Saturday, 31 August 2013

Connecting the Dots: the EDL ... MPs ... and Tower Hamlets


Channel 4 News

MPs are demanding a ban on a march through one of London's most multicultural areas by the far-right English Defence League.

In a letter to the Home Office and the Metropolitan Police, seen by Channel 4 News, both of the MPs representing the Tower Hamlets borough of east London called the anti-Muslim group's march, which is planned for Saturday 7 September, a "deplorable hate preaching tactic which we have seen result in serious violence multiple times before".

Writing to Police Minister Damian Green on 23 August, Rushanara Ali and Jim Fitzpatrick, Labour MPs for Bethnal Green and Bow and Poplar and Limehouse, added: "It is our firm belief that this march…[poses] a serious threat to both individuals and wider Tower Hamlets community cohesion."

Their calls echo similar demands from the local council this month and come two years after violent clashes between the EDL and both police and anti-fascist groups in Tower Hamlets. The letter describes the concerns the two MPs said many in the area feel about the EDL's return.

New English Review
So why Tower Hamlets? ... This Is Why:
That is the rhetorical question asked by one “Jo Makepeace” writing in Indymedia about the EDL’s forthcoming demonstration in Tower Hamlets on 7th September. Now there may genuinely be a lady christened Josephine by her loving parents Mr and Mrs Makepeace. But Jo Makepeace is also the persona of a group of left-wingers based in Brighton.

As he/she/it/they have asked the question these are some of the reasons. The reasons for the previous demo in 2011 I detailed here; what can be added over the last two years is below.
Islam in Tower Hamlets is a many-headed beast, but with two main necks; the corruption of the Muslim dominated borough council led by Grand Vizier Lutfur Rahman and the malign influence of the East London Mosque and satellite organisations.

Let us start with the
East London Mosque

Physically it continues to grow. The Maryam Centre for the women opened in July. The women’s entrance next to the men’s on the main drag of Whitechapel Road is now closed. Women are directed to enter their segregated space - where they belong - down the side street and round the back.

The mosque is now 9 floors high. It may be able to go higher still. It can’t go wider unless it crosses the street.
It may have reached its physical limits on that site but it certainly isn’t idle in propaganda.

Hate preachers and undesirable conferences.

In 2007 the ELM hosted Abdul Karim Hattin’s now notorious Spot the Fag contest, detailed in Channel 4 Dispatches Undercover Mosque. After criticism, including the business I wrote of in 2010 regarding the Gay Free Zone the mosque declared that never again would they allow a homophobic speaker a platform.
Sadly this did not last long. A few objectionable speakers were sidelined to the Waterlily, the conference centre on Mile End Road. Then gradually they crept back into the mosque.
On 29th December 2012 they hosted Ibrahim Hewitt, fundraising for Interpal the finance arm of Hamas. He has written, and so far as I am told has never repudiated, that apostates, adulterers and sexually active gays should suffer the death penalty. Murtaza Khan says something similar, as does Hamza Tortis; they gave lectures on the 21st and 16th of December 2013.
Then only last month on 27th July the ELM hosted a meeting of the group Cage Prisoners, who campaign for those arrested and convicted in relation to terrorist offences and were supporters of the deceased Al Qaeda preacher, Anwar Al Awlaki. The main speaker was Shakeel Begg who is on record as encouraging students at Kingston upon Thames University to wage jihad by going to Palestine to fight the Zionists. There are all sorts of links to his speeches here in Andrew Gilligan’s blog in The Telegraph.

This sort of atmosphere was the ideal breeding ground for the incidents that took place in the streets around the mosque in January.

Muslim Patrol
As reported by the East London Advertiser on 18th January 2013, not to be confused with a similar series of incidents in Leyton during 2012.
The video shows a self-styled ‘Muslim patrol’ approaching people in Fieldgate Street, close to the East London Mosque. Members of the patrol announce themselves to passers-by as “vigilantes implementing Islam against your own necks”.

“We are Muslims who patrol the area, forbidding evil”, they can be heard saying.

One passer-by is told to “remove yourself away from the mosque”.

They tell others: “Go away now. Don’t come back. Keep your mouths closed.”

Responding to a woman who condemns their actions, the vigilantes can be heard saying: “We don’t care if you’re appalled at all. It’s not so Great Britain.”

Terror Arrest, and Much More Here

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