From Gates of Vienna:
I’ve bumped this post to the top and will keep it there for a while because so many additional signatories, including several Americans, have asked that their names be added to the list. Scroll to the bottom to see who’s there — some may surprise you.
As most readers already know, earlier today Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugs posted a prominent repudiation of the English Defence League, including references to their alleged infiltration by “neo-fascists”.
A group of Counterjihad bloggers and writers has joined together to publish this open letter to Ms. Geller. Most of us are Europeans, but not all — we also have signatories from the United States, Canada, and Australia.
If you are a blogger or a writer and want to add your signature to this letter, please send your name and URL to me (unspiek [at] chromatism [dot] net), or to the proprietors of other sites where it has been posted.
Dear Ms. Geller,
We the undersigned are writing to register our astonishment and dismay at your public denunciation of the English Defence League, and in particular your reference to the “neo-fascists that had infiltrated the administration of the group”.
This is a grossly inaccurate and unfair slander against the leaders and membership of the EDL, who have never wavered in their refusal to include neo-Nazis, fascists, or adherents of any other ideology that seeks to divide people based on their ethnicity. The core mission of the EDL has always been, and remains, to stop the encroachment of sharia and Islamic fascism.
For the past two years the English Defence League has been on the front lines of the resistance to sharia and militant Islam in England. Its leaders have put their own lives in danger by doing so. They live under constant threat, not just from murderous Muslim zealots, but from their own government, which has harassed and arrested them repeatedly. Tommy Robinson, the leader of the EDL, has been arrested multiple times, and is currently facing trumped-up charges designed to put him and the EDL out of action.
To paraphrase Geert Wilders: “I was dragged to court by leftist and Islamic organizations that were bent not only on silencing me but on stifling public debate.” The EDL is being dragged into a kangaroo court of uninformed public opinion. The more people’s fears can be raised, the more quickly debate can be smothered.
In the final analysis, as Geert Wilders points out, the strength of our community depends on the freedom we feel to “enter our convictions in the open lists to win or lose”.
All communities inevitably experience conflicts based on differences of opinion. It is crucial that we approach one another’s efforts in good faith, presume the other’s efforts to be well-meaning until conclusively proven otherwise, support initiatives made by others that further our common cause, and refuse to be dragged into parsing ever more finely our differences.
Our ideal of the “perfect” can kill any merely “good enough” effort.
Your unfortunate statements were picked up and repeated by other websites and blogs, some of them quite prominent and well-respected. This has done harm to our common cause, and has driven a completely needless wedge between the American and European wings of the international Counterjihad.
To help heal the damage that has been done, we insist that you apologize in a public forum to the English Defence League.
Its leaders and members are heroes, and their organization is widely considered a beacon of hope in Europe. All Europeans who resist the Islamization of their countries look to the EDL for inspiration, and all of them stand in solidarity with it in its struggle.
We strongly request that you reconsider your deplorable words and withdraw them.
Signer list is updated as of July 3rd, 2011