what happened in Oslo and understand that there is growing anger in Europe,” he told the press. “You suppress people's rights you suppress people's voices and people will just continue to go underground - but that doesn't make the problem go away,” he added.
According to Lowles, the EDL are a “dangerous” anti-Muslim organization threatening the lives of Muslims in Britain.
“It opposes all new mosques and other Islamic buildings, its slogans and chants abuse the Muslim faith and its supporters have increasingly been involved in violent attacks,” he said warning that the group “shares much of the same ideology … with the Norwegian killer.”
Lowles said officials are letting the EDL get away with murder despite their “growing militancy” in recent months quoting the description of the group by Deputy Director of Communications at the Community Security Trust Dave Rich as a “gateway organization to terrorism” as evidence of mounting fears about the EDL threat to Britain.
Lowles said a number of EDL supporters have even “called for the taking of arms” against Muslims in Britain with others actively demanding a more confrontational and violent approach.
“A cursory study of the Facebook pages of EDL supporters reveals many posing with guns and other weapons,” Lowles said. “The EDL arguably presents the biggest threat to community cohesion in the UK today. Its strategy of provocative marches and physical attacks on political opponents is designed to increase tensions and divisions in communities with a large Muslim population,” he added.
Lowles said the Home Office needs to monitor EDL activities “as an extremist organization” and instruct the police to allocate “the same manpower and resources on monitoring its activity as they would in relation to other extremist groups.”
Thanks to NewsHound for the heads-up