Perhaps the most curious part about identity politics is how vitriolic folks get when you stray outside the norms of accepted behavior. As we described in our 'Australia Day' analysis, Aboriginal writers who say personal responsibility and hard work are the key to improving the lot of Aborigines are tarred as 'coconut,' and worse.
Imagine then what my partner in conversation today must experience on a daily basis. Growing up in the UK as a gay man today should be easier than ever before- though of course it still presents many challenges. Now imagine what it must be like to be an openly gay man who opposes a religion that demands his death, in a nation where Islam is a protected ideology. Only the backwards logic of the Neo-Marxist left can tar this self-preserving mentality as bigotry but that is the West at the moment; a culture war on many fronts. Today's Standard Conversation is with Tommy English, the founder of the movement Gays Against Sharia UK.
RN: Hi Tommy. You are making a few waves in the United Kingdom by being one of a small number of gay activists who recognize that Islam is not your friend. How did that realization come about? Were you involved in activism before you recognized the threat of Sharia?
I recognized the evils of Islam and Sharia when I was a young teenager. The media was plagued with stories of terror cells, grooming gangs, sharia courts to which they still report about even to this day. Before the birth of the EDL (English Defence League) I did some basic research into Islam and read the Koran and it truly terrified me how a book can preach so much hatred towards our fellow man and how 1.5 billion Muslims are taught to follow this book to the letter around the world. When the EDL came about in 2009, I believed it was a front group for the BNP and other Nazi groups until the BBC showed the leadership, including Tommy Robinson and Kevin Carroll, burning a Swastika- this changed my views of the organization completely. I joined the EDL not long afterward.
RN: I read through your Facebook pages that members of your group have allegedly been attacked by the Communist street gang, ANTIFA. How did that happen?
Yes, Annie and Jay. When myself and Annie decided to join forces and hold a joint Bristol march in September 2017, the local Antifascists went after her. I demanded that the police do something to protect her. Jay came about after he posted a video on YouTube expressing his support for the march and that he will be attending, which also made him a target. Jay and Annie attended a book fair at a local primary school where an Antifascist bookstall was been held. Members of ANTIFA physically assaulted them and the case against them is still ongoing.
Editors Note- Annie has written about her own experiences as a pro-Brexit immigrant from Greece on this site before. You can read her article here.
RN: What do you think about the British establishment's attitude towards Islam? It looks like you can barely criticise the ideas of Islam without risking arrest. Isn't it risky to do what you are doing?
When you criticize something you will always have those who support it come out an oppose you. You can criticize Christianity and Judaism with no repercussions but as soon as you mention Islam, you are labeled as a far-right neo-nazi white supremacist. After years of Left Wing Indoctrination in our schools, young people are taught to never criticize as they may cause offense and then they are labeled a racist. The debates on Islam you see on the TV and Youtube are always one-sided, whoever says anything factual about Islam is shouted down and branded. There is always a risk to one's person if you are going to come out an openly criticize Islam; you can be arrested for a hate crime, have your children put into care, lose your job and even have local Muslims and Anarchists attack you in your home. Victory, unfortunately, doesn't come without sacrifice.
RN: Is your movement a front for racists? Surely you recognize that you could be used as a shield to deflect attention from the far-right.
No, we have always pitched Gays Against Sharia as being completely open and diverse. On our last march, we had a local Muslim come out in support for us and they even gave a speech. We are the crappiest “racist” organization ever!
RN: What specifically is it about Sharia that you are opposed to?
I am opposed to all aspects of Sharia Law as it removes Individual rights and freedoms. Imagine a nation where women are beaten, raped and murdered because the law says it is okay. Imagine a nation where Gay people are executed, followers of other faiths murdered, Young children been pimped, drugged and raped all because the law says its okay. I can't even begin to imagine what this country would look like under Sharia Law and it breaks my heart that there are people out there suffering a great deal under this barbaric system. But hey, Islam means peace, right?
RN: Do you think Islam can be reformed in the West?
No, Islam cannot be reformed in my opinion, however, there are those in the organization who believe it can.
RN: Pew Research estimates that if all migration ends immediately, 10% of the population of the United Kingdom will be Muslim by 2050. Even with that improbably benevolent result this is the same proportion of followers of Islam that France has today- and their problems are severe in terms of integration, terrorism, and crime. Do you think there is any hope for a positive change in the United Kingdom post-Brexit?
There is hope as long as the current Conservative government actually deliver the BREXIT we voted for. When you look across Europe at the migrant rape statistics and the huge number of terror attacks in recent years, it should serve as a wake-up call to the British people. Alas they are still mostly blind to this threat. [Angela] Merkel's legacy will be “The Woman who destroyed Europe”, as she gave our continent away for the sake of multiculturalism.
RN: For sure, if ever there was an advert against virtue signaling, Angela Merkel is it. What about the aims of Gays Against Sharia? 5 years from now, what would you like to be doing?
5 years from now I would like to say I hope Islam has been subjected to British Law and that Sharia Law and the practice of Sharia is a criminal offense. Where do I see the group in 5 years time? Hopefully, it'll be the biggest LGBT group in Europe and what we would like to be doing is traveling the country and hopefully the European continent exposing the evils of Islam and Sharia. I want Gays Against Sharia to go global in 5 years time.
RN: Good luck with that. So, with that aim in mind who are some of your allied groups?
We are allied with British and Immigrants Unite Against Terror and we are currently building links with Vets Against Terrorism. Annie runs Brits and Immigrants Unite Against Terror- so we were allied from the very second we formed Gays Against Sharia. We are in the process of building an alliance with Vets Against Terrorism to show our mutual support for each other, and to increase the turnout at our rallies.
RN: It's certainly an uphill struggle to get a complex message across- the left can just say 'give me this, give me that, you racists.' Speaking of the Hard Left, Why do you think the Hard-Left activists are so interested in your group? As far as my understanding of intersectional theory goes, the voices of oppressed minorities- like gays and immigrants, both of whom are well represented in Gays Against Sharia- these voices should be amplified over voices like mine, a straight white guy. As there are lots of straight white anarchists in the UK, why do you think it's such a problem for them that you oppose Islamic Law?
They are scared of Gays Against Sharia as they are worried they will lose their Left Wing LGBT supporters to us. It is hard for them and the media to brand us Far Right and when they do they are met with a barrage of messages and tweets asking “Why is a pro-gay group far right?” among others. The Left thinks they can stop the momentum that Gays Against Sharia has gained but sadly for them, it isn't going to happen. The left has believed for years that they own the gay community, but as I stated during the Unite Against Hate march that took place in Manchester on June 10th 2017 “I am so sick of the Left Wing's grip on the gay community- well today, it dies.”
RN: Well put! It would be great if we reach a point where people can hold political opinions separate from their race or sexual preference. Maybe one day the Leftists will see the truth in that. Thanks for talking with me Tommy; tell us, what's next for Gays Against Sharia?
We are holding our first 2018 protest in Bristol on March 3rd to protest against the 'politically correct' policing that led to Bunny Crehan* dying in prison, and to support Annie and Jay in their pursuit of justice against ANTIFA.
RS: Thanks for talking with us Tommy, all the best for he future. If you're in the Bristol, UK area in March, here's the link to Tommy's event.
- Bunny Crehan was arrested and jailed for 12 months for tying bacon to the door of a mosque in Bristol. While that act was pointless- so was the imposition of such a lengthy stint in prison. Thanks to the British legal system catagorizing the crime as a "racially aggravated public order offence" rather than 'being rude to a religion' he received a draconian punishment. You must not offend Islam. He died at Bristol Prison on December 27, 2016. He was five months into a year-long jail sentence.