As protests across the world today demand the release of Britain’s most unlikely political prisoner, it is worth considering what motivated a young man from a working-class background to take on not only Britain’s Shame (the predominantly Muslim rape gang epidemic) but the very political establishment that allowed such a thing to happen.
Tommy Robinson (real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon) has not just placed himself above the parapet; he has become the cri de cœur for vast swathes of the nation who feel abandoned, abused, and subjugated by the very state that claims to protect them. He is now in prison facing 13 long months behind bars with a price on his head from the extreme Islamists who run Britain’s cell blocks. But how did Tommy arrive at this point in his life: at once the most reviled and respected man in the U.K.?
In his hometown of Luton, Tommy was prompted to begin and organize a group called the English Defense League, reportedly in response to two events that took place. The first was that of young men in his community being recruited to fight for the Taliban in Afghanistan (and allegedly the police refused to step in); the second was when Islamists protested against a British army homecoming parade. In the interest of “keeping the peace,” the extremists were allowed to spit at and abuse the soldiers and the grieving families in the solemn event.
Tommy founded the EDL with his cousin and soon began picking up members of all races and backgrounds. They organized rallies, marches, and speeches, and attempted to highlight “grooming gangs” that were operating with impunity and radical Islamists who preach hatred and violence.
Despite, or perhaps because of, growing popularity, the EDL was widely regarded in the British press as a group of “far-right Islamophobes.” Whenever EDL would organize an event, counter-protestors were not far behind. Added to a spiraling membership, things began to look rocky for the group.
Tommy’s involvement with the organization he founded came to a head when he was sent to prison for assault of an EDL member. In his defense, Tommy claimed that the person he attacked was a Neo-Nazi who had infiltrated the group.
After 12 weeks in prison, Tommy was released and began campaigning for his “culture and his country.” Yet splits were appearing within the EDL. In 2013, he left the EDL, claiming that it was becoming a vehicle for “racists and Nazis.” Upon announcing his “retirement” from the group, he stated that he was becoming concerned over the “dangers of far-right extremism.” He said that he was still going to “counter Islamist ideology […] not with violence but with democratic ideas.”
Robinson continued to protest the “Islamization” of Britain and the permissiveness of the British government in allowing openly extremist groups to operate in local Mosques. He worked alongside the Quilliam Foundation, who help people escape from extremism, and began appearing more and more on British television – usually to hostile hosts and audiences.
In 2012, Tommy was charged with conspiracy to commit fraud on a mortgage application and sentenced to 18 months in Woodhill Prison where he was under “constant attack” by Islamic extremists. The danger he found himself in prompted Maajid Nawaz – himself a former Islamist who now helps others escape extremism – to write to the Home Secretary (the equivalent of Secretary of State) asking for him to be moved to safer prison. Tommy was then moved to Winchester Prison where he described the Muslim prisoners as great lads […] I cannot speak highly enough of the Muslim inmates I’m now living with.”
Tommy was released early and began touring the country and speaking out against extremism; his quick wit and “disarming intelligence” began winning over those that had previously disregarded him as “nothing but a hooligan.”
When news broke that more than 1,400 white British schoolgirls had been systematically raped, sexually abused, and trafficked in Rotherham by Muslim men of Pakistani origin, the country was aghast. And when it was discovered that local government, police, and social workers had been aware of this for several years but refused to act out of “fear of being seen as racist,” Tommy was vindicated in what he had been saying since he began public appearances.
This National Shame was only to get worse. Since the initial Rotherham case, scores of towns and cities have “discovered” that similar gangs are operating. Prosecutions are taking place but are rarely publicized. The “grooming gangs” are mostly made up of British born Pakistani Muslim men who usually operate in groups of up to 30 individuals.
And Tommy continued to speak out.
Adopting the role of “citizen journalist,” Tommy has made it his raison d’être to expose these gangs. He films them, he asks them questions, and he publishes online. Part of his reasoning is that the men convicted of these hideous crimes tell those in their local community that they are being imprisoned for different offenses (such as tax evasion) and then return home with no one being aware that they have pedophile rapists living next door. Tommy takes that option away from them.
Which brings us to present day. Tommy sits in a prison cell for attempting to expose these predators to the world. This prompts an observation and a question: If the establishment media had been doing their jobs, there would be no need for a Tommy Robinson; and why would it now be considered criminal to expose the perpetrators of a child rape epidemic?
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