The SU were right to ban Tommy Robinson from speaking
We don’t want your views here thanks
Yesterday, EDL founder and controversial speaker Tommy Robinson was banned from doing a free speech talk at Brookes due to it being deemed as a public safety risk. This all stemmed from a Facebook event which was going to see over 130 people protest outside JHB when Robinson arrived.
In case you still don’t know who I’m talking about, here’s a brief rundown: Deemed ‘Britain’s most hated man’ by the Telegraph, Robinson joined BNP in 2004 after a stint in prison. He then went on to found far right group, the English Defence League, and has since departed to join Pegida- a German Nationalist group against ‘Islamisation of the west.’
The student who invited him, told the Huffington Post that he “invited him to allow him to come on campus and express a viewpoint – perhaps one that people may find disagreeable. Indeed something I might find disagreeable.” He “wanted the platform to be given to him so that also my fellow students could challenge him on anything they differed in opinion on.” But realistically, we aren’t going to change Mr Robinson’s views anytime soon are we? He’s going to perform his talk and go back to his campaign as per.
I’m not an ignorant person, I’m open to different opinions by people from all walks of life. However, why should we bring an ex-EDL speaker into our place of education? A place where we stand for diversity and freedom, and the right for people of all religions and races to have a chance at learning. A range of students of Brookes come from countries where Islam is practiced. How will they feel when they see a poster that a former EDL leader is doing a speech? I’d imagine it’s a pretty shit feeling to be isolated in the environment where you feel the safest.
Oxford in itself is a city against backwards views. We had a 70% remain count for Brexit, we had a demo with over 1000 people in the streets to say that we accept refugees. We have extremely diverse areas throughout Oxford where people from all walks of life live and work in harmony. Why do we want a speaker coming into a university who doesn’t share the same views that most of us do?
Many will argue that we should give him the chance, they don’t agree with his views but we should hear him out blah blah blah blah. I ask you why. This is a man who said that every Muslim in the UK was to blame for the 7/7 bombings. This is the man who called Islam a ‘violent and fascist religion’. Well Mr Robinson, I’d have to argue that it’s you who’s violent and fascist- with your extreme views and your extensive criminal record which suggests that your EDL demos are hotbeds of violence.
Mr Robinson suggests that his views have changed since his EDL days when he used to get boozed up and march through the streets of Luton chanting aggressive threats too disgusting to repeat. However, he was then seen in Holland repeating how proud he was to have set up EDL and that Angela Merkel was a coward because she would not say that Islam had failed.
Everyone wants to fight terrorism, but not everybody is Islamophobic about it. He’s entitled to his views, but I don’t want them in my university.