UK

EDL-Ex Leaders Tommy Robinson And Kevin Carroll's Views On Islam: Have They Really Changed?

09/10/2013 17:35 BST | Updated 09/10/2013 17:48 BST
Getty
(FILES) In this file picture taken on September 11, 2013 Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (L), also known as Tommy Robinson, the co-founder, spokesman and leader of the English Defence League (EDL) and EDL Deputy Leader Kevin Carroll (R) leave after attending Westminster Magistrates Court in central London. The leader of Britain's far-right, anti-Islamic English Defence League quit on October 8, 2013, saying he felt he could no longer keep 'extremist elements' in the group at bay. In a surprise move, EDL leader Tommy Robinson announced his resignation -- along with that of his deputy Kevin Carroll -- through Quilliam, a think-tank that works to counter Islamic extremism. AFP PHOTO / CARL COURT (Photo credit should read CARL COURT/AFP/Getty Images)

On Tuesday Tommy Robinson and Kevin Carroll stepped down as co-leaders of the EDL saying they couldn't control "extremist elements" in its ranks.

In a press conference and subsequent Newsnight interview, Robinson insisted he had "battled for four years to keep racists, Nazis and extremists out of this movement".

Obviously this gent he shared a stage with in Newcastle slipped through the net.

EDL demo in Newcastle in May of this year

When asked by presenter Jeremy Paxman about his views on mosques, Robinson said he was not against mosques but thinks they needed "moderated and regulated".

He added: "I don’t hate Muslims... I don’t hate Muslims at all."

As recently as September 21st Robinson told a rally in Sheffield: "The Muslim community have been raising funds to build another mosque in this area.

"They already have over forty mosques in Sheffield. At what point does diversity become takeover?

"How can five per cent of the community need so many mosques?"

Robinson and Carroll addressing a rally in Sheffield last month

Robinson has been at pains to highlight how he only wanted to protest against extremist Islam, not Islam in general.

Just after the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby however, he was filmed during an EDL protest and made no distinction between the two at all.

He said: "We've got our daughters being groomed and raped by Muslims in every city across this country and now they're chopping our soldiers’ heads off.

"This is Islam. This is what we've seen today. That is Islam."

A spontaneous EDL demo after the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby

But Robinson claims the message of the EDL leadership has been "lost in translation because of the actions of a minority".

He added: "I want to use that voice in a positive way, not in a way that discriminates against all Muslims.

"I have battled to steer this organisation on what me and my cousin Kevin [Carroll] have built it on and we have built it on [being] inclusive and welcoming everybody."

Except Muslims.

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Here is a selection of tweets from co-leader Kevin Carroll clearly stating his opinion of Islam.

Carroll on Islam

Kevin Carroll

He's also partial to the odd offensive picture too.

The Pork Defence League?

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Towards the end of the Newsnight interview, Robinson took an apologetic tone.

He said: "If individual Muslim women or anyone has felt fear and intimidation and it's on behalf of me then I apologise for that."

Perhaps he's referring to the time he racially abused a 15-year-old girl on Twitter.

Presumably he won't be changing his opinion on their choice of clothing though.

No to the burka

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And no to the Hijab