This story appeared in yesterday’s news feed. I have been pondering the report and decided this evening to post on it.
The UK Times had a story online about a recent clash between “Islamist extremists” and moderate Muslims. As the report explains, the altercation was a follow-up to the demonstrations that extremists had put on when the Royal Anglian Regiment marched in a homecoming parade through Luton:
Islamist extremists who made headlines with their protest at a parade for returning soldiers were forced off the streets yesterday by an organised demonstration of moderate Muslims.
There was a national outcry when the fundamentalists barracked members of the Royal Anglian Regiment during the troops’ homecoming in Luton in March.
Photographs of the protesters, brandishing banners with slogans such as “Butchers of Basra” and “Cowards, killers, extremists”, were plastered across the front pages of the next day’s national newspapers.
But the demonstration was also met with anger and dismay in the Bedfordshire town’s wider Muslim community.
That last sentence is news to me. I don’t doubt the dismay of the “wider Muslim community”. What is disturbing is how difficult it is to find stories in the press which report on any Muslims other than these professional haters and their signs. In fact, the Times makes that point when it says that the ugly pictures were “plastered across the front pages of the next day’s national newspapers”.
If the national newspapers talked to the moderates, they sure kept it quiet. However, the “moderates” themselves were no longer willing to tolerate the aftermath of the behavior of the extremists:
Moderate followers of Islam said the protest played into the hands of extreme right-wing groups and made their day-to-day lives on the streets of Luton more difficult.
Yesterday, [that would be May 29th – D] after weeks of rising tensions sparked by the protest, members of the two groups of Muslims clashed.
Qadeer Baksh, chairman of the Islamic Centre in Luton, said a group of around 200 moderate followers descended on Bury Park in the town – where the extremists regularly preach from a stall – to drive the protesters away.
Numbering about six, the extremists were surrounded and themselves barracked with calls of “We don’t want you here”, said Mr Baksh.
Scuffles broke out before police arrived, with the Islamists reportedly shouting back “Shame on you” and “Get back to your synagogue”.
Mr Baksh said: “The Muslims of Luton are totally fed up with these boys. Police were unable to get them off the streets and stop them bringing harm to the Muslim community so we had to.
“A small minority are giving us a bad name and allowing the British National Party to capitalise. They have made the place insecure for our women and children.
“The protest (in March) was the beginning of the problem. We have known about these misfits for years but even that small minority were able to cause us harm then because of the response of the press.” [my emphasis – D]
He’s nailed a good part of the problem right there. The focus of the news is always on mayhem and conflict. In fact, if journalists would quit pursuing these hoodlums, many of them would dry up and blow away for lack of press attention. This is just one of the ways newspapers create distortions in reality, i.e., by relentlessly choosing to highlight scum and trivia.
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Mr Baksh said: “There were about 200 of us and just a few of them. We didn’t even let them put their stall up. This is not the end. This is just the beginning.”
Bedfordshire Police would not comment this evening on the incident but it is understood no-one was injured in the clash and no arrests were made.
It will be interesting to see if the “victims” push for their rights to free speech, claiming that a crime was committed when they were prevented from speaking. If so, the moderates will have legal fees. But I don’t doubt they know that already.
Another thing to notice is the fear moderate Muslims display regarding white flight to the BNP. That fear is well-founded. Those fleeing are aware that not only will no other party speak for them,but in addition the police will not protect them. Where else do they have to go at this point?
Did you notice the difference in emphasis between the original story in March and this one? The Luton ugliness, “plastered across the front pages”, was considered “news”. This second story was buried in the Times religion section, sans inflammatory photos.
Just another little spin on events by the gatekeepers.
NOTE: Yes, yes, I know. This demonstration by these fake moderates is simply taqiyya practiced to fool the simple-minded.
By now that meme is so facile, so stale and so tediously predictable that it has become boring. Here is fair warning: if anyone chooses to put up comments to that effect, I will delete them.
If you simply must have it said that these moderates are being devious, start your own blog and beat that particular drum there.
I think these people are genuine. You may not agree, which is why you need a place to post your opinions on the subject. This comment thread is not that place. It might have been at one point, and it may be so again in the future. But for this particular post on this particular story, I am not willing to go through another litany with antiphonal responses.
If that leaves nothing else to be said, that’s all right, too, because the topic of this post is not the Muslims. My topic is the mendacity of the press and its willingness to cause harm in order to create a story.
Hat tip: Babs