On 2nd July 2014, Bournemouth University arranged a filmed discussion between me and an articulate EDL spokesman, Gary Hazel, on the issue of ‘Islam in Britain’.The event was organised by the Bournemouth University Islamic Society, who organised the event after a lecture given during their Islamic Awareness week early in 2014 was heckled by EDL supporters in the audience. This was reported in the local media.
After the incident, the Islamic society decided that a filmed conversation be held to engage the EDL’s critique, and this was approved, moderated and hosted by the Bournemouth university chaplain, Dr Bill Merrington. The conversation was directed by Dr Merrington, who posed questions to each of us to answer. I managed to clear some misconceptions and challenge some of Mr Hazel’s arguments. Gary Hazel sounds more moderate than other EDL members I’ve engaged with, and perhaps represents some aspects of the general population’s concerns which have been raised by media misrepresentation.
During the conversation, the EDL representative when asking why he didn’t hear Muslims condemning terrorism, was rendered speechless when he was asked by Abdullah al Andalusi if he ever actually googled it. See below to watch the entire encounter.