FAR RIGHT DEMO AGAINST HARROW CENTRAL MOSQUE - 11th SEPTEMBER 2009
The far right English Defence League and "Stop the Islamisation of Europe" (SIOE) are planning on holding an anti-Muslim protest outside Harrow Central Mosque on the evening of Friday 11 September from 5.00 - 7.00 pm.
Anti-racist activists in Harrow have drawn up the following statement which has been signed by all the MPs for Harrow, both Brent Labour MPs, and a number of trade unionists and community activists:
"We the undersigned strongly oppose plans by the 'English Defence League' - a group we believe to be 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; Pete Firmin, president of Brent Trades Council; Jon Gamble, secretary Watford Trades Council Alf Filer, UCU Harrow College; Indro Sen, UCU branch secretary, College of North West London; Milad Ahmed, Muslim Youth Helpline, An-Nisa Society]
Brent & Harrow Unite Against Fascism has called a solidarity vigil to defend the mosque from these racists and fascists. It starts at 1:30pm on Friday 11th September and will continue till the early evening, including a rally and speakers at 6pm. They are asking as many people as possible to come after work or college, from 4.30 pm onwards so that there is a large, dignified and determined demonstration of support for the mosque that reflects both the diversity and the unity of Harrow's community. Assemble outside Harrow Civic Centre on Station Road just north of the junction with Rosslyn Crescent.
The EDL had originally planned to hold a protest demonstration outside the Harrow Central Mosque Saturday 29 August but it was called off. The reason for this is given on the website of the British Defence League: (BDF)
"Harrow march has been rescheduled due to the original organiser messing people about after being promised that the Mosque wont allow extremists and that it wont house a Sharia court. We dont believe it for a moment and we dont want any more mosques in this country. They are funded by extreme Saudi groups and are part of the plan to Islamify Britain through brainwashing and terror. It has now been rescheduled to September 11th, which is a Friday, but will incorporate a 9/11 anniversary commemoration. This is now being organised by the EDL."
The EDL is the group that held a demonstration in Luton, where they were not opposed, smashing the windows of Muslim owned shops and shouting abuse at Muslims. They also organised the Islamophobic demonstrations in the centre of Birmingham.
The UAF have been campaigning hard in opposition to the proposed demonstration against Harrow Central Mosque. They have set up a working group and have leafleted Harrow Central Mosque and the Wembley Mosque in Ealing Road at the end of Friday prayers, outside Harrow-on-the-Hill station and had a stall in Harrow Town Centre. They state that, "the response was amazing, overwhelmingly favourable, with people from every section of the community signing the statement of support for the mosque and agreeing with us that we must defend the unity of our community."
We at An-Nisa, urge any Muslims attending to maintain dignity and calm at all times, even in the case of any provocation. This should be a peaceful demonstration. Islam is a religion of peace and we are in the blessed month of Ramadan.
Information and Links
UAF Rally Information- Download UAFRallyInformation.doc
Email for the United Against Fascism - email@example.com
Letter to Harrow Times - Download Harrow_TimesLetter.doc
EXTRACT FROM AN-NISA SOCIETY'S REPORT ON THE PREVENT STRATEGY (COUNTER-TERRORISM STRATEGY)
"The (Prevent) Strategy validates the belief amongst bigots, including the far right, that all Muslims are terrorists, and have now received confirmation of this by the government's actions. Not only is this placing Muslims at risk of physical danger it will increase indirect discrimination in the provision of goods, services and facilities....
The British National Party (BNP) already targets Islam and Muslims in its campaigns -- in Stoke on Trent they have gained nine councillors. This increases danger and risk to British Muslims by far right extremism..."
Download full report B9E_PVE_and_Prevent_-__A_Muslim_response.pdf