A British right-wing group responsible for a wave of violent anti-Islamist street protests in the United Kingdom will attempt to spread its message to Canadians at a rally in Toronto next week. A “support rally” for the controversial English Defence League is scheduled to take place at the Toronto Zionist Centre on Tuesday night. The event is being organized by the Jewish Defence League of Canada. Tommy Robinson, the EDL leader, will speak at the rally through an on-line hookup. It is believed to be the first Canadian rally for the EDL, repeatedly linked to violence since it formed in 2009 to counter Islamic radicalismin Britain.
Canadian Jewish Congress Protests
“I am disappointed that the JDL would support an organization whose record in the U.K. is one of violence and extremism,” said Bernie Farber, CEO, of the Canadian Jewish Congress. “This is more than unwise and I sure hope they reconsider this decision.” Professor Matthew Goodwin said the EDL has links to football hooligan networks and draws most of its support from the young working class but unlike the traditional far right it is open to all races and faiths. “This is part of that attempt to forge international links,” he said of the Toronto rally. The EDL support rally is advertised on the JDL website. “JDL supports the EDL,” the announcement reads. “The EDL needs international support to help it support the values of freedom that Britain was once famous [for]. Now is the time to step forward and stop political Islam.”