(Trigger Warning: Links to articles mentioning rape, Female Genital Mutilation, sexual assault and featuring misogyny and transphobic comments).
Since the EDL’s foundation in 2009 they have been keen to win some liberals over with their ‘support’ for women’s rights within Islam, highlighting Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), the burqa and cases of stoning and murder in dictatorships that seek to use Sharia Law as justification.
Alongside proclaiming to have an LGBT division as well as Sikh and Jewish Divisions, the EDL also heavily promoted their division for women, the EDL Angels. In some respects the Angels have been the most successful of the EDL ‘Liberation’ divisions. Members of the LGBT division were attacked by other EDL members, the Sikh Division has diminished after Sikhs against the EDL’s work in the community and the Jewish Division has never featured more than a group of ultra-zionists (Most Jews are uncomfortable around people whose members regularly Hitler salute).
Yet the EDL Angels have continued and held their own demonstration outside Downing Street.
In it’s brief history, linking the EDL’s opposition to Islam with the struggle for women’s liberation has been profitable in the sense that it has given them liberal cover in the mainstream.
Since we posted the picture of Pompey Antifa members after last week’s Exeter demo, we have been impressed by the far-right’s powers of observation. One of the moderators of South Coast Patriot News Facebook page has such a knowledge of the garage doors on the Island he reckons he can tell where we once were. Another thing they noticed is that one of the antifascists in the photo is a woman.
This photo is just one example of the far-right’s sexism towards antifascists but what about the women they are supposedly fighting for?
After the Murder of Lee Rigby, the EDL had a short lived renaissance with divisions holding ‘memorial’ protests around the country. During their protest in Sheffield, The local student paper reported incidents of EDL members telling local Muslim women to ‘get back in the Kitchen’.
During a protest by mainly Muslim women outside the French Embassy against the French Niqab ban, the EDL attacked the protesters and chanted at them to get off the streets.
Here are the comments on an article posted by the Casuals United blog, making a graphic joke out of FGM.
In fact the climate whipped up by the far-right and the Islamaphobia of politicians and the mainstream media has made the lives of Muslim women worse.
Research by Tell MAMA, a group documenting anti-Muslim attacks, shows Muslim women are the victims in the majority of incidents reported to them. A report by Tell MAMA and the University of Birmingham highlights the cases of Muslim women being attacked and allows some of them to tell their stories.
Despite claiming to be saving Muslim women from their ‘subjugation’ under Islam, the far-right have attacked any public display of Muslim women showing their own independence. This is because the they actually do not care about the rights of women, whether Muslim or not, but want to daemonise a community by any means.
They have been caught sexually assaulting female photographers, as well as setting others on fire. Also, Tommy Robinson isn’t the only member with a history of domestic abuse. They also pushed one of their Angels off a coach in Tower Hamlets in order to save themselves.
Throughout history, Nazis and fascists have been about ‘putting women in their place’ rather than making them equal in society. The contemporary far-right in the UK are no different. We have a long way to go before we see real equality and liberation for women in society, but it is clear that the far-right have no part to play in achieving it.
P.S. In the process of writing this article I came across this Gem from South Coast Patriot News…