The UK government’s boogeyman. That’s Tommy Robinson in a nutshell. Allow me to show you proof of that in action. In the first half of March 2018, Lord Pearson of Rannoch sat down with Tommy Robinson to talk about the difficult subject of Islam. Or more rather, talking about the hurdles surrounding talking about Islam. The aim was to have a constructive dialogue. On the 15th of that month, in a meeting of the House of Lords, Baroness Warsi called out Lord Pearson for “hosting the likes of Tommy Robinson” within their immediate vicinity. This was at a time where there was a “Punish a Muslim Day” controversy going on, and Warsi thought it wouldn’t be conducive to the eradication of “hate speech” to be doing things like this.
For further reading: “The way to build British values is to bring people together – not to isolate, ban, and silence them,” by Baroness Warsi. May 14th, 2015. To cut to the chase? Yes. She’s a hypocrite.
Baroness Williams of Trafford spoke after, piling on Pearson.
“As legislators for this country, we have got a strong leadership role to take and it does dismay me when I see that certain quite extreme people are actually being invited into the Palace of Westminster to propagate some of their hate.”
It’s fascinating to see people like Warsi and Williams act like they have a leg to stand on when their government allows the likes of Diane Abbott. Her racist remarks would’ve been treated more severely if she wasn’t the first black woman MP in the House of Commons. If “the likes of” Warsi and Williams had a genuine concern towards “eradicating hate,” they would’ve cleaned their own political houses first. But I digress.
The point being is Tommy Robinson’s reputation proceeds him. For better or worse.
Tommy Robinson left the EDL. I mean of course, he founded it in the first place. But everybody leads off with that. In the order of importance, it’s much more relevant to say Robinson left the EDL, rather than first mentioning the fact he led it. What people tend to forget as well is that there were aspirations by Tommy back in 2012 to make the EDL a formal political party. There were plans for a future. Robinson had believed they were evolving beyond a reactionary protest force.
It was on October 9th, 2013 that Tommy Robinson and Kevin Carroll quit the EDL. Reportedly the organization got too extreme and ineffective, saying Islam needs to be challenged with “not with violence but with better, democratic ideas”. Mohammed Shafiq of the Ramadhan Foundation seemed annoyed that Tommy did not “reject his previous disgusting attacks on Islam and Muslims or apologise to the British people for the millions wasted policing their protests.” Matthew Feldman of Teesside University applauded the move. Plus, Quilliam Foundation co-founder Maajid Nawaz stated: “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.”
Believe it or not, Maajid Nawaz and the Quilliam Foundation actually got blazed by the media for daring to step up to the plate and helping facilitate Tommy Robinson’s situation. They accused the organization of doing it for free publicity, leaked out information from alleged sources who say Quillam’s government ties were straining in the background.
This part just shows how shallow the entire “civil society” sphere is:
“In 2010, when it began to look like Islamist extremism was slightly on the wane and there was an interest in far-right extremism, some people were slightly cynical that the Quilliam Foundation had originally said they were the specialists in Islamism but suddenly started to want to do work on far-right extremism as well. Some people feel that was a cynical land-grab to keep them in the media. But they are a thinktank that has to raise money and has to be visible.”
Tommy said he was sorry for causing fear to Muslims in the end, back there on October 11th, 2013. I’m pointing this out in particular because it seems to have gotten lost in the ether of internet time.
People on the Left make it seem like he never even stepped away from his post.
Tommy Robinson is the reason for existence among the English anti-fa/leftist “politically correct” crowds. Fiyaz Mughal and TellMAMAUK wouldn’t be able to justify themselves as strongly, without Tommy Robinson being there to serve as the antagonist. The Roadrunner for the Coyote. Keep in mind in that Looney Tunes program that there never really was an end point to that series. Of course, they stopped production of episodes at some point. But when it comes to the plot of this endless pursuit the Coyote was vying for, it never arrived.
There’s a lot to unpack when it comes to Tommy Robinson, and he’ll pop up throughout this essay. But when it comes to understanding the fundamental core of his story, there are two must-see pieces of content. His Oxford speech and the interview Brittany Pettibone did with him. Like peanut butter and jelly, these two videos mesh perfectly together to give the full picture. In the former, Tommy Robinson talks about his political motivations and background. The latter, we see how the UK government and police responded to his activism against Islam.
Tommy was warned not to say certain things in his Oxford speech. EDL was born in Luton. When Robinson was born in 1982 there was only one mosque. By the time he was giving this Oxford speech in 2014, there were 30 mosques. Early on he is mindful of making it clear to the audience he’s not saying “all Muslims are bad.” He’s not tarring the entire community. This point is stressed by him throughout.
Tommy’s cousin’s cousin Janette was roped into a grooming situation after the men involved lured her into a heroin dependency. When she went missing for two to three days, the police had written her case off as a drug addict sort of thing. Then one night she was running from the park semi-naked when people spotted her and her family could recover her. These religious lines between Muslim and non-Muslim were drawn long before Tommy Robinson started the EDL. He dealt with these divisions back in his school days. When he was 12, two of Tommy’s friends were broken up by their respective sets of parents over this basis. These girls weren’t allowed to speak to each other. Around this time Tommy himself was attacked by a Pakistani gang on his way home from the swimming pool. His attackers called him a white pig. Then there was Tommy’s friend Jamie who got attacked over falling in love with an Asian girl. Since they went to a sixth form college they couldn’t even acknowledge they knew each other.
When September 11th came, Tommy was at the airport that day. He got a call from a friend in Luton, saying that the Muslims were cheering and celebrating. Magnificent 19 posters were hung up around town glorifying these attackers. That’s when Tommy first came to know Al-Muhajiroun. Al-Muhajiroun is on the same levels as ISIS that we know today. The two men involved in the May 2013 murder of Lee Rigby were a part of it. The June 2017 London Bridge attacker Khuram Shazad Butt was also a member of Al-Muhajiroun.
His first anti-terror rally he was involved in happened in September 2004, when Tommy was 21. Here stood Robinson, speaking out against Islamic extremism even before the 7/7 bombings. The four terrorists collected their bombs in Luton on that fateful day. Another Luton-based al-Qaeda conspirator involved in the attack named “Q” had additional links with a 2003-2004 fertilizer bomb plot.
The United People of Luton was a counter-protest response to the protests organized by Muslim extremist group Al Muhajiroun. In March 2009 they rioted against the Afghan war by shouting at the Royal Anglian Regiment as they marched through town. Almost immediately there were concerns of “far-right extremism” coming from the media. But essentially this soldier’s homecoming parade was a catalyst for the EDL. Tommy knew people that served and lost their limbs or lives fighting for England. So Robinson was surprised to see these groups of Muslim extremists amidst a large police presence when he went to go pay his respects that day. Tommy says as these soldiers marched past, these hateful Muslim protesters called them “baby killers,” “murders,” and “rapists” among other derogatory terms. He says he saw one of them spit in the face of a soldier’s mother. 360 Muslims were arrested that morning with 70% of their births in countries outside the UK.
“What we saw was an attack on our armed forces. I want to ask you. What would you have done?” Tommy tells the audience at Oxford.
Tommy took the time to contact the local council about his concerns. He set up a website. He explained to them that in the past Jews remembering the Holocaust had to barricade in the town hall because Muslim fanatics tried to attack. The Muslims attacked the multi-faith march every year. Tommy demanded an antisocial behavior order (ASBO) be placed on these groups by the local council. He saw what the public was seeing. Luton was an epicenter of the disorder. When BBC presenter Stacey Dooley returned to this, her hometown, she was subjected to the blunt force of Islamic extremism.
Tommy sets up United People of Luton. Set up on the grounds that the English people were allowed to celebrate their identity and culture. In April 2009 he organized a St. George’s Day march to the war memorial. Police prevented them from doing so. Tommy thought it was strange that his people were made to line up against the wall and give their information to police when just a few weeks earlier there were Muslim extremists spitting at soldiers. Cameras in faces. Hands in pockets. Shoes are taken off.
Tommy Robinson says this is when he saw first-hand the two-tier police system where the cops tip-toed around the Islamic community on certain issues. Authorities allege the difference in these two cases was the Muslim anti-war protesters applied for permission, whereas Tommy’s did not.
After that first UPL protest, the cops came to 14 of their houses. They were arrested and given bail conditions that they couldn’t enter the town square for the next three months. With the dawn of the second demonstration, Tommy bought balaclavas. This is where things progressed to the point where the EDL was formed. He says people’s ability to express their feelings of anger was being suppressed.
The impetus behind the next demonstration began as a response to an 11-year-old boy named Sean at Birmingham city center being converted to Islam by the radical preacher Anjem Choudary. The boy’s parents weren’t with him. Tommy Robinson says he sat and waited for the police to respond. Nothing happened. Tommy and some guys went to Birmingham with placards reading “What about Sean’s rights” and “Muslim: No problem. Extremist Muslim: Big problem.” That one demonstration had no media response. They go back a second time. Tommy’s people were locked in a pub for four hours, get put on coaches and escorted out. They later find out Pakistani Muslim youths had rioted, smashed up the place. Riled up by a local politician and told by a local imam to rise up and confront them.
It’s important to note Tommy’s people were only against Anjem Choudary’s group at this stage. Now they were being attacked by other parties.
Tommy’s EDL was keen on rooting out extremists. In the case of the first Birmingham demo, five Nazis showed up. Later on, when one was giving the Nazi salute, EDL beat the guy up. The leadership of a Nazi organization from abroad called Tommy and told him to hand over control of the EDL. Robinson told him to sod off.
EDL burns the Nazi flag. “The Racial Volunteer Force of London” burn the EDL flag. It’s logical to conclude EDL hates Nazis and vice versa.
At the Oxford speech, Tommy shows a few cases where the media’s perception of an incident Robinson was involved in, didn’t quite match the reality.
On June 29th, 2013 Tommy Robinson and Kevin Carroll were assaulted during a Woolwich charity walk and then arrested. Compare the Channel 4 footage Tommy shows at 39:10 of his speech to the full video footage. Despite having the full video demonstrating the incident, Channel 4 says Kevin only alleges he punched and depicts the both of them as thuggish rabble-rousers.
Tommy points out he gets judged on headlines. Particularly in this negative light. To that effect, here’s a slideshow of these sorts of articles. Feel free to peruse at your leisure.
But it’s worth keeping in mind the susceptibility to falsehoods (mistakenly or intentional) mainstream outlets have. On January 23rd, 2018, the Independent reported on the Darren Osborne trial. Among the proceedings, it came up that there were screengrabs of emails sent by Tommy from The Rebel website. On multiple occasions (here, here, here, and here), this was misrepresented to make it appear as if Robinson was in direct contact with Osborne himself. Instead of just the recipient of a mass-emailing list. Tommy ended up lodging an official complaint on the matter, as you can see here in this video where he takes viewers through this misrepresentation of him.
On Armistice Day November 2010, there were Muslim protesters chanting “British troops burn in hell” while burning remembrance poppies. BBC didn’t report on that aspect. But they did report that Tommy Robinson was arrested for assaulting a police officer, based on this footage shown of the encounter. You can see Tommy jumping in to grab an ISIS flag in that video. But the media headline was “EDL leader in court on assault charge.” Robinson was once again, the super-devil. While those particular charges were dropped, eight weeks later he was arrested again for causing “alarm and distress” to Muslims in that situation. He was fined seven times worse than the poppy burners.
Tommy Robinson told Theresa May to her face about the concerns he had surrounding Islamic extremists in Luton. She brushed him off.
Tommy refers to a Channel 4 documentary called Proud and Prejudiced that was done back in February 2012. It portrayed the Imam Qadeer Baksh as the “moderate” kind, from Luton. But on his website, Qadeer condones the execution of homosexuals, and there’s a 12-page explainer on why women should be lashed for adultery. To that effect, Tommy plays a conversation clip between him and Qadeer from The JVS Show, BBC Three Counties Radio, Wednesday, October 9th, 2013. Qadeer said in an ideal society there would be punishments for homosexual people. In response, Tommy expressed his concerns about Baksh’s ideological viewpoints.
“From the things that people fear is what keep society in order,” Qadeer replied. Baksh described Sharia rules as “deterrents.” He dodged answering the question.
Let’s fast forward to 2018. Now we understand the cause of the Tommy Robinson equation, let’s examine the effect. With police response.
On March 14th, 2018 Brittany Pettibone published the interview with Tommy Robinson that she was intending to do on her trip to the U.K. Her plans were brought to a halt when the border authorities detained her and her boyfriend, Martin Sellner.
They mentioned Tommy Robinson specifically in their reasoning for banning Brittany from the United Kingdom. The relevant part being as follows:
“To: Brittany Alicia Merced Pettibone
You have asked for leave to enter the United Kingdom as a visitor for 5 day [sic] but as you stated in your interview, I have reasons to believe that you are seeking admission to the United Kingdom to interview Tommy Robinson – a far right leader whose materials and speeches incite racial hatred.
The eve upon their return to the UK, Tommy Robinson flew to Vienna, Austria in order to meet Martin and Brittany upon their return arrival. He took the opportunity to interview the both of them (twice), and in return Brittany got the chance to chat with Tommy about his treatment by the UK police.”
Right off the bat, Tommy said he was “gobsmacked” at the racial hatred allegation because he only speaks about an ideology. Islam.
As mentioned previously, in 2009 the EDL was formed as the byproduct from a reactionary organization in Luton by Tommy Robinson. It was established as a response to the disrespect from Muslim protesters towards Luton’s returning soldiers coming home from war. It was during this time that Tommy first experienced the bias of the UK police system. They stopped him at the airport and ended up arresting him. At the police station, Robinson was told the cops were raiding properties linked to his name. His house where his children were, and elsewhere at the place Tommy’s parents were at, was ransacked. The authorities marched on in with machine guns, according to him. The reason why Tommy was taken in by police in the first place was for a frivolous £30 criminal damage charge done to a hotel door in Sheffield. He fit the description of the alleged perpetrator. Tommy’s bail conditions, in this case, were he couldn’t contact the EDL (i.e. send things like emails) for three weeks. It was more than coincidental the terms of this agreement lined up exactly with the date Tommy was scheduled to give a speech in Yorkshire on the topic of grooming gangs. EDL helped bring the issue to the public forefront. Whereas UK police were still aiming to keep it under wraps for as long as possible.
Tommy points out the reason the UK police do this is to send a message. That’s the motivation behind what they did to him throughout the past decade. That’s the purpose behind what they did to Brittany Pettibone and Martin Sellner in March 2018.
To that effect, Tommy says this was politically motivated. Robinson put in a complaint through the IPCC (independent police complaints commission). He asked how they got warrants, how they got the go-ahead for everything. It took him two years but he finally got results. They accepted that it was politically motivated, they accepted they sent police officers on training courses, they accepted the police should have never raided Tommy’s house.
Three months after this, on the same property, the door comes in again, six o clock in the morning. That time they came for Tommy’s wife too (six months pregnant at the time). They arrested the both of them on tax irregularities and were bailed on charges of money laundering and tax evasion. they had to answer bail every six weeks for three years. Tommy’s wife was interviewed for eight hours, four times.
“She’d come out each time like a broken woman,” Tommy said.
Tommy says all of this was the start of a case against him. On November 28th, 2012, Tommy was charged with mortgage fraud. They went through every single member of Tommy’s family and went back ten years. The authorities got court summons behind their backs. Access to all accounts and statements surrounding business, money, and finances. Tommy’s parents and his wife were targeted, as well as his him. Their aim, in the end, was to get at Robinson, who’d end up standing trial for tax evasion from this predicament. While Tommy himself could move through the litigation process with relative ease, this was about the UK police targeting Robinson’s family to get them to crack from the pressures of this stressful situation. The authorities put up a financial restraining order freezing Tommy’s assets and companies (he had seven properties and two successful businesses when he started EDL). Laws the Labour government enacted to go after terrorists were being employed against Tommy here. All for exposing the rot within the Islamic community. On top of everything, they put him on an order that he was only allowed to spend 250 pounds (less than USD 350) a week. Otherwise, he’d be held in contempt of court and carted off to prison.
In taking away these things, they gave Tommy nothing to lose in his political fight. But it put his family at risk too. Right after Tommy’s court deliberations, they gave his wife notice to stand trial within two weeks of his not guilty plea here.
“You’re in court in two weeks. They’re trying you for tax,” he told her.
Tommy explains to Brittany he has lived a separate life from his wife and kids, for their safety. It gave Tommy’s family a shroud of privacy protection up until now. Against the far-left groups, Muslim groups, journalists, and the media. The same ones that would be there at Tommy’s wife’s court case.
Tommy goes to court again eventually to face the mortgage fraud trial. He tells us that the courts had no direct evidence against personally. But Tommy’s brother-in-law had a mortgage. One where Tommy lent him a deposit for his first house, leading to a lie about how much was earned on his mortgage form. Tommy was given an offer by the court. If he pleaded guilty? They’d drop the charges against Tommy’s wife his friend, and cousin. But doing so meant facing five years in prison. He didn’t accept the deal initially. Instead, Tommy decided to take it to trial. But the court system had another go at offering Tommy a way out. Lesser charges of fraud with a two-year sentence tops. It meant at least 9 months in jail.
Tommy’s wife broke down when hearing this because she knew her husband was innocent. “I can take a punch in the nose, yeah? Every day. More so than the destruction and the mental problems from what they have done to my family,” Tommy told Brittany.
Tommy was ready to face push-back from the Muslim communities for his activism, but not for the full weight of the state bearing down on him. Tommy took the deal. Everything was dropped against Tommy’s wife. By January 23rd, 2014, Robinson pleaded guilty to fraud. He was sent to HM Prison Woodhill.
But while dealing with the mortgage fraud situation, Tommy Robinson had another situation on his plate.
Tommy illegally entered the United States in September 2012. He tried entering in 2011 but he was held at JFK and deported. The authorities said the British told them not to let him in. Tommy wanted to give his respects to September 11th and warn America about what the UK was doing. He used a friend’s passport to get in the second time. Tommy went straight out of the airport and he gave a speech. On January 7th, 2013, Tommy Robinson was arrested by the British for entering the United States with someone else’s passport. Sentenced to ten months in jail for 2 days in New York. Much of that time was spent in solitary confinement. Although the authorities reportedly subjected Tommy Robinson to solitude for unnaturally long periods of time, at the end of it all he was still alive.
Anyway, let’s jump back to Woodhill.
He was a higher profile bloke at this time and didn’t have the luxury of being locked away on his own. Let’s point out here that Tommy Robinson pleaded guilty for simply filling out something wrong on his brother-in-law’s mortgage form. In theory for a crime like that he should’ve gone to a category D prison. Something where he’d be allowed to go home on weekends, and be allowed family visits. But no. Instead, Tommy Robinson was sent to the maximum security HM Prison Woodhill.
- “HMP Woodhill ‘barely fit for purpose’, IMB report says” via BBC.
- “Why do so many inmates die at Woodhill prison?” via The Guardian.
- “HMP Woodhill: What can be done to cut prison suicides?” via BBC.
There was a knock on Tommy’s cell door. “When they come to get you, do not leave this cell. Your life depends on it,” a prison officer said to him. That guy comes back with two other prison staff and told Tommy they were taking him to B-wing. Robinson refused. The prison officer told Tommy he’d arrest him if he didn’t go (thus giving him a way out of going to B-wing). They arrested Tommy and took him to a punishment block. That officer followed up with Tommy later, letting him know they were taking him to B-wing where there were five Muslims. These five Muslims had a past with Tommy due to the fact six months prior they were caught in a car with IEDs, guns, bombs, and suicide notes explaining they were on their way to kill Tommy Robinson. The group was sentenced to 30 years in prison for that. Tommy watched as they were sentenced. Now the prison system was trying to feed Robinson to these hostile characters.
He had to see the governor before being allowed anywhere else. Whereas in theory prison governors have a duty of care for the inmates, this one seemed to have it out for Tommy Robinson. So he calls in his solicitor (attorney).
On February 5th, 2014, reports surfaced that Tommy was beaten by three Muslim prisoners inside Woodhill prison. Robinson had a legal visit with his solicitor. They met, and Tommy got sent to an isolated meeting room afterward. He walks in and sees beards. Then the door locks behind him, trapping Tommy inside with three attackers. There’s a fight and Tommy ends up losing his teeth. In his interview with Brittany, he remarks the Muslims seemed surprised to see him. Tommy asked prison staff afterward why they involved themselves with these orchestrated prisoner situations. He’s told that many Muslims in this prison were serving lengthy sentences. They’d never be seeing daylight again. So these prisoners would have no problem with hurting a prison guard if they didn’t comply with their demands.
Soon after this encounter, Tommy Robinson got a transfer to HMP Winchester. There he made friends with the Muslim inmates and had an all-around more positive experience there. By June 2014 he was released. Under the condition that nobody from the EDL was allowed to contact him for the next 12 months (the rest of his original sentence).
Two months before the end of the prison sentence, Tommy Robinson had a visit from two men working with the Metropolitan Police Intelligence Bureau. The Metropolitan Police is the police force for London. These men told Tommy they could help him if he worked with them to unite the right and control the opposition. If there was a terrorist attack in the United Kingdom, MiB would have the capacity to control the response to that. The men offered Tommy money in this deal. But Robinson had no interest in talking about Islam at this point, after all the stressful events he and his family went through thus far. In fact, when Tommy came out of prison he said he needed a break. Distanced himself from the world so he could get his life back on track.
Later on, in the months after his release, Tommy was brought in for suspicion of burglary. In this case, it was somewhat unusual as the police transported him four hours away to northern England. For a drug test and interview. He ends up being released on bail for six weeks. Tommy arrives back home to hear his wife say Winchester prison was just on the phone. But again in unusual circumstances, the number they called from was a 0207 line, meaning it came from central London. Tommy calls back and it’s the Metropolitan Police Intelligence Bureau. They blackmailed Tommy’s reputation over the burglary allegation, alluding to the consequences of what would happen if the media got a hold of the story.
Also around this time, a loophole in the guilty plea that Tommy Robinson signed was used against him. The wording in his plea said “at this time it does not bring in a criminal confiscation order,” meaning he’d be free of the government taking his property and money. So it was a surprise to Tommy that he and his family suddenly faced roadblocks when trying to access bank services. His solicitor receives a letter saying Tommy had to pay £365,000 or face five years in jail. The cause of all this stems back to the “at this time” portion of his guilty plea. The inclusion of that means there was an opening for the authorities to take advantage of it later. Tommy says the Metropolitan Police Intelligence Bureau was the force that set this in motion. They called Robinson and said they could make this problem go away. Tommy elects to fight this in court and gets the amount reduced to £125,000. In this situation, there’s an all-around acknowledgment by the prosecution and the courts that what happened here to Tommy was illegal. But it didn’t matter because his window of opportunity to appeal ran out.
Tommy mentioned to the authorities that he was safe in Winchester prison when it came to Muslims. If they had a duty of care in mind, the cops would’ve taken that into consideration. But instead, Tommy was sent to HM Prison Bedford where there were some of the worst Muslim criminals around. Upon arrival, Robinson made friends with one of the prison guard staff. His new pal helped him assess the prison layout and inmate situation. They discerned Tommy would be safer in A Wing, as a majority of the Muslims were situated in the B Wing. Tommy’s ally tried to negotiate on his behalf to get him into A Wing but fell short of winning over the prison administrator. Even after Tommy Robinson wrote a six-page compilation laying out the threats against his life, they weren’t swayed.
“I am in no doubt that strings are being pulled. To give an opportunity for me to be killed,” Tommy tells Brittany.
Upon arrival to B Wing, the inmates cheered like hyenas seeing Tommy Robinson. Knowing full well his life was at risk, Tommy took the initiative to get into a fight as soon as lunchtime came around. While this preemptive self-defense move got him punished, the punishment was the safety of solitary confinement. Where they’d end up holding Tommy for 28 days.
“You think you’ve stopped it?” Tommy told his probation officer after he got out. “You’ve just added another five minutes on my speech.”
In a response back to this, the authorities dictated to Tommy that he wasn’t allowed to talk about the police, Quran, Mohammed, or Islam. If he did, he’d go back to jail. Tommy still gave his speech. He told them all the honest truth that he wasn’t allowed to give the speech he intended.
Eight days left on Tommy’s license, he paid £100,000 out of the £125,000 to the police. Everything goes smoothly from here on out, right? Wrong. He gets arrested again. As you can see by this July 15th, 2015 article that reported on the incident, there wasn’t much in terms of details as to why the police were doing this. A Met Police officer told Tommy “we can make it easy for you.” They wanted him as an informant.
Robinson declined the deal, leading him to be sent to HMP Peterborough. Legally they could only hold Tommy for eight days in this fashion. They’d end up holding him for nine because he was due to speak at the House of Lords on the eighth and the authorities wanted to disrupt those plans. While in the induction wing on his second day, Tommy receives a warning from another inmate about a hit placed on him. In exchange for a cell phone, an ounce of Spice (not the kind you’re thinking of – here it’s the name of a drug), and 500, someone was going to throw a sugar and boiling water mix on him. A teenage murderer and a Somalian man were pointed out as the candidates who took on the hit. Tommy says he was in the same wing as Mohammed Hussain (aged 22), Javed (21) and Rubel (19) Miah, and Fahim Khan (20). They were found guilty of the murder of rapper Isaac Stone, as well as cutting off the nose of one of Isaac’s friends. One of the four guys was apparently involved in this prison bounty on Tommy Robinson here. But Tommy didn’t wait for it to come. He embraced confrontation for the sake of self-defense and went on the offensive against his would-be attacker.
This ordeal would come back into Tommy’s life a few months later. The Daily Star reported on September 6th, 2015 that Tommy Robinson was arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated common assault over the dispute he had in jail.
You can get an inside (albeit biased) documentary-style view of this particular case here. Channel 4’s 24 Hours In Police Custody show did an episode featuring Tommy Robinson’s situation. It’s titled “Love Thy Neighbour” as the overall theme of the different cases featured has extremism involved. If you wanted an idea of what you’re in for: One cop has this monologue saying Tommy Robinson tars the whole Muslim community and is manipulating people.
This televised case against Tommy Robinson ends up getting dismissed by the court (as you can see in the end credits of the videos).
Tommy’s mum had to remortgage the house to pay the rest of the fine. He struggled in his first few years with the EDL. Robinson went through a phase of drinking a lot to try and cope with his circumstances. Tommy has just accepted death at this point. He’s not scared of it anymore.
He tried his hand at working for a media publication previously. Tommy Robinson joined Rebel Media in April 2017 (although he could’ve joined up as far back as February), to “fill a void” in British media. While working for The Rebel Media, Tommy Robinson went to Canterbury Crown Court to cover the events of a trial of an alleged Muslim rape gang. That was May 8th. On the morning of May 10th, Tommy Robinson was arrested (and then released on bail) for being in contempt of court. A later report indicates police and court staff had previously warned him about contempt of court laws. The judge ended up sparing jail time in this instance.
Now, they’re building up to remove Tommy from social media altogether. It began in November 2017 when Twitter did a wave of deverification in the midst of “overhauling” that feature of their site. Tommy Robinson’s blue checkmark next to his Twitter profile was taken away. The next action against Tommy Robinson’s Twitter arrived at the end of February 2018. He was suspended from the website for one week after stating a statistical fact about grooming gang members in the UK being 90% Muslim.
All of this provides the relevant context to explain why Tommy Robinson’s Speaker’s Corner speech matters.
In spite of everything he went through with the police, Tommy Robinson still took the risk of going to Speaker’s Corner and delivering Martin Sellner’s speech. The public opinion on Tommy’s odds for success here was against him. A majority of folks didn’t expect that the UK authorities would allow Tommy to do this. Especially since the cops had booted Robinson out of Speaker’s Corner when he visited three days earlier. Tommy didn’t even agree with some of Martin Sellner’s political views expressed in his speech. But Robinson, and thousands of people gathered at Speaker’s Corner on March 18th to celebrate and defend the principle of having the individual right to express one’s views of the world.
When Tommy Robinson started the EDL it was a reactionary movement based on what he saw going on in his immediate neighborhood. He did not know what could possibly happen as a result of his activism. But here at Speaker’s Corner, Tommy Robinson knowingly went back to face the known dangers of his opposition in order to stand up for the values of the Western world. In light of the erosion to them inflicted by the government of the United Kingdom.
Finally, Tommy Robinson got axed permanently from Twitter at the end of March 2018, as the result of an argument with a left-wing activist. “People who are poor are still alive. Islam promotes killing people,” Tommy tweeted.
The May 6th march was inevitable.
But you deserve to understand the situation going on here. Tommy Robinson was targeted by an online group known as Resisting Hate, led by one Roanna Carleton-Taylor. In the week before Tommy’s ban, Roanna used her website’s mailing list system to initiate a mass-flagging call-out to her followers. I was forwarded the email in question by someone subscribed to the group.
It’s through Resisting Hate that I caught wind of Fiyaz Mughal for the first time. Fiyaz is the founder of Faith Matters, an interfaith organization in the UK and abroad. He’s also the founder of a group called TellMAMAUK. Their purpose is to serve as an intermediary and data collection service for “Muslim hate incidents.”
But I’ll let TellMAMA’s website description speak for itself:
“TELL MAMA supports victims of anti-Muslim hate and is a public service which also measures and monitors anti-Muslim incidents. It is not meant to be a replacement for the Police Service.”
The wording of that is important as there’s a very wide scope of interpretation involved on TellMAMA’s part here.
Around the same time that Roanna Carleton-Taylor of Resisting Hate was targeting Tommy Robinson, Britain First’s Facebook page was removed. Fiyaz Mughal took to the Huffington Post to make remarks on the matter. This includes disclosing TellMAMA’s involvement in lobbying Facebook to have them take the page down. Click here to see him talk about that in this HuffPost article. This demonstrates the core of Fiyaz Mughal’s methodology. To stop what he sees as “hate” he aims to remove the ability for right-wing groups to speak at all. As you can see here, Fiyaz Mughal values “social fabric and cohesion” over freedom of expression.
Under what authority does Fiyaz Mughal have to vicariously take offended on the behalf of the Muslim community? Moreover, what authority does he have to dictate what’s acceptable and not acceptable when it comes to political speech?