The Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman has joined other politicians, councillors, local leaders and anti-fascist campaigners in calls to the home secretary to ban a proposed march through Tower Hamlets by the EDL on the 3rd September, the East London Advertiser reported yesterday. The move follows the killing of 76 people in Norway last week by Ander Behring Breivik, a right-wing terrorist who claimed links and sympathy to the EDL. From the paper:
“The EDL has a history of provocative marches in areas with large Muslim populations,” he (Mayor Lutfur Rahman) said in a Town Hall statement.
“They relish the opportunity to reap division on one of the most diverse communities in Britain and turning residents against one another.”
The Daily Mail has today published an article regarding a poster campaign to enforce sharia law in parts of the UK, giving yet more unwarranted publicity and exposure to the disturbing antics of Islam4UK.
The article draws attention to a number of posters that have been plastered around certain local areas warning of a “sharia controlled zone” in which alcohol; gambling; music and concerts; drugs and smoking; porn and prostitution are all “banned”.
The article states that “Anjem Choudary has claimed responsibility for the scheme, saying he plans to flood specific Muslim and non-Muslim communities around the UK and ‘put the seeds down for an Islamic Emirate in the long term’ ”.
The JC informs us of the Home Secretary losing her battle to appeal against the bail conditions granted to Sheikh Raed Salah as he fights deportation.
From the JC:
“The Court of Appeal has refused Home Secretary Theresa May permission to appeal the release of Islamic political activist Raed Salah on bail while he fights a deportation case.
The Kidderminster Shuttle reports on a racially aggravated assault on another elderly gentleman on his way to a mosque.
From the local paper:
“Police are appealing for witnesses after the incident, in Stourbridge Road on Friday and particularly want to trace two people who spoke to the 90-year-old man after the assault.
“He had been walking along Stourbridge Road towards the mosque on Radford Avenue and as he came level with the Eurasia takeaway a youngster started throwing stones and shouting at him.
New research released on Monday from the University of Warwick has demonstrated that young churchgoing Christians are more supportive of their Muslim peers than are young people of no religious faith.
The survey involved 10,000 13-15 year-old students, 2000 each from England, Northern Island, Scotland, Wales and London. Three key questions demonstrating these findings were:
Following the horrific attacks in Norway last Friday which killed at least 76, Democracy Now! have interviewed Ali Esbati, who was on Norway’s Utoeya Island at the time of the fatal shooting and the Director of the Norwegian Center Against Racism, Kari Helene Partapuoli.
Esbati reflects on the broader context of rising Islamophobia in the West. Excerpted from the interview:
AMY GOODMAN: …in your understanding of who Breivik is now, and Ali Esbati, your work, talk about why you—what you were lecturing about on the island to the camp. Do you see any connections?
Gary Streeter MP has sponsored an Early Day Motion welcoming the intervention of the Equality and Human Rights Commission in support of a “reasonable accommodation” of religion and belief in public life.
The motion reads:
“That this House welcomes the decision of the Equality and Human Rights Commission to intervene in support of four cases involving discrimination against Christians that are presently with the European Court of Human Rights; notes that this is a long overdue recognition of the need to defend religious liberty and marks an important development in relation to a better understanding of the role of faith in public life; and further welcomes the Commission’s advocacy for reasonable accommodation in the workplace as an acknowledgement of the place of conscientious objection for those with religious belief.”
||Andrew Gilligan in the Daily Telegraph today does his best to detract from and diminish the threat posed by far right extremism in the wake of the horrific attacks in Norway.
“Clearly, the number killed by Anders Behring Breivik is greater than in any single Islamist terror attack in the UK; and equally clearly, the murderer was motivated by hatred of Muslims. This cannot, however, have been his main motive, or he surely would have taken his assault rifle to an Oslo mosque, rather than an island of white teenagers. To even suggest equivalence between years of Islamist terror and the far Right, based on a single, awful case, is deeply dangerous and false.”
Perhaps Gilligan might avail himself of Europol’s report last year to better understand the actual threats and terrorist incidents occurring in Europe. Europol’s report illustrates that of the 249 terrorist attacks in the EU in 2010, al-Qaeda inspired terrorism accounted for 3 of these. Would Gilligan rather not deal with the facts the better to bluster an argument that fits his prejudices?
||In the wake of the Arab spring, the British government has published a strategy document entitled ‘Building Stability Overseas Strategy’ (BSOS). As the foreword states, the Arab Spring has “challenged long standing notions of stability. Challenges to oppression, if managed peacefully, can be a rejuvenating force for society”.
The BSOS strategy focuses on an early warning system; rapid crisis prevention and response; and upstream prevention.
||The Socialist Worker reports on another act of vandalism on a mosque, this time in Luton.
“Racist thugs vandalised a Luton mosque during the early hours of Friday morning. They spray painted “EDL” and a swastika – the symbol of Nazi Germany – on the walls, and smashed windows.
“Imam Shahid Ahmed from the Madinah mosque in Luton spoke to Socialist Worker about the attack.
““We locked up the mosque at 11.30pm on Thursday night, everything was fine. When I returned at 4am for morning prayers I found the windows smashed. The words ‘EDL’ were painted on both sides of the mosque and a symbol [swastika] was also painted on one wall.”
“Bedfordshire police attended the scene and the council immediately removed the racist graffiti.”