Saturday 30 June 2018

Far Right anti-Muslim Campaigner

It’s a thrilling time to be a racist nationalist.
Forget the old days of being marginalized, of the painstaking efforts to recruit activists, of de rigueur haircuts and uniforms. Now, you can build an international grassroots nationalist coalition online with a simple narrative and single hashtag. 
Anti-Muslim prejudice travels particularly well across borders and feeds so many of today’s dark nationalist fears. 
So when a British far right activist was recently arrested, now jailed, for live videoing defendants midtrial - alleged Muslim sex abusers - it was an obvious trigger for protests online and in the streets, from Texas to Tel Aviv:  #FreeTommyRobinson.
Robinson used to be head of the English Defence League, a far-right, fiercely Islamophobic group specializing in street brawls. He’s spent the last few years becoming one of several convergence points for anti-Muslim nationalists of various stripes (similarly to Steve Bannon, late of the White House). 
He’s cozied up to the U.S. alt-right, forged links with the European far-right – as a leader of the U.K. branch of the German racist group Pegida ("Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West.") He makes a point of turning up after U.K. terror attacks to taunt Muslims. And he wrote a book, subtly entitled: "Mohammed's Koran: Why Muslims Kill for Islam."
Part of Robinson’s tactical shift towards nationalists-in-suits-not-swastikas is his newfound love for Israel. Back as EDL leader he made an attempt to form a "Jewish Division" but his interest in bridge-building with the British Jewish community was entirely rebuffed then, as now. 
But, treading an ignominious path well-beaten by other European far-right leaders, he visited Israel in 2016 and was hosted by Brian Thomas, an ex-Brit who shares his hostility to Islam and boasted of their "friendship."

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