The Times of London reports on nasty clashes in Birmingham between young Muslims and a conservative group called the “English Defense League,” which opposes what it calls militant Islam and stresses that it has no quarrel with Islam or with Muslims who do not wish to change British law or life. (Thanks to Lawrence Auster at View from the Right, who led me to the EDL website.) The EDL held a scheduled march against militant Islam. Muslim groups were permitted to hold a counter-demonstration, but were supposed to remain in an area far enough removed from the EDL to avoid the possibility of violence. The police believed they had secured the agreement of the Muslim groups to go along with this arrangement. Nevertheless, preachers at the Birmingham Central Mosque encouraged the faithful to attend and demonstrate the umma’s “solidarity.” Naturally, they did, and violence broke out.
Aside from the obvious, what drew my attention was Times’s description of the opposing parties. The EDL demonstrators are identified by the Times as a “right-wing” and “anti-Islamic” (even though disavow being anti-Islamic — again, they describe themselves as anti-militant). By contrast, the caption of the picture that accompanies the story, informs readers that the Muslims and the other counter-demonstrators (socialists and some other religious dominations) are “anti-fascist supporters.”
Jonah, over to you.