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Tommy Robinson Quits English Defence League
The leader of the Luton-based English Defence League, Tommy Robinson, has announced he is to leave the group.
He's being joined by the group's deputy leader Kevin Carroll.
The EDL was set up in Luton in 2009 and became notorious for their street protests against what they termed militant Islam.
Robinson, who's real name is Stephen Lennon, and Carroll's decisions seem to have been prompted by a group called Quilliam co-founded by Maajid Nawaz.
Quilliam's website claims it is "....the world's first counter-extremism think tank set up to address the unique challenges of citizenship, identity, and belongs to a globalised world."
In a press release (see below) Quilliam says they've "...been working with Tommy Robinson to achieve this transition, which represents a huge success for community relations in the United Kingdom."
Quilliam Chairman and Co-Founder Maajid Nawaz said: “As well as being a very positive change for the United Kingdom, this is a very proud moment for Quilliam. This represents not a change but a continuation for us, as challenging extremism of all kinds forms the basis of our work. We have been able to show that Britain stands together against extremism regardless of political views and hope to continue supporting Tommy and Kevin in their journey to counter Islamism and neo-Nazi extremism.”
Full Press Release From Quilliam
Quilliam is proud to announce that Tommy Robinson and Kevin Carroll, the leaders of the anti-Islamist group, the English Defence League (EDL), have decided to leave the group. Having set up the EDL, infamous for its street protests, in 2009, they wish to exit this group, because they feel they can no longer keep extremist elements at bay.
Tommy Robinson said:
“I have been considering this move for a long time because I recognise that, though street demonstrations have brought us to this point, they are no longer productive. I acknowledge the dangers of far-right extremism and the ongoing need to counter Islamist ideology not with violence but with better, democratic ideas.”
Quilliam has been working with Tommy to achieve this transition, which represents a huge success for community relations in the United Kingdom. We have previously identified the symbiotic relationship between far-right extremism and Islamism and think that this event can dismantle the underpinnings of one phenomenon while removing the need for the other phenomenon.
We hope to help Tommy invest his energy and commitment in countering extremism of all kinds, supporting the efforts to bring along his former followers and encouraging his critique of Islamism as well as his concern with far-right extremism. We call all of Tommy’s former colleagues in the EDL to follow in his footsteps and also call on Islamist extremist leaders to follow this example and leave their respective groups. Tommy and Kevin believe the voice they have created can be channelled in a positive direction. Quilliam stands ready to facilitate such moves across the spectrum.
Quilliam Chairman and Co-Founder Maajid Nawaz said:
“As well as being a very positive change for the United Kingdom, this is a very proud moment for Quilliam. This represents not a change but a continuation for us, as challenging extremism of all kinds forms the basis of our work. We have been able to show that Britain stands together against extremism regardless of political views and hope to continue supporting Tommy and Kevin in their journey to counter Islamism and neo-Nazi extremism.”
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