A number of self-identified religious and political leaders of Coventry declared their opposition to our demonstration this Saturday 21 May. [Link]
They would even deny our right to freedom of speech and to demonstrate because we are not using such freedoms responsibly; ‘for peace and for the common good’ and ‘in constructive ways.’
The leader of this latest attack on our efforts to expose and highlight the dangers of Islam in Coventry and throughout the nation is Rt Rev Christopher Cocksworth, Bishop of Coventry. He mocks our understanding and solidarity with the history and suffering of the people of Coventry. But he and the other signatories have no corner on this history or suffering; nor a copyright on what this history means. Unlike their response to us we welcome their letter of dissent to our demonstration because we believe in freedom of speech.
We describe ourselves as patriots because we are. Why does the Bishop continue with his mockery on this point by saying ‘if they knew our story…’?
The Bishop brings out the tired old charge which implies that we, the EDL, are responsible for outbreaks of violence wherever we go. If he had bothered to study the police record of our past demonstrations he would be aware that the vast majority of arrests are of those who oppose our demonstrations, using both legal and illegal means. His letter gives succour to these anti-democratic and fascist and criminal forces in society.
Coventry has indeed become a symbol of peace and reconciliation throughout the world because of their community’s response after the devastation of World War II. But history marches on. The past can shape but cannot define the present. We demonstrate to give notice of the way things have changed and give a warning of where they are headed.
We notice the encroachment of Islamically inspired rape gangs, terrorist related offences and soldiers of Allah joining or attempting to join ISIS. The Bishop appears to not have bothered to read our press announcement. [link]
He says that these are only the ‘actions of a few’ but our announcement makes clear that these few are part of and come from a community and culture which is inspired by Islam, and in this sense the whole Islamic community is involved, if not complicit.
He says Coventry ‘unites to seek solutions to these problems.’ These solutions have not worked have they? And what solutions are the signatories working on? Can we know? After all, these problems did not come down with the last shower of rain.
The Bishop does not seem to know his city as well as he lets on.
The Bishop and the signatories should recognise that we are part of the solution. They should recognise that we do not bring division and hatred, as they charge, but we merely expose what is already there. Islam itself is the most divisive religion in this country, with its promotion of the Sharia, and actively promotes hatred of non-Muslims. Ignorance of these theological truths of Islam and their direct political and social consequences do not make them disappear regardless of his many assertions and appeals to ‘peace’ and ‘hope’ and ‘reconciliation.’ These are values we too share but we are not blind to other values which are in conflict with them and will prevent and destroy them.
Dear Bishop Cocksworth, we invite you and the others to join us in our demonstration, not to show support for us, but to engage in discussion with our members/supporters and listen to speeches. For many of us also are members of your community and would like your understanding and support.
See you in Coventry this Saturday!