In 2012 in a television debate about the British far right, on the show Big Questions, the muslim anti-EDL campaigner Mo Ansar invited Tommy Robinson – the leader of the English Defence League – to meet his family for a meal. Robinson rejected the invitation on camera, but would later privately take the opportunity to open a dialogue with Ansar.
It was the beginning of an 18 month long journey in which Ansar would meet with members of the EDL and Robinson would meet with various Islamic groups, in a bid for each to understand eachothers point of views. It was a journey which would finish with Robinson quitting as leader of the EDL, a shock to its membership and the general public.
It wasn’t Ansar who Robinson was prepared to credit with his transformation however but leading members of Quilliam, an anti-extremist organisation made up of former members of radical Islamist groups. When Tommy Met Mo is a 2013 BBC documentary which captures this chain of events all the way up to the concluding press conference in which Robinson announced his decision to the gathering media.