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.”
“Give us your support and God bless!” Robinson, born an Irishman named Stephen Lennon, cheerfully concluded. “God bless America!” The interview was also plugged by Kilmeade’s Fox News program “Fox & Friends.”
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.”
Robinson’s group has become infamous since forming in 2009, but its activities are more in the spotlight recently due to the killing of a British soldier by two Arab men last month. The EDL has staged dozens of protests since then. They mainly target Muslim-majority areas for their demonstrations, much to the disdain of groups like Unite Against Fascism and the hacker activists with “Anonymous.”
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.”
A similar conspiracy theory was briefly popularized stateside by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), who claimed that her colleague Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) and even a former top aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were secretly part of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood.
This audio is from Fox News Radio’s “Kilmeade and Friends,” aired Monday, June 10, 2013, snipped by liberal watchdog group Media Matters.
This video is from The Guardian published Jan. 28, 2013.