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#1 [Permalink] Posted on 9th September 2009 14:27

Defend Harrow Central Mosque against anti‑Muslim bigots on Friday 11 September

assemble 4pm on Friday outside Harrow Civic Centre

Speakers include: Tony McNulty MP, London assembly member Navin Shah, NUJ general secretary Jeremy Dear, Jo Lang from Harrow Teachers Association, Unite convenor and bus worker Abdul Omer Mohsin, Weyman Bennett from Unite Against Fascism

>>> download the leaflet HERE
>>> download the poster HERE

Racist bigots including the BNP-linked English Defence League and "Stop the Islamisation of Europe" are planning on holding an anti-Muslim protest outside Harrow Central Mosque on the evening of Friday 11 September. Unite Against Fascism has called a solidarity vigil in response to defend the mosque from racists and fascists.

We are calling on everyone in London who opposes the racists and wants to stand up for Harrow's multicultural and multiracial society to assemble on Friday at 4pm outside Harrow Civic Centre on Station Road, just north of the junction with Rosslyn Crescent (postcode HA1 2UA, nearest tube Harrow & Wealdstone). Please bring union banners.

The vigil starts at 1.30pm, so please get there earlier if you can. We want a dignified but determined demonstration that will show the racists that they are not welcome in Harrow. There will be a public rally with speakers starting at around 6pm.


SIGN THE UNITY STATEMENT

Anti-racist activists in Harrow have drawn up a unity statement against the anti-Muslim demo which has been signed by local MPs, trade unionists and community activists. Send an email to uafbrentandharrow@googlemail.com to add your name to the statement.

"We the undersigned strongly oppose plans by the 'English Defence League' - a group linked to the fascist BNP - to demonstrate against Harrow Central Mosque. The EDL is a racist group out to attack Asians. It is trying to provoke and intimidate Muslim people by organising its 'protest' on a Friday in the holy month of Ramadan.

"Islamophobia - bigotry against Muslims - is as unacceptable as any other form of racism. Its aim is to divide us by making scapegoats of one community, just as the Nazis did with the Jews in the 1930s. Today they threaten the mosque, tomorrow it could be a synagogue, temple or church. Today they threaten Muslims, tomorrow it could be Jews, Hindus, Sikhs, blacks, gays, travellers or Eastern Europeans. There is no place for Nazis, racists or the BNP in Harrow's multi-racial, multi-cultural and multi-religious community."

Signatories so far include: Tony McNulty, MP for Harrow East; Barry Gardiner, MP for Brent North; Jo Lang, president of Harrow Teachers Association (NUT); Nick Grant, NUT national executive member for outer London; Martin Francis, Green Party candidate for Brent North; Abdul Omer Mohsin, union convenor for Unite at Harrow and Edgware bus garages; Raj Gill, branch secretary, GMB Harrow general branch (pc); Pete Firmin, president of Brent Trades Council; Alf Filer, UCU Harrow College; Indro Sen, UCU branch secretary, College of North West London; Milad Ahmed, Muslim Youth Helpline

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#2 [Permalink] Posted on 31st July 2013 15:39

Arrest over mosque blast tattoo seen at Birmingham EDL rally

Picture of a tattoo at the EDL rally on 20 July The man was pictured at an EDL rally in Birmingham

A man photographed at an English Defence League rally with a tattoo on his ribs of a mosque being blown up has been arrested on suspicion of stirring up racial hatred.

The 39-year-old man from South Shields, South Tyneside, was arrested following the protest in Birmingham on 20 July.

A man was pictured at the rally with a tattoo of a mosque with the word "boom!" on it.

Officers said the arrested man had since been released on bail.

He was arrested by Northumbria Police on Friday on behalf of West Midlands Police.

The force made a total of 20 arrests following the rally - and counter-protest - off Birmingham's Broad Street earlier this month.

Police said up to 2,000 people gathered at two locations in the city centre.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-23517893

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#3 [Permalink] Posted on 6th September 2013 22:59
www.theguardian.com/p/3thqc

East London mosque awaits EDL march with fear and frustration
Energy put into preparing for far-right group's march in Tower Hamlets would be better spent elsewhere, say staff at mosque

Among staff at the East London mosque, the sense of anger at plans by the English Defence League to demonstrate nearby on Saturday is amplified by their belief that there are more constructive things they could be doing with their time than planning how to respond to the far-right group.

On Friday, one member of staff could be seen methodically sticking transfers on to fluorescent vests for the 500 stewards being deployed by the mosque to try to maintain order, while others were finalising security arrangements.

The far-right group's latest attempt to march into Tower Hamlets has been banned from entering the heart of the borough, where the mosque is, but it will still pass too close for comfort.

"I'd rather we used the charity's money towards doing good work for the people, providing help to vulnerable women, providing education to people who need it, but every time the EDL raise their ugly head we have to have round-the-clock security," said the mosque's deputy director, Shaynul Khan.

As the mosque was making last-minute preparations for the descent of the EDL on Friday, two miles down the road the far-right group's leader - this time going under the name Paul Harris - was at the high court attempting to get police restrictions limiting the march to the outskirts of the borough overturned. The attempt was thrown out - as was a separate bid by Tower Hamlets council to get the EDL demonstration banned altogether.

The EDL is expected to muster between 1,000 and 2,000 supporters, while the court heard that several thousand people were expected to turn out to oppose it, making it one of the biggest anti-fascist demonstrations of recent years.

The EDL's failure to overturn the route restriction was some relief to Khan given that EDL marches have a tendency to descend into violence and when they have previously attempted to enter the area thousands of young Muslims have gone out on to the streets to oppose them. "When you're provoking young people like that, the only thing that's going to happen is a reaction," he said. "That's what they [the EDL] want and that's something we want to control. But how are we going to police 2,000 young people?"

Anti-fascist groups have been involved in clashes with the EDL in the past but Khan described the planned counter-demonstration, organised by Unite Against Fascism and United East End, which is supported by the Tower Hamlets mayor, Lutfur Rahman, and several trade unions, as "very important".

"The message needs to be clear," he said. "There are people who love the way of life in Tower Hamlets and those that come from outside to sow discord."

The unwelcome distraction comes at a time when the mosque should have been celebrating, having recently opened the Maryam Centre, its 9.5m nine-storey extension, which houses a prayer hall, services and facilities for women. The expansion means the mosque can now host 8,000 people for prayers at a time.

While the EDL have attempted to march through Tower Hamlets for several years, Saturday's effort comes at a time of heightened sensitivity, just months after the murder of the British soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich, which the EDL has been accused of exploiting to garner support. In the aftermath of Rigby's killing there have been a number of attacks on mosques. A mosque and community centre in Muswell Hill, north London, was burned to the ground and the letters EDL scrawled on the walls in June. Last month, Geoffrey Ryan, who has links to the EDL, was jailed for attacking a mosque in Braintree, Essex, hours after Rigby's murder, armed with an incendiary device and two kitchen knives.

Khan says the EDL first focused on East London mosque after an investigation by Channel 4's Dispatches into the mosque and the group that runs it, the Islamic Forum of Europe (IFE), in 2007. The programme accused the IFE of seeking to change society in accordance with Islamist values and the mosque of hosting hate preachers, including people who voice homophobic views, accusations which continue to be levelled at it. Khan rejects outright any suggestion that the mosque harbours or condones extremists. While acknowledging there have been instances in the past where people with unpalatable views have preached at the mosque he insists that these were usually at events organised by outside groups and that the mosque has tightened up its vetting procedures. But he said it was impossible to check on every previous statement of every possible preacher, especially when they are sometimes in Arabic (which he does not speak).

Khan is proud of the work the mosque does in the community, with over 60% of the people using its pro-bono legal services non-Muslim, he says. The mosque hosts three open days a year and has an open-door policy towards non-Muslims. In addition a permanent exhibition on Islam is being created for them in the Maryam centre, with windows looking on to the mosque's prayer room.

All these things help prevent the EDL's message gaining any traction in the local community, Khan believes.

"Even if you talk to the non-Muslims, they don't want to have fascists walking down the streets carrying placards, causing trouble," he said. "They are shocked and appalled by the idea."
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