“Drummer Lee Rigby, picks up the rice in the church where a wedding has been…”
As stated, I’m not here to speak of the incident itself. I am here to speak of the response to it.
Since this awful event occurred, the country seems to have been gripped by an unprecedented wave of Islamophobia. Attacks on people based solely on religion have increased considerably in the last week, not to mention that several mosques have been attacked across the nation. The main driving force behind this is the English Defence League, a group of meandering skinheads looking to fight anyone who doesn’t share their pigment or penchant for shirtless violence. For those of you in America, imagine if the Tea Party had a couple of thousand undisciplined foot soldiers and you’ll be halfway there.
The EDL showed up at Westminster over the bank holiday to protest “against Islam”, which is something of a wide scope. Rather than focus on extremist groups, the EDL have targeted the whole religion with one broadly racist stroke with their xenophobic paintbrush. Considering that there are 1 billion muslims on Earth, the EDL would have more success with a smaller focus group such as bald people, or people over the age of 80, but hey, if you’re going to fight extremists, you’d better be prepared to go to the extremes. Right?
Despite calling themselves the English Defence League in order to draw comparisons to the Justice League (although I would be inclined to at least listen to them if they had Batman amongst their numbers), I’m unsure as to what the EDL are defending us against. If this video is anything to go by, I think the English Defence League is just as confused about their defensive responsibilities:
Their general message seems to be that they “preserve the British way of life”. In their minds, that translates to swilling enough lager to chew through a rhinoceros liver and telling 3rd generation Asians who are British nationals and lived in London all their lives to “go back home”.
If that’s British life, I don’t want it to be preserved. I want British morals to erode if those morals amount to getting so pissed every weekend that you wind up putting your penis in a bottle bank. For a country that has thousands of years’ worth of history, our culture doesn’t exactly amount to much. Coronation Street and liver failure isn’t the foundation for a proud institution.
I would argue that immigration brings a lot to the country. Immigrants bring new skills, new cultures, and newness all round. When your average Brit is content to move to Southern France or Spain as soon as they earn enough money, not to mention the average white British layabout who considers a job in McDonalds to be “beneath” him, someone needs to fill in the skills gap. Our service and medicine industries are propped up by immigration policies. It’s certainly nothing that we need to be defended against.
This seems to be the main stumbling point for the English Defence League. For a defensive protest group, I don’t feel very well defended by them. I want to be defended from the type of logic loops that lead to blind hate. I want to be defended from football hooligans who join their protests in the hopes of a good, old fashioned ruck. I want to be defended against getting glassed through blind hatred. Frankly, I don’t feel that the EDL will provide the kind of support I need. I’m sure my lack of support for them would lead to a prompt Newky Brown bottle to the face and a blood transfusion. At least Batman defended Gotham even when the city despised him. Yes, I like Batman, so what?
I was hoping that this was a short lived fad, but it appears that the campaign of hate is gathering steam. Over 50 demonstrations across England are set to take place tomorrow. Who will defend us against the defenders? Perhaps a strategic retreat would be the best plan.