Apparently Melanie Phillips can dish it out but she can't take it. She was shocked that both Robert and I would respond to her gratuitous attack on our work. She is calling her cop-out column "A hysterical and ignorant response."
What did she expect? That we wouldn't defend ourselves? She has attacked me before. She praised a blogger who wrote that I was "a lunatic blogger." Please go here and read it all. I did not respond, because lord knows that intercine warfare is the last thing we need. But the last shot she took was a step too far. Not now, when the stakes are so high and time is too short.
Hysterical and ignorant? Pathetic. More elitism. She says she doesn't want to engage in ad hominen attacks, so she lets others do the dirty work and then praises them.
Forgive me if I don't drop to my knees in thanks because she called us "anti-jihad" and not "anti-Muslim," "anti-Islam," or "islamophobic" like the enemy does. That's how low her bar is -- we are supposed to be grateful that she doesn't defame us.
She pats herself on the back for opposing our banning order, but so did some of our most vicious enemies. Are we to be grateful that she didn't support the ban? Really? Please, Mel, don't help me. With friends like you, we don't need Harry's Place.
As for the evidence she presents against the EDL, it is weak and unconvincing. The EDL was formed because the BNP was racist and anti-semitic. They purge BNP from their ranks. The EDL has a Jewish division (and an LBGT division, a Sikh division, etc.). Tommy has been arrested? So what? I never said these were Nancy boys. They aren't. And they don't play in the sandboxes of Oxford, Cambridge or The Spectator. He has paid his debt to society; how long will his troubled youth be held against him? He is, in his way, a more eloquent and impassioned voice against the islamization of his country than is Phillips.
The EDL has nothing racist or xenophobic about its platform. Phillips knows full well that the rare nazi salute at an EDL rally is most often the work of an infiltrator, a deliberate schemer attempting to smear the group. They are removed from the demo immediately. She ought to be more critical of those who seek to manipulate her good opinion.
Phillips says that the EDL targets mosques, but it doesn't. Actually Islamic supremacists fake attacks on mosques and try to pin them on the EDL, but Tommy Robinson has said: "Anyone who knows anything about our group knows there is no way we do anything like that. It’s just so blatant it’s not us."
Her reference to Vlaams Belang is really a low blow. First, because we attended a conference in 2007 that Filip DeWinter happened to be at (here). That is the extent of my relationship. I knew nothing of him or his group (I still don't) when I went to Brussels along with Bat Ye'or, David Littman, Dr. Aryeh Eldad (Israel), Robert Spencer, Dr. Andrew Bostom, Friends of Oriana Fallaci and the world's leading counter jihadists. Hundreds were there. So was DeWinter. So what? Melanie Phillips is now attaching herself to the libels of the execrable Charles Johnson. That tells you everything.
A hysterical and ignorant response Melanie PhillipsThere's more drivel .......
I am rubbing my eyes at the hysterical responses to my blog post on the British government’s banning order against anti-jihadi activists Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer.
I am rubbing my eyes at the hysterical responses to my blog post on the British government’s banning order against anti-jihadi activists Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer. People will have to read what I wrote, alongside the attacks on me by Ms Geller and Mr Spencer, to decide for themselves whether their responses were proportionate -- or could even be considered an accurate or fair representation of what I wrote.
Unlike the two of them, I have no wish to indulge in such ad hominem -- and counter productive – vitriol. I would just make the following points.
First, you would hardly think from their reaction that I actually opposed – and in the strongest terms – the order banning them from Britain. Furthermore, I spoke of them merely as ‘anti-jihadis’ and gave unambiguous credit to Robert Spencer’s scrupulous scholarship. The only aspect on which I said in this piece that I parted company with them was over their endorsement of
‘groups such as the EDL and others which at best do not deal with the thuggish elements in their ranks and at worst are truly racist or xenophobic.’
I did not call the EDL racist or neo-Nazi. I do, however, believe it contains thuggish elements.
Its leader, ‘Tommy Robinson’, has criminal convictions for assault and football hooliganism.
He is a former member of the unquestionably racist British National Party. Some members of the EDL have been pictured making Nazi salutes at rallies. The EDL exploits the very real threat of jihad, as well as the often violent attacks against its own members, to mask its own demonstrably yobbish behaviour. You can see examples of such behavior, throwing bottles at the police, here or here, where Tommy Robinson decided to go on a bender in Luton and started gratuitously throwing missiles at the police from a distance, boasting he would ‘hit a police officer on the … head’.
‘The Islamic community will feel the full force of the EDL if we see any of our citizens killed maimed or hurt’.
It stages provocative stunts like this one to defy the police in order to pose as martyrs to ‘sharia law’, while actually provoking violence of which it then claims to be the victim (look closely to see how the punch that is thrown comes in response to being pushed).
To represent a refusal to be associated with all this as some kind of snobbish sneering at the lower classes is therefore demonstrably ridiculous. That claim, moreover, reflects a belief in a comic book caricature of Britain which is startlingly ignorant and prejudiced, as well as the arrogant assumption that people in the US know better than the British what is actually taking place on British streets.
By ‘other racist or xenophobic groups’, by the way, I was referring to the Vlaams Belang, a Belgian party which was formed when its predecessor the Vlaams Blok -- whose former vice-president cast doubt on the Holocaust -- disbanded after being convicted of racism, and alongside whose frontman, Filip Dewinter, Ms Geller and Mr Spencer participated in a ‘counter-jihad’ conference in Brussels in 2007.
Ms Geller refers to a claim by Jamie Glazov at Front Page Magazine, where Robert Spencer’s JihadWatch is housed, that I have
‘hit two freedom fighters when the chips are down’.
Hmmn – ‘hit’ Ms Geller and Mr Spencer by strongly opposing their banning order, right