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How Quilliam joined former EDL leader in spreading false rumour about cheap ‘Muslim only’ football tickets

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How Quilliam joined former EDL leader in spreading false rumour about cheap ‘Muslim only’ football tickets

The harassment and abuse of Muslim spectators at a West Ham United football match last Saturday, during which they were subjected to shouts of “fucking Pakis, go home” and “E, E, EDL”, has been widely reported.

Fuel was subsequently thrown on the fire of anti-Muslim bigotry by claims that the men were at the ground because the club had offered tickets at a specially reduced price for Muslims. As Steve Rose has written in an article posted on the Tell Mama website:

Social media soon became a hotbed of conspiracy theories about West Ham trying to ‘Islamify’ their support by offering heavily discounted tickets to Muslims.  There was genuine anger from many over this ‘two-tier’ ticketing.

However, this is untrue. West Ham sells discounted tickets for British soldiers and periodically offers ‘kids for a quid’ specials. There was no special ‘Muslim’ discount. Such anger might be indicative of an underlying Islamophobia in some supporters.

These tickets are routinely offered to local community groups and are available to all. Not everyone who purchased these £5 tickets was Muslim. It was merely a reflection of that community (for example, some were Eastern European and non-Muslim Asian). There was no conspiracy. West Ham was simply making football more affordable.

Rose has rightly condemned those who pushed the inflammatory story about “Muslim-only” tickets:

Steve-Rose-condemns-false-rumour-about-Muslim-only-tickets

Predictably, one of the people who played an active part in spreading this rumour was former English Defence League leader (and supposed ex-extremist) Stephen Lennon, aka “Tommy Robinson”, who took to Twitter to try and stir things up:

Stephen-Lennon-cheap-tickets-for-Muslims-tweet

To back up this story, Lennon tweeted a photo of one of the reduced-price tickets supposedly sold exclusively to Muslims. The photo was then used by the popular (unofficial) West Ham News Twitter account as evidence that “People from the local mosque get tickets for £5, whereas we have to pay up to £52″.

Such behaviour is par for the course with Lennon. When he led the EDL he regularly used social media to spread baseless rumours about Muslims. In May he claimed that a 7-year-old girl had been gang-raped in a Luton school toilet by Muslims. In June, he accused Muslims of having launched a “violent attack on innocent English boys and girls” in Ashton-Under-Lyne. In July Lennon was at it again, accusing the Barnsley Chronicle of covering up the fact that an assault on a serving soldier was carried out by Muslims. Needless to say, all of these rumours turned out to be false.

So how did Lennon’s NBF, Maajid Nawaz of Quilliam, respond to his protégé’s irresponsible tweeting? Did he perhaps pull “Tommy” up on it and warn him against falling back into his old ways? Not a bit of it. As Steve Rose has pointed out, Nawaz immediately jumped in to support Lennon, accusing West Ham of “discrimination” against non-Muslims:

Maajid-Nawaz-and-Stephen-Lennon-on-Upton-Park-incident

All this just reinforces the argument that Lennon hasn’t changed his opinions and methods at all. He remains the same anti-Muslim provocateur that he was when he led the EDL. As for Quilliam, they have justified their alliance with Lennon on the basis that under their influence he will gradually be won away from his former extremist views. What really seems to be happening is the reverse – far from Quilliam influencing Lennon, it’s Lennon who’s now influencing Quilliam.

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  • Tanveer Khan

    Yeah, that. It just didnt sound right in my head at the moment (neither did kaffirised but I still went along with it)

  • Tanveer Khan

    Ill try to remember xD

  • SarahAB

    Takfired?

  • P_Synthesis

    Must’ve petered out… well if you ever get him to open up about it let us know haha. 🙂

  • Tanveer Khan

    I didn’t know what to use….

  • Tanveer Khan

    Yeah, that’s him. I did a bit of research on CENTRI. I didn’t find much apart from a website which has hardly anything on it.

  • P_Synthesis

    On the right in this vid? Actually a co-founder of Quilliam but left early. I wish you could find out why as no-one knows. In my view Nawaz makes a great deal of sense there and so does your uncle. Smart man.

    Wikipedia says he left to form “Centri”, which no longer seems to exist…

  • Jekyll

    kaffirised ?
    like kaffirrilating and kaffirization, kaffirinincty, kaffirologue, kaffiriastan, ka…

  • Jekyll

    Would be better if all the ex’s stayed in Texas.

  • Jon Diamond

    Nawaz was on Real Time with Bill Maher today. He showed up with extra security because he stated he was put on a hit list by the group that did the Kenyan Mall Shootings named al Shabab.

    I checked everywhere to see if some representative of the group had released a hit list with him on it. I realized the only person saying he was on the hit list was him.

    He learned he was on the list right before he was supposed to go on Anderson Cooper 360 and Real Time. How convenient.

    In his interview with Bill Maher, he seemed to say the things that Americans wanted to hear. Malala talks about the horrors of drones strikes. This fool minimizes that by saying more Pakistanis have been killed by Al-Quaida than by drone strikes.

    He knows how to market himself to make the most money.

  • Tanveer Khan

    I’m not particularly sure… I only ever found out stuff about it from titbits of conversation from my dad…. and google. I’ve never really talked about it with him much apart from just saying “People say some pretty brutal stuff to you on the internet, don’t they?”. He was just like “yeah”. His name’s Rashad Ali if you want to look him up.

  • GaribaldiOfLoonwatch

    That’s interesting. Why did your uncle leave Quilliam?

  • Tanveer Khan

    I’m not surprised. He’s been kaffirised quite a few times so I kinda guessed he wasn’t popular.

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  • rookie

    The first time LW mentioned this Quilliam guy, I was writing a comment, but could not post it.
    Now, I`ll tell you.
    This Quilliam guy that keeps repeating that he is an ex-extremist reminds me of those “ex-muslims” going around and yelling “I`m an ex-bla, bla, bla”.

  • Jekyll

    Qulliam, Prince William Boys have I think just earned themselves the award of being universally loathed by all Muslims…

  • mindy1

    I wish that one day all these nutters will realize how they sound, and ask for forgiveness for their nuttiness

  • Tanveer Khan

    One of my uncles is friends with this Maajid guy…. (well Facebook friends, so I assume he’s met him before)

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