Mosque hails ‘victory’ over anti-Islam group

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Only 15 anti-Muslim protesters show at Harrow Central Mosque

A HARROW Mosque which was at the centre of an anti-Islam demonstration on the weekend has hailed a victory for the ‘peace loving people of Harrow’ after only 15 protestors showed.

The Stop the Islamisation of Europe (SIOE) and English Defence League (EDL) had planned a protest outside the Mosque yesterday and hoped thousands of its supporters would show.

But only a handful turned up to the demonstration. They were met by over 200 supporters of Unite Against Fascism who had organised a counter-demonstration.

The Metropolitan Police said the protest passed off peacefully with no arrests.

“The Stop Islamisation of Europe and the English Defence League was in every measure a miserable defeat for the hate mongers and the Islamaphobes,” a spokesperson for the Mosque said.

“The Harrow Central Mosque is extremely grateful that people from so many backgrounds and faiths stood shoulder to shoulder in support of and in solidarity towards this great centre of peace and harmony.”

Sunday’s protest marked a contrast to the SIOE’s previous demonstration outside the Mosque in September when clashes between young Muslims and police resulted in over ten arrests. Leaders for Harrow Mosque had appealed to young Muslims in the area not to attend yesterday’s rally for fear of being provoked.

The Mosque said they had invited leaders for both the SIOE and EDL for talks prior to the rally but were rebuffed.

“The Mosque extended an invitation to both the groups and at one stage even directly invited the leaders of EDL to have face to face and civilised constructive dialogue with Mosque representatives,” the spokesperson said.

“Initially they agreed but then changed their minds and went home. However, the SIOE declined to accept the invitation point blank and the leader of this group, Stephen Gash, said ‘this will be a total waste of time and fruitless exercise’.

“This was a victory for the people of Harrow and defeat for the racists and the fascists. There is only message the Mosque is willing to give- this is our home; Britain is our country; British people are our people; and we will do everything for its well-being.”

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