Can you all remember Kevin Carroll sitting at the London press release of their (Tommy and Kevin’s) move from the English Defence League. Whilst Maajid Nawaz genuinely stated that people deserved a second chance since he believed that he had received one, Kevin Carroll looked on and made intermittent comments to the question and answer session that followed. Whilst the comments from Maajid were reflective of his time being active in Hizb-ut-Tahrir and having become a prisoner of conscience for Amnesty, those from Kevin Carroll were about the move from the English Defence League and looking at ways of challenging Islamism. One could even be forgiven in thinking that Kevin may have had a Damascene moment, that he had a change of conscience and that he realised the error of his ways since the EDL were fast attracting more violent and extreme sympathisers, something that Tommy quoted many times.
So, after all of this and after we have suggested on numerous occasions that we would take a ‘wait and see approach’ and give them both the opportunity to display a change in perception, actions and sentiment towards Muslim communities as a whole, we have this tweet from Kevin Carroll on the 25th of January 2014. To be fair to Tommy, whilst he has still continued to show a side that stridently agitates on-line, he has suggested that he would be willing to meet with Muslim victims who had suffered at the hands of the English Defence League. He confirmed this with us and such a meeting must wait some 18 months as Tommy Robinson was convicted, on this occasion, for mortgage fraud.
Now, let us look at the tweet that Kevin Carroll put out. Not only is it highly offensive, the tweet is strongly anti-Muslim in its nature against the Rohingya who are suffering what can only be regarded as genocide in Burma. Report after report are pointing to a genocide where the army and parts of the State have been implicated. Furthermore, at the heart of this genocide is the Buddhist monk, Wirathu, whose fiery anti-Muslim rhetoric has been blamed for sewing the seeds of extreme hate against the Rohingya Muslims.
So what does Kevin Carroll tweet out – the following. He states, “self-preservation against insanity is crucial to our survival, it is every citizens duty to stand up against tyranny.“
In the JPEG is a picture of a Buddhist monk holding a gun with the following statement from the hate preacher, Wirathu.
“You can be full of kindness and love, but you cannot sleep next to a mad dog. If we are weak, our land will become Muslim.”
So in other words, Wirathu regards Rohingya Muslims as mad dogs. One can truly be forgiven for believing that such a statement came from the mouth of an English Defence sympathiser given the exact replica of narratives and therein partly lies the problem. A narrative of hate against Muslims is very similar and can be found on one side of the globe and also in an estate in the North of England for example. It is based on a view of Muslims being rapacious, liars and worst of all is the language of hate comparing Muslims to rodents and animals. It strikes a cord with us since it reminds us of the language used against Jews in the 1930’s by the National Socialists. Now, whilst we believe that a genocide will not take place in Europe in the future, in Burma, a very real genocide against the Rohingya is taking place. (We must also not forget that a genocide of Muslims took place in Europe in the form of the murder of 8,000 Muslims in Srebrenica by Serb paramilitaries in 1995).
If we therefore look at the tweet, any sane person could come to the following conclusion. That Kevin Carroll is possibly advocating that the murder of Muslims, (note the pistol and the paranoid statements about Muslims taking land), is a form of ‘self-preservation,’ and that more people should stand up against the tyranny of Muslims. Does Kevin Carroll expect us to believe that these people, the Rohingya, are a threat, as the hate preacher Wirathu thinks? If this is what Kevin believes leaving the English Defence League is about, then clearly he has not changed.
We would therefore ask that organisations make clear that such discourse is not only offensive, it will not be tolerated. Finally, a bit of advice to those who retweeted the tweet. You may be close to the line on incitement which has very serious legal consequences.