Friday, January 03, 2014

A clash of bigots

By New Worker Correspondent

ANJEM Choudary is the self-appointed leaders of a small group of right-wing fundamentalist Muslims who dream of imposing Sharia law on Britain. His views are strongly rejected by the vast majority of Muslims in this country.
Last December  he advertised that he and his followers would hold a protest march against alcohol in Brick Lane in the heart of London’s East End.
Recently some young members of this group were sent to prison for assaulting non-Muslims who they claimed were drinking in what they described as a Muslim area of London Tower Hamlets.
But they are not part of mainstream Muslim life in the area where a couple of months ago Muslims turned out in a massive show of solidarity with thousands of Londoners of all races and faiths and none to stop the Islamophobic English Defence League (EDL) in their tracks yet again.
On Friday 13th December led his band of about 20 followers along Brick Lane but his advertisements had attracted a small assortment of EDL members and other neo-Nazis and racists to stage a counter demonstration.
They numbered eight to ten fascists: a mixture of English Volunteer Force, English Defence League and Paul Golding and his video cameraman from the tiny Britain First Party.
The fascists tried to block Choudary’s demo at the bottom of Osborn Street and Whitechapel Road. There was a bit of a stand-off as both groups were surrounded by police.
The fascists shouted that they were proud white English and liked to drink, and “terrorist scum off our streets”, and then sang the National Anthem out of tune.
Golding offered to fight Choudary if Choudary would come out from behind the police lines and when he didn’t, Golding shouted that he was a coward.
Choudary’s lot shouted that it was insanity to argue with them as all they wanted was to save the fascists from hangovers, liver disease and drunken violence.
The police kettled the fascists. After about a quarter of an hour Choudary’s followers simply walked round the fascists and up Osborn Street to Brick Lane.
In Brick Lane Roger Firth from the EDL turned up on his own, videoing Choudary. Choudary and company got about half way up Brick Lane just before the old Truman’s Brewery and then gave up and went home.
Meanwhile Choudary and his followers carried on, berating local Asian traders and restaurateurs for selling alcohol.
The local Muslim community responded by repeatedly stopping reporters to make sure they knew that they strongly disagreed with Choudary and wanted nothing to do with him.

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