This is the second installment of a four-part series. Previously: Part 1.
Keeping a Close Eye on the Right Wing
Part 2: The Transatlantic Connection
As mentioned in the introduction to this series, the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence (ICSR) held a conference in London on March 13 to study the “New Far Right” in Europe, with a special focus on the English Defence League. Paul Weston has described the event as preparation of the virtual battlefield in advance of a takedown of the EDL by Prime Minister David Cameron and the British government.
Based on the conference report, “A Neo-Nationalist Network: The English Defence League and Europe’s Counter-Jihad Movement”, the EDL was indeed the major focus of the ICSR event. But was the conference convened to launch the report? Or was the report commissioned in advance to help justify a predetermined conclusion, namely that the EDL needs to be banned?
In either case, the paper fails to provide meaningful documentation of any dangerous tendencies in the English Defence League and its allies. The authors seem to be of two minds, analyzing the EDL using loaded terms, yet providing a great deal of material that is intended to be positive. The result of their efforts is a schizophrenic document