The leader of a British neo-fascist white supremacist group earned praise from Fox News host Brian Kilmeade this week on his radio program, just one day before he gave a very similar interview to BBC Radio that sparked a torrent of controversy across the U.K.
“Kilmeade and Friends” featured the leader of the English Defence League (EDL) on Monday, a protest group known to march through the streets attacking non-white people and making Nazi salutes. After about 15 minutes of interviewing 30-year-old EDL leader leader Tommy Robinson about his anti-Islamic views, Kilmeade exclaimed: “Well Tommy, we’ve got your back and we’ll definitely look to keep in touch. I really think it’s a very — it’s great, what you’re doing.”
Less than 24 hours later, BBC Radio faced a torrent of criticism in London for featuring a similarly non-critical interview with Robinson. “That interview did not constitute scrutiny,” Plly Billington, a Labour candidate for parliament, complained on Twitter. “Unchallenged lies and hatred poison our national debate.”
Robinson also appeared on Fox News last week with right-wing talk show host Bill O’Reilly, who neglected to mention the group’s numerous scrapes with violence and instead gave him a platform to spread misinformation about Muslims. Jim Treacher, blogger at The Daily Caller, also praised Robinson’s appearance because “he states his case well.”
The EDL, which bills itself as non-racist, is primarily made up of white, working class men, many of whom wear masks during protests that are marked by violence. They claim, without evidence, that Muslims are in the process of overthrowing the British government, after which they’ll supposedly rule white Britons through Sharia courts.
“This silent jihad that’s going on, this silent takeover and planning to take over and implement Sharia, they’re the one’s I’m terrified of,” Robinson told Kilmeade. “They’re actually sitting around tables of government. They’re actually in positions of power. They’ve infiltrated major positions across the whole entire government. And I say, don’t listen to what we’re saying. Listen to what they’re saying. They’re openly telling us they want to take over the country.”
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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